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Title: A Low-Tech, Low-Budget Storage Solution for High Level Radioactive Sources

The need for safe, secure, and economical storage of radioactive material becomes increasingly important as beneficial uses of radioactive material expand (increases inventory), as political instability rises (increases threat), and as final disposal and treatment facilities are delayed (increases inventory and storage duration). Several vendor-produced storage casks are available for this purpose but are often costly — due to the required design, analyses, and licensing costs. Thus the relatively high costs of currently accepted storage solutions may inhibit substantial improvements in safety and security that might otherwise be achieved. This is particularly true in areas of the world where the economic and/or the regulatory infrastructure may not provide the means and/or the justification for such an expense. This paper considers a relatively low-cost, low-technology radioactive material storage solution. The basic concept consists of a simple shielded storage container that can be fabricated locally using a steel pipe and a corrugated steel culvert as forms enclosing a concrete annulus. Benefits of such a system include 1) a low-tech solution that utilizes materials and skills available virtually anywhere in the world, 2) a readily scalable design that easily adapts to specific needs such as the geometry and radioactivity of the source termmore » material), 3) flexible placement allows for free-standing above-ground or in-ground (i.e., below grade or bermed) installation, 4) the ability for future relocation without direct handling of sources, and 5) a long operational lifetime . ‘Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien’ (translated: The best is the enemy of good) applies to the management of radioactive materials – particularly where the economic and/or regulatory justification for additional investment is lacking. Development of a low-cost alternative that considerably enhances safety and security may lead to a greater overall risk reduction than insisting on solutions that remain economically and/or politically ‘out of reach’.« less
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Conference: INMM 55th Annual Meeting,Atlanta, GA,07/20/2014,07/24/2014
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
12 MGMT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES nuclear materials storage; radioactive source terms storage; storage container