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BARRIER TECHNOLOGIES for ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT

Summary of a Workshop

Committee on Remediation of Buried and Tank Wastes

Board on Radioactive Waste Management

Commission Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1997



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BARRIER TECHNOLOGIES for ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT Summary of a Workshop Committee on Remediation of Buried and Tank Wastes Board on Radioactive Waste Management Commission Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1997

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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 competencies 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 Number 96-72353 International Standard Book Number 0-309-05685-3 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Ave., NW Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area) http://www.nap.edu Cover art by Y. David Chung. Mr. Chung is a graduate of the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. He has exhibited widely throughout the country, including the Whitney Museum in New York, the Washington Project for the Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Copyright 1997 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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COMMITTEE ON REMEDIATION OF BURIED AND TANK WASTES THOMAS M. LESCHINE*, Chair, University of Washington, Seattle DENISE BIERLEY, Roy F. Weston, Inc., Albuquerque, New Mexico ROBERT J. BUDNITZ† , Future Resources Associates, Berkeley, California THOMAS A. BURKE, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland ROBERT J. CATLIN, University of Texas (ret.), Houston GREGORY R. CHOPPIN, Florida State University, Tallahassee JAMES H. CLARKE, ECKENFELDER INC., Nashville, Tennessee THOMAS A. COTTON, JK Research Associates, Inc., Arlington, Virginia ALLEN G. CROFF, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee RODNEY C. EWING‡, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque DONALD R. GIBSON, JR., TRW Environmental Safety Systems, Vienna, Virginia JAMES H. JOHNSON, JR., Howard University, Washington, D.C. W. HUGH O'RIORDAN, Givens Pursley & Huntley, Boise, Idaho GLENN PAULSON, Paulson and Cooper, Inc., Jackson Hole, Wyoming BENJAMIN ROSS, Disposal Safety Incorporated, Washington, D.C. PAUL A. WITHERSPOON, University of California, Berkeley RAYMOND G. WYMER, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ret.), Tennessee Staff ROBERT S. ANDREWS, Senior Staff Officer DENNIS L. DUPREE, Senior Project Assistant PATRICIA A. JONES, Senior Project Assistant *   Chair as of May 9, 1996. †   Chair until May 9, 1996 ‡   Resigned December 4, 1995

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BOARD ON RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT MICHAEL C. KAVANAUGH, Chair, Malcolm Pirnie, Oakland, California B. JOHN GARRICK, Vice-Chair, PLG, Inc., Newport Beach, California JOHN F. AHEARNE, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, and Duke University, Research Triangle Park and Durham, North Carolina JEAN M. BAHR, University of Wisconsin, Madison SOL BURSTEIN, Wisconsin Electric Power (ret.), Milwaukee ANDREW P. CAPUTO, Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, D.C. MELVIN W. CARTER, Georgia Institute of Technology (emeritus), Atlanta PAUL P. CRAIG, University of California (emeritus), Davis MARY R. ENGLISH, University of Tennessee, Knoxville DARLEANE C. HOFFMAN, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California JAMES H. JOHNSON, JR., Howard University, Washington, D.C. H. ROBERT MEYER, Keystone Scientific, Inc., Fort Collins, Colorado CHARLES McCOMBIE, National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste, Wettingen, Switzerland D. WARNER NORTH, Decision Focus, Inc., Mountain View, California PAUL SLOVIC, Decision Research, Eugene, Oregon BENJAMIN L. SMITH, Independent Consultant, Columbia, Tennessee Staff KEVIN D. CROWLEY, 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, Senior Project Assistant ANGELA R. TAYLOR, Project Assistant ERICA L. WILLIAMS, Research Assistant

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COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, Chairman, University of Virginia, Charlottesville PATRICK R. ATKINS, Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania JAMES P. BRUCE, Canadian Climate Program Board, Ottawa, Ontario WILLIAM L. FISHER, University of Texas, Austin JERRY F. FRANKLIN, University of Washington, Seattle DEBRA KNOPMAN, Progressive Foundation, Washington, D.C. PERRY L. MCCARTY, Stanford University, 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 THOMAS C. SCHELLING, University of Maryland, College Park ELLEN SILBERGELD, University of Maryland Medical School, Baltimore 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 MARQUITA SMITH, PC Analyst & 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. William A. Wulf is interim 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 M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and interim vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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Acknowledgments Many people assisted in the design and conduct of the Workshop on Barriers for Long-Term Isolation. The Committee on Remediation of Buried and Tank Wastes thanks John Lehr, Office of Environmental Restoration of the U.S. Department of Energy, for his support and participation as a general chair of the workshop. Other general chairs for the workshop were committee members James Clarke of ECKENFELDER INC. and Paul Witherspoon of the University of California at Berkeley. The committee also thanks Julie D'Ambrosia of EnviroTech Associates, Inc., for her assistance with the planning and conduct of the workshop, and for providing notes on the workshop to the committee. In addition, the committee thanks Glendon Gee of Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, David Daniel of the University of Texas (now at the University of Illinois), Robert Mutch of ECKENFELDER INC., and Paul Witherspoon, all of whom served as session chairs at the workshop. Committee members James Clarke and Paul Witherspoon, along with committee staff officer Robert Andrews and DOE contractor Julie D'Ambrosia, formed a steering group to develop the concept and structure of the workshop. Susan Mockler, research associate for the Board on Radioactive Waste Management, assisted with preparation and editing of the report and the articles prepared by the presenters. Dennis DuPree and Patricia Jones, senior project assistants for the board, assisted in workshop logistics and registration and in preparation of this report. Although this report is the product of the committee, we acknowledge initiatives of the steering group to organize and conduct the workshop and to help prepare an early draft of the report. The committee also acknowledges the contribution of the speakers at this workshop for providing their papers for inclusion in this report. Thomas Leschine, Chair Committee on Remediation of Buried and Tank Wastes

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Contents     Executive Summary   1     Introduction   3     Workshop Overview   4     Themes Identified at the Workshop   6     References   7 Appendix A:   Biographical Sketches of Committee Members   A-1 Appendix B:   Program Outline   B-1 Appendix C:   Participants   C-1 Appendix D:   Papers Presented   D-1

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