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Title: WIPP WAC Equivalence Support Measurements for Low-Level Sludge Waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory - 12242

Abstract

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) uses the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) as an off-site disposal facility for low-level waste (LLW), including sludge waste. NNSS has issued a position paper that indicates that systems that are not certified by the Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) for Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) disposal of Transuranic (TRU) waste must demonstrate equivalent practices to the CBFO certified systems in order to assign activity concentration values to assayed items without adding in the Total Measurement Uncertainty (TMU) when certifying waste for NNSS disposal. Efforts have been made to meet NNSS requirements to accept sludge waste for disposal at their facility. The LANL LLW Characterization Team uses portable high purity germanium (HPGe) detector systems for the nondestructive assay (NDA) of both debris and sludge LLW. A number of performance studies have been conducted historically by LANL to support the efficacy and quality of assay results generated by the LANL HPGe systems, and, while these detector systems are supported by these performance studies and used with LANL approved procedures and processes, they are not certified by CBFO for TRU waste disposal. Beginning in 2009, the LANL LLW Characterization Team undertook additional NDA measurements of both debris andmore » sludge simulated waste containers to supplement existing studies and procedures to demonstrate full compliance with the NNSS position paper. Where possible, Performance Demonstration Project (PDP) drums were used for the waste matrix and PDP sources were used for the radioactive sources. Sludge drums are an example of a matrix with a uniform distribution of contaminants. When attempting to perform a gamma assay of a sludge drum, it is very important to adequately simulate this uniform distribution of radionuclides in order to accurately model the assay results. This was accomplished by using a spiral radial source tube placement in a sludge drum rather than the standard three source tubes seen in debris PDP drums. Available line sources (Eu-152) were placed in the spiral tubes to further accomplish the desired uniform distribution of radionuclides. The standard PDP drum (PDP matrix drum 005) and PDP sources were used to determine the lower limits of detection (LLD) and TMU. Analysis results for the sludge drum matrix case for two HPGe detectors were tabulated and evaluated. NNSS has accepted the methodology and results of the measurements towards demonstrating equivalence to CBFO certified systems. In conclusion, the WES-WGS and CMR-OPS gamma spectroscopy teams at LANL have defined and performed measurements that serve to establish and demonstrate equivalency with the processes used by CBFO certified NDA systems. The supplemental measurements address four key areas in Appendix A of DOE/WIPP-02-3122: Annual Calibration Confirmation and Performance Check measurements; LLD determination; and TMU definition. For these measurements the containers, matrices and activity loadings are selected to represent items being assayed in real LLW cases. The LLD and the TMU bounding measurements are to be performed one time and will not be required to be repeated in future campaigns. The annual calibration and performance check measurements were performed initially and planned to repeat in annual campaigns in order to maintain NNSS certification. PDP sources and a PDP sludge drum as well as Eu-152 line sources and a spiral sludge drum were used for the measurements. In all cases, the results for accuracy and precision (%R and %RSD, respectively) were within allowable ranges as defined by the WIPP PDP program. LLD (or MDC) results were established for all the ten WIPP reportable radionuclides and U-235, and the MDC for Pu-239 was established in all cases to be well under 100 nCi/g. Useful results for reducing estimated uncertainties were established and an interesting unexpected case of high bias was observed and will be applied toward this end. (authors)« less

Authors:
; ; ;  [1];  [2]
  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545 (United States)
  2. Pajarito Scientific Corporation, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507 (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
WM Symposia, 1628 E. Southern Avenue, Suite 9-332, Tempe, AZ 85282 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
22293530
Report Number(s):
INIS-US-14-WM-12242
TRN: US14V1185115054
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; 7 refs.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; ACCURACY; CALIBRATION; DETECTION; EUROPIUM 152; GAMMA SPECTROSCOPY; GERMANIUM; HIGH-PURITY GE DETECTORS; LANL; LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; NATIONAL SECURITY; PLUTONIUM 239; RADIATION SOURCES; SIMULATION; SLUDGES; URANIUM 235; WIPP

