As a part of STRAD project conducted by JAEA, condensation of radioactive liquid waste containing various chemical compounds using reverse osmosis (RO) membrane filter was examined for efficient and safety treatment of the liquid wastes accumulated inside hot laboratories. NH4+ ion in the feed solution was successfully concentrated, and NH4+ ion involved in the effluents became lower than target value; 100 ppm. Solidification of simulated aqueous and organic liquid wastes was also tested. Those liquids were successfully solidified by adding cement or coagulants. Nevertheless, optimization in materials for confinement of chemicals is required for long time storage of the final solidified wastes.
In the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, three types of experimental research, advanced reactor fuel reprocessing, radioactive waste disposal, and nuclear fuel cycle technology, have been carried out at the Chemical Processing Facility. The facility has generated high level radioactive liquid and solid wastes in hot cells. The high level radioactive solid waste is divided into three main categories, a flammable waste, a non-flammable waste, and a solid reagent waste. A plastic product is categorized into the flammable waste and molten with a heating mantle. The non-flammable waste is cut with a band saw machine for reducing the volume. Among the solid reagent waste, a used adsorbent after the experiments is heated, and an extractant is decomposed for its stabilization. All high level radioactive solid wastes in the hot cells are packed in a high level radioactive solid waste can. The high level radioactive solid waste can is transported to the 2nd High Active Solid Waste Storage in the Tokai Reprocessing Plant in the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.
Chemical Processing Facility of Japan Atomic Energy Agency is a basic research field for advanced back-end technology developments with using actual high-level radioactive materials such as irradiated fuels from the fast reactor, high-level liquid waste from reprocessing plant. In the nature of a research facility, various kinds of chemical reagents have been offered for fundamental tests. Most of them were treated properly and stored in the liquid waste vessel equipped in the facility, but some were not treated and remained at the experimental space as a kind of legacy waste. It is required to treat the waste in safety. On the other hand, we formulated the Medium- and Long-Term Management Plan of Japan Atomic Energy Agency Facilities. This comprehensive plan considers Chemical Processing Facility as one of the facilities to be decommissioned. Even if the plan is executed, treatment of the “legacy” waste beforehand must be a necessary step for decommissioning operation. Under this circumstance, we launched a collaborative research project called the STRAD project, which stands for Systematic Treatment of Radioactive liquid waste for Decommissioning, in order to develop the treatment processes for wastes of the nuclear research facility. In this project, decomposition methods of chemicals causing a troublesome phenomenon such as corrosion and explosion have been developed and there is a prospect of their decomposition in the facility by simple method. And solidification of aqueous or organic liquid wastes after the decomposition has been studied by adding cement or coagulants. Furthermore, we treated experimental tools of various materials with making an effort to stabilize and to compact them before the package into the waste container. It is expected to decrease the number of transportation of the solid waste and widen the operation space. Some achievements of these studies will be shown in this paper. The project is expected to contribute beneficial waste management outcome that can be shared world widely.