Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 21

Search results for: decommissioning

21 Environmental Impact of Gas Field Decommissioning

Authors: Muhammad Ahsan


The effective decommissioning of oil and gas fields and related assets is one of the most important challenges facing the oil and gas industry today and in the future. Decommissioning decisions can no longer be avoided by the operators and the industry as a whole. Decommissioning yields no return on investment and carries significant regulatory liabilities. The main objective of this paper is to provide an approach and mechanism for the estimation of emissions associated with decommissioning of Oil and Gas fields. The model uses gate to gate approach and considers field life from development phase up to asset end life. The model incorporates decommissioning processes which includes; well plugging, plant dismantling, wellhead, and pipeline dismantling, cutting and temporary fabrication, new manufacturing from raw material and recycling of metals. The results of the GHG emissions during decommissioning phase are 2.31x10-2 Kg CO2 Eq. per Mcf of the produced natural gas. Well plug and abandonment evolved to be the most GHG emitting activity with 84.7% of total field decommissioning operational emissions.

Keywords: LCA (life cycle analysis), gas field, decommissioning, emissions

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20 Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants: The Current Position and Requirements

Authors: A. Stifi, S. Gentes


Undoubtedly from construction's perspective, the use of explosives will remove a large facility such as a 40-storey building , that took almost 3 to 4 years for construction, in few minutes. Usually, the reconstruction or decommissioning, the last phase of life cycle of any facility, is considered to be the shortest. However, this is proved to be wrong in the case of nuclear power plant. Statistics says that in the last 30 years, the construction of a nuclear power plant took an average time of 6 years whereas it is estimated that decommissioning of such plants may take even a decade or more. This paper is all about the decommissioning phase of a nuclear power plant which needs to be given more attention and encouragement from the research institutes as well as the nuclear industry. Currently, there are 437 nuclear power reactors in operation and 70 reactors in construction. With around 139 nuclear facilities already been shut down and are in different decommissioning stages and approximately 347 nuclear reactors will be in decommissioning phase in the next 20 years (assuming the operation time of a reactor as 40 years), This fact raises the following two questions (1) How far is the nuclear and construction Industry ready to face the challenges of decommissioning project? (2) What is required for a safety and reliable decommissioning project delivery? The decommissioning of nuclear facilities across the global have severe time and budget overruns. Largely the decommissioning processes are being executed by the force of manual labour where the change in regulations is respectively observed. In term of research and development, some research projects and activities are being carried out in this area, but the requirement seems to be much more. The near future of decommissioning shall be better through a sustainable development strategy where all stakeholders agree to implement innovative technologies especially for dismantling and decontamination processes and to deliever a reliable and safety decommissioning. The scope of technology transfer from other industries shall be explored. For example, remotery operated robotic technologies used in automobile and production industry to reduce time and improve effecincy and saftey shall be tried here. However, the innovative technologies are highly requested but they are alone not enough, the implementation of creative and innovative management methodologies should be also investigated and applied. Lean Management with it main concept "elimination of waste within process", is a suitable example here. Thus, the cooperation between international organisations and related industries and the knowledge-sharing may serve as a key factor for the successful decommissioning projects.

Keywords: decommissioning of nuclear facilities, innovative technology, innovative management, sustainable development

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19 CFD Simulation for Flow Behavior in Boiling Water Reactor Vessel and Upper Pool under Decommissioning Condition

Authors: Y. T. Ku, S. W. Chen, J. R. Wang, C. Shih, Y. F. Chang


In order to respond the policy decision of non-nuclear homes, Tai Power Company (TPC) will provide the decommissioning project of Kuosheng Nuclear power plant (KSNPP) to meet the regulatory requirement in near future. In this study, the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methodology has been employed to develop a flow prediction model for boiling water reactor (BWR) with upper pool under decommissioning stage. The model can be utilized to investigate the flow behavior as the vessel combined with upper pool and continuity cooling system. At normal operating condition, different parameters are obtained for the full fluid area, including velocity, mass flow, and mixing phenomenon in the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) and upper pool. Through the efforts of the study, an integrated simulation model will be developed for flow field analysis of decommissioning KSNPP under normal operating condition. It can be expected that a basis result for future analysis application of TPC can be provide from this study.

Keywords: CFD, BWR, decommissioning, upper pool

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18 Preliminary Evaluation of Decommissioning Wastes for the First Commercial Nuclear Power Reactor in South Korea

