DD 's special waste is intermediate

Danish Decommissioning is in the process of dismantling the decommissioned experimental reactors and other nuclear facilities at Risø. Part of our job is to manage radioactive waste, and a small part of the total is "special waste".

D The special waste consists of 233 kg of medium and long-lived material, most of which is irradiated fuel from the material research carried out at the Risø Research Centre.

We are controlled by the National Institute for Radiation Protection, which in November 2013 has written to us the following comment: "The nuclear regulators consider on this qualitative basis that the specific waste, as described in the note, cannot be classified as high-level waste".

The IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency, recommends limit values for the distinction between highly active and intermediate waste. The unit of measurement for radioactivity is becquerel (Bq) – and terabecquerel (TBq) if the activity is high (1 TBq = 1012 Bq)).

Intermediate waste
The 233 kg of special waste contains less than 104 TBq per m3 and develops only limited amounts of heat. According to the IAEA criteria, the special waste is therefore intermediately active. By comparison, highly active waste typically contains 104 – 106 TBq/m3 and develops considerable heat.

The difference between short-lived and long-lived waste is half-life. If a significant amount of the radioactive isotopes has a half-life of more than 30 years, the waste is long-lived. We classify all 233 kg as long-lived.