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Compliance of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant with 40 CFR 194.24(b)

Description: This paper presents aspects of DOE`s demonstration of compliance with the EPA regulation of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The WIPP, a geologic repository for transuranic (TRU) waste, is located 2150 feet below the ground surface in a bedded salt formation about 20 miles east of Carlsbad, NM. Performance of the WIPP as a repository requires that releases to the accessible environment not exceed the limits of the regulation 40 CFR Part 191(1) either when the WIPP is undisturbed, or if there is intrusion into the repository by drilling. In 1996, the EPA promulgated 40 CFR Part 194(2): the implementing regulation for 40 CFR Part 191. The regulatory subsection addressed here, 40 CFR 194.24(b), directs the DOE to identify and analyze the components and characteristics of the TRU waste that can impact performance of the WIPP repository, and thereby possibly impact waste containment. DOE must also analyze those waste characteristics and components that will not affect repository performance.
Date: November 7, 1996
Creator: Chu, M. S. Y.; Papenguth, H. W. & Stockman, C. T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Metal Sorption on Dolomite Surfaces

Description: Potential human intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) might release actinides into the Culebra Dolomite where sorption reactions will affect of radiotoxicity from the repository. Using a limited residence time reactor the authors have measured Ca, Mg, Nd adsorption/exchange as a function of ionic strength, P{sub CO{sub 2}}, and pH at 25 C. By the same approach, but using as input radioactive tracers, adsorption/exchange of Am, Pu, U, and Np on dolomite were measured as a function of ionic strength, P{sub CO{sub 2}}, and pH at 25 C. Metal adsorption is typically favored at high pH. Calcium and Mg adsorb in near-stoichiometric proportions except at high pH. Adsorption of Ca and Mg is diminished at high ionic strengths (e.g., 0.5M NaCl) pointing to association of Na{sup +} with the dolomite surface, and the possibility that Ca and Mg sorb as hydrated, outer-sphere complexes. Sulfate amplifies sorption of Ca and Mg, and possibly Nd as well. Exchange of Nd for surface Ca is favored at high pH, and when Ca levels are low. Exchange for Ca appears to control attachment of actinides to dolomite as well, and high levels of Ca{sup 2+} in solution will decrease Kds. At the same time, to the extent that high P{sub CO{sub 2}} increase Ca{sup 2+} levels, JK{sub d}s will decrease with CO{sub 2} levels as well, but only if sorbing actinide-carbonate complexes are not observed to form (Am-carbonate complexes appear to sorb; Pu-complexes might sorb as well; U-carbonate complexation leads to desorption). This indirect CO{sub 2} effect is observed primarily at, and above, neutral pH. High NaCl levels do not appear to affect to actinide K{sub d}s.
Date: July 1, 1999
Creator: BRADY, P.V.; PAPENGUTH, H.W. & KELLY, J.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Historical Review of WIPP Backfill Development

Description: Backfills have been part of Sandia National Laboratories' [Sandia's] Waste Isolation Pilot Plant [WIPP] designs for over twenty years. Historically, backfill research at Sandia has depended heavily on the changing mission of the WIPP facility. Early testing considered heat producing, high level, wastes. Bentonite/sand/salt mixtures were evaluated and studies focused on developing materials that would retard brine ingress, sorb radionuclides, and withstand elevated temperatures. The present-day backfill consists of pure MgO [magnesium oxide] in a pelletized form and is directed at treating the relatively low contamination level, non-heat producing, wastes actually being disposed of in the WIPP. It's introduction was motivated by the need to scavenging CO{sub 2} [carbon dioxide] from decaying organic components in the waste. However, other benefits, such as a substantial desiccating capacity, are also being evaluated. The MgO backfill also fulfills a statutory requirement for assurance measures beyond those needed to demonstrate compliance with the US Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] regulatory release limits. However, even without a backfill, the WIPP repository design still operates within EPA regulatory release limits.
Date: July 15, 1999
Creator: Brush, L.H.; Krumhansl, J.L.; Molecke, M.A. & Papenguth, H.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Lessons Learned from Characterization, Performance Assessment, and EPA Regulatory Review of the 1996 Actinide Source Term for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

