Environmental Management Technology-Development Program at the Department of Energy 1995 Review

Committee on Environmental Management Technologies

Board on Radioactive Waste Management

Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1996



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--> Environmental Management Technology-Development Program at the Department of Energy 1995 Review Committee on Environmental Management Technologies Board on Radioactive Waste Management Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1996

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--> NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by the Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The work was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Contract No. DE–FC01–94EW54069/R. All opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Energy. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 96–67829 International Standard Book Number 0-309-05481-8 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Box 285 Washington, D.C. 20055 800–624–6242 202–334–3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area) B722 Copyright 1996 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Cover: View of radioactive waste inside an underground storage tank at the Hanford Site, near Richland, Washington. Photo courtesy of Westinghouse Hanford Co. Special thanks to Jan Hansen.

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--> COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES EDWIN E. KINTNER, Chair, GPU Nuclear Corp. (retired), Norwich, Vermont FRANK L. PARKER*, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee MELVIN W. CARTER, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta (emeritus) THOMAS A. COTTON, JK Research Associates, Inc., Arlington, Virginia GARY A. DAVIS, University of Tennessee, Knoxville PAUL DEJONGHE, Study Centre for Nuclear Research, Mol, Belgium GHISLAIN DE MARSIL Y, University of Paris, France MARSHALL E. DRUMMOND, Eastern Washington University, Cheney B. JOHN GARRICK, PLG, Inc., Newport Beach, California PETER B. MYERS, Consultant, Silver Spring, Maryland GEORGE W. PARSHALL, Consultant, Wilmington, Delaware LYNNE M. PRESLO, Earth Tech, Berkeley, California PAUL V. ROBERTS, Stanford University, Stanford, California C. HERB WARD, Rice University, Houston, Texas RAYMOND G. WYMER, Consultant, Oak Ridge, Tennessee Staff CARL A. ANDERSON, Director, BRWM KARYANIL T. THOMAS, Study Director THOMAS E. KIESS, Program Officer SUSAN B. MOCKLER, Research Associate ROBIN L. ALLEN, Senior Project Assistant PATRICIA A. JONES, Project Assistant *   Chair, until September 1995.

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--> SUBCOMMITTEE ON DECONTAMINATION AND DECOMMISSIONING PETER B. MYERS, Chair, Consultant, Silver Spring, Maryland PATRICIA ANN BAISDEN, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California SOL BURSTEIN, Wisconsin Electric Power Milwaukee, Wisconsin (retired) JOSEPH S BYRD, University of South Carolina, Columbia BRUCE W. CLEMENS, University of Tennessee, Knoxville FRANK P. CRIMI, Lockheed Environmental Systems, Saratoga, California ROBERT A. FJELD, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina LINDA WENNERBERG, Consultant, Dorchester, Massachusetts SUBCOMMITTEE ON CONTAMINANT PLUMES MELVIN W. CARTER, Chair, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta (emeritus) PHILIP E. BEDIENT, Rice University, Houston, Texas JOHN C. FOUNTAIN, State University of New York, Buffalo VICTOR G. GULAS, Montgomery Watson, Boulder, Colorado LYNNE M. PRESLO, Earth Tech, Berkeley, California CURTIS C. TRAVIS, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee WALTER J. WEBER, JR., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor SUBCOMMITTEE ON LANDFILLS C. HERB WARD, Chair, Rice University, Houston, Texas KENT D. BAUGH, OHM Remediation Services Corporation, Pleasanton, California KIRK W. BROWN, Texas A&M University, College Station RICHARD A. CONWAY, Union Carbide Corporation, South Charleston, West Virginia WILLIAM P. DORNSIFE, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources, Harrisburg FREDERICK G. POHLAND, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania VERN C. ROGERS, Rogers & Associates Engineering Corporation, Salt Lake City, Utah LOUIS J. THIBODEAUX, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

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--> SUBCOMMITTEE ON HIGH-LEVEL WASTE IN TANKS B. JOHN GARRICK, Chair, PLG, Inc., Newport Beach, California VICKI M. BIER, University of Wisconsin, Madison ALLEN G. CROFF, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee MARTIN J. STEINDLER, Argonne National Laboratory, Downers Grove, Illinois (retired) CLAUDE G. SOMBRET, Consultant, Villeneuve Les Avignon, France RAYMOND G. WYMER, Consultant, Oak Ridge, Tennessee SUBCOMMITTEE ON MIXED WASTES PAUL DEJONGHE, Chair, Study Centre for Nuclear Research, Mol, Belgium ANN N. CLARKE, Eckenfelder, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee GARY A. DAVIS, University of Tennessee, Knoxville JURGEN H. EXNER, JHE Technology Systems, Inc., Alamo, California ROBERT D. WATERS, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico Subcommittee Staff KARYANIL T. THOMAS, Study Director THOMAS E. KIESS, Program Officer SUSAN B. MOCKLER, Research Associate ROBIN L. ALLEN, Senior Project Assistant PATRICIA A. JONES, Project Assistant

