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Waste from Plutonium Activities


Disposal and long-term storage in geological formations of solidified radioactive wastes from plutonium production for military purposes and radiochemical reprocessing of spent fuel from atomic power plants.

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-RWT/Radioactive Waste Treatment/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Kondratenkov Yu B

Leading Institute
VNIPI Promtechnology, Russia, Moscow


  • CEA / DCC / CEN Valrho, France, Marcoule\nUniversity of Nevada, USA, NV, Reno\nCEA / IPSN (Institut de Protection et Sûreté Nucléaire), France, Fontenay aux Roses\nSandia National Laboratories, USA, NM, Albuquerque

Project summary

As a result of the bygone activity of defense enterprises activity of the wastes being stored in special reservoirs - storages - for 570 mln Ci. In temporary storages of atomic power plants there are fuel from PBMK reactors amounting to 530 t and from BB P-1000 amounting to 940 t.

There is nuclear spent fuel from BB P-1000 reactors in amounts of 1100 t in special storages in the vicinity of Krasnoyarsk City.

At atomic power plants there are stored 150,000 m3 of liquid wastes with activity of 2000 Ci and 100 000 m3 of solid wastes.

In accordance with technical policy of Russia liquid wastes being stored in reservoirs are to be solidified and disposed in general into geological formations. Disposal (storage) of solid wastes and spent nuclear fuel from PBMK reactors in supposed to be fulfilled.

For this purpose special technologies and underground structures being constructed on geological areas of Russian territories and on adjacent areas of the CIS will be required and they are to meet the requirements of developed system.

Construction of regional repositories in different types of rocks including hard rocks, salt, clay will be obviously required with regard to the dispersion of radwaste sources throughout the territory of the country.

Depending on geological formations, amount of wastes and their isotope composition repository designs will considerably differ (deep wells, shafts, mines, cavities). There is necessity to work out repository designs having no analogous in the world experience.

In accordance with above stated the following problems will be solved in the project under consideration:

1. Development of the conception for underground localization of radwastes and nuclear spent fuel for Russia.

2. Development of requirements for the repositories with due regard for actual characteristic of wastes and their amount.

3. Development of requirements for geological regions in connection with the construction of underground repositories with regard to thermal and radiation loads, filtration and sorption rock properties.

4. Development of layout diagram for repository design.

5. Calculation of parameters of thermal fields of heat generating waste and nuclear spent fuel.

6. Determination of the sizes of secondary jointing zones in massif induced by technogeneous loads (heat, radiation, driving of openings etc.).

7. Prediction of radionuclides dispersion in massif with consideration of temperatures gradient, secondary filtration properties, sorption, diffusion etc.

8. Selection of designs and materials for sealing of sections for waste storage and creation of artificial barriers including geochemical barriers.

9. Development of monitoring system of the reliability of radwaste localization and physical processes in a repository (geomonitoring).

10. Development of scientific and technical substantiations for construction of the following repositories:

- for the wastes of Chemical integrated plant "Mayak",
- for the wastes of Krasnoyarsk mining and chemical integrated plant,
- for the wastes and nuclear spent fuel from atomic power plants of European region of Russia.

11. Assessment of long-term effects of disposed radwastes and nuclear spent fuel on the environment concerning the objects enumerated in previous paragraph.

12. Development of principally new ecologically pure technologies for construction of underground chambers for disposal of radwastes and contaminated equipment based on thermodynamics methods.

13. Assessment of efficiency of the repositories of new generation, e. g. underground repositories with self-cooling of heat generating radwastes and nuclear spent fuel.

During carrying out the Project it is planned to fulfil the following: theoretical work including development of the programs for mathematical simulation of processes, simulation on prototypes from equivalent materials using simulators, stand studies, carrying out experiments under real conditions, examination of massif properties on specific areas using best equipment of well geophysics including gamma-gamma densimeters, geolocators and compression deformometers.

As a result ecologo-economic model will be developed for every nominated object and recommendations on repository designing will be presented.

The results obtained during working out the Project will be useful for foreign experts occupied in planning nuclear spent fuel disposal (Sweden, Germany etc.).

Thermodynamics method for creation of underground, capacities (cavities) in salt may be utilized on commercial base in such countries as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait etc.

Realization of the proposed project will considerably improve ecological situation in Russia and have positive influence on the situation in adjacent states.

In the process of the project execution all the operations will be perforated in accordance with the Russian laws and regulations, with taking into consideration the IAEA recommendations, to provide the safety of personnel and population during the radwaate management. At all the stages of the work the safety and reliability of radwaste isolation is provided.


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