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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Review of the Draft Analysis of Supplemental Treatment Approaches of Low-Activity Waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation: Review #2. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25236.
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Review of the Draft Analysis of Supplemental Treatment Approaches of Low-Activity Waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation Review #2 Committee on Supplemental Treatment of Low-Activity Waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board Division on Earth and Life Studies A Consensus Study Report of

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 This activity was supported by award DE-EM0001172/NAS Proposal Number 10003497 between the Na- tional Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-48351-3 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-48351-4 Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/25236 Additional copies of this publication are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2018 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Review of the Draft Analysis of the Supplemental Treatment Approaches of Low-Activity Waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reser- vation: Review #2. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/25236.

The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues re- lated to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contribu- tions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www. nationalacademies.org.

Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task. Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies. For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit www.nationalacademies.org/about/whatwedo.

COMMITTEE ON SUPPLEMENTAL TREATMENT OF LOW-ACTIVITY WASTE AT THE HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION JOHN S. APPLEGATE (Chair), Indiana University, Bloomington ALLEN G. CROFF (Vice-Chair), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (retired), St. Augustine, Florida MARGARET S. Y. CHU, M.S. Chu + Associates, LLC, New York, New York KENNETH R. CZERWINSKI, University of Nevada, Las Vegas RACHEL J. DETWILER, Beton Consulting Engineers, LLC, Mendota Heights, Minnesota TIMOTHY A. DEVOL, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina RODNEY C. EWING, Stanford University, Stanford, California CRAIG S. HANSEN, Independent Consultant, Clinton, Tennessee CATHY MIDDLECAMP, University of Wisconsin–Madison ALFRED P. SATTELBERGER, Argonne National Laboratory (retired), Argonne, Illinois BARRY E. SCHEETZ, The Pennsylvania State University, State College ANNE E. SMITH, National Economic Research Associates, Inc., Washington, DC CHRIS G. WHIPPLE, ENVIRON (retired), Lafayette, California Technical Adviser DAVID W. JOHNSON, JR., Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies (retired), Bedminster, New Jersey1 Staff CHARLES D. FERGUSON, Study Director TONI GREENLEAF, Administrative and Financial Associate DARLENE GROS, Senior Program Assistant 1 He became a technical adviser on May 1, 2018. v

NUCLEAR AND RADIATION STUDIES BOARD GEORGE APOSTOLAKIS (Chair), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (emeritus), Los Angeles, California JAMES A. BRINK (Vice Chair), Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston STEVEN M. BECKER, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia AMY BERRINGTON DE GONZÁLEZ, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland DAVID J. BRENNER, Columbia University, New York MARGARET S. Y. CHU, M.S. Chu + Associates, LLC, New York, New York TISSA H. ILLANGASEKARE, Colorado School of Mines, Golden CAROL M. JANTZEN, Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, South Carolina NANCY JO NICHOLAS, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico HENRY D. ROYAL, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri DANIEL O. STRAM, University of Southern California, Los Angeles WILLIAM H. TOBEY, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts SERGEY V. YUDINTSEV, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow Staff CHARLES D. FERGUSON, Director JENNIFER HEIMBERG, Senior Program Officer OURANIA KOSTI, Senior Program Officer TONI GREENLEAF, Administrative and Financial Associate LAURA D. LLANOS, Administrative and Financial Associate DARLENE GROS, Senior Program Assistant vi

