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Title: Dismantlement and Radioactive Waste Management of DPRK Nuclear Facilities

One critical aspect of any denuclearization of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) involves dismantlement of its nuclear facilities and management of their associated radioactive wastes. The decommissioning problem for its two principal operational plutonium facilities at Yongbyun, the 5MWe nuclear reactor and the Radiochemical Laboratory reprocessing facility, alone present a formidable challenge. Dismantling those facilities will create radioactive waste in addition to existing inventories of spent fuel and reprocessing wastes. Negotiations with the DPRK, such as the Six Party Talks, need to appreciate the enormous scale of the radioactive waste management problem resulting from dismantlement. The two operating plutonium facilities, along with their legacy wastes, will result in anywhere from 50 to 100 metric tons of uranium spent fuel, as much as 500,000 liters of liquid high-level waste, as well as miscellaneous high-level waste sources from the Radiochemical Laboratory. A substantial quantity of intermediate-level waste will result from disposing 600 metric tons of graphite from the reactor, an undetermined quantity of chemical decladding liquid waste from reprocessing, and hundreds of tons of contaminated concrete and metal from facility dismantlement. Various facilities for dismantlement, decontamination, waste treatment and packaging, and storage will be needed. The shipment of spent fuelmore » and liquid high level waste out of the DPRK is also likely to be required. Nuclear facility dismantlement and radioactive waste management in the DPRK are all the more difficult because of nuclear nonproliferation constraints, including the call by the United States for “complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement,” or “CVID.” It is desirable to accomplish dismantlement quickly, but many aspects of the radioactive waste management cannot be achieved without careful assessment, planning and preparation, sustained commitment, and long completion times. The radioactive waste management problem in fact offers a prospect for international participation to engage the DPRK constructively. DPRK nuclear dismantlement, when accompanied with a concerted effort for effective radioactive waste management, can be a mutually beneficial goal.« less
Authors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
957471
Report Number(s):
SAND 2005-1981P
TRN: US1000445
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
SNL-A (Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; CHEMICAL DECLADDING; DECOMMISSIONING; DECONTAMINATION; GRAPHITE; INVENTORIES; LIQUID WASTES; NUCLEAR FACILITIES; PACKAGING; PLUTONIUM; PROLIFERATION; RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; REACTORS; REPROCESSING; REPUBLIC OF KOREA; SPENT FUELS; STORAGE; URANIUM; WASTE PROCESSING