M.I. Ojovan and W.E. Lee | An Introduction to Nuclear Waste Immobilisation, 2nd Edition | Elsevier | 2013 | 376 pp. | ISBN: 9780080993928 | Print/eBook: EUR 123.75
M.I. Ojovan and W.E. Lee | An Introduction to Nuclear Waste Immobilisation, 2nd Edition | Elsevier | 2013 | 376 pp. | ISBN: 9780080993928 | Print/eBook: EUR 123.75

Stephane Gin reviews An Introduction to Nuclear Waste Immobilisation by M. I. Ojovan and W.E. Lee.

This book is available to purchase via Elsevier Store.


Radioactive wastes are usually considered as the Achilles heel of the nuclear industry. There are many reasons for that: atomic fission for power generation inherits directly from military applications, high-level waste are hazardous materials for hundreds of thousands of years, radioactivity is odorless, invisible, colorless, and even though they are rare, potential major accidents are a source of great anxiety. Countries that have developed nuclear energy were made aware of this problem and tried to gather skills and means to find acceptable solutions viable now and for future generations. In democracies, communication and transparency have progressively taken possession of the field, and the general public is now involved in the decision-making process.

The second edition of this book is a great opportunity to learn about the state-of-the-art of radioactive waste management, both from a scientific and a technical perspective. The book is made of 21 short, clear, nicely-illustrated chapters covering most aspects of the problem, from the origin of the radioactivity up to the assessment of the safety of a deep geological repository filled with high- and intermediate-level wastes. Authors are well-known scientists with broad international experience in the field.

Although immobilization in durable matrices and long-term disposal far from the biosphere form the basic principles of radioactive waste management; in the past, large amounts of solid, liquid and gaseous radioactive wastes have been secretly released into the environment by most ‘nuclear countries’. Such practices are continuing at low levels and under strict controls. I personally regret that the authors have skipped this part. And because it is my domain of expertise, I should also mention that the section related to the long-term performance of glass (material used to confine fission products and minor actinides arising from spent fuel reprocessing) reflects more the personal views of the authors than an up-to-date account of the field.

These are only minor shortcomings: to me, this Elsevier Insight definitely remains a wealth of reliable information on nuclear waste and will equally of interest to scientists, professionals of the nuclear industry and the general public.

S. Gin

About the reviewer:

Stephane Gin is Senior Scientist in the field of Durability of Containment Matrices at CEA (Atomic Energy Commission) in Marcoule (France). He holds a PhD from the Univeristy of Montpellier, has been the head of the Nuclear Waste Treatment and Conditioning Laboratory at CEA and is just returniong from a sabbatical at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA (USA). Stephane has joined the editorial team of The journal of Nuclear Materials as of 1st March 2014.

Read more from S. Gin in the review article ‘An international initiative on long-term behavior of high-level nuclear waste glass’. Click here to access it.