An assessment of issues related to determination of time periods required for isolation of high level waste

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A commonly held perception is that disposal of spent nuclear fuel or high-level waste presents a risk of unprecedented duration. The EPA requires that projected releases of radioactivity be limited for 10,000 years after disposal with the intent that risks from the disposal repository be no greater than those from the uranium ore deposit from which the nuclear fuel was originally extracted. This study reviews issues involved in assessing compliance with the requirement. The determination of compliance is assumption dependent primarily due to uncertainties in dosimetric data, and relative availability of the radioactivity for environmental transport and eventual assimilation by ... continued below

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18 p.

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Cohen, J.J.; Daer, G.R.; Smith, C.F.; Vogt, D.K. & Woolfolk, S.W. June 1, 1989.

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Description

A commonly held perception is that disposal of spent nuclear fuel or high-level waste presents a risk of unprecedented duration. The EPA requires that projected releases of radioactivity be limited for 10,000 years after disposal with the intent that risks from the disposal repository be no greater than those from the uranium ore deposit from which the nuclear fuel was originally extracted. This study reviews issues involved in assessing compliance with the requirement. The determination of compliance is assumption dependent primarily due to uncertainties in dosimetric data, and relative availability of the radioactivity for environmental transport and eventual assimilation by humans. A conclusion of this study is that, in time, a spent fuel disposal repository such as the projected Yucca Mountain Project Facility will become less hazardous than the original ore deposit. Only the time it takes to do so is in question. Depending upon the assumptions selected, this time period could range from a few centuries to hundreds of thousands of years considering only the inherent radiotoxicities. However, if it can be assumed that the spent fuel radioactivity emplaced in a waste repository is less than 1/10 as available for human assimilation than that in a uranium ore deposit, then even under the most pessimistic set of assumptions, the EPA criteria can be considered to be complied with. 24 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.

Physical Description

18 p.

Notes

NTIS, PC A03/MF A01 - OSTI; OSTI as DE89013090

Source

  • Waste management `89: 15th international waste management symposium conference, Tucson, AZ (United States), 26 Feb - 2 Mar 1989

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  • Other: DE89013090
  • Report No.: CONF-890207--33
  • Grant Number: AC08-87NV10576
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 137476
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc624089

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • June 1, 1989

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • Aug. 2, 2016, 2:27 p.m.

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Cohen, J.J.; Daer, G.R.; Smith, C.F.; Vogt, D.K. & Woolfolk, S.W. An assessment of issues related to determination of time periods required for isolation of high level waste, article, June 1, 1989; Las Vegas, Nevada. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc624089/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.