Criticality Safety Support to a Project Addressing SNM Legacy Items at LLNL

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The programmatic, facility and criticality safety support staffs at the LLNL Plutonium Facility worked together to successfully develop and implement a project to process legacy (DNFSB Recommendation 94-1 and non-Environmental, Safety, and Health (ES&H) labeled) materials in storage. Over many years, material had accumulated in storage that lacked information to adequately characterize the material for current criticality safety controls used in the facility. Generally, the fissionable material mass information was well known, but other information such as form, impurities, internal packaging, and presence of internal moderating or reflecting materials were not well documented. In many cases, the material was excess ... continued below

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8 p. (0.2 MB)

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Pearson, J S; Burch, J G; Dodson, K E & Huang, S T March 29, 2005.

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The programmatic, facility and criticality safety support staffs at the LLNL Plutonium Facility worked together to successfully develop and implement a project to process legacy (DNFSB Recommendation 94-1 and non-Environmental, Safety, and Health (ES&H) labeled) materials in storage. Over many years, material had accumulated in storage that lacked information to adequately characterize the material for current criticality safety controls used in the facility. Generally, the fissionable material mass information was well known, but other information such as form, impurities, internal packaging, and presence of internal moderating or reflecting materials were not well documented. In many cases, the material was excess to programmatic need, but such a determination was difficult with the little information given on MC&A labels and in the MC&A database. The material was not packaged as efficiently as possible, so it also occupied much more valuable storage space than was necessary. Although safe as stored, the inadequately characterized material posed a risk for criticality safety noncompliances if moved within the facility under current criticality safety controls. A Legacy Item Implementation Plan was developed and implemented to deal with this problem. Reasonable bounding conditions were determined for the material involved, and criticality safety evaluations were completed. Two appropriately designated glove boxes were identified and criticality safety controls were developed to safely inspect the material. Inspecting the material involved identifying containers of legacy material, followed by opening, evaluating, processing if necessary, characterizing and repackaging the material. Material from multiple containers was consolidated more efficiently thus decreasing the total number of stored items to about one half of the highest count. Current packaging requirements were implemented. Detailed characterization of the material was captured in databases and new ES&H container labels applied. In many cases, legacy material that was inspected was determined to be excess to programmatic needs and it was then either processed to meet the DOE-3013-STD or designated as TRU waste and disposed of accordingly. During FY2003 through FY2004 approximately 1600 items were opened and the items processed if necessary, repackaged and newly labeled with ES&H labels. As of April, 2005, there are only 32 non-ES&H labeled items in existence within the Plutonium Facility. Due to a consolidated effort in dealing with the legacy items, the problems associated with storage of these items at LLNL has been substantially abated. The paper will discuss the background, implementation, and results of the SNM Legacy Items Implementation Project. Benefits and Lessons Learned will be identified.

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8 p. (0.2 MB)

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  • Presented at: American Nuclear Society Topical Meeting NCSD Topical Meeting, Knoxville, TN, United States, Sep 19 - Sep 22, 2005

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  • Report No.: UCRL-CONF-210883
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 877764
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc880111

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

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  • March 29, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • April 17, 2017, 2:05 p.m.

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Pearson, J S; Burch, J G; Dodson, K E & Huang, S T. Criticality Safety Support to a Project Addressing SNM Legacy Items at LLNL, article, March 29, 2005; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc880111/: accessed October 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.