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Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (26 March 2023) | Viewed by 32770

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Guest Editor
Institute of Geology of Ore Deposits, Petrography, Mineralogy, and Geochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
Interests: tectonophysics; petrophysics; mineralogy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Institute of Geology of Ore Deposits, Petrography, Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Russian Academy of Sciences (IGEM RAS), Moscow, Russian Federation
Interests: nuclear, waste management; nuclear material

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The effective management of nuclear waste is crucial to ensure the safe sustainable usage of nuclear energy in electricity generation, and numerous applications in medicine, industry, agriculture, and scientific research. Nuclear waste generated in these technologies must be treated and conditioned for safe handling, transportation, storage, and ultimate disposal. Nuclear waste should be disposed of aiming for the permanent protection of dangerous radioactive materials from humans and the biosphere. Both processing and disposal activities of the waste encompass the utilisation of advanced technologies and materials aiming to ensure the reliability of the waste’s long-term isolation. Cements, geopolymers, glasses, glass composite materials, ceramics, and metals are the materials analysed for expected performance in the envisaged disposal environment. Natural analogue systems and materials proven for their long-term stability and durability are investigated to ensure confidence in the multi-scale approaches currently used to predict the behaviour of waste disposal systems on geological timescales.  

This Special Issue will analyse nuclear waste management systems and activities being practiced aiming to provide a sustainable utilisation of nuclear energy. It will focus on the assessment of technological aspects of processing and disposal systems, materials performance in the storage facilities and disposal environment, and analysis of natural analogues to provide environmentally safe and sustainable employment and development of nuclear applications.

Papers selected for this Special Issue will be subject to a rigorous peer-review procedure with the aim of their rapid and wide dissemination.

Prof. Michael Ojovan
Prof. Dr. Vladislav A. Petrov
Prof. Dr. Sergey V. Yudintsev
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • nuclear energy
  • sustainability
  • nuclear waste
  • processing
  • conditioning
  • disposal
  • geoscience
  • natural analogue
  • performance
  • safety

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

7 pages, 2070 KiB  
Editorial
Material Aspect of Sustainable Nuclear Waste Management
by Vladislav A. Petrov, Michael I. Ojovan and Sergey V. Yudintsev
Sustainability 2023, 15(15), 11934; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151511934 - 03 Aug 2023
Viewed by 957
Abstract
Effectively managing nuclear waste is crucial to ensure the safe sustainable usage of nuclear energy, which ranges from large-scale applications in power generation to numerous smaller-scale applications in medicine, industry, and agriculture, and scientific research is needed at the current state of development [...] Read more.
Effectively managing nuclear waste is crucial to ensure the safe sustainable usage of nuclear energy, which ranges from large-scale applications in power generation to numerous smaller-scale applications in medicine, industry, and agriculture, and scientific research is needed at the current state of development [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability)
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Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

17 pages, 3717 KiB  
Article
Removal of Cs-137 from Liquid Alkaline High-Level Radwaste Simulated Solution by Sorbents of Various Classes
by Vitaly Milyutin, Natalya Nekrasova, Pavel Kozlov, Arseni Slobodyuk, Darya Markova, Sergey Shaidullin, Kirill Feoktistov, Eduard Tokar, Mikhail Tutov and Andrei Egorin
Sustainability 2023, 15(11), 8734; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15118734 - 29 May 2023
Viewed by 1156
Abstract
The present work describes the results of the removal of cesium by sorbents of various classes from highly mineralized alkaline solutions simulating the clarified phase of storage tanks with high-level radioactive waste (HLW) of the Mayak Production Association. Within the scope of the [...] Read more.
The present work describes the results of the removal of cesium by sorbents of various classes from highly mineralized alkaline solutions simulating the clarified phase of storage tanks with high-level radioactive waste (HLW) of the Mayak Production Association. Within the scope of the performed works, inorganic sorbents of the Clevasol® and Fersal brands, as well as resorcinol-formaldehyde ion-exchange resins (RFRs: RFR-i, RFR-Ca, and Axionit RCs), were used. The sorbents’ characteristics under both static and dynamic conditions are presented. The Fersal sorbent has demonstrated the best sorption characteristics in the series of sorbents under study. The disadvantage of inorganic sorbents is the loss of mechanical strength upon cesium desorption, which complicates their repeated use. It has been demonstrated that RFRs, despite their lower selectivity towards cesium and adsorption capacity, can be used many times in repeated sorption-desorption cycles. The latter makes RFRs more technologically attractive in terms of the total volume of decontaminated HLW. However, RFRs tend to be oxidized during storage, which results in the formation of carboxyl groups and a decrease in sorption characteristics—this must be further taken into account in the real processes of liquid radioactive waste (LRW) management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability)
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12 pages, 3526 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Chemical Alteration of 238Pu-Doped Borosilicate Glass in a Simulated Geological Environment with Bentonite Buffer
by Bella Zubekhina, Boris Burakov, Andrei Shiryaev, Xiaodong Liu and Yury Petrov
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6306; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076306 - 06 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1010
Abstract
Chemical degradation of borosilicate glass doped with 238Pu was modelled in conditions of a failed underground radwaste repository in granite host rock with bentonite buffer material after penetration of aqueous solutions at temperature of 90 °C. The total duration of the experiment [...] Read more.