Authors: Kyomin Lee, Joohee Kim, Sangho Kang


The commercial nuclear power reactor in South Korea, Kori Unit 1, which was a 587 MWe pressurized water reactor that started operation since 1978, was permanently shut down in June 2017 without an additional operating license extension. The Kori 1 Unit is scheduled to become the nuclear power unit to enter the decommissioning phase. In this study, the preliminary evaluation of the decommissioning wastes for the Kori Unit 1 was performed based on the following series of process: firstly, the plant inventory is investigated based on various documents (i.e., equipment/ component list, construction records, general arrangement drawings). Secondly, the radiological conditions of systems, structures and components (SSCs) are established to estimate the amount of radioactive waste by waste classification. Third, the waste management strategies for Kori Unit 1 including waste packaging are established. Forth, selection of the proper decontamination and dismantling (D&D) technologies is made considering the various factors. Finally, the amount of decommissioning waste by classification for Kori 1 is estimated using the DeCAT program, which was developed by KEPCO-E&C for a decommissioning cost estimation. The preliminary evaluation results have shown that the expected amounts of decommissioning wastes were less than about 2% and 8% of the total wastes generated (i.e., sum of clean wastes and radwastes) before/after waste processing, respectively, and it was found that the majority of contaminated material was carbon or alloy steel and stainless steel. In addition, within the range of availability of information, the results of the evaluation were compared with the results from the various decommissioning experiences data or international/national decommissioning study. The comparison results have shown that the radioactive waste amount from Kori Unit 1 decommissioning were much less than those from the plants decommissioned in U.S. and were comparable to those from the plants in Europe. This result comes from the difference of disposal cost and clearance criteria (i.e., free release level) between U.S. and non-U.S. The preliminary evaluation performed using the methodology established in this study will be useful as a important information in establishing the decommissioning planning for the decommissioning schedule and waste management strategy establishment including the transportation, packaging, handling, and disposal of radioactive wastes.

Keywords: characterization, classification, decommissioning, decontamination and dismantling, Kori 1, radioactive waste

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17 Logistical Optimization of Nuclear Waste Flows during Decommissioning

Authors: G. Dottavio, M. F. Andrade, F. Renard, V. Cheutet, A.-L. Ladier, S. Vercraene, P. Hoang, S. Briet, R. Dachicourt, Y. Baizet


An important number of technological equipment and high-skilled workers over long periods of time have to be mobilized during nuclear decommissioning processes. The related operations generate complex flows of waste and high inventory levels, associated to information flows of heterogeneous types. Taking into account that more than 10 decommissioning operations are on-going in France and about 50 are expected toward 2025: A big challenge is addressed today. The management of decommissioning and dismantling of nuclear installations represents an important part of the nuclear-based energy lifecycle, since it has an environmental impact as well as an important influence on the electricity cost and therefore the price for end-users. Bringing new technologies and new solutions into decommissioning methodologies is thus mandatory to improve the quality, cost and delay efficiency of these operations. The purpose of our project is to improve decommissioning management efficiency by developing a decision-support framework dedicated to plan nuclear facility decommissioning operations and to optimize waste evacuation by means of a logistic approach. The target is to create an easy-to-handle tool capable of i) predicting waste flows and proposing the best decommissioning logistics scenario and ii) managing information during all the steps of the process and following the progress: planning, resources, delays, authorizations, saturation zones, waste volume, etc. In this article we present our results from waste nuclear flows simulation during decommissioning process, including discrete-event simulation supported by FLEXSIM 3-D software. This approach was successfully tested and our works confirms its ability to improve this type of industrial process by identifying the critical points of the chain and optimizing it by identifying improvement actions. This type of simulation, executed before the start of the process operations on the basis of a first conception, allow ‘what-if’ process evaluation and help to ensure quality of the process in an uncertain context. The simulation of nuclear waste flows before evacuation from the site will help reducing the cost and duration of the decommissioning process by optimizing the planning and the use of resources, transitional storage and expensive radioactive waste containers. Additional benefits are expected for the governance system of the waste evacuation since it will enable a shared responsibility of the waste flows.

Keywords: nuclear decommissioning, logistical optimization, decision-support framework, waste management

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16 Dynamic Risk Model for Offshore Decommissioning Using Bayesian Belief Network

Authors: Ahmed O. Babaleye, Rafet E. Kurt


The global oil and gas industry is beginning to witness an increase in the number of installations moving towards decommissioning. Decommissioning of offshore installations is a complex, costly and hazardous activity, making safety one of the major concerns. Among existing removal options, complete and partial removal options pose the highest risks. Therefore, a dynamic risk model of the accidents from the two options is important to assess the risks on an overall basis. In this study, a risk-based safety model is developed to conduct quantitative risk analysis (QRA) for jacket structure systems failure. Firstly, bow-tie (BT) technique is utilised to model the causal relationship between the system failure and potential accident scenarios. Subsequently, to relax the shortcomings of BT, Bayesian Belief Networks (BBNs) were established to dynamically assess associated uncertainties and conditional dependencies. The BBN is developed through a similitude mapping of the developed bow-tie. The BBN is used to update the failure probabilities of the contributing elements through diagnostic analysis, thus, providing a case-specific and realistic safety analysis method when compared to a bow-tie. This paper presents the application of dynamic safety analysis to guide the allocation of risk control measures and consequently, drive down the avoidable cost of remediation.

