Affordable Cleanup?

Opportunities for cost reduction in the decontamination and decommissioning of the nation's uranium enrichment facilities

Committee on Decontamination and Decommissioning of Uranium Enrichment Facilities

Board on Energy and Environmental Systems

Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.



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
--> Affordable Cleanup? Opportunities for cost reduction in the decontamination and decommissioning of the nation's uranium enrichment facilities Committee on Decontamination and Decommissioning of Uranium Enrichment Facilities Board on Energy and Environmental Systems Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.

OCR for page R1
--> 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 a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. 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. 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 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. Harold Liebowitz are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This report and the study on which it is based were supported by Grant No. DE-FC01-94EW54069 from the U.S. Department of Energy. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 96-67092 International Standard Book Number: 0-309-05438-9 Limited copies of this report are available from the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems, National Research Council, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20418. Additional copies are available for sale from the: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 800-624-6242 or 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) Copyright 1996 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

OCR for page R1
--> Committee On Decontamination And Decommissioning Of Uranium Enrichment Facilities DALE F. STEIN, Chair, NAE, Michigan Technological University, Tucson, Arizona GREGORY R. CHOPPIN, Vice Chair, Department of Chemistry, Florida State University, Tallahassee EULA BINGHAM, IOM, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio JOSEPH S. BYRD, University of South Carolina, Columbia JOEL I. CEHN, Applied Sciences Company, Oakland, California PHILIP R. CLARK, SR., NAE, GPU Nuclear Corporation, Parsippany, New Jersey ROBERT E. CONNICK, NAS, University of California at Berkeley FRANK P. CRIMI, Lockheed Martin Environmental Systems & Technologies, Houston, Texas WOLTER J. FABRYCKY, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Blacksburg ROBERT A. FJELD, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina BERND KAHN, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta CHARLES KIMM, Pacific International Center for High Technology Research, Honolulu, Hawaii PETER B. LEDERMAN, New Jersey Institute of Technology, University Heights, Newark WALTER G. MAY, NAE, University of Illinois, Urbana ALVIN H. MUSHKATEL, Arizona State University, Tempe M. ELISABETH PATE-CORNELL, NAE, Stanford University, Stanford, California WILLIAM R. PRINDLE, NAE, (retired), Corning, Santa Barbara, California CAROLYN RAFFENSPERGER, Science Environmental & Health Network, Washington, D.C. GEOFFREY S. ROTHWELL, Stanford University, Stanford, California RAY O. SANDBERG, Bechtel National, San Francisco, California ALFRED SCHNEIDER, Georgia Institute of Technology, Dunwoody RICHARD I. SMITH, Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Richland, Washington Liaison from the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems RICHARD MESERVE, Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C. Project Staff Board on Energy & Environmental Systems MAHADEVAN MANI, director (January 1991-January 1996) JAMES ZUCCHETTO, study director and board director TRACY WILSON, senior program officer JILL WILSON, senior program officer SUSANNA CLARENDON, senior project assistant ANN COVALT, editor

OCR for page R1
--> Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology DOUGLAS RABER, director SCOTT WEIDMAN, senior program officer MARIA JONES, senior project assistant Board on Radioactive Waste Management KARYANIL T. (K. T.) THOMAS, senior program officer VERNA BOWEN, administrative assistant

OCR for page R1
--> Board On Energy And Environmental Systems H. M. (HUB) HUBBARD, Chair, (retired), Pacific International Center for High Technology Research, Honolulu, Hawaii RICHARD A. MESERVE, Vice Chair, Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C. ROBERT D. BANKS, World Resources Institute, Washington, D.C. ALLEN J. BARD, NAS, University of Texas at Austin JAN BEYEA, National Audubon Society, New York, New York DAVID E. DANIEL, University of Texas at Austin LINDA C. DOLAN, Martin Marietta, Electronics and Missiles, Orlando, Florida FRANCOIS HEUZE, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California ROBERT L. HIRSCH, Energy Technology Collaborative, Inc., Washington, D.C. THOMAS D. O'ROURKE, NAE, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York LARRY T. PAPAY, NAE, Bechtel Group, San Francisco, California RUTH A. RECK, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois JOEL SPIRA, NAE, Lutron Electronics Company, Coopersburg, Pennsylvania Former Members Active during Reporting Period: STEPHEN D. BAN, Gas Research Institute, Chicago, Illinois BARBARA R. BARKOVICH, Barkovich and Yap, Consultants, San Rafael, California CHARLES D. KOLSTAD, University of California at Santa Barbara JANE C. S. LONG, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley, California S. L. (CY) MEISEL, NAE, (retired), Mobil R&D Corporation, Princeton, New Jersey SHLOMO NEUMAN, NAE, University of Arizona, Tucson MARC H. ROSS, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor HAROLD H. SCHOBERT, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park JON M. VEIGEL, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge, Tennessee Liaisons for the Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems RICHARD A. CONWAY, NAE, Union Carbide Corporation, South Charleston, West Virginia TREVOR O. JONES, NAE, (retired), Libbey-Owens-Ford Company, Cleveland, Ohio Board on Energy and Environmental Systems Staff MAHADEVAN MANI, director (January 1991–January 1996) JAMES ZUCCHETTO, director SUSANNA CLARENDON, project and administrative assistant HELEN JOHNSON, administrative associate WENDY LEWALLEN, project assistant AMELIA MATHIS, project assistant JILL WILSON, senior program officer TRACY WILSON, senior program officer

