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Title: Radioactive waste storage issues

Abstract

In the United States we generate greater than 500 million tons of toxic waste per year which pose a threat to human health and the environment. Some of the most toxic of these wastes are those that are radioactively contaminated. This thesis explores the need for permanent disposal facilities to isolate radioactive waste materials that are being stored temporarily, and therefore potentially unsafely, at generating facilities. Because of current controversies involving the interstate transfer of toxic waste, more states are restricting the flow of wastes into - their borders with the resultant outcome of requiring the management (storage and disposal) of wastes generated solely within a state`s boundary to remain there. The purpose of this project is to study nuclear waste storage issues and public perceptions of this important matter. Temporary storage at generating facilities is a cause for safety concerns and underscores, the need for the opening of permanent disposal sites. Political controversies and public concern are forcing states to look within their own borders to find solutions to this difficult problem. Permanent disposal or retrievable storage for radioactive waste may become a necessity in the near future in Colorado. Suitable areas that could support - a nuclear storage/disposalmore » site need to be explored to make certain the health, safety and environment of our citizens now, and that of future generations, will be protected.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Colorado Christian Univ., Lakewood, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
EG and G Rocky Flats, Inc., Golden, CO (United States). Rocky Flats Plant
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
10178241
Report Number(s):
RFP-4832
ON: DE94017813; BR: GB0305043; TRN: 94:018825
DOE Contract Number:
AC34-90RF62349
Resource Type:
Thesis/Dissertation
Resource Relation:
Other Information: DN: Thesis submitted to Colorado Christian University; TH: Thesis (B.S.); PBD: 15 Aug 1994
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; RADIOACTIVE WASTE STORAGE; PUBLIC OPINION; COLORADO; RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; REVIEWS; 052002; WASTE DISPOSAL AND STORAGE

Citation Formats

Kunz, Daniel E. Radioactive waste storage issues. United States: N. p., 1994. Web. doi:10.2172/10178241.
Kunz, Daniel E. Radioactive waste storage issues. United States. doi:10.2172/10178241.
Kunz, Daniel E. Mon . "Radioactive waste storage issues". United States. doi:10.2172/10178241. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/10178241.
@article{osti_10178241,
title = {Radioactive waste storage issues},
author = {Kunz, Daniel E.},
abstractNote = {In the United States we generate greater than 500 million tons of toxic waste per year which pose a threat to human health and the environment. Some of the most toxic of these wastes are those that are radioactively contaminated. This thesis explores the need for permanent disposal facilities to isolate radioactive waste materials that are being stored temporarily, and therefore potentially unsafely, at generating facilities. Because of current controversies involving the interstate transfer of toxic waste, more states are restricting the flow of wastes into - their borders with the resultant outcome of requiring the management (storage and disposal) of wastes generated solely within a state`s boundary to remain there. The purpose of this project is to study nuclear waste storage issues and public perceptions of this important matter. Temporary storage at generating facilities is a cause for safety concerns and underscores, the need for the opening of permanent disposal sites. Political controversies and public concern are forcing states to look within their own borders to find solutions to this difficult problem. Permanent disposal or retrievable storage for radioactive waste may become a necessity in the near future in Colorado. Suitable areas that could support - a nuclear storage/disposal site need to be explored to make certain the health, safety and environment of our citizens now, and that of future generations, will be protected.},
doi = {10.2172/10178241},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Aug 15 00:00:00 EDT 1994},
month = {Mon Aug 15 00:00:00 EDT 1994}
}

