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Special Issue "Radioactivity: Sustainable Materials and Innovative Techniques"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Waste and Recycling".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2022 | Viewed by 3522

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Hosam M. Saleh
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Radioisotope Department, Nuclear Research Center, Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority, Cairo 11787, Egypt
Interests: radioactive and hazardous waste management; development of sustainable materials in stabilization of radioactive and hazardous wastes; utilization of sustainable additives in construction materials; treatment of wastewater
Dr. Mohammad Mahmoud Dawoud
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Radioisotope Department, Nuclear Research Center, Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority, Cairo 11787, Egypt
Interests: environmental engineering; wastewater treatment; radioactive waste management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the more than 30 years since the Chernobyl accident, which is equal to the half-life of the cesium-137 isotope, the scientific community has turned its focus to radioactive waste management and the development of sustainable solutions for nuclear pollution issues. Radioactive contaminants are among the most dangerous types of pollutants due to their sustained and destructive impact. However, the wide range of peaceful applications of nuclear technology in various fields, such as industrial, medicinal, agricultural, research, and others are growing, leading to more challenges associated with the sustainability of radioactive waste management to attain environmental and economic benefits. Therefore, it has become necessary to search for innovative, sustainable methods of radioactive waste management. Deep burial of contaminated material is not considered a final and sustainable solution and bequeaths severe problems to future generations. The most important of sustainable solutions is safe management of all products of nuclear industry processes, whether gas, liquid, or solid materials. This includes information about those isotopes, which are related to their radioactive intensity and the time when their danger ends, as well as clarifying aspects related to transportation and temporary and final storage. Radioactive waste management is one of the most important pillars of sustainability when dealing with these hazardous wastes. Management in the case of radionuclides with a long half-life reduces the period of radiotoxicity and ionization power of these radioactive wastes. Sustainable technologies also include treatment and stabilization of these wastes using green chemistry and natural adsorption mechanisms. Stabilization by low-cost and effective materials to immobilize and solidify these radioactive wastes and to isolate it from the surrounding environment is also one of the techniques for achieving sustainability. In this Special Issue, we would like to get different perspectives from diverse researchers with different scientific backgrounds in chemistry, physics, medicine, agriculture, engineering, and economics to understand the mechanism of interaction of these materials with the surrounding environment and how to treat, stabilize and dispose of radioactive waste in eco-friendly and innovative ways that meet the requirements of sustainability.

The rapid growth in the use of radioisotopes to meet the requirements of humankind, whether in energy, industry, agriculture or medicine, is inevitable. If this rapid growth is not followed by an evolution in scientific research and the development of sustainable tools for managing the generated radioactive waste resulting from these processes, an environmental disaster will occur in the next few years. Many countries produce thousands of tons of radioactive waste annually, and some of them contain highly dangerous radioactivity; hence, it has become irresponsible to future generations to make them face the danger of this waste. This Special Issue seeks contributions related to all parts of radioactive waste management via innovative and sustainable methods. All backgrounds and references are welcome as long as they contribute to inventing methods that can develop this sector. The topics include, but are not limited to, the handling, treatment, stabilization, and disposal of radioactive waste, whether that waste is liquid, solid, or gaseous.

Prof. Dr. Hosam M. Saleh
Dr. Mohammad Mahmoud Dawoud
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • radioactive waste
  • solid radioactive waste
  • liquid radioactive waste
  • radioactive waste management
  • sustainability
  • sustainable radioactive waste management
  • radioactive waste remediation
  • radioactive waste treatment, radioactive waste immobilization
  • radioactive waste disposal, sustainable treatment of radioactive waste
  • sustainable management techniques
  • sustainable performance indicators
  • sustainable materials in waste stabilization
  • phytoremediation of radionuclides
  • advanced techniques in nuclear waste management

