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Title: Conceptual waste packaging options for deep borehole disposal

This report presents four concepts for packaging of radioactive waste for disposal in deep boreholes. Two of these are reference-size packages (11 inch outer diameter) and two are smaller (5 inch) for disposal of Cs/Sr capsules. All four have an assumed length of approximately 18.5 feet, which allows the internal length of the waste volume to be 16.4 feet. However, package length and volume can be scaled by changing the length of the middle, tubular section. The materials proposed for use are low-alloy steels, commonly used in the oil-and-gas industry. Threaded connections between packages, and internal threads used to seal the waste cavity, are common oilfield types. Two types of fill ports are proposed: flask-type and internal-flush. All four package design concepts would withstand hydrostatic pressure of 9,600 psi, with factor safety 2.0. The combined loading condition includes axial tension and compression from the weight of a string or stack of packages in the disposal borehole, either during lower and emplacement of a string, or after stacking of multiple packages emplaced singly. Combined loading also includes bending that may occur during emplacement, particularly for a string of packages threaded together. Flask-type packages would be fabricated and heat-treated, if necessary, beforemore » loading waste. The fill port would be narrower than the waste cavity inner diameter, so the flask type is suitable for directly loading bulk granular waste, or loading slim waste canisters (e.g., containing Cs/Sr capsules) that fit through the port. The fill port would be sealed with a tapered, threaded plug, with a welded cover plate (welded after loading). Threaded connections between packages and between packages and a drill string, would be standard drill pipe threads. The internal flush packaging concepts would use semi-flush oilfield tubing, which is internally flush but has a slight external upset at the joints. This type of tubing can be obtained with premium, low-profile threaded connections at each end. The internal-flush design would be suitable for loading waste that arrives from the originating site in weld-sealed, cylindrical canisters. Internal, tapered plugs with sealing filet welds would seal the tubing at each end. The taper would be precisely machined onto both the tubing and the plug, producing a metal-metal sealing surface that is compressed as the package is subjected to hydrostatic pressure. The lower plug would be welded in place before loading, while the upper plug would be placed and welded after loading. Conceptual Waste Packaging Options for Deep Borehole Disposal July 30, 2015 iv Threaded connections between packages would allow emplacement singly or in strings screwed together at the disposal site. For emplacement on a drill string the drill pipe would be connected directly into the top package of a string (using an adapter sub to mate with premium semi-flush tubing threads). Alternatively, for wireline emplacement the same package designs could be emplaced singly using a sub with wireline latch, on the upper end. Threaded connections on the bottom of the lowermost package would allow attachment of a crush box, instrumentation, etc.« less
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  1. Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), Fuel Cycle Technologies (NE-5)
Country of Publication:
United States