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Alternative High-Level Waste Treatments at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Alternative High-Level Waste Treatments at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Committee on Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) High-Level Waste Alternative Treatments Board on Radioactive Waste Management Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.
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Alternative High-Level Waste Treatments at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory 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. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This work was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Contract Nos. DE-FC01-94EW54069 and DE-FC01-99EW5904. 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 0-309-06628-X Cover: Above: A 1981 photo of the calcination vessel at the New Waste Calcining Facility. The 5-foot-diameter middle section of the vessel contains the fluidized bed that is supplied with air, kerosene fuel, and radioactive waste feed. Removable nozzles, three for fuel and three for feed, are located in this middle section immediately above the metal tracks that protrude from the exterior wall and that are tapered on their bottom edge. Smaller visible piping supports instrumentation. The insulated fluidizing air supply is the large vertical piping on the left-hand side that bends to enter the bottom of the vessel. Not visible is a cyclone separator located above the calciner to remove fine particles from the gaseous effluent. SOURCE: INEEL Photograph #81-3072. Below: An engineering artist’s view of the calciner operation, showing the fuel and feed nozzles and the piping to supply fluidizing air and to remove solid calcine product. A distributor plate exists between the bottom conical section and the middle section to evenly allocate fluidizing air to the bed material (often dolomite) in the middle section. The expanded upper section allows product particles of large diameter to separate from the off-gas. SOURCE: INEEL graphic. Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Ave., NW 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. Printed in the United States of America
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Alternative High-Level Waste Treatments at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES National Academy of Sciences. National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.
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Alternative High-Level Waste Treatments at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory COMMITTEE ON IDAHO NATIONAL ENGINEERING AND ENVIRONMENTAL LABORATORY (INEEL) HIGH-LEVEL WASTE ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS ROBERT C. FORNEY, Chair, E.I. DuPont (retired), Unionville, Pennsylvania EDWARD AITKEN, General Electric Co. (retired), La Quinta, California ROBERT BERTUCIO, SCIENTECH, Inc., Kent, Washington DAVID O. CAMPBELL, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (retired), Oak Ridge, Tennessee MELVIN S. COOPS, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (retired), Santa Rosa, California DELBERT E. DAY, University of Missouri, Rolla P. GARY ELLER, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico RODNEY C. EWING, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor JOHN M. KERR, Innovative Technologies International, Inc., Lynchburg, Virginia JEAN'NE M. SHREEVE, University of Idaho, Moscow MINORU TOMOZAWA, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York Staff THOMAS KIESS, Study Director SUSAN B. MOCKLER, Research Associate LATRICIA C. BAILEY, Senior Project Assistant
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Alternative High-Level Waste Treatments at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory BOARD ON RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT MICHAEL C. KAVANAUGH, Chair, Malcolm Pirnie, Inc., Oakland, California JOHN F. AHEARNE, Vice Chair, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, and Duke University, Research Triangle Park and Durham, 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, Berkeley, 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, University of Nevada, Reno CHARLES McCOMBIE, International 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 Laboratory (retired), Argonne, Illinois JOHN J. TAYLOR, Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, California MARY LOU ZOBACK, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California NRC Staff KEVIN D. CROWLEY, Director ROBERT S. ANDREWS, Senior Staff Officer THOMAS E. KIESS, Senior Staff Officer JOHN R. WILEY, Senior Staff Officer SUSAN B. MOCKLER, Research Associate TONI GREENLEAF, Administrative Associate LATRICIA C. BAILEY, Senior Project Assistant MATTHEW BAXTER-PARROTT, Project Assistant LAURA D. LLANOS, Project Assistant PATRICIA A. JONES, Senior Project Assistant ANGELA R. TAYLOR, Senior Project Assistant
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Alternative High-Level Waste Treatments at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory 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 Maryland, College Park DEBRA KNOPMAN, Progressive Policy Institute, Washington, DC KAI N. LEE, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts RICHARD A. MESERVE, Covington & Burling, Washington, DC BRAD MOONEY, 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 Parsons, 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 JEANETTE SPOON, Administrative and Financial Officer DAVID FEARY, Scientific Reports Officer SANDI FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate MARQUITA SMITH, Administrative Assistant/Technology Analyst
