Click for next page ( R2


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page R1
Improving the Regulation and Management of Low-Activity Radioactive Wastes Interim Report on Current Regulations Inventories, and Practices Committee on Improving Practices for Regulating and Managing Low-Activity Radioactive Wastes Board on Radioactive Waste Management Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAl ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

OCR for page R1
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 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 study was supported by the following organizations: Anny Corps of Engineers Department of Energy Environmental Protection Agency Nuclear Regulatory Commission Southeast Compact Commission Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authorts) and clo not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-52787-2 (PDF) Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334- 3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.e(lu Copyright 2003 by the National Academies. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

OCR for page R1
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on S~ienre' Engineering' and Medirine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, cledicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter grantee! 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 ~ 964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration ant! 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 ant! research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Eng~neenng. 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 fecleral government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, ant! education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broact 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 Acaclemy, 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 chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council www.nationaI-academies.org . . ... 111

OCR for page R1
COMMITTEE ON IMPROVING PRACTICES FOR REGULATING AND MANAGING LOW-ACTIVITY RADIOACTIVE: WASTE DAVID H. LEROY, Chair, Leroy Law Offices, Boise, Idaho MICHAEL T. RYAN, Vice-Chair, Charleston Southern University, Kiawah Island, South Carolina EDWARD L. ALBENESTUS, Westinghouse Savannah River Company, Aiken, South Carolina WM. HOWARD ARNOLD, Westinghouse Electric, Coronado, California FRANCOIS BESNUS, Institute de Raclioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire, FRANCE PERRY H. CHARLEY, Dine College-Shiprock Campus, New Mexico GAIL CHARNLEY, Health Risk Strategies, Washington, District of Columbia SANFORD COHEN, SC&A, ~c., McLean, Virginia F. SANITY ECHOLS, Echols Consulting Group, Washington, District of Columbia SHARON M. FRIEDMAN, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania MAURICE C. FUERSTENAU, University of Nevada, Reno NAMES HAMILTON, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina ANN RAPPAPORT, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts D. KIP SOLOMON, University of Utah, Salt Lake City KIMBERLY W. THOMAS, Los Alamo s National Laboratory, New Mexico Liaise ROBERT M. BERNERO, U.S. Nuclear Regulator Commission (retired), Gaithersburg, Maryland Staff JOHN R. WILEY, Study Director DARLA J. THOMPSON, Research Assistant ANGELA R. TAYLOR, Senior Project Assistant LATRICIA C. BAILEY, Senior Project Assistant lV

OCR for page R1
i BOARD ON RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEl\IlENT JOHN F. AHEARNE, Chair, Sigma Xi and Duke University, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina CHARLES MCCOMBE, Vice-Chair, Consultant, Gipf-Oberhick Switzerland ROBERT M. BERNERO, U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (retired), Gaithersburg, Maryland GREGORY R. CHOPPIN, Florida State University, Tallahassee RODNEY EWING, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor HOWARD C. KUNREUTHER, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia NIKOLAY LAVEROV, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow MILTON LEVENS ON, Bechte! International (retired), MenIo Park, California JANE C. S. LONG, Mackay School of Mines, University of Nevada, Reno ALEXANDER MACLACHLAN, E.I. flu Pont de Nemours & Company (retired), Wilmington, Delaware NORlNE E. NOONAN, College of Charleston, South Carolina EUGENE A. ROSA, Washington State University, Pullman ATSUYUKI SUZUKI, Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, Tokyo VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL, The Nature Conservancy, Altamonte Springs, Florida Staff KEVIN D. CROWLEY, Director MICAH D. LOWENTHAL, Staff Officer BARBARA PAST1:NA, Senior Staff Officer JOHN R. WILEY, Senior Staff Officer TONI GREENLEAF, Administrative Associate DARLA J. THOMPSON, Research Assistant LATRICIA C. BAILEY, Senior Project Assistant LAURA D. LIBIDOS, Senior Project Assistant ANGELA R. TAYLOR, Senior Project Assistant NAMES YATES, JR., Office Assistant v

