(NuClean) Nuclear Waste and the Defense Nuclear Legacy: an Overview of the Challenge in the United States

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David Kosson, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Engineering at Vanderbilt University, gives an overview of various past and present waste management issues, efforts, technologies and impacts. He also presents some challenges regarding waste management.

The NuClean Kick-Off workshop was held on Nov. 7, 2013 at the Handlery Union Square Hotel in San Francisco, CA, co-located with the AIChE 2013 Annual Meeting.

For more information on NuClean, visit: http://www.aiche.org/cei/conferences/nuclean-workshop/2013.

For more information on AIChE's Center for Energy Initiatives (CEI), visit: http://www.aiche.org/cei.

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(NuClean) Nuclear Waste and the Defense Nuclear Legacy: an Overview of the Challenge in the United States

  1. 1. Nuclear Waste and the Defense Nuclear Legacy: Put Title HereChallenge in the An Overview of the Put SubTitle Here United States David S. Kosson, Ph.D. Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Engineering Vanderbilt University November 7, 2013 1
  2. 2. Acknowledgement & Disclaimer • Many of the slides used were provided by DOE – Office Environmental Management. • I am not representing the DOE in any manner and any opinions expressed are solely my own. • DOE-EM provided support for my participation here through CRESP. 2
  3. 3. 3
  4. 4. National Agencies and Organizations Nuclear Regulatory Commission Environmental Protection Agency Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board National Research Council of The National Academies • Advocacy organizations • • • • • 4
  5. 5. Atomic Energy Commission – Mid 1950’s to Mid 1960’s Linking Legacies, DOE-EM, 1997 www.energy.gov/EM 5
  6. 6. D. Huizenga, EM-1, FY 13 Budget Request, 2-2012
  7. 7. D. Huizenga, EM-1, FY 13 Budget Request, 2-2012
  8. 8. EM Has Significantly Reduced Risks to the Environment and Public Completed cleanup on 90 of 107 former nuclear weapons and research sites AK Sites Remaining in 2012 EM Historical Cleanup Sites HI PR A. Williams, Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary For Environmental Management, 10-30-2013 www.energy.gov/EM 8
  9. 9. D. Huizenga, EM-1, 2-2013
  10. 10. D. Huizenga, EM-1, 2-2013
  11. 11. D. Huizenga, EM-1, 2-2013
  12. 12. D. Huizenga, EM-1, 2-2013
  13. 13. K. Picha, EM-DAS, 12-2012
  14. 14. K. Picha, EM-DAS, 12-2012
  15. 15. K. Picha, EM-DAS, 12-2012
  16. 16. Graphics courtesy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  17. 17. D. Huizenga, EM-1, 2-2013
  18. 18. Hanford Groundwater Plumes and Site Layout Graphics courtesy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  19. 19. D. Huizenga, EM-1, 2-2013
  20. 20. Courtesy of K. Smith, Mgr., Office of River Protection 20
  21. 21. Hanford High Level Waste Tanks Single Shell Tank (SST) Double Shell Tank (DST) 149 SSTs (constructed 1943-1964), 28 DSTs Typical: 23m diameter , 9 to 16m tall; 200 to 3,800 m3
  22. 22. Courtesy of K. Smith, Mgr., Office of River Protection 22
  23. 23. Courtesy of K. Smith, Mgr., Office of River Protection 23
  24. 24. Hanford Regional Stakeholders • Local and Regional Public • State of Washington, including Depts. of Ecology and Health • State of Oregon • 4 Tribal Nations • Elected Officials • Hanford Advisory Board • Local and regional advocacy groups • Contractors and Unions 26
  25. 25. Environmental Management Priorities • Activities to maintain a safe and secure posture in the EM complex • Radioactive tank waste stabilization, treatment, and disposal • Spent nuclear fuel storage, receipt, and disposition • Special nuclear material consolidation, processing, and disposition • High risk soil and groundwater remediation • Transuranic and mixed/low-level waste disposition • Soil and groundwater remediation • Excess facilities deactivation and decommissioning A. Williams, Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary For Environmental Management, 10-30-2013 www.energy.gov/EM 27
  26. 26. The Life-Cycle Cost of the EM Program: Approximately $200 Billion in Costs to Go • The EM legacy cleanup program is forecasted to continue past 2060 with “to go” costs of up to $209 billion. • Facility D&D, soil and groundwater activities represent the second most costly cleanup activity. $8 $7 Year of Expenditure Dollars (Billions) • Tank waste activities are the most costly of EM’s cleanup activities. $9 $6 TRU Waste $5 Facility D&D, Soil & Groundwater $4 SNM/SNF $3 Tank Waste $2 $1 LLW & MLLW $0 Year A. Williams, Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary For Environmental Management, 10-30-2013 www.energy.gov/EM 28
  27. 27. Compliance, Risk, and Priority Setting • Environmental Compliance: One of EM’s top program drivers • Different environmental statutes drive different removal end points • Location of points of compliance (risk envelope) • Risk prioritization: Existing processes provide the framework • Sequence and schedule – Federal Facility Agreements and Consent Orders • Remedy Selection – CERCLA Nine Criteria and Waste Determinations/Disposal Authorization Statements • Decisions regarding cleanup priorities need to be risk-informed to provide a balanced approach • Protection of human health and the environment • Consideration of future use and sustainability – environmental, social, and economic A. Williams, Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary For Environmental Management, 10-30-2013 www.energy.gov/EM 29
