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Title: Disposition of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators Currently Located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory - 12232

Abstract

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded SEC Federal Services Corporation (SEC) a 34-building demolition and disposal (D and D) project at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) that included the disposition of six Strontium (Sr-90) powered Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) stored outside of ORNL Building 3517. Disposition of the RTGs is very complex both in terms of complying with disposal facility waste acceptance criteria (WAC) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements for packaging and transportation in commerce. Two of the RTGs contain elemental mercury which requires them to be Land Disposal Restrictions (LDR) compliant prior to disposal. In addition, all of the RTGs exceed the Class C waste concentration limits under Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Waste Classification Guidelines. In order to meet the LDR requirements and Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) WAC, a site specific treatability variance for mercury was submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow macro-encapsulation to be an acceptable treatment standard for elemental mercury. By identifying and confirming the design configuration of the mercury containing RTGs, the SEC team proved that the current configuration met the macro-encapsulation standard of 40 Code of Federal Regulationsmore » (CFR) 268.45. The SEC Team also worked with NNSS to demonstrate that all radioisotope considerations are compliant with the NNSS low-level waste (LLW) disposal facility performance assessment and WAC. Lastly, the SEC team determined that the GE2000 Type B cask met the necessary size, weight, and thermal loading requirements for five of the six RTGs. The sixth RTG (BUP-500) required a one-time DOT shipment exemption request due to the RTG's large size. The DOT exemption justification for the BUP-500 relies on the inherent robust construction and material make-up of the BUP- 500 RTG. DOE-ORO, SEC, and the entire SEC RTG team are nearing the conclusion of the Sr-90 RTG disposition challenge - a legacy now 50 years in the making. Over 600,000 Ci of Sr-90 waste await disposal and its removal from ORNL will mark an historical moment in the clean-up of the cold-war legacy in the ORNL central industrial area. Elimination (i.e., removal) of the RTGs will reduce security risks at ORNL and disposal will permanently eliminate security risks. The RTGs will eventually decay to benign levels within a reasonable timeframe relative to radiological risks posed by long-lived isotopes. The safety authorization basis at ORNL Building 3517 will be reduced enabling greater operational flexibility in future clean-out and D and D campaigns. Upon disposition the Department of Energy will realize reduced direct and indirect surveillance and maintenance costs that can be reapplied to accelerated and enhanced clean-up of the Oak Ridge Reservation. At present, waste profiles for the RTGs are developed and under review by NNSS RWAP staff and approval authorities. Disposition schedule is driven by the availability of compliant shipping casks necessary to safely transport the RTGs from ORNL to NNSS. The first disposal of the RCA RTG is expected in April 2012 and the remaining RTGs disposed in 2012 and 2013. (authors)« less

Authors:
 [1]; ;  [2]; ;  [3]
  1. U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge Operations Office, 200 Administrative Road, Oak Ridge, TN 37830 (United States)
  2. SEC Federal Services Corporation (SEC), 2800 Solway Road, Knoxville, TN 37931 (United States)
  3. Strata-G, LLC, 2027 Castaic Lane, Knoxville, TN 37932 (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
WM Symposia, 1628 E. Southern Avenue, Suite 9-332, Tempe, AZ 85282 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
22293522
Report Number(s):
INIS-US-14-WM-12232
TRN: US14V1177115046
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: WM2012: Waste Management 2012 conference on improving the future in waste management, Phoenix, AZ (United States), 26 Feb - 1 Mar 2012; Other Information: Country of input: France; 14 refs.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; HAZARDS; LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; MERCURY; MONITORING; NATIONAL SECURITY; OAK RIDGE RESERVATION; ORNL; REMOVAL; SAFETY; STRONTIUM; STRONTIUM 90; THERMOELECTRIC GENERATORS; US EPA; NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems

Citation Formats

Glenn, J., Patterson, J., DeRoos, K., Patterson, J.E., and Mitchell, K.G. Disposition of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators Currently Located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory - 12232. United States: N. p., 2012. Web.
Glenn, J., Patterson, J., DeRoos, K., Patterson, J.E., & Mitchell, K.G. Disposition of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators Currently Located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory - 12232. United States.
Glenn, J., Patterson, J., DeRoos, K., Patterson, J.E., and Mitchell, K.G. Sun . "Disposition of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators Currently Located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory - 12232". United States.
@article{osti_22293522,
title = {Disposition of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators Currently Located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory - 12232},
author = {Glenn, J. and Patterson, J. and DeRoos, K. and Patterson, J.E. and Mitchell, K.G.},
abstractNote = {Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded SEC Federal Services Corporation (SEC) a 34-building demolition and disposal (D and D) project at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) that included the disposition of six Strontium (Sr-90) powered Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) stored outside of ORNL Building 3517. Disposition of the RTGs is very complex both in terms of complying with disposal facility waste acceptance criteria (WAC) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements for packaging and transportation in commerce. Two of the RTGs contain elemental mercury which requires them to be Land Disposal Restrictions (LDR) compliant prior to disposal. In addition, all of the RTGs exceed the Class C waste concentration limits under Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Waste Classification Guidelines. In order to meet the LDR requirements and Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) WAC, a site specific treatability variance for mercury was submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow macro-encapsulation to be an acceptable treatment standard for elemental mercury. By identifying and confirming the design configuration of the mercury containing RTGs, the SEC team proved that the current configuration met the macro-encapsulation standard of 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 268.45. The SEC Team also worked with NNSS to demonstrate that all radioisotope considerations are compliant with the NNSS low-level waste (LLW) disposal facility performance assessment and WAC. Lastly, the SEC team determined that the GE2000 Type B cask met the necessary size, weight, and thermal loading requirements for five of the six RTGs. The sixth RTG (BUP-500) required a one-time DOT shipment exemption request due to the RTG's large size. The DOT exemption justification for the BUP-500 relies on the inherent robust construction and material make-up of the BUP- 500 RTG. DOE-ORO, SEC, and the entire SEC RTG team are nearing the conclusion of the Sr-90 RTG disposition challenge - a legacy now 50 years in the making. Over 600,000 Ci of Sr-90 waste await disposal and its removal from ORNL will mark an historical moment in the clean-up of the cold-war legacy in the ORNL central industrial area. Elimination (i.e., removal) of the RTGs will reduce security risks at ORNL and disposal will permanently eliminate security risks. The RTGs will eventually decay to benign levels within a reasonable timeframe relative to radiological risks posed by long-lived isotopes. The safety authorization basis at ORNL Building 3517 will be reduced enabling greater operational flexibility in future clean-out and D and D campaigns. Upon disposition the Department of Energy will realize reduced direct and indirect surveillance and maintenance costs that can be reapplied to accelerated and enhanced clean-up of the Oak Ridge Reservation. At present, waste profiles for the RTGs are developed and under review by NNSS RWAP staff and approval authorities. Disposition schedule is driven by the availability of compliant shipping casks necessary to safely transport the RTGs from ORNL to NNSS. The first disposal of the RCA RTG is expected in April 2012 and the remaining RTGs disposed in 2012 and 2013. (authors)},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {7}
}

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