Citation Formats

Gruetzmacher, Kathleen M., Bustos, Roland M., Ferran, Scott G., Gallegos, Lucas E., and Lucero, Randy P. WIPP WAC Equivalence Support Measurements for Low-Level Sludge Waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory - 12242. United States: N. p., 2012. Web.
Gruetzmacher, Kathleen M., Bustos, Roland M., Ferran, Scott G., Gallegos, Lucas E., & Lucero, Randy P. WIPP WAC Equivalence Support Measurements for Low-Level Sludge Waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory - 12242. United States.
Gruetzmacher, Kathleen M., Bustos, Roland M., Ferran, Scott G., Gallegos, Lucas E., and Lucero, Randy P. Sun . "WIPP WAC Equivalence Support Measurements for Low-Level Sludge Waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory - 12242". United States.
@article{osti_22293530,
title = {WIPP WAC Equivalence Support Measurements for Low-Level Sludge Waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory - 12242},
author = {Gruetzmacher, Kathleen M. and Bustos, Roland M. and Ferran, Scott G. and Gallegos, Lucas E. and Lucero, Randy P.},
abstractNote = {Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) uses the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) as an off-site disposal facility for low-level waste (LLW), including sludge waste. NNSS has issued a position paper that indicates that systems that are not certified by the Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) for Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) disposal of Transuranic (TRU) waste must demonstrate equivalent practices to the CBFO certified systems in order to assign activity concentration values to assayed items without adding in the Total Measurement Uncertainty (TMU) when certifying waste for NNSS disposal. Efforts have been made to meet NNSS requirements to accept sludge waste for disposal at their facility. The LANL LLW Characterization Team uses portable high purity germanium (HPGe) detector systems for the nondestructive assay (NDA) of both debris and sludge LLW. A number of performance studies have been conducted historically by LANL to support the efficacy and quality of assay results generated by the LANL HPGe systems, and, while these detector systems are supported by these performance studies and used with LANL approved procedures and processes, they are not certified by CBFO for TRU waste disposal. Beginning in 2009, the LANL LLW Characterization Team undertook additional NDA measurements of both debris and sludge simulated waste containers to supplement existing studies and procedures to demonstrate full compliance with the NNSS position paper. Where possible, Performance Demonstration Project (PDP) drums were used for the waste matrix and PDP sources were used for the radioactive sources. Sludge drums are an example of a matrix with a uniform distribution of contaminants. When attempting to perform a gamma assay of a sludge drum, it is very important to adequately simulate this uniform distribution of radionuclides in order to accurately model the assay results. This was accomplished by using a spiral radial source tube placement in a sludge drum rather than the standard three source tubes seen in debris PDP drums. Available line sources (Eu-152) were placed in the spiral tubes to further accomplish the desired uniform distribution of radionuclides. The standard PDP drum (PDP matrix drum 005) and PDP sources were used to determine the lower limits of detection (LLD) and TMU. Analysis results for the sludge drum matrix case for two HPGe detectors were tabulated and evaluated. NNSS has accepted the methodology and results of the measurements towards demonstrating equivalence to CBFO certified systems. In conclusion, the WES-WGS and CMR-OPS gamma spectroscopy teams at LANL have defined and performed measurements that serve to establish and demonstrate equivalency with the processes used by CBFO certified NDA systems. The supplemental measurements address four key areas in Appendix A of DOE/WIPP-02-3122: Annual Calibration Confirmation and Performance Check measurements; LLD determination; and TMU definition. For these measurements the containers, matrices and activity loadings are selected to represent items being assayed in real LLW cases. The LLD and the TMU bounding measurements are to be performed one time and will not be required to be repeated in future campaigns. The annual calibration and performance check measurements were performed initially and planned to repeat in annual campaigns in order to maintain NNSS certification. PDP sources and a PDP sludge drum as well as Eu-152 line sources and a spiral sludge drum were used for the measurements. In all cases, the results for accuracy and precision (%R and %RSD, respectively) were within allowable ranges as defined by the WIPP PDP program. LLD (or MDC) results were established for all the ten WIPP reportable radionuclides and U-235, and the MDC for Pu-239 was established in all cases to be well under 100 nCi/g. Useful results for reducing estimated uncertainties were established and an interesting unexpected case of high bias was observed and will be applied toward this end. (authors)},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {7}
}

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