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Alternative High-Level Waste Treatments at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Executive Summary From 1953 until 1992, the facility near Idaho Falls, Idaho, now known as the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), reprocessed a variety of nuclear fuels primarily for the recovery of uranium-235. The liquid waste from these activities, a high-level waste (HLW), was stored in subsurface stainless steel tanks, each enclosed by a concrete vault. To conserve volume, these wastes were calcined1 starting in the early 1960s and the calcine sent to storage in partially buried stainless steel bins grouped in sets, with each set inside a separate concrete vault. The process of calcining the HLW was completed early in 1998. As the tanks were emptied of HLW, they have been used to store liquid waste from various cleanup activities at the INEEL facility. This liquid is a mixed transuranic (TRU) waste high in sodium and is referred to henceforth as sodium-bearing waste (SBW). Some of the SBW has been calcined and stored in the same bins as the HLW calcine, thereby being mixed with and convened to a HLW. For several decades, research and development activities at INEEL have studied technical alternatives for the future remediation, storage, and ultimate disposition of HLW calcine and SBW. Several such technical alternatives are under current consideration by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the selection of one as the basis for future waste management operations. This report is the result of a National Research Council study, made at the request of DOE, to assess independently these technical alternatives. The Preface that follows summarizes the scope of this study, the committee appointed to conduct it, and the information-gathering activities undertaken. The large volume of reference materials, supplied primarily by DOE, is listed in Appendix A. In technical options under consideration by DOE, the 4,000 m3 of calcine would be retrieved from the bins and either immobilized directly into glass, cement, or glass/ceramic waste forms; or dissolved and treated first to separate one or more of the most radioactive components (e.g., cesium (Cs), strontium (Sr), and/or TRU radioisotopes) into a relatively small volume. Both this high-activity waste (HAW) fraction and the larger volume of lower activity waste would then be immobilized into final waste forms. 1 This calcination process injected waste into a fluidized bed at elevated temperatures to evaporate the water and decompose other material constituents into "calcine," a granular ceramic.
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Alternative High-Level Waste Treatments at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory The 5,000 m3 (as of August 1998) of SBW would be either calcined and added to the existing bins of HLW calcine, or removed from the tanks and immobilized separately, possibly after a separation step to isolate a HAW fraction. All waste forms produced in these operations would go to storage after immobilization. Incomplete Characterization Data The committee found that the current chemical, physical, and radiological characterization data for HLW calcine and SBW are too incomplete and/or inaccurate for any of the types of stored waste to permit a logical selection, at present, from among the several treat-merit alternatives2 available. There appears to be no realistic sampling or characterization plan at this time to improve the database. Representative sampling and analysis of actual aged calcine and SBW in current storage must be done to establish definitive bounds on critical properties, which are needed in order to design a suitable strategy and methodology for efficient separations, immobilization, and bin/tank closure operations. Important constituents include the major radioisotopes (i.e., Cs, Sr, and TRU), hazardous materials (e.g., lead, cadmium, and mercury) regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and other chemical compounds that could potentially interfere with separations processes or that could provide limitations (e.g., on operational requirements, waste form durability, or waste loading) to immobilization methods. Additional Testing Needs For processing of either SBW or calcine (i.e., dissolution of solids and subsequent separations (e.g., Cs, Sr, and/or TRU) and/or immobilization steps), extensive testing of individual process steps is required on actual waste samples to reduce technical uncertainties associated with crucial processing parameters. However, even if satisfactory operation of each individual step could be attained under carefully controlled conditions, the objective of full-scale operation of an integrated process (i.e., containing dissolution and subsequent separations and/or immobilization steps) under realistic plant conditions will be much more difficult to meet without encountering complex operational problems, exorbitant costs, and generation of excessive amounts of secondary waste. Testing of such a fully integrated process would be required, and on a scale sufficiently large such that further scale-up challenges do not affect the likely success of the operation. Establishment of Definitive Waste Form Specifications To plan for such testing of an integrated operation, the separations and immobilization requirements should logically be determined by deriving them from disposal specifications for the final waste form(s). However, these disposal specifications are not yet firmly established. Where the ultimate waste disposal is to take place, the form in which waste can be received and stored in that location, and the permitting for its transportation to that location are such significant considerations affecting the waste form specifications and processing requirements that they would have to be in place before a logical design of a fully integrated process could be selected and a large-scale test made. 2 A complete treatment alternative would use an immobilization step and might also use one or more chemical and physical separations processes.
