skip to main content

Title: Excavation and Repackaging of Retrievably-Stored, Remote-Handled Transuranic Waste at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Between 1972 and 1981, remote-handled transuranic (RH-TRU) wastes generated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) were retrievably stored through shallow land burial in a series of 22 earthen trenches in the northern portion of Solid Waste Storage Area 5 in ORNL's Melton Valley. A Dispute Resolution Agreement signed by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and DOE specified removal of the buried (stored) waste to allow for repackaging, processing, and offsite disposal at an appropriate facility. A total of 204 concrete casks were successfully retrieved and over-packed from the 22-trench area between November 2004 and June 2006. Wastes originally stored in boxes, drums or placed without packaging was also recovered and repackaged. The repackaged wastes were transported to a nearby temporary storage facility at ORNL pending processing at DOE's Transuranic Waste Processing Center. In summary: The objective of the MVTRU Waste Retrieval Project was to satisfy conditions of the Dispute Resolution Agreement. This remedial action consisted of removal of all buried waste containers and loose items from the 22-trench area. The TRU waste casks were placed in steel overpacks, while other waste boxes, drums, and loose items were placed in steel drums or boxes. The over-packed waste was placedmore » in an approved staging area until it can be accepted for treatment at the ORNL TRU Waste Processing Facility and ultimately disposed. A total of 204 casks were indicated by historical records to have been buried in the 22-Trench area, and 204 casks were found and over-packed during the retrieval operations. The historical records also indicated that some 18 steel or wood boxes, 12 steel drums, and approximately 15 m{sup 3} of loose waste were buried in the trenches. The contents of approximately 12 boxes, 3 drums, and approximately the expected 15 m{sup 3} quantity of loose waste were retrieved and over-packed. One significant deviation from the actions described in the Dispute Resolution Agreement occurred during the excavation of Trench 13. Pyrophoric material was encountered and a reaction occurred, causing a brief flame in the excavator bucket. No personnel contamination or radioactive material release occurred. The waste buried in Trench 13, consisting of approximately eight 208-liter (55-gal) drums and one 114-liter (30-gal) drum, was stabilized in-place due to risks associated with the retrieval and handling of this pyrophoric material. The Dispute Resolution Agreement completion date was revised to allow this material to remain stabilized in place as interim storage until a disposition path is established. The baseline schedule called for site mobilization and preparation to begin in November 2003, soil excavation and waste retrieval to be completed by March 2006, and site restoration and demobilization to be complete by April 2006, with the draft letter of completion submitted in May 2006. Soil excavation and waste retrieval were completed in March 2006 as planned, and no significant deviations to the baseline schedule were encountered. (authors)« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. US DOE, Oak Ridge Operations, Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Washington Safety Management Solutions, LLC, Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  3. Bechtel Jacobs Company, LLC, Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  4. Visionary Solutions, LLC, Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21326170
Report Number(s):
INIS-US--10-WM-08454
TRN: US10V0627067535
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: WM'08: Waste Management Symposium 2008 - HLW, TRU, LLW/ILW, Mixed, Hazardous Wastes and Environmental Management - Phoenix Rising: Moving Forward in Waste Management, Phoenix, AZ (United States), 24-28 Feb 2008; Other Information: Country of input: France; refs
Research Org:
WM Symposia, 1628 E. Southern Avenue, Suite 9 - 332, Tempe, AZ 85282 (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; ALPHA-BEARING WASTES; CASKS; EXCAVATION; GROUND DISPOSAL; ORNL; RADIOACTIVE WASTE STORAGE; REMEDIAL ACTION; SOLID WASTES; STEELS; STORAGE FACILITIES; WASTE RETRIEVAL