OCR for page R1
This page in the original is blank.

OCR for page R1
--> Preface This report was prepared in response to a request by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) following on the Energy Policy Act of 1992, which calls for the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study and provide recommendations for reducing costs associated with the decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) of the nation's uranium enrichment facilities located at Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Paducah, Kentucky; and Portsmouth, Ohio. The committee was also asked to assess options for the disposition of the large inventory of depleted uranium hexafluoride that is stored in steel cylinders at these three sites (see Appendix A for the committee's full statement of task). The D&D of these large facilities will occur following the closure of the plants. The Oak Ridge plant has already been shut down; the Paducah and Portsmouth plants are being leased by the United States Enrichment Corporation from the federal government to produce enriched uranium for the electric utility sector. Cost estimates have been made for the D&D of the three plants, and DOE is currently engaged in planning for the effort. This large effort, with a projected cost of billions of dollars, will entail cleanup of radioactive and hazardous materials within a complex regulatory environment and will face numerous uncertainties before it is complete. Given the multifaceted nature of the subject, the committee at its first meeting in February 1994, divided itself into three panels: the Cost Analysis Panel, which analyzed existing cost estimates and the costs of previous D&D experiences; the Decision and Process Analysis Panel, which focused on such issues as risk, end states of the sites, stakeholder involvement, and the management approach; and, finally, the Technology Panel, which considered the host of technologies needed for D&D (see Appendix B for more on the committee's panel structure). In addition to participating in full committee meetings, the panels met separately through January 1995, producing analyses that were used by the committee in its report (see Appendix C for a description of all the committee and panel meetings and activities). The committee was large, with widely varying backgrounds and expertise (see Appendix D for biographies), yet the members worked effectively and harmoniously to find ways to substantially reduce the cost of the D&D safely and securely. I express my appreciation to the committee members for their time, dedication, and above all, frank and professional discussion. This group of highly able people devoted themselves to an important national problem and worked together to achieve an objective. It was a privilege to work with them.

OCR for page R1
--> The interdisciplinary nature of the study required a cooperative effort by several boards at the National Research Council (NRC). The Board on Energy and Environmental Systems (BEES), Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems, led the effort with staff in support of the committee as follows: Dev Mani, Director, BEES; James Zucchetto, Study Director; Jill Wilson, who worked with the Technology Panel and on the problem of options for disposition of uranium hexafluoride; and Tracy Wilson, who worked with the Decision and Process Analysis Panel. Susanna Clarendon, Administrative and Project Assistant, provided invaluable assistance in the logistical arrangements for the meetings and site visits and in preparing the many drafts of the committee's report. The BEES staff worked with the committee throughout the study effort, including the completion of the committee's report. NRC staff Douglas Raber, Director, Chemical Sciences and Technology Board (BCST), Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications, and Scott Weidman, BCST, with the assistance of Maria Jones, Senior Project Assistant, worked with the Technology Panel from February 1994 to January 1995; and NRC staff K. T. (Karyanil) Thomas, Board on Radioactive Waste Management, Commission on Geosciences, Environment and Resources, with the assistance of Verna Bowen, Administrative Assistant, provided support to the Cost Analysis Panel from March 1994 to January 1995. My compliments to the NRC cooperative staff effort in this study. I also appreciate contributions by Roger Shaw, GPU Nuclear Corporation, who worked with committee member Philip R. Clark, Sr., on the committee's behalf, and Keith Compton, graduate student at Clemson University, who worked with committee member Robert Fjeld and other committee members in collecting information and addressing selected tasks. I wish to express my sincere thanks to the many people at DOE/EM-40, the Oak Ridge Operations Office, Lockheed Martin Energy Systems (formerly Martin Marietta Energy Systems), and Lockheed Martin Utility Systems who arranged the informative visits to the three plant sites. I would also like to thank the numerous people from government, the private sector, universities, local groups at the sites, the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union, and others for the time they contributed to presentations and discussions at the committee meetings, as well as at the committee's June 1994 workshop. These were all important inputs to the committee's work. DALE F. STEIN, chair Committee on Decontamination and Decommissioning of Uranium Enrichment Facilities

