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A Summary of Radiological Waste Disposal Practices in the United States and the United Kingdom

[+] Author Affiliations
Victoria M. Maranville

AMEC Earth and Environmental, Inc., Albuquerque, NM

Richard McGrath

AMEC Nuclear, UK, Cumbria, UK

Paper No. ICEM2009-16379, pp. 805-814; 10 pages
  • ASME 2009 12th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management
  • ASME 2009 12th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, Volume 2
  • Liverpool, UK, October 11–15, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division and Environmental Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4408-3 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3865-X
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


A systematic review of near-surface repositories for radioactive waste in the United States (US) was conducted. The main focus of the review consisted of a literature search of available documents and other published sources on low level radioactive waste (LLRW) disposal practices, remediation of LLRW sites in the US, and public participation for remediation efforts of near-surface radiological waste disposal sites in the US. This review was undertaken to provide background information in support of work by the United Kingdom’s (UK) Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) and to aid in optimizing the future management of this site. The review contained a summary of the US and UK radiological waste classification requirements including a discussion of the waste types, disposal requirements, and the differences between US and UK disposal practices. A regulatory overview and evolution of regulatory requirements in the US is presented. The UK regulatory environment is also discussed and contrasted to the US process. The public participation, as part of the US regulatory process, is provided and the mechanism for stakeholder identification and involvement is detailed. To demonstrate how remediation of radiologically impacted sites is implemented in the US, existing US case studies, in which remediation activities were carried out, were reviewed. The following information was compiled: type of wastes disposed of to US shallow ground facilities [with comparison with UK classifications], facility designs (with special emphasis on those directly comparable to the subsurface conditions in the UK), and deficiencies identified in operation or in demonstrating safe post closure; and processes and difficulties in remedial actions encountered at the selected sites. Stakeholder involvement is discussed within the case studies. Publicly available information related to radiological waste management and disposal practices were reviewed. Two sites are presented in this publication for discussion. These US sites were selected based on the site similarities to conditions in the UK.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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