United States
              Environmental Protection
              Office of
              Radiation Programs
              Washington DC 20460
EPA 520/1-82-007
November 1982
Development of a Working
Set of Waste Package
Performance Criteria for
the Deepsea Disposal of
Low-Level Radioactive Waste

                                                      EPA 520/1-82-007

                       UPTON, NY  11973
                     Prepared February 1982

                      Revised November 1982
   This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by
     the United States Environmental Protection Agency under
             Interagency Agreement No AD-89-F-1-558-0
                            PROJECT  OFFICER
                             ROBERT S.  DYER
                      OFFICE OF RADIATION PROGRAMS
                        WASHINGTON, D.C.   20460

This  report was  prepared as  an account  of work  sponsored by  an agency  of
the United  States Government.   Neither the United states Government  nor any
agency  thereof,  nor  any of  their employees,  nor any  of  their  contractors,
subcontractors,  or  their employees,  makes  any  warranty,  express  or  implied,
or  assumes  any  legal  liability  or  responsibility  for  the  accuracy,
completeness,  or  usefulness  of   any  information,   apparatus,   product,  or
process  disclosed,  or  represents  that  its  use would not  infringe  privately
owned  rights.   Reference herein to  any specific commercial product,  process
or  service  by  trade name,  trademark,  manufacturer,  or  otherwise,  does  not
necessarily  constitute or  imply   its  endorsement,   recommendation,  or
favoring  by  the  United States Governnment  or  any  agency,  contractor  or
subcontract thereof.   The views and  opinions  of  authors expressed herein  do
not necessarily  state  or reflect  those  of the United  States Government  or
any agency,  contractor or subcontractor thereof.

                             TABLE OF CONTENTS

OBJECTIVE	       1

1.  INTRODUCTION	       2

    1.1  Background	       2

    1.2  Present Ocean Disposal Requirements	       3

2.  GLOSSARY	       5

     WASTES	      11

    3.1  Assumptions	      11

    3.2  Waste Package Performance Criteria	      12

    3.3  Waste Container Performance Criteria	      13

    3.4  Waste Form Performance Criteria	      14

    3.5  Waste Content Criteria	      17




              LOW-LEVEL WASTES	     C-l

     The Environmental Protection Agency  (EPA) was given a Congressional
mandate to develop criteria, standards, and regulations governing the
ocean disposal of all forms of wastes pursuant to Public Law 92-532, the
Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, as amended.  In
response to this mandate, EPA has initiated a program to develop regula-
tions and criteria to control the ocean disposal of radioactive wastes.

     The EPA ocean dumping regulations and criteria were issued in the
 Federal Register on January 11, 1977.  These regulations require that
high-level radioactive wastes be prohibited from ocean dumping, and all
other radioactive materials be contained to prevent their direct disper-
sion or dilution in ocean waters.  Furthermore, these containerized
radioactive wastes must radiodecay to environmentally innocuous levels
within the life expectancy of the container(s) and/or the inert matrix.

     The United States Congress has had a continuing interest in the
question of ocean dumping of low-level waste and, in consequence, has
recently approved Public Law 97-424.  This Act amended PL 92-532 to
include provisions to specifically consider the structural aspects of
each container when evaluating any permit for the ocean disposal of
radioactive waste.

     For the past few years the EPA has been considering the question of
suitable packaging of radioactive waste for sea disposal, both by evalua-
ting the fate of radioactive waste packages dumped at formerly-used
United States ocean dumpsites, and considering how past packaging designs
might be improved.  Although the EPA has not received a request for a
permit to dispose of low-level radioactive waste in the ocean, it is
incumbent on the Agency to develop the knowledge necessary to evaluate
permit requests.

     In order to determine whether any particular containment system or
waste packaging system is adequate, it is necessary to establish a set of
performance criteria or guidelines against which to evaluate a particular
packaging system.  These performance criteria must present requirements
for the behavior of the waste in combination with its immobilization
agent and outer container in a deepsea environment.  It is expected that
some of the criteria given in this report may be modified or amended, or
new criteria added as more technical information becomes available.

     The following report has been prepared by the Nuclear Waste Research
Group of the Brookhaven National Laboratory and contains recommendations
to the Environmental Protection Agency on packaging performance guide-
lines and criteria.  As such, these recommendations have not been adopted
by the Agency as necessary or sufficient to meet the Agency ocean dumping
                                  - v-

     The Environmental Protection Agency requests agencies and individu-
als to provide the Agency with any comments or suggestions pertinent to
improving the document and the recommendations contained therein.  Such
comments or suggestions should be submitted to Mr. David E. Janes, Direc-
tor, Analysis and Support Division, Office of Radiation Programs (ANR-
461), Washington, D.C.  20460.
                                    Glen L.  Sjoblom, Director
                                   Office of Radiation Programs

     The purpose of this document is to provide a working set of waste
package performance criteria for consideration by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency  (EPA) pursuant to its responsibilities in accordance
with the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (PL 92-
532).  It is assumed that these criteria may be modified as more techni-
cal information becomes available.

     The criteria and specifications are oriented toward the development
of waste packages  (waste form and container) which can provide continued
isolation to assure the health and safety of the biosphere.  These per-
formance criteria, as proposed, rely on a combination of engineered and
natural barriers.  The development of these criteria is a first step
toward evaluating packaging technologies and the subsequent need and
extent to which waste packages must be developed or improved for ocean

                            1.  INTRODUCTION
1.1  Background.

     Sea disposal of low-level radioactive waste began in the United
States in 1946, and was placed under the licensing authority of the
Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).  In 1962, the first commercial shallow-
land disposal site was licensed in Beatty, Nevada.  As land disposal
operations expanded, ocean dumping was sharply reduced.  The practice
stopped completely in 1970 upon the recommendations of the Council on
Environmental Quality in a Report to the President [1].

     Most of the waste dumped at sea was packaged in second-hand or
reconditioned fifty-five gallon drums filled with cement so that the
average package density was sufficiently greater than sea water to assure
sinking.  It was assumed that all the contents would eventually be re-
leased since the packages were not designed or required to remain intact
for sustained periods of time after descent to the ocean bottom [2].

     In 1965, the Nuclear Energy Agency  (NBA) of the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in collaboration with a
number of interested countries, undertook a series of studies of the
practicability of joint sea dumping operations for low-level radioactive
wastes.  These studies led to the formulation of a number of conditions
relating to the selection of suitable dumping areas, the design of waste
containers and the selection of ships suitable for dumping operations.
Procedures were also adopted for conducting and supervising these opera-
tions under satisfactory conditions and to prevent unacceptable radio-
active contamination.

     On the basis of the results of these studies, NBA sponsored the
first international sea dumping operation for radioactive waste in 1967.
Five OECD/NEA Member Countries (Belgium, France, the Federal Republic of
Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom) participated in this
first sea disposal operation under international supervision.  During the

next internationally supervised sea disposal operation in 1969, Italy,
Sweden and Switzerland also participated while the Federal Republic of
Germany abstained.  Since 1971, however, only Belgium, the Netherlands,
Switzerland and the United Kingdom have used the sea disposal option.
Recently, there has been renewed interest in ocean disposal, both in this
country and abroad, as a waste management alternative to land burial.  It
is currently under review in several European countries and in Japan as a
viable method for the disposal of other than high-level wastes.

     Although the United States is not presently engaged in ocean dumping
of radioactive waste, it has ratified and is a Contracting Party to the
London Dumping Convention  (an international agreement to control sources
of marine pollution, including the dumping of radioactive materials, in
international waters)  [3].  Also, the United States is a Member Nation
of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and a Participating
Country to the OECD Council Decision establishing a Multilateral Consul-
tation and Surveillance Mechanism for Sea Dumping of Radioactive Wastes
 [4].  Thus, the United States shares responsibility with other nations
for the consequences of ocean dumping of radioactive wastes.

     The Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (PL 92-
532) gives EPA the regulatory responsibility for ocean dumping of all
materials, including radioactive waste.  This act prohibits the ocean
dumping of high-level radioactive waste and requires EPA to control the
ocean dumping of all other radioactive waste through the issuance of
permits.  In implementing its permit authorities, EPA issued an initial
set of regulations and criteria, in 1973, to control the dumping of
material into ocean waters  [5].  It was in these regulations that EPA
initially introduced the general requirement of isolation and containment
of radioactive waste as the basic operating philosophy.

1.2  Present Ocean Disposal Requirements.

     In 1977, EPA issued final regulations and criteria concerning the
dumping of radioactive wastes in the ocean  [6].

     In supporting the containment philosophy, the regulations require
that "the radioactive materials must be contained to prevent their direct
dispersion or dilution in ocean waters" and that "the materials to be
disposed of must decay, decompose or radiodecay to environmentally innoc-
uous materials within the life expectancy of the containers and/or their
inert matrix."

     The IAEA recommendations to the London Dumping Convention emphasize
that a general policy of isolation and containment of radioactive waste
be pursued through the use of suitable packaging to keep radioactive
releases "as low as reasonably achievable" [7].

     Both EPA and IAEA have identified the waste package as a prime
barrier for the containment of radioactive waste.  However, there appears
to be a significant difference in the acceptable package performance
between the two organizations.  The terms "innocuous" and "as low as
reasonably achievable" are not defined as used in the domestic and
international guidance, respectively.  In the context of the EPA
criteria, "innocuous" might be interpreted as concentrations of
radionuclides which have radiodecayed to such low concentrations that
they do not present a hazard to man.  On the other hand, "as low as
reasonably achievable" refers to limiting radioactive releases, taking
into account the state of packaging technology, economics of package
improvements, public health and safety, and other societal and
socioeconomic considerations.  In the absence of more definitive
restrictions, package release rates could be designed or varied to
reflect the social and economic pressures of an ocean dumping nation.

     An alternative concept is proposed in this report, which envi-
sions the waste disposal system as a series of barriers necessary to
ensure that radionuclides are retained or their movement is retarded to
prevent a hazard to man.  A "mutibarrier" concept is presented which
consists of a "containment system" and an "isolation system."  The con-
tainment system includes barriers to radionuclide movement provided by
packaging,  including the waste form and the container.  The isolation
system consists of the containment system as well as the natural environ-
mental barriers against radionuclide transport from dumpsite to man.

                              2.  GLOSSARY

     Seme of the terminology used in this report is defined to provide

the reader with a quick reference to uncommon terms, or terms having

unique meanings in the field of radioactive waste management.

     Although it is acknowledged that the definitions may not be univer-

sally accepted, it is anticipated that the inclusion of this glossary

will result in a better understanding of the proposed criteria in

Section 3.
Acceptable Limit:
Activation Product:
As Low As Reasonably
Achievable  (ALARA):
Alpha Activity  (decay)
Radioactivity or radiation limit acceptable to
a regulatory body.  ,

A radioactive isotope produced from a stable
isotope by absorption of a neutron.