Keywords: Bayesian belief network, offshore decommissioning, dynamic safety model, quantitative risk analysis

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15 The European Research and Development Project Improved Nuclear Site Characterization for Waste Minimization in Decommissioning under Constrained Environment: Focus on Performance Analysis and Overall Uncertainty

Authors: M. Crozet, D. Roudil, T. Branger, S. Boden, P. Peerani, B. Russell, M. Herranz, L. Aldave de la Heras


The EURATOM work program project INSIDER (Improved Nuclear Site Characterization for Waste minimization in Decommissioning under Constrained Environment) was launched in June 2017. This 4-year project has 18 partners and aims at improving the management of contaminated materials arising from decommissioning and dismantling (D&D) operations by proposing an integrated methodology of characterization. This methodology is based on advanced statistical processing and modelling, coupled with adapted and innovative analytical and measurement methods, with respect to sustainability and economic objectives. In order to achieve these objectives, the approaches will be then applied to common case studies in the form of Inter-laboratory comparisons on matrix representative reference samples and benchmarking. Work Package 6 (WP6) ‘Performance analysis and overall uncertainty’ is in charge of the analysis of the benchmarking on real samples, the organisation of inter-laboratory comparison on synthetic certified reference materials and the establishment of overall uncertainty budget. Assessment of the outcome will be used for providing recommendations and guidance resulting in pre-standardization tests.

Keywords: decommissioning, sampling strategy, research and development, characterization, European project

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14 Integrated Management System Applied in Dismantling and Waste Management of the Primary Cooling System from the VVR-S Nuclear Reactor Magurele, Bucharest

Authors: Radu Deju, Carmen Mustata


The VVR-S nuclear research reactor owned by Horia Hubulei National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering (IFIN-HH) was designed for research and radioisotope production, being permanently shut-down in 2002, after 40 years of operation. All amount of the nuclear spent fuel S-36 and EK-10 type was returned to Russian Federation (first in 2009 and last in 2012), and the radioactive waste resulted from the reprocessing of it will remain permanently in the Russian Federation. The decommissioning strategy chosen is immediate dismantling. At this moment, the radionuclides with half-life shorter than 1 year have a minor contribution to the contamination of materials and equipment used in reactor department. The decommissioning of the reactor has started in 2010 and is planned to be finalized in 2020, being the first nuclear research reactor that has started the decommissioning project from the South-East of Europe. The management system applied in the decommissioning of the VVR-S research reactor integrates all common elements of management: nuclear safety, occupational health and safety, environment, quality- compliance with the requirements for decommissioning activities, physical protection and economic elements. This paper presents the application of integrated management system in decommissioning of systems, structures, equipment and components (SSEC) from pumps room, including the management of the resulted radioactive waste. The primary cooling system of this type of reactor includes circulation pumps, heat exchangers, degasser, filter ion exchangers, piping connection, drainage system and radioactive leaks. All the decommissioning activities of primary circuit were performed in stage 2 (year 2014), and they were developed and recorded according to the applicable documents, within the requirements of the Regulatory Body Licenses. In the presentation there will be emphasized how the integrated management system provisions are applied in the dismantling of the primary cooling system, for elaboration, approval, application of necessary documentation, records keeping before, during and after the dismantling activities. Radiation protection and economics are the key factors for the selection of the proper technology. Dedicated and advanced technologies were chosen to perform specific tasks. Safety aspects have been taken into consideration. Resource constraints have also been an important issue considered in defining the decommissioning strategy. Important aspects like radiological monitoring of the personnel and areas, decontamination, waste management and final characterization of the released site are demonstrated and documented.

Keywords: decommissioning, integrated management system, nuclear reactor, waste management

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13 Comprehensive Risk Analysis of Decommissioning Activities with Multifaceted Hazard Factors

Authors: Hyeon-Kyo Lim, Hyunjung Kim, Kune-Woo Lee


Decommissioning process of nuclear facilities can be said to consist of a sequence of problem solving activities, partly because there may exist working environments contaminated by radiological exposure, and partly because there may also exist industrial hazards such as fire, explosions, toxic materials, and electrical and physical hazards. As for an individual hazard factor, risk assessment techniques are getting known to industrial workers with advance of safety technology, but the way how to integrate those results is not. Furthermore, there are few workers who experienced decommissioning operations a lot in the past. Therefore, not a few countries in the world have been trying to develop appropriate counter techniques in order to guarantee safety and efficiency of the process. In spite of that, there still exists neither domestic nor international standard since nuclear facilities are too diverse and unique. In the consequence, it is quite inevitable to imagine and assess the whole risk in the situation anticipated one by one. This paper aimed to find out an appropriate technique to integrate individual risk assessment results from the viewpoint of experts. Thus, on one hand the whole risk assessment activity for decommissioning operations was modeled as a sequence of individual risk assessment steps, and on the other, a hierarchical risk structure was developed. Then, risk assessment procedure that can elicit individual hazard factors one by one were introduced with reference to the standard operation procedure (SOP) and hierarchical task analysis (HTA). With an assumption of quantification and normalization of individual risks, a technique to estimate relative weight factors was tried by using the conventional Analytic Hierarchical Process (AHP) and its result was reviewed with reference to judgment of experts. Besides, taking the ambiguity of human judgment into consideration, debates based upon fuzzy inference was added with a mathematical case study.

