James Wilson attended WM2018 and presented the papers. The first was on geochemical modelling cementitious barriers in radioactive waste repositories, summarising recent work and implications for safety functions in an environmental safety case. The paper outlines issues such as cement leaching, alteration and pore clogging, along with implications of such processes for contaminant transport calculations.
The second paper was part of a study undertaken by the BIOPROTA international forum on issues associated with assessing and managing risks associated with both hazardous materials and radionuclides. The full report on this study has been published as an NRPA report. The study reviews assessment methods and suggests that there is a continuing need for some common measure of hazard that supports identification of risk management priorities for mixed hazardous waste.
In addition to these papers, a third paper was presented that included Richard Little as co-author, on the IAEA’s Borehole Disposal Concept (BDC) for Sealed Radioactive Sources. Many countries have radioactive sources that need to be managed and disposed in a safe and secure manner. Increasing attention is being given to the disposal of disused sources in borehole facilities with a view to providing a safe, secure and cost-effective disposal option. The paper outlines the history of the BDC, the nature of the concept, and how Canada, the IAEA, the USA and others are assisting the first countries (Ghana and Malaysia) towards implementing the BDC.