Description: The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a US Department of Energy (DOE) facility for the permanent disposal of transuranic waste from defense activities. In 1996, the DOE submitted the Title 40 CFR Part 191 Compliance Certification Application for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (CCA) to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The CCA included a probabilistic performance assessment (PA) conducted by Sandia National Laboratories to establish compliance with the quantitative release limits defined in 40 CFR 191.13. An experimental program to collect data relevant to the actinide source term began around 1989, which eventually supported the 1996 CCA PA actinide source term model. The actinide source term provided an estimate of mobile dissolved and colloidal Pu, Am, U, Th, and Np concentrations in their stable oxidation states, and accounted for effects of uncertainty in the chemistry of brines in waste disposal areas. The experimental program and the actinide source term included in the CCA PA underwent EPA review lasting more than 1 year. Experiments were initially conducted to develop data relevant to the wide range of potential future conditions in waste disposal areas. Interim, preliminary performance assessments and actinide source term models provided insight allowing refinement of experiments and models. Expert peer review provided additional feedback and confidence in the evolving experimental program. By 1995, the chemical database and PA predictions of WIPP performance were considered reliable enough to support the decision to add an MgO backfill to waste rooms to control chemical conditions and reduce uncertainty in actinide concentrations, especially for Pu and Am. Important lessons learned through the characterization, PA modeling, and regulatory review of the actinide source term are (1) experimental characterization and PA should evolve together, with neither activity completely dominating the other, (2) the understanding of physical processes required to develop conceptual models is ...
Date: March 22, 1999
Creator: Larson, K.W.; Moore, R.C.; Nowak, E.J.; Papenguth, H.W. & Jow, H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Interaction of Plutonium with Bacteria in the Repository Environment

Description: Microorganisms in the nuclear waste repository environment may interact with plutonium through (1) sorption, (2) intracellular accumulation, and (3) transformation speciation. These interactions may retard or enhance the mobility of Pu by precipitation reactions, biocolloid formation, or production of more soluble species. Current and planned radioactive waste repository environments, such as deep subsurface halite and granite formations, are considered extreme relative to life processes in the near-surface terrestrial environment. There is a paucity of information on the biotransformation of radionuclides by microorganisms present in such extreme environments. In order to gain a better understanding of the interaction of plutonium with microorganisms present in the waste repository sites we investigated a pure culture (Halomonas sp.) and a mixed culture of bacteria (Haloarcula sinaiiensis, Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus, Altermonas sp., and a {gamma}-proteobacterium) isolated from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site and an Acetobacterium sp. from alkaline groundwater at the Grimsel Test Site in Switzerland.
Date: July 1, 2000
Creator: Gillow, J. B.; Francis, A. J.; Lucero, D. A. & Papenguth, H. W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Actinide Source Term Program, position paper. Revision 1

Description: The Actinide Source Term represents the quantity of actinides that could be mobilized within WIPP brines and could migrate with the brines away from the disposal room vicinity. This document presents the various proposed methods for estimating this source term, with a particular focus on defining these methods and evaluating the defensibility of the models for mobile actinide concentrations. The conclusions reached in this document are: the 92 PA {open_quotes}expert panel{close_quotes} model for mobile actinide concentrations is not defensible; and, although it is extremely conservative, the {open_quotes}inventory limits{close_quotes} model is the only existing defensible model for the actinide source term. The model effort in progress, {open_quotes}chemical modeling of mobile actinide concentrations{close_quotes}, supported by a laboratory effort that is also in progress, is designed to provide a reasonable description of the system and be scientifically realistic and supplant the {open_quotes}Inventory limits{close_quotes} model.
Date: November 15, 1994
Creator: Novak, C. F.; Papenguth, H. W.; Crafts, C. C. & Dhooge, N. J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Actinide biocolloid formation in brine by halophilic bacteria

Description: The authors examined the ability of a halophilic bacterium (WIPP 1A) isolated from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site to accumulate uranium in order to determine the potential for biocolloid facilitated actinide transport. The bacterial cell surface functional groups involved in the complexation of the actinide were determined by titration. Uranium, added as uranyl nitrate, was removed from solution at pH 5 by cells but at pH 7 and 9 very little uranium was removed due to its limited solubility. Although present as soluble species, uranyl citrate at pH 5, 7, and 9, and uranyl carbonate at pH 9 were not removed by the bacterium because they were not bioavailable due to their neutral or negative charge. Addition of uranyl EDTA to brine at pH 5, 7, and 9 resulted in the immediate precipitation of U. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analysis revealed that uranium was not only associated with the cell surface but also accumulated intracellularly as uranium-enriched granules. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) analysis of the bacterial cells indicated the bulk sample contained more than one uranium phase. Nevertheless these results show the potential for the formation of actinide bearing bacterial biocolloids that are strictly regulated by the speciation and bioavailability of the actinide.
Date: December 31, 1998
Creator: Gillow, J.B.; Francis, A.J.; Dodge, C.J.; Harris, R.; Beveridge, T.J.; Brady, P.V. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

