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Title: Overview of Low-Level Waste Disposal Operations at the Nevada Test Site

Abstract

The U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office Environmental Management Program is charged with the responsibility to carry out the disposal of on-site and off-site generated low-level radioactive waste at the Nevada Test Site. Core elements of this mission are ensuring that disposal take place in a manner that is safe and cost-effective while protecting workers, the public, and the environment. This paper focuses on giving an overview of the Nevada Test Site facilities regarding currant design of disposal. In addition, technical attributes of the facilities established through the site characterization process will be further described. An update on current waste disposal volumes and capabilities will also be provided. This discussion leads to anticipated volume projections and disposal site requirements as the Nevada Test Site disposal operations look towards the future.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Stoller-Navarro Joint Venture
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
901734
Report Number(s):
DOE/NV-1164
TRN: US0702658
DOE Contract Number:
DEAC5203NA99205
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Waste Management 2007 Conference -- Tucson, Arizona -- February 25 - March 1, 2007
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; DESIGN; LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; MANAGEMENT; NEVADA TEST SITE; SECURITY; SITE CHARACTERIZATION; WASTE DISPOSAL; WASTE MANAGEMENT

Citation Formats

DOE /Navarro. Overview of Low-Level Waste Disposal Operations at the Nevada Test Site. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
DOE /Navarro. Overview of Low-Level Waste Disposal Operations at the Nevada Test Site. United States.
DOE /Navarro. Thu . "Overview of Low-Level Waste Disposal Operations at the Nevada Test Site". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/901734.
@article{osti_901734,
title = {Overview of Low-Level Waste Disposal Operations at the Nevada Test Site},
author = {DOE /Navarro},
abstractNote = {The U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office Environmental Management Program is charged with the responsibility to carry out the disposal of on-site and off-site generated low-level radioactive waste at the Nevada Test Site. Core elements of this mission are ensuring that disposal take place in a manner that is safe and cost-effective while protecting workers, the public, and the environment. This paper focuses on giving an overview of the Nevada Test Site facilities regarding currant design of disposal. In addition, technical attributes of the facilities established through the site characterization process will be further described. An update on current waste disposal volumes and capabilities will also be provided. This discussion leads to anticipated volume projections and disposal site requirements as the Nevada Test Site disposal operations look towards the future.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Thu Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Conference:
Other availability
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  • This paper provides an overview and the impacts of new policies, processes, and opportunities at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). Operational changes have been implemented, such as larger trench sizes and more efficient soil management as have administrative processes to address U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Code of Federal Regulation analyses. Some adverse conditions have prompted changes in transportation and mixed low-level waste polices, and a new funding mechanism was developed. This year has seen many changes to the NTS disposal family. (authors)
  • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office Environmental Management Program is responsible for carrying out the disposal of on-site and off-site generated low-level radioactive waste (LLW) and low-level radioactive mixed waste (MW) at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). Core elements of this mission are ensuring safe and cost-effective disposal while protecting workers, the public, and the environment. This paper focuses on the impacts of new policies, processes, and opportunities at the NTS related to LLW and MW. Covered topics include: the first year of direct funding for NTS waste disposal operations; zero tolerance policymore » for non-compliant packages; the suspension of mixed waste disposal; waste acceptance changes; DOE Consolidated Audit Program (DOECAP) auditing; the 92-Acre Area closure plan; new eligibility requirements for generators; and operational successes with unusual waste streams.« less
