An Introduction to Nuclear Waste Immobilisation

An Introduction to Nuclear Waste Immobilisation, 2nd Edition

An Introduction to Nuclear Waste Immobilisation, 2nd Edition,Michael Ojovan,William Lee,ISBN9780080993928






229 X 152

A guide to the important issues of nuclear waste immobilization and processing from treatment and technologies to disposal

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Key Features

  • The fully revised second edition focuses on core technologies and has an integrated approach to immobilization and hazards
  • Each chapter focuses on a different matrix used in nuclear waste immobilization: cement, bitumen, glass and new materials
  • Keeps the most important issues surrounding nuclear waste - such as treatment schemes and technologies and disposal - at the forefront


Drawing on the authors’ extensive experience in the processing and disposal of waste, An Introduction to Nuclear Waste Immobilisation, Second Edition examines the gamut of nuclear waste issues from the natural level of radionuclides in the environment to geological disposal of waste-forms and their long-term behavior. It covers all-important aspects of processing and immobilization, including nuclear decay, regulations, new technologies and methods. Significant focus is given to the analysis of the various matrices used, especially cement and glass, with further discussion of other matrices such as bitumen. The final chapter concentrates on the performance assessment of immobilizing materials and safety of disposal, providing a full range of the resources needed to understand and correctly immobilize nuclear waste.


Materials, environmental and energy scientists and researchers. Anyone researching or developing materials for nuclear waste immobilization.

Michael Ojovan

Dr Michael I. Ojovan is an Associate Professor (Reader) in Materials Science and Waste Immobilisation at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The University of Sheffield, UK.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Sheffield, UK

William Lee

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Materials, Imperial College London, UK

An Introduction to Nuclear Waste Immobilisation, 2nd Edition

1. Introduction to immobilisation

1.1 Introduction
1.2 The importance of waste
1.3 Radioactive waste
1.4 Recycling
1.5 Waste minimisation
1.6 Immobilisation
1.7 Time frames
1.8 Bibliography

2. Nuclear decay

2.1. Nuclear decay
2.2. Decay law
2.3. Radioactive equilibrium
2.4. Activity
2.5. Alpha decay
2.6. Beta decay
2.7. Gamma decay
2.8. Spontaneous fission
2.9. Radionuclide characteristics
2.10. Bibliography

3. Contaminants and hazards

3.1. Elemental abundance
3.2. Migration and redistribution
3.3. Hazard potential
3.4. Relative hazard
3.5. Real hazard concept
3.6. Form factors that diminish hazard
3.7. Bibliography

4. Heavy metals

4.1. Metallic contaminants
4.2. Biogeochemical cycle
4.3. Heavy metals
4.4. Heavy metals in living species
4.5. Lead
4.6. Mercury
4.7. Cadmium
4.8. Arsenic
4.9. Bibliography

5. Naturally occurring radionuclides

5.1. NORM and TENORM
5.2. Primordial radionuclides
5.3. Cosmogenic radionuclides
5.4. Natural radionuclides in igneous rocks
5.5. Natural radionuclides in sedimentary rocks and soils
5.6. Natural radionuclides in sea water
5.7. Radon emissions
5.8. Natural radionuclides in the human body
5.9. Bibliography

6. Background radiation

6.1. Radiation is natural
6.2. Dose units
6.3. Biological consequences of irradiation
6.4. Background radiation
6.5. Bibliography

7. Nuclear waste regulations

7.1. Regulatory organisations
7.2. Protection philosophies
7.3. Regulation of radioactive materials and sources
7.4. Exemption criteria and levels
7.5. Clearance of materials from regulatory control
7.6. Double standards
7.7. Dose limits
7.8. Control of radiation hazards
7.9. Bibliography

8. Principles of nuclear waste management

8.1. International consensus
8.2. Objective of radioactive waste management
8.3. Fundamental principles
8.4. Comments on the fundamental principles
8.5. Ethical principles
8.6. Joint convention
8.7. Bibliography

9. Sources and characteristics of nuclear waste

9.1. Key waste characteristics
9.2. Classification schemes
9.3. Examples of waste classification
9.4. Sources of waste
9.5. Front end and operational NFC waste
9.6. Back end Open NFC waste
9.7. Back end Closed NFC waste
9.8. Back end NFC decommissioning waste
9.9. Non-NFC wastes
9.10. Accidental wastes
9.11. Bibliography

