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Suggested Citation:"Definition of the Term Wastes." National Research Council. 1959. Considerations on the Disposal of Radioactive Wastes From Nuclear-Powered Ships Into the Marine Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18744.
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with conventional hull and machinery inspection and maintenance schedules. Liquid wastes associated with refueling will generally in- clude drainage from the primary system, together with effluents from decontamination of reactor components and fuel handling facilities. As additional experience is obtained in the operation of both land- based and shipboard reactor systems, changes will undoubtedly be made in design criteria, selection of materials, and other factors influencing the character and volume of wastes. Other types of reactors will un- doubtedly be used in some future nuclear-powered ship designs. Thus there are now in progress several feasibility studies of the use of or- ganic-moderated and gas-cooled nuclear reactors. The character and amount of wastes which might be introduced to the marine environment from such future designs cannot be stated accurately now. It is believed that these general conclusions can be utilized in formulating design criteria and operating doctrine, with respect to waste disposal into the marine environment, for such future types of marine reactors. The specific considerations presented here are primarily directed towards the presently planned water-cooled marine reactors. DEFINITION OF THE TERM "WASTES" In the normal operation of a nuclear-powered ship, as with any conventionally powered ship, liquid effluent will originate from a num- ber of sources. Thus considerable quantities of sea water are circu- lated through the steam condenser, and discharged back to the marine environment. Sanitary wastes and water used to wash down the decks and for similar normal operating purposes are usually discharged over- board. These liquid effluents would not normally contain any radioac- tivity resulting from the operation of the nuclear power plant, though it is conceivable that some human or mechanical failure could alter this. It therefore is desirable, from a practical standpoint, to state some criteria serving to clarify, within the scope of this report, whether a particular effluent could be considered as a radioactive waste or not. For this purpose the following working definition is proposed: A liquid effluent shall be classed as a radioactive waste if the activity of the undiluted effluent exceeds the mpc values for drinking water for the general public as given in Title 10, Chapter 1, Part 20, Code of Federal Regulations, Revised 1959 (proposed). Solid materials such as trash and.garbage are normally dis- charged overboard from ships at sea. S\ich material would not be ex- pected to have any activity originating from the operation of the nuclear power plant. In order to cover any eventuality, this working panel sug- gests that: Solid materials discharged to the ocean shall be classed as radio- active wastes if the total activity of any whole solid segment exceeds the total activity which would be contained by an equal volume of water having mpc values for drinking water for the occupational worker as

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