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--> BOARD ON RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT MICHAEL C. KAVANAUGH, Chair, ENVIRON Corporation, Emeryville, California B. JOHN GARRICK, Vice-Chair, PLG, Inc., Newport Beach, California JOHN F. AHEARNE, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina JEAN M. BAHR, University of Wisconsin, Madison SOL BURSTEIN, Wisconsin Electric Power, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (retired) ANDREW P. CAPUTO, Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, D. C. MELVIN W. CARTER, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta (emeritus) PAUL P. CRAIG, University of California at Davis (emeritus) MARY R. ENGLISH, University of Tennessee, Knoxville ROBERT D. HATCHER, University of Tennessee/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Knoxville DARLEANE C. HOFFMAN, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley, California JAMES H. JOHNSON, JR., Howard University, Washington, D.C. ROBERT MEYER, Keystone Scientific, Inc., Fort Collins, Colorado PERRY L. McCARTY, Stanford University, Stanford, California (CGER Liaison) CHARLES McCOMBIE, NAGRA, Wettingen, Switzerland PRISCILLA P. NELSON, University of Texas, Austin D. KIRK NORDSTROM, U.S. Geological Survey, Boulder, Colorado D. WARNER NORTH, Decision Focus, Inc., Mountain View, California GLENN PAULSON, Paulson & Cooper, Jackson Hole, Wyoming PAUL SLOVIC, Decision Research, Eugene, Oregon BENJAMIN L. SMITH, Independent Consultant, Columbia, Tennessee Staff CARL A. ANDERSON, Director KEVIN D. CROWLEY, Associate Director ROBERT S. ANDREWS, Senior Staff Officer KARYANIL T. THOMAS, Senior Staff Officer THOMAS E. KIESS, Staff Officer SUSAN B. MOCKLER, Research Associate LISA J. CLENDENING, Administrative Associate ROBIN L. ALLEN, Senior Project Assistant REBECCA BURKA, Senior Project Assistant DENNIS L. DUPREE, Senior Project Assistant PATRICIA A. JONES, Project Assistant ANGELA R. TAYLOR, Project Assistant ERIKA L. WILLIAMS, Project Assistant

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--> COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES M. GORDON WOLMAN, Chair, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland PATRICK R. ATKINS, Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania JAMES P. BRUCE, Canadian Climate Program Board, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada WILLIAM L. FISHER, University of Texas, Austin JERRY F. FRANKLIN, University of Washington, Seattle GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, University of Virginia, Charlottesville DEBRA KNOPMAN, Progressive Foundation, Washington, D.C. PERRY L. MCCARTY, Stanford University, Stanford, California JUDITH E. MCDOWELL, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts S. GEORGE PHILANDER, Princeton University, New Jersey RAYMOND A. PRICE, Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario, Canada THOMAS C. SCHELLING, University of Maryland, College Park ELLEN SILBERGELD, University of Maryland Medical School, Baltimore STEVEN M. STANLEY, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL, Landers and Parsons, Tallahassee, Florida Staff STEPHEN RATTIEN, Executive Director STEPHEN D. PARKER, Associate Executive Director MORGAN GOPNIK, Assistant Executive Director GREGORY SYMMES, Reports Officer JAMES MALLORY, Administrative Officer SANDI FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate SUSAN SHERWIN, Project Assistant