Chemical degradation of borosilicate glass doped with 238Pu was modelled in conditions of a failed underground radwaste repository in granite host rock with bentonite buffer material after penetration of aqueous solutions at temperature of 90 °C. The total duration of the experiment exceeded two years. It is shown that wet bentonite preserved its barrier function and prevents migration of plutonium to the solution. The total amount of plutonium adsorbed on bentonite clay during the experiment did not exceed 0.02% of the initial amount of plutonium in the glass sample. Estimated accumulated dose of self-irradiation of the glass sample after the experiment varies from 3.16 × 1015 to 3.39 × 1015 α-decays per gram, which is equivalent to more than 1000 years storage of 239Pu doped sample with the same Pu content. Beishan granite remained intact, with no evidence of Pu penetration into the granite matrix along mineral grain boundaries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability)
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21 pages, 30840 KiB  
Article
An Introduction to Nuclear Industrial Archaeology
by Erin I. Holland, Yannick Verbelen, Dean T. Connor, Tomas Martin, Matthew Higginson and Thomas B. Scott
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6178; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076178 - 04 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1713
Abstract
The legacy of the early days of the Atomic Age consists of many problematic sites worldwide, including radioactive waste dumps, uranium mines, spent fuel reprocessing plants, and defunct processing and enrichment plants. Although nature quickly reclaims abandoned sites, any remaining radioisotopes can pose [...] Read more.
The legacy of the early days of the Atomic Age consists of many problematic sites worldwide, including radioactive waste dumps, uranium mines, spent fuel reprocessing plants, and defunct processing and enrichment plants. Although nature quickly reclaims abandoned sites, any remaining radioisotopes can pose a threat for millennia to come, long after the benefits gained from nuclear technology have faded. The field of nuclear industrial archaeology specialises in finding and characterising these sites to support local communities and site owners. Where maps and building plans have been lost, nuclear archaeologists deploy state-of-the-art analysis techniques on the ground to unravel the current state of legacy sites, and quantify the remaining radioactive inventories to the standard required by the nation the site is located within. The objectives of nuclear industrial archaeology are varied and site dependent. Whether the objective is to puzzle the forgotten history of activity back together or safeguard and recover dangerous radioactive materials, nuclear industrial archaeology adapts radioanalytical laboratory and site-surveying techniques in order to understand the site and allow scientists to communicate this information to support remediation efforts. This paper discusses current methodologies alongside a case study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability)
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13 pages, 4343 KiB  
Article
Influence of Radioactive Sludge Content on Vitrification of High-Level Liquid Waste
by Shengheng Tan, Jiong Chang, Xiao Liu, Shikuan Sun, Liang Xian and Shengdong Zhang
Sustainability 2023, 15(6), 4937; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15064937 - 10 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1120
Abstract
The radioactive sludges formed at the bottom of high-level liquid waste (HLW) storage tanks pose challenges when the HLWs are vitrified. This study aims to determine the influence of the sludge content (enriched in Na2O, Al2O3, NiO, [...] Read more.
