Denmark’s Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy. The two cylindrical buildings outermost on the peninsula contained the two nuclear reactors DR-2 and DR-3. (Photo: DTU)
An independent review of Denmark’s radioactive waste management program by an International Atomic Energy Agency team found that the country has developed a robust and well-functioning system, but that the national program needs further refinement if it is to be effectively implemented.
The government of Denmark requested the review of its waste management program to fulfil its European Union obligations requiring an independent review of EU member states’ national radioactive waste management programs. The Danish parliament adopted a resolution outlining the policy goals and activities of its national program for safely managing radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel in 2018.
An NWMO geoscientist examines core samples pulled from rock in South Bruce, Ontario, as part of investigations of a potential deep geological repository. (Photo: NWMO)
Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) has completed a deep borehole drilling program at the two sites in Ontario under investigation for potentially hosting a deep geological repository to hold the country’s spent nuclear fuel. The NWMO said that Canada’s top geoscientists are leading the studies, in which approximately eight kilometers of core samples were pulled from the bedrock in the Wabigoon-Ignace area and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON)–South Bruce area.
The Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, in New Mexico. (Photo: DOE)
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Joint Information Center (JIC) were activated on April 9 following an abnormal event that occurred during routine waste handling at the Department of Energy’s WIPP repository for transuranic waste, near Carlsbad, N.M.
An NRC diagram of a LLW waste disposal site.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will integrate two separate rulemaking activities concerning the disposal of low-level radioactive waste, issuing a “re-proposed” rule that consolidates updates to 10 CFR Part 61, “Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal,” and proposed changes to the requirements for the near-surface disposal of greater-than-Class C (GTCC) waste.
Sandia National Laboratories researchers Melissa Mills, left, and Kristopher Kuhlman peer through a WIPP salt sample.
Last fall, scientists from Sandia, Los Alamos, and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories began the third phase of a years-long experiment to understand how salt and very salty water behave near hot nuclear waste containers in a salt-bed repository. Initiated in 2017, the Brine Availability Test in Salt (BATS) project is part of a spent nuclear fuel research campaign within the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE).
A screenshot of the panelists for the ANS spent fuel management webinar.
The Department of Energy’s new consent-based process for siting an interim storage facility for the nation’s spent nuclear fuel faces many challenges, but it could be successful if correctly implemented by the department, according to the panelists of the American Nuclear Society’s webinar “Spent Nuclear Fuel Management: Wasting Away or Chance for Progress?” ANS President Steve Nesbit moderated the webinar, held on March 23.
The DOE and a contractor recently succeeded in disposing of Oak Ridge’s low-activity U-233, but not before recovering Th-229 from the material.
A vial containing Th-299 extracted from uranyl nitrate.
This past October, the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) and its contractor Isotek successfully completed processing and disposing the low-dose inventory of uranium-233 stored at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), ending a two-year effort that has eliminated a portion of the site’s legacy nuclear material and provided rare nuclear isotopes for next-generation cancer treatment research.
Bulk Processing Unit at the Perma-Fix Northwest waste treatment facility. (Photo: Perma-Fix)
Westinghouse Electric Company and nuclear waste management company Perma-Fix Environmental Services plan to jointly develop a state-of-the-art advanced materials treatment facility in the United Kingdom. During the 2022 Waste Management Symposia, held last week in Phoenix, Ariz., the two companies signed a nonbinding agreement to cooperate on a facility that will provide low-level radioactive waste treatment services to the European market.
A screen shot of a YouTube video of the DOE’s U-233 Initial Processing Campaign at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Isotek, the Department of Energy contractor responsible for overseeing the inventory of uranium-233 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and preparing it for removal from the site, said it plans to resume preparations for processing high-dose U-233 in March. The company was forced to suspend its operational readiness review of the Initial Processing Campaign at Oak Ridge in January due to issues related to COVID-19, as well as difficulties operating in colder temperatures.
As part of a nonproliferation agreement, Canada and the U.S. undertook a multi-year campaign to ship liquid high-enriched uranium material from Chalk River to Savannah River.
State troopers and first responders at a TRM roadshow stop in Virginia. The display LWT cask can be seen at the far right in its shipping container. (Photos courtesy of DOE/NNSA)
In March 2012, during the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea, the governments of Canada and the United States committed to work cooperatively to repatriate approximately 6,000 gallons of high-enriched uranyl nitrate liquid (HEUNL) target residue material (TRM) stored at the Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The announcement was part of a larger agreement between the two countries to reduce proliferation risks by consolidating high-enriched uranium at a smaller number of secure locations.
The IWTU liquid nitrogen storage system at the DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory Site. (Photo: DOE)
The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) stated on February 22 that its Idaho National Laboratory Site contractor is operating the final test run of the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit (IWTU), running waste simulant through the facility to ensure the plant’s performance and personnel proficiency for upcoming radiological operations.
The NWMO said its Property Value Protection program satisfies one of the guiding principles set out to support local decision-making about Canada’s repository project. (Photo: NWMO)
Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) said in a February news release that it has developed a program to protect the value of properties near the potential site in South Bruce, Ontario, for the country’s deep geological repository for used nuclear fuel. Along with Ignace in western Ontario, South Bruce is one of the two potential locations the NWMO has identified for hosting a deep geological repository.
According to the NWMO, the Property Value Protection program reflects a responsible commitment to the community and addresses questions the organization heard from residents about whether property values will be affected if South Bruce is selected for the repository. The program, which was developed in consultation with the community of South Bruce, will compensate residents if the sale of their properties is negatively affected by the project.
Workers recently installed manipulator equipment at a full-scale mock-up of areas of the Hanford Site’s Waste Encapsulation and Storage Facility. (Photo: DOE)
The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) announced this week that preparations are well underway for the transfer of nearly 2,000 highly radioactive cesium and strontium capsules from the Waste Encapsulation and Storage Facility (WESF) to interim dry storage at the Hanford Site near Richland, Wash.