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Appendix A: Interim Report
Pages 103-176

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From page 103...
... Appendixes
From page 105...
... In initiating this study, the Board on Radioactive Waste Management used the term "low-activity waste" to denote a spectrum of radioactive 1See Disposition of High-Level Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel: The Continuing Societal and Technical Challenges (NRC, 2001a) and One Step at a Time: The Staged Development of Geologic Repositories for High-Level Radioactive Waste (NRC, 2003)
From page 106...
... materials declared as wastes from a variety of activities -- national defense, nuclear power, industry, medicine, research, and mineral recovery.4 Given this broad charter, the committee sought to develop a concise list of categories that would include low-activity wastes from essentially all sources,5 yet by focusing on their inherent radiological properties rather than their origins, emphasize gaps and inconsistencies between their current regulation and management and their actual radiological hazards. The committee agreed that the following is an instructive and inclusive categorization of the wastes to be addressed: · Wastes containing types and quantities of radioactive materials that fall well within the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC)
From page 107...
... · Naturally occurring and technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM and TENORM) wastes.
From page 108...
... The Department of Transportation regulates the shipment of radioactive materials while the USNRC has the authority to regulate certain packages for transportation of nuclear materials. The states have three important responsibilities with regard to lowactivity wastes: 1.
From page 109...
... In its fact-finding meetings, site visits, and review of relevant literature, the committee found no instances where the legal and regulatory authority of federal and state agencies was inadequate to protect human health. This finding is consistent with previous studies by the National Academies and the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP)
From page 110...
... NORM and TENORM generally are not regulated by federal agencies, and state regulation of these wastes is not consistent. Nevertheless, these wastes may have significant concentrations of radioactive materials as compared to some highly regulated waste streams (e.g., from the nuclear industry)
From page 111...
... have not been analyzed and compared in a systematic way to radiological risks. PUBLIC CONCERNS REGARDING LOW-ACTIVITY WASTES: AN ISSUE FOR THE FINAL REPORT On beginning this study, the committee was aware that there is persistent and widespread public concern with all aspects of radioactive waste management and disposal (NRC, 1996, 2001a, 2002a, 2003; GAO, 1999; Dunlap et al., 1993)
From page 112...
... WHAT ARE LOW-ACTIVITY RADIOACTIVE WASTES? In initiating this study, the Board used the term "low-activity waste" to denote a spectrum of radioactive materials declared as wastes from a 1The Committee on Improving Practices for Regulating and Managing Low-Activity Radioactive Waste is referred to as "the committee" throughout this report.
From page 113...
... This assessment should include an examination of options for utilizing risk-informed practices for identifying, regulating, and managing low-activity waste irrespective of its classification. variety of national defense and private-sector activities.2 These lowactivity wastes generally contain lower levels of radioactive material and present less of a hazard to public and environmental health than either spent nuclear fuel or high-level waste from chemical processing of spent fuel, both of which are highly hazardous and tightly regulated.3 However, low-activity wastes may contain naturally occurring or other longlived radionuclides at well above background levels, and it may represent a significant chronic (and, in some cases, an acute)
From page 114...
... · Naturally occurring and technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM and TENORM) wastes.
From page 115...
... Like uranium and thorium wastes, they arise in large volumes and their radiological hazards result from uranium, thorium, and their radioactive decay products, radium and radon. As will be discussed later in this report, wastes in the first four categories fall under the Atomic Energy Act, which provides authority for their control by federal agencies.
From page 116...
... on June 12, 2003. The following published studies served as cornerstones for the committee's deliberations and findings: · Risk-Based Classification of Radioactive and Hazardous Chemical Wastes was published in 2002 by the National Council on Radiation Pro 7Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (see Chapter 3)
From page 117...
... 11e.(1) byproduct materials and the exclusionary definition of "low-level waste" under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA, see Chapter 2)
From page 118...
... . · Evaluation of Guidelines for Exposures to Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials was published in 1999 by the National Academies' Board on Radiation Effects Research.
From page 119...
... The McMahon Act was intended to ensure the security of nuclear materials rather than to control their radiological hazards. It defined three categories of regulated radioactive material (source, byproduct, and special nuclear)
From page 120...
... Notable exceptions are wastes that contain naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) from nonnuclear activities, such as mining, oil and gas production, and water treatment.
From page 121...
... The AEA references the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA, see below) for the definition of high-level radioactive waste, spent nuclear fuel, and the exclusionary definition of low-level radioactive waste.
