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NSEN 619 Treatment of HLW G. A. Beitel and Vince Maio Time 1:00 to 3:30 pm Friday Information posted on http://www.if.uidaho/~beitgeor/ under HLW Notes will placed on the Web (follow Class Notes – HLW - Treatment) usually the day before class

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NSEN 619 Treatment of HLW

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nsen 619 treatment of hlw
NSEN 619 Treatment of HLW

G. A. Beitel and Vince Maio

Time 1:00 to 3:30 pm Friday

Information posted on http://www.if.uidaho/~beitgeor/ under HLW

Notes will placed on the Web (follow Class Notes – HLW - Treatment) usually the day before class

Contact Dr. Beitel at vegus@cableone.net, 526-0042 (8-6), 522-9849

Contact Mr. Maio at Jvmaio@cs.com, or vmaio@inel.gov; 526-3696, or 520-2511

NSEN 619 -- GAB

resource materials
Resource Materials
  • Text: Engineering for Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing, by Justin T. Long, American Nuclear Society 1978,  ISBN 0-89448-012X;
  • Have used:
  • Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management, Materials Research Society (Volume 333) (Conference Proceedings on High Level Waste: not required, too hard to obtain
  • Management Alternative HLW Treatments at INEEL, National Academy Press, 1999. Available to read free at NAP
  • IDB free from Net
  • Chart of the Nuclides – Required, Recommended text.
  • 10 CFR 60, 10 CFR 63- Free from Net
  • Cs-Sr Separation at Hanford – Will be provided
  • Handouts and articles
  • Manson, Pigford, and Levi recommended Alternative to Long – excellent resource ($100), but out of print.

NSEN 619 -- GAB

course details
Course details
  • Topics: On Home Page http://www.if.uidaho.edu/~beitgeor/
  • Then select Programs – HLW
  • Then Grading: On Home page
  • Then Lectures

NSEN 619 -- GAB

internet document sites
Internet document sites

Lots of documents, free for downloading

We will share useful sites


Also see http://enterprise.eh.doe.gov/

Use Internet Explorer – Netscape won’t load menu


See Links on my Home Page Lots of DOE material and Codes and Standards are available from Tech library from an INEEL computer that is not available from home.

Unfortunately, 9/11 caused many sites to take some of the better material off. Much is coming back.

NSEN 619 -- GAB

why hlw not tru
Why HLW, not TRU?

We will learn the difference.

Originally the course was Treatment of Radioactive Waste.

Split was made to cover Incineration and Cement in LLW and Separations and Glass in HLW.

The Nuclear industry is in doldrums because of inability to treat and dispose of HLW; TRU is a DOE problem. The course title dominates. INEEL is attempting to reclassify last of liquid HLW as TRU. These are political issues, not academic or technical.

This is very terse. You will be expected to have a good command of this distinction.

NSEN 619 -- GAB

review of nuclear physics similar to llw waste class
Review of Nuclear PhysicsSimilar to LLW Waste Class

Binding Energy

Fission Yield

FP Decay

Long Term Decay

NSEN 619 -- GAB


Typical LWR Commercial Fuel Bundle. Probably a 14x14 in array weighing around 1000 lbs

NSEN 619 -- GAB

nuclear waste regulations
Nuclear Waste - Regulations

10 CFR 20; 10 CFR 60; 10 CFR 61; 10 CFR 63, and 40 CFR 191

These regulations tell what and how well to dispose of.

These regulations do not tell how to treat, but define the requirements for disposal.

We treat to meet the requirements for disposal.

NSEN 619 -- GAB


Waste Management Regulations

  • 10 CFR 20.2001 through 2005 in essence defines radioactive
  • waste by what you can do with Radioactive Material:
  • You can:
      • Keep
      • Transfer
      • Decay
      • Vent - if less than Table 2 of Appendix B
      • Flush - if less than Table 3 of Appendix B
      • Incinerate
      • Environmentally Safe 40 CRF 190
      • Dispose of per 10 CFR 60, or
      • Dispose of per 10 CFR 61
  • All are required for HLW treatment
  • In DOE, we must also include WIPP WAC

NSEN 619 -- GAB


Alternatives Requiring Treatment



  • Operation
  • Use
  • Process
  • Store

Radioactive Material



Dispose of


NSEN 619 -- GAB


10 CFR 20 Appendix B

  • Use for effluents and airborne contaminants in occupational areas
  • Note only low concentrations (10E-8 to 10E-7
  • allowable)
  • Appreciate that it is Safety Based
  • Human Safety takes precedence over Table values
  • With HLW, 10 CFR 20 is primarily applicable to
  • the effluent streams.

NSEN 619 -- GAB

waste disposal regulations
Waste Disposal Regulations

10 CFR 60

High Level Waste the scope of this class

To the extent that TRU requires the same treatment, or is destined for a similar repository, or is a fraction of HLW, it will also be included.

10 CFR 63

Governs the disposal of HLW at Yucca Mtn.

