The State of Development of Waste Forms for Mixed Wastes

U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management

Committee on Mixed Wastes

Board on Radioactive Waste Management

Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.



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--> The State of Development of Waste Forms for Mixed Wastes U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management Committee on Mixed Wastes Board on Radioactive Waste Management Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.

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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. Support for this study was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, under Grant No. DE-FC01-94EW54069. 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. International Standard Book Number 0-309-06431-7 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area) http://www.nap.edu Copyright 1999 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Cover photo: Micrograph of a polymer encapsulated waste. Photo courtesy of the Department of Energy's Mixed Waste Focus Area. Printed in the United States of America.

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--> COMMITTEE ON MIXED WASTES PAUL A. DEJONGHE, Chair, Study Centre for Nuclear Research (retired), Mol, Belgium ANN N. CLARKE, ANC Associates, Inc., Brentwood, Tennessee JURGEN H. EXNER, JHE Technology Systems, Inc., Alamo, California KENT F. HANSEN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge JOANN S. LIGHTY, University of Utah, Salt Lake City RICHARD J. SAMELSON, Consultant, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania MARTIN J. STEINDLER, Argonne National Laboratory (retired), Argonne, Illinois BRUCE M. THOMSON, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque Staff JOHN R. WILEY, Senior Staff Officer (January 1998 to present) KARYANIL THOMAS, Senior Staff Officer (through December 1997) ANGELA R. TAYLOR, Senior Project Assistant LAURA D. LLANOS, Project Assistant

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--> BOARD ON RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT MICHAEL C. KAVANAUGH, Chair, Malcolm Pirnie, Inc., Oakland, California JOHN F. AHEARNE, Vice-Chair, Sigma Xi and Duke University, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina ROBERT J. BUDNITZ, Future Resources Associates, Inc., Berkeley, California MARY R. ENGLISH, University of Tennessee, Knoxville DARLEANE C. HOFFMAN, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Oakland, California JAMES H. JOHNSON, JR., Howard University, Washington, D.C. ROGER E. KASPERSON, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts JAMES O. LECKIE, Stanford University, Stanford, California JANE C. S. LONG, Mackay School of Mines, University of Nevada, Reno CHARLES MCCOMBIE, Consultant, Gipf-Oberfrick, Switzerland WILLIAM A. MILLS, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (retired), Olney, Maryland D. WARNER NORTH, NorthWorks, Inc., Mountain View, California MARTIN J. STEINDLER, Argonne National Laboratories (retired), Argonne, Illinois JOHN J. TAYLOR, Electric Power Research Institute (retired), Palo Alto, California MARY LOU ZOBACK, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California Staff KEVIN D. CROWLEY, Director ROBERT S. ANDREWS, Senior Staff Officer THOMAS KIESS, Senior Staff Officer JOHN R. WILEY, Senior Staff Officer SUSAN B. MOCKLER, Research Associate TONI GREENLEAF, Administrative Assistant PATRICIA A. JONES, Senior Project Assistant ANGELA R. TAYLOR, Senior Project Assistant LATRICIA C. BAILEY, Project Assistant MATTHEW BAXTER-PARROTT, Project Assistant LAURA D. LLANOS, Project Assistant

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--> COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES GEORGE M. HORNBERGER (Chair), University of Virginia, Charlottesville RICHARD A. CONWAY, Union Carbide Corporation (Retired), S. Charleston, West Virginia THOMAS E. GRAEDEL, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut THOMAS J. GRAFF, Environmental Defense Fund, Oakland, California EUGENIA KALNAY, University of Oklahoma, Norman DEBRA KNOPMAN, Progressive Policy Institute, Washington, DC KAI N. LEE, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts RICHARD A. MESERVE, Covington & Burling, Washington, DC JOHN B. MOONEY, JR., J. Brad Mooney Associates, Ltd., Arlington, Virginia HUGH C. MORRIS, El Dorado Gold Corporation, Vancouver, British Columbia H. RONALD PULLIAM, University of Georgia, Athens MILTON RUSSELL, University of Tennessee, Knoxville THOMAS C. SCHELLING, University of Maryland, College Park ANDREW R. SOLOW, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL, Landers and Persons, Tallahassee, Florida E-AN ZEN, University of Maryland, College Park MARY LOU ZOBACK, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California Staff ROBERT M. HAMILTON, Executive Director GREGORY H. SYMMES, Associate Executive Director CRAIG SCHIFFRIES, Associate Executive Director for Special Projects JEANETTE SPOON, Administrative and Financial Officer SANDI FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate MARQUITA SMITH, Administrative Assistant/Technology Analyst

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--> Acknowledgement of Reviewers This report has been reviewed 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 NRC 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 remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals, who are neither officials nor employees of the NRC, for their participation in the review of this report: Bill Batchelor, Texas A&M University Robert M. Bernero, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (retired) Elizabeth M. Drake, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Rodney C. Ewing, University of Michigan Michael C. Kavanaugh, Malcolm Pirnie, Inc. William A. Mills, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (retired) Chris W. Rhyne, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Roger R. Seitz, International Atomic Energy Agency E-an Zen, University of Maryland While the individuals listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, it must be emphasized that responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the NRC.

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--> Contents     Executive Summary   1 1   Introduction   6     History of the MWFA and the Mixed Waste Committee   9     Role of the Waste Form in DOE Mixed Waste Management   10 2   Inventory and Characteristics of DOE Mixed Waste   13     Findings, Discussion, and Recommendations   18 3   Mixed Waste Regulations   22     Treatment and Disposal Requirements   23     Waste Acceptance Criteria and Other Requirements   33     Comments and Recommendation   37 4   Waste Treatment and Stabilization   41     Treatment Groups   42     Treatment Technologies   46     Available Waste Forms   54     Technology Needs   63     Findings, Discussion, and Recommendations   64 5   Characterization of Mixed Waste Forms   70     Leachability   73     Durability   78     Findings, Discussion, and Recommendations   80

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--> 6   Role of the Waste Form in Performance Assessment   83     Aqueous Transport Scenarios   86     Airborne Exposure Scenarios   91     Intrusion Scenarios   92     Findings, Discussion, and Recommendations   94 7   Findings and Recommendations   97     General Findings and Recommendations   98     Waste Characterization   100     Treatment Technologies   101     Waste Form Characterization and Performance Assessment   103     Regulatory Guidelines   105     References   106     Appendixes     A   Statement of Task   113 B   Information Used by the Committee During Its Review   114 C   Technology Needs Identified by the MWFA   118 D   Biographical Sketches of Committee Members   123 E   Acronyms and Definitions   127