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AN ASSESSMENT OF CONTINUED R&D INTO AN ELECTROMETALLURGICAL APPROACH FOR TREATING DOE SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL
The committee held its first meeting on January 9-11, 1995, at the National Research Council's facilities in Washington, D.C., during which it received briefings from representatives of the DOE and additional experts identified by the committee. The information obtained from these briefings enabled the committee to carry out its preliminary assessment of the ANL's R&D plan (included in Appendix A). Additional information was provided by discussions with technical experts from ANL, Westinghouse Hanford Co., Westinghouse Savannah River Co., and Sandia National Laboratories. The committee also received input from representatives of several interested public citizens groups. The agenda and attendance list for this meeting are included in Appendix B.
The interim report was released by the National Research Council in February 1995 to meet the first of the committee's tasks. The committee concluded that the technology of electrometallurgical processing appears sufficiently promising for treating a variety of DOE spent fuels that continued R&D would be warranted in federal FY96.
The committee held three additional meetings in the period of February through April 1995, during which it received additional technical briefings and had the opportunity to carry on extended discussions with individuals who are knowledgeable in various aspects of electrometallurgical technology. All meetings were unclassified. Agendas and attendance lists for these meetings are presented in Appendix B.
The committee's second meeting was held in Chicago on February 13-14. This meeting included a site visit to ANL-East on February 13, where the committee toured the laboratories involved in electrometallurgical R&D and directly discussed the program with those individuals conducting the R&D effort. The remainder of the meeting was held in the conference facilities of the O'Hare Hilton Hotel. The committee took the opportunity to address unresolved questions with ANL experts who attended the open parts of the meeting. The committee also heard from a representative of a public citizens group.
The third committee meeting took place in Idaho Falls, Idaho, on March 22-24 and included a site visit to ANL-West on March 23. The site visit provided committee members an opportunity to view the facilities that are being used to carry out the development phase for electrometallurgical processing, including the demonstration project for treating spent fuel from the Experimental Breeder Reactor II (EBR-II). The site visit also provided an opportunity for the committee to ask questions of technical staff directly involved with operating the facility. The open sessions of this committee meeting provided a further opportunity for the committee to discuss unresolved issues and questions with members of the ANL technical staff. The committee was also briefed by a representative of a regional public citizens group. During the executive session, the committee formulated an outline of the proposed final report, and writing assignments were given to individual committee members.
The fourth meeting of the committee took place on April 27-28 at the National Research Council's facilities in Washington, D.C. A short open session permitted an additional briefing and discussion with DOE representatives and a representative of a public citizens group. During its executive session, the committee discussed the materials written by individual members and reached consensus on the contents of the final report and its recommendations.