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Albuquerque, NM, United States

Timm C.M.,PECOS Management Services Inc.
Radwaste Solutions | Year: 2013

The buried salt beds of the Sauna Basin beneath Michigan and Ohio were the initial deep geological disposal site locations that the AEC considered and investigated in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Perhaps an omen of what would later plague both the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) project in New Mexico and the Yucca Mountain project in Nevada, those studies in the Midwest were terminated because state and local officials, as well as various concerned citizens groups, objected to the possibility of having such a disposal site in their states. Partly as a result of the limitations placed on WIPP in 1979, Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, which set in motion a nation-wide search for a new site for the deep geologic disposal of HLW and spent nuclear fuel. To provide some perspective, it took 27 years from the time that the proposal was made to locate WIPP in southeastern New Mexico until the facility opened.

Timm C.M.,PECOS Management Services Inc.
14th International High-Level Radioactive Waste Management Conference, IHLRWMC 2013: Integrating Storage, Transportation, and Disposal | Year: 2013

The 2010 decision by the Department of Energy (DOE) to abandon the Yucca Mountain Repository for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste is still being played out in the courts as this paper is written. Among the ideas floated to replace Yucca Mountain has been to use the features, benefits and lessons learned from the opening and operation of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico that is currently disposing of transuranic waste in a thick, geologically stable salt bed to establish a regional HL W/SNF interim storage and/or disposal facility. This paper will examine the potential benefits, detriments and status of a proposal to establish a regional HLW/SNF storage/disposal facility near WIPP in Southeastern New Mexico.

Timm C.,PECOS Management Services Inc. | Fox J.,PECOS Management Services Inc.
Nuclear Engineering International | Year: 2011

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), located in southeastern New Mexico, is being seen by the US Department of Energy as a viable alternative to Yucca Mountain. The repository portion of Yucca Mountain is planned to include approximately 64.4 km of railroad lines. Since the load bearing properties of salt are substantially less than those of tuff, the underground area for a high-level radioactive waste/spent fuels (HLW/SNF) repository in salt would be substantially greater than the Yucca Mountain plan. Handling Building at WIPP is equipped with a hot cell, the handling plan for Yucca Mountain indicates as many as four hot cells would be needed since the radioactive waste would be received in both canistered and uncanistered shipments and would consist of multiple forms and sizes of containers that would have to be transferred into waste packages for disposal. There are major operational health and safety differences between WIPP and Yucca Mountain, primarily derived from the larger diversity of the radioactive waste types to be managed at Yucca Mountain versus WIPP.

Timm C.M.,PECOS Management Services Inc. | Mueller C.,PECOS Management Services Inc.
13th International High-Level Radioactive Waste Management Conference 2011, IHLRWMC 2011 | Year: 2011

In the late 1940's and early 1950's, high-level radioactive waste (HLW) was managed by long-term storage and/or shallow burial in landfills. In 1957, the Board on Radioactive Waste Management of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) issued the report "The Disposal of Radioactive Waste on Land" which stated: "Unlike the disposal of any other type of waste, the hazard related to radioactive waste is so great that no element of doubt should be allowed to exist regarding safety." The report went on to state that "Safe disposal means that the waste shall not come in contact with any living thing." This, and other conferences and reports led to the decision that the preferred option for HLW disposal was in a deep geological repository.. This in turn led to the decision by the US government to pursue disposal in deep, stable geologic formations for the higher activity, in particular transuranic and high-level, radioactive waste. Subsequently, that decision was accepted by both international bodies (IAEA) and numerous other countries and major initiatives began to convert the decision to reality. A review of the meetings and conferences that led to the consensus that a deep geologic repository was the best (only) solution does not provide much detail in terms as to the risk analysis or other means that the scientists, engineers, managers and others involved in those deliberations decided that deep geologic repositories were the solution. This paper discusses the evolution of the recommendation for disposal of HLW for geologic repositories, reviews the available risk-benefit analysis that support that recommendation, the evolution of the standards that were developed defining the design period of time for the isolation of the radioactive wastes disposed in these repositories from the public after closure, the development of the associated performance (containment) requirements, and the basic flaws in those approaches.

Timm C.M.,PECOS Management Services Inc. | Mueller C.,PECOS Management Services Inc.
Radwaste Solutions | Year: 2012

The US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) has convened groups of experts at several conferences and sponsored research to evaluate long-term high-level waste disposal options and examine basic flaws in the recommendaton for disposal of high-level waste (HLW) in geologic repositories. The first evaluation was for the possibility of ocean disposal. The identified issues involved in this method of disposal were heat dissipation and biological accumulation. Discussions also included the possibility of processing the HLW to remove cesium and strontium and thus reduce the expected safe-storage life of the remaining wastes by an order of magnitude. A major point made by the environmental impact statement (EIS) report was that the best, safest, long-term option for dealing with HLW is geological isolation. Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future (BRC) report issued in January 2012 stated that deep geologic disposal capacity is an essential component of a comprehensive nuclear waste management system.

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