Nevada Test Site Perspective on Characterization and Loading of Legacy Transuranic Drums Utilizing the Central Characterization Project

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The Nevada Test Site (NTS) has successfully completed a multi-year effort to characterize and ship 1860 legacy transuranic (TRU) waste drums for disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), a permanent TRU disposal site. This has been a cooperative effort among the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO), the U.S. Department of Energy, Carlsbad Field Office (DOE/CBFO), the NTS Management and Operations (M&O) contractor Bechtel Nevada (BN), and various contractors under the Central Characterization Project (CCP) umbrella. The success is due primarily to the diligence, perseverance, and hard work of each of the ... continued below

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Lahoud, R. G.; Norton, J. F.; Siddoway, I. L. & Griswold, L. W. January 1, 2006.

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The Nevada Test Site (NTS) has successfully completed a multi-year effort to characterize and ship 1860 legacy transuranic (TRU) waste drums for disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), a permanent TRU disposal site. This has been a cooperative effort among the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO), the U.S. Department of Energy, Carlsbad Field Office (DOE/CBFO), the NTS Management and Operations (M&O) contractor Bechtel Nevada (BN), and various contractors under the Central Characterization Project (CCP) umbrella. The success is due primarily to the diligence, perseverance, and hard work of each of the contractors, the DOE/CBFO, and NNSA/NSO, along with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy, Headquarters (DOE/HQ). This paper presents, from an NTS perspective, the challenges and successes of utilizing the CCP for obtaining a certified characterization program, sharing responsibilities for characterization, data validation, and loading of TRU waste with BN to achieve disposal at WIPP from a Small Quantity Site (SQS) such as the NTS. The challenges in this effort arose from two general sources. First, the arrangement of DOE/CBFO contractors under the CCP performing work and certifying waste at the NTS within a Hazard Category 2 (HazCat 2) non-reactor nuclear facility operated by BN, presented difficult challenges. The nuclear safety authorization basis, safety liability and responsibility, conduct of operations, allocation and scheduling of resources, and other issues were particularly demanding. The program-level and field coordination needed for the closely interrelated characterization tasks was extensive and required considerable effort by all parties. The second source of challenge was the legacy waste itself. None of the waste was generated at the NTS. The waste was generated at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL), Lynchburg, Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS), and a variety of other sites over 20 years ago, making the development of Acceptable Knowledge a significant and problematic effort. In addition, the characterization requirements, and data quality objectives for shipment and WIPP disposal today, were non-existent when this waste was generated, resulting in real-time adjustments to unexpected conditions.

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  • Waste Management '06 Conference, Tucson, AZ, February 26 - March 2, 2006

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  • Report No.: DOE/NV/11718--1140
  • Grant Number: DE-AC08-96NV11718
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 935044
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc894000

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  • January 1, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Jan. 11, 2018, 2:37 p.m.

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Lahoud, R. G.; Norton, J. F.; Siddoway, I. L. & Griswold, L. W. Nevada Test Site Perspective on Characterization and Loading of Legacy Transuranic Drums Utilizing the Central Characterization Project, article, January 1, 2006; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc894000/: accessed August 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.