option is desirable, some additional purification must be sought. To date, these options have not been studied.


The committee notes that both the quantity and radionuclide inventory of EMT waste forms are extremely small relative to those for commercial SNF and DHLW. The DOE should evaluate whether small quantities, both in terms of volume and radionuclide inventory, of novel waste forms should be characterized and qualified to the same level of detail as major waste forms. For example, issues such as variability in the burn-up of commercial SNF or uncertainty in the fraction of volatile fission products at the matrix-cladding gap of SNF may lead to greater impacts on repository safety than a simple and demonstrably bounding analysis of performance by the MWF and the CWF. However, because final qualification criteria have not been set, it is difficult to assess whether the testing is excessive or not at this stage.

Conclusion: Alternative, conservatively bounding strategies for assuring safe disposal of such relatively small quantities of novel HLW may result in significant cost avoidance while still protecting public safety.

However, if the EMT process were to be proposed or considered for processing of other DOE SNF (e.g., N-Reactor fuel at Hanford), then a full qualification of EMT waste forms for repository disposal would be required by DOE prior to any final approval and implementation of the EMT process for this extended purpose.

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