GEP  Vol.3 No.4 , June 2015
Utilization of Coal Ash as a Barrier Material for Radioactive Waste Disposal
Abstract: About 10% of total electricity (386 MkW) was generated by nuclear power plants in the world (2014) and about 58,400 tons of uranium has been mined in uranium mines annually. A plenty of radioactive waste material is produced from uranium mines and nuclear power plants. The wastes must be disposed or stored safely for a long term. Because if they leak and/or move from disposal or storage sites due to air/groundwater flow, then a serious environmental pollution can occur. Hence, multi-layer system has been proposed and employed in order to seal off these radioactive waste materials from biosphere. Basically, bentonite is now used for establishing one of absorbing and sealing layers in this system. However, the amount of high quality bentonite is very limited and in some cases it is hard to be obtained. On the other hand, a great deal of refuse from coal burning plants is produced every year and the amount of it is expected to be higher each year especially in developing countries. More than half of coal ash is utilized and the remaining is disposed at the disposal sites. However, the life of the disposal site is limited and it is difficult to find a new disposal site. It is requested that the percentage of the utilization of the coal ash be increased in every field. From the above two points of view, a fly ash-based barrier system is considered in this research and this paper discusses the applicability of fly ash as a content of barrier material. Based on the results of a series of laboratory tests, it can be concluded that fly ash has a potential for use in the buffer material as the bentonite is substituted.
Cite this paper: Sasaoka, T. , Sugeng, W. and Shimada, H. (2015) Utilization of Coal Ash as a Barrier Material for Radioactive Waste Disposal. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 3, 31-43. doi: 10.4236/gep.2015.34005.

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