ACTINIDE BIOCOLLOID FORMATION IN BRINE BY HALOPHILIC BACTERIA

Description: The authors examined the ability of a halophilic bacterium (WIPP 1A) isolated from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site to accumulate uranium in order to determine the potential for biocolloid facilitated actinide transport. The bacterial cell surface functional groups involved in the complexation of the actinide were determined by titration. Uranium, added as uranyl nitrate, was removed from solution at pH 5 by cells but at pH 7 and 9 very little uranium was removed due to its limited solubility. Although present as soluble species, uranyl citrate at pH 5, 7, and 9, and uranyl carbonate at pH 9 were not removed by the bacterium because they were not bioavailable due to their neutral or negative charge. Addition of uranyl EDTA to brine at pH 5, 7, and 9 resulted in the immediate precipitation of U. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analysis revealed that uranium was not only associated with the cell surface but also accumulated intracellularly as uranium-enriched granules. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) analysis of the bacterial cells indicated the bulk sample contained more than one uranium phase. Nevertheless these results show the potential for the formation of actinide bearing bacterial biocolloids that are strictly regulated by the speciation and bioavailability of the actinide.
Date: November 9, 1998
Creator: GILLOW,J.B.; FRANCIS,A.J.; DODGE,C.J.; HARRIS,R.; BEVERIDGE,T.J.; BRADY,P.B. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Role of Microbes as Biocolloids in the Transport of Actinides from a Deep Underground Radioactive Waste Repository

Description: We investigated the interaction of dissolved actinides Th, U, Np Zgpu, and Am, with a pure and a mixed culture of halophilic bactezia isolated from the Waste Isolation H.Iot Plant repository under anaerobic conditions to evaluate their potentiaI transport as biocolloids from the waste site. The sizes of the bacterial cells studied ranged from ().54 x 0.48 pm to 7.7 x 0.67pm Using sequential mimofiltration, we determined the ~~ation of actinides with fi-ee-living (mobile) bacterial cells suspended in a fluid medium containing. NaCl or M=W12 brine, at various phaes of their growth cycIes. The number of suspended kcteria rangy-d born 106 to 109 cells ml-*. Tine amount of actinide associatd with the wspend~ cell fraction (cakzdated & mol cell-*) was very Iow: Th, 10-*2; U, 10-1s - 10-lS; - ~ Np, 1o-15- 10-19; Pu, 10-ls -10-21 ; and h, 10-1* - 10-*9 ; and it varied with the bacteihl - CUIture studied. l%e differe&es in the asswiation are amibuted to the extent of bioamxmdation and biosorption by the bacteria pH, the compo&on of the brine, and the speziation and bioavaiIability of the actinides.
Date: December 17, 1998
Creator: Dodge, C.J.; Dunn, M.; Francis, A.J.; Gillow, J.B.; Mantione, K.; Pansoy-Hjelvik, M.E. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Actinide Biocolloid Formation in Brine by Halophilic Bacteria

Description: We examined the ability of a halophilic bacterium (WFP 1A) isolated from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site to accumulate uranium in order to determine the potential for biocolloid facilitated actinide transport. The bacterial cell Surface functional groups involved in the complexation of the actinide were determined by titration. Uranium, added as uranyl nitrate, was removed from solution at pH 5 by cells but at pH 7 and 9 very little uranium was removed due to its limited volubility. Although present as soluble species, uranyl citrate at pH 5, 7, and 9, and uranyl carbonate at pH 9 were not removed by the bacterium because they were not bioavailable due to their neutral or negative charge. Addition of uranyl EDTA to brine at pH 5, 7, and 9 resulted in the immediate precipitation of U. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analysis revealed that uranium was not only associated with the cell surface but also accumulated intracellulary as uranium-enriched granules. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) analysis, of the bacterial cells indicated the bulk sample contained more than one uranium phase. Nevertheless these results show the potential for the formation of actinide bearing bacterial biocolloids that are strictly regulated by the speciation and bioavailability of the actinide.
Date: July 28, 1999
Creator: Gillow, J.B.; Francis, A.J.; Dodge, C.J.; Harris, R.; Beveridge, T.J.; Brady, P.V. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Laboratory evaluation of colloidal actinide transport at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP): 1. crushed-dolomite column flow...

Description: Colloid-facilitated transport of Pu, Am, U, Th, and Np has been recognized as a potentially important phenomenon affecting the performance of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) facility being developed for safe disposal of transuranic radioactive waste. In a human intrusion scenario, actinide-bearing colloidal particles may be released from the repository and be transported by brines (approximately 0.8 to 3 molal ionic strength) through the Culebra, a thin fractured microcrystalline (mean grain size 2 micrometers) dolomite aquifer overlying the repository. Transport experiments were conducted using sieved, uniformly packed crushed Culebra rock or nonporous dolomite cleavage rhombohedra. Experiments with mineral fragments and fixed and live WIPP-relevant bacteria cultures showed significant levels of retardation due to physical filtration effects. Humic substances were not attenuated by the Culebra dolomite. Comparison of elution curves of latex microspheres in columns prepared with microcrystalline rock and nonporous rock showed minimal effect of Culebra micropores on colloid transport. These data form part of the basis to parameterize numerical codes being used to evaluate the performance of the WIPP.
Date: December 31, 1996
Creator: Yelton, W.G.; Behl, Y.K.; Kelly, J.W.; Dunn, M.; Gillow, J.B.; Francis, A.J. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department