Radioassay at the INEEL During the 3100M3 Project

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The Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC) at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) is being used as a temporary storage facility for transuranic (TRU) waste generated by the United States nuclear weapons program. There has been, and continues to be, a very large effort to characterize, certify, and ship this legacy waste, in compliance with all applicable regulations, to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant () in Carlsbad, New Mexico for permanent disposal. Nondestructive assay (NDA) was used to characterize TRU waste for shipment/disposal to WIPP during the 3100 m3 Project. This paper describes the NDA systems, summarizes NDA ... continued below

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Hoffman, Cecilia R. February 1, 2004.

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The Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC) at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) is being used as a temporary storage facility for transuranic (TRU) waste generated by the United States nuclear weapons program. There has been, and continues to be, a very large effort to characterize, certify, and ship this legacy waste, in compliance with all applicable regulations, to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant () in Carlsbad, New Mexico for permanent disposal. Nondestructive assay (NDA) was used to characterize TRU waste for shipment/disposal to WIPP during the 3100 m3 Project. This paper describes the NDA systems, summarizes NDA history at the RWMC, and summarizes the lessons learned during the 3100 m3 Project. In 1995 the State of Idaho, the Department of Energy, and the United States Navy signed a multifaceted legal document requiring Department of Energy to remove all forms of radioactive waste from the INEEL. One aspect of the agreement is to remove 3100 m3 of TRU waste prior to January 1, 2003 from RWMC. In October of 1996 congress allocated funding for the 3100 m3 Project to fulfill the agreement. Prior to 3100 m3 Project TRU waste radioassay research and development was performed at the INEEL (1980s - 1990s). The preliminary assay operation years covered in this paper are 1993 – 1997. During the preliminary assay operation years the NDA efforts relied on a Passive/Active Neutron assay system coupled with a gamma spectrometry system. Initial radioassay efforts saw the: Determination of the relative isotopic composition of each container. Development of a total uncertainty measurement method. Estimation of the total uncertainty of each measurement. Development and integration of a gamma-ray based isotopic mass ratio method. The WIPP certified production radioassay commenced in late September of 1997. Production assay operation continued through the completion of the 3100 m3 Project in late 2002. The state of the NDA systems and methodologies at the close of the 3100 m3 Project reflects a long list of applied knowledge and experiences: No one assay technique that can be applied to all waste forms. The waste assay technique must be appropriate to the waste form and waste matrix. Knowledge of the waste form and packaging is absolutely necessary and should be as extensive as possible. Limitations of each assay technique must be well known. Calibration requirements need to be flexible enough to take advantage of advanced and different NDA methods. Calibration efforts must be rigorous and well documented. Throughput requirements should be well defined. Accuracy and precision goals should be well defined. Sensitivity goals should be well defined. Quality assurance methods should be well defined. Software and Program Documentation should be considered “Living Documents”. Automation of functions was the most desirable solution to “Special Cases”. Advantageous to have well trained and experienced personnel.

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  • Waste Management 2004,Tucson, AZ,02/29/2004,03/04/2004

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  • Report No.: INEEL/CON-03-01417
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 910797
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc886329

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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.

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  • February 1, 2004

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 7, 2016, 8 p.m.

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Hoffman, Cecilia R. Radioassay at the INEEL During the 3100M3 Project, article, February 1, 2004; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc886329/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.