Improving Operations and Long-Term Safety of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant: Interim Report

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National Academies Press, Apr 20, 2000 - Science - 56 pages
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The National Research Council convened a committee of experts to advise the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on the operation of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), a geologic repository for disposal of defense transuranic (TRU) waste near Carlsbad, New Mexico. The committee was asked to provide recommendations on the following two issues: (1) a research agenda to enhance confidence in the long-term performance of WIPP; and (2) increasing the throughput, efficiency, and cost-benefit without compromising safety of the National TRU Program for characterizing, certifying, packaging, and shipping waste to WIPP.

The committee has written this interim report to provide DOE with recommendations on several issues that the committee believes merit immediate consideration and action. In developing this report, the committee has been guided by the principle of "reasonableness" with respect to risks, costs, and the ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) principle. In the committee's judgment, implementing the recommendations contained in this report will contribute to the continued safe operation of WIPP.


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Baseline Radiogenic Analysis of Subsurface Fluids
Transuranic Waste Management Program
Appendix A Background Information
Appendix B Joint USNRC and EPA Guidance on Mixed Waste
Appendix C Biographical Sketches of Committee Members
Appendix D Acronyms

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Page 5 - ... and contain the wastes during transportation and emplacement operations, and for 500 to 1,000 years after emplacement. Long-term containment, for thousands of years, would be provided by the barrier properties of the sediment. 103 TRANSURANIC WASTE (TRU) TRU wastes contain greater than 100 nCi/g of radionuclides with atomic numbers greater than 92 and half-lives greater than 20 years. The primary sources of TRU wastes include nuclear fuel reprocessing and fabrication of nuclear weapons and special...
Page iii - ... to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. žJ The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate 8 aj the broad community of science and technology...
Page 29 - Otto, GH, A National Survey on Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) in Petroleum Producing and Gas Processing Facilities, submitted to the American Petroleum Institute (Houston, TX: University of Houston, July 1, 1989).

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