From page 122...
... Among the functions transferred to EPA was the AEA authority to "establish gener ally applicable environmental standards for the protection of the general environment from radioactive material. As used herein, standards mean limits on radiation exposures or levels, or concentrations or quantities of radioactive material, in the general environment outside the boundaries of locations under the control of persons possessing or using radioactive material." EPA also received the functions of the Federal Radiation Council, including the responsibility to develop and issue radiation protection guid ance to all federal agencies.
From page 123...
... . UMTRCA vested the EPA with overall responsibility for establishing health and environmental cleanup standards for uranium milling sites and contaminated vicinity properties, the USNRC with responsibility for licensing and regulating uranium production and related activities including decommissioning, and the DOE with responsi bility for remediation of inactive mill tailings sites and long-term monitor ing of all the decommissioned sites.
From page 124...
... Low-activity wastes that contain both AEA radionuclides and hazardous chemicals are referred to as "mixed wastes" and are thus subject to regulation by both the USNRC and EPA. The Department of Transportation regulates the shipment of radioactive materials while the USNRC has the authority to regulate certain packages for transportation of nuclear materials.
From page 125...
... 10 CFR Part 40, Domestic Licensing of Source Material, Appendix A, Criteria Relating to the Operation of Uranium Mills and the Disposition of Tailings or Wastes Produced by the Extraction of Concentration of Source Material from Ores Processed Primarily for their Source Material Content (Incorporating 40 CFR Part 192, "Health and Environmental Protection Standards for Uranium and Thorium Mill Tailings") The criteria apply to uranium mill tailings (section 11e.[2]
From page 126...
... For example, the USNRC regulations governing the decommissioning of licensed sites contaminated with residual radioactive material establish a 2Most TENORM wastes are categorized as solid wastes but not as hazardous waste and thus are state-regulated.
From page 127...
... generated and disposed on its own sites. To determine which wastes are deemed to be LLW, DOE uses the exclusionary definition of LLW provided by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA)
From page 128...
... It also covers both byproduct ma terial as defined by section 11e.(2) of the AEA, as amended, and naturally occurring radioactive material when the byproduct material or naturally occurring radioactive material are managed at DOE LLW facilities.
From page 129...
... ; (2) states may assume portions of the USNRC's regulatory authority by becoming an Agreement State for the regulation of LLW or uranium mill tailings; and (3)
From page 130...
... Section 274 of the AEA, as amended, provides the statutory basis for Agreement States. The USNRC may relinquish to the states portions of its regulatory authority to license and regulate byproduct materials, source materials, and certain quantities of special nuclear materials.
From page 131...
... The second was to allow states hosting disposal sites to impose substantial surcharges for waste disposal on those states that failed to comply, and, after 1990, to deny noncompliant states access to disposal facilities. The third incentive provided that if a state was unable to provide for disposal of its waste by 1996, then the state could be required to take title of the waste from the waste generator and take possession of the waste.
From page 132...
... to develop a model TENORM regulation that could be adopted or modified by state agencies for use in their particular state. The model regulation5 (Suggested State Regulations for Control of Radiation -- Part N)
From page 133...
... was intended to ensure security of nuclear materials rather than to control their hazards to workers or the public. The earliest controls for releases of radioactive materials from licensed activities, in air or water effluents, were set by the AEC in 10 CFR Part 20.
From page 134...
... 134 APPENDIX A: INTERIM REPORT developed by analyzing the potential releases from a large burial site containing typical amounts of various forms of LLW, given imposition of the licensing requirements being considered. The measure of impact was not risk directly, but radiation dose to persons near the site boundary, analyzed to occur at any time far into the future.
From page 135...
... They are defined in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 by exclusion, namely waste that is not spent fuel, high-level waste from fuel reprocessing, transuranic waste, or 11e.(2) byproduct material (see Chapter 2)
From page 136...
... , but concern about them has been limited mainly to populations living around mining and milling sites -- including Native Americans. Nonnuclear enterprises such as mineral recovery and water treatment produce equally large or larger volumes of wastes that contain the same naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM)
From page 137...
... DOE DEFENSE LOW-LEVEL WASTE Defense LLW has been generated in the course of producing or using special nuclear materials throughout the DOE complex, including fuel fabrication, reactor operation, and isotope separation and enrichment, and 3See . DOE does not assure the quality of this information.