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Elicitation Promoability with Gamma Irradiation, Chitosan and Yeast to Perform Sustainable and Inclusive Development for Marjoram under Organic Agriculture
Sustainability 2022, 14(15), 9608; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14159608 - 04 Aug 2022
Viewed by 282
Abstract
Sweet marjoram (Majorana hortensis) is an important aromatic herbal plant that has long been used and well managed in the traditional and general medical, pharmaceutical, food, cosmetic, and perfume industries. Thus, the increase in its productivity appears to be of great [...] Read more.
Sweet marjoram (Majorana hortensis) is an important aromatic herbal plant that has long been used and well managed in the traditional and general medical, pharmaceutical, food, cosmetic, and perfume industries. Thus, the increase in its productivity appears to be of great value since there is a large number of bioactive secondary metabolites as well as an increase in the demand in domestic or foreign markets. The purpose of this study is the possibility of promoting the sustainable development of marjoram in the framework of organic farming through gamma irradiation, chitosan and yeast. Field experiments were conducted in a factorial split-plot design with three iterations over two consecutive seasons (2019 and 2020). The main plot is an abiotic elicitor (15 Gy gamma irradiation), two biotic elicitors 500 ppm chitosan, 0.5% yeast, and a non-elicitor (as control), while in the sub-main plot, there were two organic fertilizers, water extract of moringa 20 g/m2 dry leaves, 20 g/m2 fulvic acid, and 20 g/m2 (NPK); the latter is a traditional agrochemical. Statistical analysis of all characteristics of production and quality of biomass and biologically active secondary metabolites revealed that the use of organic fertilizers helped in increasing the yield of marjoram, both qualitatively and quantitatively, and significantly outperformed the chemical fertilizer. The experiment enhances the comprehensive and integrated development of marjoram under organic cultivation and achieves a promising alternative to traditional cultivation without the use of microbicides and/or agrochemical pesticides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radioactivity: Sustainable Materials and Innovative Techniques)
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Article
Rhyolite as a Naturally Sustainable Thermoluminescence Material for Dose Assessment Applications
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6918; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116918 - 06 Jun 2022
Viewed by 418
Abstract
Thermoluminescence characteristics of natural rhyolite have been studied. Dose response at a wide dose range of 0.5–2000 Gy has been determined. Minimum detectable dose and thermal fading rate are evaluated. Glow curve deconvolution is conducted after determining the best read-out conditions. The repeated [...] Read more.
Thermoluminescence characteristics of natural rhyolite have been studied. Dose response at a wide dose range of 0.5–2000 Gy has been determined. Minimum detectable dose and thermal fading rate are evaluated. Glow curve deconvolution is conducted after determining the best read-out conditions. The repeated initial rise (RIR) method is used to detect the overlapping peaks, and a glow curve deconvolution procedure is used to extract the thermoluminescence parameters of rhyolite. According to the findings, rhyolite glow curves show five interfering peaks corresponding to five electron trap levels at 142, 176, 221, 298, and 355 °C, respectively, at a heating rate of 3 °C/s. The obtained kinetic order for the deconvoluted peaks showed mixed-order kinetic. The reported results might be useful to introduce rhyolite as a natural sustainable material for radiation dosimetry applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radioactivity: Sustainable Materials and Innovative Techniques)
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Article
Fluorine-18 Fluorodeoxyglucose Isolation Using Graphene Oxide for Alternative Radiopharmaceutical Spillage Decontamination in PET Scan
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4492; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084492 - 09 Apr 2022
Viewed by 617
Abstract
Radiopharmaceuticals (RPC) used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in nuclear medicine may contaminate surface areas due to spillage during its preparation or accident during RPC transfer from laboratory to the treatment room. Fluorine-18 Fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) is the most common RPC for [...] Read more.
Radiopharmaceuticals (RPC) used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in nuclear medicine may contaminate surface areas due to spillage during its preparation or accident during RPC transfer from laboratory to the treatment room. Fluorine-18 Fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) is the most common RPC for positron emission tomography (PET) scan in nuclear medicine due to its ideal annihilation converted energy at 511 keV and short half-life at 109.8 min. Ineffective medical waste management of 18F-FDG may pose a risk to the environment or cause unnecessary radiation doses to the personnel and public. Depending on the incident rate of these events, simple decontamination methods such as the use of chemicals and swabs might not be cost-effective and sustainable in the environment. This study aims to propose an alternative method to decontaminate 18F-FDG by using graphene oxide (GO). GO was synthesised using the Hummers method while the physical morphology was analysed using a field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM). 18F-FDG adsorption efficiency rate using GO nanolayers was analysed based on the kinetic study of the GO:18F-FDG mixtures. The chemical adsorbability of the material was analysed via UV–vis spectrophotometer to interlink the microstructures of GO with the sorption affinity interaction. Resultantly, the adsorption rate was effective at a slow decay rate and the optical adsorption of GO with 18F-FDG was dominated by the ππ* plasmon peak, which was near 230 nm. By elucidating the underlining GO special features, an alternative technique to isolate 18F-FDG for the decontamination process was successfully proven. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radioactivity: Sustainable Materials and Innovative Techniques)
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Article
Asphaltene or Polyvinylchloride Waste Blended with Cement to Produce a Sustainable Material Used in Nuclear Safety
Sustainability 2022, 14(6), 3525; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14063525 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 468
Abstract
The current research uses sustainable methods to preserve the environment, such as exploiting municipal or industrial waste that may harm the environment. The wreckage of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes and asphaltene are used as additives to cement to improve its mechanical properties, while [...] Read more.
The current research uses sustainable methods to preserve the environment, such as exploiting municipal or industrial waste that may harm the environment. The wreckage of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes and asphaltene are used as additives to cement to improve its mechanical properties, while stabilizing the radioactive waste resulting from the peaceful uses of nuclear materials, or enhancing its radiation shielding efficiency. New composites of Portland cement with ground PVC or asphaltene up to 50% are investigated. Fast neutron removal cross-section (ƩR) and gamma shielding parameters, such as mass attenuation coefficient (MAC), half-value layer (HVL), effective atomic number (Zeff), and exposure build-up factor (EBF) at wide energy range and thickness, are determined. The compressive strength and apparent porosity of the examined composites are examined to test the durability of the prepared composites as stabilizers for radioactive waste. The obtained results show that the bulk density of hardened cementitious composites was slightly increased by increasing the additive amount of PVC or asphaltene. The compressive strength of cement composites reached more than 4.5 MP at 50 wt.% PVC and 8.8 MPa at 50 wt.% asphaltene. These values are significantly higher than those recommended by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (3.4 MPa). Additionally, the obtained results demonstrate that although the gamma MAC is slightly decreased by adding asphaltene or PVC, the neutron removal cross-section was highly increased, reaching 171% in the case of 50 wt.% asphaltene and 304% in the case of 50 wt.% PVC. We can conclude that cement composites with PVC or asphaltene have optimized radiation shielding properties and can stabilize radioactive waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radioactivity: Sustainable Materials and Innovative Techniques)
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Review

