Challenges to determine the total carbon-14 content in waste
CAST is a research project aiming to develop understanding of the potential release of 14C from radioactive waste materials under conditions relevant to waste packaging and disposal in underground geological disposal facilities.
Metals, such as steels, that have been irradiated in a nuclear reactor may require remote handling in shielded facilities because the gammaactivity is too high. The challenge for many of experiments in CAST is to measure potentially low levels of carbon-14 release to gas or to solution and to undertake this in shielded or remote handled facilities. Obtaining information on the chemical form of the carbon-14 at low concentrations is difficult, several decades between discharge and measurement may be necessary to allow decay of the other radionuclides in the waste.