Insulating, hydraulic and vacuum pump oils are used extensively in CANDU plants. It is inevitable that at some point in the equipment life cycle that these oils will become waste products and their disposal needs to be properly managed. The presence of radioactivity and conventional contamination in the oils (mixed waste) pose special challenges to the waste manager. This paper provides an overview of waste oil streams that have been problematic in the CANDU nuclear industry and the decontamination processes that were developed for each to effectively remove a variety of radioactive species including tritium as well as conventional hazardous materials such as PCB, lead and cadmium.

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