Scientific Analysis Cover Sheet for Radionuclide Screening

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The waste forms under consideration for disposal in the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain contain scores of radionuclides (Attachments V and VI). It would be impractical and highly inefficient to model all of these radionuclides in a total system performance assessment (TSPA). Thus, the purpose of this radionuclide screening analysis is to remove from further consideration (screen out) radionuclides that are unlikely to significantly contribute to radiation dose to the public from the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The remaining nuclides (those screened in) are recommended for consideration in TSPA modeling for license application. This analysis also covers ... continued below

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75 pages

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Ragan, G. August 9, 2002.

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Description

The waste forms under consideration for disposal in the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain contain scores of radionuclides (Attachments V and VI). It would be impractical and highly inefficient to model all of these radionuclides in a total system performance assessment (TSPA). Thus, the purpose of this radionuclide screening analysis is to remove from further consideration (screen out) radionuclides that are unlikely to significantly contribute to radiation dose to the public from the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The remaining nuclides (those screened in) are recommended for consideration in TSPA modeling for license application. This analysis also covers radionuclides that are not screened in based on dose, but need to be included in TSPA modeling for other reasons. For example, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulations require consideration of the combined activity of Ra-226 and Ra-228 in groundwater (40 CFR 197.30, 10 CFR 63.331). Also, Cm-245, Pu-241, and U-235 decay indirectly to potentially important radionuclides, and are not identified by the screening analysis as important. The radionuclide screening analysis separately considers two different postclosure time periods: the 10,000-y regulatory period for the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain and the period after 10,000 y up to 1 million y after emplacement. The incremental effect of extending the screening for the regulatory period to 20,000 y is also addressed. Four release scenarios are considered: (1) the nominal scenario, which entails long-term degradation of disposal containers and waste forms, (2) a human-intrusion scenario, (3) an intrusive igneous event, and (4) an eruptive igneous event. Because the first three scenarios require groundwater transport, they are called groundwater scenarios below. The screening analysis considers the following waste forms: spent boiling water reactor (BWR) fuel, spent pressurized water reactor (PWR) fuel, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) spent nuclear fuel (DSNF), and high-level waste (HLW). Average and outlying (high burnup, high initial enrichment, low age, or otherwise exceptional) forms of each waste-form type are considered. This analysis has been prepared in accordance with a technical work plan (BSC 2002c). In a review of Revision 00 of this radionuclide screening analysis, the NRC found that ''processes that affect transport in the biosphere, such as uptake by plants and bioaccumulation are not accounted for'' and that ''the direct exposure pathway is not accounted for'' (Beckman 2001, Section 5.3.2.1). The NRC also found that the solubility and sorption classes were too broadly defined, noting, for example, that Se is in the same solubility and sorptivity groups as Np and U, yet is ''more soluble than Np and U by several orders of magnitude'' (Beckman 2001, Section 5.3.2.1). This revision seeks to build upon the strengths of the earlier screening method while responding to the specific concerns raised by the NRC and other reviewers. In place of simple inhalation and ingestion dose conversion factors, the revised radionuclide screening uses screening factors that also take into account soil accumulation, uptake by plants, exposure to contaminated ground, and other features of the biosphere that were neglected in the previous screening. Whereas the previous screening analysis allowed only two solubility classes (soluble and insoluble), the revised screening introduces an intermediate solubility class to better segregate the radionuclides into transport groups.

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75 pages

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INIS; OSTI as DE00837046

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  • Other Information: PBD: 9 Aug 2002

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  • Report No.: ANL-WIS-MD-000006, REV 01
  • Grant Number: NONE
  • DOI: 10.2172/837046 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 837046
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc780711

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  • August 9, 2002

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Feb. 10, 2016, 6:36 p.m.

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Ragan, G. Scientific Analysis Cover Sheet for Radionuclide Screening, report, August 9, 2002; Las Vegas, Nevada. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc780711/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.