Development of integrated waste management options for irradiated graphite

Alan Wareing, Liam Abrahamsen-Mills, Linda Fowler, Michel Grave, R. Jarvis, Martin Metcalfe, Simon Norris, Anthony Banford

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The European CARBOWASTE project sought to develop best practices in the retrieval, treatment and disposal of irradiated graphite (i-graphite) including other i-carbonaceous waste such as structural material made of graphite, non-graphitised carbon bricks and fuel coatings. Emphasis was given to legacy irradiated graphite, as this represents a significant inventory in respective national waste management programmes. This paper provides an overview of the characteristics of graphite irradiated during its use, primarily as a moderator material, within nuclear reactors. It describes the potential techniques applicable to the retrieval, treatment, recycling/reuse and disposal of these graphite wastes. By considering the lifecycle of nuclear graphite, from manufacture to final disposal, a number of waste management options have been developed. These options consider the techniques and technologies required to address each stage of the lifecycle, such as segregation, treatment, recycle and ultimate disposal in a radioactive waste repository, providing a toolbox to aid operators and regulators to determine the most appropriate management strategy. It is noted that national waste management programmes currently have, or are in the process of developing, respective approaches to i-graphite management.
The output of the CARBOWASTE project is intended to aid these considerations, rather than dictate them.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNuclear Engineering and Technology
Early online date27 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Integrated waste management
  • nuclear reactor decommissioning
  • Irradiated Graphite, Graphite Waste, Carbon-14, 14C, Thermal Treatment, Decontamination
  • radioactive waste management
  • decision framework

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Dalton Nuclear Institute


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