OCR for page R1
--> Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1     The GDPs   2     D&D Cost Estimates   4     The Uncertain Context   4     Recommendations   6 1   INTRODUCTION   15     Study Background and Objectives   15     The U.S. Uranium Enrichment Enterprise   16     The United States Enrichment Corporation   17     The D&D Fund   19     The Challenges of a D&D Effort   20     D&D Costs   22     Organization of the Report   23     References   25 2   THE GDP SITES: PROCESS, FACILITIES, INVENTORIES, AND RISKS   27     The Gaseous Diffusion Process   27     Site Descriptions   30     Buildings and Equipment   33     Contamination   35     Storage of DUF6   41     Site Differences   42     Risks Subsequent to GDP Closure   43     Conclusions   46     References   47 3   DECONTAMINATION PROCESSES   49     Introduction   49     Nuclear Criticality   51     Uranium Deposit Removal   52     Decontamination of Cascade Equipment   56     Decontamination of Support Systems and Buildings   59     Waste Management   60     Characterization   61     Automation and Robotics   62

OCR for page R1
-->     Capenhurst Technologies   64     CIP/CUP Technologies   69     Conclusions and Recommendations   69     References   74 4   ANALYSES OF THE D&D COST ESTIMATES FOR THE GDPs   79     Previous Cost Estimates   79     Identification of Major Cost Elements   86     Time Profile of Income and Expenditures for the D&D Fund   88     Estimating U.S. GDP D&D Costs from Capenhurst D&D Costs   89     The Shippingport Reactor D&D Project   96     Conclusions and Recommendations   97     References   100 5   PLANNING THE D&D PROGRAM   103     Public and Stakeholder Involvement   103     End-State Alternatives   105     Development of an Integrated Regulatory Program   109     Coordinated Planning   114     Management Issues   120     Recommendations   121     References   125 6   OPPORTUNITIES FOR D&D COST REDUCTION   127     Program Integration   128     Radioactive and Hazardous Waste Management   133     Decontamination and Decommissioning   136     Support Facilities   144     Cost Estimate Assumptions   146     Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations   150     References   154 7   DISPOSITION OF THE DUF6   157     DUF6 Inventory   157     Uses for Depleted Uranium   158     Depleted Uranium Management Options   163     Analysis of Cost Estimates for Conversion   170     Opportunities for Cost Saving   173     Conclusions and Recommendations   177     References   179 8   MAJOR RECOMMENDATIONS   183     Coordinated Planning   184     Contracting and Management   185     Prioritized Cost and Risk Reduction   185     Regulatory Coordination   187

OCR for page R1
-->     Stakeholder Involvement   187     Waste Management   187     Need for New Facilities   189     D&D Technology Issues   190     Safeguards and Security   191     DUF6   191     APPENDICES         A Statement of Task   195     B The Committee's Panel Structure and Panel Statement of Tasks   197     C Committee Meetings and Activities   200     D Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Staff   210     E Radionuclide Characterization and Detection   220     F Automation and Robotics   233     G Nuclear Criticality   236     H Previous Decontamination and Decommissioning Efforts   244     I Waste Treatment   256     J Review of Existing Cost Estimates   262     GLOSSARY   296     ACRONYMS   306

OCR for page R1
--> List of Tables 1-1   Estimated Costs for Prompt Dismantlement of the Gaseous Diffusion Plants   23 2-1   Characteristics of the Uranium Enrichment Facilities   32 2-2   Expenditures on Surveillance and Maintenance at the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant   34 2-3   Estimated Radioactive Scrap Metal Streams from the D&D of the GDPs   34 2-4   Radionuclide Decay Characteristics   36 2-5   Estimated Percentages of Surface Areas at the Oak Ridge GDP Contaminated with Radioactive Materials   37 2-6   Estimated Uranium Deposits at the Oak Ridge GDP   39 2-7   Estimates of Key Hazardous Contaminants at the Uranium Enrichment Facilities   40 2-8   Cascades and Stages in the Process Buildings at the Three GDP Sites   43 4-1   Summary of Previous GDP D&D Cost Estimates   80 4-2   Comparison of Major Parameters in the Ebasco and TLG Cost Estimates   83 4-3   Comparison of Selected Unit Cost Factors for Equipment Removal Used in the Oak Ridge GDP Cost Estimates   83 4-4   Ebasco and SAIC Estimated D&D Costs for the GDPs   85 4-5   Principal Cost Drivers for the Oak Ridge GDP   87 4-6   Comparison of Estimated Costs for Equipment Removal and Decontamination Activities at the Oak Ridge GDP   87 4-7   Scaling of Capenhurst Costs to Estimate D&D Costs for the Oak Ridge GDP   93 4-8   Weight of Process Equipment at the Oak Ridge GDP   94 5-1   End-State Alternatives for the D&D of the GDPs   106 5-2   Suggested Approach for Managing the D&D Process   122 6-1   Cost Reduction Opportunities   129 6-2   Person Hours and Duration for Converter Removal During Operations and During Decontamination and Decommissioning   141 7-1   DOE DUF6 Inventory at the Three GDPs   158 7-2   Breached DUF6 Cylinders   165 7-3   Comparison of Management Options for DUF6   171 7-4   Conversion and Waste Management Costs   174 7-5   Cost Comparison for the Conversion of DUF6 to Oxide   175 7-6   Comparison of Unit Conversion Costs Including Annual Private Capital Costs   175 B-1   Committee Panels and Membership   197 E-1   Estimated Radioactive Contaminants Received by Paducah GDP   221 E-2   Conventional Radionuclide Characterization Instruments and Techniques   224 E-3   Recent Characterization Developments   227 E-4   Nuclear Regulatory Commission Acceptable Surface Contamination Levels   228

