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Title: Nuclear waste repository transparency technology test bed demonstrations at WIPP

Secretary of Energy, Bill Richardson, has stated that one of the nuclear waste legacy issues is ``The challenge of managing the fuel cycle's back end and assuring the safe use of nuclear power.'' Waste management (i.e., the back end) is a domestic and international issue that must be addressed. A key tool in gaining acceptance of nuclear waste repository technologies is transparency. Transparency provides information to outside parties for independent assessment of safety, security, and legitimate use of materials. Transparency is a combination of technologies and processes that apply to all elements of the development, operation, and closure of a repository system. A test bed for nuclear repository transparency technologies has been proposed to develop a broad-based set of concepts and strategies for transparency monitoring of nuclear materials at the back end of the fuel/weapons cycle. WIPP is the world's first complete geologic repository system for nuclear materials at the back end of the cycle. While it is understood that WIPP does not currently require this type of transparency, this repository has been proposed as realistic demonstration site to generate and test ideas, methods, and technologies about what transparency may entail at the back end of the nuclear materials cycle,more » and which could be applicable to other international repository developments. An integrated set of transparency demonstrations was developed and deployed during the summer, and fall of 1999 as a proof-of-concept of the repository transparency technology concept. These demonstrations also provided valuable experience and insight into the implementation of future transparency technology development and application. These demonstrations included: Container Monitoring Rocky Flats to WIPP; Underground Container Monitoring; Real-Time Radiation and Environmental Monitoring; Integrated level of confidence in the system and information provided. As the world's only operating deep geologic repository, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) offers a unique opportunity to serve as an international cooperative test bed for developing and demonstrating technologies and processes in a fully operational repository system setting. To address the substantial national security implications for the US resulting from the lack of integrated, transparent management and disposition of nuclear materials at the back-end of the nuclear fuel and weapons cycles, it is proposed that WIPP be used as a test bed to develop and demonstrate technologies that will enable the transparent and proliferation-resistant geologic isolation of nuclear materials. The objectives of this initiative are to: (1) enhance public confidence in safe, secure geologic isolation of nuclear materials; (2) develop, test, and demonstrate transparency measures and technologies for the back-end of nuclear fuel cycle; and (3) foster international collaborations leading to workable, effective, globally-accepted standards for the transparent monitoring of geological repositories for nuclear materials. Test-bed activities include: development and testing of monitoring measures and technologies; international demonstration experiments; transparency workshops; visiting scientist exchanges; and educational outreach. These activities are proposed to be managed by the Department of Energy/Carlsbad Area Office (DOE/CAO) as part of The Center for Applied Repository and Underground Studies (CARUS).« less
Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
751079
Report Number(s):
SAND2000-0223C
TRN: US0003326
DOE Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Waste Management 2000 Symposium, Tucson, AZ (US), 02/27/2000--03/02/2000; Other Information: PBD: 27 Jan 2000
Research Org:
Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (US); Sandia National Labs., Livermore, CA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
US Department of Energy (US)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
98 NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT, SAFEGUARDS, AND PHYSICAL PROTECTION; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; WIPP; RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL; PUBLIC INFORMATION; MONITORS; DEMONSTRATION PROGRAMS; REAL TIME SYSTEMS; NUCLEAR MATERIALS MANAGEMENT; FUEL CYCLE