Regulatory issues for deep borehole plutonium disposition

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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. The deep borehole disposition concept involves placing excess plutonium deep into old stable rock formations with little free water present. Issues of concern ... continued below

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11 p.

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Halsey, W.G. March 1, 1995.

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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. The deep borehole disposition concept involves placing excess plutonium deep into old stable rock formations with little free water present. Issues of concern include the regulatory, statutory and policy status of such a facility, the availability of sites with desirable characteristics and the technologies required for drilling deep holes, characterizing them, emplacing excess plutonium and sealing the holes. This white paper discusses the regulatory issues. Regulatory issues concerning construction, operation and decommissioning of the surface facility do not appear to be controversial, with existing regulations providing adequate coverage. It is in the areas of siting, licensing and long term environmental protection that current regulations may be inappropriate. This is because many current regulations are by intent or by default specific to waste forms, facilities or missions significantly different from deep borehole disposition of excess weapons usable fissile material. It is expected that custom regulations can be evolved in the context of this mission.

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11 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE95014161

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  • Fluor Daniel at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA (United States), 29 Mar 1995

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  • Other: DE95014161
  • Report No.: UCRL-JC--120593
  • Report No.: CONF-9503166--1
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 86953
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc792828

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • March 1, 1995

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 19, 2015, 7:14 p.m.

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  • Feb. 17, 2016, 3:57 p.m.

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Halsey, W.G. Regulatory issues for deep borehole plutonium disposition, article, March 1, 1995; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc792828/: accessed January 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.