Irradiated Beryllium Disposal Workshop, Idaho Falls, ID, May 29-30, 2002

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In 2001, while performing routine radioactive decay heat rate calculations for beryllium reflector blocks for the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR), it became evident that there may be sufficient concentrations of transuranic isotopes to require classification of this irradiated beryllium as transuranic waste. Measurements on samples from ATR reflector blocks and further calculations confirmed that for reflector blocks and outer shim control cylinders now in the ATR canal, transuranic activities are about five times the threshold for classification. That situation implies that there is no apparent disposal pathway for this material. The problem is not unique to the ATR. The High ... continued below

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Longhurst, Glen Reed; Anderson, Gail; Mullen, Carlan K & West, William Howard July 1, 2002.

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In 2001, while performing routine radioactive decay heat rate calculations for beryllium reflector blocks for the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR), it became evident that there may be sufficient concentrations of transuranic isotopes to require classification of this irradiated beryllium as transuranic waste. Measurements on samples from ATR reflector blocks and further calculations confirmed that for reflector blocks and outer shim control cylinders now in the ATR canal, transuranic activities are about five times the threshold for classification. That situation implies that there is no apparent disposal pathway for this material. The problem is not unique to the ATR. The High Flux Isotope Reactor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Missouri University Research Reactor at Columbia, Missouri and other reactors abroad must also deal with this issue. A workshop was held in Idaho Falls Idaho on May 29-30, 2002 to acquaint stakeholders with these findings and consider a path forward in resolving the issues attendant to disposition of irradiated material. Among the findings from this workshop were (1) there is a real potential for the US to be dependent on foreign sources for metallic beryllium within about a decade; (2) there is a need for a national policy on beryllium utilization and disposition and for a beryllium coordinating committee to be assembled to provide guidance on that policy; (3) it appears it will be difficult to dispose of this material at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico due to issues of Defense classification, facility radioactivity inventory limits, and transportation to WIPP; (4) there is a need for a funded DOE program to seek resolution of these issues including research on processing techniques that may make this waste acceptable in an existing disposal pathway or allow for its recycle.

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  • Report No.: INEEL/EXT-02-00785
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • DOI: 10.2172/910661 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 910661
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc884442

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  • July 1, 2002

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 7, 2016, 7:54 p.m.

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Longhurst, Glen Reed; Anderson, Gail; Mullen, Carlan K & West, William Howard. Irradiated Beryllium Disposal Workshop, Idaho Falls, ID, May 29-30, 2002, report, July 1, 2002; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc884442/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.