Preface The scale and complexity of the radioactive and hazardous waste disposal problem at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is well known. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Manage- ment (DOE-EM) has called Hanford the most challenging cleanup task in DOE’s nuclear complex. DOE’s current plan for treating the nearly 56 million gallons of radioactive and heterogeneous waste contained in 177 large tanks is to separate it into two waste streams: a high-level waste (HLW) stream that will have less than 10 percent of the volume but more than 90 percent of the radioactivity, and a low-activity waste (LAW) stream that will have more than 90 percent of the volume but less than 10 percent of the radioactivity. Notably, DOE’s determination as to whether a volume of waste is considered LAW depends on the removal of “key radionuclides to the maximum extent that is technically and economically practical,” as stated in DOE’s Radioactive Waste Manual. But this processing could still leave significant amounts of long-lived radionuclides in the LAW stream. Once the under-construction Waste Treatment and Immobili- zation Plant (WTP) becomes operational, it will vitrify the HLW stream and at least one-third to perhaps one-half of the LAW stream. The excess LAW that still needs to be treated is called supplemental LAW (SLAW). DOE, the Washington State Department of Ecology, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—the three parties under the legally binding 1989 Tri-Party Agreement—have yet to agree on the SLAW treatment method. The use of a technology other than vitrification for any LAW is controversial for use at Hanford— though it has been adopted at other DOE-EM sites—and such use is currently opposed by the State of Washington, key Tribal Nations, and many Hanford stakeholders. In Section 3134 of the fiscal year (FY) 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress directed DOE to contract with a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) to analyze at least three potential technologies for treating the SLAW—vitrification, grouting, and fluidized bed steam reforming—and to report on its findings. It further directed DOE to contract with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to undertake a concurrent, independent peer review of the FFRDC report not only when the report is complete, but also at certain points during the effort. Congress also expressly required the FFRDC and the National Academies review committee to solicit and consider stakeholder input at every step of the process. DOE appointed Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) as the FFRDC to lead this study, and then SRNL assembled a team of experts from SRNL and other national laboratories to perform the analysis. The National Academies appointed its committee to conduct the overlapping review. The first committee report, published on June 8, 2018, began an iterative exchange between the FFRDC team and the National Academies committee which—together with stakeholder comments—is intended to ultimately lead to a final report on which DOE can rely in reaching a decision on the management of SLAW. This second committee report is an interim report that provides the committee’s review of the FFRDC team’s draft report, dated July 15, 2018. The FFRDC team has presented its work to the review committee three times: once in an introductory meeting in Washington, DC, on December 12-13, 2017, once in a meeting describing the status of the FFRDC’s draft analysis held in Richland, Washington, on February 28 and March 1, 2018, and most re- cently in a meeting describing the FFRDC’s draft report held in Richland, Washington, on July 23-24, 2018. The committee is most grateful for the time and effort that went into the team’s presentations, as well as the presentations by other interested government agencies, stakeholders, and members of the public. Be- tween the second and third meetings, as the review indicates, the FFRDC team has made significant pro- gress. We all recognize, however, that much more remains to be done, and that a comprehensive and final vii

Preface committee evaluation must await the comprehensive and final FFRDC team report. Accordingly, the com- mittee’s review report makes relatively few formal findings and recommendations, and the bulk of this review, like the previous review, consists of observations and suggestions that are intended to provide the FFRDC team members with guidance and assistance—should they decide to take it—in developing their final report. We hope that the present review will provide a useful guide to the work that has been completed to date, and additional guidance as it progresses. The committee will meet two more times in Washington State (the next time is in late November), and we look forward to continued dialogue with the FFRDC team, interested government representatives, Hanford stakeholders, and interested members of the public. John S. Applegate, Chair Allen G. Croff, Vice-Chair Committee on Supplemental Treatment of Low-Activity Waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation viii

Acknowledgments A number of people and organizations contributed to the successful completion of this report. The committee wishes to thank the study sponsor, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM), for supporting this project, and especially the following staff: Dieter Bohrmann, DOE-Office of River Protection (ORP) Paula Call, DOE-ORP Betsy Connell, DOE-EM Elaine Diaz, DOE-ORP Beth Moore, DOE-EM Gary Pyles, DOE-ORP Rob Seifert, DOE-EM Linda Suttora, DOE-EM The committee also thanks the presenters and speakers who gave high-quality presentations during the three public meetings as listed in Appendix D. In particular, for the most recent third public meeting, on July 23-24, 2018, the committee is pleased to note the several very informative presentations given by Alex Smith of the Washington State Department of Ecology, Alfrieda Peters of the Yakama Nation, and the team members of the Federally Funded Research and Development Center led by the Savannah River National Laboratory. In addition, the committee is grateful for other submitted public comments, which were useful in helping the committee better understand the public’s concerns and views. The committee is grateful for the outstanding assistance provided by the National Academies of Sci- ences, Engineering, and Medicine staff in preparing the report. The chair and vice-chair are also thankful for the time and energy devoted by the committee members. ix

