Disposition of excess fissile materials in deep boreholes

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As a result of recent changes throughout the world, a substantial inventory of excess separated plutonium is expected to result from dismantlement of US nuclear weapons. The safe and secure management and eventual disposition of this plutonium, and of a similar inventory in Russia, is a high priority. A variety of options (both interim and permanent) are under consideration to manage this material. The permanent solutions can be categorized into two broad groups: direct disposal and utilization. Plutonium utilization options have in common the generation of high-level radioactive waste which will be disposed of in a mined geologic disposal system ... continued below

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9 p.

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Halsey, W. G.; Danker, W. & Morley, R. September 1995.

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  • Halsey, W. G. Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States)
  • Danker, W. USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)
  • Morley, R. Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)

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Description

As a result of recent changes throughout the world, a substantial inventory of excess separated plutonium is expected to result from dismantlement of US nuclear weapons. The safe and secure management and eventual disposition of this plutonium, and of a similar inventory in Russia, is a high priority. A variety of options (both interim and permanent) are under consideration to manage this material. The permanent solutions can be categorized into two broad groups: direct disposal and utilization. Plutonium utilization options have in common the generation of high-level radioactive waste which will be disposed of in a mined geologic disposal system to be developed for spent reactor fuel and defense high level waste. Other final disposition forms, such as plutonium metal, plutonium oxide and plutonium immobilized without high-level radiation sources may be better suited to placement in a custom facility. This paper discusses a leading candidate for such a facility; deep (several kilometer) borehole disposition. The deep borehole disposition concept involves placing excess plutonium deep into old stable rock formations with little free water present. The safety argument centers around ancient groundwater indicating lack of migration, and thus no expected communication with the accessible environment until the plutonium has decayed.

Physical Description

9 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE95011692

Source

  • International surplus fissile materials conference, Berlin (Germany), 3-9 Sep 1995

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  • Other: DE95011692
  • Report No.: UCRL-JC--120053
  • Report No.: CONF-9509161--1
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 78579
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc715909

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  • September 1995

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  • Sept. 29, 2015, 5:31 a.m.

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  • Feb. 16, 2016, 6:27 p.m.

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Halsey, W. G.; Danker, W. & Morley, R. Disposition of excess fissile materials in deep boreholes, article, September 1995; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc715909/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.