  28. 28. Risk-informed Decision Making • Manage environmental contamination and waste in a manner that balances protection of human health and the environment and cost effectiveness for current and future generations • Will be necessary to leave residual waste in place • • • • Allows for natural attenuation Integrates stewardship into holistic, life-cycle management options Requires further development of predictive modeling and visualization, and monitoring and sensor technologies Recognizes U.S. Government’s long term commitment to monitoring and other institutional controls A. Williams, Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary For Environmental Management, 10-30-2013 Savannah River Tank 5 Heel Removal (Tank Interior) Natural attenuation of uranium contamination at the 300 area , Hanford site www.energy.gov/EM 30
  29. 29. Challenge • How do we take a more comprehensive and integrated approach to balancing impacts of addressing environmental contamination risk? • Short-term and long term impacts? • Worker and community impacts? • Local and global impacts? • Cost and risk mitigation? • End states and future use? • How do we (or should we) change the basic question of “How clean is clean?” to “How much residual waste can remain and still ensure protectiveness?”? • How do we expand our thinking about risk and sustainability to best manage existing risks and execute our mission? A. Williams, Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary For Environmental Management, 10-30-2013 www.energy.gov/EM 31
  30. 30. Risk Informed Decisions Human judgment further informs decisions Risk Characterization Community views/Congressional Mandates, etc. Always Augment the Analysis Risk Management
  31. 31. Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation Put Title Here David Kosson (PI)1 , Charles Powers (Co-PI)1 Put SubTitle Here The CRESP III Management Board Craig Benson8, Joanna Burger2, James Clarke1, Michael Greenberg2, Kathryn Higley3, Kimberly Jones4, Steve Krahn1, Shlomo Neuman7, Ron Rousseau9, Richard Stewart5 and the Co-PI’s 1Vanderbilt University, 2Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 3Oregon State University, 4Howard University, York University, 6Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 7University of Arizona, 8University of WisconsinMadison, 9Georgia Institute of Technology 5New
  32. 32. Support safe, effective, publiclycredible, risk-informed management of existing and future nuclear waste from Put SubTitle Here government and civilian sources through independent strategic analysis, review, applied research and education. Put Title Here www.CRESP.org Certainty Confidence in environmental management decisions Credibility Capability
  33. 33. CRESP Provides Unique Capability Focus on assisting decision making for DOE strategic planning and investments: • Consideration of and input from broad range of stakeholders • Developing proof-of-concepts with multi-disciplinary teams – Science & Engineering – Safety, Health & Environment – Policy, Economics & Law • Independent review & assessment 35
  34. 34. CRESP Provides Unique Capability • Practical solutions to complex challenges that are scientifically sound and unbiased • Examples: – Oak Ridge risk-informed prioritization – Fish consumption fact sheet – Landfills management – Amchitka ecological assessment – Low-level waste disposition 36
  35. 35. Develop a reasonable and credible set of tools to predict the structural, hydraulic and chemical performance of cement barriers used in nuclear applications over extended time frames (e.g., up to and >100 years for operating facilities and >1000 years for waste management). www.CementBarriers.org Inflow Advection Diffusion Inflow Outflow R Outflow Stagnant zone Radial Diffusion
  36. 36. Nuclear Waste Management Policy and Strategy Stakeholder Engagement and Communication A Substantial New Literature On Nuclear Waste Law, Policy and Public Perception 38
  37. 37. Waste Processing & Special Nuclear Materials Current Activities • Nuclear safety support – Safety Culture, Use of PRAs, Integration of chemical and nuclear safety • Cementitious Barriers Partnership – – – – Saltstone system performance issues Waste form evaluation & selection Tank integrity and closure performance Impacts of cracking, carbonation, oxidation • EPA Leaching Environmental Assessment Framework implementation wrt DOE-EM
  38. 38. Waste Processing & Special Nuclear Materials Current Activities • Crystallization and Particle Technology – In-situ/ in-process particle size distribution measurement – Sulfur separation • Cross-flow filtration – Strategies to minimize fouling during waste processing • Glass formulation review • TRA guidance update support (EM) • TRA development for NE
  39. 39. Remediation, Near Surface Disposal & Long-term Stewardship Current Activities • Landfills Partnership – Engagement with state & federal regulators, sites (NRC, EPA, West Valley, Paducah, Portsmouth) – Full-scale field performance of landfills (validity of PA assumptions) – Cover and liner barrier performance prediction • Long-term performance of near-surface isolation systems – Impact of site-specific factors and climate change on design requirements and long-term performance
  40. 40. Opportunities for AIChE - NuClean • Education – Nuclear Environmental Engineering as part of undergraduate and graduate curricula – Professional development – Public Education and Outreach • Leadership regarding nuclear chemical processing & safety • Advocating for applicable research – Nuclear chemical processing – Waste processing – Environmental clean up

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