WM Symposia 2023

February 26- March 2, 2023
Phoenix, Arizona, The USA - Phoenix Convention Center - 100 N 3rd St, AZ 85004

We are delighted to announce that our expert in geostatistics applied to the radiological characterization of nuclear facilities and contaminated sites, Yvon Desnoyers, has been cordially invited by CEA, the French Atomic and Alternative Energies Commission, to present a poster written with Isabelle Bisel, Pierre Marty and Eric Moreno (CEA). Attend his talk and discover how to characterize radiological contamination better.

Poster presentation: Methodology for soil contamination estimation by a geostatistics-based method

by Yvon Desnoyers*, Geovariances; Isabelle Bisel, Pierre Marty and Eric Moreno, CEA.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023 – 1:50 pm – 5:00 pm
Track 7 – Environmental remediation
1st-floor foyer

Full abstract

Contaminated soil remediation is a major challenge for nuclear industrial site decommissioning. The global economy, the success of contaminated site characterization and remediation projects, and the environmental exposure are strongly impacted by the quantity of material to be excavated, treated, then re-used or eliminated. Appropriate data acquisition, reliable mapping, precise waste categorization, and uncertainty assessment are key issues for achieving successful projects.

A methodology for estimating contaminated soil amounts and contamination levels based on a geostatistic approach is implemented in Marcoule nuclear site thanks to the combined expertise of CEA and GEOVARIANCES.

It has been successfully used for the contaminated north waste storage area and is currently implemented for the UP1/AVM area. After over 30 years of operation on plutonium refining from spend fuel and fission product vitrification, these industrial plants were shut down in 1997 and 1992, respectively. During a lifetime, numerous radiological events, for example, leaks from underground pipes, led to concrete and soil contamination in surrounding areas.

In the first step, a radiologic database is built based on a historical compilation and analysis of the contamination events around the area. This database is also completed with radionuclides analysis and radiologic spectra of samples when available in archives.

The second point concerns 3D modeling, first of buildings and infrastructures. Fill layers after construction and geological underground-layers mapping, based on historical data and soil analysis by coring, are then added to the model.

The CEA database and 3D model are integrated into the geostatistic GEOVARIANCES software, which aims to describe structured phenomena in space in time and quantify global or local estimation uncertainties on soil contamination. Estimates are calculated from the partial sampling and result in different representations of the contamination, including interpolation mapping. In addition, the benefit is the ability to quantify uncertainty and identify under-sampled areas to provide optimized sampling plans for better estimations.

Leaning on more than 50 years of experience in the mining industry for resource assessment and, in recent decades, for environmental issues such as hydrogeology, air quality monitoring, conventional pollutants (heavy metals, hydrocarbons), geostatistics are now increasingly used to characterize radioactive contamination in nuclear facilities, sites, and soils.

wm symposia 2023

WM SYMPOSIA 2023 Education & Opportunity in radwaste management

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