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Review
Chelating Agents in Assisting Phytoremediation of Uranium-Contaminated Soils: A Review
Sustainability 2022, 14(10), 6379; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14106379 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 682
Abstract
Massive stockpiles of uranium (U) mine tailings have resulted in soil contamination with U. Plants for soil remediation have low extraction efficiency of U. Chelating agents can mobilize U in soils and, hence, enhance phytoextraction of U from the soil. However, the rapid [...] Read more.
Massive stockpiles of uranium (U) mine tailings have resulted in soil contamination with U. Plants for soil remediation have low extraction efficiency of U. Chelating agents can mobilize U in soils and, hence, enhance phytoextraction of U from the soil. However, the rapid mobilization rate of soil U by chelating agents in a short period than plant uptake rate could increase the risk of groundwater contamination with soluble U leaching down the soil profile. This review summarizes recent progresses in synthesis and application of chelating agents for assisting phytoremediation of U-contaminated soils. In detail, the interactions between chelating agents and U ions are initially elucidated. Subsequently, the mechanisms of phytoextraction and effectiveness of different chelating agents for phytoremediation of U-contaminated soils are given. Moreover, the potential risks associated with chelating agents are discussed. Finally, the synthesis and application of slow-release chelating agents for slowing down metal mobilization in soils are presented. The application of slow-release chelating agents for enhancing phytoextraction of soil U is still scarce. Hence, we propose the preparation of slow-release biodegradable chelating agents, which can control the release speed of chelating agent into the soil in order to match the mobilization rate of soil U with plant uptake rate, while diminishing the risk of residual chelating agent leaching to groundwater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radioactivity: Sustainable Materials and Innovative Techniques)
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