Organic-resin wastes (spent resins) are generated by different purification systems employed in all types of nuclear power reactors during routine and non-routine operations. The quantities of such resin wastes, and their inventories of contaminants vary depend on the operational goals of the individual power plant. Depending on the regulatory target in the particular jurisdiction where the reactor is located, the type and amounts of radionuclides, metals and other chemical contaminants in the resin waste determine the extent of treatment required for interim storage or final disposal of the waste. Resin-waste treatment comprises different operations such as pretreatment, conditioning/stabilization and containerization that produce a waste package suitable for handling, transport, storage and disposal. One aspect of the contaminants that has significant impact on waste conditioning and the overall cost of managing such wastes are the concentrations of short half-life (arbitrarily less than approximately 30 years) radionuclides, and long half-life radionuclides, in particular carbon-14, and toxic metals present in the waste. A spectrum of resin-waste conditioning methods is available. Some methods have been applied to specific situations while others are being developed for future applications to meet the need for reducing worker dose, environmental releases, and waste-storage and disposal costs. This paper describes waste treatment options for low-level radioactive resin wastes and potential options of resin wastes containing appreciable amounts of carbon-14. Indications are that drying of the resin waste containing long half-life radionuclides such as carbon-14 and compaction or pelletizing can be favourable to allow interim dry-storage of the waste and to provide sufficient flexibility in the preparation of a suitable waste form to meet applicable waste acceptance criteria for the eventual disposal of such wastes.

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