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Title: Radioactive Waste Incineration: Status Report

Abstract

Incineration is generally accepted as a method of reducing the volume of radioactive waste. In some cases, the resulting ash may have high concentrations of materials such as Plutonium or Uranium that are valuable materials for recycling. Incineration can also be effective in treating waste that contains hazardous chemicals as well as radioactive contamination. Despite these advantages, the number of operating incinerators currently in the US currently appears to be small and potentially declining. This paper describes technical, regulatory, economic and political factors that affect the selection of incineration as a preferred method of treating radioactive waste. The history of incinerator use at commercial and DOE facilities is summarized, along with the factors that have affected each of the sectors, thus leading to the current set of active incinerator facilities. In summary: Incineration has had a long history of use in radioactive waste processing due to their ability to reduce the volume of the waste while destroying hazardous chemicals and biological material. However, combinations of technical, regulatory, economic and political factors have constrained the overall use of incineration. In both the Government and Private sectors, the trend is to have a limited number of larger incineration facilities that treat wastesmore » from a multiple sites. Each of these sector is now served by only one or two incinerators. Increased use of incineration is not likely unless there is a change in the factors involved, such as a significant increase in the cost of disposal. Medical wastes with low levels of radioactive contamination are being treated effectively at small, local incineration facilities. No trend is expected in this group. (authors)« less

Authors:
;  [1]
  1. WorleyParsons, Reading, PA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
WM Symposia, 1628 E. Southern Avenue, Suite 9 - 332, Tempe, AZ 85282 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
21323102
Report Number(s):
INIS-US-10-WM-08316
TRN: US10V0534064293
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: WM'08: Waste Management Symposium 2008 - HLW, TRU, LLW/ILW, Mixed, Hazardous Wastes and Environmental Management - Phoenix Rising: Moving Forward in Waste Management, Phoenix, AZ (United States), 24-28 Feb 2008; Other Information: Country of input: France; 10 refs
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; ASHES; COMBUSTION; INCINERATORS; PLUTONIUM; RADIOACTIVE WASTE PROCESSING; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; RECYCLING; URANIUM

Citation Formats

Diederich, A.R., and Akins, M.J. Radioactive Waste Incineration: Status Report. United States: N. p., 2008. Web.
Diederich, A.R., & Akins, M.J. Radioactive Waste Incineration: Status Report. United States.
Diederich, A.R., and Akins, M.J. 2008. "Radioactive Waste Incineration: Status Report". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_21323102,
title = {Radioactive Waste Incineration: Status Report},
author = {Diederich, A.R. and Akins, M.J.},
abstractNote = {Incineration is generally accepted as a method of reducing the volume of radioactive waste. In some cases, the resulting ash may have high concentrations of materials such as Plutonium or Uranium that are valuable materials for recycling. Incineration can also be effective in treating waste that contains hazardous chemicals as well as radioactive contamination. Despite these advantages, the number of operating incinerators currently in the US currently appears to be small and potentially declining. This paper describes technical, regulatory, economic and political factors that affect the selection of incineration as a preferred method of treating radioactive waste. The history of incinerator use at commercial and DOE facilities is summarized, along with the factors that have affected each of the sectors, thus leading to the current set of active incinerator facilities. In summary: Incineration has had a long history of use in radioactive waste processing due to their ability to reduce the volume of the waste while destroying hazardous chemicals and biological material. However, combinations of technical, regulatory, economic and political factors have constrained the overall use of incineration. In both the Government and Private sectors, the trend is to have a limited number of larger incineration facilities that treat wastes from a multiple sites. Each of these sector is now served by only one or two incinerators. Increased use of incineration is not likely unless there is a change in the factors involved, such as a significant increase in the cost of disposal. Medical wastes with low levels of radioactive contamination are being treated effectively at small, local incineration facilities. No trend is expected in this group. (authors)},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2008,
month = 7
}

Conference:
Other availability
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  • Early attempts were made to incinerate radioactive wastes met with operation and equipment problems such as feed preparation, corrosion, inadequate off-gas cleanup, incomplete combustion, and isotope containment. The US Department of Energy (DOE) continues to sponsor research, development, and the eventual demonstration of radioactive waste incineration. In addition, several industries are developing proprietary incineration system designs to meet other specific radwaste processing requirements. Although development efforts continue, significant results are available for the nuclear community and the general public to draw on in planning. This paper presents an introduction to incineration concerns, and an overview of the prominent radwaste incinerationmore » processes being developed within DOE. Brief process descriptions, status and goals of individual incineration systems, and planned or potential applications are also included.« less
  • It is known that cement minerals hydration is accompanied with heat emission. Heat of hardening influences formation of a cement compound structure and its properties. It is important to reduce the heat quantity at continuous cementation of waste and filling of compartments of a repository or containers by a cement grout. For reduction of heating, it is necessary to use cement of mineral additives (fuel ashes, slag and hydraulic silica). Properties of ashes after domestic waste incineration can be similar to ones of fly fuel ashes. However, ash after domestic waste incineration is toxic industrial waste as it contains toxicmore » elements (As, Cd, Hg, Pb, Sb, Zn). Utilization of secondary waste (slag and ash) of combustion plants is an important environmental approach to solving cities' issues. Results of the research have shown that ashes of combustion plants can be used for radioactive waste conditioning. Co-processing of toxic and radioactive waste is ecologically and economically effective. At SIA 'Radon', experimental batches of cement compositions are used for cementation of oil containing waste. (authors)« less
  • A fluidized-bed incineration facility has been designed for installation at the Rocky Flats Plant. The purpose is to develop and demonstrate the process for the combustion of transuranic waste. The unit capacity will be about 82 kg/hr of combustible waste. The combustion process will utilize in situ neutralization of acid gases generated in the process. The equipment design is based on data generated on a pilot scale unit and represents a scale-up factor of nine. Title II engineering is complete and construction work has begun.
  • Fluidized bed incineration and waste fixation processes are being used to process the types of wastes expected from nuclear fuel reprocessing and production plants. Test incineration runs have been made on two types of wastes: high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and tributyl phosphate-solvent solutions. Laboratory-scale vitrification equipment was used to produce glass pellets from incinerator ash and blends of other expected waste streams. Computer modeling gave an expected product integrity life of over 2,000 years.
  • The Waste Experimental Reduction Facility (WERF) was constructed to reduce the volume of low-level radioactive waste at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL). To address the problem of radioactively contaminated ignitable hazardous waste resulting from INEL activities, a development program was carried out to evaluate WERF's ability to meet the regulated criteria for incinerating liquid and solid ignitable waste. Concurrently, INEL submitted its hazardous waste Part B application under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). As required, and as a major step in the permitting process, the WERF incinerator portion of the permit application included a proposed trial burn,more » which is a demonstration test of the incinerator's ability to destroy hazardous materials. The trial burn plan was designed to demonstrate the system performance for liquid and solid ignitable wastes at three operating conditions, using a prepared mix of materials representative of waste to be processed. EPA Region X reviewed and commented on the plan prior to the trial burn. Results of the liquid feed trial burn showed a greater than 97% probability of meeting the RCRA-dictated DRE value for chlorinated solvents and a greater than 99% probability for nonchlorinated solvents. Nonchlorinated solid waste results were calculated at a 93% probability of meeting the required DRE, with a 75% probability for chlorinated solid wastes. In addition, the incinerator DRE continued to improve long after the assumed pre-test equilibrium period had ended. The trial burn demonstrates that the WERF incinerator can safely and adequately destroy ignitable hazardous and mixed waste and provides a significant enhancement of the INEL's waste management system.« less