OCR for page R1

OCR for page R1
Preface This study began with the observation by members of the Board on Radioactive Waste Management (BROOM) that low-activity radioactive wastes in the United States are managed uncler a patchwork of regulations that have evolved over the past 60 years- since the beginning of large-scale production of nuclear materials under the Manhattan Project. Today a broad spectrum of low-activity wastes originates from nuclear power utilities; the use of radioisotopes in industry, medicine, and research; recovery of mineral resources (mining, oil ant! gas production); and Department of Energy (DOE) sites. Because statutes ant! regulations that control Tow-activity waste are based on the origin of these wastes, rather than their radiological properties, regulation may be overly restrictive in some cases, leacling to excessive costs ant! other burdens on the waste generator. In other cases, some wastes may present greater potential risks to the public than are generally recognized. The BROOM therefore believed that a National Research Council study of current low-activity waste management and regulation, and an assessment of options for improving the current system would be valuable for state and federal policy makers, waste generators and regulators, and concerned members of the public. This interim report concludes the first half of the study by providing an overview of Tow-activity waste characteristics, inventories, management and disposal practices, and the federal and state authorities that control these wastes. The committee has attempted to organize a great deal of diverse information into a succinct presentation and set of findings that will provide a sound basis for the final report, which will describe and assess options for improvements. The committee would like to recognize the five sponsors that provided financial support at the beginning of this study: Army Corps of Engineers Department of Energy Environmental Protection Agency Nuclear Regulatory Commission Southeast Compact Commission. Informative site visits were arranged by Rudy Guercia, DOE Richiand Operations Office, Hanford, Washington site; Mike Ault, U.S. Ecology, also at the Hanford site; Ken Alkema, Envirocare, Clive, Utah; and Louis Dell'Orco, Army Corps of .. vll

OCR for page R1
Engineers, FUSRAP sites near St. Louis, Missouri. The committee also thanks the individuals who made presentations at our public meetings (see Appendix A). The work of this committee was ably assisted by members of the BROOM staff. John Wiley, stucly director, assistec! and acivisec3 the committee from its inception through review of this interim report. DarIa Thompson, senior research assistant, provided the extensive documentation ant! other data resources user! by the committee. Angela Taylor and Toni GreenTeaf provided prompt and efficient assistance with logistical and financial matters. Finally, I want to thank the members of the committee for their dedication and diligence. ~ especially appreciate the leadership skills and technical insights provided by Michael Ryan, vice-chairman. Although of diverse backgrounds and expertise, the committee respected the overall goal of this initial phase of the study, and each macle significant contributions. I look forward to working with the committee and staff in completing this study and the final report. David Leroy Chair ... v///

OCR for page R1
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 ant! 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 craft manuscript remains conficlential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: David Adelman, University of Arizona John Ahearne, Sigma Xi and Duke University Jan Beyea, Consulting in the Public Interest Allen Croff, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Ron Fraass, Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors Jill Lipoti, New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection Paul Rennick, Rennick and Associates John Vincenti, The Pennsylvania State University Although the reviewers listed above have provicled 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 Chris Whipple of ENVIRON International. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carrier! out in accordance with NRC procedures and that all review comments were carefully considerecl. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the NRC. lX

OCR for page R1

OCR for page R1
Contents Executive Summary, 1 Introduction, 7 What Are Low-Activity Wastes?, 7 Approach to the Task Statement, 9 The Statutory and Regulatory Context for Low-Activity Waste Management, 13 Federal Statutes Applicable to Low-Activity Wastes, 13 Federal Regulations Applicable to Commercial Low-Activity Wastes, 14 Department of Energy Control of Low-Activity Wastes, 19 State Regulations, 19 Evolution of the Risk Concept for Controlling Low-Activity Waste, 23 Low-Activity Waste Overview, 25 Commercial Low-Level Waste, 26 DOE Defense Low-Level Waste, 28 Slightly Radioactive Solid Materials, 28 Discrete Radiation Sources, 30 Uranium Mining and Processing Wastes, 30 NORM and TENORM Wastes, 32 Hazard Considerations for Low-Activity Waste, 34 Low-Activity Waste Disposal, 36 Issues and Findings, 39 References, 46 Appendixes A Committee Information-Gathering Meetings, 48 B U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 51 C The Environmental Protection Agency, 55 D Disposal Sites and Operations, 59 E The McMahon Act, 64 F Committee Biographies, 67 G Acronyms, 73 xi

OCR for page R1