 10 CFR 61

Low Level Radioactive Waste NS&E 618

Also not included in class are UMTRAP, FUSRAP, and NARM

NSEN 619 -- GAB


10 CFR 61 General Requirements

  • License based on human health and safety (10 CFR 61.23)
  • Performance Objectives (10 CFR 61.41-44)
    • 25 mRem whole body dose or individual organ
    • 75 mRem thyroid
    • Protect inadvertent intruder (waste form)
    • Long term site stability after closure
    • (waste form, no voids)
  • Control Based on Waste Classes A, B, C
  • If Greater Than Class C one should technically
  • go to 10 CFR 60, However, this is actually a
  • politically sensitive issue)

NSEN 619 -- GAB


10CFR 61.56 - General Waste Characteristics

  • No cardboard containers
  • No free liquid (< 1%)
  • No explosives
  • No toxic or pressurized (1.5 atm) gas
  • No pyrophorics
  • Minimum hazardous, pathogenic and infectious

NSEN 619 -- GAB


10 CFR 61.56 - Specific Characteristics

(allocable to waste or container)

  • Stability against slumping, collapse, or failure
  • of the unit
  • Stability against moisture, microbes, radiation
  • <1% liquid in container; or <0.5% in stable waste
  • Minimum void volume (not specified in regulation, but it is generally accepted to be <15 vol% void

NSEN 619 -- GAB

high level waste
High Level Waste

10 CFR 60

Includes Spent Fuel, first cycle raffinate (liquid from the first cycle solvent extraction,) and solids derived from first cycle raffinate

We include Transuranic Wastes in this course

First cycle raffinate derived from fuel reprocessing

We will address 10 CFR 63 later

NSEN 619 -- GAB

fuel reprocessing
Fuel Reprocessing

Dissolve clad fuel, (dissolve fuel and cladding or declad and dissolve fuel only)

Extract U, Pu, or both, or FP only

Fuel is measured in terms of MTHM or MTIHM

Specifically, MWd/MTIHM (burn-up)

We will learn to have a sense of concentrations of FP and TRU elements

NSEN 619 -- GAB

mwd mtihm

Megawatt-days/metric ton irradiated heavy metal

NSEN 619 -- GAB

mwd mhihm
  • Key measure in Spent fuel and HLW
  • MWD is energy
  • Energy* is E = mc2
  • m can be computed as tons/ton burnup
  • Since m appears as fission products, MWD/MTHM is a direct measure of:
    • activity
    • reactivity

*True, but the mass, m, is the difference in the mass of the fissionable material (U-235), and the masses of the fission products and neutrons and protons ejected. That mass difference is easier thought of in terms of binding energy.

NSEN 619 -- GAB

primary program
Primary Program

Yucca Mountain – HLW Repository Wannabe

Initial Search goes back to 1957

First approach was Salt – Lyons Kansas then side-tracked to WIPP

Nevada always a prime candidate

Waste Policy Act of 1981 established a 3-way search

Only Nevada Survives

NSEN 619 -- GAB

yucca mountain status
Yucca Mountain Status
  • See http://www.ymp.gov/

NSEN 619 -- GAB

pu concentrations of fuel
Pu Concentrations of Fuel

Depends on reactor

Commercial Reactors use 3.5 to 5% U-235 enriched fuel (50 kg/ton)

If you remove the fuel at 1%, then Pu may be around 2-3% (20 – 30 kg/ton)

If you extract 99.5% of the Pu, you have 0.5% (of the 2-3% produced) left in the waste (10 – 15 g/ton)

But ton of heavy metal; to compare against the “waste” the solids in the HLW from a ton of fuel consist principally of the fission products (20 – 40 kg) plus some chemicals, let’s suppose another 20 kg.

So the concentration of Pu is now 10 g in the 60 kg of HLW solids or about 200 ppm

0.02% = 200 ppm -- TRU lower limit 2 ppm

Typically >100 times the TRU limit.

NSEN 619 -- GAB

the problem
The Problem

Transuranics (Np, Pu, Am, Cm) and Actinides (Ac, Th, Pa, U plus TRU)

Long-lived beta/gamma emitters

Ultimately dominated by Actinides: Am(241 and 243), Pu(239 and 240), and Np-237

and, Fission and Activation products I-129, Tc-99, C-14, Nb-94

NSEN 619 -- GAB

the problem cont
First 1000 years, HLW has both high Radiation and Thermal

Radiation is high enough to cause material damage; dislocations, embrittlement, stored energy, degradation of polymers, radiolysis

Thermal implies there is enough heat to raise temperatures to 700 - 800 C

After 1000 yr, HLW equivalent to TRU

The Problem, cont.

NSEN 619 -- GAB

the solution
The Solution

Deep Geologic Disposal (see 10 CFR 60)

10,000 -100,000 year confinement

Allocate first 1000 years to Waste Container

Next 10,000 years to Waste Form

Next 100,000 years to Geologic Media

10 CFR 63 changed this to less than one chance in 10,000 over 10,000 years that Performance Goals will be exceeded

NSEN 619 -- GAB


Geologically Stable Materials

* Formations seriously considered for repositories

NSEN 619 -- GAB


Stable Man-Made Materials

  • Glass
  • Bricks
  • Hydraulic Cements

NSEN 619 -- GAB

10 cfr 63
10 CFR 63

See file Named Key Items in 10 CFR 63 (also read 10 CFR 63)

10 CFR 63 is Yucca Mtn specific

It allocates everything to the license which allocates containment assurance to design and the performance assessment

Does not place requirements on the waste form

Waste form requirements contained in the Waste Acceptance Criteria Document

NSEN 619 -- GAB


See Homework file

NSEN 619 -- GAB