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Article citations


Metcalfe, M.P. and Mills, R.W. (2015) Radiocarbon Mass Balance for a Magnox Nuclear Power Station. Annals of Nuclear Energy, 75, 665-671.

has been cited by the following article:

  • TITLE: The Significance of Carbon 14 in Graphite Reactor Components at End of Generation

    AUTHORS: Martin Metcalfe, Athanasia Tzelepi

    KEYWORDS: Intermediate Level Waste, Nuclear Reactor Graphite Components

    JOURNAL NAME: Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol.10 No.2, January 24, 2019

    ABSTRACT: It is estimated that there are at least 250,000 tonnes of irradiated graphite worldwide that will require eventual disposal. This graphite arises from a number of sources, but principally comprises moderator and structural materials for experimental reactors, production reactors, commercial power reactors and fuel assemblies. In the UK, a significant proportion of its irradiated graphite is classified as Intermediate Level Waste. Such waste is not heat generating but has a radioactive content exceeding 4 GBq per tonne alpha or 12 GBq per tonne beta/gamma activity. While the classification of waste is not consistent across states and proposals by individual states for the management of their graphite waste vary considerably, a common interest is the nature and distribution of its radioactive content. The radionuclides in irradiated graphite presenting the most significant long-term hazard are Carbon 14 (C-14) and Chlorine 36 (Cl-36) with half-lives of 5730 and 301,000 years respectively. For a better understanding of the way in which C-14 is produced, its distribution within irradiated graphite and realistic quantification of activity can potentially lead to improved characterization to validate its status within current or future waste classifications, segregation to reduce Intermediate Level Waste volumes, or treatment to reduce activity enabling re-classification as Low Level Waste. This paper reviews all these issues and then focuses on the significance of C-14. Some findings from a National Nuclear Laboratory study of C-14 levels in carbonaceous deposits and the underlying Magnox reactor graphite are presented to illustrate the need for thorough characterization of the waste material. These results are discussed in the context of aqueous leaching of C-14 from irradiated graphite and potential treatment options to minimize aqueous release. The paper concludes with some broader observations on the significance of C-14 in nuclear reactor graphite components and how these issues should be considered when preparing the lifetime management of new nuclear plant.