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Title: 'Radiotoxicity Index': An Inappropriate Discriminator for Advanced Fuel Cycle Technology Selection - 12276

Abstract

A radiotoxicity index (RI) is often used as a figure of merit for evaluating for evaluating the attractiveness of employing an advanced fuel cycle (i.e., a fuel cycle that uses some combination of separations and other reactor technologies, such as fast reactors), rather than continued use of the current 'once-through' fuel cycle. The RI is calculated by multiplying the amount of every radionuclide found in a waste form for some unit amount of waste times the drinking water dose conversion factor, DCF, for each radionuclide, then summing these together. Some argue that if the RI for an advanced fuel cycle is lower than the RI for a once-through fuel cycle, then implementation of the particular advanced fuel cycle has merit because it reduces the radiotoxicity of the waste. Use of an RI for justifying separations technologies and other components of advanced fuel cycles is not only inappropriate, but can be misleading with respect to judging benefits of advance fuel cycle options. The disposal system, through its use of multiple engineered and natural barriers to migration, eliminates most of the radionuclides contributing to the RI such that additional separations technologies will make little difference to peak dose rates. What must alsomore » be considered is the health/dose risk caused to workers and the public by the construction and operation of the separations facility itself. Thus, use of RI may lead to selection of separations technologies that may have a negligible effect on lowering the potential health risks associated with disposal, but will increase real worker and public health risks in the near term. The use of the radiotoxicity index (RI) as a figure of merit for justifying advanced fuel cycles involving separations technologies is not only inappropriate, but can be misleading with respect to judging benefits of advance fuel cycle options. The disposal system, through its use of multiple engineered and natural barriers to migration, eliminates most of the radionuclides contributing to the RI such that additional separations technologies will make little difference to peak dose rates. What must also be considered is the health/dose risk caused to workers and the public by the construction and operation of the separations facility itself. Thus, use of RI may lead to selection of separations technologies that may have a negligible effect on lowering the potential health risks associated with disposal, but will increase real worker and public health risks in the near term. (authors)« less

Authors:
;  [1]; ;  [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. Electric Power Research Institute, Charlotte, North Carolina 28262 (United States)
  2. Intera, Inc., Denver, Colorado 80235 (United States)
  3. Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439 (United States)
  4. Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185 (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
WM Symposia, 1628 E. Southern Avenue, Suite 9-332, Tempe, AZ 85282 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
22293557
Report Number(s):
INIS-US-14-WM-12276
TRN: US14V1213115081
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
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; DOSE RATES; DOSES; ENGINEERS; FAST REACTORS; FUEL CYCLE; HEALTH HAZARDS; PEAKS; PUBLIC HEALTH; RADIOISOTOPES; SEPARATION PROCESSES; WASTE FORMS

Citation Formats

Kessler, John, Sowder, Andrew, Apted, Michael, Kozak, Matthew, Nutt, Mark, and Swift, Peter. 'Radiotoxicity Index': An Inappropriate Discriminator for Advanced Fuel Cycle Technology Selection - 12276. United States: N. p., 2012. Web.
Kessler, John, Sowder, Andrew, Apted, Michael, Kozak, Matthew, Nutt, Mark, & Swift, Peter. 'Radiotoxicity Index': An Inappropriate Discriminator for Advanced Fuel Cycle Technology Selection - 12276. United States.
Kessler, John, Sowder, Andrew, Apted, Michael, Kozak, Matthew, Nutt, Mark, and Swift, Peter. Sun . "'Radiotoxicity Index': An Inappropriate Discriminator for Advanced Fuel Cycle Technology Selection - 12276". United States.
@article{osti_22293557,
title = {'Radiotoxicity Index': An Inappropriate Discriminator for Advanced Fuel Cycle Technology Selection - 12276},
author = {Kessler, John and Sowder, Andrew and Apted, Michael and Kozak, Matthew and Nutt, Mark and Swift, Peter},
abstractNote = {A radiotoxicity index (RI) is often used as a figure of merit for evaluating for evaluating the attractiveness of employing an advanced fuel cycle (i.e., a fuel cycle that uses some combination of separations and other reactor technologies, such as fast reactors), rather than continued use of the current 'once-through' fuel cycle. The RI is calculated by multiplying the amount of every radionuclide found in a waste form for some unit amount of waste times the drinking water dose conversion factor, DCF, for each radionuclide, then summing these together. Some argue that if the RI for an advanced fuel cycle is lower than the RI for a once-through fuel cycle, then implementation of the particular advanced fuel cycle has merit because it reduces the radiotoxicity of the waste. Use of an RI for justifying separations technologies and other components of advanced fuel cycles is not only inappropriate, but can be misleading with respect to judging benefits of advance fuel cycle options. The disposal system, through its use of multiple engineered and natural barriers to migration, eliminates most of the radionuclides contributing to the RI such that additional separations technologies will make little difference to peak dose rates. What must also be considered is the health/dose risk caused to workers and the public by the construction and operation of the separations facility itself. Thus, use of RI may lead to selection of separations technologies that may have a negligible effect on lowering the potential health risks associated with disposal, but will increase real worker and public health risks in the near term. The use of the radiotoxicity index (RI) as a figure of merit for justifying advanced fuel cycles involving separations technologies is not only inappropriate, but can be misleading with respect to judging benefits of advance fuel cycle options. The disposal system, through its use of multiple engineered and natural barriers to migration, eliminates most of the radionuclides contributing to the RI such that additional separations technologies will make little difference to peak dose rates. What must also be considered is the health/dose risk caused to workers and the public by the construction and operation of the separations facility itself. Thus, use of RI may lead to selection of separations technologies that may have a negligible effect on lowering the potential health risks associated with disposal, but will increase real worker and public health risks in the near term. (authors)},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {7}
}

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