From page 138...
... SOURCE: MIMS, 2003. it continues to be produced in site cleanup work.4 In general terms, DOE LLW is quite similar to commercial LLW except that some radionuclides specific to nuclear fuel reprocessing appear in higher quantities.
From page 139...
... APPENDIX A: INTERIM REPORT 139 National Brookhaven Laboratory Atomic Laboratory Knolls Valley Power Power Site Project Bettis West Laboratory Demonstration Atomic Savannah River Plant RMI Gaseous Portsmouth Titanium Company Diffusion Ridge Oak Mound Plant Reservation Project Plant Paducah facilities. Gaseous Diffusion Environmental East Management Fernald Argonne National disposal Laboratoryń and sites Pantex Plant Site waste-generating Flats Sandia National Rocky Laboratories Environmental Technology mixed Alamos and National Los Laboratory and Site Idaho low-level National Laboratory Environmental Engineering Site Site Site Nevada major Test 2000.
From page 140...
... DOE LLW shipped to commercial facilities is subject to the USNRC's or the Agreement State's commercial waste regulations. SLIGHTLY RADIOACTIVE SOLID MATERIALS Nuclear facility decommissioning produces debris, rubble, and contaminated soil characterized by large volumes of materials having small quantities of radioactive contamination -- including concrete, plastics, metals and other building materials, equipment, and packaging.
From page 141...
... In cooperation with the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors, the EPA, USNRC, and DOE are funding a program to assist states to retrieve and securely dispose of orphan sources.5 While many discrete sources clearly are not low-activity materials, they meet the Nuclear Waste Policy Act definition of LLW (see Chapter 2)
From page 142...
... . If these wastes were generated at facilities under license by the USNRC in 1978 or thereafter, they are managed under the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA)
From page 143...
... , as amended. The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA)
From page 144...
... Unlike uranium and thorium wastes, NORM is not a byproduct of the production of fissionable materials and is not controlled by the AEA. Except for Department of Transportation regulations on transportation of radioactive materials, for the most part NORM is not regulated by federal agencies but rather by states.7 As noted in Chapter 2, there is considerable variation among states, which often regulate non-AEA materials collectively as "NARM" (see Sidebar 3.2)
From page 145...
... APPENDIX A: INTERIM REPORT 145 TABLE 3.2 Domestic Processes that Generate NORM Waste Radionuclide Estimated waste concentration generation Major Waste (picocuries (million metric generator Process description per gram) tons per year)
From page 146...
... Naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) are a subset of NARM.
From page 147...
... However, LAW may contain a substantial concentration of radionuclides with very long half-lives (e.g., uranium and thorium wastes, NORM wastes)
From page 148...
... Ecology and designed for chemically hazardous wastes, is currently receiving FUSRAP waste.
From page 149...
... After the LowLevel Waste Policy Act made states responsible for disposal of their LLW and directed the formation of interstate compacts, the states and compacts spent about $600 million in mostly failed siting efforts (GAO, 1999, also see Sidebar 2.1)
From page 150...
... USNRC regulations for low-level waste disposal facilities. The USNRC has established technical requirements for shallow land disposal.
From page 151...
... For LAW, above-ground engineered berms provide the same isolation as shallow land burial. Envirocare of Utah uses above-ground engineered berms.
From page 152...
... . They meet the Nuclear Waste Policy Act's exclusionary definition of low-level waste (LLW)
From page 153...
... fission products of sources declared high specific activity. Potential as waste short-term hazards to individuals and to the environment if the sources should make their way into metal recycle facilities or if they are allowed to migrate from waste disposal facilities.
From page 154...
... The radiological hazards in the last two waste categories in Table 4.1, uranium and thorium processing wastes and naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) wastes, arise from the uranium and thorium and their daughter isotopes.
From page 155...
... Ecology facility in Grandview, Idaho, which is permitted by the state for hazardous chemical wastes and radioactive materials not regulated by the USNRC. Previous FUSRAP disposals in the state-permitted Buttonwillow, California, hazardous waste landfill encountered severe opposition (see Sidebar 4.1)
From page 156...
... The USNRC does not license or otherwise regulate: · pre-1978 ore processing residuals at facilities that were not under license by the USNRC in 1978 or thereafter, or · residuals of ores processed for other than their source material con tent (i.e., non-AEA section 11e.(2) material)
From page 157...
