Single Session

[Schedule Grid]

TAM-C - Special Session: Decommissioning

Woodrow Wilson C   08:00 - 12:00

Chair(s): Ken Gavlik
TAM-C.1   08:00  Cyclotron Decommissioning TW Hansen*, Southeast Compact Commission

Abstract: Materials used for construction and shielding at reactor facilities (i.e., concrete, steel, and lead) become radioactive when exposed to a neutron flux during operation. Reactors are highly regulated, and the decommissioning wastes these facilities generate are regulated as radioactive waste. Neutron fluxes are not exclusive to reactors; however, as particle accelerators also produce neutrons that make surrounding materials radioactive. Worldwide, particle accelerators are not subject to the same level of regulation as reactors, and in some instances, they may not be radiologically regulated at all. Similarly, the decommissioning wastes generated by accelerator sites need not always be disposed in a manner that considers the presence of residual radioactivity. Particle accelerators accomplish their acceleration either in a straight path (i.e., linear) or in a series of widening concentric circles. Accelerators that accomplish the latter are called cyclotrons and are the focus of this presentation, but the information provided is applicable to all particle accelerator sites. Cyclotrons are popular because they are considerably more compact than linear accelerators attaining the same particle energy, and to the surprise of many, they are operated inconspicuously in nearly every major city. Accelerators do not have infinite lifespans. Dozens of cyclotrons have been decommissioned over the last decade, and many more projects are looming. This presentation provides an overview of cyclotron decommissioning in terms of applicable procedures, standards, guidelines, and case studies. The presenter has experience on more than 40 cyclotron decommissioning projects in 21 states, and the presentation will include data, observations, and photographs from completed projects and a discussion of similarities and differences between these and other decommissioning projects.

TAM-C.2   08:30  Wasteland to Wonderland: Remediation Of A New Jersey Brownfield Site JT Power*, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Abstract: The former National Lead Industries site in Sayreville, NJ consists of 250+ acres with radiological impacts resulting from historical site operations. Between the early 1930s and 1982, the site processed ilmenite ore to manufacture titanium dioxide pigments. Ilmenite contains naturally elevated levels of Uranium, Thorium, and Radium. As a result of both chemical and mechanical processing, Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material accumulated within existing site surface and subsurface soils. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has regulated site environmental investigations and cleanup activities since 1989. Challenges faced have included development of Derived Concentration Guideline Levels for deep soils, non-homogeneous contamination, mixing of soils for on-site reuse, and alternative remediation techniques required for impacted soils presenting unique geotechnical characteristics. Throughout these challenges, staff within the Bureau of Environmental Radiation has provided consistent guidance to site remediation professionals as they work towards site release. The thorough review work conducted by staff has been imperative to ensuring the protection of the many future visitors and residents of this proposed development.

TAM-C.3   08:55  Waste Characterization by the Department of Energy at the Energy Technology Engineering Center PD Rutherford*, Phil Rutherford Consulting

Abstract: The Energy Technology Engineering Center (ETEC) is a Department of Energy (DOE) facility undergoing D&D and soil and groundwater remediation and is located in Area IV of Boeing’s Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL). In 2020 the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and DOE signed an “Amendment to Order on Consent” (AOC) mandating classification and disposal of demolition debris from decommissioned facilities (decommissioned material) and facilities with no history of radiological use, as low-level radioactive waste (LLRW). This action was counter to established state and federal decommissioning guidance, counter to DOE’s own waste minimization and sustainability policies and pandered to the dictates of the “cleanup-to-background” and “no safe level of radiation” activist agenda. Following shipment of decommissioned material and debris from non-radiological facilities to an EnergySolutions licensed LLRW disposal facility, a freedom of information act (FOIA) request was submitted by the author to DOE for shipping documents including NRC forms 540/541, “Uniform Low-level Radioactive Waste Manifests” and EnergySolutions’ forms “Radioactive Waste Profile.” The FOIA response revealed that a single instrument measurement of surface contamination and three wipe tests from a non-decommissioned, contaminated facility was used to characterize waste from not only the contaminated facility, but also three decommissioned facilities and four non-radiological facilities. Data on over 400 shipment manifests were systematically inconsistent and transparently illogical. Shipping manifests did not match waste stream profiles. Multiple different containers were assigned identical waste weights and identical total and individual activities. Container weighted average concentrations were derived from container total and individual radionuclide activities rather than vice versa. The apparent lack of any quality control of manifest data by all participants is troubling.

TAM-C.4   09:25  Break

TAM-C.5   10:00  State of California Licensee Decommissioning Why It Pays To Plan Ahead KE Gavlik*, NAC Philotechnics

Abstract: The State of California has a higher-than-normal activist, legal, political and media interest in radiological facilities and their release for unrestricted use, and by proxy imposes some of the most stringent closure standards in the US. At the present time, it does not have an approved dose-based release criterion, and decommissioning projects are approved on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with a reasonable effort as described in Title 17 CCR §30256. Vacating Installation: Records and Notice (k). The de facto criterion is in essence a zero-risk goal where residual radiological contamination will be remediated to a level in which survey readings and analytical sample results are not statistically distinguishable from mean reference area background values and ALARA. The de facto criterion, coupled with Governor’s Executive Order D-62-02, generate significant increase in overall decommissioning costs to the licensee due to the decreased instrument efficiencies, increased sample location count times, decreased scan rates, increased minimum number of unbiased measurement and/or analytical samples required, and “out of an abundance of caution” the disposal of all decommissioning waste as Low-Level Radioactive Waste. The presenter has managed over 150 decommissioning, radiological services, and release for unrestricted use projects with over 45 within the State of California and will present on the issues licensees face upon decommissioning within the State of California, as well as steps and recommendations for the licensee to mitigate these significant costs.

TAM-C.6   10:30  Important Practical Considerations for Final Status Survey Planning with Proposed Revisions to MARSSIM TW Hansen*, Southeast Compact Commission ; Th Hansen

Abstract: The Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual (MARSSIM) provides detailed guidance on how to demonstrate that a site is in compliance with a radiation dose- or risk-based regulation. MARSSIM is a multi-agency consensus document that was developed collaboratively by four agencies of the U.S. government (i.e., Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, and Nuclear Regulatory Commission); however, its guidance is used virtually world-wide for planning and performing decommissioning surveys and assessing survey data. Except for minor modifications that were made in August 2000 and June 2001, the current version of MARSSIM remains mostly unchanged from what was originally issued in December 1997. Nonetheless, the ability to measure radiation has evolved over time and the type and number of radiation measurement methods have increased. Consequently, the MARSSIM Workgroup has collaborated to draft an updated version of the Manual to incorporate lessons learned over more than two decades of use, and a 90-day public comment period on the proposed revision, Revision 2, was extended by 45 days and ended on February 11, 2022. Updates to MARSSIM are intended to increase clarity and improve flexibility in providing a consistent approach for planning, performing, and assessing building surface and surface soil contamination while concurrently encouraging an effective use of resources. Moreover, the proposed revisions aim to implement the most current scientific understanding of radiation site investigation and surveying. The number of individual changes in Revision 2 of MARSSIM is vast, but this presentation will focus on four proposed revisions that are of particular practical important to anyone contemplating future decommissioning surveys: determining the lower bound of the gray region, determining scan survey coverage, the use of “scan only” surveys, and guidance pertaining to the selection of decommissioning survey contractors.

TAM-C.7   11:00  Panel Discussion

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