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An expert system framework for nondestructive waste assay

Description: Management and disposition of transuranic (RU) waste forms necessitates determining entrained RU and associated radioactive material quantities as per National RU Waste Characterization Program requirements. Technical justification and demonstration of a given NDA method used to determine RU mass and uncertainty in accordance with program quality assurance is difficult for many waste forms. Difficulties are typically founded in waste NDA methods that employ standards compensation and/or employment of simplifying assumptions on waste form configurations. Capability to determine and justify RU mass and mass uncertainty can be enhanced through integration of waste container data/information using expert system and empirical data-driven techniques with conventional data acquisition and analysis. Presented is a preliminary expert system framework that integrates the waste form data base, alogrithmic techniques, statistical analyses, expert domain knowledge bases, and empirical artificial intelligence modules into a cohesive system. The framework design and bases in addition to module development activities are discussed.
Date: October 1, 1996
Creator: Becker, G.K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development and testing of prototype alpha waste incinerator off-gas systems

Description: A test program is in progress at Savannah River Laboratory (SRL) to confirm and develop incinerator design technology for an SRP production Alpha Waste Incinerator (AWI) to be built in the mid-1980's. The Incinerator Components Test Facility (ICTF) is a full-scale (5 kg/h), electrically heated, controlled-air prototype incinerator built to burn nonradioactive solid waste. The incinerator has been operating successfully at SRL since March 1979 and has met or exceeded all design criteria. During the first 1-1/2 years of operation, liquid scrubbers were used to remove particulates and hydrochloric acid from the incinerator exhaust gases. A dry off-gas system is currently being tested to provide data to Savannah River Plant's proposed AWI.
Date: January 1, 1982
Creator: Freed, E J & Becker, G W
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Calculation of radionuclides in the defense waste processing facility

Description: SHIELD system calculations yield the isotopic inventory, activity, decay heat, and multigroup radiation source spectra for all of the DWPF process streams and for the solidified waste products. One application of these results is the analysis of the radiation emissions of the stored waste. Another application is the analysis of time dependent properties of the solidified waste. Initially, gamma radiation from /sup 137m/Ba decay contributes approximately one-third of the total energy. As the /sup 137/Cs content decreases, the gamma contribution declines. The major producers of beta radiation are the /sup 90/Sr, /sup 137/Cs, and /sup 144/Pr decay chains. As the glass age increases, however, the contribution from the actinides dominates increasingly. The inital activity level in the glass is 2000 curies per gallon. The activity and decay heat decrease by a factor of 2 in about fifteen years, and by a factor of 4 in fifty years. A similar analysis was made for the salt cake. Initially, the salt cake produces 0.01 watts per gallon from 2.4 curies per gallon of activity. In five years, the activity is reduced by a factor of 19, and the decay heat declines by a factor of 24. After ten years, both the activity and decay heat levels are less than 1% of their initial values. 7 figures, 4 tables.
Date: January 1, 1979
Creator: Chandler, J.R.; Finch, D.R. & Becker, G.W. Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Experimentation with a prototype incinerator for beta-gamma waste

Description: A test facility for the incineration of suspect and low-level beta-gamma waste has been built and operated at the Savannah River Laboratory. The processing steps include waste feeding, incineration, ash residue packaging, and off-gas cleanup. Demonstration of the full-scale (180 kg/hr) facility with nonradioactive, simulated waste is currently in progress. At the present time, over nine metric tons of material including rubber, polyethylene, and cellulose have been incinerated during three burning campaigns. A comprehensive test program of solid and liquid waste incineration is being implemented. The data from the research program is providing the technical basis for a phase of testing with low-level beta-gamma waste generated at the Savannah River Plant.
Date: January 1, 1982
Creator: Farber, M G; Lewandowski, K E & Becker, G W
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Solidification of ash from incineration of low-level radioactive waste

Description: The safe disposal of both high-level and low-level radioactive waste is a problem of increasing national attention. A full-scale incineration and solidification process to dispose of suspect-level and low-level beta-gamma contaminated combustible waste is being demonstrated at the Savannah River Plant (SRP) and Savannah River Laboratory (SRL). The stabilized wasteform generated by the process will meet or exceed all future anticipated requirements for improved disposal of low-level waste. The incineration process has been evaluated at SRL using nonradioactive wastes, and is presently being started up in SRP to process suspect-level radioactive wastes. A cement solidification process for incineration products is currently being evaluated by SRL, and will be included with the incineration process in SRP during the winter of 1984. The GEM alumnus author conducted research in a related disposal solidification program during the GEM-sponsored summer internship, and upon completion of the Masters program, received full-time responsibility for developing the incineration products solidification process.
Date: January 1, 1983
Creator: Roberson, W A; Albenesius, E L & Becker, G W
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Engine Pistons of Light Metal