A measure of the rate of radioactive decay occur-
ring in a given quantity of material, i.e., the
number of nuclear disintegrations per unit of
time.  Activity is commonly expressed in curies

ALARA refers to limiting release and exposure
and is used by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
(NRC) (10 CFR 50.34) in the context of "...as
low as reasonably achievable, taking into ac-
count the state of technology and the economics
of improvements in relation to benefits to the
public health and safety and other societal and
socioeconomic considerations...".

The disintegration of radioactive nuclei by
emission of alpha particles.  This decay process
is invariably accompanied by gamma ray emission
and usually occurs for very heavy isotopes,
i.e., those of Z > 82.
Beta Activity  (decay):
Any medium, engineered or natural, which
prevents or retards the movement of radio-
active materials.

The radioactive decay of a nucleus by emission
of a beta particle.  Beta decay is often ac-
companied by the simultaneous emission of one or
more gamma rays.

Cladding Waste:

Compressive Strength:


Container Lifetime:

Curie (Ci):

That portion of the earth's environment inhabit-
ed by living organisms.  It comprises parts of
the atmosphere, the hydrosphere  (ocean, inland
waters and subterranean waters) and the litho-

Nuclear waste composed of cladding hulls and
assembly grid spacers for nuclear fuel elements.
Generated during reprocessing when spent fuel
assemblies are disassembled.

The load per unit of cross-sectional area under
which a solid block fails by shear or splitting.

The receptacle into which a waste form is placed
for disposal.

The time period during which the container
effectively serves as a barrier to radionuclide

The retention of radioactive material by the use
of suitable packaging in such a way that it is
effectively prevented from being dispersed into
the environment.

A standard on which a decision or judgment may
be based.  It may be qualitative or quantita-
tive, e.g., the package shall have adequate
density to ensure sinking to the sea bed.
A unit of activity equal to 3.7 x 10
tegrations per second.
The preparation required for the planned perma-
nent retirement of a nuclear facility in accor-
dance with requirements set by a regulatory
In context of ocean dumping of radioactive
wastes, it is that part of the ocean where water
depth is in excess of 4,000 meters.

The summed effect of those processes of trans-
port, diffusion, and mixing which tend to distri-
bute materials from wastes or effluents through
an increasing volume of water.  The ultimate
effect appears as a dilution of the material.

The disposition of waste materials without the
intention of routine retrieval.

(also Ocean Dumping)

Fissile Materials:


Fission Product:

Fuel Cycle:

Fuel Reprocessing:

Gamma ray:
High-Level Waste  (HLW)
The deliberate disposal of wastes into the ocean
from vessels, aircraft, platforms or other man-
made structures.

The sum of all the conditions and influences
that affect the survival and development of an

Isotopes  (principally U-235, Pu-239 and U-233)
which undergo fission following absorption of a
low energy (thermal) neutron.

The process whereby a heavy nucleus splits into
two or more fragments with a concomitant release
of energy.

A stable or radioactive isotope formed by the
fission of a heavy nucleus.

All the steps involved in supplying and using
fuel materials for nuclear reactors, including
waste management operations.

The dissolving of spent fuel elements for the
removal of waste materials and the recovery and
segregation of reusable materials.

Electromagnetic radiation (photon) emitted from
the nucleus of the atom.  Gamma rays and X-rays
are identical in nature, except X-rays emanate
from the electrons which surround the nucleus.
In general, gamma rays are more energetic than X-

The characteristic time in which half the atoms
of a particular radioactive substance disinte-
grate.  Each radionuclide has a unique half-

A natural or manmade cause of a potential
deleterious effect, as differentiated from an
expected deleterious effect.

Those aqueous wastes resulting from the opera-
tion of the first cycle solvent extraction
system, or equivalent, and the concentrated
wastes from subsequent extraction cycles, or
equivalent, in a facility for reprocessing
irradiated reactor fuel.

Conversion of a waste to a form that reduces the
potential for migration or dispersion of radio-
nuclides by natural processes during storage,
transportation and disposal.

Low-Level Waste (LLW)
Matrix Material:
Migration  (radio-
Maximum Permissible
Concentration (MFC):
The segregation of radionuclides from the
biosphere by containment and the restriction of
their release into that environment in unaccept-
able quantities or concentrations through the
action of natural barriers.

Atoms of the same atomic number but with differ-
ent atomic masses.  For a given element the
chemical properties of its various isotopes are
almost identical; however, the nuclear proper-
ties of each isotope are distinctly different.

The susceptibility of a solid material to the
removal of its soluble constituents by the
dissolving or erosion action of water or other

Radioactive waste not classified as either high-
level radioactive waste, transuranic waste,
spent nuclear fuel or uranium mill tailings, as
defined in the Low-Level Radioactive Waste
Policy Act (PL 96-573).

A material used to solidify or immobilize radio-
active waste by forming a monolithic solid,
e.g., cement, bitumen, or polymer.

The movement of radionuclides through various
media due to dissolution fluid flow and/or by

Maximum levels of radioactivity in drinking
water or in air for the occupational worker, as
established by national authorities, based on
former ICRP recommendations.  [Levels an order-
of-magnitude lower were generally set for the
public.  However, new ICRP recommendations for
limiting the intakes of radionuclides by workers
(ICRP No.  30) no longer include the MPC concept
for drinking water; instead, annual limits on
intake (ALI)  are used.  MPC is not defined for
seawater.  However, it is customary to use the
same MPC as for drinking water.]

A system using two or more independent barriers
to isolate the waste from the human environment.
These can include the waste form, the container,
other engineered barriers and the disposal
medium and its environment.

A species of the nucleus of an atom character-
ized by its mass number, atomic number, and
nuclear energy state.

Quality Assurance:
Radioactive Decay:
Radioactive Waste:
The waste form and any container(s)  as it is
prepared for handling,  transport,  storage and
Pyrophoric Material:     Any material  (solid or  liquid)  that ignites
  j.           •            .*    •        -^
 spontaneously in  dry or moist air  at or  below

 Planned and systematic actions necessary to
 provide adequate  confidence that an  item,
 facility or person will perform satisfactorily
 in service.

 A spontaneous nuclear transformation in  which
 alpha/beta particles or gamma radiation  are
 emitted, or X-ray radiation is emitted following
 orbital electron  capture, or  the nucleus under-
 goes  spontaneous  fission.

 Any material or equipment that contains  or is
 contaminated with radionuclides at concentra-
 tions or radioactivity levels established by  the
 regulatory authorities and for which there is no
 anticipated use.

 Chemical decomposition of a waste  or waste form
 by the action of  ionizing radiation.
Secular Equilibrium:
Site (dump):
A measure of the deleterious effects that may be
expected as a result of a technology, tradition-
ally quantified as the product of the probabil-
ity and the consequence of the occurrence of an
event or series of events.

A limiting case of radioactive equilibrium
applying to a chain of two or more successive
radioactive decays in which the decay rate of
the parent isotope is equal to the decay rate of
each of the daughter isotopes.  Secular equilib-
rium can occur only in situations where the half-
life of the parent is very long in comparison to
that of each of the daughters and the parent and
daughters are both confined to the same system
for a time that is long compared to the half-
life of the parent.

The area containing nuclear waste that is
defined by a boundary and which is under
effective control of the implementing


Solidification Agent:


Spent Fuel:
Transuranic  (TRU)
Waste Form:
Waste Management:
 Conversion of  liquid  radioactive waste  to a dry,
 stable monolithic  solid.

 See Matrix Material.

 A numerical value, or range of values,  indicat-
 ing quantitatively whether a criterion  has been

 Nuclear fuel which has been discharged  from a
 reactor after  having  been subjected to  nuclear
 reactions.  (Fuel  is  usually discharged because
 it has been consumed  to the design limit  or
 because of failure or for necessary reactor

 Wastes containing  quantities of nuclides,  having
 atomic numbers > 92,  at concentration levels
 established by the regulatory authorities.   __
 Waste containing more than 10 nanocuries  (10
 Ci) of transuranic alpha activity per gram of
 waste has  been defined as TED waste by  DOE
 (Public Law 96-573).

 A monolithic free  standing solid resulting from
 the incorporation of waste into a matrix materi-
 al (e.g.,  liquid in concrete, solids in

 The planning and execution of essential func-
 tions relating to radioactive wastes, including
 treatment, packaging,  interim storage,  transpor-
 tation, and disposal.

A penetrating form of electromagnetic radiation
 emitted either when the inner orbital electrons
 of an excited atom return to their normal  state
 (characteristic X-rays), or when a metal target
 is bombarded with high-speed electrons.   X-rays
are always nonnuclear in origin (i.e., they
originate external to the nucleus of the atom).

     The basic criteria and specifications suggested in this section are
directed specifically towards those conditions which impact the perfor-
mance of the waste package during storage, transportation, handling and
disposal.  Therefore, it precludes criteria associated with other aspects
of ocean disposal such as site selection, operations, and monitoring.

     Specific performance criteria are suggested for the waste package
and for the individual waste package components which include the waste
container, the waste form and the waste type.  Where possible, numerical
specifications are listed to qualify criteria; however, many specifica-
tions cannot be determined fully at this time since the information
needed to assume reasonable values is not readily available.  It is
expected that these values will be identified as more definitive criteria
are developed.  In the meanwhile, the phrase, "to be determined," is used
to indicate these information gaps.

3.1  Assumptions.

     It was necessary to make a set of assumptions to enable the develop-
ment of waste package performance criteria.  These assumptions are:

     •  Existing Federal regulations govern the interim storage, trans-
portation and disposal of radioactive wastes.  Waste packages intended
for ocean disposal should meet all minimum Federal requirements, includ-
ing relevant United States international treaty commitments.

     •  Only low-level waste (LLW), as defined in the Low-Level
Radioactive Waste Policy Act (PL 96-573), is considered for ocean

     •  The disposal site is located in waters at a depth in excess of
4,000 meters.

     «  The waste package is not intended to be routinely retrievable.

     •  Package performance specifications are based upon a multiple
barrier concept considering the contributions of engineered barriers

(waste form, container)  and natural barriers (water column, sediment

geochemistry, etc.).
3.2  Waste Package Performance Criteria.
  • Criterion;


The package shall have adequate density to
ensure sinking to the sea bed.

The specific gravity of the solidified waste
form and container shall not be less than 1.2
to ensure sinking to the sea bed.

A waste package must be sufficiently dense to
sink immediately.  Although the specific
gravity of surface sea water does not exceed
1.03, the package should be sufficiently dense
to ensure that its movements during descent
and on the sea bed are not readily influenced
by currents.
  • Criterion;

The waste package shall remain intact upon
impact on the ocean floor.

To be determined.  (The waste package shall be
designed to meet or exceed National and IAEA
Transport Regulations and to maintain its
integrity upon impact on the ocean floor at
a calculated and/or measured terminal veloci-
ty) .

There should be no loss or dispersal of radio-
nuclides upon impact of the waste package with
the ocean surface during the ship dumping
operations and upon impact of the package with
the ocean floor.  Tests conducted in the
United Kingdom and in Japan for packages
meeting IAEA Transport Regulations have shown
that the impact of a package free-falling from
a ship height of 30-50 feet (9-15 m) to the
ocean surface has not resulted in package
failure.  The velocity of the package upon
impact with the ocean floor has been calculat-
ed to be approximately 6-7 ft/sec (2.2-2.3
m/sec), depending on package density and
configuration.  [8,9].

