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Technical Report On Visit To Malaysian Nuclear Agency Engineering Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Engineering
Wordcount: 2157 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The Malaysian Nuclear Agency (MNA) which is located at outskirt of Bangi is the only place in Malaysia that have Research Reactor Triga PUSPATI (RTP) and Waste Technology Development Centre (WasTeC). There are lots of on-going research activities using nuclear technology and also a centre of radioactive waste management which can handle Low Level Waste (LLW).


These are the purpose of the visit to Malaysian Nuclear Agency (MNA) :

To get better understanding of WasTeC – on how they do the radioactive waste management;

To gain information via interview with the expertise / staff in-charged;

To take some photos and data collection (if permission) at Low Level Effluent Treatment Plant (LLETP) and Interim Storage.


First session started with briefing and meeting Encik Mohamad Suhaimi Bin Kassim, Senior Research Officer of Nuclear Engineering. He was a good guy and very informative. Here are the some excerpt of the information that the author managed to gain :

Type of waste that research reactor generated are HLW (High Level Waste), LILW (Low Intermediate Level Waste) and LLW (Low Level Waste). But the waste are not categorize as a waste because it is not fully used (read : the fuel rod is not fully utilized; say 40% are used).

The fuel is supplied from various countries i.e Australia, Austria, United States of America (USA) etc.

Nuclear Malaysia current practice is sending back the spent fuel to supplier (origin country). It is because Malaysia does not have its own National Radioactive Waste Policy yet and in Nuclear Malaysia itself cannot afford to process the HLW. Furthermore, it is decided by the supplier by their own policy of spent fuel.

The miused of spent fuel can lead to dirty bomb such as using the radioactive waste material (read : fuel rod) can be used to contaminate the dam etc.

The Research Triga Reactor (RTP) is the only nuclear research reactor in Malaysia and producing thermal neutrons which uses for training, research and isotope production. Major RTP utilization are :

Education and training

Teaching physical and biological science student

Teaching radiation protection

Nuclear engineering

Nuclear power plant operator training

Neutron activation analysis

Radioisotope production

Transmutation effects

Neutron radiography

Material structure studies

Positron source


Overview of RTP description :

Reactor type : TRIGA Mark II

Reactor power : 1MW thermal

Construction : 28 June 1982

First critically reached : 28 June 1982

Operation Mode : Steady state and square wave

Moderator : H2O & ZrH1.6

Coolant : Light water

Reflector : graphite

Fuel type : ZrH1.6

Undergoes 20% enrichment & stainless steel cladding (SS304 type)

Core design

Four control rods :

One (1) air follower control rod (AFCR)

Three (3) fuel follower control rod (FFCR)

b) Heterogeneous:

8.5% w/o, 12% w/o, and 20% w/o

Irradiation facilities

Neutron beam

Small angle neutron scattering (SANS)

Neutron radiography (NUR)

In- core

-For dry :

Bare and Cd covered

Dry tube (DT)

Pneumatic transfer system (PTS)

-For wet :

Central thimble (CT)

Edge of core

Rotary rack (RR)

The sample which has being irradiated and become waste will be treated at WasTeC. The waste (irradiated sample) is categorized as Low Level Waste (LLW). Every sample will become waste weighted at ±1 gram. According to Encik Mohd Suhaimi, there are estimated about 1kg of waste are generated every month at RTP. Mostly the waste are short-lived. For example gold is being used because of its short-lived (7 x 7=49 days to because non radioactive).

The main reason why Nuclear Malaysia does not irradiated in-house because of time consuming (the process begin normally on Friday and end Tuesday). So, most of the time Malaysian Nuclear Agency is importing the irradiated gold powder from Australia.

The Nuclear Malaysia Irradiation Services Providing To The Nation :

Kapar Energy Ventures Sdn Bhd (Power Station)

The gold powder is scattered all over the off-shore targeted area in order to find the strategic place to dig ( to ease the coal carrier ship to reach the jetty);

ICI Paint Sdn. Bhd

Give recommendation on mixing of the paint in the tank;


Give advice and analysis of the best / proper way to fertilize the fertilizer.

The Role of Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB)

Periodic Inspection by AELB

The periodical inspection of research reactor Triga Mark II sited at Malaysian Nuclear Agency was successfully conducted by AELB. The annual inspection was carried out to continuously ensure that the facility meets national and international requirements of operational and limit condition (OLC) as well as licence conditions.

The inspection results were conveyed and discussed with the operating agency with the aim of achieving greater improvement to ensure the safety, security and safeguards of the facility and its activities. This inspection also successfully enhanced continuous co-operation between both regulatory and operating agencies to ensure safety.

Description of Inspection

The MNA-RWMC site is fully owned and responsible by MNA itself. There is no license holder for this site. Areas of inspection are :

Research reactor modification

Nuclear installation at the facility

Radioactive waste management

Radiation level at the facility

Safety and health.

