U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waste Experiences: More Than You May Think Page: 2 of 7
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WM'03 Conference, February 23-27, 2003, Tucson, AZ
There may also be hazardous waste regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
either separate from the radioactive materials or commingled.
Finally, there may be solid waste, which is neither regulated radioactive waste nor hazardous waste.
The USACE characterizes each radiological waste stream to establish regulatory requirements and disposal
options. In order to determine what types of materials are present at HTRW sites USACE assembles and
reviews: historical information on operations at the site related to both the past processing work in support
of the Federal Government and to other site processes which may have involved releases of contaminants;
and analytical data from site investigations. Together, the historical process information and the
investigation data allow proper characterization of the materials present at each site.
MATERIAL AND DISCUSSIONS
Low Level Radioactive Waste (LLRW)
As presented in 10 CFR 61, LLRW is used here to mean "wastes containing source, special nuclear, or
byproduct material that are acceptable for disposal in a land disposal facility. For the purposes of this
definition, low-level waste has the same meaning as in the Low-Level Waste Policy Act, that is, radioactive
waste not classified as high-level radioactive waste, transuranic waste, spent nuclear fuel, or byproduct
material as defined in section 11e.(2) of the Atomic Energy Act (uranium or thorium tailings and waste)."
LLRW is broken into 4 classes of material based on activity and stability requirements. These classes are:
1. Class A, stable or unstable, relatively innocuous waste (waste with activity less than 0.1 times the table
1 value or less than the column 1 value in table 2 in 10 CFR 61.55 or isotopes not listed in either table).
Specifically, "Class A waste is waste that is usually segregated from other waste classes at the disposal
site. The physical form and characteristics of Class A waste must meet the minimum requirements set forth
in 10 CFR 61.56(a). If Class A waste also meets the stability requirements set forth in 10 CFR 61.56(b), it
is not necessary to segregate the waste for disposal."
2. Class B, higher activity wastes that should be stable for proper disposal (waste with activity greater than
column 1 but less than column 2 of table 2 in 10 CFR 61.55). Specifically, "Class B waste is waste that
must meet more rigorous requirements on waste form to ensure stability after disposal. The physical form
and characteristics of Class B waste must meet both the minimum and stability requirements set forth in 10
3. Class C, higher activity wastes that should be stable for proper disposal (waste with activity greater than
0.1 times the table 1 value but less than the value or greater than the column 2 but less than column 3 of
table 2 in 10 CFR 61.55). Specifically, "Class C waste is waste that not only must meet more rigorous
requirements on waste form to ensure stability but also requires additional measures at the disposal facility
to protect against inadvertent intrusion. The physical form and characteristics of Class C waste must meet
both the minimum and stability requirements set forth in 10
4. Greater than Class C, higher activity waste (waste with activity greater than the table 1 value or greater
than the column 3 of table 2 value in 10 CFR 61.55), which is unacceptable for shallow land disposal.
Specifically, "waste for which form and disposal methods must be different, and in general more stringent,
than those specified for Class C waste."
Note: States and Compacts may add additional considerations or radionuclides in their definitions of
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Hays, D. C. & Honerlah, H. B. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waste Experiences: More Than You May Think, article, February 24, 2003; (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc786987/m1/2/: accessed April 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.