Characterization of the C1 & C2 Waste Tanks Located in the BVEST System at ORNL (DRAFT)


January 1998

J. M. Keller
J. M. Giaquinto

During the fall of 1996 there was a major effort to sample and analyze the Active Liquid Low-Level Waste (LLLW) tanks at ORNL which include the Melton Valley Storage Tanks (MVST) and the Bethel Valley Evaporator Service Tanks (BVEST). The characterization data summarized in this report was needed to address waste processing options, address concerns dealing with the performance assessment (PA) data for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), evaluate the waste characteristics with respect to the waste acceptance criteria (WAC) for WIPP and Nevada Test Site (NTS), address criticality concerns, and meet DOT requirements for transporting the waste. This report discusses the analytical characterization data for the supernatant and sludge in the BVEST waste tanks C-1 and C-2. There are two companion reports on the MVST and BVEST waste tanks (ORNL/TM-13357 and ORNL/TM-13358, respectively) that includes the analytical data and discussion of the results for the supernatant and sludge found in the remaining active tanks.

The isotopic data presented in this report supports the position that fissile isotopes of uranium (233U and 235U) and plutonium (239Pu and 241Pu) were "denatured" as required by the administrative controls stated in the ORNL LLLW waste acceptance criteria (WAC). In general, the sludge in tanks C1 & C2 was found to be hazardous based on RCRA characteristics and the transuranic alpha activity was well above the 100 nCi/g limit for TRU waste. Additional characteristics of the C1 & C2 sludge inventory relative to the WIPP WAC limits for fissile gram equivalent, plutonium equivalent activity, and thermal power from decay heat were estimated from the data in this report and found to be far below the upper boundary for any of the remote-handled transuranic waste (RH-TRU) requirements for disposal of the waste in WIPP.

ORNL/TM-13546 in PDF Format