The Rocky Flats Decontamination and Decommissioning (D and D) Challenge

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At the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS), the D&D task is enormous. Tons of plutonium has been processed over the years in approximately 1,000 gloveboxes, This represents nearly half of the gloveboxes in the DOE complex. In addition, more than a thousand tanks of various designs, with miles of associated piping, supported the processes. A wide variety of operations were performed at RFETS, including aqueous processing, pyrophoric processing, hydriding and dehydriding, metal casting, and machining of plutonium. Various materials have been handled at the facility, including plutonium, uranium, americium, tantalum, beryllium, chloride salts, and various acids and solvents. Significant ... continued below

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7 p.

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Parker, A.M.; Mathis, B.W. & Stevens, J.L. June 16, 1999.

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Description

At the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS), the D&D task is enormous. Tons of plutonium has been processed over the years in approximately 1,000 gloveboxes, This represents nearly half of the gloveboxes in the DOE complex. In addition, more than a thousand tanks of various designs, with miles of associated piping, supported the processes. A wide variety of operations were performed at RFETS, including aqueous processing, pyrophoric processing, hydriding and dehydriding, metal casting, and machining of plutonium. Various materials have been handled at the facility, including plutonium, uranium, americium, tantalum, beryllium, chloride salts, and various acids and solvents. Significant amounts of plutonium residues remain in inaccessible equipment in the facilities, which create criticality safety issues. Some of the plutonium has been at RFETS for many years, and there is significant in-growth of americium, a decay product that emits gamma radiation, which potentially increases exposure to the workers. The size reduction portion of the D&D will be difficult and costly. The gloveboxes and tanks are constructed of stainless steel, frequently with lead shielding or double walls that hold water for neutron shielding. Window mountings, glove port rings, site gages, bolted flanges, and various penetrations reinforce the walls. Tanks may be filled with berated glass rings for criticality control, or double walled to hold the process fluid in the space between walls. The gloveboxes and tanks are generally tall enough to require workers to stand on scaffolding or platforms to perform D&D. Gloveboxes and tanks were individually constructed over a span of many years with evolving design specifications; therefore, most gloveboxes are unique and few tank designs are duplicated in more than pairs. This paper describes the cultural transition and technical approaches taken for D&D at RFETS to achieve 2006 closure. Specific emphasis is placed on critical issues such as, workforce safety and retention, strategies for schedule acceleration, and technological breakthroughs for D&D of nuclear facilities.

Physical Description

7 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE00008964

Medium: P; Size: 7 pages

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  • Decommissioning, Decontamination, and Reutilization of Commercial and Government Facilities, Knoxville, TN (US), 09/12/1999--09/16/1999

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  • Report No.: RFP--5265
  • Report No.: NE011100
  • Grant Number: AC04-90DP62349
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 8964
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc794023

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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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  • June 16, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 19, 2015, 7:14 p.m.

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  • April 11, 2017, 3:26 p.m.

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Parker, A.M.; Mathis, B.W. & Stevens, J.L. The Rocky Flats Decontamination and Decommissioning (D and D) Challenge, article, June 16, 1999; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc794023/: accessed October 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.