Research and analysis

Landfill sites: disposal of very low level radioactive waste

This report (HPA-RPD-020) describes a study of the potential radiological impact of disposal of large quantities of very low level waste.

Document

HPA-RPD-020: radiological assessment of disposal of large quantities of very low level waste in landfill sites

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (eg a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email publications@phe.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Detail

The potential radiological impact of disposal of large quantities of very low level solid radioactive waste (VLLW) from the nuclear industry to conventional landfill sites was assessed, relating to a proposed change in the definition of VLLW.

The study considered eleven radionuclides likely to be produced in typical waste streams, together with four example waste streams from nuclear sites. Separate assessments were carried out for an inert landfill, a non-hazardous landfill and a hazardous landfill. A set of ‘base case’ results were produced and a number of sensitivity runs were carried out to explore the likely range of results.

Results from the study showed that for six of the radionuclides the doses from disposal of large quantities of waste at the new definition of VLLW met the dose criteria that were specified for use in this project. However, for the other five radionuclides, the doses from some scenarios are near to or above the dose criteria and hence a more detailed site-specific assessment would be needed to determine the quantity that could be disposed of and to identify any necessary conditions for disposal.