Description: This report presents the results of testing 32 sets of light metal pistons from 16 different aluminum and magnesium alloys, 2 sets of cast iron pistons, and one piston of pure electrolytic copper. The many-fold mutual relations between material properties, shape, thermic and dynamic processes in the engine were clarified by comprehensive technical, thermic, chemical, physical and metallographic investigations of pistons and piston materials.
Date: June 1922
Creator: Becker, G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Vitrification of Rocky Flats ash followed by encapsulation in the Defense Waste Processing Facility

Description: The Department of Energy (DOE) manages approximately 10 to 20 metric tons of plutonium in the form of scrap, residues, oxides, ash, metal, sludge, compounds, etc. Not all of this material is chemically stable or is packaging acceptable for storage. Thus, it constitutes a potential hazard to employees and to the public. This paper describes a relatively simple concept for stabilizing most of this type of plutonium by converting it into encapsulated glass. A full-scale hot demonstration of the concept is proposed, in which Rock Flats ash would be vitrified and sealed in small cans, followed by encapsulation of the cans in Defense Waste Processing Facility canisters with high-level glass.
Date: June 1, 1996
Creator: Becker, G.W. Jr. & McKibben, J.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Design of benign matrix drums for the non-destructive assay performance demonstration program for the National TRU Program

Description: Regulatory compliance programs associated with the Department of Energy (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Transuranic (TRU) Waste Characterization Program (the Program) require the collection of waste characterization data of known quality to support repository performance assessment, permitting, and associated activities. Blind audit samples, referred to as PDP (performance demonstration program) samples, are devices used in the NDA PDP program to acquire waste NDA system performance data per defined measurement routines. As defined under the current NDA PDP Program Plan, a PDP sample consists of a DOT 17C 55-gallon PDP matrix drum configured with insertable radioactive standards, working reference materials (WRMs). The particular manner in which the matrix drum and PDP standard(s) are combined is a function of the waste NDA system performance test objectives of a given cycle. The scope of this document is confined to the design of the PDP drum radioactive standard internal support structure, the matrix type and the as installed configuration. The term benign is used to designate a matrix possessing properties which are nominally non-interfering to waste NDA measurement techniques. Measurement interference sources are technique specific but include attributes such as: high matrix density, heterogeneous matrix distributions, matrix compositions containing high moderator/high Z element concentrations, etc. To the extent practicable the matrix drum design should not unduly bias one NDA modality over another due to the manner in which the matrix drum configuration manifests itself to the measurement system. To this end the PDP matrix drum configuration and composition detailed below is driven primarily by the intent to minimize the incorporation of matrix attributes known to interfere with fundamental waste NDA modalities, i.e. neutron and gamma based techniques.
Date: September 1, 1996
Creator: Becker, G.K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

APNEA/WIT system nondestructive assay capability evaluation plan for select accessibly stored INEL RWMC waste forms

Description: Bio-Imaging Research Inc. (BIR) and Lockheed Martin Speciality Components (LMSC) are engaged in a Program Research and Development Agreement and a Rapid Commercialization Initiative with the Department of Energy, EM-50. The agreement required BIR and LMSC to develop a data interpretation method that merges nondestructive assay and nondestructive examination (NDA/NDE) data and information sufficient to establish compliance with applicable National TRU Program (Program) waste characterization requirements and associated quality assurance performance criteria. This effort required an objective demonstration of the BIR and LMSC waste characterization systems in their standalone and integrated configurations. The goal of the test plan is to provide a mechanism from which evidence can be derived to substantiate nondestructive assay capability and utility statement for the BIT and LMSC systems. The plan must provide for the acquisition, compilation, and reporting of performance data thereby allowing external independent agencies a basis for an objective evaluation of the standalone BIR and LMSC measurement systems, WIT and APNEA respectively, as well as an expected performance resulting from appropriate integration of the two systems. The evaluation is to be structured such that a statement regarding select INEL RWMC waste forms can be made in terms of compliance with applicable Program requirements and criteria.
Date: January 1, 1997
Creator: Becker, G.K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mixed Waste Focus Area/Characterization Monitoring Sensor Technology Nondestructive Waste Assay Capability Evaluation Project End-User Summary Report

