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Appendix D List of Recommendations from The State of Development of Waste Forms for Mixed Wastes: U.S. Deparoner't of Energy 's Office of Environmental Management 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 RECOMMENDATIONS General The Mixed Waste Focus Area (MWFA) should no longer emphasize the development of new classes of waste forms. The MWFA should emphasize the engineering design, integration, and scale-up of its proposed treatment processes and their demonstration and deployment, as needed, at the DOE sites. The MWFA should continue its practice of defining, identifying, and responding to technology deficiencies. The MWFA should broaden its use of a systems approach in selecting, developing, and deploying technologies. This approach would include characterization of the waste and definition of the required performance of a proposed treatment technology, based on EM's needs, regulatory requirements, and stakeholder expectations. 58
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APPENDIX D 59 Waste Characterization The MWFA should develop simplified methods to characterize the waste, with emphasis on nondestructive examination and nondestructive assay techniques. According to available inventory data, emphasis should be placed on developing better methods to determine heavy metals and solvent contamination in the waste. The MWFA should continue to develop, demonstrate, and encourage deployment of techniques and procedures to ensure that all new waste streams are adequately characterized. The MWFA should strive for a balance between the risks, benefits, and cost of detailed characterization and the risks, benefits, and cost to adapt or to develop more robust treatment technologies that can handle a wide variety of waste compositions. Both characterization and technology development efforts should be pursued. Treatment Technologies The MWFA should integrate treatment technologies being developed for its five treatment groups into a mixed waste treatment strategy. This strategy should consider the waste form as a part of an overall mixed waste management system that includes: compatibility of waste form with transportation and disposal options, trade-offs between risks to personnel associated with additional waste characterization and additional costs of a more robust treatment and stabilization system, and trade-offs between the increased number of disposal options for a very stable waste form and the lower costs but reduced disposal options for less stable waste forms. The MWFA should demonstrate new treatment technologies on at least the pilot plant scale using real wastes or realistic surrogates before the technology is designated as ready for deployment. The MWFA should continue to address technology deficiencies that it has identified through input from the Site Technology Coordinating Groups and
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60 TECHNOLOGIES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT update its Technical Baseline Report to reflect progress in addressing these deficiencies. The MWFA should continue to provide research funding for developing robust processes, such as the plasma torch that can treat and stabilize waste of poorly defined or variable composition, recognizing the trade-off between better waste characterization and development of improved treatment technology. Waste Form Characterization and Performance Assessment OST should continue to support programs aimed at fundamental understanding of waste form durability and degradation processes. These programs should lead to a better representation of the waste form in performance assessment (PA) modeling. OST should work to promote consensus among the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC), DOE, and the scientific community on waste form testing methods that will be generally acceptable for providing at least a qualitative evaluation of long-term waste form performance in disposal environments. OST should support efforts to obtain data that will allow a more realistic inclusion of waste forms in PA models, including intrusion scenarios. Without such data the waste form will never receive proper credit in PA, with the resulting cost penalties for additional engineered barriers and possible restriction in site selection. OST should play a more significant role in promoting (funding) cooperation among investigators who are characterizing waste forms and those who are developing PA models to help ensure that characterization data are useful for PA models, and that PA models properly incorporate this data. The MWFA should continue basic research related to the understanding of the physical and chemical attributes of waste foes. Regulatory Guidelines Environmental Management (EM) should work with EPA and the USNRC to agree on clear guidelines that define acceptable waste forms for future disposal facilities. This should be done as soon as possible to reduce the risk of EM
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APPENDIX D 61 deploying technologies that are later judged to be inadequate due to unanticipated regulatory requirements.