The radioactive sludges formed at the bottom of high-level liquid waste (HLW) storage tanks pose challenges when the HLWs are vitrified. This study aims to determine the influence of the sludge content (enriched in Na2O, Al2O3, NiO, Fe2O3, and BaSO4) on the structure and properties of waste glasses in order to find the optimal ratio of sludges to HLW during vitrification. In the experiments, the simulated sludge and simulated HLW were mixed at different ratios from 0:8 to 4:4, with an overall waste content of 16 wt %, in a borosilicate glass wasteform. It is found that the glass density, molar volume, sulfur retention, and glass transition temperature changed little when increasing the sludge content of the glasses, while the viscosity, chemical durability, and crystallization features of the glasses varied notably. The crystals formed in the glasses during the thermal treatment were exclusively Fe-substituted diopside (Ca, Mg, Fe)2Si2O6. An increase in the Al2O3 and NiO content of the glasses may have been responsible for the increased crystallinity at high temperatures. The leaching rate of Si, B, Na, and Cs from the glasses declined with the increasing addition of sludge to the glasses. Although all the glasses fulfilled the requirements for vitrification processing and glass-product performance, it is recommended that the sludge content of the whole waste should not exceed 25 wt %. This study guides further research on the immobilization of high-level sludges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability)
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18 pages, 27653 KiB  
Article
Toward Deep Decontamination of Intermediate-Level-Activity Spent Ion-Exchange Resins Containing Poorly Soluble Inorganic Deposits
by Marina Palamarchuk, Maxim Chervonetskiy, Natalya Polkanova and Svetlana Bratskaya
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 3990; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15053990 - 22 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1467
Abstract
Spent ion-exchange resins (SIERs) generated yearly in large volumes in nuclear power plants (NPPs) require particular predisposal handling and treatment with the primary objectives of waste volume reduction and lowering the disposal class. Deep decontamination of the SIERs using solution chemistry is a [...] Read more.
Spent ion-exchange resins (SIERs) generated yearly in large volumes in nuclear power plants (NPPs) require particular predisposal handling and treatment with the primary objectives of waste volume reduction and lowering the disposal class. Deep decontamination of the SIERs using solution chemistry is a promising approach to reduce the amount of intermediate-level radioactive waste (ILW) and, thus, SIER disposal costs. However, the entrapment of nonexchangeable radionuclides in poorly soluble inorganic deposits on SIERs significantly complicates the implementation of this approach. In this work, the elemental and radiochemical compositions of inorganic deposits in an intermediate-level-activity SIER sample with an activity of 310 kBq/g have been analyzed, and a feasibility study of SIER decontamination using solution chemistry has been conducted. The suggested approach included the magnetic separation of crud, removal of cesium radionuclides using alkaline solutions in the presence of magnetic resorcinol-formaldehyde resin, removal of cobalt radionuclides using acidic EDTA-containing solutions, and hydrothermal oxidation of EDTA-containing liquid wastes with immobilization of radionuclides in poorly soluble oxides. The decontamination factors for 137Cs, 60Co, and 94Nb radionuclides were 3.9 × 103, 7.6 × 102, and 1.3 × 102, respectively, whereas the activity of the decontaminated SIER was 17 Bq/g, which allows us to classify it as very low-level waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability)
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10 pages, 1516 KiB  
Article
Influence of Rock Structure on Migration of Radioactive Colloids from an Underground Repository of High-Level Radioactive Waste
by Victor I. Malkovsky, Vladislav A. Petrov, Sergey V. Yudintsev, Michael I. Ojovan and Valeri V. Poluektov
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 882; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010882 - 03 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1485
Abstract
Studies of leaching of vitrified simulated high-level radioactive waste (HLW) evidence that most of actinides or their simulators enter leaching water in a colloidal form. In this paper, we consider a mechanism of colloid-facilitated migration of radionuclides from an underground repository of HLW [...] Read more.
Studies of leaching of vitrified simulated high-level radioactive waste (HLW) evidence that most of actinides or their simulators enter leaching water in a colloidal form. In this paper, we consider a mechanism of colloid-facilitated migration of radionuclides from an underground repository of HLW located at a depth of a few hundreds of meters in fractured crystalline rocks. The comparison between data of field and laboratory measurements showed that the bulk permeability of the rock massif in field tests is much greater than the permeability of rock samples in laboratory experiments due to an influence of a network of fractures in the rock massif. Our theoretical analysis presents evidence that this difference can take place even in a case when the network is not continuous, and the fractures are isolated with each other through a porous low-permeable matrix of the rock. Results of modelling revealed a possibility of mechanical retention of radionuclide-bearing colloid particles in the frame of rock during their underground migration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability)
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23 pages, 2706 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of a Long-Term Thermal Load on the Sealing Characteristics of Potential Sediments for a Deep Radioactive Waste Disposal
by Norbert Clauer, Miroslav Honty, Lander Frederickx and Christophe Nussbaum
Sustainability 2022, 14(21), 14004; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142114004 - 27 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1083
Abstract
An in situ and a batch heating experiment were applied on the fine-grained sediments of the Opalinus Clay from Mont Terri (Switzerland) and the Boom Clay of Mol (Belgium), both being currently studied as potential host formations for deep nuclear waste disposal. The [...] Read more.
