Compliance agreements at the INEL: A success story Page: 1 of 12
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Control # 1151
William H. McBath
0CT 2 ( 1995 Idaho National Engineering Laboratory
Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies
0 S T I P.O. Box 1625, Idaho Falls, ID 83415-4201
208-526-5706 (FAX 208-526-7383)
Compliance Agreements at the INEL: A Success Story
The Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC), located at the Idaho National Engineering
Laboratory (INEL), is the storage facility for approximately 135,000 containers of radioactive mixed
waste that must be stored in accordance with Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
requirements. Collectively, the compliance and safety basis documents governing the operation of
the storage facility contain approximately 2,500 specific, identifiable requirements.
Critical to the compliance with these 2,500 requirements was the development of a process which
converted these requirements to a form and format that allowed implementation at the operator level.
Additionally, to ensure continued compliance, a method of identifying and controlling implementing
documents is imperative. This paper discusses the methods employed to identify, implement, and
control these requirements.
The RWMC is a 165-acre controlled access facility whose primary mission is to safely dispose of
INEL-generated low-level waste (LLW) and to temporarily store transuranic (TRU) and Special Case
In 1953, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) decided that solid radioactive waste from its Rocky
Flats Plant near Golden, Colorado, would be sent to the RWMC for disposal. The first shipment of
waste was received from Rocky Flats in 1954. The waste, which contains transuranic nuclides
(principally plutonium), was stacked in pits and covered with earth. Approximately 90,000 containers
of contact-handled (CH) TRU waste are stored in this manner at the TSA. In 1970, the AEC directed
that all waste contaminated with TRU isotopes be segregated from other types of radioactive waste
because of the radiotoxicity and long half-lives of the TRU material. The TRU waste was to be
stored in a readily retrievable manner, during an interim storage period of 20 years. In 1984, an
air-support building was constructed over a portion of one of the asphalt pads. CH TRU waste
received at the RWMC since 1985 has been stored inside air-support buildings. Approximately
35,000 containers of CH TRU waste are stored in this manner in the TSA at the RWMC.
The CH TRU waste stored in the TSA also contains, or is suspected to contain, hazardous materials
regulated under RCRA.
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McBath, W.H. Compliance agreements at the INEL: A success story, article, November 1, 1995; Idaho Falls, Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc618776/m1/1/: accessed November 12, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.