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   Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering, NPRE 442

                         Radioactive Waste Management  

                                     Spring 2014



While some students will seek waste-management occupations when they graduate, it would be beneficial to all advocates of nuclear energy to have some unbiased knowledge about how radioactive wastes are managed. Students in geology and environmental engineering will also benefit from taking this course because many of the options for managing both low-level and high-level radioactive wastes overlap with site geology, groundwater impacts, and air-quality issues. The public generally fears anything radioactive, and has no real understanding about exposure and risk. The content of the course will attempt to convey to the students that there are solution to the problems of managing radioactive wastes in an environmentally benign matter, and that some of these solutions have been successfully used in other countries for decades.

A wide range of topics will be covered as they relate to managing wastes. The instructor makes a strong effort to keep current on waste-management issues. Some issues literally are evolving weekly. Whether or not the renaissance in nuclear energy continues to move forward may, in part, depend on what decisions are made with respect to waste management. Come join us.

The instructor

Prof. William Roy




Telephone: 840-9769

Office hours: call/e-mail for appointment. Office located in 100 G Talbot Laboratory.

Prof. Roy's principal area of expertise is the application of geology, physical chemistry, and hydrogeology to the study of the environmental fate and movement of solutes such as radionuclides, heavy metals, pesticides, and geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide. He has taught this course six times, and made the “(Incomplete) List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students” each time. In 2011, he was ranked as “Outstanding"and he was also presented with the “Students’ Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.”

Commentary. Radioactive Waste Management: What Does the Public Need to Know?.pdf

Course Information

Intro Handout 2014.doc     

Bibliography of books on radioactive wastes 2014.doc

Radioactive Waste Journals 2014.doc

Syllabus 2014 .doc       

Papers for In-Class Discussion 2014

Starting Over  2014  .pdf

Buried vitrified waste at SRS   2014  .pdf

Greenpeace  2014  .pdf

Course handouts 

PS 1 Half-life and shielding 2014.  doc       

PS 2 Adsorption and desorption 2014.  doc     

Decay-in-storage  2014.  jpg

PS 3 LLRW classifcation 2014. doc     

PS 4 Uranium diffusion  2014. doc    

PS 5 Uranium exposure  2014  .doc   

PS 6 Geochemical modeling 2014   .doc    

In class FEP excercise  2014    .doc

PS 8 Remediation goals  2014.  doc    

PS 9 Lazy Susan  2014      .doc

Problem Set 7.docx


Introdcution 2014.pdf    

Classification 2014. pdf        

Regulators, Toxicity and Health 2014 .pdf          

Dosimetry and Radiation Safety 2014 .pdf             

Environmental Impacts 2014 .pdf       

Uranium Resources and Wastes 2014 .pdf         

Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management part 1 2014 .pdf

Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management part 2 2014 .pdf       

Martinsville 2014 .pdf     

Legacy Radioactive Waste Management DOE 2014 .pdf  

Used Fuel Management 2014 .pdf     

Analogues, WIPP and SNF reprocessing 2014 .pdf      

The US Nuclear Weapons Complex 2014  .pdf     

Deep Borehole Disposal 2014  .pdf        

Long-term Stability of Waste Packages  2014   .pdf

High-Level Waste Treatment  2014   .pdf

Radiological Risk Assessment  2014   .pdf

Deep-well Injection of Liquid Radioactive Wastes  2014  .pdf

Decommissioning Nuclear Facilities  2014   .pdf

Decommissioning the UI NRL  2014   .pdf   

Decontamination  2014    .pdf

In-Class Discussion of current topics  2014  .pdf

Transportation 2014.     pdf

International part 1 2013.pdf

International part 2013 S.pdf

Naval SNF2013.pdf

Thorium 2013.pdf

GNEP 2013.pdf


Useful References and Links 

Chemical Separations in Nuclear Waste Management (2002) by Choppin. G. R., M. K. Khankhasayev, and H. S. Plendl (eds). Battelle Press, Columbus, Ohio.

The Chemistry of Nuclear Fuel Waste Disposal (2002) by Wiles, D. R. Polytechnic International Press,  Montreal, Canada.

Understanding Radioactive Waste (2003) by R. L. Murray.  Battelle Press, Columbus, Ohio.

Decommissioning and Radioactive Waste Management (2008) by A. Rahman, CRC Press LLC, Taylor and Francis Group, Boca Raton, FL 33487

‘Plan D’ for Spent Nuclear Fuel (2009) by R. C. Ewing et al., Program in Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (available at

Nuclear Waste Management in the United States---Starting Over (2009) by R. C. Ewing and F. N. Von Hipple, Science, 325, 151-152.

The Immobilization of High Level Radioactive Wastes Using Ceramics and Glasses (1997) by I. W. Donald et al., Journal of Materials Science, 32, 5851-5887. (

WISE Uranium Project (

Background radiation (

Low-level waste disposal

            Barnwell, SC  (

            Hanford, WA  (

            Envirocare, UT  (

Oklo, a Precambrian natural reactor (


DOE Waste Isolation Pilot Plant   (

World Nuclear Association (

World radiation links (

The Central Organization for Radioactive Waste (Netherlands)(

The Decontamination and Decommissioning Science Consortium (

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