Where does radioactive waste derive from?
Radioactive waste can be generated wherever nuclear products such as plutonium, uranium and thorium are handled. Nuclear products have lots of uses: power generation, weapons, the treatment of cancer and other drugs, sources for industry and so on.
Consider the following process: extraction of uranium from the earth, processing of the uranium, use of the processed uranium, recycling, disposal. At every single period of this treatment, nuclear waste products are produced, radioactive material may contaminate any of the following: equipment,vehicles,land, gear,containers, sea water and even environment. Every single one of toxic item turn into nuclear waste.
As a matter of fact not every waste are equal. Certain may be far more unsafe when compared with others. As an illustration, a few contamination reveal a level of radioactivity which can be lower than the ambient radiation that we are exposed to frequently though, a certain amount of waste can show an extremely huge and unsafe degree of radioactivity that they must be encapsulated for several years otherwise, they might cause problems for human health and turn out to be source of cancer or other sickness. Radioactive waste was generated at Dounreay when the initial nuclear materials were transported to the web site in the 1950s.
Consistent with what was understood about radioactivity at the moment, the experts concluded that a great deal of lower activity waste may very well be dumped in the ocean, environment and soil, whilst the higher activity waste products might possibly be held until such time as a suitable treatment is actually produced.
As time went by, scientists found a lot more with regards to radioactivity. They equally devised improved techniques to store and also get rid nuclear waste. Because of this, far better standards were put in place for the treatment, safe-keeping and disposal of radioactive waste.
Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) needs to deal with close to 175 thousand cubic metres of solid low-level radioactive waste (LLW) that might be produced from decommissioning of the Dounreay site. An open and consultative Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO) led to the decision to apply for permission to construct new Low Level Waste disposal facilities at Dounreay.
DSRL received planning permission from the Highland Council to develop new disposal facilities in 2009. The planning application was based on an independent Environmental Impact Assessment, site investigation work, design and safety studies, and extensive consultation. This approval Domestic Waste Clearance Coventry represents a significant step in securing the future decommission programme for Dounreay. DSRL has also submitted an application to the environmental regulators for authorisation of waste disposal at the facilities, based on an independently prepared and peer reviewed Environmental Safety Case (ESC).
DSRL intends to use the facilities only for disposal of the solid LLW generated at Dounreay and the adjacent Vulcan site. The facilities will be located immediately to the northeast of the Dounreay licensed site. Design and construction of the first phase will commence in 2011, with first waste emplacements planned for 2014. After the vaults are full, the facilities will be closed and the excavation backfilled and the area will be restored using an engineered cap.
Steps have been taken to abate the environmental impact. Simultaneously actions to help the community are being put in place.
Higher activity wastes accumulated at Dounreay in stores and underground disposal facilities, such as the shaft. These facilities are being cleaned out, the wastes recovered, organised and repackaged to modern criteria. Throughout its history, the disposal of radioactive waste from Dounreay has been regulated by successive Government departments and agencies. Today, the disposal of radioactive waste is regulated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, while the storage of radioactive waste is regulated by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate of the Health and Safety Executive.
The clearance of tens of thousands of tonnes of radioactive waste from the obsolete nuclear site at Dounreay today moved a step closer.
Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd released the official award of a contract to develop a disposal site for low-level waste from the decommissioning and closure of the site.
GRAHAM Construction will construct the first 2 of up to six underground containers capable of taking up 175,000m3 of radioactive debris received from the clean-out and demolition of Britain’s last century attempt with fast breeder reactors.
Low level waste is accountable to above eighty per cent by volume of the radioactive waste that will be exhibited during demolition of the site, but less than 0.01 per cent by radioactivity.
The scheduled opening of the first vault in 2013, will herald the beginning of waste clearance from the site.The disposal site is based alongside the redundant atomic site on land owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.GRAHAM is expected to move its team into position in September and kick off earth excavation in October.