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ELECTROMETALLURGICAL TECHNIQUES FOR DOE SPENT FUEL TREATMENT: An Assessment of Waste Form Development and Characterization
Conclusion: These continuing concerns are not expected to jeopardizethe timely completion of the EBR-II demonstration project in 1999,but attention should be devoted to their resolution prior to extendingthe EMT process past the demonstration.
When waste form acceptance criteria for geologic repository placement are adopted by RW, test procedures for the waste forms produced by the electrometallurgical process may require modification. The committee believes, however, that the test procedures used for the MWF and CWF are appropriate for the completion of ANL's demonstration project.
ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS RELATED TO THE DEMONSTRATION PROJECT
Disposition of the Uranium Product Stream Produced by the EMT Process
The EMT Program staff has discussed applicable product purity levels with the staff of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Y-12 Plant for Y-12 acceptance of the uranium metal. If DOE decides that a commercial disposition option is desirable, some additional purification must be sought. To date, these options have not been studied.
The Quantity of EMT Waste Forms Produced from EBR-II Spent NuclearFuel
The committee notes that both the quantity and radionuclide inventory of EMT waste forms are extremely small relative to those of commercial SNF and DHLW. 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. 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 assuringsafe disposal of such relatively small quantities of novel HLW mayresult in significant cost avoidance while still protecting publicsafety.
However, if EMT is to be used for other DOE SNF, a full qualification of the waste forms would be required.