Keywords: decommissioning, risk assessment, analytic hierarchical process (AHP), fuzzy inference

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12 A Framework for Automated Nuclear Waste Classification

Authors: Seonaid Hume, Gordon Dobie, Graeme West


Detecting and localizing radioactive sources is a necessity for safe and secure decommissioning of nuclear facilities. An important aspect for the management of the sort-and-segregation process is establishing the spatial distributions and quantities of the waste radionuclides, their type, corresponding activity, and ultimately classification for disposal. The data received from surveys directly informs decommissioning plans, on-site incident management strategies, the approach needed for a new cell, as well as protecting the workforce and the public. Manual classification of nuclear waste from a nuclear cell is time-consuming, expensive, and requires significant expertise to make the classification judgment call. Also, in-cell decommissioning is still in its relative infancy, and few techniques are well-developed. As with any repetitive and routine tasks, there is the opportunity to improve the task of classifying nuclear waste using autonomous systems. Hence, this paper proposes a new framework for the automatic classification of nuclear waste. This framework consists of five main stages; 3D spatial mapping and object detection, object classification, radiological mapping, source localisation based on gathered evidence and finally, waste classification. The first stage of the framework, 3D visual mapping, involves object detection from point cloud data. A review of related applications in other industries is provided, and recommendations for approaches for waste classification are made. Object detection focusses initially on cylindrical objects since pipework is significant in nuclear cells and indeed any industrial site. The approach can be extended to other commonly occurring primitives such as spheres and cubes. This is in preparation of stage two, characterizing the point cloud data and estimating the dimensions, material, degradation, and mass of the objects detected in order to feature match them to an inventory of possible items found in that nuclear cell. Many items in nuclear cells are one-offs, have limited or poor drawings available, or have been modified since installation, and have complex interiors, which often and inadvertently pose difficulties when accessing certain zones and identifying waste remotely. Hence, this may require expert input to feature match objects. The third stage, radiological mapping, is similar in order to facilitate the characterization of the nuclear cell in terms of radiation fields, including the type of radiation, activity, and location within the nuclear cell. The fourth stage of the framework takes the visual map for stage 1, the object characterization from stage 2, and radiation map from stage 3 and fuses them together, providing a more detailed scene of the nuclear cell by identifying the location of radioactive materials in three dimensions. The last stage involves combining the evidence from the fused data sets to reveal the classification of the waste in Bq/kg, thus enabling better decision making and monitoring for in-cell decommissioning. The presentation of the framework is supported by representative case study data drawn from an application in decommissioning from a UK nuclear facility. This framework utilises recent advancements of the detection and mapping capabilities of complex radiation fields in three dimensions to make the process of classifying nuclear waste faster, more reliable, cost-effective and safer.

Keywords: nuclear decommissioning, radiation detection, object detection, waste classification

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11 Sustainable Technologies for Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities

Authors: Ahmed Stifi, Sascha Gentes


The German nuclear industry, while implementing the German policy, believes that the journey towards the green-field, namely phasing out of nuclear energy, should be achieved through green techniques. The most important techniques required for the wide range of decommissioning activities are decontamination techniques, cutting techniques, radioactivity measuring techniques, remote control techniques, techniques for worker and environmental protection and techniques for treating, preconditioning and conditioning nuclear waste. Many decontamination techniques are used for removing contamination from metal, concrete or other surfaces like the scales inside pipes. As the pipeline system is one of the important components of nuclear power plants, the process of decontamination in tubing is of more significance. The development of energy sectors like oil sector, gas sector and nuclear sector, since the middle of 20th century, increased the pipeline industry and the research in the decontamination of tubing in each sector is found to serve each other. The extraction of natural products and material through the pipeline can result in scale formation. These scales can be radioactively contaminated through an accumulation process especially in the petrochemical industry when oil and gas are extracted from the underground reservoir. The radioactivity measured in these scales can be significantly high and pose a great threat to people and the environment. At present, the decontamination process involves using high pressure water jets with or without abrasive material and this technology produces a high amount of secondary waste. In order to overcome it, the research team within Karlsruhe Institute of Technology developed a new sustainable method to carry out the decontamination of tubing without producing any secondary waste. This method is based on vibration technique which removes scales and also does not require any auxiliary materials. The outcome of the research project proves that the vibration technique used for decontamination of tubing is environmental friendly in other words a sustainable technique.

