Page i

Research Opportunities for Deactivating
and Decommissioning Department of Energy Facilities

Committee on Long-Term Research Needs
for Deactivation and Decommissioning at Department of Energy Sites

Board on Radioactive Waste Management

Division on Earth and Life Studies

National Research Council



NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.



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Page i Research Opportunities for Deactivating and Decommissioning Department of Energy Facilities Committee on Long-Term Research Needs for Deactivation and Decommissioning at Department of Energy Sites Board on Radioactive Waste Management Division on Earth and Life Studies National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.

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Page ii 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. Support for this study was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy under Grant No. DE-FC01-99EW59049. All opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Energy. International Standard Book Number 0309-07595-5 Additional copies of this report are available from National Academy Press , 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. , Lockbox 285 , Washington, D.C. 20055 ; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet: http://www.nap.edu Cover: Presently, deactivation and decommissioning work requires hands-on labor in hazardous areas. Science can provide new technologies that enhance worker safety and reduce cleanup time and cost. Photograph courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy. Copyright 2001 by the National Academy of Sciences . All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Page iii THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council 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 M. 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. Wm. A. Wulf 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 I. 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 M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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Page iv COMMITTEE ON LONG-TERM RESEARCH NEEDS FOR DEACTIVATION AND DECOMMISSIONING AT DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY SITES PHILIP CLARK, SR., Chair, GPU Nuclear Corporation (retired), Boonton, New Jersey ANTHONY J. CAMPILLO, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C. FRANK CRIMI, Lockheed Martin Advanced Environmental Systems Company (retired), Saratoga, California KEN CZERWINSKI, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge RACHEL DETWILER, Construction Technology Laboratories, Inc., Skokie, Illinois HARRY HARMON, Battelle, PNNL, Savannah River Site, Aiken, South Carolina VINCENT MASSAUT, CEN.SCK, Mol, Belgium ALAN PENSE, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania GARY SAYLER, University of Tennessee, Knoxville DELBERT TESAR, University of Texas, Austin STAFF JOHN R. WILEY, Senior Staff Officer SUSAN B. MOCKLER, Research Associate TONI GREENLEAF, Administrative Associate LATRICIA C. BAILEY, Senior Project Assistant

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Page v BOARD ON RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT JOHN F. AHEARNE, Chair, Sigma Xi and Duke University, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina CHARLES MCCOMBIE, Vice-Chair, Consultant, Gipf-Oberfrick, Switzerland ROBERT M. BERNERO, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (retired), Gaithersburg, Maryland ROBERT J. BUDNITZ, Future Resources Associates, Inc., Berkeley, California GREGORY R. CHOPPIN, Florida State University, Tallahassee RODNEY EWING, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor JAMES H. JOHNSON, JR., Howard University, Washington, D.C. ROGER E. KASPERSON, Stockholm Environment Institute, Stockholm, Sweden NIKOLAY LAVEROV, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow JANE C. S. LONG, Mackay School of Mines, University of Nevada, Reno ALEXANDER MACLACHLAN, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (retired), Wilmington, Delaware WILLIAM A. MILLS, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (retired), Olney, Maryland MARTIN J. STEINDLER, Argonne National Laboratory (retired), Downers Grove, Illinois ATSUYUKI SUZUKI, University of Tokyo, Japan JOHN J. TAYLOR, Electric Power Research Institute (retired), Palo Alto, California VICTORIA J.TSCHINKEL, Landers and Parsons, Tallahassee, Florida STAFF KEVIN D. CROWLEY, Director MICAH D. LOWENTHAL, Staff Officer BARBARA PASTINA, Staff Officer GREGORY H. SYMMES, Senior Staff Officer JOHN R. WILEY, Senior Staff Officer SUSAN B. MOCKLER, Research Associate DARLA J. THOMPSON, Senior Project Assistant/Research Assistant TONI GREENLEAF, Administrative Associate LATRICIA C. BAILEY, Senior Project Assistant LAURA D. LLANOS, Senior Project Assistant ANGELA R. TAYLOR, Senior Project Assistant JAMES YATES, JR., Office Assistant