  • Criterion;             The waste package shall be designed with
                           adequate strength to maintain its integrity
                           during the normal hazards of transporation,
                           handling and disposal.

    Specification;         To be determined.  (All waste packages shall
                           meet the minimum DOT Regulations 49 CFR 173).

    Discussion;            Waste packages must be capable of withstanding
                           the stresses encountered in handling, storage
                           and transporation.  Consideration should be
                           given to the fact that the distance required
                           to lift waste packages for emplacement aboard
                           a ship may be significantly greater than that
                           required in shallow-land disposal operations.

  • Criterion;             Waste packages shall be designed for safe
                           handling and be compatible with handling

    Specification;         To be determined.

    Discussion;            Lifting rings and other auxiliary handling
                           devices are required to facilitate package
                           handling.  Lifting devices should be offset or
                           hinged in a manner which does not inhibit or
                           compromise the integrity of the waste package.

3.3  Waste Container Performance Criteria.

  • Criterion;             The container shall be capable of maintaining
                           its contents until the radionuclides have
                           decayed to acceptable limits.

    Specifications;         The waste container shall have an expected
                           lifetime of 200 years in the deepsea environ-

    Discussion;            The expected lifetime of the container is
                           contingent on the types and amounts of radio-
                           active materials in the waste form and the
                           characteristics of the disposal site.  In
                           assuming isolation as the basic pperating
                           philosophy for the disposal of radioactive
                           wastes in the ocean,  both engineered and
                           natural barriers contribute to controlling the
                           release of radioactivity such that the amounts
                           released would not constitute a significant
                           hazard to man.   This implies that the life
                           expectancy of the container can be less than
                           the time required for the radioactive mater-
                           ials to decay to environmentally acceptable

                           limits,  where acceptable limits are those
                           quantities of activity which, when the other
                           barriers to migration are considered,  will not
                           pose a significant hazard to man.   A life
                           expectancy of 200 years is presumed adequate
                           for the container, since the longest lived
                           radionuclides of importance, Cs-137 and Sr-90,
                           will have decayed to less than  1%  of their
                           initial activity in this time.   (Depending
                           upon the types of activity contained and their
                           quantity, some containers may not  require a
                           lifetime as long as 200 years.)

  • Criterion;             Waste containers shall be of uniform size,
                           configuration and construction.

    Specification;         To be determined.

    Discussion;             An important purpose for this criterion is to
                           prevent exceeding the size limitations of
                           handling equipment and facilities.   However,
                           several benefits also accrue from  the use of
                           standard containers.   These benefits include;
                           optimization of storage facilities, standardi-
                           zation of handling and transportation tech-
                           niques,  improved quality control and quality
                           assurance, decreased packaging  costs and
                           reduction in personnel exposure.  Specifi-
                           cations may include several container designs.
3.4  Waste Form Performance Criteria;

  • Criterion;             Liquid radioactive wastes shall be immobilized
                           by suitable solidification agents.

    Specification;          Aqueous wastes should be solidified to form a
                           homogeneous,  monolithic, free standing solid
                           containing  no more than 0.5 percent (by vol-
                           ume) ,  or 1.0 gallon (3.8 liters)  of free or
                           unbound water per container, whichever is

    Discussion;            Wet wastes  such as ion exchange resins,
                           sludges and evaporator concentrates may con-
                           tain as much as 80% to 90% water by volume.
                           This liquid must be immobilized by a solidifi-
                           cation agent to form a monolithic matrix to
                           prevent ready dispersion of activity and
                           potential container corrosion from within.

• Criterion;
Buoyant waste material shall be excluded or
treated to preclude its movement or separation
from the waste form during and after disposal.

Buoyant material must be shredded, incinerated
or processed prior to solidification to form a
homogeneous free standing monolithic solid
having a specific gravity not less than 1.2.

Buoyant material included in the waste must be
treated to preclude its return to surface
waters in the event that the waste package
deteriorates or loses its structural integrity
during descent to the sea bed and thereafter.
• Criterion;
The waste form shall be able to withstand the
hydrostatic pressure encountered during and
after descent to the sea bed.

The waste form shall have a uniaxial compres-
sive strength not less than 150 kg/cm , pro-
vided that it does not contain large voids or
compressible materials.

In the event that large voids cannot be
eliminated, it will be necessary to
incorporate approved pressure equalization
devices to assure that the waste package will
maintain its integrity during and after
descent to the sea bed.  Measures should be
taken to ensure that any voids in the waste
form and/or waste package are small and
homogeneously distributed so as to resist the
hydrostatic pressure encountered during
descent.  Work in Japan has shown that waste
forms with uniaxial compressive strengths of
150 kg/cm  will maintain their integrity under
triaxial hydrostatic pressure of 500 kg/cm
(corresponding to a depth of 5,000 meters)
• Criterion;
Particulate wastes such as ashes, powders and
other similar materials shall be immobilized
by a suitable solidification agent.

Particulate wastes shall be immobilized to
form a homogeneous, monolithic, free standing

Particulate wastes are readily dispersible in
air and water.  Immobilization reduces the
quantity of potentially respirable fines
during handling and the dispersibility of
radioactive material in the event of container
failure in disposal.
• Criterion;


The waste form shall be chemically compatible
with the container material.

To be determined.

The chemical composition of the wastes and/or
solidification agent(s) should be such that it
does not adversely affect the expected life-
time of the container.  The presence of cor-
rosive liquids and/or the formation of gases
and other materials through radiolysis or
bacterial action can compromise the integrity
of the waste form and the container.
• Criterion;

The leach rate of the waste form shall be as
low as reasonably achievable  (ALARA).

The fractional release rate for Cs-137_3 Sr-90
and Co-60 shall be no greater than 10
Fraction Release x (V/S)d   where V=volume and
S=surface area of the waste form, in accor-
dance with the proposed ANS 16.1 leach test
for leaching in seawater [11,12].

Mitigation of hazard to man depends upon the
performance of multiple barriers preventing
radionuclide migration.  One of these barriers
is the waste form itself.  Performance of the
waste form as a barrier is often describedin
terms of a leach rate.  Aleach rate of 10~
Fraction Release x (V/S)d~ , or less for
a 55-gallon drum size cement waste form is
approximately equivalent to an activity re-
lease of 0.04% per year after container fail-
ure at 200 years (based on the initial activi-
ty content of a waste form containing only
Cs-137 and Sr-90).  Actual release rates by
leaching will probably be lower in a disposal
site since at container failure only a limited
surface area will be subject to leaching and
since the temperature is approximately 1-4°C.
In addition, leach rates typically decrease as
the valence of the radionuclide species in-
creases (e.g., Cs > Sr > Co).

3.5  Waste Content Criteria
  • Criterion!
Compressed  radioactive  gaseous wastes  shall  be
excluded from disposal  at LLW ocean disposal

No  radioactive gaseous  wastes shall be
accepted for  ocean disposal  unless  they have
been  immobilized into stable waste  forms  such
that  the over-burden pressure in  the waste
package  does  not exceed atmospheric pressure.

Compressed  gases,  by their nature,  present a
hazard to operating personnel during shipboard
handling and  disposal operations.   In  addi-
tion, the possibility of  failure  resulting
from  hydrostatic pressures encountered during
descent  could result in an instantaneous
release  of  radioactivity.  The disposal of
gaseous  wastes such as  Kr-85  and H-3,  will
require  immobilization  by methods such as ion
implementation on metal surfaces, sorption on
various  substrates  or reaction with transi-
tion  metals to form metal hydrides.
  • Criterion;

Gas generation by all mechanisms shall not be
sufficient to adversely affect the integrity
of the waste package during storage, transpor-
tation and disposal.

To be determined.

The rate at which gas is generated by all
mechanisms during storage, transportation and
disposal must not be sufficient to cause
package failure as a result of pressurization.
Such pressurization is of primary concern
during storage and transportation but in ocean
disposal at depths in excess of 4,000 meters,
internal pressurization is compensated by high
hydrostatic pressures.
  • Criterion;
Wastes in which the primary hazard is associ-
ated with chemical toxicity shall not be
dumped in a LLW ocean disposal site.

To be determined.

 Disposal  sites will  be  selected and designed
 for  the isolation of low-level  radioactive
 wastes.   Therefore,  chemical  toxic wastes may
 not  be adequately isolated by such sites and
 may,  in fact, compromise  site performance for
 radionuclide  retention.
• Criterion;
 Pyrophoric or other highly  reactive materials
 shall be excluded  from LLW  ocean  disposal

 No pyrophoric materials  shall be  accepted  for
 LLW ocean disposal unless they have been
 solidified with chemically  stable materials
 such that the waste form is rendered

 Waste forms must be non-pyrophoric in order to
 minimize the possibility of shipboard fires
 during transportation  and handling and the
 potential for chemical reactions  which may
 compromise the integrity of the waste package
 during and after disposal.
• Criterion;

Explosive materials shall be excluded from
ocean disposal.
No explosive materials shall be accepted for
LLW ocean disposal unless they have been
solidified with chemically stable materials
such that the waste form is rendered non-

Waste forms must be non-explosive in order to
minimize the probability of package failure
and radioactivity dispersal as the result of
explosion during transportation and handling
during and after disposal.
• Criterion;


The waste shall be physically and chemically
compatible with the solidification agent.

To be determined.
Certain "problem" wastes, such as organic
liquids, ion exchange resins and oils are
difficult to solidify by one or more of the
contemporary solidification processes as they
are currently used.  The properties of such
waste forms may preclude them from ocean

 1.  Council on Environmental Quality, Ocean Dumping a National Policy,
     A Report to the President prepared by the Council on Environmental
     Quality, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, B.C., October

 2.  National Academy of Sciences, Disposal of Low-Level Radioactive
     Waste into Pacific Coastal Waters, National Academy of Sciences -
     National Research Council Publication No. 985, Washington, B.C.,

 3.  "Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Bumping of
     Wastes and Other Matter," drawn up at the Intergovernmental Confer-
     ence on the Bumping of Wastes at Sea, held in London, October 30-
     November 10, 1972.

 4.  Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Becision of

     Mechanism for Sea Bumping of Radioactive Wastes, OECD, C(77)115
     (Final), Paris  (1977).

 5.  Environmental Protection Agency, "Transportation for Bumping of
     Material Into Ocean Waters," Chapter I - Environmental Protection
     Agency, Subchapter H-Ocean Bumping, Federal Register, 38  (198):
     pp. 28610-28621, Monday, October 15, 1973.

 6.  Environmental Protection Agency, "Final Revision of Regulations and
     Criteria," Chapter I - Environmental Protection Agency, Subchapter H-
     Ocean Bumping, Federal Register. 42(7): pp. 2462-2490, Tuesday,
     January 11, 1977.

 7.  International Atomic Energy Agency, "Convention on the Prevention of
     Marine Pollution by Bumping of Wastes and Other Matter, - The Defini-
     tion Required by Annex I, paragraph 6 to the Convention, and the
     Recommendations Required by Annex II, Section B," INFCIRC/205/Add.l/
     Rev.l, IAEA, Vienna, Austria, August 1978.

