Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering

Long Term Aspects of Landfilling and Surface Disposal:Lessons Learned from Nuclear and Non-nuclear Decommissioning, Remediation and Waste Management

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  • Abstract

    The fields of landfilling of conventional waste and that of surface disposal of nuclear waste have developed quite independently and also partly out of phase with each other. The paper analyses what knowledge and experience might be mutually beneficial as well as what further knowledge may be needed. It is found that even though knowledge may exist, and information from lessons learned elsewhere be available, action may be subject to considerable initiation or incubation times. Legislation on financial reporting is summarized and its implications for early technical and financial planning are assessed. Prerequisites for long-term behaviour are analysed for the waste forms as well as for the seals and covers. The rationale for using natural and anthropogenic analogues is compiled, and alternative seals for landfills are analysed based on this information. Lessons learned from nuclear decommissioning are presented, and the difficulties encountered when the decommissioning takes place long times after commissioning and operation of a facility are illuminated. Comparison is made with contaminated soil in which area openly available domestic publications are lass abundant in some areas. The differences between end of license and end of responsibilities are clarified. Uranium-containing waste is presented as an example. Prerequisites are presented for natural uranium together with its progenies and for depleted uranium, initially without any daughters. It is found that both alternatives are associated with a number of issues to consider, and that both call for long-term containment for conventional chemical hazard and radiological hazard reasons.