Studsvik have been incinerating Low Level Waste (LLW) at its licensed facility in Sweden since the mid-1970s. This process not only enables the volume of waste to be significantly reduced but also produces an inert residue suitable for final disposal. The facility has historically incinerated only solid dry LLW, however in 2008 an authorisation was obtained to permit the routine incineration of LLW contaminated oil at the facility. Prior to obtaining the authorisation to incinerate oils and other organic liquids — both from clean-up activities on the Studsvik site and on a commercial basis — a development program was established. The primary aims of this were to identify the optimum process set-up for the incinerator and also to demonstrate to the regulatory authorities that the appropriate environmental and radiological parameters would be maintained throughout the new process. The final phase of the development program was to incinerate a larger campaign of contaminated oil from the nuclear industry. A suitable accumulation of oil was identified on the Sellafield site in Cumbria and a commercial contract was established to incinerate approximately 40 tonnes of oil from the site. The inventory of oil chosen for the trial incineration represented a significant challenge to the incineration facility as it had been generated from various facilities on-site and had degraded significantly following years of storage. In order to transport the contaminated oil from the Sellafield site in the UK to the Studsvik facility in Sweden several challenges had to be overcome. These included characterisation, packaging and international transportation (under a Transfrontier Shipment (TFS) authorisation) for one of the first transports of liquid radioactive wastes outside the UK. The incineration commenced in late 2007 and was successfully completed in early 2008. The total volume reduction achieved was greater than 97%, with the resultant ash packaged and returned to the UK (for ultimate disposal at the UK LLW Repository) in November 2008.

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