Thesis/Dissertation:
Other availability
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  • The objectives of the study were to: (1) gather information on how people perceive low-level radioactive-waste-disposal issues; (2) compare the perceptions between organized citizen interest group members and non-group members within the same community; (3) compare the perceptions between interest group members living near open sites, closed sites and proposed sites; (4) compare the perceptions between non-group members living near open sites, closed sites and proposed sites; and (5) identify aspects of crucial low-level radioactive-waste policy questions that should be considered in policy decision making. Findings indicate that significant results between interest-group member respondents (IGMRs) and nongroup member respondents (NGMRs)more » were rarely the result of interest-group members being on one side and nongroup member respondents being on the other side of an issue. Rather, significance usually occurred when there were varying degrees of agreement of disagreement between the two types of respondents on a particular question, with the IGMRs typically registering stronger levels of agreement of disagreement. Priority issues identified by both IGMRs and NGMRs included public health and safety; risk perception; economic concerns; and environmental factors.« less
  • Municipal solid waste landfills serve as society`s primary waste handling mechanism and have promising potential to continue as a community asset well after their capacity has been reached. This guide aims to familiarize the reader with landfills and the issues that can effect their potential after closure. Landfills have evolved into technologically advanced facilities that are designed, constructed, and operated with strict environmental controls. When a landfill reaches capacity, it must be formally and properly closed, ensuring that the environment and public health will continue to be protected. To establish a baseline, the guide will discuss the landfill`s evolution, itsmore » life-cycle, and closure/post-closure requirements. The acreage of a closed landfill site offers wonderful opportunities for beneficial re-use. There are, however, several imperative issues that must be appreciated and considered when evaluating options for a closed, or soon to close, landfill: socioeconomics, landfill gas, settlement, and revegetation. Each of these issues is a potential obstacle to successful re-use. Conversely, if their associated hazards are known and mitigating methods are selectively applied, the issues can breed innovation and opportunity. The focus of this guide is to address these issues and present techniques that can lead to a fruitful re-use effort. Although post-closure re-use is a logical goal, this guide will also introduce developments and research in landfill mining and accelerated waste decomposition that offer promise for extending the life of landfills. Extending the life of a landfill complements a proactive re-use strategy. Accounting for the issues discussed in this guide and exercising foresight will facilitate the smooth transition of a closed landfill into a symbol of community pride.« less
  • The Department of Energy`s program for disposing of nuclear High-Level Waste (HLW) and transuranic (TRU) waste has been impeded by overwhelming political opposition fueled by public perceptions of actual risk. Analysis of these perceptions shows them to be deeply rooted in images of fear and dread that have been present since the discovery of radioactivity. The development and use of nuclear weapons linked these images to reality and the mishandling of radioactive waste from the nations military weapons facilities has contributed toward creating a state of distrust that cannot be erased quickly or easily. In addition, the analysis indicates thatmore » even the highly educated technical community is not well informed on the latest technology involved with nuclear HLW and TRU waste disposal. It is not surprising then, that the general public feels uncomfortable with DOE`s management plans for with nuclear HLW and TRU waste disposal. Postponing the permanent geologic repository and use of Monitored Retrievable Storage (MRS) would provide the time necessary for difficult social and political issues to be resolved. It would also allow time for the public to become better educated if DOE chooses to become proactive.« less
  • The major purposes of this dissertation are to examine the economic tradeoffs which arise in the process of LLW disposal and to derive a framework within which the impact of these tradeoffs on LLW disposal policy can be analyzed. There are two distinct stages in the disposal of LLW - the transportation of the waste from sources to disposal sites and the disposal of the waste. The levels of costs and risks associated with these two stages depend on the number and location of disposal sites. Having more disposal sites results in lower transportation costs and risks but also inmore » greater disposal costs and risks. The tradeoff between transportation costs and risks can also be viewed as a tradeoff between present and future risks. Therefore, an alteration in the spatial distribution of LLW disposal sites necessarily implies a change in the temporal distribution of risks. These tradeoffs are examined in this work through the use of a transportation model to which probabilistic radiation exposure constraints are added. Future (disposal) risks are discounted. The number and capacities of LLW disposal sites are varied in order to derive a series of system costs and corresponding expected cancers. This provides policy makers with a cost vs. cancers possibility function.« less
  • Preliminary testing of a high silica glass process suggested that requirements could be satisfied by fixing the waste in a high silica core surrounded by a waste-free high silica clad. This dissertation reports the development of the technology to execute the process remotely and the demonstration of the remote process, using simulated high level waste separated into sludge and clarified liquid phases comparable to the waste at the Savannah River Plant. An ion exchange medium consisting of porous glass matrix glass powder was used in batch mode to achieve liquid phase decontamination factors of approximately 39 for Sr-90, 7 formore » Co-60 and 5 for Cs-137. Following ion exchange, the decontaminated liquid was decanted; the sludge was added to the spent medium; the stirred mixture was vacuum dried at elevated temperature, and the resultant powder was transferred into a non-radioactive high silica glass tube. Programmed heating and pressure reduction calcined non-oxide components, collapsed the particles of porous glass to physically trap material in the pores, agglomerated the collapsed particles to trap inter-granular sludge particles, and collapsed the clad tube about the core. The technology developed for remote ion exchange and vitrification is shown to be satisfactory; some improvements are suggested. A short-term test demonstrated the leach rate from the waste form to be less than 10/sup -10/ y/sup -1/ for Cs-137 and less than 9 x 10/sup -9/ y/sup -1/ for Co-60; no measurement was made for Sr/Y-90. The high silica core and clad technology provides, by far, the most leach-resistant packaging which has been demonstrated for high level waste. In particular, the observed leach rates are very far below the US NRC criterion for a fractional release rate less than 10/sup -5/ y/sup -1/.« less