An in situ and a batch heating experiment were applied on the fine-grained sediments of the Opalinus Clay from Mont Terri (Switzerland) and the Boom Clay of Mol (Belgium), both being currently studied as potential host formations for deep nuclear waste disposal. The purpose was here to test the impact of a 100 °C temperature rise that is expected to be produced by nuclear waste in deep repositories. The experiment on the Opalinus Clay mimicked real conditions with 8-months operating heating devices stored in core drillings into the rock. The comparison of the major, trace, rare-earth elemental contents and of the whole-rock K-Ar data before and after heating shows only a few variations beyond analytical uncertainty. However, the necessary drillings for collecting control samples after the experiment added an unexpected uncertainty to the analyses due to the natural heterogeneity of the rock formation, even if very limited. To overcome this aspect, Boom Clay ground material was subjected to a batch experiment in sealed containers during several years. The drawback being here the fact that controls were limited with, however, similar reproducible results that also suggest limited elemental transfers from rock size into that of the <2 μm material, unless the whole rocks lost more elements than the fine fractions. The analyses generated by the two experiments point to identical conclusions: a visible degassing and dewatering of the minerals that did not induce a visible alteration/degradation of the host-rock safety characteristics after the short-term temperature increase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability)
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13 pages, 5126 KiB  
Article
Natural Clay Minerals as a Starting Material for Matrices for the Immobilization of Radioactive Waste from Pyrochemical Processing of SNF
by Anna V. Matveenko, Andrey P. Varlakov, Alexander A. Zherebtsov, Alexander V. Germanov, Ivan V. Mikheev, Stepan N. Kalmykov and Vladimir G. Petrov
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10780; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910780 - 28 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1422
Abstract
Pyrochemistry is a promising technology that can provide benefits for the safe reprocessing of relatively fresh spent nuclear fuel with a short storage time (3–5 years). The radioactive waste emanating from this process is an electrolyte (LiCl–KCl) mixture with fission products included. Such [...] Read more.
Pyrochemistry is a promising technology that can provide benefits for the safe reprocessing of relatively fresh spent nuclear fuel with a short storage time (3–5 years). The radioactive waste emanating from this process is an electrolyte (LiCl–KCl) mixture with fission products included. Such wastes are rarely immobilized through common matrices such as cement and glass. In this study, samples of ceramic materials, based on natural bentonite clay, were studied as matrices for radioactive waste in the form of LiCl–KCl eutectic. The phase composition of the samples, and their mechanical, hydrolytic, and radiation resistance were characterized. The possibility of using bentonite clay as a material for immobilizing high-level waste arising from pyrochemical processing of spent nuclear fuel is further discussed in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability)
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11 pages, 4578 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Liquid Low-Radioactive Waste Repositories on the Mineral Composition of Surrounding Soils
by Victoria Krupskaya, Anatoliy Boguslavskiy, Sergey Zakusin, Olga Shemelina, Mikhail Chernov, Olga Dorzhieva and Ivan Morozov
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8259; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198259 - 07 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2212
Abstract
Clay minerals may transform in various systems under the influence of geological, biological, or technogenic processes. The most active to the geological environment are technogenic and biochemical processes that, in a relatively short time, can cause transformation of the rocks’ composition and structure [...] Read more.
Clay minerals may transform in various systems under the influence of geological, biological, or technogenic processes. The most active to the geological environment are technogenic and biochemical processes that, in a relatively short time, can cause transformation of the rocks’ composition and structure and formation of new minerals, especially clay minerals. Isolation of radioactive waste is a complex technological problem. This work considers the influence of alkaline solutions involved in the radioactive waste (RW) disposal process. In the Russian Federation, due to historical reasons, radioactive waste has accumulated in various types of repositories and temporary storages. All these facilities are included in the federal decommissioning program. Solid radioactive wastes in cement slurries at the landfill site of the Angara Electrolysis Chemical Combine are buried in sandstones and currently suffer the influence of a highly alkaline and highly saline groundwater storage area, which leads to a considerable transformation of the sandstones. This influence results in the formation of peculiar "technogenic” illites that have smectite morphology but illite structure which was confirmed by modeling of X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns. The described transformations will lead to the increase of porosity and permeability of the sandstones. The research results can be used in assessing the potential contamination of the areas adjacent to the disposal site and in planning the decommissioning measures of this facility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability)
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26 pages, 3631 KiB  
Article
Calculation of Potential Radiation Doses Associated with Predisposal Management of Dismantled Steam Generators from Nuclear Power Plants
by Ga Hyun Chun, Jin-ho Park and Jae Hak Cheong
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5149; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125149 - 24 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2502
Abstract
Although the generation of large components from nuclear power plants is expected to gradually increase in the future, comprehensive studies on the radiological risks of the predisposal management of large components have been rarely reported in open literature. With a view to generalizing [...] Read more.