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Alternative High-Level Waste Treatments at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Disposal Uncertainties Many uncertainties due to currently unresolved issues of a regulatory, other legal, technical, and/or policy nature act as barriers that stand in the way of a firm designation of an ultimate disposal site and of an acceptable waste form for such a site. It is not certain at present that INEEL waste products can be disposed of in most of the disposal locations outlined in Chapter 9 because of uncertainties in (1) whether these repositories will be available for INEEL waste products and/or (2) whether the INEEL wastes are properly qualified to meet the waste acceptance criteria. Insofar as the regulatory, other legal, technical, and DOE policy requirements for the first geological repository for HLW (i.e., the planned Yucca Mountain facility) have evolved in the past two decades, it is conceivable, if not likely, that these requirements might continue to change. The requirements associated with a second HLW repository have not been established, and may differ from those of the first repository, if indeed a second repository is mandated. Only the low-level waste (LLW) disposal sites, and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) for TRU LLW, are operational at present. The only off-site disposal option immediately available (i.e., without the need for a regulatory petition or special ruling) for even low-level INEEL wastes is DOE's Hanford disposal site (for nonmixed LLW material). Selection of a Treatment Option With the ultimate disposition pathway unknown, uncertainties from unresolved issues impeding its determination, inadequate characterization data available for both HLW calcine and SBW, and insufficient testing done to clearly reject or point to the likely success of any separations and/or mobilization process, the committee concluded that, in short, not enough information is available to make a sensible choice among technical alternatives. The ultimate disposal site(s), acceptable waste form(s), and approved transportation route(s) must be in place as part of an overall waste management strategy before any decision is made among treatment alternatives for the HLW calcine. Without these boundary conditions identified, one cannot be even reasonably certain that any option selected in the near term will both work within the present schedule (and within presently known technical risks), and also provide a waste form that will meet disposal criteria. Recommendation on HLW Calcine The committee could identify no significant present hazard to public health or to the environment due to the storage of solid calcine in the bins at INEEL, which have been designed to be secure for at least 500 years. The need for immediate action and a rush to select a long-term treatment option appear unwarranted, in the committee's view, especially in comparison to significant inventories of HLW at other DOE sites that are in liquid form in underground tanks, some of which have leaked. Therefore, and since the requirements that the final waste form(s) must meet are unknown, it is the committee's firm view that the interim storage of calcine in the bins should be maintained at least until such time as it becomes clear (1) where the material can be sent, (2) what disposal form(s) is/are acceptable, and (3) that an approved transportation Pathway to the disposal site is available. The committee supports aggressive efforts to determine the site(s), form(s), and route(s). In the meantime, the decay of the radioactive constituents of the HLW calcine would potentially reduce some processing requirements (e.g., Cs and Sr separations specifications) and minimize the exposure risks and attendant worker safety hazards, thereby reducing remediation risks and costs. Only after an approved destination for the HLW calcine is available and the requisite specifications on the waste form are known should a decision then be made to select among technical options, including that of continued interim bin storage, for calcine treatment.
