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Title: MANAGEING THE RETRIEVAL RISK OF BURIED TRANSURANIC (TRU) WASTE WITH UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS

Abstract

United States-Department of Energy (DOE) sites that store transuranic (TRU) waste are almost certain to encounter waste packages with characteristics that are so unique as to warrant special precautions for retrieval. At the Hanford Site, a subgroup of stored TRU waste (12 drums) had special considerations due to the radioactive source content of plutonium oxide (PuO{sub 2}), and the potential for high heat generation, pressurization, criticality, and high radiation. These characteristics bear on the approach to safely retrieve, overpack, vent, store, and transport the waste package. Because of the potential risk to personnel, contingency planning for unexpected conditions played an effective roll in work planning and in preparing workers for the field inspection activity. As a result, the integrity inspections successfully confirmed waste package configuration and waste confinement without experiencing any perturbations due to unanticipated packaging conditions. This paper discusses the engineering and field approach to managing the risk of retrieving TRU waste with unique characteristics.

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Hanford Site (HNF), Richland, WA
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE - Office of Environmental Management (EM)
OSTI Identifier:
860882
Report Number(s):
HNF-27217-FP Rev 0
TRN: US0504967
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC06-96RL13200
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; ALPHA-BEARING WASTES; CONFIGURATION; CONFINEMENT; CRITICALITY; PACKAGING; PERSONNEL; PLANNING; PLUTONIUM OXIDES; PRESSURIZATION; TRANSPORT; WASTES

Citation Formats

WOJTASEK, R.D., and GREENWELL, R.D. MANAGEING THE RETRIEVAL RISK OF BURIED TRANSURANIC (TRU) WASTE WITH UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS. United States: N. p., 2005. Web. doi:10.2172/860882.
WOJTASEK, R.D., & GREENWELL, R.D. MANAGEING THE RETRIEVAL RISK OF BURIED TRANSURANIC (TRU) WASTE WITH UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS. United States. doi:10.2172/860882.
WOJTASEK, R.D., and GREENWELL, R.D. Thu . "MANAGEING THE RETRIEVAL RISK OF BURIED TRANSURANIC (TRU) WASTE WITH UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS". United States. doi:10.2172/860882. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/860882.
@article{osti_860882,
title = {MANAGEING THE RETRIEVAL RISK OF BURIED TRANSURANIC (TRU) WASTE WITH UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS},
author = {WOJTASEK, R.D. and GREENWELL, R.D.},
abstractNote = {United States-Department of Energy (DOE) sites that store transuranic (TRU) waste are almost certain to encounter waste packages with characteristics that are so unique as to warrant special precautions for retrieval. At the Hanford Site, a subgroup of stored TRU waste (12 drums) had special considerations due to the radioactive source content of plutonium oxide (PuO{sub 2}), and the potential for high heat generation, pressurization, criticality, and high radiation. These characteristics bear on the approach to safely retrieve, overpack, vent, store, and transport the waste package. Because of the potential risk to personnel, contingency planning for unexpected conditions played an effective roll in work planning and in preparing workers for the field inspection activity. As a result, the integrity inspections successfully confirmed waste package configuration and waste confinement without experiencing any perturbations due to unanticipated packaging conditions. This paper discusses the engineering and field approach to managing the risk of retrieving TRU waste with unique characteristics.},
doi = {10.2172/860882},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Nov 17 00:00:00 EST 2005},
month = {Thu Nov 17 00:00:00 EST 2005}
}

Technical Report:

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  • United States-Department of Energy (DOE) sites that store transuranic (TRU) waste are almost certain to encounter waste packages with characteristics that are so unique as to warrant special precautions for retrieval. At the Hanford Site, a subgroup of stored TRU waste (12 drums) had special considerations due to the radioactive source content of plutonium oxide (PuO{sub 2}), and the potential for high heat generation, pressurization, criticality, and high radiation. These characteristics bear on the approach to safely retrieve, overpack, vent, store, and transport the waste package. Because of the potential risk to personnel, contingency planning for unexpected conditions played anmore » effective role in work planning and in preparing workers for the field inspection activity. As a result, the integrity inspections successfully confirmed waste package configuration and waste confinement without experiencing any perturbations due to unanticipated packaging conditions. This paper discusses the engineering and field approach to managing the risk of retrieving TRU waste with unique characteristics.« less
  • This plan addresses the Contact-Handled Transuranic (CH TRU) Waste Mock Retrieval Demonstration that will be conducted at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). It defines: the scope of the CH TRU Mock Retrieval Demonstration; organizational units responsible for the conduct of this demonstration; and the criteria by which success of the demonstration will be measured. Successful performance of this CH TRU Mock Retrieval Demonstration will fulfill a WIPP design criterion as well as one of the milestones identified in the Agreement for Consultation and Cooperation with the State of New Mexico. This plan addresses in-room retrieval operations only. Demonstration ofmore » the complete waste handling process from receipt through waste emplacement in the underground storage area will be completed as part of the separate TRU Preoperational Checkout. Retrievability of waste emplaced in WIPP is required throughout the Operations Demonstration period. This period spans the time from initial waste emplacement through that point when a declaration is made regarding whether or not WIPP should become a permanent disposal facility. 4 refs., 5 figs.« less
  • Phase I retrieval of post-1970 TRU wastes from burial ground 218-W-4C can be done in a safe, efficient, and cost-effective manner. Initiating TRU retrieval by retrieving uncovered drums from Trenches 1, 20, and 29, will allow retrieval to begin under the current SWBG safety authorization basis. The retrieval of buried drums from Trenches 1, 4, 20, and 29, which will require excavation, will commence once the uncovered drum are retrieved. This phased approach allows safety analysis for drum venting and drum module excavation to be completed and approved before the excavation proceeds. In addition, the lessons learned and the operationalmore » experience gained from the retrieval of uncovered drums can be applied to the more complicated retrieval of the buried drums. Precedents that have been set at SRS and LANL to perform retrieval without a trench cover, in the open air, should be followed. Open-air retrieval will result in significant cost savings over the original plans for Phase I retrieval (Project W-113). Based on LANL and SRS experience, open-air retrieval will have no adverse impacts to the environment or to the health and safety of workers or the public. Assaying the waste in the SWBG using a mobile assay system, will result in additional cost savings. It is expected that up to 50% of the suspect-TRU wastes will assay as LLW, allowing those waste to remain disposed of in the SWBG. Further processing, with its associated costs, will only occur to the portion of the waste that is verified to be TRU. Retrieval should be done, to the extent possible, under the current SWBG safety authorization basis as a normal part of SWBG operations. The use of existing personnel and existing procedures should be optimized. By working retrieval campaigns, typically during the slow months, it is easier to coordinate the availability of necessary operations personnel, and it is easier to coordinate the availability of a mobile assay vendor.« less
  • This document describes process and operational options for retrieval of the contact-handled suspect transuranic waste drums currently stored below grade in earth-covered trenches at the Hanford Site. Retrieval processes and options discussed include excavation, container retrieval, venting, non-destructive assay, criticality avoidance, incidental waste handling, site preparation, equipment, and shipping.
  • From 1970 to 1987, TRU and suspect TRU wastes at Hanford were placed in the SWBG. At the time of placement in the SWBG these wastes were not regulated under existing Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations, since they were generated and disposed of prior to the effective date of RCRA at the Hanford Site (1987). From the standpoint of DOE Order 5820.2A1, the TRU wastes are considered retrievably stored, and current plans are to retrieve these wastes for shipment to WIPP for disposal. This plan provides a strategy for the Phase I retrieval that meets the intent ofmore » TPA milestone M-91 and Project W-113, and incorporates the lessons learned during TRU retrieval campaigns at Hanford, LANL, and SRS. As in the original Project W-113 plans, the current plan calls for examination of approximately 10,000 suspect-TRU drums located in the 218-W-4C burial ground followed by the retrieval of those drums verified to contain TRU waste. Unlike the older plan, however, this plan proposes an open-air retrieval scenario similar to those used for TRU drum retrieval at LANL and SRS. Phase I retrieval consists of the activities associated with the assessment of approximately 10,000 55-gallon drums of suspect TRU-waste in burial ground 218-W-4C and the retrieval of those drums verified to contain TRU waste. Four of the trenches in 218-W-4C (Trenches 1, 4, 20, and 29) are prime candidates for Phase I retrieval because they contain large numbers of suspect TRU drums, stacked from 2 to 5 drums high, on an asphalt pad. In fact, three of the trenches (Trenches 1 , 20, and 29) contain waste that has not been covered with soil, and about 1500 drums can be retrieved without excavation. The other three trenches in 218-W-4C (Trenches 7, 19, and 24) are not candidates for Phase I retrieval because they contain significant numbers of boxes. Drums will be retrieved from the four candidate trenches, checked for structural integrity, overpacked, if necessary, and assayed at the burial ground. A mobile assay system will be used to determine if the drum is LLW (Le., contains <100 nCi/g). LLW will remain disposed of in the 218-W-4C Burial Ground. TRU waste will be retrieved and staged in the burial ground until it can be shipped to the CWC. The TRU drums will be stored at the CWC until they can be moved to WRAP. The WRAP facility will prepare the waste for shipment to WIPP for final disposal. For planning purposes, approximately 50% of the 10,000 drums have been estimated to contain LLW.« less