Although the generation of large components from nuclear power plants is expected to gradually increase in the future, comprehensive studies on the radiological risks of the predisposal management of large components have been rarely reported in open literature. With a view to generalizing the assessment framework for the radiological risks of the processing and transport of a representative large component—a steam generator—12 scenarios were modeled in this study based on past experiences and practices. In addition, the general pathway dose factors normalized to the unit activity concentration of radionuclides for processing and transportation were derived. Using the general pathway dose factors, as derived using the approach established in this study, a specific assessment was conducted for steam generators from a pressurized water reactor (PWR) or a pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR) in Korea. In order to demonstrate the applicability of the developed approach, radiation doses reported from actual experiences and studies are compared to the calculated values in this study. The applicability of special arrangement transportation of steam generators assumed in this study is evaluated in accordance with international guidance. The generalized approach to assessing the radiation doses can be used to support optimizing the predisposal management of large components in terms of radiological risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability)
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23 pages, 6234 KiB  
Article
Effect of Gamma Irradiation on Structural Features and Dissolution of Nuclear Waste Na–Al–P Glasses in Water
by Alexey V. Luzhetsky, Vladislav A. Petrov, Sergey V. Yudintsev, Viktor I. Malkovsky, Michael I. Ojovan, Maximilian S. Nickolsky, Andrey A. Shiryaev, Sergey S. Danilov and Elizaveta E. Ostashkina
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4137; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104137 - 19 May 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2543
Abstract
Structural properties and water dissolution of six sodium–aluminum–phosphate (NAP) glasses have been investigated before and after irradiation by a gamma-ray source based on 60Co. Two of these samples were of simple composition, and four samples had a complex composition with radionuclide simulants [...] Read more.
Structural properties and water dissolution of six sodium–aluminum–phosphate (NAP) glasses have been investigated before and after irradiation by a gamma-ray source based on 60Co. Two of these samples were of simple composition, and four samples had a complex composition with radionuclide simulants representing actinides, fission, and activated corrosion products. Samples of the simple composition are fully vitreous, whereas samples of the complex composition contained up to 10 vol.% of aluminum–phosphate, AlPO4, and traces of ruthenium dioxide, RuO2. Based on the study of pristine and irradiated glasses, it was established that the radiation dose of 62 million Gray had practically no effect on the phase composition and structure of samples. At the same time, the rate of leaching of elements from the irradiated samples by water was decreased by about two times. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability)
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

30 pages, 2817 KiB  
Review
On the Sustainable Utilization of Geopolymers for Safe Management of Radioactive Waste: A Review
by Esther Phillip, Thye Foo Choo, Nurul Wahida Ahmad Khairuddin and Rehab O. Abdel Rahman
Sustainability 2023, 15(2), 1117; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15021117 - 06 Jan 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2982
Abstract
The application of geopolymers for the safe management of radioactive waste has not been implemented on a large scale, where they are tirelessly examined with the purpose of facilitating the practicality and feasibility of the actual application towards the sustainable performance of these [...] Read more.