Reviewer Acknowledgments This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse per- spectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Lake H. Barrett, independent consultant, Venice, Florida Larry Camper, independent consultant, Montgomery Village, Maryland Jonathan “JD” Dowell, Fluor, Kennewick, Washington John T. Greeves, independent consultant, Frederick, Maryland William E. Kennedy, W.E. Kennedy Consulting, Benton City, Washington Steven Krahn, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee Timothy Milner, Atkins, Columbia, South Carolina Monica Olvera de la Cruz, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois Ian L. Pegg, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC Kevin Smith, independent consultant, Richland, Washington Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Michael L. Corradini, University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Robert J. Budnitz, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. They were respon- sible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Respon- sibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies. xi

Contents SUMMARY ......................................................................................................................................................... 1 1 CONTEXT AND SETTING ..................................................................................................................... 7 Proposed Treatment Plan and Congressional Mandate to Analyze and Review the Analysis of Supplemental Treatment Approaches, 7 Study Process, 8 The Hanford Region’s Environment and the Tribal Nations, 10 The Waste Tanks and Their Condition, 11 Vitrification, the Concept of “As Good as Glass” for Other Waste Forms, and Waste Disposal Options, 12 Review Report Organization, 14 2 THE COMMITTEE’S MAJOR OBSERVATIONS AND OVERARCHING ASSESSMENT OF THE FFRDC’S DRAFT REPORT..................................................................... 16 Overall Observations, 16 The Need for a Comparative Analysis, 18 3 ANALYSIS OF THE ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT APPROACHES ...................................... 22 Safety of the Alternatives Following Waste Disposal, 23 Confidence in Waste Form Production Technologies, 24 Costs of Waste Formation Processes, 27 Regulatory Compliance, 28 4 ADDITIONAL PROCESSES AFFECTING THE ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT APPROACHES ......................................................................................................................................... 32 Additional SLAW Pre-Treatment, 32 Off-Gas Treatment, 33 Secondary Waste, 33 Load Leveling and Waste Blending, 33 5 THE ANALYTIC HIERARCHY PROCESS AND EXPERT ELICITATION ............................. 35 Observations Regarding the Appropriateness of AHP for the Section 3134 Report, 35 REFERENCES ................................................................................................................................................ 39 APPENDIXES A SECTION 3134 OF THE FISCAL YEAR 2017 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT ....................................................................................................................... 40 B STATEMENT OF TASK ........................................................................................................................ 42 xiii

Contents C SUGGESTIONS FROM THE COMMITTEE’S REVIEW #1 AND HOW THE FFRDC RESPONDED............................................................................................................................. 43 D PRESENTATIONS AT THE COMMITTEE’S INFORMATION-GATHERING MEETINGS ............................................................................................................................................... 49 E BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE COMMITTEE AND THE TECHNICAL ADVISER ........................................................................................................................ 52 F ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS ............................................................................................... 58 xiv

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In 1943, as part of the Manhattan Project, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation was established with the mission to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons. During 45 years of operations, the Hanford Site produced about 67 metric tonnes of plutonium—approximately two-thirds of the nation’s stockpile. Production processes generated radioactive and other hazardous wastes and resulted in airborne, surface, subsurface, and groundwater contamination. Presently, 177 underground tanks contain collectively about 210 million liters (about 56 million gallons) of waste. The chemically complex and diverse waste is difficult to manage and dispose of safely.

Section 3134 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 calls for a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) to conduct an analysis of approaches for treating the portion of low-activity waste (LAW) at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation intended for supplemental treatment. The second of four, this report reviews the results of the assessments, including the formulation and presentation of conclusions and the characterization and treatment of uncertainties.

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