Keywords: sustainable technologies, decontamination, pipeline, nuclear industry

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10 Waste Management in a Hot Laboratory of Japan Atomic Energy Agency – 1: Overview and Activities in Chemical Processing Facility

Authors: Kazunori Nomura, Hiromichi Ogi, Masaumi Nakahara, Sou Watanabe, Atsuhiro Shibata


Chemical Processing Facility of Japan Atomic Energy Agency is a basic research field for advanced back-end technology developments with using actual high-level radioactive materials such as irradiated fuels from the fast reactor, high-level liquid waste from reprocessing plant. In the nature of a research facility, various kinds of chemical reagents have been offered for fundamental tests. Most of them were treated properly and stored in the liquid waste vessel equipped in the facility, but some were not treated and remained at the experimental space as a kind of legacy waste. It is required to treat the waste in safety. On the other hand, we formulated the Medium- and Long-Term Management Plan of Japan Atomic Energy Agency Facilities. This comprehensive plan considers Chemical Processing Facility as one of the facilities to be decommissioned. Even if the plan is executed, treatment of the “legacy” waste beforehand must be a necessary step for decommissioning operation. Under this circumstance, we launched a collaborative research project called the STRAD project, which stands for Systematic Treatment of Radioactive liquid waste for Decommissioning, in order to develop the treatment processes for wastes of the nuclear research facility. In this project, decomposition methods of chemicals causing a troublesome phenomenon such as corrosion and explosion have been developed and there is a prospect of their decomposition in the facility by simple method. And solidification of aqueous or organic liquid wastes after the decomposition has been studied by adding cement or coagulants. Furthermore, we treated experimental tools of various materials with making an effort to stabilize and to compact them before the package into the waste container. It is expected to decrease the number of transportation of the solid waste and widen the operation space. Some achievements of these studies will be shown in this paper. The project is expected to contribute beneficial waste management outcome that can be shared world widely.

Keywords: chemical processing facility, medium- and long-term management plan of JAEA facilities, STRAD project, treatment of radioactive waste

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9 A Control Model for the Dismantling of Industrial Plants

Authors: Florian Mach, Eric Hund, Malte Stonis


The dismantling of disused industrial facilities such as nuclear power plants or refineries is an enormous challenge for the planning and control of the logistic processes. Existing control models do not meet the requirements for a proper dismantling of industrial plants. Therefore, the paper presents an approach for the control of dismantling and post-processing processes (e.g. decontamination) in plant decommissioning. In contrast to existing approaches, the dismantling sequence and depth are selected depending on the capacity utilization of required post-processing processes by also considering individual characteristics of respective dismantling tasks (e.g. decontamination success rate, uncertainties regarding the process times). The results can be used in the dismantling of industrial plants (e.g. nuclear power plants) to reduce dismantling time and costs by avoiding bottlenecks such as capacity constraints.

Keywords: dismantling management, logistics planning and control models, nuclear power plant dismantling, reverse logistics

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8 Characteristics of the Mortars Obtained by Radioactive Recycled Sand

Authors: Claudiu Mazilu, Ion Robu, Radu Deju


At the end of 2011 worldwide there were 124 power reactors shut down, from which: 16 fully decommissioned, 50 power reactors in a decommissioning process, 49 reactors in “safe enclosure mode”, 3 reactors “entombed”, for other 6 reactors it was not yet have specified the decommissioning strategy. The concrete radioactive waste that will be generated from dismantled structures of VVR-S nuclear research reactor from Magurele (e.g.: biological shield of the reactor core and hot cells) represents an estimated amount of about 70 tons. Until now the solid low activity radioactive waste (LLW) was pre-placed in containers and cementation with mortar made from cement and natural fine aggregates, providing a fill ratio of the container of approximately 50 vol. % for concrete. In this paper is presented an innovative technology in which radioactive concrete is crushed and the mortar made from recycled radioactive sand, cement, water and superplasticizer agent is poured in container with radioactive rubble (that is pre-placed in container) for cimentation. Is achieved a radioactive waste package in which the degree of filling of radioactive waste increases substantially. The tests were carried out on non-radioactive material because the radioactive concrete was not available in a good time. Waste concrete with maximum size of 350 mm were crushed in the first stage with a Liebhher type jaw crusher, adjusted to nominal size of 50 mm. Crushed concrete less than 50 mm was sieved in order to obtain useful sort for preplacement, 10 to 50 mm. The rest of the screening > 50 mm obtained from primary crushing of concrete was crushed in the second stage, with different working principles crushers at size < 2.5 mm, in order to produce recycled fine aggregate (sand) for the filler mortar and which fulfills the technical specifications proposed: –jaw crusher, Retsch type, model BB 100; –hammer crusher, Buffalo Shuttle model WA-12-H; presented a series of characteristics of recycled concrete aggregates by predefined class (the granulosity, the granule shape, the absorption of water, behavior to the Los Angeles test, the content of attached mortar etc.), most in comparison with characteristics of natural aggregates. Various mortar recipes were used in order to identify those that meet the proposed specification (flow-rate: 16-50s, no bleeding, min. 30N/mm2 compressive strength of the mortar after 28 days, the proportion of recycled sand used in mortar: min. 900kg/m3) and allow obtaining of the highest fill ratio for mortar. In order to optimize the mortars following compositional factors were varied: aggregate nature, water/cement (W/C) ratio, sand/cement (S/C) ratio, nature and proportion of additive. To confirm the results obtained on a small scale, it made an attempt to fill the mortar in a container that simulates the final storage drums. Was measured the mortar fill ratio (98.9%) compared with the results of laboratory tests and targets set out in the proposed specification. Although fill ratio obtained on the mock-up is lower by 0.8 vol. % compared to that obtained in the laboratory tests (99.7%), the result meets the specification criteria.