The application of geopolymers for the safe management of radioactive waste has not been implemented on a large scale, where they are tirelessly examined with the purpose of facilitating the practicality and feasibility of the actual application towards the sustainable performance of these materials. This review therefore compiles the findings of the utilization of geopolymers as sorbents for removal of radio-contaminants from aqueous waste streams and as immobilization matrices for the containment of different radioactive wastes. The investigated geopolymer base materials encompass a wide range of reactive aluminosilicate precursor sources that include natural materials, industrial wastes, and chemicals. This work introduces to the reader the scientific interest in the field of geopolymer studies, their sustainability analysis, and their application in the nuclear industry, in particular in radioactive waste treatment and immobilization. The geopolymer classification, radiation stability, and structural characterizations were summarized with special reference to the characterization of the structure alteration due to the inclusion of functional materials or radioactive wastes. The effect of the application of metakaolin-based materials, fly ash-based materials and other base materials, and their blend on radio-contaminant removal from aqueous solutions and the immobilization of different problematic radioactive waste streams were reviewed and analyzed to identify the gaps in the sustainable performance of these materials. Finally, perspectives on geopolymer sustainability are presented, and the identified gaps in sustainable application included the need to investigate new areas of application, e.g., in pretreatment and membrane separation. The reusability and the regeneration of the geopolymer sorbents/exchangers need to be addressed to reduce the material footprints of this application. Moreover, there is a need to develop durability tests and standards based on the record of the application of the geopolymers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability)
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25 pages, 4629 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances in Alternative Cementitious Materials for Nuclear Waste Immobilization: A Review
by Nailia Rakhimova
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010689 - 30 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2156
Abstract
Since the emergence of the problem of nuclear waste conditioning, cementation has become an important and developing part of the waste management system, owing to its simplicity and versatility. The continued development of the cementation technique is driven by the improvement and expansion [...] Read more.
Since the emergence of the problem of nuclear waste conditioning, cementation has become an important and developing part of the waste management system, owing to its simplicity and versatility. The continued development of the cementation technique is driven by the improvement and expansion of cementitious materials that are suitable and efficient for nuclear waste solidification. Advances in cement theory and technology have significantly impacted improvements in nuclear waste cementation technology, the quality of fresh and hardened waste forms, waste loading rates, and the reliability and sustainability of the nuclear industry. Modern mineral matrices for nuclear waste immobilization are a broad class of materials with diverse chemical–mineralogical compositions, high encapsulation capacities, and technological and engineering performance. These matrices include not only traditional Portland cement, but also non-Portland clinker inorganic binders. This review focuses on recent trends and achievements in the development of calcium aluminate, calcium sulfoaluminate, phosphate, magnesium silicate, and alkali-activated cements as cementitious matrices for nuclear waste stabilization/solidification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability)
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25 pages, 16660 KiB  
Review
Toward Sustainable Cementitious Radioactive Waste Forms: Immobilization of Problematic Operational Wastes
by Rehab O. Abdel Rahman and Michael I. Ojovan
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 11992; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111992 - 29 Oct 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3076
Abstract
Developing effective radioactive waste management practices is essential for ensuring the sustainability of the nuclear industry. The immobilization of radioactive wastes is one of the main activities conducted during the management of these wastes; it aims to produce a durable waste form that [...] Read more.
Developing effective radioactive waste management practices is essential for ensuring the sustainability of the nuclear industry. The immobilization of radioactive wastes is one of the main activities conducted during the management of these wastes; it aims to produce a durable waste form that has sustainable performance over long periods of time. In this work, the challenges that face the design of durable cementitious waste forms are addressed for problematic operational wastes. In this respect, the problematic characteristics of evaporator concentrates, spent ion exchangers, and organic liquid wastes are overviewed, and the factors that affect the durability of their cementitious waste forms are identified. A summary of potential conventional and innovative cementitious matrices is presented by reviewing the cementation practices in national programs and recent research devoted to developing durable matrices. Finally, a guide to optimize the mix design of these waste forms was proposed that includes the selection of the testing procedure, factors that affect the waste form performance, and the optimization technique. This guide was presented with special focus on leaching tests, which are a means to test the stabilization performance of nuclear waste forms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability)
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11 pages, 591 KiB  
Review
Glass Crystalline Materials as Advanced Nuclear Wasteforms
by Michael I. Ojovan, Vladislav A. Petrov and Sergey V. Yudintsev
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4117; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084117 - 07 Apr 2021
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 3014
Abstract
Glass crystalline materials (GCM) are of increasing interest as advanced nuclear wasteforms combining the advantages of vitreous and crystalline matrices. The GCM are versatile wasteforms envisaged for a wider use to immobilise various types of both radioactive and chemically hazardous wastes. They can [...] Read more.
Glass crystalline materials (GCM) are of increasing interest as advanced nuclear wasteforms combining the advantages of vitreous and crystalline matrices. The GCM are versatile wasteforms envisaged for a wider use to immobilise various types of both radioactive and chemically hazardous wastes. They can be produced either via low temperature sintering using precursors composed of glass frit, oxides, and crystalline phases or through conventional melting aiming to produce first a parent glass, which is then crystallised by a controlled thermal schedule to obtain target crystalline phases within the GCM. Utilization of GCM is highlighted as a perspective wasteform for immobilization of partitioned radionuclide streams. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability)
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