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Alternative High-Level Waste Treatments at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory If an assessment of the integrity of the bins confirms that they will be secure for a period of time comparable to their design life, then bin storage is a low-risk configuration for the near future. This course of action should be subject to continued review and updating of comparative risks as additional information may be developed in the decades to come. This recommendation does not challenge the general strategy of geologic disposal for HLW, which is an issue outside the scope of this study, but emphasizes that decisions on the ultimate fate of the INEEL HLW should be postponed pending the resolution of waste management issues noted above and pending the results of adequate risk analyses.3 In this recommendation to defer processing of HLW calcine until site(s), route(s), and waste form specifications are firmly established, no time period is specified for the duration of interim bin storage. Limitations to this time period could come from a technical assessment of bin integrity over time, and/or regulatory and other requirements. To expand on (1), the information provided to the committee does not specify the failure mode (e.g., corrosion or seismic stability) that is the most limiting for bin integrity, and does not indicate whether 500 years signifies a mean time to failure or another design criterion. The committee recommends that during any period of interim bin storage, continuing verification of bin integrity is essential. To expand on (2), if the Licensing Requirements for the Independent Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste (10 CFR 72) were to apply to INEEL bin storage, then a regulatory license could be granted for up to 20-40 years, with any renewals for time periods beyond that contingent upon sufficient technical justification to satisfy the requirements for a license extension. Such matters of regulatory strategy were not examined in detail by the committee, and would require attention in the event that resolution of ultimate disposal site(s), route(s), and waste form specifications is not attained in the near future. Recommendation on SBW The SBW is stored as a liquid in tanks that do not meet regulatory approval standards for long-term storage. In the committee's view, the DOE should solidify the SBW as soon as practicable. To meet this objective, solidification options other than calcination (which results in the counterproductive conversion of SBW to HLW when SBW calcine is mixed in storage with HLW calcine) should be identified and one of them selected. This effort should consider processes developed for similar DOE wastes at other sites that could be adapted to the SBW. The remediation goal should be to produce a solid at relatively low cost and personnel risk that is suitable for shipment to the now-operating Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) or to another TRU waste site if one becomes available. Several solidification options for SBW are offered in Chapter 12 of this report. Drawing upon the backgrounds of personnel available at other DOE sites would be appropriate in considering these and other possible approaches. 3 If bin storage of HLW calcine persists for more than a generation, then this recommendation does counter the general view (OECD, 1995) of having the present generation ''dispose" of its own long-lived radioactive waste in geologic repositories; instead, for INEEL HLW calcine, the present generation would "manage" this waste. Such a bin storage strategy is consistent with the "stepwise implementation of plans for geological disposal" that might take place "over several decades" and is also consistent with the admission of "the possibility that other options could be developed at a later stage" that is expressly stated in OECD (1995: p. 9).
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Alternative High-Level Waste Treatments at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Closure Specifications Residuals of SBW and HLW calcine will remain at the INEEL site regardless of any option considered to process these wastes. The amount of residual waste, left in place should be assessed in various scenarios to determine relevant "trade-offs' such as the costs and benefits of risk reductions that are achieved. These assessments of closure options should be used to define tank closure criteria and specifications. Risk Analysis Perspective As a final observation, the committee believes that, along with good science and engineering, a major consideration in deciding how (and whether) to process any radioactive waste for long-term conditioning is that of the risks being added and/or mitigated. The fundamental purpose of environmental regulations (such as those of RCRA, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, and United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission directives) and radioactive waste policy legislation must be, in the committee's view, minimization of risk to human health and the environment in a cost-effective and meaningful manner. A driving consideration in deciding upon a radioactive waste management strategy should be an identification, definition, and evaluation of the "trade-offs" (i.e., comparative risks) for the alternatives being considered, including those of limited or no processing. Such risk assessment calculations provide information on risk reduction strategies and are required to decide among alternatives in an informed and objective manner. Consequently, the committee believes that a risk analysis for the actions recommended above for both HLW calcine and SBW should be conducted promptly, and should include a comparison of the risks associated with INEEL HLW calcine and SBW to the risks associated with site inventories of other radioactive wastes. A sufficiently rigorous analysis should be performed to establish the current risks and to assess the changes in risk due to treatment options. In the committee's view, at least until the issues identified here are resolved, the risks (and costs) of repackaging the HLW calcine, with no certainty that it can ever be shipped outside of Idaho, may far exceed the risks (and costs) of continued interim bin storage.
