Research and Developmet on Low-level Radioactive Waste

Since 1992, Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. (JNFL) has been conducting disposal of low-level radioactive waste from nuclear power reactors in Rokkasho Mura, Aomori Prefecture.
In advance of these disposal operations, RWMC conducted broad research on waste package standards, waste processing and conditioning technology, waste inspection and verification technology, and safety assessment of the disposal.
RWMC is currently conducting research on a treatment and disposal system and the technical disposal requirements concerning spent control rods and low-level radioactive waste with relatively high radioactivity, arising from the future dismantling of nuclear reactors.
●indicates currently active research.

1.Research and Development on Geological Environment

・Behavior of radionuclide in shallow underground, groundwater flow and groundwater prediction modeling, investigation technology of geology and ground water ・Investigation technology of geology and ground water for subsurface disposal

2.Research and Development on Disposal Technology

●Research on validation of construction technology of underground cavern disposal facility ・Test to confirm feasibility of the construction methods ・Test to confirm initial performance of the engineered barrier system ・Measurements of behavior of the engineered barrier system

Demonstration test of construction technology of
underground cavern disposal facility

Concept of the test facility

Construction test of Bottom bentonite buffer
with a large-scale vibrating roller
(under contract with Agency for Natural Resources and Energy,METI)

・Safety demonstration technology of concrete pit disposal
・Performance of soil cover as natural barrier material
・Elements specifying the performance, trial performance evaluation and safety case for the subsurface disposal
・High-integrity container and performance evaluation of waste package
・Safety demonstration of trench disposal
・Decontamination of uranium-bearing waste, behavior of radon and measurement technology of low concentrations of uranium

3.Research on Requirements and Standards

・Safety assessment of human intrusion into a disposal facility
・Confirmation of packed solid waste packages and quality control procedure in producing waste packages
・Classification technology and classification manual for packed solid waste
・Basic safety requirements of subsurface disposal based on international trends of regulations
・Safety assessment on subsurface disposal facility
・Confirmation for clearance, evaluation of clearance level
・Research on standard confirmation methods of subsurface disposal facility

●Research of standard methods of fabrication and standards relating to inspection survey of waste package

●Standardization of safety assessment method for low-level radioactive waste disposal

4.Other Research

・Management framework of waste from dismantling of nuclear reactors and evaluation of element technologies
・Scenarios of recycling of metal waste
・Reasonable scenarios of disposal of low-level radioactive waste with extremely low radioactivity
・Basic requirements for optimum management and basic requirement of facility design of low-level radioactive waste with relatively high radioactivity
・Optimum system of reactor waste disposal from view points of economy, efficiency and safety
・Basic policies such as disposal facility and project policy for packed solid waste disposal
●Management policy of uranium-bearing waste