Filling an intermediate-level waste disposal cell

Intermediate-level (ILW-LL) waste releases little or no heat. ILW-LL waste packages have a variety of sources. Their conditioning also varies. They may be stacked in large disposal cells excavated from the rock. The design of such cells is determined largely by geotechnical considerations.

To facilitate handling and placement, primary waste packages are grouped together and over-packed in concrete disposal packages that weigh between 6 and 24 tonnes and measure between 1.2 and 3 m in length. These disposal packages are stacked in the disposal cells, which are cavities around 10 m in diameter and a few hundred metres long.

ILW-LL waste disposal cell
Overview of the design and architecture of an intermediate-level long-lived waste repository. In the bottom right, primary waste packages are visible inside a concrete disposal package. The packages cube shape allows them to be stacked in long disposal cells, which would only be sealed when the facility is closed. The disposal cells extend into the rock in a parallel formations, and are connected to an access tunnel.
© Andra

Incoming ILW-LL waste packages will initially be received in above-ground buildings, where they will be inspected and unloaded from their transport casks. They will then be reinspected and if necessary placed in disposal packages.

Before being transferred to the underground repository, disposal packages will be placed in casks to provide radiation protection. Each cask will be placed on a funicular and carried to the underground facility via an access ramp.

Waste will be placed in disposal cells by robotic systems. All of the above operations will be performed by robots, as shown in the video.

ANDRA video Route taken by ILW-LL waste


ALSO : CIGEO High-level waste repositories