 8.  Mitchell, N.T., "The Principles and Practice of Besign and Manufac-
     ture of Packages for Sea Disposal of Radioactive Waste from U.K." A
     paper distributed to the Committee Meeting, Ministry of Agriculture
     and Food, Directorate of Fisheries Research, Fisheries Radiobio-
     logical Laboratory, Lowestoft, Suffolk (1979).

 9.  Olivier, J.P., Sea Disposal Practices for Packaged Radioactive Wastes
     Proceedings of the Internationa^, rSymposium on the Management of
     Wastes from the LWR Fuel Cycle. Denver, USA, 1976, Conf.-76-0701
     (ABTS) U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Springfield, VA  (1976) p. 667.

10.  Seki, S. and H. Amano, "Integrity Test of Full Size Packages of
     Cement-Solidification Radioactive Wastes Under Deep-Sea Conditions,"
     Nuclear And Chemical Waste Managementf Vol. 1, pp. 129-138,
     Pergamon Press Ltd., 1980.

                            REFERENCES (CQNT.)

11.  American Nuclear Society,, Measurement of the Leachability o£
     Solidified Low-I^evel Radioactive Wastes, Second Draft of a Standardf
     American Nuclear Society Standards Committee Working Group ANS-16.1r
     Aprilf 1981.

12.  International Standards Organization, Long-Term Leach Testing of
     Radioactive Waste Solidification Products. Draft ISO Standard,
     ISO/TC 85/SC 5/WG 5 N 38., 1979e

                Appendix A.  LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE
     In order to understand the concerns associated with the ocean dis-
posal of low-level radioactive waste and to develop waste package per-
formance criteria and specifications, it is useful to consider the kinds
of wastes which comprise low-level radioactive wastes.  This chapter will
provide information concerning the sources and types of low-level wastes,
including their physical form and chemical nature as well as current and
projected generation rates.


     Low-Level radioactive waste  (LLW) is defined by the Low-Level Radio-
active Waste Policy Act  (Public Law 96-573) as "radioactive waste not
classified as high-level radioactive waste, transuranic waste, spent
nuclear fuel or by-product material as defined in Section lie.(2) of the
Atomic Energy Act of 1954."  The Act defines by-product material as "the
tailings or wastes produced by the extraction or concentration of uranium
or thorium from any ore reprocessed primarily for its source material con-
tent. "

     High-level radioactive waste (HLW) is defined in the Marine Protec-
tion, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (Public Law 92-532) and EPA
Ocean Dumping Regulations  (40 CFR 227) as "the aqueous waste resulting
from the operation of the first cycle solvent extraction system, or
equivalent, and the concentrated waste from subsequent extraction cycles,
or equivalent, in a facility for reprocessing irradiated reactor fuels or
irradiated fuel from nuclear power reactors."  This law and regulations
also prohibits the ocean dumping of high-level wastes.

     The Atomic Energy Commission (now the Department of Energy) defined
transuranic waste as material excluding high-level waste which contains
more than 10 nanocuries per gram of transuranic nuclides, with the excep-
tion of Pu-238 and Pu-241, but including U-233 and its daughter products
(AEC Manual, Chapter 0511, 1973).  The AEC Manual also mentions that the

value of 10 nCi/g is subject to modification based on long-term studies
of nuclide migration in soil.  On September 14, 1974, the AEC proposed
the 10 nCi/g value in the Federal  Register.  This definition does not
explicitly apply to commercially generated  (NRC licensed) wastes.  Re-
cently, the NRC has proposed a 100 nCi/g limit (10 CFR 61) for land
disposal of radioactive wastes.

Sources and Types of Low-Level Waste.

     Low-level waste (LEW) is produced as a consequence of both federal
government and commercial operations.

     The majority of federal LLW is a consequence of defense related
activities, including fuel fabrication, reactor operation, spent fuel
storage, fuel reprocessing and associated chemical processing operations.
(Although fuel reprocessing is primarily associated with the generation
of high-level waste, significant quantities of low-level waste are also
produced).  In addition, the federal government also generates LLW during
facility decontamination and decommission activities and from research
and development activities.

     Commercial generation of LLW results from both fuel cycle and non-
fuel cycle operations.  Commercial fuel cycle operations include uranium
mining, uranium milling, uranium hexafluoride  (UFg) production, uranium
enrichment, fuel fabrication, reactor operations, spent fuel storage and
facility decontamination and decommissioning.  (There is currently no
fuel reprocessing conducted by the commercial sector, although this may
resume in the future.)  These commercial fuel cycle activities are  simi-
lar in nature to federal government activities and hence, most of the
waste types produced are analogous.  Non-fuel cycle operations, both
institutional  (including medical institutions and universities) and
industrial  (pharmaceutical and other industries) also produce LLW.

     The types of LLW produced by the various sources are summarized in
Table A.I.  These wastes may be classified  as either dry wastes or wet

                                             TABLE  A.I  Sources and Types of Low-Level Radioactive Wastes [1].
                                                                                                TYPES OF WASTE GENERATED
                                         DRY WASTES
                                                                                                   WET WASTES
CAR-     SPENT     AND     CONCEN-  AQUEOUS           ORGANIC           ,

D & DC

RD & Dd







D & D





a  Decontamination, pickling, etching, electropolishing, etc. solutions.
b  Membranes from processes  such as  ultrafiltration  (UF) and  reverse osmosis  (RO).
c  Decontamination and decommissioning  (D & D) operations.
d  Research, development, and demonstration  (RD  & D) programs.
e  Data on these wastes are  incomplete and difficult to obtain.

     Dry wastes are solids and include items such as paper, glass, metal,
wood, plastic, rubber and rags.  Dry wastes may further be broken down
into two classes:  combustible or non-combustible and compactible or non-
compactible.  Combustible dry wastes may be incinerated to reduce volume.
The resultant incinerator ash residue is highly dispersible and may
require solidification prior to disposal.

     The majority of wet wastes are produced from the cleanup of aqueous
processes or waste streams prior to recycle or discharge.  The type of
waste resulting from these cleanup operations depends upon the process
employed (filtration, ion exchange, evaporation, centrifugation, reverse
osmosis, ultrafiltration, flocculation or sedimentation).  Filtration
produces filter cartridge and filter sludge wastes.  Spent resin, pow-
dered resin sludges, and regenerant solution wastes result from ion
exchange operations.  Evaporation, centrifugation, reverse osmosis,
ultrafiltration, flocculation and sedimentation processes generate slur-
ry, sludge and aqueous concentrate wastes.  Reverse osmosis and ultrafil-
tration also produce membrane wastes.  In addition, wastes resulting from
these cleanup operations are often subjected to additional treatment to
reduce their volume for disposal.  For spent resins and sludges this may
include a dewatering operation (settling, centrifugation, or filtration),
while volume reduction of aqueous wastes is generally accomplished
through some form of evaporation.  Some wet wastes are combustible
(resins, oils and organic liquids) and as such, an incineration process
could be employed to reduce waste volume.  More detailed descriptions of
these wastes and their origins can be found in the literature  [1-4].

     Generally, wet wastes are solidified prior to disposal.  Exceptions
include filter cartridges, some spent ion exchange resins and filter
sludges, and organic liquids.  While past practice has been to simply
dewater resins prior to disposal, governmental agencies and shallow land
disposal site operators are requiring solidification of some spent resin
wastes.  Solidification agents commonly employed in the United States
include portland cements and modified portland cements.  Urea-formalde-
hyde is no longer used.  Thermosetting resins and asphalt are beginning
to be used for the solidification of LEW in this country.  Sorbents, such

 as vermiculite and synthetic calcium silicates have been used with wastes
 to immobilize liquids.   While this practice has been greatly reduced at
 commercial fuel cycle facilities due to more restrictive attitudes of
 regulatory agencies,  their use is still fairly widespread at some govern-
 ment  installations and at commercial non-fuel cycle facilities.

      Package performance specifications may require that low-level wastes
 to be disposed of  by  ocean dumping be monolithic free standing solids.
 As such, most wastes  would require solidification;  however,  some solidi-
 fied  low-level waste  forms may not meet performance specifications.   This
 situation  then requires either modification of current solidification
 formulations,  selection of a more appropriate solidification agent (with
 use of a suitable  formulation)  or segregation of these wastes and subse-
 quent disposal by  another method.   In addition,  all other wastes must be
 solidified using proper formulations to assure that the resultant waste
 forms meet the designated performance specifications for ocean disposal.

 Generation Rates of Low-Level Wastes.

      The estimated annual volumetric generation rates of low-level wastes
 in the United States  for 1980 are shown in  Table A.2 [5].  The majority
 of this waste (52% by volume)  originates from commercial sources.  LLW
 produced by the federal government is not further broken down in Table
 A.2.   This information  is generally not available,  since much of it
 relates to defense wastes.   Some 58% of commercial  LLW is generated  by
 fuel  cycle operations.   Power reactor operations produce 87%  of  the
 volume of  fuel cycle  LLW.   Non-fuel cycle wastes constitute  42%  of com-
 mercial LLW volume.   The quantity of LLW produced by institutional
 (hospitals,  medical schools,  colleges and universities)  and  industrial
 sources are  estimated to be approximately equal  [5].

     Considering the  mix of power  reactor types  in  1980 and  their respec-
tive liquid  processing  systems  (deep bed resins  or  precoat filters for
boiling water  reactors  (BWRs) and  condensate  polishing systems (CPS)  or
no CPS  for pressurized water  reactors (PWEs)  [2,6],  about 48%  of power
reactor wastes are  dry  solids.   The remaining waste fraction  consists

                                TABLE A.2
 Amounts of LLW Added to Burial Grounds in the United States in 1980 [5]
COMMERCIAL (Fuel Cycle + Non-Fuel Cycle)

Fuel Cycle (58% Commercial LLW)
UFg Production
Enrichment^ '
Fuel Fabrication
Reactor Operations
   Total Fuel Cycle
Generation Rate

Non-Fuel Cycle (42% Commercial LLW)
   Total Non-Fuel Cycle
 (a)  For example, waste from fuel fabrication for foreign reactors, or waste
     generated by government agencies, but shipped for commercial burial.
 (b)  Included in government waste total given above.
 (c)  Institutional sources include hospitals, medical schools, colleges and

primarily of wet wastes which have been solidified prior to disposal.
Dry solids constitute approximately 42% of institutional wastes  [3] and
as much as 90% of the volume of the LLW generated by some industrial
producers [4].  Most of these dry wastes contain relatively small quant-
ities of radionuclides.  A significant fraction of this waste is
"suspect" and may in fact not be contaminated.

