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Title: The Changing Adventures of Mixed Low-Level Waste Disposal at the Nevada Test Site

Abstract

After a 15-year hiatus, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO) began accepting DOE off-site generated mixed low-level radioactive waste (MLLW) for disposal at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) in December 2005. This action was predicated on the acceptance by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) of a waste analysis plan (WAP). The NNSA/NSO agreed to limit mixed waste disposal to 20,000 cubic meters (approximately 706,000 cubic feet) and close the facility by December 2010 or sooner, if the volume limit is reached. The WAP and implementing procedures were developed based on Hanford’s system of verification to the extent possible so the two regional disposal sites could have similar processes. Since the NNSA/NSO does not have a breaching facility to allow the opening of boxes at the site, verification of the waste occurs by visual inspection at the generator/treatment facility or by Real-Time-Radiography (RTR) at the NTS. This system allows the NTS to effectively, efficiently, and compliantly accept MLLW for disposal. The WAP, NTS Waste Acceptance Criteria, and procedures have been revised based on learning experiences. These changes include: RTR expectations; visual inspection techniques; tamper-indicating device selection; void space requirements; andmore » chemical screening concerns. The NNSA/NSO, NDEP, and the generators have been working together throughout the debugging of the verification processes. Additionally, the NNSA/NSO will continue to refine the MLLW acceptance processes and strive for continual improvement of the program. However, the NNSA/NSO has identified DOE complex-wide issues: (1) the temporary closure of the Hanford facility to off-site generators leaves the NTS as the only Federal facility able to dispose of MLLW. If the Hanford facility is not permitted to accept waste from off-site generators after December 2010, the DOE complex will have no Federal facility to accept higher activity MLLW. It is not known if commercial disposal options for higher activities MLLW will be available by December 2010. (2) MLLW forecasts to the NTS do not fully utilize the 20,000 cubic meter capacity within five years. The DOE has urged generator facilities to re-prioritize projects and has conducted planning meetings to identify actions to increase the use of the NTS disposal capacity. (3) Generators have requested disposal of classified material in the MLLW disposal cell, however closure, safeguard termination, and “irretrievability” issues must be resolved.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Nuclear Security Administration, Nevada Site Office
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
939495
Report Number(s):
DOE/NV-1162
TRN: US0806801
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Waste Management 2007; February 25 - March 1, 2007; Tucson, AZ
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CAPACITY; CLOSURES; ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION; LEARNING; LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; NEVADA TEST SITE; OPENINGS; PLANNING; SAFEGUARDS; SECURITY; VERIFICATION; WASTE DISPOSAL; WASTE MANAGEMENT; WASTES

Citation Formats

Gary Pyles, and Jhon Carilli. The Changing Adventures of Mixed Low-Level Waste Disposal at the Nevada Test Site. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Gary Pyles, & Jhon Carilli. The Changing Adventures of Mixed Low-Level Waste Disposal at the Nevada Test Site. United States.
Gary Pyles, and Jhon Carilli. Thu . "The Changing Adventures of Mixed Low-Level Waste Disposal at the Nevada Test Site". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/939495.
@article{osti_939495,
title = {The Changing Adventures of Mixed Low-Level Waste Disposal at the Nevada Test Site},
author = {Gary Pyles and Jhon Carilli},
abstractNote = {After a 15-year hiatus, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO) began accepting DOE off-site generated mixed low-level radioactive waste (MLLW) for disposal at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) in December 2005. This action was predicated on the acceptance by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) of a waste analysis plan (WAP). The NNSA/NSO agreed to limit mixed waste disposal to 20,000 cubic meters (approximately 706,000 cubic feet) and close the facility by December 2010 or sooner, if the volume limit is reached. The WAP and implementing procedures were developed based on Hanford’s system of verification to the extent possible so the two regional disposal sites could have similar processes. Since the NNSA/NSO does not have a breaching facility to allow the opening of boxes at the site, verification of the waste occurs by visual inspection at the generator/treatment facility or by Real-Time-Radiography (RTR) at the NTS. This system allows the NTS to effectively, efficiently, and compliantly accept MLLW for disposal. The WAP, NTS Waste Acceptance Criteria, and procedures have been revised based on learning experiences. These changes include: RTR expectations; visual inspection techniques; tamper-indicating device selection; void space requirements; and chemical screening concerns. The NNSA/NSO, NDEP, and the generators have been working together throughout the debugging of the verification processes. Additionally, the NNSA/NSO will continue to refine the MLLW acceptance processes and strive for continual improvement of the program. However, the NNSA/NSO has identified DOE complex-wide issues: (1) the temporary closure of the Hanford facility to off-site generators leaves the NTS as the only Federal facility able to dispose of MLLW. If the Hanford facility is not permitted to accept waste from off-site generators after December 2010, the DOE complex will have no Federal facility to accept higher activity MLLW. It is not known if commercial disposal options for higher activities MLLW will be available by December 2010. (2) MLLW forecasts to the NTS do not fully utilize the 20,000 cubic meter capacity within five years. The DOE has urged generator facilities to re-prioritize projects and has conducted planning meetings to identify actions to increase the use of the NTS disposal capacity. (3) Generators have requested disposal of classified material in the MLLW disposal cell, however closure, safeguard termination, and “irretrievability” issues must be resolved.},
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}
}

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