Description: Waste characterization is the process whereby the physical properties and chemical composition of waste are determined. Waste characterization is an important element which is necessary to certify that waste meets the acceptance criteria for storage, treatment, or disposal. Department of Energy (DOE) Orders list and describe the germane waste form, package, and container criteria for the storage of both solid low-level waste package, and container criteria for the storage of both solid low-level waste (SLLW) and transuranic (TRU) waste, including chemical composition and compatibility, hazardous material content (e.g., lead), fissile material content, radioisotopic inventory, particulate content, equivalent alpha activity, thermal heat output, and absence of free liquids, explosives, and compressed gases. At the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the responsibility for waste characterization begins with the individual or individuals who generate the waste. The generator must be able to document the type and estimate the quantity of various materials (e.g., waste forms -- physical characteristics, chemical composition, hazardous materials, major radioisotopes) which have been placed into the waste container. Analyses of process flow sheets and a statistically valid sampling program can provide much of the required information as well as a documented level of confidence in the acquired data. A program is being instituted in which major generator facilities perform radionuclide assay of small packets of waste prior to being placed into a waste drum. 17 refs., 1 fig., 4 tabs.
Date: July 1, 1989
Creator: Schultz, F.J. & Smith,. M.A.
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Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department