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Waste Not, Want Not

Waste Not, Want Not

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Waste Not, Want Not

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  1. Waste Not, Want Not Future of Radioactive Waste and Nuclear Safety in Gloucestershire John Large Large & Associates Consulting Engineers London

  2. What is Radioactive Waste? is it well defined, orderly and safe? or is it a little bit of a mess? or one hell of a mess?

  3. Let’s define Radioactive Waste or RadWaste we’ll keep it simple

  4. Iodine-131 8.0 days Caesium -134 2.6 years Caesium -137 30 years Plutonium-239 24,100 years

  5. Iodine (thyroid) 80 days Caesium (muscle tissue) 110 days Plutonium (bone marrow) +200 years

  6. α(alpha) β(beta) γ(gamma)η(irradiation)

  7. take some rubbish – let’s call it RadWaste Longevity • Energy put it in a BOX Chemistry to Contain its properties

  8. So, put the RadWaste in a plastic bag then the CHEMISTRY is contained Now we have to deal with the Radiation Longevity • Energy Chemistry

  9. Pop the bag into a canister to shield the Radiation Energy

  10. keep the container wholesome so long as the radiation persists at a harmful level

  11. So, if this was a drum of Cs-137 waste then it has to contain and shield the waste for, say, 10 half-lives or (10x30=) 300years

  12. But, there’s a BUT So, if this was a drum of Cs-137 waste then it has to contain and shield the waste for, say, 300years 10 half-lives or (10x30=) 300years

  13. These radwaste drums were sea dumped off Jersey in the 1970s and are now breaking up creating NEW EXPOSURE pathways

  14. The government agency responsible is the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority NDA The NDA is responsible for managing all of the LEGACYwaste from past and committed future nuclear operations Now let’s look at the national UK radioactive waste strategy

  15. Reprocessing is disproportionate because the UK retains the ILW-LLW wastes from overseas fuel imported for reprocessing at Sellafield instead we send back a much smaller volume of substitute HLW on a curie-for-curie basis

  16. 97.5% of Legacy RadWaste from Nuclear Power How Come? Because HMG sea dumped the rest ! Total Waste Legacy Volume 4.7 million m3

  17. Milling & Separation Uranium Hexafluoride Uranium Enrichment Enriched Uranium Fuel Nuclear Fuel Fabrication Nuclear Power Plant SPRINGFIELDS - SELLAFIELD Chemical Separation Mixed Oxide Fuel SELLAFIELD SPRINGFIELDS – PRESTON CAPENHURST OVERSEAS OVERSEAS Uranium Ore Mining

  18. Milling & Separation Uranium Hexafluoride Uranium Enrichment Enriched Uranium Fuel Nuclear Fuel Fabrication Nuclear Power Plant SPRINGFIELDS - SELLAFIELD Chemical Separation Mixed Oxide Fuel SELLAFIELD SPRINGFIELDS – PRESTON CAPENHURST OVERSEAS OVERSEAS Uranium Ore Mining

  19. The National LEGACY RadWaste is categorised High Level HLW Intermediate Level ILW Low Level LLW

  20. which, in terms of waste management and long-term disposal doesn’t make much sense intensely radioactive and heat-emitting – spent fuel and fission product reprocessing liquors HLW greater (radio)activity than LLW but not sufficiently heat emitting to require cooling – ion exchange resins, graphite, steel, etc ILW LLW less than 4GBq/t α or 12GBq/t βγ VLLW Each 0.1m3 less than 400kBq/t βγ

  21. The NDA RadWaste Strategy is to Interim Store and then Deep Geological Dispose of HLW and ILW (+37,200m3 LLW) and separately Deal with the LLWin various ways – incineration, reclassification, shallow dump, etc

  22. FUEL ASSEMBLIES High Level Waste streams from both Spent Fuel and Vitrified Fission Products COPPER CANISTER FUEL ASSEMBLY CAST STEEL CANISTER VITRIFIED HLW SPENT FUEL

  23. 8,200 t spent fuel untreated 10,659 canisters Interim Store spent fuel reprocessed 1,290 t deep disposal vitrified HLW plus substitution