     Estimates of LLW volumetric generation rates through the year 2000
are listed by source in Table A.3  [5].  Projections of the volume of
fuel cycle LLW are based upon a proposed reference growth scenario pro-
jecting 180 GW(e) of installed nuclear capacity by the year 2000.  While
the generation rate of governmental LLW is expected to remain approxi-
mately constant over the period from 1980 to 2000, the volume of commer-
cial LLW produced annually is projected to increase more than 150%
 (These projections do not consider governmental LLW resulting from the
decontamination and decommissioning of formerly utilized or surplused
sites under  the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program  (FUSRAP)
or the Surplus Facilities Management Program  (SFMP).   (They also do not
consider LLW resulting from a possible resumption of commercial spent
fuel reprocessing.)  Most of this increase is due to increased quantities
of fuel cycle waste resulting from the expansion of installed power
reactor capacity.  The volume of fuel cycle LLW is anticipated to in-
crease by 200% between 1980 and 2000, while non-fuel cycle wastes over
this period may remain similar to that shown in Table A. 2 for 1980?
however, reactor operations in particular have significant incentive to
reduce waste volume.

     While volumetric LLW generation rates as presented in this section
give a perspective of the magnitude of the problem, it is difficult to
assess the hazards and risks implicit in ocean disposal without informa-
tion concerning the radionuclide inventory.  This information is pre-
sented in Appendix B for individual radionuclides in low-level wastes.

                                TABLE A.3

       Projected Low-Level Waste Generation Rates, 1980-2000 [5]
                  3                                3
     Government, in /yr    	Commercial, m /yr	

Year        Total         Fuel Cycle      Non-Fuel Cycle      Total

1980       5.7xl04          S.OxlO4          3.6xl04          8.6xl04

1985       S.lxlO4          8.5xl04          4.9xl04          1.3xl05

1990       6.1xl04          1.2xl05          5.9xl04          1.8xl05

1995       6.1xl04          1.3xl05          6.8xl04          2.0xl05

2000       6.1xl04          l.SxlO5          7.9xl04          2.3xl05

                         APPENDIX A  REFERENCES
1.  Kibbey, A.H. and H.W. Godbee, A State-of-the-Art-Report on Lov^Level
    Radioactive Waste Treatment, ORNL/TM-7427, Oak Ridge National Labo-
    ratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 1980,.

2.  Phillips, J. , F. Feizollahi, R. Martineit, W. Bell and R.A. Stouky,
    Waste Inventory Report for Reactor and Fuel Fabrication Facility
    Wastes. ONWI-20/NUS-3314, NUS Corporation, Rockville, Maryland,

3.  Beck, T.J., L.R. Cooley and M.R. McCampbell, Institutional Radio-
    active Wastes-1977. NUREG/CR-1137, University of Maryland,
    Baltimore, Maryland, 1979.

4.  General Research Corporation, Study of Chemical Toxicity of Low-
    Level Wastes, NUREG/CR-1973, General Research Corporation, Santa
    Barbara, California, 1980.

5.  Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste
    Inventories and Projections as of December 31. 1980, DOE/NE-0017,
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 1980.

6.  Mullarkey, T.B., T.L. Jentz, J.M. Connelly and J.P. Kane, A Survey
    and Evaluation of Handling and Disposing of Solid Low-Level Nuclear
    Fuel Cycle Wastes. AIF/NESP-008, NUS Corporation, Rockville,
    Maryland, 1976.

                Appendix B.  RADIONUCLIDES OF IMPORTANCE
     The purpose of this section is to identify the principal  radioactive
isotopes found in low-level radioactive waste which might be considered
for deepsea disposal.  The isotopes normally present  in LEW are dis-
cussed in terms of their longevity, toxicity and  relative abundance.

     The  IAEA, acting  in a technical advisory capacity to the London
Dumping Convention has analyzed the radiological  impacts of ocean dis-
posal of  radioactive materials  [1-4].  The analyses take account of some
80  radionuclides  [4].  For each isotope, conservative estimates of popu-
lation dose  commitments were made using 12 pathways from disposal site to
man.  For the  "sake of administrative convenience and analytical simpli-
city, " the results for the individual isotopes were subsequently combined
into  three broad  categories  (see Table B.I).  Annual release rate limits
 (curies per  year) were assigned to each category, which were based on
ICRP  dose limits  for critical groups or individual members of the public.
The annual limits refer to total disposal by all  countries, which implies
that  individual countries will eventually be assigned a quota not to be
exceeded  [1].

     The  IAEA analyses did not take credit for the retention of radio-
nuclides  in  the disposal packages.  In essence it was assumed that as
soon as the  package reached the sea bed, all radioactive contents would
be  discharged into the water.  This approach yields a conservative
(pessimistic) radiation dose estimate, particularly for the dose con-
tribution of isotopes  having half-lives in the range of a few years or

     In the  following  sections, the disposal question will be examined
from a more  detailed point of view which will allow an evaluation of the
benefits  that might accrue from waste packages ("engineered barriers")

which effectively immobilize the radioactive contents for varying periods
of time.  Such engineered barriers would add an additional margin of
safety to the already conservative IAEA recommended limits.

                                 TABLE B.I
                  Release Rate Limits Recommended by IAEA
                  for Ocean Disposal of Radionuclides [1]

                                       Release Rate Limits  (Ci/year)
          Group                    Single-site     Finite Ocean Volume

Alpha emitters, but limited to          10                  10
10  Ci/yr for Ra-226 and supported
                                          7                   8
Beta/gamma emitters with half-          10                  10
lives of at least 0.5 years
(excluding tritium) and beta/alpha
emitters of unknown half-lives
                                          11                  12
Tritium and beta/gamma emitters         10                  10
with half-lives less than 0.5 years
a) The "Finite Ocean Volume" takes into account uniform mixing in the
   total ocean basin of all isotopes of half-lives less than or equal
   to 40,000 years, from all disposal sites.
Radionuclides Commonly Present in LLW.

     More than 2,000 radioactive isotopes exist in nature or have been
produced by nuclear reactions.  The vast majority of these are not of
concern in waste disposal because their half-lives are much shorter than
the time required to collect and process the waste.  After a decay time
equal to 6.645 half-lives, only 1% of the original activity of a given
radioactive isotope remains; after 10 half-lives less than one part in a
thousand (10  )  remains, and after 20 half-lives less than one part in a
million (10  ) of the original activity remains.  Thus, isotopes having
half-lives < 0.1 years will have decayed to < 0.1% of their original
activity after one year of aging and to < 0.0001% after two years.

       Most of the isotopes appearing in LLW are those which are products
  of nuclear fission or neutron activation of stable elements contained in
  reactor cores (coolant, fuel hardware and cladding, reactor core struc-
  tures, control rods, etc.).  A few additional isotopes manufactured by
  charged particle accelerators appear in industrial and institutional LLW,
  e.g., Na-22, Cl-36, Cd-109.

       The distribution of radionuclides appearing in various low-level
  waste streams of reactors is quite diverse, depending on the reactor de-
  sign, degree of fuel burnup and the details of the waste processing
  equipment.  In general, the wastes have been poorly characterized.  Re-
  liable assays have been limited.  Consequently, large inconsistencies ap-
  pear in published data.  Recently, R. E. Wild et al. [5] have completed
  a comprehensive analysis of radwaste data which appears to be particular-
  ly thorough.  Their report has served as the primary resource for the
  numerical tabulations given in this chapter.  Some additional data have
  been taken from other sources, as cited in the tables' references.

       Tables B.2, B.3 and B.4 list the radionuclides commonly found in re-
  actor waste streams and in industrial/institutional wastes.  Isotopes
  with half-lives < 0.5 years have been omitted from the tables, since they
  will have decayed to negligible concentrations within the first five
  years after packaging, and therefore do not contribute significantly to
  the long-term radioactive inventory in the disposal environment.  Iso-
  topes with half-lives in the range of 0.5 to 5 years have been included
  because they must be considered when handling the wastes during disposal

       Table B.5 compares the 1980 United States LLW inventory with the
IAEA release rate limits listed in Table B.I.  If the United States is to
use ocean disposal for LLW at an annual rate equal to the 1980 inventory,
only a small fraction of the IAEA release rate limits would be approached.
Therefore, it can be concluded that the IAEA release rate limits will not
be a major restrictive factor if the United States should decide to resume
ocean disposal of LLW on a limited scale.

                                    TABLE  B.2

                Radioactive  Isotopes  Commonly  Found in Wastes from
                          Commercial  Nuclear Power Plants

Only those isotopes  with  half-lives greater  than 0.5 years have been included.  The
annual  quantities  listed  in  column 3  are  the estimated activities which will event-
ually be appearing in  wastes  as  a consequence  of operations in the year 1980.  The
"relative hazard index"  (RHI)  is defined  as  the quantity of water (in liters) re-
quired  to dilute 1   uCi  of the isotope to MPC  listed in 10 CFR 20, Appendix B,
Table II, Column 2.


7.5 xlO4
2.03 x TO4
2.14 x 105
1.56 x 107
2.95 x 106
7.04 x 108
4.47 x 109
2.14 x 106
2.41 x TO4
6.57 x 103
3.76 x 105
7.37 x 103

1.3 x 105
1.7 x 105
1.2 x 104
5.6 x 103
2.2 x 10~5
2.2 x 103
3.0 x 103
5.9 x 104
(liters/initial yCi)
0 yrs
10 yrs
150 yrs
1 .6
4 x 10"3
600 yrs
1.8 x 10~3
a)Significant isotopes  were  identified  and  quantities estimated from data given
    Ref. 5 and based on 28.34  GWe-yr for  1980
b)  Ref. 6.
c)  The RHI  entries  are for 1 uCi at 0 years.    Values shown  for subsequent years
    take the radioactive  decay  into  account.
d)  neg. = negligible,  less than  10'3.
e)  Estimated value.   Nb-94 is  not listed in  10  CFR  20, Appendix B.


                                      Table B.3
     Radioactive Isotopes Commonly Found in Institutional and Industrial Wastes

    Only those isotopes with half-lives greater than 0.5 years have been included.
    The "relative Hazard index" (RHI)  is defined as the quantity of water (in
    liters)  required to dilute 1 yCi of the isotope to MFC listed in 10  CFR 20,
    Appendix B, Table II, Column 2.
                                                     RELATIVE HAZARD INDEX (RHI)  .
                                                  AFTER VARIOUS  PERIODS OF DECAY  '
                                              0 yrs













  (liters/initial  yCi)
  10 vrs     150 vrs     600 vrs




































a)  Significant isotopes were identified and quantities estimated from data
    given in Ref. 5 and 7.
b)  Ref. 6.
c) The RHI entries are for 1 yCi at 0 years.  Values shown for subsequent years
   take the radioactive decay into account.
d)  Neg. = negligible, less than 10  .

                                      Table B.4

          Radioactive Isotopes Coiranonly Found in Special Industrial Wastes

    Only those isotopes with half-lives greater than 0.5 years have been  included.
    •These wastes arise from commercial isotope production  (radiopharmaceuticals)
    tritium production, tritium accelerator targets, sealed radiography sources,
    and miscellaneous high activity wastes from neutron activation.  The  RHI's  for
    these isotopes are listed in Table B.2


7. 02x1 O3

HALF-LIFET' (1980)
7. 89x1 O"11
a) Significant isotopes were identified and quantities estimated from data
   given in Ref. 5.

b) Ref. 6.

