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Title: Lessons Learned from Characterization, Performance Assessment, and EPA Regulatory Review of the 1996 Actinide Source Term for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

Abstract

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a US Department of Energy (DOE) facility for the permanent disposal of transuranic waste from defense activities. In 1996, the DOE submitted the Title 40 CFR Part 191 Compliance Certification Application for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (CCA) to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The CCA included a probabilistic performance assessment (PA) conducted by Sandia National Laboratories to establish compliance with the quantitative release limits defined in 40 CFR 191.13. An experimental program to collect data relevant to the actinide source term began around 1989, which eventually supported the 1996 CCA PA actinide source term model. The actinide source term provided an estimate of mobile dissolved and colloidal Pu, Am, U, Th, and Np concentrations in their stable oxidation states, and accounted for effects of uncertainty in the chemistry of brines in waste disposal areas. The experimental program and the actinide source term included in the CCA PA underwent EPA review lasting more than 1 year. Experiments were initially conducted to develop data relevant to the wide range of potential future conditions in waste disposal areas. Interim, preliminary performance assessments and actinide source term models provided insight allowing refinement of experiments andmore » models. Expert peer review provided additional feedback and confidence in the evolving experimental program. By 1995, the chemical database and PA predictions of WIPP performance were considered reliable enough to support the decision to add an MgO backfill to waste rooms to control chemical conditions and reduce uncertainty in actinide concentrations, especially for Pu and Am. Important lessons learned through the characterization, PA modeling, and regulatory review of the actinide source term are (1) experimental characterization and PA should evolve together, with neither activity completely dominating the other, (2) the understanding of physical processes required to develop conceptual models is greater than can be represented in PA models, (3) experimentalists should be directly involved in model and parameter abstraction and simplification for PA, and (4) external expert review should be incorporated early in a project to increase confidence long before regulatory reviews begin.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (US); Sandia National Labs., Livermore, CA (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
4712
Report Number(s):
SAND99-0430C
TRN: US0101507
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: AIChE National Spring Meeting, Houston, TX (US), 03/14/1999--03/18/1999; Other Information: PBD: 22 Mar 1999
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; WIPP; ACTINIDES; PERFORMANCE; RELEASE LIMITS; SOURCE TERMS; RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL; ALPHA-BEARING WASTES; PLUTONIUM; AMERICIUM; URANIUM; THORIUM; NEPTUNIUM

Citation Formats

Larson, K W, Moore, R C, Nowak, E J, Papenguth, H W, and Jow, H. Lessons Learned from Characterization, Performance Assessment, and EPA Regulatory Review of the 1996 Actinide Source Term for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. United States: N. p., 1999. Web.
Larson, K W, Moore, R C, Nowak, E J, Papenguth, H W, & Jow, H. Lessons Learned from Characterization, Performance Assessment, and EPA Regulatory Review of the 1996 Actinide Source Term for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. United States.
Larson, K W, Moore, R C, Nowak, E J, Papenguth, H W, and Jow, H. Mon . "Lessons Learned from Characterization, Performance Assessment, and EPA Regulatory Review of the 1996 Actinide Source Term for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/4712.
@article{osti_4712,
title = {Lessons Learned from Characterization, Performance Assessment, and EPA Regulatory Review of the 1996 Actinide Source Term for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant},
author = {Larson, K W and Moore, R C and Nowak, E J and Papenguth, H W and Jow, H},
abstractNote = {The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a US Department of Energy (DOE) facility for the permanent disposal of transuranic waste from defense activities. In 1996, the DOE submitted the Title 40 CFR Part 191 Compliance Certification Application for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (CCA) to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The CCA included a probabilistic performance assessment (PA) conducted by Sandia National Laboratories to establish compliance with the quantitative release limits defined in 40 CFR 191.13. An experimental program to collect data relevant to the actinide source term began around 1989, which eventually supported the 1996 CCA PA actinide source term model. The actinide source term provided an estimate of mobile dissolved and colloidal Pu, Am, U, Th, and Np concentrations in their stable oxidation states, and accounted for effects of uncertainty in the chemistry of brines in waste disposal areas. The experimental program and the actinide source term included in the CCA PA underwent EPA review lasting more than 1 year. Experiments were initially conducted to develop data relevant to the wide range of potential future conditions in waste disposal areas. Interim, preliminary performance assessments and actinide source term models provided insight allowing refinement of experiments and models. Expert peer review provided additional feedback and confidence in the evolving experimental program. By 1995, the chemical database and PA predictions of WIPP performance were considered reliable enough to support the decision to add an MgO backfill to waste rooms to control chemical conditions and reduce uncertainty in actinide concentrations, especially for Pu and Am. Important lessons learned through the characterization, PA modeling, and regulatory review of the actinide source term are (1) experimental characterization and PA should evolve together, with neither activity completely dominating the other, (2) the understanding of physical processes required to develop conceptual models is greater than can be represented in PA models, (3) experimentalists should be directly involved in model and parameter abstraction and simplification for PA, and (4) external expert review should be incorporated early in a project to increase confidence long before regulatory reviews begin.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/4712}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1999},
month = {3}
}

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