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Transmutation Effectiveness of Nuclear Waste


Complex Radiochemical and Activation Analysis of Long-life Nuclear Waste Transmutation in Fast Reactors and in the Beams of High Energy Accelerators

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-RWT/Radioactive Waste Treatment/Environment
  • FIR-ISO/Isotopes/Fission Reactors
  • FIR-EXP/Experiments/Fission Reactors

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Novozhilov V V

Leading Institute
FEI (IPPE), Russia, Kaluga reg., Obninsk

Supporting institutes

  • Joint Institute of Nuclear Research, Russia, Moscow reg., Dubna


  • European Commission / Research Directorate-General, Belgium, Brussels

Project summary

Project Purpose

Nowadays methods of nuclear waste disposal in the fast neutron reactors and the accelerator-driven systems are studied intensively. To realize these methods in practice a new quality information on radioactive isotope burning out in various power systems is essentially needed. The project purpose is experimental and theoretical researches of transmutation effectiveness of the most important minor actinides and fission long-lived products in the fast reactors and high energy accelerators.

Activity Main Directions

1. Radiochemical researches and activation measurements of the isotopic composition changes of the minor actinide samples (U-234, Np-237, Pu-238, Pu-240, Am-241, Cm-243+Cm-244) irradiated in BN-350 reactor during several campaigns.
2. Analysis of experimental data on the minor actinides irradiation in the neutron field of BN-350 reactor and the more precise estimation of the neutron data used for calculations of the actinide transmutation.
3. Radiochemical researches and physical measurements of the isotopic composition changes of the enriched isotope samples (Tc-99, I-129, Np-237, Pu-238, Pu-240, Am-241, Cm-243+Cm-244) irradiated by the proton beam and neutron flux of the massive lead target of the JINR synchrophasotron-nuclotron.
4. Analysis of experimental data on the enriched isotope samples irradiated in the JINR synchrophasotron-nuclotron and improvement of the theoretical models used for cross section calculations of the high energy proton induced reactions.
5. Comparative analysis of the radioactive isotope transmutation efficiency in the fast neutron reactors and accelerator-driven systems. Development of recommendations on the optimal scenarios of the radioactive waste transmutation.

Equipment and Technical Approach

Radioactive isotopes extraction and deep purification technologies meeting the best world standards have been developed at the IPPE. A great experience on the sample and target production for scientific and engineering application is accumulated too. There are the necessary amounts of raw materials for the isotope production and the radiochemical equipment under operation.

At the JINR there is the experience of scientific research on the high energy accelerators, well developed modern methods and equipment including those related to the project program.

Expected Results

The following scientific results will be obtained due to the project:

1. Data of radiochemical research and activation measurements of the minor actinide burning out and the daughter actinides and fission products accumulation in the samples under investigation.
2. New methods of radiochemical and physical analysis of the sample nuclide compositions irradiated in different neutron and proton fields.
3. Test of the actinide transmutation calculation methods in the neutron fields of fast neutron reactors and the more precise estimation of the nuclear data used.
4. The software testing of the electro-nuclear and transmutation process simulation for the massive targets of high energy accelerators.
5. Recommendations on the optimal scenarios of the radioactive isotope transmutation for the fast neutron reactors and accelerator-driven systems.

Scientific Significance and Economical Effectiveness

The project results are of significant scientific and practical interest for developing the optimal methods of the nuclear power and military industry long-lived radioactive waste disposal. The methods of the radioactive isotope radiochemical extraction and analysis can also be applied to the practical problems in medicine, biology and ecology.

The proposed project enables to involve the scientists, engineers and technicians who have been formerly engaged in the area of the nuclear weapon production, into the long-term project of solving the problem of radioactive waste management.

Collaboration Potential Function

The collaboration with the interested foreign institutions can be useful for the exchange of the experience and the research results obtained as well as the effective use of the unique fast reactors and high energy accelerators, the expensive engineering and physical equipment available in Russia. The international collaboration proposals on the project will be thankfully met.


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