                                     TABLE B.5
                Comparison of the 1980 United States LLW Inventory
                     with the IAEA Criteria Shown in Table B.I

  If the U.S. used ocean disposal at the rate of 1980 generation of
  wastes, the IAEA guidelines would not be exceeded.  The U.S. 1980 data
  are the summation of the Column 3 entries in Tables B.2, B.3 and B.4.
   Release Rate
  Limit (Ci/yr)
IAEA Sinale-Site
                                                     1980 U.S.
                                                   LLW Inventory .
                                                     fCi/vrl    aj
Alpha.emitters, but limited       10"
to 10  Ci/yr for Ra-226 and
supported Po-210
                                                    5.2 x
Beta/gamma emitters with half-    10'
lives of at least 0.5 years
(excluding tritium)

Tritium and beta/gamma emitters    10
with half-lives less than 0.5
                                                    3.6 x 10-
                        3.1 x 10
                                                                       3.1 x 10
a) Allowance for defense LLW would double the numbers in this column.
b) The entry includes 2.4 x 10  Ci/yr of H-3 listed'in Tables B.2,
   B.3 and B.4, plus an additional 7 x 10  Ci/yr of beta/gamma emitters
   with half-lives less than 0.5 years which have been omitted from the tables.
    Toxicity of Radionuclides.

         The radioactivity of a sample, measured in units of curies, is noti

    an accurate reflection of its toxicity.   (Of course, for a given isotope,
    2 curies is twice as toxic as 1 curie.)  The toxicity of a radionuclide
    depends also on the type and energy of the radiation it emits -(alpha
    particles, beta particles, gamma rays, x-rays) and. on the biochemical

    behavior of the chemical compounds of the isotope.  The latter determines
    the routes by which an isotope can enter a living organism, which organs

    will be affected, and the average residence; time in each of the organs.-1

     The toxicity of individual isotopes has been the continuing subject
of investigation over the past 54 years by the International Commission
on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the National Committee on Radiation
Protection (ICRP), and various other national and international bodies.
The recommendations of these organizations have been adopted with a
slight modification by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).  The
maximum permissible concentration (MFC) for each isotope in air and water
is listed in 10 CFR 20, Appendix B  [8].  The inverse of the MPC values
can be regarded as a measure of the toxicity of each isotope.
The Relative Hazard Index.

     In order to express the toxicity in a form which can be more easily
visualized, the data in Appendix B of 10 CFR 20 can be inverted to give
ml/yCi and then converted to liters/yCi.  This gives the quantity of
water  (in liters) required to dilute 1 yCi of a given isotope to accept-
able levels for human consumption.*  This quantity will be referred to
as the "relative hazard index", where RHI = 1/MPC x 10  .  The values,
listed in Column 4 of Tables B.2 and B.3, were calculated from the data
 [8] using the entries for the soluble form of the isotopes for unre-
stricted areas, since these entries reflect the most conservative
scenario for ocean disposal.

     In a waste package, each original curie (Ci) of a given isotope
will decay according to the characteristic half-life of the isotope.
Thus,  the RHI of an initial 1 yCi will decrease with time.  Columns 5-7
of Tables B.2 and B.3 list the decreasing values of RHI arbitrarily
selected for 10, 150 and 600 years of decay.
     The  relative toxicity, T., of  isotope i  in the LUW inventory at  any
 future  time  can be obtained from the equation:
 *It is  recognized that seawater  is not actually  an ingestion pathway,
 but the MPC  is used only to provide an approximation of  the relative
 hazard of various radionuclides.

              i (future year) = RHI (future year) x (yCi)i,
where  (uCi) . is the original inventory of isotope i.
Quantities of Radionuclides jn TJiW-

     The relative abundance of radioactive isotopes appearing in particu-
lar LLW waste streams depends on the source of the waste and its age.
Most waste consists of the fission products of U-236  (U-235 + neutron)
and Pu-240 (Pu-239 + neutron).  In the fission event, the parent isotope
can split in many ways, yielding a very large combination of stable and/
or radioactive products.  The most probable events yield two fission
products, usually one light and one heavy isotope.

     The absolute fission yields as a function of mass number are shown
in Figure B.I for U-235 plus a neutron.  The two prominent peaks corre-
spond to the light and heavy products.  The yields of the isotopes be-
tween and on each side of the peaks are extremely small (note that the
vertical axis of the figure is a logarithmic scale).  The corresponding
curve for Pu-239 plus a neutron is similar, except the low peak is
shifted to the right by about 4 mass numbers.

     From the data in Figure B.I it can be seen that LLW which has a fis-
sion product origin will be composed mostly of isotopes in the mass range
from 85 to 110 and from 125 to 155.  Column 3 of Table B.2 lists the
quantities of each isotope which are estimated to appear in the LLW at
commercial nuclear power plants in the year 1980.  The relatively large
quantities of Sr-90 and Cs-137 are accounted for by the fission yield
curve.  Most of the inventory of fission products remains trapped in the
spent fuel and does not enter the LLW streams.   (If recycling of spent
fuel is resumed, the LLW streams from reprocessing plants will substan-
tially increase the quantities of fission products for LLW disposal, even
though most of the inventory will go into high-level waste streams.)

     The yield of radioactive isotopes produced by neutron activation de-
pends on the materials present in the reactor core and its immediate sur-
roundings.  Such materials include the coolant, fuel assembly hardware,
control materials and the reactor structural materials.  Column 3 of
Table B.2 includes the estimated inventory of activation products (H-3
through Co-60) produced from commercial power plants in the year 1980.

     Industrial and institutional LLW originates from many sources, in-
cluding reactors and charged particle accelerators, and thus does not
show typical fission product distribution.  Quantities of industrial and
institutional LEW have been estimated for the year 1980 and are listed in
Column 3 of Table B.3.

     Table B.4 lists estimated quantities of special industrial wastes
resulting from isotope production, accelerator targets, and sources for

     The inventories shown in Tables B.2-B.4 omit several important
sources of waste, e.g., DOE production and research reactors and the
nuclear navy, since such information is not in the public domain.  How-
ever, as a rough estimate it can be assumed that the inventories will
have a distribution similar to that shown in Table B.2, and that the
listed inventories would about double.
Identification of Most Important Isotopes.

     The data in Tables B.2, B.3 and B.4 make it possible to identify the
most important isotopes from the viewpoint of disposal.  These are the
isotopes which have long half-lives, large RHI, and which are produced in
large quantities.

     The isotopes fall into two major groups:  1) those with half-lives
of 30 years or less, and 2) those with half-lives greater than 30 years.
The rationale for this division is that practical engineered barriers can
be designed to immobilize the isotopes in Group 1 for the duration of

their significant toxicity.  For the isotopes in Group 2, factors other
than engineered barriers, i.e., natural barriers, must be relied upon
for long-term radiation protection.

Group 1;	Isotopes with Half-Lives of 30 Years or Less.

     Except in unusual circumstances, e.g., cases in which chemical sepa-
rations have been performed on wastes prior to disposal, a relatively few
isotopes will dominate the waste packages and will determine the perfor-
mance specifications envelope.  Packages which can immobilize these
problem isotopes can adequately retain the less important isotopes.

     Tables B.2, B.3 and B.4 show quite clearly that three isotopes are
of dominating importance to disposal considerations for typical waste
streams.  These are:  Sr-90, Cs-137 and Co-60.  A disposal package which
will adequately contain these three isotopes would also contain the other
short-lived  (< 30 years) isotopes listed in Table B.2.

     The design of the waste containers and/or the choice of solidifica-
tion agents must adequately immobilize those elements which, because of
their chemical properties, normally display high mobility, e.g., cesium.

     A reasonable design objective for the average life expectancy of an
engineered waste container might be in the range of 200 years, at which
time approximately 1% of the initial Cs-137 inventory  (half-life = 30
years) remains.  After 200 years, the package would slowly deteriorate,
releasing the remaining  (declining) Cs-137 inventory.

     Past experience indicates that a 200-year design objective is
feasible at reasonable costs.  Included in this experience are: 1) the
condition of archaeological materials salvaged from the oceans after pro-
longed periods of immersion; 2) the condition of concrete pilings and
piers, and 3) the condition of waste drums recovered from the ocean  [9].

Group 2;   Isotopes with Half-Lives Longer than 30 Years.

     It is prudent to assume that after several hundred years economi-
cally practical waste packages on the ocean floor will gradually deterio-
rate and the residual radioactivity will be discharged into the surround-
ing environment.  The consequences of the utimate releases must be exam-
ined in geochemical terms.  These include:

     •  concentrations of identical or similar radionuclides already
        present in ocean waters from natural sources;

     «  abundance of stable isotopes of the element relative to the
        inventory of radioisotope released;

     •  volume of water required to dilute inventory to MFC*, and

     •  chemical and geochemical behavior of the radionuclides in the
        disposal environment.

     In the following sections, groups of the long-lived isotopes are
discussed in the geochemical context.

Long-Lived Isotopes Which Decay by Alpha Emission.

     A.  Natural Decay Chains;    Three natural radioactive decay chains
occur in nature.  These originate, respectively, from Th-232 (designated
the  [4n] decay series), U-238  ([4n + 2] decay series), and U-235  ([4n +
3] decay series)**.  Each of the radioactive decay chains undergoes a
series of alpha and beta decays, finally terminating in a stable isotope
of lead or bismuth.
*As noted earlier, the maximum permissible concentration  (MPC) for
 drinking water does not apply to seawater, which is not directly in-
 gested by humans; however, the MPC provides a highly conservative
 basis for comparing the relative toxicity of the various radionuclides.
**A fourth natural decay series  [4n + 1], originating with Np-237,
  existed on earth for the first 50 million years of its history, but
  like the dinosaur is long since extinct.  However, unlike the dinosaur
  it has been revived by man, originating from Pu-241.

     If the parent isotope and all its daughters are isolated and re-
tained together for periods of time which are long compared with the
longest half-life in the chain, the parents and daughters approach the
condition of secular equilibrium.    In this situation, the decay rate of
each daughter product is equal to the decay rate of the parent.  For ex-
ample, 1 Ci of U-238 in secular equilibrium has an additional 17 Ci of
associated daughter products, of which a total of 8 Ci are alpha

     B.  Natural Alpha Decay in Ocean Waters;    The global oceans
                            9                                   7
contain approximately 5 x 10  tonnes (metric) of U-238, 3.6 x 10  tonnes
of U-235, and 7.8 x 107 tonnes of Th-232  [10].  Much larger quantities
of each are present in ocean sediments.  The daughter products of each of
these isotopes are also present, both in the water and in the sediments.
     In the water, secular equilibrium does not exist.  There are several
reasons for the departure from secular equilibrium:

     •  Daughter products formed in terrestrial rocks are in a more
        mobile chemical state than the parent, and hence leach from the
        rocks at accelerated rates.  For example, the successive decays,
        U-238 -*- Th-234 ->- Pa-234 ->• U-234 result in a higher leach rate for
        U-234 than for U-238.  Hence, ocean waters contain about 15% more
        U-234 than would be the case for secular equilibrium.