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--> The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Harold Liebowitz is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government, and upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Harold Liebowitz are the chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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--> Preface The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) established its Office of Environmental Management (EM) in November 1989. The primary goal of the EM program is to clean up the legacy of environmental pollution at DOE weapons complex facilities throughout the nation. This undertaking costs billions of dollars each year, and its magnitude and complexity demand that related technology development and use be optimized and cost effective, while also reducing risks to public health and meeting program goals and schedules. At the request of DOE's Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management, Thomas Grumbly, the National Research Council (NRC) formed the Committee on Environmental Management Technologies (CEMT) to provide DOE-EM with continuing independent review and recommendations on technology development and use. (CEMT's formal Statement of Task is presented in Appendix B.) The CEMT membership (see biographical sketches in Appendix C) was constituted to represent the broad span of disciplines required to address its charge. This report is intended to be helpful to those responsible for managing DOE's large and important technology-development programs. The committee will produce a yearly report; the first, published in 1995, describes CEMT's 1994 activities. CEMT convened its first meeting in December 1994, in Washington, D.C. Open sessions included presentations by NRC Chairman Bruce Alberts, Assistant Secretary for DOE-EM Thomas Grumbly, and DOE Deputy Assistant Secretaries for Environmental Restoration, Waste Management, Technology Development, and Facility Transition and Management. Three invited talks by non-U.S. scientists provided some international perspectives on tank wastes, ground-water cleanup, and mixed wastes. In addition, representatives of DOE-EM's five focus areas gave detailed accounts of their ongoing and proposed work. These five focus areas form the core organization of the DOE-EM tasks: (1) Contaminant Plume Containment and Remediation; (2) Landfill Stabilization; (3) High-Level Radioactive Waste Tank

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--> Remediation; (4) Mixed-Waste Characterization, Treatment and Disposal; and (5) Facility Transitioning, Decommissioning and Final Disposition. During 1995, CEMT met three times: March 22-23 at the National Research Council, Washington, D.C.; July 31-August 1 at the J. Erik Jonsson Woods Hole Center in Woods Hole, Mass.; and December 6-8 at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center in Irvine, Calif. During the first meeting, presentations were made by senior officials from the DOE, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. At the second meeting, presentations were made by DOE officials and members of organizations carrying out waste remediation functions at the Savannah River Site. At its third meeting, CEMT reviewed the reports of its five subcommittees, received a report from a DOE representative on what actions had been taken in response to the recommendations of CEMT's report for 1994 activities, and prepared this report for 1995 activities. CEMT wishes to thank members of the DOE-EM staff for their cooperation in presenting material to the committee and its subcommittees, and members of the NRC staff, especially K. T. Thomas, Thomas Kiess, Susan B. Mockler, Patricia A. Jones, and Robin L. Allen, for their support. EDWIN E. KINTNER CHAIR, CEMT

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--> Table of Contents     Preface   ix     Executive Summary   1 Chapter 1:   Introduction   3 Chapter 2:   Improving the Development of Environmental Management Technologies   7     Identification, Selection, and Prioritization of Technology-Development Investments,   7     Careful Consideration of Waste Streams and Their Final Disposal,   9     Project Assessment and Evaluation,   10     Peer Review,   13     Information Gathering on Technologies Available and Being Developed in the United States and Abroad,   14 Chapter 3:   Technology Development in DOE: Focus Areas and Cross-Cutting Areas   17     Focus Areas,   17     Cross-Cutting Areas,   21     References   22 Appendix A:   Subcommittee Reports   23     Subcommittee on Contaminant Plumes   25          Statement of Task,   25          Scope of Problem and Needs,   25

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-->          In-Situ Remediation of TCE - A Productive Industry/DOE/EPA Demonstration Using LASAGNATM,   28          Cleanup Objectives,   29          Criteria,   29          Status of Current Technologies and Needs,   30          References,   31     Subcommittee on Landfills   33          Overview and Summary of Preliminary Recommendations,   33          Preliminary Findings, Observations, and Recommendations,   34          References,   44     Subcommittee on High-Level Waste in Tanks   49          Introduction,   49          Conclusions and Recommendations,   55          References,   57     Subcommittee on Mixed Wastes   59          Scope and Tasks of the Subcommittee,   59          Overview of the DOE Mixed-Waste Focus Area,   60          Regulatory Aspects,   61          Criteria for Technology Development,   63          Status of Current Technologies,   64          Issues Affecting Technology Development and Use,   68          Conclusions and Recommendations,   70          References,   72     Subcommittee on Decontamination and Decommissioning   73          Introduction,   73          Conclusions and Recommendations,   75          References,   79     Cross-Cutting Areas and Technologies of Importance   81          Site Characterization,   82          Waste Characterization,   84

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-->     Monitoring and Sensor Technology,   86     Robotics,   87     Separations,   90     Incineration,   93     Supercritical Water Oxidation (SCWO),   94     Vitrification,   95     Disposal,   96     References,   100 Appendix B:   Statements of Task   103     Committee on Environmental Management Technologies (CEMT),   103     Subcommittee on Contaminant Plumes,   105     Subcommittee on Decontamination And Decommissioning,   106     Subcommittee on High-Level Waste In Tanks,   107     Subcommittee on Landfills,   108     Subcommittee on Mixed Wastes,   109 Appendix C:   Biographical Sketches of Committee and Subcommittee Members   111 Appendix D:   Acronyms   129

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