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Page vi

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Page vii Preface At the beginning of the nuclear era over 60 years ago, the United States was gravely concerned about its national security. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and later the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) began a massive construction program to build facilities that would manufacture nuclear materials for the nation's defense. Emphasis on nuclear materials production continued throughout the Cold War. Altogether the AEC and its successor, the Department of Energy (DOE), built and maintained some 20,000 facilities (buildings that housed equipment) at sites throughout the country. When the Cold War abruptly ended, DOE halted most nuclear materials production. Major facilities were closed, often with large inventories of radioactive materials still in process. Today many former production facilities have been declared surplus and turned over to the DOE Office of Environmental Management (EM) to be deactivated and decommissioned as part of EM's overall site cleanup activities. Deactivation includes putting the facility in a safe, stable, and monitored condition; decommissioning includes decontaminating the facility and permanently retiring the building from DOE—perhaps demolishing it or reusing it for another purpose. In 1995, Congress chartered DOE's Environmental Management Science Program (EMSP) to bring the nation's scientific infrastructure to bear on EM's most difficult, long-term cleanup challenges. The EMSP provides grants to investigators in industry, national laboratories, and universities to undertake research that may help address these cleanup challenges. On several occasions the EMSP has asked the National Academies for advice on developing its research agenda. This report resulted from a 15-month study by an Academies committee on long-term research needs for deactivation and decommissioning (D&D) at DOE sites. In conducting this study, the committee held six meetings and visited three DOE sites to witness ongoing D&D work, view facilities that will pose the greatest challenges for future D&D, and receive presentations from DOE and site contractor personnel. A great deal of effort was

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Page viiirequired to arrange these visits and presentations for the committee's benefit, and we recognize Mark Gilbertson and Ker-Chi Chang of DOE headquarters for their help. The visits and presentations at the DOE sites were very informative and well prepared. Our visit coordinators at the sites were John Sands, DOE, and Kim Koegler, Bechtel Hanford, at Hanford, Washington; Daryl Green, DOE, at Oak Ridge, Tennessee; and Karen Lutz, DOE, at Rocky Flats, Colorado. All of the presenters listed in Appendix A provided frank and insightful information during our meetings and site visits. We also recognize the staff of the National Academies' Board on Radioactive Waste Management (BRWM) for their assistance during the study. John Wiley, who served as study director, helped to guide the committee through its fact finding, report writing, and report review. Kevin Crowley, BRWM director, and John Taylor, BRWM liaison, provided much helpful advice. Staff members Latricia Bailey and Toni Greenleaf were always efficient and cheerful as they handled all of the many logistic details for the committee. Finally, I want to thank the members of the committee. They were a pleasure to work with, and each made significant contributions. The fact that a majority are active researchers was particularly helpful. Philip Clark, Sr. Chair

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Page ix List of Report Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council (NRC) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The content of the review comments and draft manuscript remains confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Gregory Choppin, Florida State University John Coats, Southern Illinois University Michael Corradini, University of Wisconsin John Evans, National Institute of Standards and Technology Edward Lazo, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency Alexander MacLachlan, DuPont (retired) Raymond Wymer, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (retired) Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Richard Conway, appointed by the National Research Council, who was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with NRC procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the NRC.

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Page x

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Page xi Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 1     INTRODUCTION, BACKGROUND, AND TASK 9 2     D&D CHALLENGES IN THE DOE COMPLEX 13 3     CURRENT D&D SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS 33 4     RESEARCH RECOMMENDATIONS 49 5     PROGRAMMATIC RECOMMENDATIONS 71 REFERENCES 81 APPENDIXES     A     Presentations to the Committee 93     B     Biographical Sketches of Committee Members 97     C     Interim Report 103     D     Illustrative Science Base and Scope for Remote Technology for Decontamination and Decommissioning of DOE Nuclear Facilities 121     E     Acronyms 135

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Page xii