     •  The isotopes of thorium are subject to rapid sedimentation.  The
        residence time of thorium in seawater is about 200 years.  Thus,
        many of the daughter products are formed in the sediments rather
        than in the water.

     •  Ra-226, a daughter of U-238 (via Th-230), formed in the sedi-
        ments, has a long enough half-life and is sufficiently mobile to
        reemerge from the sediments into the water.

     o  Concentrations of Ra-226 are highest in the bottom water.  The
        average concentration is about 10% of that expected from secular

     The net result is that the concentration of alpha activity in ocean
water is somewhat less than would be the case if secular equilibrium ex-
isted.  For example, for U-238 and its daughter products the total alpha
activity is approximately 2.6 Ci per Ci of U-238, rather than 8.0 Ci for
the case of secular equilibrium.  The total alpha activity accompanying
           q                                             9
the  5 x 10  tonnes of uranium in ocean water is 4.4 x 10  Ci.  The total
natural alpha activity inventory including all daughter products of the
three natural decay chains is about 5.0 x 10  Ci.*

     As discussed earlier, the toxicity of the radionuclides should not
  be evaluated in terms of curies, but rather in terms of RHI x Ci.  It
  is possible to normalize the toxicity of each decay chain to the toxic-
  ity of the parent by calculating a weighted average:
                         (FBI xCi)i         (RBI x
               nom"       (Ci)i      /         (Ci) parent
      ''  '•                            /
where T     is the toxicity of the decay chain normalized to the toxicity
of the'parent.

     For'0-238 and' its daughters in ocean water f

                                       = 35°  •
     Thus, taking into account all of the alpha  emitting daughters,  the
chain, is 350 times more toxic than U-238 alone.  The large value of  T
                  -n      •..         -    .•                  =>             norm
is the consequence of the very large RHI's of the daughter products,
*In addition to the natural isotopes, fallout from weapons  testing,  re-
 entry of space vehicles carrying  "systems, for nuclear auxiliary power"
 (SNAP), outfall from nuclear fuel reprocessing plants, and releases from
 nuclear powered vessels, have contributed to the alpha decay  inventory
 of the oceans.  These man-made sources of radioactivity  in the oceans
 probably amount to an aggregate alpha activity in the range of
 1 to 20 x 10  Ci.

e.g., Ra-226, RHI = 33,333; Rn-222, RHI = 100,000; Po-210, RBI =
100,000.  r.
100,000.  The T     for the other two decay chains are similar in
     The total alpha decay toxicity in ocean water can be expressed in
 terms of U-238 curies equivalent, where
               Q=  [TnormxCi(U-238)]
                 =  [350 x 5.0 x 109]
                            1 2
                 = 1.75 x 10   U-238 curies-equivalent
Alpha-Decay  Isotopes in Ocean Water;   The isotopes appearing in the
lower half of Table B.2  (from U-235 to Am-243) decay by alpha emission,
with the exception of Pu-241 which decays 99.99% by beta emission.  The
Cm-243, 244  isotopes are omitted from this consideration because of their
short half-lives which could be contained in an assumed 200 year life
expectancy of the integrity of the waste container.

     The toxicity of the mixture of alpha emitting isotopes listed in
 Table B.2 can be normalized to U-238 in the same way that was done in
 the previous section.  The result is:

                                        = 5.64,
where T1     is the toxicity of the mixture of alpha isotopes relative to
        norm               *                     f        r-
U-238.  The calculation was made for waste that has aged in the dump site
for 200 years a't which time the integrity of the 'engineered barriers was
assumed to have failed.

     To place this in the context of ocean disposal, let us consider a
hypothetical case:


     1.  Low level waste from commercial nuclear power plants generated
         at the annual 1980 rate (Table B.2)  is dumped in an ocean site
         for a period of 100 years (in this example the alpha emitters of
         importance are:  Pu-238,  Pu-239 and 240).

     2.  The engineered barriers for each annual batch fail after 200
         years.  Residual contents are released over an unspecified

     3.  The isotopes released all remain in solution and are uniformly
         mixed in the ocean.

     The U-238 equivalent placed in the ocean would be:

             Q1 = years x Ci/year (1980) x T'  m (U-238)
                                             no Lin

                = 10° x 5.2 x 103 x 5.64

                = 2.9 x 10  U-238 curies-equivalent

     This value can be compared to Q, the U-238 curies equivalent of
natural alpha decay toxicity calculated previously:

                     Q'/Q = 2.9 x 106/1.75 x 1012

                         = 1.7 x 10"6.

     This represents the increase in the alpha toxicity of ocean water,
for a well-mixed ocean.  Studies on diffusion and mixing have led to a
principle which,  in general terms, states that except very close to the
source, concentrations in any given volume of water are seldom much
greater than the long-term concentrations for a well-mixed ocean  [3].
Thus, except in the immediate vicinity of the disposal site, the waste
referred to in the example above would lead to a fractional increase in
alpha decay toxicity of about 1.7 parts per million.

Lono-Lived Isotopes Which Decay by Beta Emission.

      The LLW inventory tables (Tables B.2,  B.3  and B.4)  list 8  long-lived
isotopes which decay by beta emission.  The total  1980  annual LLW inven-
tory of  these beta emitters is summarized in Table B.6.   The quantities
for  each of these isotopes are a small fraction of the  IAEA "Release  Rate
Limits for a Single Site" [11].   The release rate  limits were derived by
critical pathway considerations.   These isotopes are discussed  in a
different context,  taking into account their geochemical properties.

      The volume of water, V,  required to dilute these isotopes  to MFC can
be calculated as follows:

            V = (inventory in Ci)  x RHI (150 years)  x 103m .

The  values are summarized in Column 5 of Table  B.6.  As  can be  seen,  the
dilution volume for several of the isotopes is  not unreasonable,  being in
the  range of 10  to 10  cubic meters.   However,  there are two radio-
nuclides,  Ni-63 and 1-129, which would require  0.16 and  0.01 cubic kilo-
meters,  respectively,  for dilution to MFC.

      The case of each  of the  isotopes in Table  B.6  is discussed below,
assuming a hypothetical case  in which LLW waste is disposed  of  for 100
years at the 1980 rate of generation.

     C-14;     The annual 1980  inventory of C-14 would require 5.9  x 10  m
to dilute  to MFC.   This corresponds to a cube 180 meters  on  a side.  The
oceans contain approximately  1.5  x 10  Ci of C-14 from natural  sources.
The  annual production  of C-14 in  the atmosphere by cosmic radiation is
4.2  x 10  Ci/yr.  Weapons testing has added an  additional 6.7 x 10
Ci to the  atmosphere.   Most of  the natural  and weapons testing  C-14 will
eventually  be  deposited in the  ocean.   The  1980  annual LLW inventory of
46 curies  is negligible in comparison with  the natural inventory  already
in the oceans  and the  annual  additions  from natural sources  and weapons
testing fallout.

                                 TABLE B.6
              Total 1980 LLW Inventory of Long-Lived Isotopes
                       Which Decay by Beta-Emission
 The dilution volume is the volume of water (cubic meters) required
 to dilute the annual (1980) inventory of each isotope to MFC after 150
 years of decay.
Inventory .


.0 x
.5 x
.03 x
.14 x
.56 x
.95 x

                             7 x 10
                           1.4 x 10
IAEA Release
Rate Limits,.
  fCi/year.1 ;

 6.1 x 106
 3.7 x 109
 3.7 x 106
 6.2 x 106
                                5.9 x 10
                                6.8 x 10-
                                2.0 x 10'
                                                 5.9 x 10C
                                  8.8 x 10
                                  1.3 x 10E
                                  1.6 x 10
                                  6.8 x 104
                                  8.6 x 10~
                                  9.9 x 10€
                                  2.6 x HP
a)  Summation of Tables B.2, B.3 and B.4.
b)  Ref.  [11].
c)  "Dilution Volume" is the volume of water in cubic meters required to
    dilute the 1980 LLW isotope inventory to MFC after 150 years of
d)  N.L. = Not listed in IAEA Release Rate Limits
    Cl-36;    The annual inventory of Cl-36 in LLW would constitute a neg-
ligible addition to the ocean inventory of beta activity, particularly in
view of the high concentration of stable chlorine in the form of sodium
chloride salt.

    Ni-59r Ni-63 and Nb-94;    Seawater contains approximately 2 x 10
    3                                     —53
gm/m  of stable nickel isotopes and 1 x 10   gm/m  of stable niobium
isotopes [10],  The 1980 inventory of Ni-59 (125 Ci) and Ni-63  (1.4 x 104
Ci) correspond to 1548 and 2471 grams of Ni-59 and Ni-63 respectively.
After 150 years of decay these quantities become respectively 1545 and

874 grains.  To obtain a 50% dilution  (one to one ratio of radioactive to
stable nickel isotopes) requires a volume of seawater of 1.2 x 10  m
(10  km, or a cube 100 meters on a side).  Thus, a modest amount of sea-
water would dilute the radioactive annual inventories of Ni-59 and Ni-63
to levels comparable to the stable nickel already present.
     Calculations similar to the above for the 1980 annual inventory of
Nb-94 (2.73 Ci or 14.6 gms) give a dilution volume of 1.46 x 106 m3 to
reach 50% dilution  (one to one ratio of Nb-94 to stable niobium).
     These 50% dilution volumes indicate the assimilative capacity of the
well-mixed ocean for quantities of Ni-59 , Ni-63 and Nb-94 commonly found
in LDW streams.

     The primary sources of these isotopes in LLW is from decontamination
of primary coolant piping in light water reactors and from scrap reactor
internals hardware.  It would be practical to segregate these waste
streams for land disposal.  As more reactors are decommissioned, the
quantities of scrap metals containing these activation products will
increase.  Ocean disposal of very large quantities of such scrap materi-
als will require special studies to assess the long-term implications.

    Tc-99;    The annual inventory of Tc-99 is small.  This isotope ap-
pears to present no significant problem in the quantities involved.

    1-129;    Because of its long half-life, the specific activity of
1-129 is low, 1.78 x 10   Ci/gram.  It decays by means of a low energy
beta particle  (0.150 MeV) accompanied by a soft gamma ray (0.040 MeV).
The low specific activity and the low energy radiations make detection
and quantitative assay difficult.  The oceans contain about 15 to 20
curies of 1-129 from natural sources, mostly from spontaneous fission of
U-238.  It is also produced from spontaneous fission of Th-232 and U-234,
reactions induced in Te-128 and Te-130 by free neutrons, and cosmic ray
interactions with atmospheric xenon.

     Iodine is a biologically active element which concentrates in the
human thyroid.  This behavior has caused the regulatory authorities to
place very restrictive limits on the release of radioisotopes of iodine


to the environment.  For example, the EPA Radiation Protection
for Nuclear Power Operations places a limit on 1-129 entering the
general environment from all uranium cycle activities of 5 millicuries
per gigawatt-year of electric energy production [12],  The 1980 U.S.
commercial nuclear power plant production was 28.34 gigawatt-years  (net)
of electric energy.  Thus, the EPA standards would limit 1-129 releases
to 0.142 Ci for all operations associated with the 1980 fuel cycle.  The
1980 LLW inventory of 1-129 was 0.58 Ci, about 4 times the EPA limit.

