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Title: Task Order 22 – Engineering and Technical Support, Deep Borehole Field Test. AREVA Summary Review Report

Under Task Order 22 of the industry Advisory and Assistance Services (A&AS) Contract to the Department of Energy (DOE) DE-NE0000291, AREVA has been tasked with providing assistance with engineering, analysis, cost estimating, and design support of a system for disposal of radioactive wastes in deep boreholes (without the use of radioactive waste). As part of this task order, AREVA was requested, through a letter of technical direction, to evaluate Sandia National Laboratory’s (SNL’s) waste package borehole emplacement system concept recommendation using input from DOE and SNL. This summary review report (SRR) documents this evaluation, with its focus on the primary input document titled: “Deep Borehole Field Test Specifications/M2FT-15SN0817091” Rev. 1 [1], hereafter referred to as the “M2 report.” The M2 report focuses on the conceptual design development for the Deep Borehole Field Test (DBFT), mainly the test waste packages (WPs) and the system for demonstrating emplacement and retrieval of those packages in the Field Test Borehole (FTB). This SRR follows the same outline as the M2 report, which allows for easy correlation between AREVA’s review comments, discussion, potential proposed alternatives, and path forward with information established in the M2 report. AREVA’s assessment focused on three primary elements of the M2more » report: the conceptual design of the WPs proposed for deep borehole disposal (DBD), the mode of emplacement of the WP into DBD, and the conceptual design of the DBFT. AREVA concurs with the M2 report’s selection of the wireline emplacement mode specifically over the drill-string emplacement mode and generically over alternative emplacement modes. Table 5-1 of this SRR compares the pros and cons of each emplacement mode considered viable for DBD. The primary positive characteristics of the wireline emplacement mode include: (1) considered a mature technology; (2) operations are relatively simple; (3) probability of a radiological release due to off-normal events are relatively low; (4) costs are relatively low; and (5) maintenance activities are relatively simple. The primary drawback associated with the wireline emplacement mode for DBD is the number of emplacement trips-in to the borehole, which results in a relatively higher probability for a drop event. Fortunately, the WPs can be engineered with impact limiters that will minimize the likelihood of a breach of the WP due to a drop. The WP designs presented in the M2 report appear to be focused on compatibility with the drill-string emplacement mode (e.g., the threaded connections). With the recommendation that the wireline emplacement mode be utilized for the DBFT, some changes may be warranted to these WPs. For example, the development of a WP release connection that is more reliable than the currently credited connection, which is considered to have a high failure probability, and the integration of an impact limiter into its design. The M2 report states the engineering demonstration of the DBFT will occur in the FTB over a 4-year period. AREVA recommends development and testing of the WP emplacement handling equipment occur separately (but concurrently, if not earlier) from the FTB at a mock-up facility. The separation of this activity would prevent schedule interference between the science and engineering thrusts of the project. Performing tests in a mock-up facility would allow additional control and observation compared to the FTB. The mock-up facility could also be utilized as a training facility for future operations. Terminal velocity and impact limiter testing would require the FTB for testing, since these areas would be difficult to reproduce in a limited depth mock-up. Although only at the end of the conceptual stage of design development, DBD appears to be a viable solution for some waste forms produced by the nuclear industry. However, regulatory requirements have yet to be established for pre- and post-closure performance of DBD and should be established as soon as possible. Some of the main areas of focus from a regulatory perspective include: (1) establishing acceptable performance requirements for the long-term behavior of DBD; (2) determining acceptable borehole abandonment criteria; (3) establishing retrievability requirements; (4) developing a consensus on the factor of safety (FoS) for the emplacement mode and WP; and (5) establishing safety and safeguards performance requirements for DBD. Although conservative requirements have been utilized to provide the foundation for the conceptual design of DBD, regulatory requirements and feedback are necessary to confirm recommendations made herein and to ensure the long-term performance of DBD is acceptable. The combination of the M2 report and this SRR is intended to facilitate the completion of the conceptual design for DBD for the Cs and Sr capsules and calcined waste forms. Using the conceptual design, preliminary design activities (the second stage of a three-stage process described in the M2 report) can proceed and the DBFT utilized to support, demonstrate, and confirm engineering elements of this design.« less
  1. AREVA Federal Services, Charlotte, NC (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
TO#22 RPT--3014934-000
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
AREVA Federal Services, Charlotte, NC (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States