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Transportation and Waste Management


Transportation and Waste Management – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Transportation and Waste Management

Transportation and Waste Management
Transportation of Radioactive materials
  • Regulated by NRC and DOT
  • Shippers and receivers must be trained and then
    retrained every 3rd year.
  • Two big issues
  • Safety of individuals in the transport chain, and
    the general public.
  • Security of the radioactive material from loss or

Types of Shipments
  • Not radioactive (49 CFR 173.436)
  • Excepted packages (limited quantities)
  • Type A quantities
  • Type B, Highway Route controlled quantities
  • Special form
  • Low specific activity (LSA)
  • Surface contaminated objects (SCO)

Types of Shipments
  • Depends on the amount of radioactivity being
    shipped and the physical form of the material.
  • Must also consider other hazards.
  • Labeling of boxes and placarding of vehicles very
    carefully regulated.
  • Most may travel common carrier assuming they meet
    the exposure and contamination limits.

  • Exposure
  • Level determines labeling
  • Up to 0.5 mRem/hr on the surface none at 1 M
  • White I label
  • Up to 50 mRem/hr on the surface lt 1 mR at 1 M
  • Yellow II label
  • Up to 200 mRem/hr on the surface lt 10 mR at 1M
  • Yellow III label
  • Up to 1000 mRem/hr on the surface gt10 mR at 1M
  • Yellow III label Exclusive shipment

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Contamination Limits
  • Surface of package
  • Beta/Gamma and low toxicity alphas (half-life lt10
    days) 220 dpm/cm2
  • All other alpha emitters 22 dpm/cm2

Both Shipping and receiving surveys are required.
Some shipments require papers
Radioactive Waste
Four types of Radioactive Waste
  • High Level Waste from nuclear power plants and
    Uranium processing facilities -- U235, Cs137,
  • Low level some ancillary contaminated material
    from High-Level producers (like PPE) and, mostly,
    medical and research waste, and industrial waste
  • Mine tailings
  • Nuclear weapons, and weapon facilities

High Level Waste
  • Very Dangerous
  • 10 years after disassembly, a reactor fuel
    assembly can create a dose rate of 10,000 rem/hr
    1 hour exposure would be fatal
  • No storage facility exists
  • Maintained onsite for the most part
  • Dispersed around the country Security?
  • Yucca Mountain?

Nuclear Arms Legacy
Weldon Spring, MO
Hanford Site Washington State
Rocky Flats - Colorado
Mallinckrodt Downtown St. Louis
Low-Level Waste Management
Hold for Decay
Into the sink
Transport and Disposal
Holding for Decay
  • Short half life (lt90 days) radionuclides
  • P32, I131, I125, S35.
  • Hold for 10 half-lives
  • After survey, dispose of in ordinary trash
  • Issues
  • Accumulation can exceed licensed amount if you
    arent careful
  • Liquids require secondary containment
  • Just because it is not radioactive, doesnt mean
    it isnt hazardous. For example, a
    polyacrylamide gel that has been used for
    electrophoresis of labeled DNA or proteins.

Into the Sink?
  • NRC regulations allow certain levels of
    radionuclides to be released to the sanitary
  • Amount depends on nuclide, type of radiation, and
    energy. So you can dump a lot of H3, almost no
  • Release amount calculated on an activity /
    concentration basis..depends on the amount of
    effluent from the site.
  • Example P32 release from Southeast
  • SE effluent 60K gal/day. Based on the
    regulations we could dump 1000 times the total
    P32 we use.
  • Caveat Must be 100 soluble in water and cant
    be hazardous in any other way!

Hold, Transport, Dispose
  • Onsite storage facility
  • Proper packaging for shipment
  • Certified RadWaste brokers handle
  • Myriad of NRC/DOT regulations
  • Certified transporters
  • Limited number of disposal sites in US

Waste Hauling
The final cost of the Phase 1 and Phase 2
Projects was approximately 1.5 million There
were other costs associated with rebuilding and
with bioassaying of employees.
How about those AM241 sources?
  • They had to be transferred to the Orphan Source
    program at LANL.
  • Both highly contaminated, and one leaking.
  • Had to be removed from these bags and transferred
    to a special form container.

What you see happening here cost about 27,000
A special form container
A Type A shipment / Special Form Note the White I
label. This was shipped FEDEX
Sludge in these acid dilution basins was
contaminated with Am241, phenol, chloroform,
etc Required removal of the sludge and cleaning
of the pits. Required sampling of upstream drain
system and downstream sanitary sewer system.
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