Keywords: characteristics, radioactive recycled concrete aggregate, mortars, fill ratio

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7 The Concentration of Natural Alpha Emitters Radionuclides in Fish and Their Contribution to the Internal Dose

Authors: Wagner Pereira, Alphonse Kelecom


Mining can impact the environment, and the major impact of some mining activities is the radiological impact. In human populations, such impact is well studied and regulated. For biota, this assessment always had as focus the protection of human food chain. The protection of biota itself is a new approach, still developing. In order to contribute to this new approach, fish collecting was carried out in areas of naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM), where a uranium mine is in decommissioning phase. The activity concentrations were analyzed, in Bq/kg wet weight, for Uranium (Unat), Th-232 and Ra-226 in the lambari fish Astyanax bimaculatus L. (omnivorous fish) and in the traíra fish Hoplias malabaricus Bloch, 1794 (carnivorous fish). Seven composite samples (that is: a sufficient number of individuals to reach at least 2 kg of fresh weight) were collected every six months between 2013 and 2015. The mean activity concentrations (AC) for uranium ranged from 1.12 (lambari) to 0.60 (lungfish). For Th, variations ranged from 0.30 to 0.05 (lambari and traíra, respectively). Finally, the Ra-226 means ranged between 0.08 and 0.03. No temporal trends of accumulation could be identified. Systematically, the AC values of radionuclides were higher in omnivorous fish when compared to the carnivore ones.

Keywords: biota dose, NORM, fish, environmental protection

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6 Recommendations for Environmental Impact Assessment of Geothermal Projects on Mature Oil Fields

Authors: Daria Karasalihovic Sedlar, Lucija Jukic, Ivan Smajla, Marija Macenic


This paper analyses possible geothermal energy production from a mature oil reservoir based on exploitation of underlying aquifer thermal energy for the purpose of heating public buildings. Research was conducted based on the case study of the City of Ivanic-Grad public buildings energy demand and Ivanic oil filed that is situated in the same area. Since the City of Ivanic is one of the few cities in the EU where hydrocarbon exploitation has been taking place for decades almost entirely in urban area, decommissioning of oil wells is inevitable; therefore, the research goal was to investigate how to extend the life-time of the reservoir by exploiting geothermal brine beneath the oil reservoir in an environmental friendly manner. This kind of a project is extremely complex in all segments, from documentation preparation, implementation of technological solutions, and providing ecological measures for environmentally acceptable geothermal energy production and utilization. New mining activities that will be needed for the development of geothermal project at the observed Hydrocarbon Exploitation Field Ivanic will be carried out in order to prepare wells for increasing geothermal brine production. These operations involve the conversion of existing wells (well completion for conversion of the observation wells to production ones) along with workover activities, installation of new heat exchangers, and pipelines. Since the wells are in the urban area of the City of Ivanic-Grad in high density populated area, the inhabitants will be exposed to the different environmental impacts during preparation phase of the project. For the purpose of performing workovers, it will be necessary to secure access to wellheads of existing wells. This paper gives guidelines for describing potential impacts on environment components that could occur during geothermal production preparation on existing mature oil filed, recommends possible protection measures to mitigate these impacts, and gives recommendations for environmental monitoring.

Keywords: geothermal energy production, mature oil filed, environmental impact assessment, underlying aquifer thermal energy

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5 Radiation Protection and Licensing for an Experimental Fusion Facility: The Italian and European Approaches

Authors: S. Sandri, G. M. Contessa, C. Poggi


An experimental nuclear fusion device could be seen as a step toward the development of the future nuclear fusion power plant. If compared with other possible solutions to the energy problem, nuclear fusion has advantages that ensure sustainability and security. In particular considering the radioactivity and the radioactive waste produced, in a nuclear fusion plant the component materials could be selected in order to limit the decay period, making it possible the recycling in a new reactor after about 100 years from the beginning of the decommissioning. To achieve this and other pertinent goals many experimental machines have been developed and operated worldwide in the last decades, underlining that radiation protection and workers exposure are critical aspects of these facilities due to the high flux, high energy neutrons produced in the fusion reactions. Direct radiation, material activation, tritium diffusion and other related issues pose a real challenge to the demonstration that these devices are safer than the nuclear fission facilities. In Italy, a limited number of fusion facilities have been constructed and operated since 30 years ago, mainly at the ENEA Frascati Center, and the radiation protection approach, addressed by the national licensing requirements, shows that it is not always easy to respect the constraints for the workers' exposure to ionizing radiation. In the current analysis, the main radiation protection issues encountered in the Italian Fusion facilities are considered and discussed, and the technical and legal requirements are described. The licensing process for these kinds of devices is outlined and compared with that of other European countries. The following aspects are considered throughout the current study: i) description of the installation, plant and systems, ii) suitability of the area, buildings, and structures, iii) radioprotection structures and organization, iv) exposure of personnel, v) accident analysis and relevant radiological consequences, vi) radioactive wastes assessment and management. In conclusion, the analysis points out the needing of a special attention to the radiological exposure of the workers in order to demonstrate at least the same level of safety as that reached at the nuclear fission facilities.

