ACCOUNTING FOR A VITRIFIED PLUTONIUM WASTE FORM IN THE YUCCA MOUNTAIN REPOSITORY TOTAL SYSTEM PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT (TSPA)

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A vitrification technology utilizing a lanthanide borosilicate (LaBS) glass appears to be a viable option for dispositioning excess weapons-useable plutonium that is not suitable for processing into mixed oxide (MOX) fuel. A significant effort to develop a glass formulation and vitrification process to immobilize plutonium was completed in the mid-1990s to support the Plutonium Immobilization Program (PIP). Further refinement of the vitrification process was accomplished as part of the Am/Cm solution vitrification project. The LaBS glass formulation was found to be capable of immobilizing in excess of 10 wt% Pu and to be very tolerant of the impurities accompanying the ... continued below

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Marra, J February 12, 2007.

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A vitrification technology utilizing a lanthanide borosilicate (LaBS) glass appears to be a viable option for dispositioning excess weapons-useable plutonium that is not suitable for processing into mixed oxide (MOX) fuel. A significant effort to develop a glass formulation and vitrification process to immobilize plutonium was completed in the mid-1990s to support the Plutonium Immobilization Program (PIP). Further refinement of the vitrification process was accomplished as part of the Am/Cm solution vitrification project. The LaBS glass formulation was found to be capable of immobilizing in excess of 10 wt% Pu and to be very tolerant of the impurities accompanying the plutonium material streams. Thus, this waste form would be suitable for dispositioning plutonium owned by the Department of Energy-Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM) that may not be well characterized and may contain high levels of impurities. The can-in-canister technology demonstrated in the PIP could be utilized to dispose of the vitrified plutonium in the federal radioactive waste repository. The can-in-canister technology involves placing small cans of the immobilized Pu form into a high level waste (HLW) glass canister fitted with a rack to hold the cans and then filling the canister with HLW glass. Testing was completed to demonstrate that this technology could be successfully employed with little or no impact to current Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) operation and that the resulting canisters were essentially equivalent to the present HLW glass canisters to be dispositioned in the federal repository. The performance of wastes in the repository and, moreover, the performance of the entire repository system is being evaluated by the Department of Energy-Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (DOE-RW) using a Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) methodology. Technical bases documents (e.g., Analysis/Modeling Reports (AMR)) that address specific issues regarding waste form performance are being used to develop process models as input to the TSPA analyses. In this report, models developed in five AMRs for waste forms currently slated for disposition in the repository are evaluated for their applicability to waste forms with plutonium immobilized in LaBS glass using the can-in-canister technology. Those AMRs address: high-level waste glass degradation; radionuclide inventory; in-package chemistry; dissolved concentration limits of radioactive elements; and colloid-associated radionuclide concentrations. Based on evaluation of how the models treated HLW glass and similarities in the corrosion behaviors of borosilicate HLW glasses and LaBS glass, the models in the AMRs were deemed to be directly applicable to the disposition of excess weapons-useable plutonium. The evaluations are summarized.

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  • Report No.: WSRC-TR-2003-00530
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-96SR18500
  • DOI: 10.2172/901094 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 901094
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc889125

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  • February 12, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 1:47 p.m.

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Marra, J. ACCOUNTING FOR A VITRIFIED PLUTONIUM WASTE FORM IN THE YUCCA MOUNTAIN REPOSITORY TOTAL SYSTEM PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT (TSPA), report, February 12, 2007; [Aiken, South Carolina]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc889125/: accessed June 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.