Description: The Mixed Waste Focus Area (MWFA) in conjunction with the Characterization Monitoring and Sensor Technology (CMST) crosscut program identified the need to objectively evaluate the capability of nondestructive waste assay (NDA) technologies. This was done because of a general lack of NDA technology performance data with respect to a representative cross section of waste form configurations comprising the Department of Energy (DOE) contact-handled alpha contaminated [e.g., transuranic (TRU) waste]. The overall objective of the Capability Evaluation Project (CEP) was to establish a known and unbiased NDA data and information base that can be used to support end-user decisions with regards to technology system selection and to support technology development organizations in identifying technology system deficiencies. The primary performance parameters evaluated in the CEP were measurement bias and relative precision. The performance of a given NDA technology is a direct function of the attributes represented by the waste matrix configuration. Such attributes include matrix density, matrix elemental composition, radionuclidic composition, radionuclide mass loading, and the spatial variation of these components. Analyzing the manner in which bias and precision vary as a function of test sample attribute and NDA technology provides a foundation for deriving performance capability and limitation statements and determines which waste matrix attributes, or combinations of attributes, are compatible or incompatible with existing technologies. The CEP achieved the stated end-user objective. The data indicate that the nondestructive waste assay systems evaluated have a definite capability to perform assay of contact-handled TRU waste packaged in 55-gallon drums. There is, however, a performance envelope where this capability exists, an area near the envelope boundaries where it is questionable, and a realm outside the envelope where the technologies do not perform. Therefore, the end user must be aware of this envelope and ensure the appropriate technology is selected. This program provides the ...
Date: November 1, 1998
Creator: Becker, G. K.; McIlwain, M. E. & Connolly, M. J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Expert system technology for nondestructive waste assay

Description: Nondestructive assay waste characterization data generated for use in the National TRU Program must be of known and demonstrable quality. Each measurement is required to receive an independent technical review by a qualified expert. An expert system prototype has been developed to automate waste NDA data review of a passive/active neutron drum counter system. The expert system is designed to yield a confidence rating regarding measurement validity. Expert system rules are derived from data in a process involving data clustering, fuzzy logic, and genetic algorithms. Expert system performance is assessed against confidence assignments elicited from waste NDA domain experts. Performance levels varied for the active, passive shielded, and passive system assay modes of the drum counter system, ranging from 78% to 94% correct classifications.
Date: July 1, 1998
Creator: Becker, G.K. & Determan, J.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Transuranic and Low-Level Boxed Waste Form Nondestructive Assay Technology Overview and Assessment

Description: The Mixed Waste Focus Area (MWFA) identified the need to perform an assessment of the functionality and performance of existing nondestructive assay (NDA) techniques relative to the low-level and transuranic waste inventory packaged in large-volume box-type containers. The primary objectives of this assessment were to: (1) determine the capability of existing boxed waste form NDA technology to comply with applicable waste radiological characterization requirements, (2) determine deficiencies associated with existing boxed waste assay technology implementation strategies, and (3) recommend a path forward for future technology development activities, if required. Based on this assessment, it is recommended that a boxed waste NDA development and demonstration project that expands the existing boxed waste NDA capability to accommodate the indicated deficiency set be implemented. To ensure that technology will be commercially available in a timely fashion, it is recommended this development and demonstration project be directed to the private sector. It is further recommended that the box NDA technology be of an innovative design incorporating sufficient NDA modalities, e.g., passive neutron, gamma, etc., to address the majority of the boxed waste inventory. The overall design should be modular such that subsets of the overall NDA system can be combined in optimal configurations tailored to differing waste types.
Date: February 1, 1999
Creator: Becker, G.; Connolly, M. & McIlwain, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Preparation of certified working reference material sources for the national TRU waste performance demonstration program.