  24. 8,200 t spent fuel untreated 10,659 canisters Interim Store 1,290 t deep disposal vitrified HLW plus substitution Let’s clear the decks for the disposal of the ILW plus 37,200 m3 of Pu contaminated LLW Some of the 353,000 ILW and 37,200 m3 LLW is already packaged but a large amount is still in the defunct reactor cores

  25. deep disposal Let’s clear the decks for the disposal of the ILW plus 37,200 m3 of Pu contaminated LLW UK Legacy Wastes 10,659 canisters Some of the 353,000 ILW and 37,200 m3 LLW is already packaged but a large amount is still in the defunct reactor cores 390,000 m3

  26. deep disposal UK Legacy + New Nuclear Build Now let’s add for the New Nuclear Build programme of 8 Generation III NPPs 7,200 10,659 17,859 canisters Each new plant will yield 900 HLW canisters and about 3,650m3 ops/decom ILW over a projected 60 year operating life 28,480 + = 418,480 m3 390,000 m3

  27. I can calculate a rough and ready cost of both LEGACY and New Nuclear Build components I’ll use HMG data LOTS AND LOTSOFOURMONEY DING!

  28. UK Legacy + New Nuclear Build Both Final and Contingency totals exclude plutonium contaminated wastes and depleted uranium tailings These are unit costs – per HLW canister and 1 m3 ILW (**) are the contingencies –disposal cost for a single HLW canisters exceeds £1m

  29. UK Legacy + New Nuclear Build £44.69 billion is the contingency cost of getting the Legacy RadWaste down a hole in the ground – NDA’s other costs, decommissioning and clean up, render the total cost over £100b like the game of roulette – bit of a chance DGR site selection is a gamble - WE make the gamble but YOU lot in the future may lose! Oh, I almost forgot – the NDA is still trying to find a site for the Deep Geological Repository

  30. So, what’s the chance that it will be thrown down a HOLE in YOUR BACKYARD ! According to NDA, best thing to do with this is THROW IT DOWN A HOLE in the ground ! @$**!~#! Thanks NDA ! CLANG!

  31. Established Nuclear Licensed Site Good Road, Rail and Ship/Barge Infrastructure Sound familiar? at least 600m depth Hard or Soft Basement Geology

  32. Includes the power plant and Berkeley Laboratories 1,500 t each reactor core Oldbury similar to Berkeley but larger graphite cores and less irradiated steelwork Total waste volume in its eventual packaged form – most of which will not take place until final dismantling in 100 to 150 years Waste yet to be recovered from power plant and separate Lab – some of this will be Magnox fuel splitterings located in vaults Most of this is the graphite cores and steelwork of the two reactors – this is to stay in situ until the reactor cores and pressure vessels are dismantled in 100 to 150 years time Storage and Disposal of graphite poses many problems very long C14 half-life stored Wigner Energy lowering reaction temp fission product content

  33. for annual radiation limit of 1mSv ANNUAL RADIATION DOSE LIMIT 0.004 seconds If this Magnox spent fuel rod had been taken out the reactor a few days ago, its radiation dose rate would be about 1,000Sv/hr Magnesium Alloy MAGNOX 50% CHANCE FATAL DOSE 14.5 seconds

  34. E16 E15 Sr-90 Am-241 Cs-137 TOTAL - SPENT FUEL E14 Pu-239 Pu-240 E13 Radioactivity - Toxicity E12 Pb-210 Pb-210 E11 Ra-226 Th-229 Pu-238 I-129 E10 Po-210 E09 C-14 E08 10,000 100,000 10 1000 100 1 M 100 M 10 M So, is a hole in the ground approach a Sustainable Development the fuel remains radioactive for a long time – it’s still deadly after 100,000 and 1 million years Time - YEARS

  35. It’ll see me out so it’s good enough for me ! Hmmmmm - If it’s good enough for him, will it be good enough for me when I’m in charge? SUSTAINABILITY NDA Deep Geological Repository A SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ?

