CURRENT CHALLENGES AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS FOR RADIOACTIVE GRAPHITE HANDLING IN DECOMMISSIONING OF RBMK-TYPE REACTORS
The world faces a new stage in operation of nuclear power reactors. Its specifics are related to a growing number of decommissioned power units that either reached the end of their operating lifecycle or their operation is becoming economically not viable, environmentally unsafe or politically unacceptable.
Radioactive isotope of carbon 14C that was formed during the operation of uranium-graphite reactors (UGR) requires a particularly careful approach in selecting technology for long-term isolation from nature and wildlife. To date, the total radioactivity of accumulated reactor graphite in the world is almost 3 times greater than that generated by nuclear and thermonuclear explosions from 1945 to 1960.
Thus, the safe long-term isolation of reactor graphite accumulated in the world is a global challenge.