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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Review of the Department of Energy's Plans for Disposal of Surplus Plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25593.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Review of the Department of Energy's Plans for Disposal of Surplus Plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25593.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Review of the Department of Energy's Plans for Disposal of Surplus Plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25593.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Review of the Department of Energy's Plans for Disposal of Surplus Plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25593.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Review of the Department of Energy's Plans for Disposal of Surplus Plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25593.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Review of the Department of Energy's Plans for Disposal of Surplus Plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25593.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Review of the Department of Energy's Plans for Disposal of Surplus Plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25593.
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Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Review of the Department of Energy's Plans for Disposal of Surplus Plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25593.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Review of the Department of Energy's Plans for Disposal of Surplus Plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25593.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Review of the Department of Energy's Plans for Disposal of Surplus Plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25593.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Review of the Department of Energy's Plans for Disposal of Surplus Plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25593.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Review of the Department of Energy's Plans for Disposal of Surplus Plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25593.
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Committee on Disposal of Surplus Plutonium at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant 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 contracts between the National Academy of Sciences and the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, DE-EP0000026/DE-DT0013548. 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: 978-0-309-49858-6 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-49858-9 Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/25593 Additional copies of this publication are available 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 2020 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. 2020. Review of the Department of Energy’s Plans for Disposal of Surplus Plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25593.

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 related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions 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. John L. Anderson 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 DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS PLUTONIUM AT THE WASTE ISOLATION PILOT PLANT ROBERT C. DYNES (NAS) (Chair), University of California, San Diego, La Jolla LISA M. BENDIXEN, ICF, Arlington, Virginia MICHAEL S. BRONZINI, George Mason University (Emeritus), Mount Juliet, Tennessee GEORGE E. DIALS, Pajarito Scientific Corporation (Retired), Santa Fe, New Mexico1 LEONARD W. GRAY, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Retired), Brentwood, California 2 MICHAEL R. GREENBERG, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey DAVID W. JOHNSON, JR. (NAE), Journal of the American Ceramic Society (Retired), Bell Laboratories (Retired), Bedminster, New Jersey ANNIE B. KERSTING, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California M. DAVID MALONEY, Jacobs Engineering Group (Emeritus), Denver, Colorado S. ANDREW ORRELL, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho WILLIAM C. OSTENDORFF, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland TAMMY C. OTTMER, Colorado State Patrol, Golden CECIL V. PARKS, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee MATTHEW K. SILVA, Environmental Evaluation Group (Retired), Albuquerque, New Mexico Staff JENNIFER HEIMBERG, Senior Program Officer RICHARD “DICK” ROWBERG, Senior Advisor TONI GREENLEAF, Administrative and Financial Associate (through September 1, 2019) DARLENE GROS, Senior Program Assistant MELISSA FRANKS, Senior Program Assistant LAURA D. LLANOS, Financial Associate (beginning September 1, 2019) REBECCA MORGAN, Research Center Staff 1 Resigned from the committee on September 20, 2018. 2 Resigned from the committee on June 24, 2019. 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 (through September 1, 2019) LAURA D. LLANOS, Administrative and Financial Associate (beginning September 1, 2019) DARLENE GROS, Senior Program Assistant MELISSA FRANKS, Senior Program Assistant vi

Preface When I was initially contacted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to chair this study, based on the Statement of Task I believed the problem we were asked to study was straightforward: Review the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) plans to dilute and dispose of surplus plutonium material in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). To me, this sounded like a systems problem—one that required scaling up of existing processes—but technically not very complex. In that narrow scope, I was correct. The dilute and dispose plan is not technically complex. The true challenges lay in the many mostly nontechnical threads that are connected to the technical plan. As noted previously—yes, the plan is technically feasible; no, it does not meet the requirements of the U.S.- Russian Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement (PMDA) (as I understood it at the onset), an agreement that is further described within the main text of the report. But between these black and white answers are many shades of gray. I felt we were asked not only for the yes or no answers but also to deliver the best advice we could going forward. The committee’s advice evolved after its careful consideration of the multiple and highly interconnected and complex threads connected to DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration’s (DOE-NNSA’s) dilute and dispose plan. Many of the challenges connected to this disposition pathway are nontechnical but nevertheless important to understand in order to appreciate the committee’s final analysis and advice. This requires background information and explanation. The answers were straightforward, the advice not so. Complex issues are associated with PMDA noncompliance, which requires a basic understanding of the agreement. Capacity at WIPP is not a simple volumetric or mass-density calculation and the method in which DOE calculated it changed over the course of the study which also requires detailed explanation. As an alternative to the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (commonly referred to as the “MOX plant”), the dilute and dispose plan, which encompasses four DOE sites and spans over 30 years, was and is under development and evolving. It is important to stress that the program was and is evolving in real time. Other DOE programs that emerged during this study, including the new focus on pit production, which affects three of the four sites within the dilute and dispose plan, also needed to be considered. Finally, even the full quantity of surplus plutonium considered for dilution and disposal at WIPP requires an understanding of past decisions on surplus plutonium disposition and the impacts of potential future ones. It was not simple arithmetic, as I had initially assumed. To those readers familiar with these issues, the committee’s resultant advice is concentrated in Chapters 4 and 5 of this report. To readers who seek background information, they are encouraged to read Chapters 2 and 3, which provide background on some of the complexities discussed above and details on DOE-NNSA’s dilute and dispose plans. Finally, it is worth noting the political context at the start of and throughout this study. In November 2017, the MOX plant was under construction, and incorporation of the surplus plutonium into MOX fuel for irradiation in commercial nuclear power plants was the U.S. program of record for disposition. The MOX option was cancelled in the midst of the committee’s study in May 2018 and many documents related to the dilute and dispose plan were not available to the committee. This led us to the decision to release an Interim Report in December 2018 to provide initial timely guidance to Congress, who requested this study, on the nascent plan. Much of the committee’s advice in the Interim Report is echoed and strengthened in this final report after examining more evidence and exploring more deeply the many complex threads. This report is the final product of an extremely dedicated diligent and collegial committee and Academies staff. I am enormously grateful to the outstanding assistance and remarkable professionalism of the National Academies staff in preparing the report, especially Laura Llanos and Toni Greenleaf, financial associates; Darlene Gros, senior program assistant, for logistical planning for all of the committee’s meetings and project administration; and Richard Rowberg, senior advisor, for his guidance vii