10. Short-lived waste radionuclides

10.1. Introduction
10.2. Tritium
10.3. Cobalt-60
10.4. Strontium-90
10.5. Caesium-137
10.6. Bibliography

11. Long-lived waste radionuclides

11.1. Introduction
11.2. Carbon-14
11.3. Technetium-99
11.4. Iodine-129
11.5. Plutonium
11.6. Neptunium-237
11.7. Criticality
11.8. Bibliography

12. Management and characterisation of radioactive waste

12.1. Management roadmaps
12.2. Predisposal
12.3. Disposal
12.4. Characterisation
12.5. Bibliography

13. Pre-treatment of radioactive wastes

13.1. Pre-treatment definition
13.2. Collection and segregation
13.3. Adjustment
13.4. Size reduction
13.5. Packaging
13.6. Decontamination
13.7. Bibliography

14. Treatment of radioactive wastes

14.1. Treatment objectives
14.2. Treatment of aqueous waste
14.3. Treatment of organic liquid wastes
14.4. Treatment of solid wastes
14.5. Treatment of gaseous and airborne effluents
14.6. Partitioning and transmutation
14.7. Bibliography

15. Immobilisation of radioactive wastes in cement

15.1. Waste immobilisation
15.2. Wasteform leaching behaviour
15.3. Immobilisation techniques
15.4. Immobilisation in hydraulic cements
15.5. Hydraulic cements
15.6. Cement hydration
15.7. Hydrated cement composition
15.8. Cementation of radioactive wastes
15.9. Modified and composite cement systems
15.10. Cementation technology
15.11. Acceptance criteria
15.12. Bibliography

16. Immobilisation of radioactive wastes in bitumen

16.1. Bituminisation
16.2. Composition and properties of bitumen
16.3. Bituminous materials for waste immobilisation
16.4. Bituminisation technique
16.5. Acceptance criteria
16.6. Bitumen versus cement
16.7. Bibliography

17. Immobilisation of radioactive wastes in glass

17.1. Vitrification
17.2. Immobilisation mechanisms
17.3. Retention of radionuclides
17.4. Nuclear waste glasses
17.5. Nuclear waste glass compositions
17.6. Borosilicate glasses
17.7. Role of boron oxide
17.8. Role of intermediates and modifiers
17.9. Difficult elements
17.10. Phosphate glasses
17.11. Glass composites
17.12. Vitrification processes
17.13. Cold crucible melters
17.14. Vitrification technology
17.15. Calcination
17.16. Radionuclide volatility
17.18. Acceptance criteria
17.19. Bibliography

18. New immobilising hosts and technologies

18.1. New approaches
18.2. Crystalline wasteforms
18.3. Polyphase crystalline wasteforms: Synroc
18.4. Polyphase crystalline waste forms: composites
18.5. New technological approaches
18.6. Metal matrix immobilisation
18.7. Bibliography

19. Nuclear waste disposal

19.1. Disposal/Storage concepts
19.2. Retention times
19.3. Multibarrier concept
19.4. Disposal/Storage options
19.5. Role of the EBS
19.6. Importance of geology
19.7. Transport of radionuclides
19.8. Disposal/Storage experience
19.9. Acceptance criteria
19.10. Bibliography

20. Performance assessment

20.1. Safety and performance assessments
20.2. Safety requirements
20.3. Safety case content
20.4. Cement performance
20.5. Bitumen performance
20.6. Glass performance
20.7. Radiation effects
20.8. Research laboratories
20.9. Conclusion
20.10. Bibliography

Quotes and reviews

"The second edition of this book is a great opportunity to learn about the state-of-the-art of radioactive waste management, both from a scientific and a technical perspective. The book is made up of 21 short, clear, nicely-illustrated chapters covering most aspects of the problem…authors are well-known scientists with broad international experience…"--MaterialsToday.com, March 6, 2014

From first edition:
"The book is intended as an introductory text for postgraduate students and researchers in the field. In addition, it serves as an excellent source of knowledge for undergraduates (in physics, chemistry, geology, materials etc.) who require general information on nuclear waste and its immobilisation."--Dr. John Fernie, MATERIALS WORLD, May 2007

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