Keywords: fusion facilities, high energy neutrons, licensing process, radiation protection

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4 Practice on Design Knowledge Management and Transfer across the Life Cycle of a New-Built Nuclear Power Plant in China

Authors: Danying Gu, Xiaoyan Li, Yuanlei He


As a knowledge-intensive industry, nuclear industry highly values the importance of safety and quality. The life cycle of a NPP (Nuclear Power Plant) can last 100 years from the initial research and design to its decommissioning. How to implement the high-quality knowledge management and how to contribute to a more safe, advanced and economic NPP (Nuclear Power Plant) is the most important issue and responsibility for knowledge management. As the lead of nuclear industry, nuclear research and design institute has competitive advantages of its advanced technology, knowledge and information, DKM (Design Knowledge Management) of nuclear research and design institute is the core of the knowledge management in the whole nuclear industry. In this paper, the study and practice on DKM and knowledge transfer across the life cycle of a new-built NPP in China is introduced. For this digital intelligent NPP, the whole design process is based on a digital design platform which includes NPP engineering and design dynamic analyzer, visualization engineering verification platform, digital operation maintenance support platform and digital equipment design, manufacture integrated collaborative platform. In order to make all the design data and information transfer across design, construction, commissioning and operation, the overall architecture of new-built digital NPP should become a modern knowledge management system. So a digital information transfer model across the NPP life cycle is proposed in this paper. The challenges related to design knowledge transfer is also discussed, such as digital information handover, data center and data sorting, unified data coding system. On the other hand, effective delivery of design information during the construction and operation phase will contribute to the comprehensive understanding of design ideas and components and systems for the construction contractor and operation unit, largely increasing the safety, quality and economic benefits during the life cycle. The operation and maintenance records generated from the NPP operation process have great significance for maintaining the operating state of NPP, especially the comprehensiveness, validity and traceability of the records. So the requirements of an online monitoring and smart diagnosis system of NPP is also proposed, to help utility-owners to improve the safety and efficiency.

Keywords: design knowledge management, digital nuclear power plant, knowledge transfer, life cycle

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3 Fundamental Study on Reconstruction of 3D Image Using Camera and Ultrasound

Authors: Takaaki Miyabe, Hideharu Takahashi, Hiroshige Kikura


The Government of Japan and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Incorporated (TEPCO) are struggling with the decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants, especially fuel debris retrieval. In fuel debris retrieval, amount of fuel debris, location, characteristics, and distribution information are important. Recently, a survey was conducted using a robot with a small camera. Progress report in remote robot and camera research has speculated that fuel debris is present both at the bottom of the Pressure Containment Vessel (PCV) and inside the Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV). The investigation found a 'tie plate' at the bottom of the containment, this is handles on the fuel rod. As a result, it is assumed that a hole large enough to allow the tie plate to fall is opened at the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel. Therefore, exploring the existence of holes that lead to inside the RCV is also an issue. Investigations of the lower part of the RPV are currently underway, but no investigations have been made inside or above the PCV. Therefore, a survey must be conducted for future fuel debris retrieval. The environment inside of the RPV cannot be imagined due to the effect of the melted fuel. To do this, we need a way to accurately check the internal situation. What we propose here is the adaptation of a technology called 'Structure from Motion' that reconstructs a 3D image from multiple photos taken by a single camera. The plan is to mount a monocular camera on the tip of long-arm robot, reach it to the upper part of the PCV, and to taking video. Now, we are making long-arm robot that has long-arm and used at high level radiation environment. However, the environment above the pressure vessel is not known exactly. Also, fog may be generated by the cooling water of fuel debris, and the radiation level in the environment may be high. Since camera alone cannot provide sufficient sensing in these environments, we will further propose using ultrasonic measurement technology in addition to cameras. Ultrasonic sensor can be resistant to environmental changes such as fog, and environments with high radiation dose. these systems can be used for a long time. The purpose is to develop a system adapted to the inside of the containment vessel by combining a camera and an ultrasound. Therefore, in this research, we performed a basic experiment on 3D image reconstruction using a camera and ultrasound. In this report, we select the good and bad condition of each sensing, and propose the reconstruction and detection method. The results revealed the strengths and weaknesses of each approach.