and his participation in the classified meetings and tour. Jenny Heimberg, study director, was my right and left arms in working through the subsequent complexities of this study. She dealt with the committee, staffers on the Hill, and agency representatives in a way that I could only admire. She got things done. I am especially thankful for the opportunity to lead this distinguished committee. I thank the members of the committee for their dedication, willingness to teach and to learn, and for their time and energy. The collegiality of this group, although holding a diversity of opinions, was an enormous delight as the study evolved. Robert C. Dynes, Chair Committee on Disposal of Surplus Plutonium at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant viii

Acknowledgments This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives 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: Craig H. Benson, University of Virginia, Charlottesville Matthew G. Bunn, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts Carol J. Burns, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico David B. Clarke, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Donald L. Cook, independent consultant, Seattle, Washington Rodney C. Ewing, Stanford University, Stanford, California David S. Kosson, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee Allison M. Macfarlane, The George Washington University, Washington, DC Franklin M. Orr, Jr., Stanford University, Stanford, California William H. Tobey, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts In addition, portions of this report were fact checked by the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE-NNSA) and Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM) as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In particular, we thank Lyndsey Adams (DOE- NNSA), Betsy Forinash (DOE-EM), William Kilmartin (DOE-NNSA), and Tom Peake (EPA). We are thankful for their contributions toward improving the accuracy of the report’s content. The committee also wishes to thank the study sponsor, DOE-NNSA, for supporting this project. Special thanks go to William Kilmartin and Lyndsey Adams, who served as the points of contact with DOE-NNSA, and Betsy Forinash, who served as the point of contact with DOE-EM, for their tireless work addressing the many sets of questions generated by the committee throughout the duration of the study. 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 Margaret S.Y. Chu, M.S. Chu + Associates, LLC, Review Coordinator, and Chris G. Whipple, ENVIRON (Retired), Review Monitor. They were responsible 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. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies. ix

Contents SUMMARY ......................................................................................................................................................... 1 1 INTRODUCTION...................................................................................................................................... 12 1.1 Interpretation of the Statement of Task, 13 1.2 Report Roadmap, 14 2 BACKGROUND ........................................................................................................................................ 16 2.1 Surplus Plutonium in the United States, 16 2.2 Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement, 22 2.3 Background on WIPP, 25 2.4 Overview of Risk Assessment, 40 3 PLANS TO DILUTE AND DISPOSE ...................................................................................................... 42 3.1 Current Status of DOE-NNSA’s Dilute and Dispose Planning Effort, 42 3.2 Scope and Plan Overview, 44 3.3 Transportation, 54 3.4 Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement and the Spent Fuel Standard, 63 3.5 Disposal Capacity in WIPP and Its Impact on the Dilute and Dispose Plans, 64 3.6 Risk Assessment of the Dilute and Dispose Plan, 67 4 IMPLEMENTATION CHALLENGES ................................................................................................... 70 4.1 Early Program Development Challenges, 71 4.2 Sustainability Challenges, 73 5 SYSTEM VULNERABILITIES ............................................................................................................... 81 5.1 Unclear Future for the PMDA and Its Impact on the Dilute and Dispose Plan, 81 5.2 WIPP Availability, 85 5.3 Changing Nature of WIPP, 88 5.4 Engage NMED and EPA, 102 REFERENCES................................................................................................................................................ 106 APPENDIX A: Committee and Staff Biographies ....................................................................................... 114 APPENDIX B: Meetings ................................................................................................................................ 122 APPENDIX C: How Salt Repositories Work ............................................................................................... 133 APPENDIX D: Legal and Regulatory Requirements for Transportation................................................. 140 APPENDIX E: States’ Active Partnership Role in Safe Transportation ................................................... 143 APPENDIX F: High-Risk Items Within the Risk and Opportunity Analysis Report .............................. 145 APPENDIX G: Acronyms and Abbreviations ............................................................................................. 150 APPENDIX H: Interim Report ..................................................................................................................... 154 xi

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In 2018, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine issued an Interim Report evaluating the general viability of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration’s (DOE-NNSA’s) conceptual plans for disposing of 34 metric tons (MT) of surplus plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), a deep geologic repository near Carlsbad, New Mexico. It provided a preliminary assessment of the general viability of DOE-NNSA’s conceptual plans, focused on some of the barriers to their implementation. This final report addresses the remaining issues and echoes the recommendations from the interim study.

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