NEWMDB - The IAEA Nuclear Waste Management Database IAEA - International Atomic Energy Agency

Glossary of Terms


a waste treatment method involving drying and heating substances in air, to sufficiently high temperatures, so as to produce oxides of the constituents. A technique usually employed for processing of residues from evaporation of liquid wastes.
calcine dissolution
a waste treatment method for putting calcined material into solution (fully or partially); see calcination
carbon adsorption
a waste treatment method where either gases or liquids (often groundwater) are pumped through columns or canisters containing activated carbon (charcoal) for the purpose of adsorbing organic constituents and specific radionuclides, such as radioiodine
Casting is a process by which a material is introduced into a mold while it is liquid, allowed to solidify in the shape inside the mold, and then removed producing a fabricated object
a conditioning method using cement to solidify waste (see solidification)
chemical precipitation
a waste treatment method where chemical additives cause contaminants that are either dissolved or suspended in solution to settle out of solution as a solid precipitate, which can then be filtered, centrifuged, or otherwise separated from the liquid portion
The removal of radioactive materials or radioactive objects within authorized practices from any further regulatory control by the regulatory body.
See client-server
computer terminology to identify various computers on a network, such as the Internet

The computers of NEWMDB users are the clients and the NEWMDB database resides on a server.
In the NEWMDB, for storage facilities, closed is used to indicate that waste is not currently being added to or removed from a storage unit. The unit may contain waste from previous operations; however, the organization operating the waste management facility is currently not emplacing or removing waste. Stoppage of waste emplacement / removal operations could be short term (e.g., pending decisions on re-opening) or they could be "permanent" (i.e., the storage unit will not be used to emplace waste in the future but the waste will be recovered prior to decommissioning of the unit). The latter case typically applies to historical storage units.

For disposal, see closure
see closure
1. administrative and technical actions directed at a repository at the end of its operating lifetime — for example covering the disposed waste (for a near surface repository) or backfilling and/or sealing (for a geological repository and the passages leading to it) — and termination and completion of activities in any associated structures.

2. administrative and technical actions directed at a tailings impoundment to place it in a condition such that little or no future surveillance and maintenance are required. The same concept may apply to mining debris piles, heap and in situ leaching piles, and mines. The term closeout is also sometimes used to describe this concept.

3. the completion of all operations at some time after the emplacement of spent fuel or radioactive waste in a disposal facility. This includes the final engineering or other work required to bring the facility to a condition that will be safe in the long term. [Joint Convention definition - not recommended for IAEA publications]

see decommissioning
1. a waste treatment method where the bulk volume of a compressible material is reduced by application of external pressure — hence an increase in its density (mass per unit volume)

2. compaction of soil materials covering a near surface disposal facility to reduce the soil permeability
operations that produce a waste package suitable for handling, transport, storage and/or disposal

Conditioning may include the conversion of the waste to a solid waste form, enclosure of the waste in a container and, if necessary, providing an overpack.

For the purpose of reporting waste inventories to the NEWMDB, the placement of raw waste into a container to facilitate shipment to a processing facility should not be considered to be conditioning.
the vessel into which the waste form is placed for handling, transport, storage and/or eventual disposal; also the outer barrier protecting the waste from external intrusions. The waste container is a component of the waste package. For example, molten HLW glass would be poured into a specially designed container (canister) where it would cool and solidify.
container (HIC)
high integrity container
container (ISO)
a container specified by the International Organization for Standardization
see conditioning
contaminated site
a geographical area, with or without buildings or other structures, with radioactive contamination and with or without non-radioactive contamination

Throughout the world there are sites contaminated with radioactivity due to past practices and some form of remediation or environmental remediation of these sites may be needed to ensure the protection of human health and the environment. However, there is no international consensus on the definition of a site, the definition of contaminated, or the extent of remediation or environmental remediation, if any, that is required ("how clean is clean?").

Note: contaminated sites are excluded from consideration in the NEWMDB until otherwise indicated - however, the waste generated from remediation activities and placed into waste management facilities at waste management sites is not excluded from consideration.
1. radioactive substances on surfaces, or within solids, liquids or gases (including the human body), where their presence is unintended or undesirable

2. the process giving rise to the presence of radioactive substances in such places.
information in small files that are saved on your computer’s hard disk

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Internet browsers, such as Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator, allow the creation of cookies. They also allow the user to control this activity by setting preferences (such as to issue a prompt before accepting a cookie). When using the NEWMDB, users should enable cookies (please refer to your Internet browser’s help for additional information).
Country Co-ordinator
a Member State’s single point-of-contact to interact with the NEWMDB Programme Officer; has read and write access for all data entered for his/her country, grants permission to Report Co-ordinators and Waste Experts
Country Waste Profile
all information entered by a Member State during NEWMDB data collection cycles (the combined information provided by Member States in the Framework Component and Waste Data Component)
anyone who accesses and/or makes use of WMDB or NEWMDB information