The borehole disposal concept (BDC) was first presented to ICEM by Potier, J-M in 2005 . This paper repeats the basics introduced by Potier and relates further developments. It also documents the history of the development of the BDC. For countries with no access to existing or planned geological disposal facilities for radioactive wastes, the only options for managing high activity or long-lived disused radioactive sources are to store them indefinitely, return them to the supplier or find an alternative method of disposal. Disused sealed radioactive sources (DSRS) pose an unacceptable radiological and security risk if not properly managed. Out of control sources have already led to many high-profile incidents or accidents. One needs only to remember the recent accident in India that occurred earlier this year. Countries without solutions in place need to consider the future management of DSRSs urgently. An on-going problem in developing countries is what to do with sources that cannot be returned to the suppliers, sources for which there is no further use, sources that have not been maintained in a working condition and sources that are no longer suitable for their intended purpose. Disposal in boreholes is intended to be simple and effective, meeting the same high standards of long-term radiological safety as any other type of radioactive waste disposal. It is believed that the BDC can be readily deployed with simple, cost-effective technologies. These are appropriate both to the relatively small amounts and activities of the wastes and the resources that can realistically be found in developing countries. The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation Ltd (Necsa) has carried out project development and demonstration activities since 1996. The project looked into the technical feasibility, safety and economic viability of BDC under the social, economic, environmental and infrastructural conditions currently prevalent in Africa. Implementation is near at hand with work being done in Ghana with support from the IAEA. Here the site selection is complete and studies are being carried out to test the site parameters for inclusion into the safety assessment.
- Nuclear Engineering Division and Environmental Engineering Division
The Ultimate Solution: Disposal of Disused Sealed Radioactive Sources (DSRS)
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Heard, RG. "The Ultimate Solution: Disposal of Disused Sealed Radioactive Sources (DSRS)." Proceedings of the ASME 2010 13th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management. ASME 2010 13th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, Volume 2. Tsukuba, Japan. October 3–7, 2010. pp. 637-642. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ICEM2010-40029
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