Regulatory Control

The reactor is subjected to regulatory control by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board under

the following acts/regulations:

Atomic Energy Licensing Act 1984 (Act 304)

Radiation Protection (Licensing) Regulations 1986

Radiation Protection (Basic Safety Standards) Regulations 1988

Radiation Protection (Transport) Regulations 1989

Safety Review and Audits

Safety review and audits are regularly carried out by the regulatory body. Recently a security

audit has been initiated. The reactor facility is also subjected to annual safeguards inspection

by IAEA safeguards inspector.

Inspection from others government agencies

Department of Safety and Health (DOSH)

To verify whether The Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 is practiced properly

Fire Department – BOMBA

Safety checking of the fire system and ventilation (if applicable)


Inspection of quality management etc

Second session was handled by Nurul Wahida Ahmad Khairuddin, Research Officer at Waste Technology Development Centre (WasTeC), Malaysian Nuclear Agency.

Structure of WasTeC

Senior Research Officer…. 2

Research Officer … 10

Technician…. 1

Assistant Science Officer… 1

Lab. Assistant… 4

General Worker… 4

Total 22

Objective of Radioactive Waste Management

To deal with radioactive waste in a manner that protects health and the environment now and in the future, without imposing undue burdens on the future generations

Origin & Volume Of Radioactive Waste

Waste Categories

There is no official classification for radioactive wastes in Malaysia. In general, the wastes may be grouped into three categories:

the low specific activity NORM/TENORM waste from mineral processing and oil exploration;

from the application or usage of radioactive sources in various fields, and;

Nuclear spent fuels from the operation of research reactor (future).

Origin of RW

Basically, there are two main types of radioactive waste in Malaysia:

Waste produced from usage of radioactive materials for industrial, medical, agricultural, research and educational purposes;

Waste from naturally occurring radioactive material or NORM/TENORM


The amount of different type of waste collected / received from 1984 – 2009:

DSRS : > 3 000 units (< 100/yr)

Liquid waste (Aq.) : > 1000 m3/yr

Liquid waste (Org.) : > 80 m3 (< 1 m3/yr)

Solid Waste : > 400 m3 (< 10 m3/yr)

How do WasTec Control Radioactive Wastes?

How do WasTec Manage Radioactive Wastes?

Through :

Legislation (Legal Instrument) via AELB as regulator :

To protect the public, radiation workers and the environment against radiation hazards

Promoting the internalization of safety culture through fair, efficient and credible regulatory activity


Atomic Energy Licensing Act, 1984 (Akta 304)

Radiation Protection (Licensing) Regulations 1986

Radiation Protection (Basic Safety Standards) Regulations 1988

Radiation Protection (Transport) Regulations 1989

Which is governed by Act 304

Section 12 (1) b …no one should deal in, possess or dispose of any radioactive material … without a valid license.

Sections 26, 27 and 30 on prohibition to Dispose, Accumulate and Transporting of Radioactive Waste … without prior authorisation

Technological Components







Time, Distance and Shielding (S, T& D)

Minimize your exposure time

– Identify portions of the experiment that can be altered in order to decrease exposure times.

– Make sure you have all necessary equipment

Maximize distance – Inverse square law

Doubling distance from source, decreases dose by factor of four

Use appropriate shielding

Monitoring and Control


Area & Personnel Monitoring

Radiation Monitors & Environmental Monitoring

Safety Committee (SHE-MS) & Subcommittee (JKKU)

Internal Safety Audit

Quality Management System (Since 2004)


Security surveillance


Restricted access to WM facilities



Using Form WasTeC-F01



Types of Waste

Types of Radionuclides


Dose rates


Waste Inventory / Database

The following pictures describe services provided at WasTec :

Facilities at WasTeC

Low Level Effluent Treatment Plant (LLETP)

4 collection tanks with a total capacity of 80 m3.

Segregation Facility

Compaction Facility (6 tonnes compactor)

Laboratory for samples analysis



Interim storage facility

Built in year 2000;

Area of 600m2 ;

Capacity of 2100 drums or 420m3

WasTec Action Plan (5-10 years period) :

Waste inventory;

Treatment and conditioning technologies;

Minimisation of waste arising;

Planning & Development of disposal facilities (National Repository);

QA Programmes;

Public information

Ongoing Activities

Drafting of Regulations and Guidelines (e.g. D&D, Disposal, ISO Management)

R&D (DEHPA, Organic waste, kd values)

Infrastructure (Repository, waste management facilities, enhancing personnel capability)

Operation (Services, training, consultancy)

Regional / International Activities

IAEA TC MAL/3/008 Capacity Building in The Integrated Radioactive Waste Management Programme

FNCA – Radioactive Waste Management

ANSN – Radioactive Waste Management-TG

Regional Coordination Meeting (RCM) – IAEA


The author is satisfied with the service given by the Malaysian Nuclear Agency (MNA) staffs. However, the objectives of the study visit are still not fully reached because the author is prohibited to visit, take some photos and collect / get technical data from inside area of Low Level Effluent Treatment Plant (LLETP) and Interim Storage Facility. The staff give a reason that there is no permission given to them also because of the radioactivity at those places.

In the future, the author hope to get permission to visit LLETP and Interim Storage in order to complete the research regarding the waste management. Overall practice at MNA are under controlled and governed by the regulations and standards set by authorities.


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