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Alternative High-Level Waste Treatments at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Preface This report is the product of a National Research Council (NRC) committee study initiated at the request of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to examine technical options for treating radioactive high-level waste (HLW) at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL). This HLW was produced in the reprocessing of approximately 44 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel during 1953-1992. This study was done to provide information for a future DOE decision on which of several possible waste management approaches should be adopted in site plans and activities to convert the HLW into forms suitable for transport and/or disposal. This committee study was organized within the NRC's Board on Radioactive Waste Management (BRWM) and was conducted by an 11-member committee. Committee members were chosen for their expertise in relevant technical disciplines such as nuclear and fluoride chemistry, process engineering, nuclear materials handling, waste form development, and risk assessment. As is normal Academy practice, committee members did not represent views of their institutions, but formed an independent body to author this report. To conduct the study, the committee gathered information in selected ways, principally through meetings and literature review. The committee met twice in Idaho Falls, Idaho, during August and October of 1998, to hear from DOE and its contractors, invited guests, representatives of the Idaho regulatory oversight authority, and members of the public. At the invitation of the committee, seven "technical experts" attended the sessions of the first meeting that were open to the public and prepared trip reports of their impressions, which appear as Appendix B in this report. The committee also reviewed the DOE literature, listed in Appendix A. Committee members prepared this report using these inputs and their collective knowledge and experience. The remainder of committee meetings and interactions were devoted to the preparation of the report, representing the consensus view of the committee and responsive to the following Statement of Task: The purpose of this project is to perform an independent assessment of the INEEL High-Level Waste Program. This assessment win include the following: (1) examination of the set of treatment options chosen by the DOE and identification of other alternatives that DOE might consider; (2) technical analysis of the assumptions, criteria, and methodology used in selecting the baseline waste treatment option and any additional action that would improve its technical validity; (3) evaluation of environmental and technological risks associated with the chosen set of treatment options; and (4) feasibility of the treatment options given the regulatory framework and compliance agreements. A final report would provide technical
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Alternative High-Level Waste Treatments at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory assessments of alternatives to help the DOE select a preferred path forward and meet their regulatory milestones on schedule.
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Alternative High-Level Waste Treatments at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Acknowledgements Thanks are due to the seven expert consultants noted below who attended the first information-gathering meeting during August 17-19, 1998, and provided written trip reports for the committee's consideration. Their reports are in Appendix B, and their brief biographies in Appendix D. Mr. John Roecker, consultant, Tank Waste Remediation System at Hartford; Dr. Anne Smith, vice president, Charles River Associates; Dr. David Clark, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Florida; Dr. Edward Lahoda, Advisory Engineer, Westinghouse Science and Technology Center; Dr. K. K. Sivasankara Pillay, senior staff member, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Mr. Ernest Ruppe, (retired) vice president of petrochemicals, E.I. DuPont; and Dr. Barry Scheetz, Professor of Materials and Senior Scientist, The Pennsylvania State University. The views of these individuals, as contained in their trip reports, are not to be construed as those of the organizations with whom they have been or are affiliated. Thanks are also due to Dr. Martin Steindler and Mr. John Taylor of the Board on Radioactive Waste Management (BRWM) for their roles as liaisons between the BRWM and the committee during the study. 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 remains confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. Thanks are due to the following individuals, who are neither officials nor employees of the NRC, for their participation in the review of this report:
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Alternative High-Level Waste Treatments at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Richard Conway, Union Carbide Corporation, retired Jurgen Exner, JHE Technology Systems, Inc. Peter Hayward, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, retired Darleane Hoffman, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Lee Hyder, Savannah River Technology Center, retired Antoine Jouan, Commisariat à l'Energie Atomique Milton Levenson, Bechtel International, Inc., retired John Mackenzie, University of California D. Warner North, NorthWorks, Inc. Frank Parker, Vanderbilt University 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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Alternative High-Level Waste Treatments at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Contents Executive Summary vii Preface xiii 1 Introduction 1 2 Calcine Characterization, Retrieval, and Dissolution 15 3 Physical and Chemical Separations 29 4 Treatment Options for Sodium-Bearing Liquid Waste 43 5 Vitrification 47 6 Cementation 55 7 Other Waste Forms 61 8 Tank and Bin Closure 71 9 Constraints Imposed by Disposal Options, Regulations, and Cost 81 10 Inconsistencies Associated with Current Plans 91 11 What Should Be Done: INEEL HLW Calcine 97 12 What Should Be Done: Sodium-Bearing Liquid Waste 101 13 Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations 107 References 121 Appendices A Documents Received During This Study 129 B Trip Reports of Technical Experts 141 C Biographical Sketches of Committee Members 167 D Biographical Sketches of Technical Experts 171 E Glossary 175 F Acronyms 179 G Portions of the 1995 Settlement Agreement 181
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