A status report on the development and certification of the Beneficial Uses Shipping System (BUSS) cask Page: 3 of 11
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In the early 1980s, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) implemented a program
to encourage beneficial uses of nuclear byproduct materials, such as cesium-137
and strontium-90, created during the production of defense materials. Potential
uses of the cesium-137 (137Cs) isotope included sterilizing medical products,
maintaining the quality of certain food products, and disinfecting municipal sewage
sludge. Strontium-90 (9Sr) is a good heat source and has been used in
thermoelectric generators and other products that require a constant supply of
heat. During that same period, a proposed facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico,
was designed to use cesium-137 to sterilize sewage sludge.
To support the sewage sludge treatment facility, Sandia National Laboratories was
funded by the DOE to develop a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)-certified
Type B shipping container to transport cesium chloride (CsCl) or strontium
fluoride (SrF2) capsules produced by the Hanford Waste Encapsulation and
Storage Facility (WESF) in the State of Washington. The primary purpose of the
Beneficial Uses Shipping System (BUSS) cask is to provide shielding and
confinement, as well as impact, puncture, and thermal protection for certified,
special form contents during transport under normal and hypothetical accident
conditions. The BUSS cask was designed to meet dimensional and weight
constraints of the WESF and user facilities. Attaining as-low-as-reasonably-
achievable (ALARA) radiation exposures in the design and operation of the
transport system was a major design goal. Another goal was to obtain regulatory
approval of the design by preparing a safety analysis report for packaging (SARP)
(Yoshimura et al. 1993).
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Yoshimura, H.R. & Bronowski, D.R. A status report on the development and certification of the Beneficial Uses Shipping System (BUSS) cask, article, February 1, 1996; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc666898/m1/3/: accessed December 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.