Description: Traceable non-destructive assay (NDA) standards containing a variety of radionuclides including uranium, americium, and plutonium oxides mixed with an inert matrix were prepared and certified for use in the U .S. Department of Energy's National TRU Waste Program (NTWP) . The NTWP requires traceable nuclear material standards of the Working Reference Material (WRM) class for qualification of NDA instrumentation that is used to quantify nuclear material in DOE-generated waste before the waste is shipped for final disposition at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, New Mexico . Qualification and approval of measurement systems is accomplished in part through successful participation in the Non-Destructive Assay (NDA) Performance Demonstration Program (PDP) and is required for DOE and EPA regulatory compliance . An overview of the PDP program highlighting the role of the certified WRMs fabricated at LANL is presented, as well as a summary of the WRM fabrication process and an overview of the inventory of over 175 WRMs fabricated and deployed to DOE measurement facilities to date .
Date: January 1, 2003
Creator: Mecklenburg, S. L. (Sandra L.); Thronas, D. L. (Denise L.); Wong, A. S. (Amy S.); Marshall, Robert S., & Becker, G. K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

INEL test plan for evaluating waste assay systems

Description: A test bed is being established at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC). These tests are currently focused on mobile or portable radioassay systems. Prior to disposal of TRU waste at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), radioassay measurements must meet the quality assurance objectives of the TRU Waste Characterization Quality Assurance Program Plan. This test plan provides technology holders with the opportunity to assess radioassay system performance through a three-tiered test program that consists of: (a) evaluations using non-interfering matrices, (b) surrogate drums with contents that resemble the attributes of INEL-specific waste forms, and (c) real waste tests. Qualified sources containing a known mixture and range of radionuclides will be used for the non-interfering and surrogate waste tests. The results of these tests will provide technology holders with information concerning radioassay system performance and provide the INEL with data useful for making decisions concerning alternative or improved radioassay systems that could support disposal of waste at WIPP.
Date: September 1, 1996
Creator: Mandler, J.W.; Becker, G.K.; Harker, Y.D.; Menkhaus, D.E. & Clements, T.L. Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

NDA PDP Program PuO{sub 2} increased particle size specification and design

Description: Provisions in the National TRU Program Quality Assurance Program Plan require an assessment of performance for nondestructive waste assay (NDA) systems employed in the program. This requirement is in part fulfilled through the use of Performance Demonstration programs. In order to optimize the quality and quantity of information acquired during a given Performance Demonstration Program cycle, the assessment employed is to be carefully specified and designed. The assessment must yield measurement system performance data meaningful with respect to NDA system capability to accommodate attributes of interest known to occur in actual waste forms. The design and specification of the increased particle size PuO{sub 2} PDP working reference materials (WRMs) is directed at providing a straightforward mechanism to assess waste NDA system capability to account for biases introduced by large PuO{sub 2} particles. The increased particle size PuO{sub 2} PDP WRM design addresses actual waste form attributes associated with PuO{sub 2} particle size and distributions thereof, the issue of a known and stable WRM configuration and equally important appropriate certification and tractability considerations.
Date: December 31, 1996
Creator: Marshall, R.S.; Taggart, D.P.; Becker, G.K. & Woon, W.Y.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Active and passive computed tomography mixed waste focus area final report

Description: The Mixed Waste Focus Area (MWFA) Characterization Development Strategy delineates an approach to resolve technology deficiencies associated with the characterization of mixed wastes. The intent of this strategy is to ensure the availability of technologies to support the Department of Energy� s (DOE) mixed-waste, low-level or transuranic (TRU) contaminated waste characterization management needs. To this end the MWFA has defined and coordinated characterization development programs to ensure that data and test results necessary to evaluate the utility of non-destructive assay technologies are available to meet site contact handled waste management schedules. Requirements used as technology development project benchmarks are based in the National TRU Program Quality Assurance Program Plan. These requirements include the ability to determine total bias and total measurement uncertainty. These parameters must be completely evaluated for waste types to be processed through a given nondestructive waste assay system constituting the foundation of activities undertaken in technology development projects. Once development and testing activities have been completed, Innovative Technology Summary Reports are generated to provide results and conclusions to support EM-30, -40, or -60 end user or customer technology selection. The active and passive computed tomography non-destructive assay system is one of the technologies selected for development by the MWFA. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has developed the active and passive computed tomography (A&XT) nondestructive assay (NDA) technology to identify and accurately quantify all detectable radioisotopes in closed containers of waste. This technology will be applicable to all types of waste regardless of their classification-low level, transuranic or mixed. Mixed waste contains radioactivity and hazardous organic species. The scope of our technology is to develop a non-invasive waste-drum scanner that employs the principles of computed tomography and gamma-ray spectral analysis to identify and quantify all of the detectable radioisotopes. Once this and other applicable technologies are developed, waste ...
Date: November 6, 1998
Creator: Jackson, J A; Becker, G K; Camp, D C; Decman, D J; Martz, H E & Roberson, G P
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department