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Title: Methodology for Radiological Risk Assessment of Deep Borehole Disposal Operations

Abstract

The primary purpose of the preclosure radiological safety assessment (that this document supports) is to identify risk factors for disposal operations, to aid in design for the deep borehole field test (DBFT) engineering demonstration.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), Fuel Cycle Technologies (NE-5)
OSTI Identifier:
1365475
Report Number(s):
SAND2017-3281R
652086
DOE Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
61 RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOSIMETRY

Citation Formats

Hardin, Ernest, Su, Jiann-Cherng, and Peretz, Fred. Methodology for Radiological Risk Assessment of Deep Borehole Disposal Operations. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1365475.
Hardin, Ernest, Su, Jiann-Cherng, & Peretz, Fred. Methodology for Radiological Risk Assessment of Deep Borehole Disposal Operations. United States. doi:10.2172/1365475.
Hardin, Ernest, Su, Jiann-Cherng, and Peretz, Fred. Wed . "Methodology for Radiological Risk Assessment of Deep Borehole Disposal Operations". United States. doi:10.2172/1365475. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1365475.
@article{osti_1365475,
title = {Methodology for Radiological Risk Assessment of Deep Borehole Disposal Operations},
author = {Hardin, Ernest and Su, Jiann-Cherng and Peretz, Fred},
abstractNote = {The primary purpose of the preclosure radiological safety assessment (that this document supports) is to identify risk factors for disposal operations, to aid in design for the deep borehole field test (DBFT) engineering demonstration.},
doi = {10.2172/1365475},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Wed Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Technical Report:

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  • A reference design and operational procedures for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste in deep boreholes have been developed and documented. The design and operations are feasible with currently available technology and meet existing safety and anticipated regulatory requirements. Objectives of the reference design include providing a baseline for more detailed technical analyses of system performance and serving as a basis for comparing design alternatives. Numerous factors suggest that deep borehole disposal of high-level radioactive waste is inherently safe. Several lines of evidence indicate that groundwater at depths of several kilometers in continental crystalline basement rocks has long residence timesmore » and low velocity. High salinity fluids have limited potential for vertical flow because of density stratification and prevent colloidal transport of radionuclides. Geochemically reducing conditions in the deep subsurface limit the solubility and enhance the retardation of key radionuclides. A non-technical advantage that the deep borehole concept may offer over a repository concept is that of facilitating incremental construction and loading at multiple perhaps regional locations. The disposal borehole would be drilled to a depth of 5,000 m using a telescoping design and would be logged and tested prior to waste emplacement. Waste canisters would be constructed of carbon steel, sealed by welds, and connected into canister strings with high-strength connections. Waste canister strings of about 200 m length would be emplaced in the lower 2,000 m of the fully cased borehole and be separated by bridge and cement plugs. Sealing of the upper part of the borehole would be done with a series of compacted bentonite seals, cement plugs, cement seals, cement plus crushed rock backfill, and bridge plugs. Elements of the reference design meet technical requirements defined in the study. Testing and operational safety assurance requirements are also defined. Overall, the results of the reference design development and the cost analysis support the technical feasibility of the deep borehole disposal concept for high-level radioactive waste.« less
  • This report documents key elements of the conceptual design for deep borehole disposal of radioactive waste to support the development of a universal canister concept of operations. A universal canister is a canister that is designed to be able to store, transport, and dispose of radioactive waste without the canister having to be reopened to treat or repackage the waste. This report focuses on the conceptual design for disposal of radioactive waste contained in a universal canister in a deep borehole. The general deep borehole disposal concept consists of drilling a borehole into crystalline basement rock to a depth ofmore » about 5 km, emplacing WPs in the lower 2 km of the borehole, and sealing and plugging the upper 3 km. Research and development programs for deep borehole disposal have been ongoing for several years in the United States and the United Kingdom; these studies have shown that deep borehole disposal of radioactive waste could be safe, cost effective, and technically feasible. The design concepts described in this report are workable solutions based on expert judgment, and are intended to guide follow-on design activities. Both preclosure and postclosure safety were considered in the development of the reference design concept. The requirements and assumptions that form the basis for the deep borehole disposal concept include WP performance requirements, radiological protection requirements, surface handling and transport requirements, and emplacement requirements. The key features of the reference disposal concept include borehole drilling and construction concepts, WP designs, and waste handling and emplacement concepts. These features are supported by engineering analyses.« less
  • This volume describes the criteria and technical methodology used by NRC staff to evaluate requests by licensees for approval of onsite disposal by burial in soil. The technical methodology includes the ONSITE/MAXI1 code for calculating radiological exposure from various pathways, the MOCMOD84 code, and analytical methods for calculating contaminant transport and concentration of radionuclides in flowing groundwater. Radiological exposure analyses include the following pathways: (1) exposure to direct gamma from any surface contamination or buried waste; (2) drinking water from a well contaminated by migration of radionuclides; (3) ingesting agricultural products derived from radionuclide-contaminated soil; and (4) inhaling radionuclides resuspendedmore » at the burial site. Licensee-proposed disposal activities are evaluated in terms of radiological impact on public health and safety and the environment. The estimated committed effective dose equivalent resulting from the technical evaluation will usually be the determining factor in the authorization of the proposed disposal.« less
  • As modeling efforts expand to a broader spectrum of areas the amount of computer time required to exercise the corresponding computer codes has become quite costly. This costly process can be directly tied to the complexity of the modeling, which makes the relationships among the input variables not mathematically tractable. In this setting it is desired to perform sensitivity studies of the input-output relationships. A variety of situations require that decisions and judgments be made in the face of uncertainty, such as lack of knowledge about probability distributions associated with input variables, different hypothesized future conditions, or different strategies associatedmore » with a decision making process. In this paper a generalization of Latin hypercube sampling is given that allows these areas to be investigated without making additional computer runs.« less