The Danish inventory of radioactive waste and the required repository type
From the publication:
Working Paper The Danish Inventory of radioactive waste and the required repository type Öko-Institut Working Paper 3/2014 Ing.(grad.) Gerhard Schmidt 1. Preface and content Denmark has a relatively small inventory of radioactive wastes in terms of waste masses. As Denmark never built and operated nuclear power plants, the wastes resulted only from various research activities at the Risø Laboratory or were collected there (e.g. radioactive sources). The research activities at Risø were manifold, from general nuclear research over operation of three research reactors to uranium ore leaching. This resulted in several waste types, such as spent fuel from different research reactors, decommissioning wastes from these research reactors, operating wastes from those, spent radiation sources, uranium and uranium tailings, and a large variety of different waste items (e.g. irradiated graphite and contaminated aluminium as decommissioning wastes). In total, 22 different waste types have to be managed. This paper evaluates the wastes in the Danish inventory and derives some basic conclusions on the Danish concept. 2. Steps chosen in Denmark for managing its radioactive wastes The following steps have been performed in Denmark to manage its radioactive wastes: 1. In a feasibility study /DD 2011/ the existing waste inventory was described and analyzed to identify the possible management options for those wastes. But this was not based on any safety criteria but on the sole believe that a small inventory requires only a small facility on the surface or in a small depth of less than 100 m below ground. With this pre-decision in mind, the different waste types and their radioactive decay over time were calculated and short-lived and longer-lived wastes were identified from that, but again without clear criteria. For all wastes, that were either of a high activity (e.g. spent fuel) or extremely long-lived (such as uranium) alternative options were briefly discussed, but not elaborated in more detail. So the study finally came to the conclusion that an above-ground disposal facility is sufficient and all waste types that do not fit into that facility should be managed elsewhere or in a different way (without going into further detail with those alternative solutions).
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