PROBABILISTIC SAFETY ASSESSMENT OF OPERATIONAL ACCIDENTS AT THE WASTE ISOLATION PILOT PLANT

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This report presents a probabilistic safety assessment of radioactive doses as consequences from accident scenarios to complement the deterministic assessment presented in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Safety Analysis Report (SAR). The International Council of Radiation Protection (ICRP) recommends both assessments be conducted to ensure that ''an adequate level of safety has been achieved and that no major contributors to risk are overlooked'' (ICRP 1993). To that end, the probabilistic assessment for the WIPP accident scenarios addresses the wide range of assumptions, e.g. the range of values representing the radioactive source of an accident, that could possibly have been ... continued below

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Rucker, D.F. September 1, 2000.

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Description

This report presents a probabilistic safety assessment of radioactive doses as consequences from accident scenarios to complement the deterministic assessment presented in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Safety Analysis Report (SAR). The International Council of Radiation Protection (ICRP) recommends both assessments be conducted to ensure that ''an adequate level of safety has been achieved and that no major contributors to risk are overlooked'' (ICRP 1993). To that end, the probabilistic assessment for the WIPP accident scenarios addresses the wide range of assumptions, e.g. the range of values representing the radioactive source of an accident, that could possibly have been overlooked by the SAR. Routine releases of radionuclides from the WIPP repository to the environment during the waste emplacement operations are expected to be essentially zero. In contrast, potential accidental releases from postulated accident scenarios during waste handling and emplacement could be substantial, which necessitates the need for radiological air monitoring and confinement barriers (DOE 1999). The WIPP Safety Analysis Report (SAR) calculated doses from accidental releases to the on-site (at 100 m from the source) and off-site (at the Exclusive Use Boundary and Site Boundary) public by a deterministic approach. This approach, as demonstrated in the SAR, uses single-point values of key parameters to assess the 50-year, whole-body committed effective dose equivalent (CEDE). The basic assumptions used in the SAR to formulate the CEDE are retained for this report's probabilistic assessment. However, for the probabilistic assessment, single-point parameter values were replaced with probability density functions (PDF) and were sampled over an expected range. Monte Carlo simulations were run, in which 10,000 iterations were performed by randomly selecting one value for each parameter and calculating the dose. Statistical information was then derived from the 10,000 iteration batch, which included 5%, 50%, and 95% dose likelihood, and the sensitivity of each assumption to the calculated doses. As one would intuitively expect, the doses from the probabilistic assessment for most scenarios were found to be much less than the deterministic assessment. The lower dose of the probabilistic assessment can be attributed to a ''smearing'' of values from the high and low end of the PDF spectrum of the various input parameters. The analysis also found a potential weakness in the deterministic analysis used in the SAR, a detail on drum loading was not taken into consideration. Waste emplacement operations thus far have handled drums from each shipment as a single unit, i.e. drums from each shipment are kept together. Shipments typically come from a single waste stream, and therefore the curie loading of each drum can be considered nearly identical to that of its neighbor. Calculations show that if there are large numbers of drums used in the accident scenario assessment, e.g. 28 drums in the waste hoist failure scenario (CH5), then the probabilistic dose assessment calculations will diverge from the deterministically determined doses. As it is currently calculated, the deterministic dose assessment assumes one drum loaded to the maximum allowable (80 PE-Ci), and the remaining are 10% of the maximum. The effective average of drum curie content is therefore less in the deterministic assessment than the probabilistic assessment for a large number of drums. EEG recommends that the WIPP SAR calculations be revisited and updated to include a probabilistic safety assessment.

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Medium: P; Size: vp.

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INIS; OSTI as DE00769585

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  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Sep 2000

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  • Report No.: EEG-78
  • Report No.: DOE/AL/58309-78
  • Grant Number: AC04-89AL58309
  • DOI: 10.2172/769585 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 769585
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc719583

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  • September 1, 2000

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 29, 2015, 5:31 a.m.

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  • March 30, 2016, 5:53 p.m.

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Rucker, D.F. PROBABILISTIC SAFETY ASSESSMENT OF OPERATIONAL ACCIDENTS AT THE WASTE ISOLATION PILOT PLANT, report, September 1, 2000; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc719583/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.