Radioactive waste management

By definition, radioactive waste are those materials resulting from nuclear activities, for which no further use has been foreseen, containing or contaminated by radionuclides in concentrations exceeding the exemption limits regulated by the national regulatory authority, licensing and control of nuclear activities.

The basic steps in radioactive waste management are:


Any or all operations preceding treatment, such as collecting, sorting, neutralization, decontamination.


Determining the physical, chemical and radiological properties of waste in order to establish the appropriate treatment and conditioning requirements, or their suitability for handling, processing, storage or final disposal.


Operations performed in order to increase security, or for economic reasons by changing the characteristics of the waste. The objectives of treatment are: volume reduction, radionuclides removal or change of composition.


Operation through which the waste package is being produced, suitable for handling, transportation, storage and/or disposal. Conditioning may include the conversion of the waste into a solid form, placing the waste in a container and additional packaging.


Placing the radioactive waste in a nuclear facility in order to isolate, protect the environment and being easily controlled by staff, with the intention of being recovered.


Placing and maintaining the radioactive waste in a waste dump or a specific location without the intention of being recovered.

managementul deseurilor radioactive (1)
Clasă Deșeuri Conțiunut Radionuclizi Concentratie alfa-radionuclizi
Opţiune de depozitare

Deşeuri slab şi mediu radioactive cu timp de viaţă scurt (LILW-SL)
Deşeuri slab şi mediu radioactive cu timp de viaţă scurt (LILW-SL)
<4 kBq/g Depozitare la suprafaţă
Deşeuri slab şi mediu radioactive cu timp de viaţă lung (LILW-LL)– Preponderent radionuclizi emiţători alfa cu durata de viaţă scurtă (T1/2 > 20ani)

– Cantităţi mici de emiţători beta-gama cu durata de viaţă scurtă (T1/2 < 30ani
>4 kBq/g Depozitare geologică
Deşeuri înalt active (HLW) – Preponderent radionuclizi emitatori beta-gama cu durata de viata scurta (T1/2 < 30ani

– Cantitati importante de radionuclizi emitatori alfa cu durata de viata lunga (T1/2 >20ani)
>4 kBq/g Depozitare geologică la mare adâncime

Our “know-how”?

The safe management of the radioactive waste produced in Romania represents a priority objective of the national policy in the nuclear field. Currently, most radioactive waste in Romania comes from the operation of Cernavoda NPP Units 1 and 2 for the production of energy from nuclear sources.

MATE-FIN qualified staff is involved in the main stages of radioactive waste management.

We KNOW how to characterize the radioactive waste, by following the next steps:


Each of the listed steps includes developing the specific procedures which contain detailed aspects regarding sampling, sample preservation, decomposition, chemical treatment, in order to perform a radiochemical separation of each isotope of interest, as well as measuring them.


We have also developed procedures for using the equipment, the systems, devices and measuring instruments, as well as quality systems implementation procedures. All these procedures are being reviewed and up-dated whenever circumstances require: purchase of new devices / instruments / equipment / supplies, the need for a new type of waste characterization, etc.

We KNOW how to perform pre-treatment operations (collecting and sorting) and radioactive waste treatment.

All operations of radioactive waste and treatment request a series of specific measures:

An important category of radioactive waste at a nuclear power plant represents the organic liquids. Such waste include used lubricants from the primary circulation pumps and the moderator (for CANDU plants), solvents used in maintenance and decontamination activities, spent scintillator liquid, etc. (for practical reasons we include in this category the mixed waste – solid and organic liquid mixture).

Intermediate storage and / or transportation of such waste usually present additional risks due to the high flammability. Normally, intermediate storages on the power-plant site are authorized for solid waste, which leads to mandatory organic liquid waste solidification.

MATE-FIN specialists, along with Pacific World Trade (USA), have developed a complete method to solidify liquid waste organic.

The method involves using a mixture of optimized absorbent polymers, which solidifies both water-based and oil-based waste. The obtained mixture is solid and long term stable. Its stability is not influenced by the radioactive content.

The polymer has been tested by solidifying historical waste that came from the manufacture of nuclear weapons in the US and the former Soviet Union.

The resulting product of the solidification with the Nochar polymer has a number of advantages:

• not flammable but incinerable, which allows further reduction of waste volume
• volume increase by approximately 1.5 times
• retention of H-3, which is an important contaminant in CANDU plants


CNE Cernavoda Romania – www.cne.ro
Pacific World Trade SUA – www.pacificworld.com
Cyclife Sweden – www.cyclife-edf.com
Belgoprocess Belgium – www.belgoprocess.be
Socodei France – www.socodei.fr