WIT Press

Proposed Site Selection Criteria For Hazardous Waste Disposal Facilities In Iraq


Free (open access)

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Page Range

309 - 319




1,550 kb


L. Al-Taie, N. Al-Ansari, R. Pusch & S. Knutsson


Hazardous wastes in Iraq can be considered as a looming crisis due to its severe impact on health and environment after the 1991 and 2003 wars. The most dangerous type is depleted uranium waste. It is classified by EU and USEPA as Low-Level radioactive Waste and a simple and sufficiently safe way of isolating it from the biosphere is to turn it into a landfill confined within tight dikes. Selection of a disposal site requires a number of conditions to be fulfilled, like socio/economic, environmental and geotechnical criteria, which, in combination, determine where such landfills can be located. This is particularly obvious for Iraq, with its large desertic areas that are available for constructing landfills of hazardous waste. The climatic conditions are suitable and the deep groundwater level valuable for minimizing or avoiding contamination of the area. Heavy rain may occasionally fall requiring special measures to be taken for maintaining stability and tightness. This paper lists suitable site selection criteria for landfills of hazardous waste with special respect to Iraq. An example of a suitable disposal site is described and assessed. Keywords: hazardous waste, depleted uranium, Iraq, repository, landfill, site selection, Al-Jezira desert. 1 Introduction Wars in Iraq (1991 and 2003) generated various types of hazardous waste, termed HW in this paper, the ones that we will consider here being soil contaminated by depleted uranium (DU) [1, 2]. Other HW emanates from destroyed army vehicles and remnants of Iraqi nuclear facilities holding various types and amounts of chemical and radioactive material IAEA [3]. A report issued by the Iraqi Ministry of Environment [4] prepared in co-operation with


hazardous waste, depleted uranium, Iraq, repository, landfill, site selection, Al-Jezira desert.