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Data Collection and Tracking of Radioactive Waste at the Los Alamos National Laboratory Plutonium Facility

[+] Author Affiliations
J. J. Balkey, R. L. Dodge, B. T. Martinez, R. E. Wieneke

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM

Paper No. ICEM2003-4586, pp. 555-559; 5 pages
doi:10.1115/ICEM2003-4586
From:
  • ASME 2003 9th International Conference on Radioactive Waste Management and Environmental Remediation
  • 9th ASME International Conference on Radioactive Waste Management and Environmental Remediation: Volumes 1, 2, and 3
  • Oxford, England, September 21–25, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division and Environmental Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3732-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3731-9
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME

abstract

The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is one of two design laboratories in the United States Department of Energy’s weapons complex, with over 60 years of experience in handling radioactive materials, and, consequently, in managing radioactive waste. Actinide research and development is conducted at the Plutonium Facility, which has been in operation since 1978 and is the major source of radioactive waste at LANL. The Nuclear Materials Technology (NMT) Division is responsible for operating the Plutonium Facility and has a dedicated group of personnel who manage radioactive and hazardous waste, and address environmental regulations. The NMT Division also oversees analytical support operations in the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Facility. Operations at these two nonreactor nuclear facilities generate a wide variety of waste that may be generally classified as sanitary, hazardous, radioactive, and mixed (both radioactive and hazardous). The expedient, cost-effective, and regulatory-compliant management of radioactive waste has been a challenging task, given the propensity for rapid change in the regulatory environment. One major asset is the availability of information on waste generation and characteristics in electronic form. To do so, the Waste Inventory Tracking system (WITS) was developed 6 years ago to collect and store this information. To record waste information in the field, technicians use handheld Palm Pilots®. These units are then docked with personal computers to transfer the data to WITS. The primary use of WITS is the automated generation of waste package data reports, which are used to demonstrate compliance with waste acceptance criteria and gain acceptance for waste disposal. The WITS data are also used to evaluate various aspects of waste generation and handling, and to track performance indicators. The WITS is a fundamental part of waste management in the NMT Division.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME

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