Radioactive sources disposal by sewer

Discussion in 'Supporting Physics' started by S.King, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. We are going to attempt to dissolve some sources as per CLEAPSS instructions, and wondered if anyone else has successfully done this and any tips?? The sources are:

    1) Uranyl Nitrate (x2) ~ 50g
    2) Uranium Oxide ~ 5-10g

    The nasty one is the Uranium Oxide as it has to be dissolved in 8M hot nitric acid!! Our chemistry technician is very proficient...just wondered if anyone else had attempted it?
  2. Tee


    Uranyl Nitrate which was essentially dissolved in water in small batches then flushed down the loo. The SRA was supplied by CLEAPPs. Your RPO would need to be informed/ should be made aware. I assisted with the disposal but it was done RPS who is also a chemist aswell
  3. Nick Mitchener

    Nick Mitchener COMMITTEE

    good grief that's a lot of uranyl nitrate!
  4. We had about 100g of it until recently, it had been here since the 1960s and was kept in the chemistry store until I found it and put it in the radioactives cupboard.
  5. A couple of years ago I gradually disposed of our old college made Protactinium Generators and jar of Uranyl Nitrate via the sewer following CLEAPSS L93 guidance at that time. Cleapss L93 is frequently updated including this month (Nov 2019). I had about 30g of Uranyl Nitrate which we dissolved into a large 2L disposable plastic bottle (labelled etc) from which we disposed of a quarter at a time once a month.

    Also we disposed via a registered waste carrier: Thorium Hydroxide powder, powder radon generators, Becquerel plates and cloud chamber sources. Luckily a few local schools combined collection to achieve a saving.
  6. Yes no problem.
  7. Nick Mitchener

    Nick Mitchener COMMITTEE

    oh what a pain, now we have to get rid of our radium source just as I put it back into service following earlier advice to retire our cobalt 60.

    The good news is we abandoned protactinium generators in favour of radon decay while we were still allowed to dispose of them.
  8. Cleapss have just issued a new guide L93, you will need to check this carefully as quite a lot has changed including not disposing of waste via the drain
    KeithD likes this.
  9. Nick Mitchener

    Nick Mitchener COMMITTEE

    Yes I am so glad we dealt with the protactinium when we did, sadly I took the advice on using the radium when we were going to get rid of it.