Increasing expertise and confidence in our results

Radioactive waste management is one of the important research directions for RATEN ICN. Through its research, our specialists develop specific methods and technologies for characterisation, treatment and conditioning of radioactive waste generated from RATEN ICN nuclear and radiological installations as well as from Cernavoda NPP operation.

Innovative techniques such as semi-permeable membranes, micro-filtration, ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis, liquid membranes are tested on different waste streams, both from TRIGA reactor and Cernavoda NPP.

Treatment and conditioning technologies such as those needed for radioactive sludge and molecular sieves were developed and technical evaluation of liquid radioactive waste treatment facility of Cernavoda NPP was carried out, to propose technical solutions for optimization of radioactive waste management.

RATEN ICN specialists assist the National Commission for Nuclear Activities Control (CNCAN) in implementation of the National Strategy for Nuclear Safety and Security.

Documents elaborated by Nuclear Agency for Radioactive Waste (ANDR) are reviewed by RATEN ICN experts and solutions for safe management of radioactive waste are proposed to be included in National Strategy on medium and long-term management of spent fuel and radioactive waste that is currently under revision.

During last years, RATEN ICN was involved in European projects on radioactive waste management, increasing its competences as well as its infrastructure needed to carry out a complex research programme in support of radioactive waste disposal in Romania. One of these projects is Carbon-14 Source Term (CAST), project that has received funding from the Euratom Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013. CAST project aimed to develop the understanding of generation and release of 14C from radioactive waste materials under conditions relevant to their disposal in underground geological disposal facilities.

In the frame of CAST project, analytical methods for 14C measurement and its partitioning between inorganic and organic species in irradiated materials (i.e. Zy-4 from CANDU spent fuel and graphite from thermal column of TRIGA research reactor) as well as in CANDU spent ion exchange resins were developed in RATEN ICN. Also, experimental programmes to evaluate the 14C release from the investigated materials in alkaline conditions specific to their disposal in cementitious environment were carried out. These experimental activities were completed by modelling the 14C radiological impact for a generic geological repository located in crystalline rock.

The experimental results obtained on the radioactive materials investigated, combined with modelling activities, are decreasing the uncertainty related to the 14C inventory in spent ion exchange resins, irradiated graphite and CANDU spent fuel foreseen to be disposed in a geological repository, as well as in 14C source term.

Furthermore, the confidence in our experimental and modelling results is increased by comparing the results obtained in RATEN ICN with other CAST partners working on similar materials.


Crina Bucur, RATEN ICN