Special Analysis [electronic resource] : Disposal Plan for Pit 38 at Technical Area 54, Area G.
- Los Alamos, N.M. : Los Alamos National Laboratory, 2012.
Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy.
- Additional Creators:
- Los Alamos National Laboratory
United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information
- Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) generates radioactive waste as a result of various activities. Operational waste is generated from a wide variety of research and development activities including nuclear weapons development, energy production, and medical research; environmental restoration (ER), and decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) waste is generated as contaminated sites and facilities at LANL undergo cleanup or remediation. The majority of this waste is low-level radioactive waste (LLW) and is disposed of at the Technical Area 54 (TA-54), Area G disposal facility. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Order 435.1 (DOE, 2001) requires that radioactive waste be managed in a manner that protects public health and safety, and the environment. To comply with this order, DOE field sites must prepare site-specific radiological performance assessments for LLW disposal facilities that accept waste after September 26, 1988. Furthermore, sites are required to conduct composite analyses that account for the cumulative impacts of all waste that has been (or will be) disposed of at the facilities and other sources of radioactive material that may interact with the facilities. Revision 4 of the Area G performance assessment and composite analysis was issued in 2008 (LANL, 2008). These analyses estimate rates of radionuclide release from the waste disposed of at the facility, simulate the movement of radionuclides through the environment, and project potential radiation doses to humans for several on- and off-site exposure scenarios. The assessments are based on existing site and disposal facility data, and on assumptions about future rates and methods of waste disposal. The Area G disposal facility consists of Material Disposal Area (MDA) G and the Zone 4 expansion area. To date, disposal operations have been confined to MDA G and are scheduled to continue in that region until MDA G undergoes final closure at the end of 2013. Given its impending closure, efforts have been made to utilize the remaining disposal capacity within MDA G to the greatest extent possible. One approach for doing this has been to dispose of low-activity waste from cleanup operations at LANL in the headspace of selected disposal pits. Waste acceptance criteria (WAC) for the material placed in the headspace of pits 15, 37, and 38 have been developed (LANL, 2010) and the impacts of placing waste in the headspace of these units has been evaluated (LANL, 2012a). The efforts to maximize disposal efficiency have taken on renewed importance because of the disposal demands placed on MDA G by the large volumes of waste that are being generated at LANL by cleanup efforts. For example, large quantities of waste were recently generated by the retrieval of waste formerly disposed of at TA-21, MDA B. A portion of this material has been disposed of in the headspace of pit 38 in compliance with the WAC developed for that disposal strategy; a large amount of waste has also been sent to off-site facilities for disposal. Nevertheless, large quantities of MDA B waste remain that require disposal. An extension of pit 38 was proposed to provide the disposal capacity that will be needed to dispose of institutional waste and MDA B waste through 2013. A special analysis was prepared to evaluate the impacts of the pit extension (LANL, 2012b). The analysis concluded that the disposal unit could be extended with modest increases in the exposures projected for the Area G performance assessment and composite analysis, as long as limits were placed on the radionuclide concentrations in the waste that is placed in the headspace of the pit. Based, in part, on the results of the special analysis, the extension of pit 38 was approved and excavation of the additional disposal capacity was started in May 2012. The special analysis presented here uses performance modeling to identify a disposal plan for the placement of waste in pit 38. The modeling uses a refined design of the disposal unit ...
- Published through SciTech Connect.
French, Sean B.; Shuman, Rob.
- Funding Information:
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