... The Michigan Low-Level Waste Authority has requested, and the landfill operator has agreed, to keep a log of all shipments that trip the portal alarms, to develop a better sense of radioactive materials entering the landfill. SOURCE: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
From page 158...
... The USNRC has determined not to regulate certain pre-1978 uranium and thorium wastes. The EPA has so far not exercised its authority under the Toxic Substance Control Act to regulate non-AEA radioactive wastes.
From page 159...
... State regulation of these wastes is not consistent. Nevertheless, these wastes may have significant concentrations of radioactive materials compared to some highly regulated waste streams.
From page 160...
... The disposal of FUSRAP waste in a hazardous waste facility in California has been the subject of much recent discussion in Congress, the media, and the regulatory community. In addition to inconsistencies in regulating the radiological risks, current low-activity waste regulations generally overlook trade-offs between radiological and nonradiological risks.
From page 161...
... APPENDIX A: INTERIM REPORT 161 the stage for the committee's final report, which will assess policy and technical options for improving the current practices. The assessments will include risk-informed options, and the committee strongly believes that issues of public trust and risk perception will be important considerations in the final report.
From page 162...
... 2001. Summary Data on the Radioactive Waste, Spent Nuclear Fuel, and Contami nated Media Managed by the U.S.
From page 163...
... 1999a. Evaluation of Guidelines for Exposures to Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials.
From page 165...
... Specifically, the goals for radioactive waste management are to: ensure treatment, storage, and disposal of waste produced by civilian use of nuclear materials in ways that do not adversely affect future generations; and to protect the environment in connection with civilian use of source, byproduct, or special nuclear materials through the implementation of the Atomic Energy Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Current Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC 10 CFR Part 20)
From page 166...
... Source material does not include special nuclear material. Byproduct material means: (1)
From page 167...
... , Radiation Protection Standards (10 CFR Part 20) , and criteria related to the disposition of uranium mill tailings (10 CFR Part 40, Appendix A)
From page 168...
... Alpha emitting transuranic nuclides 100 with half-life greater than 5 years Pu-241 3,500 Cm-242 20,000 SOURCE: Code of Federal Regulations, Title 10, Section 61.55. and within 500 years radioactivity must decay to a sufficiently low level so that it will not pose unacceptable hazards to an intruder or the general public.
From page 169...
... This distinction is the essence of the difference between waste classification and site-specific decisions on remediation. SOURCE: Code of Federal Regulations, Title 10, Section 61.55.
From page 170...
... . EPA authority to develop radiation protection standards and to regulate radioactive materials, including TENORM, is derived from a number of those federal laws, plus Executive Orders.
From page 171...
... EPA's implementing regulations at 40 CFR 122.2, which define the term pollutant, include radioactive materials except those regulated under the Atomic Energy Act. Thus EPA currently regulates radionuclides and radiation in discharges and establishes water quality standards.
From page 172...
... While radionuclides are considered toxic substances under the act, source material, special nuclear material, or byproduct material (as such terms are defined in the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 USC.
From page 173...
... In 1999, EPA proposed draft standards and held public hearings; final regulations were published in 2001 for use by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Department of Energy. Current regulations applicable to remediation of both inactive uranium mill tailings sites, including vicinity properties, and active uranium and thorium mills have been issued by the EPA under the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA)
From page 174...
... was focused on safe guards and security for materials that have significance in the development of "atomic fission." The Atomic Energy Act was significantly rewritten as the more familiar Atomic Energy Act of 1954. This version with several major amendments of its coverage and content comprises today's regulations from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
From page 175...
... The Commission is authorized and directed to distribute, with or without charge, byproduct materials to all applicants seeking such materials for research or developmental work, medical therapy, industrial uses, or such other useful applications as may be developed, if sufficient materials to meet all such requests are not available, the Com mission shall allocate such materials among applicants therefore, giving preference to the use of such materials in the conduct of research and developmental activity and medical therapy. The Commission shall refuse to distribute or allocate any byproduct materials to any applicant, or recall any materials after distribution or allocation from any applicant, who is not equipped or who fails to observe such safety standards to protect health as may be established by the Commission.
From page 176...
... 176 APPENDIX A: INTERIM REPORT Commission. If sufficient materials are not available to meet all such requests, and applications for licenses under section 7, the Commission shall allocate fissionable materials among all such applicants in the manner best calculated to encourage independent research and devel opment by making adequate fissionable materials available for such purposes.


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