  36. That’s about 200 generations of your offspring We’re about 10 thousand years after you But we’ve a bit further to go yet ! 3,500,000 years We’re now 3.5 million years after you 10,000 years Let’s go for a walk into the future Where are you now? and now? TODAY

  37. To pass the Sustainability Test 3,500,000 years 10,000 years Our solution today must be acceptable 10,000 to 1 million or more years into the future TODAY

  38. WHAT IS IT HOW IS IT CONTAINED WHAT HAPPENS IF IT GETS OUT

  39. First, the HLW spent fuel and vitrified waste are the by far major sources of long-term radioactivity WHAT IS IT

  40. Fuel Assembly 14 x 14 Pins Reactor Core ~200 fuel assemblies 3 years irradiation Fuel Pellets Fuel Pin Fuel Cladding Spent Fuel Assembly

  41. WHAT IS SPENT FUEL & HIGH LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE Uranium-233 Neptunium-237 Caesium-137 Some last long time others fizzle away quickly Just like a bag of sweets Dissolve in the mouth lots of Yummy different tastes Iodine-129 Radium-226 Cerium-144 Plutonium-239 Plutonium-240 Lead-210 Plutonium-238 Strontium-90 Polonium-210 Americium-241

  42. E16 E15 E14 E13 E12 E11 E10 E09 E08 10,000 100,000 10 1000 100 1 M 100 M 10 M Here’s the complicated bit RTI (RadioToxicity Index) Radioactive Decay -vs- The health impact of each of those sweeties varies with its chemistry, radioactivity, half-life, human organ, etc - Toxicity Radioactivity to arrive at the overall radiological impact over time we adopt a universal Radio Toxicity Index E09 = 1,000,000,000 = 1 billion TIME - years

  43. E16 E15 Cs-137 E14 Caesium-137 E13 E12 Plutonium-239 E11 E10 Po-210 Polonium-210 E09 E08 Caesium 137 - half-life = 30 years Pu-239 Plutonium 239 - half-life = 24,400 years Radioactivity - Toxicity Here are a few fission products of the spent fuel Polonium 210 - daughter product of Lead radioactive decay 10,000 100,000 10 1000 100 1 M 100 M 10 M TIME - years

  44. E16 E15 Sr-90 Am-241 Cs-137 TOTAL - SPENT FUEL E14 Pu-239 Pu-240 E13 E12 Pb-210 E11 Ra-226 Th-229 Pu-238 I-129 E10 Po-210 E09 C-14 E08 Here are a few more – about 100 different radionuclides have to be taken into account Add all of these individual nuclides up to get the Spent Fuel total Radioactivity- Toxicity Pb-210 10,000 100,000 10 1000 100 1 M 100 M 10 M TIME - years

  45. 3,500,000 E16 E15 10,000 TOTAL - SPENT FUEL E14 E13 E12 E11 E10 E09 TODAY E08 10,000 100,000 10 1000 100 1 M 100 M 10 M the vitrified HLW continues to decay in the repository so at some point in time it reaches the equivalent radiation level as the original uranium fuel HLW - VITRIFIED WASTE the inventory for the Vitrified HLW is similar but lower because some ILW has been separated in reprocessing EQUIVALENT URANIUM ORE IN REPOSITORY Radioactivity - Toxicity THIS IS WHERE THE 10,000 YEARS COMES FROM TIME - years

  46. E16 E15 TOTAL - SPENT FUEL E14 E13 E12 E11 E10 E09 E08 10,000 100,000 10 1000 100 1 M 100 M 10 M this is because reprocessing strips out the long-lived plutonium and depleted uranium from the waste Look at it this way: If the same criterion is applied to the Spent Fuel The equivalent period is about 3.5 million years So WasteWiseno gain because . . HLW - VITRIFIED WASTE EQUIVALENT URANIUM ORE IN REPOSITORY not really – the 10,000 years derives from an old sales pitch of the nuclear industry Radioactivity - Toxicity together with some very long-lived ILW streams THIS IS WHERE THE 10,000 YEARS COMES FROM TIME - years

  47. Low Level Waste & Discharges LLW excluded from comparison but much larger for reprocessing, particularly now that marine discharges have been throttled back Direct Fuel Disposal total waste comprises includes about x30 lifetime ILW waste volume Fuel Reprocessing waste comprises about 1/3 volume HLW, x30 lifetime and x120 reprocessing waste volume 1 fuel + 30 ops 1/3 fuel + 30 ops + 120 reprocessing

  48. HOW IS IT CONTAINED Obviously, it not possible to ‘engineer’ a man-made containment for 10,000 to 3.5 million years so the repository depends on natural Multiple Geological Barriers