Leveraging Available Data to Support Extension of Transportation Packages Service Life Page: 3 of 9
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specified contents and are constructed of high quality, tightly controlled materials. Additionally,
they are designed, fabricated, tested, operated, and maintained under strict standards of quality
control. While the accident scenarios for transportation and storage are different, there are
considerable similarities between the two and a packaged authorized for shipment has a solid
basis for analyses against the storage facility safety requirements.
Second, the interim and/or extended storage of nuclear materials within the shipping package
results in reduced operations for the storage facility. Prior to receipt of any shipping/storage
package, a rigorous review of the package is performed by the facility engineering personnel to
ensure normal storage conditions are adequately captured in the safety documentation for the
facility and any facility accident scenarios are mitigated by use of the shipping/storage package.
The storage facility conditions are also verified to be compatible with the shipping package
environmental requirements. Once the packages are approved for storage, if not before, a
surveillance program should be implemented to validate the technical basis for the package
analysis and to ensure the materials of construction maintain an acceptable level of integrity
throughout the storage period, which is typically well beyond the normal one year transportation
window. With all the required analyses and reviews completed, facility operations can then
receive a shipping/storage package and transport it to an approved storage location without
opening it. This ability to use the shipping package for storage therefore results in reduced
operations time during receipt and also eliminates both the labor and material costs of
repackaging and the risk of radiation dose to the facility operators.
Consolidation of packaged plutonium-bearing materials in the K-Area Complex (KAC) at the
Savannah River Site (SRS) began in 2003. The plutonium materials are packaged using the
DOE 3013 Standard which requires two nested, welded stainless steel containers. Within KAC,
the welded 3013 containers are stored in DOT Type B 9975 packages. The 9975
shipping/storage package consists of two nested stainless steel containment vessels capped with
threaded cone-seal plugs, surrounded by a lead shield and fiberboard overpack, all contained
within a 35 gallon stainless steel drum, Figure 1. The 9975 shipping/storage package is part of
the approved storage configuration for plutonium materials in KAC. As such, 9975
shipping/storage packages have been continuously exposed to the service environment for a
period of time greater than the approved transportation service life. A 9975 Storage Surveillance
program was undertaken to verify the integrity of the age-sensitive materials (e.g., containment
vessel O-ring seals and fiberboard overpack) over time in the environment they are exposed to in
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Dunn, K.; Abramczyk, G.; Bellamy, S.; Daugherty, W.; Hackney, B.; Hoffman, E. et al. Leveraging Available Data to Support Extension of Transportation Packages Service Life, article, June 12, 2012; Aiken, South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc843650/m1/3/: accessed September 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.