  • Low-level radioactive waste (LLW) streams which have a clear, defined pathway to disposal are becoming less common as U.S. Department of Energy accelerated cleanup sites enters their closure phase. These commonly disposed LLW waste streams are rapidly being disposed and the LLW inventory awaiting disposal is dwindling. However, more complex waste streams that have no path for disposal are now requiring attention. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office (NSO) Environmental Management Program is charged with the responsibility of carrying out the disposal of onsite and off-site defense-generated and research-related LLW at the Nevada.more » Test Site (NTS). The NSO and its generator community are constantly pursuing new LLW disposal techniques while meeting the core mission of safe and cost-effective disposal that protects the worker, the public and the environment. From trenches to present-day super-cells, the NTS disposal techniques must change to meet the LLW generator's disposal needs. One of the many ways the NTS is addressing complex waste streams is by designing waste specific pits and trenches. This ensures unusual waste streams with high-activity or large packaging have a disposal path. Another option the NTS offers is disposal of classified low-level radioactive-contaminated material. In order to perform this function, the NTS has a safety plan in place as well as a secure facility. By doing this, the NTS can accept DOE generated classified low-level radioactive-contaminated material that would be equivalent to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Class B, C, and Greater than Class C waste. In fiscal year 2006, the NTS will be the only federal disposal facility that will be able to dispose mixed low-level radioactive waste (MLLW) streams. This is an activity that is highly anticipated by waste generators. In order for the NTS to accept MLLW, generators will have to meet the stringent requirements of the NTS Waste Acceptance Criteria. The disposal operations previously mentioned take place at the NTS in two disposal facilities. The isolation protection and overall performance of the two LLW disposal facilities at the NTS transcend those of any federal radioactive waste disposal site in the United States. The first of the two disposal sites is the Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Site (RWMS) which is situated on alluvial fan deposits in the Frenchman Flat basin, approximately 770 feet (235 meters) above the water table. The Area 5 RWMS utilizes a combination of engineered shallow land disposal cells and deep augured shafts for the disposal of a variety of waste streams. Fifteen miles (24 kilometers) north of the Area 5 RWMS is the Area 3 RWMS located approximately 1,600 feet (488 meters) above the water table in Yucca Flat. Disposal activities at the Area 3 RWMS center around the placement of bulk LLW in subsidence craters formed from underground testing of nuclear weapons. Native alluvium soil is used to cover waste placed in the disposal cells at both facilities. In addition, information on the technical attributes, facility performance, updates on waste disposal volumes and capabilities, and current and future disposal site requirements will also be described. (authors)« less
  • The Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Site on the Nevada Test Site has been disposing of low-level, mixed low-level, and transuranic radioactive waste since 1961. In 1988, the U.S. Department of Energy implemented performance objectives for low-level radioactive waste disposal site performance and required all site operators to prepare a performance assessment. Since then, an iterative performance assessment process has been implemented that consists of repeated cycles of site characterization, conceptual model formation/revision, and performance assessment modeling. At the end of each cycle uncertainty and sensitivity analysis are used to determine the need for revision and to identify topics requiringmore » additional research and development. The performance assessment model is implemented in the GoldSim{reg_sign} probabilistic simulation platform. The current site conceptual model, based on site characterization data and process model results, assumes that there is no groundwater pathway under current climatic conditions and that radionuclide releases are predominately upward to the land surface. Radionuclides are released to the land surface by upward liquid advection/diffusion, gas diffusion, biointrusion, and inadvertent human intrusion. The model calculates dose for four members of public exposure scenarios and two intruder scenarios. The highest mean-dose, 0.04 mSv yr{sup -1}, is expected for a low-probability exposure scenario: establishment of a rural community at the site boundary at the end of institutional control. At the end of institutional control, doses are contributed primarily by {sup 3}H in agricultural products produced onsite. After approximately 300 years, the doses are contributed equally by {sup 99}Tc and {sup 210}Pb ingested in vegetables grown at the residence. Technetium is released to the surface by the coupled processes of liquid advection/diffusion occurring deep in the cover and plant uptake/animal burrowing occurring at shallower depths. Lead-210 is deposited in shallow cover soil by the radioactive decay of {sup 222}Rn diffusing in the gas phase. The highest mean dose for the more likely exposure scenario of transient recreational use of the site is 0.002 mSv yr{sup -1}. The transient visitor's dose is contributed predominantly by external irradiation from {sup 214}Pb and {sup 214}Bi, deposited in the cover by diffusion of {sup 222}Rn.« less
  • This paper provides an overview and the impacts of new policies, processes, and opportunities at the Nevada Test Site. Operational changes have been implemented, such as larger trench sizes and more efficient soil management as have administrative processes to address U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Code of Federal Regulation analyses. Some adverse conditions have prompted changes in transportation and mixed low-level waste polices, and a new funding mechanism was developed. This year has seen many changes to the Nevada Test Site disposal family.