OCR for page R1
--> E-5   Nuclear Regulatory Commission Default Radionuclide Concentration Values for Various Exposure Scenarios   229 E-6   EPA Review Draft Generic Site Concentration Values for Various Exposure Scenarios   229 E-7   IAEA Recommended Unconditional Clearance Levels   230 G-1   Single-Parameter Limits for Uniform Aqueous Solution of 235U   239 G-2   Subcritical Limits for Aqueous Solution of 235UO2F2 with a Water Reflector   239 G-3   Subcritical Limits for Uniform Aqueous Solution of Low-Enriched Uranium for Different 235U Enrichment Levels   240 G-4   Critical Parameters for Solid UO2 Dispersal in Water with 300-mm-Thick Water Reflector   241 H-1   Comparison of Capenhurst and Oak Ride GDP Design Characteristics   252 H-2   Comparison of Capenhurst and U.S. GDP Material Quantities   253 H-3   Quantity Ratios of the Oak Ridge GDP to Capenhurst GDP   253 J-1   Ebasco's 1991 Cost Estimates   264 J-2   Comparison of MMES and Ebasco Cost Estimates   270 J-3   Comparison of SAIC and Ebasco Cost Estimates   273 J-4   Ebasco and TLG Waste Volume and Waste Management Cost Comparison   280 J-5   Ebasco Program Integration (PI) Costs Related to Waste Management (WM)   280 J-6   Ebasco Waste Management (WM) Cost Summary for the three GDPs   281 J-7   Ebasco Radioactive and Hazardous Waste Management (WM) Cost Summary for the Oak Ridge GDP   282 J-8   Ebasco Radioactive and Hazardous Waste Management (WM) Cost Summary for the Paducah GDP   283 J-9   Ebasco Radioactive and Hazardous Waste Management (WM) Cost Summary for the Portsmouth GDP   284 J-10   Ebasco Radioactive and Hazardous Waste Management (WM) Cost Summary for the Three GDP Sites   285 J-11   Types of Packaging Assumed in the Ebasco Cost Estimate   286 J-12   Net Packaging Unit Cost   286 J-13   Local Transportation Cost Summary for Waste Disposal at the Three GDPs   287 J-14   Interstate Transportation Cost Summary for Waste from the Paducah and Portsmouth GDP   287 J-15   Disposal Cost Summary by GDP Site   289 J-16   Storage Cost Summary for the Three GDPs   289 J-17   Waste Management Unit Cost Summary   290 J-18   Waste Management Unit Cost Summary for Level I Waste   290 J-19   Waste Management Unit Cost Summary for Level III Waste   291 J-20   Waste Management Unit Cost Summary for Hazardous Material Waste   291 J-21   Waste Management Unit Cost Summary for Clean/Recycle Material   292

OCR for page R1
--> List of Figures 1-1   The geographical relationship of the three GDPs   18 1-2   Photograph of the interior of a process building showing the repetitive arrangement of the cascades   20 1-3   The Oak Ridge GDP site   21 2-1   Operating principle of a converter   28 2-2   Gaseous diffusion stage schematic   28 2-3   Photograph of a large converter   29 2-4   Arrangement of large converters showing 2 cells with 10 stages each   30 3-1   Simplified decontamination flow diagram   50 5-1   Organizational framework for D&D of the GDPs   120 6-1   Break-even metal recycling value versus total waste disposal costs   138 7-1   DUF6 cylinder storage yards at Paducah   159 7-2   Cylinders stored at Portsmouth   159