Identification of Possible High Integrity Containers for Low-Level Nuclear Waste Disposal

Abstract

Increased concern by the State of South Carolina over the condition and capacity of the low-level radioactive waste burial site at Barnwell has prompted them to promulgate new regulations on waste burial containers. As of September 30, 1981, ion exchange resin and filter media waste with an activity of 1 µCi/cc or greater and with isotopes with half-lives greater than five years disposed at Barnwell shall be solidified or confined in a “high integrity container”. The materials and designs of these containers are required to provide waste isolation from the environment for a period of 300 years and provide the structural integrity specified in 49 CFR 173.398(b). HITTMAN has been active in the design and development of containers suitable for this purpose with this paper detailing the analyses involved. Material selections were limited to stainless steel, fiberglass, and polyethylenes. Structural concerns focused on overpressure requirements, drop-testing requirements, and lifting capabilities. With a lifetime dose of up to 108 rads, the possibilities of radiation damage were considered. Preliminary selection of polyethylene was based on satisfactory resolution of these issues and economic factors.

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References

  1. (1)

    South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, memorandum dated October 22, 1980, subject, General Criteria for High Integrity Containers.

  2. (2)

    “High Integrity Design Guidelines” (Draft), Nuclear Regulatory Commission. February 25, 1981.

  3. (3)

    “Information to be Submitted in Support of a High Integrity Container Approval”, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Bureau of Radiological Health.

  4. (4)

    Personal communication between the author and D. A. Modrich of Owens-Corning Fiberglass, July 1981.

  5. (5)

    Personal communication between the author and T. Mentzes of High Voltage Engineering, March 1981.

  6. (6)

    Personal communication between the author and Dr. W. Chappas, University of Maryland, May 1981.

  7. (7)

    Radiation Effects on Ion Exchange Materials, T. E. Gangwer, et. al. Brookhaven National Laboratory, November 1977.

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Correspondence to Jeffrey D. Williams.

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Williams, J.D. Identification of Possible High Integrity Containers for Low-Level Nuclear Waste Disposal. MRS Online Proceedings Library 6, 449–455 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-6-D449

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