Keywords: camera, image processing, reconstruction, ultrasound

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2 The Photovoltaic Panel at End of Life: Experimental Study of Metals Release

Authors: M. Tammaro, S. Manzo, J. Rimauro, A. Salluzzo, S. Schiavo


The solar photovoltaic (PV) modules are considered to have a negligible environmental impact compared to the fossil energy. Therefore also the waste management and the corresponding potential environmental hazard needs to be considered. The case of the photovoltaic panel is unique because the time lag from the manufacturing to the decommissioning as waste usually takes 25-30 years. Then the environmental hazard associated with end life of PV panels has been largely related to their metal contents. The principal concern regards the presence of heavy metals as Cd in thin film (TF) modules or Pb and Cr in crystalline silicon (c-Si) panels. At the end of life of PV panels, these dangerous substances could be released in the environment, if special requirements for their disposal are not adopted. Nevertheless, in literature, only a few experimental study about metal emissions from silicon crystalline/thin film panels and the corresponding environmental effect are present. As part of a study funded by the Italian national consortium for the waste collection and recycling (COBAT), the present work was aimed to analyze experimentally the potential release into the environment of hazardous elements, particularly metals, from PV waste. In this paper, for the first time, eighteen releasable metals a large number of photovoltaic panels, by c-Si and TF, manufactured in the last 30 years, together with the environmental effects by a battery of ecotoxicological tests, were investigated. Leaching tests are conducted on the crushed samples of PV module. The test is conducted according to Italian and European Standard procedure for hazard assessment of the granular waste and of the sludge. The sample material is shaken for 24 hours in HDPE bottles with an overhead mixer Rotax 6.8 VELP at indoor temperature and using pure water (18 MΩ resistivity) as leaching solution. The liquid-to-solid ratio was 10 (L/S=10, i.e. 10 liters of water per kg of solid). The ecotoxicological tests were performed in the subsequent 24 hours. A battery of toxicity test with bacteria (Vibrio fisheri), algae (Pseudochirneriella subcapitata) and crustacea (Daphnia magna) was carried out on PV panel leachates obtained as previously described and immediately stored in dark and at 4°C until testing (in the next 24 hours). For understand the actual pollution load, a comparison with the current European and Italian benchmark limits was performed. The trend of leachable metal amount from panels in relation to manufacturing years was then highlighted in order to assess the environmental sustainability of PV technology over time. The experimental results were very heterogeneous and show that the photovoltaic panels could represent an environmental hazard. The experimental results showed that the amounts of some hazardous metals (Pb, Cr, Cd, Ni), for c-Si and TF, exceed the law limits and they are a clear indication of the potential environmental risk of photovoltaic panels "as a waste" without a proper management.

Keywords: photovoltaic panel, environment, ecotoxicity, metals emission

Procedia PDF Downloads 189
1 Li-Ion Batteries vs. Synthetic Natural Gas: A Life Cycle Analysis Study on Sustainable Mobility

Authors: Guido Lorenzi, Massimo Santarelli, Carlos Augusto Santos Silva


The growth of non-dispatchable renewable energy sources in the European electricity generation mix is promoting the research of technically feasible and cost-effective solutions to make use of the excess energy, produced when the demand is low. The increasing intermittent renewable capacity is becoming a challenge to face especially in Europe, where some countries have shares of wind and solar on the total electricity produced in 2015 higher than 20%, with Denmark around 40%. However, other consumption sectors (mainly transportation) are still considerably relying on fossil fuels, with a slow transition to other forms of energy. Among the opportunities for different mobility concepts, electric (EV) and biofuel-powered vehicles (BPV) are the options that currently appear more promising. The EVs are targeting mainly the light duty users because of their zero (Full electric) or reduced (Hybrid) local emissions, while the BPVs encourage the use of alternative resources with the same technologies (thermal engines) used so far. The batteries which are applied to EVs are based on ions of Lithium because of their overall good performance in energy density, safety, cost and temperature performance. Biofuels, instead, can be various and the major difference is in their physical state (liquid or gaseous). In this study gaseous biofuels are considered and, more specifically, Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) produced through a process of Power-to-Gas consisting in an electrochemical upgrade (with Solid Oxide Electrolyzers) of biogas with CO2 recycling. The latter process combines a first stage of electrolysis, where syngas is produced, and a second stage of methanation in which the product gas is turned into methane and then made available for consumption. A techno-economic comparison between the two alternatives is possible, but it does not capture all the different aspects involved in the two routes for the promotion of a more sustainable mobility. For this reason, a more comprehensive methodology, i.e. Life Cycle Assessment, is adopted to describe the environmental implications of using excess electricity (directly or indirectly) for new vehicle fleets. The functional unit of the study is 1 km and the two options are compared in terms of overall CO2 emissions, both considering Cradle to Gate and Cradle to Grave boundaries. Showing how production and disposal of materials affect the environmental performance of the analyzed routes is useful to broaden the perspective on the impacts that different technologies produce, in addition to what is emitted during the operational life. In particular, this applies to batteries for which the decommissioning phase has a larger impact on the environmental balance compared to electrolyzers. The lower (more than one order of magnitude) energy density of Li-ion batteries compared to SNG implies that for the same amount of energy used, more material resources are needed to obtain the same effect. The comparison is performed in an energy system that simulates the Western European one, in order to assess which of the two solutions is more suitable to lead the de-fossilization of the transport sector with the least resource depletion and the mildest consequences for the ecosystem.

Keywords: electrical energy storage, electric vehicles, power-to-gas, life cycle assessment

Procedia PDF Downloads 106