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Title: Deep geologic burial of spent nuclear fuel: Is criticality a public health and safety issue?

Abstract

While the answer to the question posed in the title to this paper may never be complete, there is evidence that suggests that the technical answer is {open_quotes}no.{close_quotes} Certainly there will likely be vigorous public policy discussions as to the acceptability of criticality events at indeterminate times in the future even if the technical arguments for acceptably low risk are compelling. This paper attempts to further the technical discussions of criticality events associated with geologic disposal of fissile material being considered acceptably low risks to future inhabitants. Current U.S. regulations governing the deep geologic disposal of materials that may be capable of achieving the critical state are found in 10 CFR 60 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The pertinent paragraph, 60.131(b)(7), states: {open_quotes}Criticality control. All systems for processing, transporting, handling, storage, retrieval, emplacement, and isolation of radioactive waste shall be designed to ensure that a nuclear criticality accident is not possible unless at least two unlikely, independent, and concurrent or sequential changes have occurred in the conditions essential to nuclear criticality safety. Each system shall be designed for criticality safety under normal and accident conditions. The calculated effective multiplication factor (k{sub eff}) must be sufficiently below unity to showmore » at least a 5% margin, after allowance for the bias in the method of calculation and the uncertainty in the experiments used to validate the method of calculation.{close_quotes}« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
426438
Report Number(s):
CONF-961103-
Journal ID: TANSAO; ISSN 0003-018X; TRN: 96:006307-0161
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Transactions of the American Nuclear Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 75; Conference: Winter meeting of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) and the European Nuclear Society (ENS), Washington, DC (United States), 10-14 Nov 1996; Other Information: PBD: 1996
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
05 NUCLEAR FUELS; 42 ENGINEERING NOT INCLUDED IN OTHER CATEGORIES; HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; UNDERGROUND DISPOSAL; CRITICALITY; PUBLIC HEALTH; SAFETY ANALYSIS

Citation Formats

McLaughlin, T.P. Deep geologic burial of spent nuclear fuel: Is criticality a public health and safety issue?. United States: N. p., 1996. Web.
McLaughlin, T.P. Deep geologic burial of spent nuclear fuel: Is criticality a public health and safety issue?. United States.
McLaughlin, T.P. Tue . "Deep geologic burial of spent nuclear fuel: Is criticality a public health and safety issue?". United States.
@article{osti_426438,
title = {Deep geologic burial of spent nuclear fuel: Is criticality a public health and safety issue?},
author = {McLaughlin, T.P.},
abstractNote = {While the answer to the question posed in the title to this paper may never be complete, there is evidence that suggests that the technical answer is {open_quotes}no.{close_quotes} Certainly there will likely be vigorous public policy discussions as to the acceptability of criticality events at indeterminate times in the future even if the technical arguments for acceptably low risk are compelling. This paper attempts to further the technical discussions of criticality events associated with geologic disposal of fissile material being considered acceptably low risks to future inhabitants. Current U.S. regulations governing the deep geologic disposal of materials that may be capable of achieving the critical state are found in 10 CFR 60 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The pertinent paragraph, 60.131(b)(7), states: {open_quotes}Criticality control. All systems for processing, transporting, handling, storage, retrieval, emplacement, and isolation of radioactive waste shall be designed to ensure that a nuclear criticality accident is not possible unless at least two unlikely, independent, and concurrent or sequential changes have occurred in the conditions essential to nuclear criticality safety. Each system shall be designed for criticality safety under normal and accident conditions. The calculated effective multiplication factor (k{sub eff}) must be sufficiently below unity to show at least a 5% margin, after allowance for the bias in the method of calculation and the uncertainty in the experiments used to validate the method of calculation.{close_quotes}},
doi = {},
journal = {Transactions of the American Nuclear Society},
number = ,
volume = 75,
place = {United States},
year = {1996},
month = {12}
}