     The EPA limit was designed to restrict airborne releases where the
pathways to man are more direct, particularly via the route from forage
crop to milk.  It can be argued that a less restrictive standard is
appropriate for ocean releases.  Critical pathway considerations of the
IAEA yield a release rate limit of 6.8 x 10  Ci/yr [11].  The reason for
the large divergence between the EPA "airborne" standard and the IAEA
limit is that the ocean water contains a substantial amount of iodine, 60
mg/m , in the form of the stable isotope 1-127.

     In the uptake of iodine in the marine food chains, there is on the
average no discrimination between the stable isotope 1-127 and the radio-
active isotope 1-129.  For public health purposes, the critical factor is
the ratio I-129/I-127 which must be less than 1/50 to avoid exceeding
maximum dose limits to the thyroid [13].  Of course, regulatory authori-
ties may be expected to set standards which are much more restrictive.

     The waters of the North Atlantic contain approximately 6 x 10
grams of stable 1-127.  A ratio of I-129/I-127 = 1/50 would be equivalent
to 1.2 x 10   grains of 1-129, which is equal to 2.1 x 10   Ci.  This
quantity corresponds to all of the 1-129 fission product inventory from
the fissioning of 5.27 x 105 tonnes of U-235, or about 4.2 x 105 GWyr
of electric energy.  In 1980, the total U.S. electric energy production
was only 28.34 GWyr from nuclear power plants.  If we assume that world
production of nuclear energy eventually reaches a constant level of 500
GWyr/year, 840 years would be required to produce 1.2 x 10   grains of

1-129.  Most of this would become a part of the waste inventory for high-
level waste disposal and would not be considered for disposal in the

     From these considerations, it can be concluded that 1-129 releases
in ocean water are not a serious threat to man under any plausible sce-

     Cs-135;    The 1980 annual inventory of Cs-135 is extremely small
(0.26 Ci) and is negligible in comparison to the IAEA release rate limits
(2.0 x 10 Ci/year).  The dilution volume for 0.26 Ci required to reach
MFC is only 2.6 x 103 m3 (see Table B.6).  Thus, the quantities of Cs-135
in 1980 LEW inventory appears to be of no significance.

     The isotopic content and quantities of radioactivity in low-level
waste at current annual generation rates in the United States could be
accommodated by ocean disposal without exceeding the limits recommended
by the IAEA. Engineered barriers combined with natural barriers would
enhance the margin of safety by retaining most of the shorter lived
isotopes for the duration of their toxicity.  The desirable time span of
200 years for the integrity of the outer container barriers is dictated
primarily by the critical isotopes, Sr-90 and Cs-137, because of their
high fission yields and their half-lives of approximately 30 years.
Based on plausible disposal scenarios, the longer lived isotopes that
remain after the engineered barriers have failed would not constitute a
significant increase in the radiological toxicity of the ocean waters
relative to the natural radioactivity already present in the ocean

                          APPENDIX B.   REFERENCES

 1.   International Atomic Energy Agency,  "Convention on the Prevention of
     Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, - The Defini-
     tion Required by Annex I, paragraph 6 to the Convention, and the
     Recommendations Required by Annex II, Section D," INFCIRC/205/Add.l/
     Rev.l, IAEA,  Vienna, Austria, August 1978.

 2.   International Atomic Energy Agency,  Radioactive Waste Disposal into
     the Sea.  IAEA Safety Series No. 5, Vienna 1961.

 3.   International Atomic Energy Agency,  The Oceanographic Basis of the
     IAEA Revised Definition and Recommendations Concerning High-Level
     Radioactive Waste Unsuitable for Dumping at Sea. Technical document,
     IAEA-210, Vienna, 1978.

 4.   International Atomic Energy Agency,  The Radiological Basis of the
     IAEA Revised Definition and Recommendations Concerning High-Level
     Radioactive Waste Unsuitable for Dumping at Sea. Technical document,
     IAEA-211, Vienna, 1978.

 5.   Wild, R.E., O.I. Oztunali, J.J. Clancy, C.J. Pitt and E.D. Picazo,
     Data Base for Radioactive Waste Management. Waste Source Options
     Reportf Dames and Moore, Inc., NUREG/CR-1759, Volume 2, November,

 6.   Lederer,  C.M. and V.S. Shirley, editors, Table of Isotopes. 7th
     Edition,  John Wiley and Sons, Inc.,  New York, 1978.

 7.   Beck, T.J., L.R. Cooley and M.R.  McCampbell, Institutional Radio-
     active Wastes-1977, NUREG/CR-1137, University of Maryland,
     Baltimore, Maryland, 1979.

 8.   Title 10, Code Federal Regulation, Part 20 (10 CFR 20), Appendix B,
     Table II, Col. 2.

 9.   Colombo,  P.,  R.M. Neilson, Jr., and M.W. Kendig, Analysis and Evalu-
     ation of a Radioactive Waste Package Retrieved from the Atlantic 2800
     Meter Disposal site. BNL-51102, U.S. EPA Report No. 520/1-82-009,
     Washington, D.C., May 1982.

10.   Fairbridge, R.W. (editor), The Encyclopedia of Oceanography,
     Reinhold Publishing Corporation,  New York, 1966, p. 518.

11.   Nuclear Energy Agency, Review of the Continued Suitability of the
     Dumping Site for Radioactive Waste in the North-East Atlanticf
     NEA/OECD, Paris, France, April 1980.

12.   Environmental Protection Agency Radiation Protection Standards for
     Nuclear Power Operations, 40CFR190, 42FR2858, January 13, 1977.

13.   Soldat, J.K., Environmental Behavior and Radiation Doses from lodine-
     125.^ Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland, WA, BNWL-SA-
     4879, June 1974.

     A review of domestic and international regulations concerning the
ocean disposal of low-level radioactive wastes is presented.  These
regulations potentially impact the development of waste package perfor-
mance criteria, and therefore, must be considered.
United States.

     Environmental Protection Agency  (EPA).

          The Enviromental Protection Agency was created under Reorgani-
zation Plan Number 3 of 1970 to consolidate in one agency various Federal
pollution abatement acitivities which had been performed under separate
organizations.  EPA regulations are published as Title 40 of the Code of
Federal Regulations.  The EPA has the authority to control the ocean
disposal of all wastes, including radioactive wastes as specified in the
Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972.

     The Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (Public
Law 92-532) promotes a national policy to regulate the dumping into ocean
waters of all materials which would adversely affect human health and
welfare or the marine environment, ecological systems or economic poten-
tial.  The Act prohibits the dumping or transportation for the purpose of
dumping any radiological, chemical or biological warfare agent or any
high-level radioactive waste into the territorial'ocean waters of the
United States  (defined as 12 nautical miles from U.S.' territory) <-< It
also describes conditions whereby permits may be issued by EPA for ocean
disposal of materials not otherwise prohibited.  This Act was amended in
1974 (Public Law 93-254) to implement the provisions of the Convention on
the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter
(London Dumping Convention), and for other purposes.

     In January 1917, EPA published regulations concerning the transpor-
tation and dumping of wastes in the ocean (40 CFR Parts 220-229).  These
regulations contain general requirements for all wastes.  They also estab-
lish a policy of isolation and containment for radioactive waste through
two specific criteria:

     (1)  Radioactive materials must be contained to prevent their direct
          dispersion or dilution in ocean waters.

     (2)  The materials to be disposed of must decay, decompose or
          radiodecay to environmentally innocuous materials within the
          life expectancy of the containers and/or their inert

     In December, 1982, the Ocean Dumping Act was further amended by
PL 97-424 to provide for a Radioactive Material Impact Assessment which
includes a specific consideration of structural aspects of each radio-
active waste container when evaluating any permit for disposal.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRG).

     The development of commercial nuclear activities has been subject to
regulation since 1954.  At that time, the Atomic Energy Act of 1954
created the authority to regulate the development of a civilian nuclear
power program.  The regulatory functions were performed by the Atomic
Energy Commission and are currently the responsibility of the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission, which was created by the Energy Reorganization Act
of 1974.  The basic authorities derived from the Atomic Energy Act in-
clude the licensing and regulation of production, use, ownership and
distribution of special nuclear materials, source material and by-product
materials, as well as licensing and control over the manufacture, prod-
uction, possession, use, importation or exportation of production and
utilization facilities.

     Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations are issued under Title 10
of the Code of Federal Regulations.  Radioactive waste disposal regula-
tions are primarily found in 10 CFR Part 20 - Standards for Protection

Against Radiation.  In particular, it requires NRC authorization for
ocean disposal of wastes from NRC licensed facilities.  Ocean disposal
also requires a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency under the
Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 for all non-
prohibited radioactive wastes, and for all potential disposers.

Department of Transportation (DOT).

     The Department of Transportation was established by Congress  (PL 89-
670) in 1967 to administer and coordinate Federal government transporta-
tion programs.  The Department of Transportation is authorized to  regu-
late the transportation of explosives and other dangerous articles,
including radioactive materials, in interstate and foreign commerce.
Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding between the DOT and the
NRC, the Department of Transportation has primary responsibility for
regulations concerning the transportation of NRC-licensed materials,
except for shipments of intermediate and large quantities of radioactive
materials and shipments of fissile materials, which are primarily  under
NRC's jurisdiction.  The DOT's primary responsibility is to develop
safety standards for the classification and labeling of all packages of
radioactive material and regulation of carriers and freight forwarding
operations.  The Department of Transportation regulations governing
transportation of radioactive materials are largely found in Title 4S,
Parts 170-179 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

     The Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic
     Cooperation and Development  (NEA/OECD).

          The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency  (NBA) was established in 1972,
replacing OECD's European Nuclear Energy Agency  (ENEA).  NBA now in-
cludes all the European Member Countries of OECD as well as Australia,
Canada, Japan and the United States  (23 countries as of April 1980).

          NEA's responsibilities lie with the Member Countries of OECD
andf recently, fall under a Decision of the OECD Council establishing a
Multilateral Consultation and Surveillance Mechanism for Sea Dumping of
Radioactive Waste (the OECD Decision) [1].  This mechanism is designed to
further the objectives of the London Dumping Convention and it provides
for the establishment and review of standards, guidelines and procedures
for the safe disposal of radioactive wastes, taking into account the
provisions of the London Dumping Convention of 1972 and the IAEA Defini-
tion and Recommendations of 1978.

          In October 1978, the NBA guidelines were revised to con-
form to the requirements of the London Dumping Convention and the IAEA
Recommendations.  This revision was published in April 1979 [2].
The London Dumping Convention.

     The Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of
Wastes and Other Matter, commonly referred to as the London Dumping
Convention, was adopted by an intergovernmental conference in London in
November 1972.  The London Dumping Convention is an international conven-
tion to control marine pollution from the dumping of waste, including the
dumping of radioactive material, in international waters.  It applies
only to those countries, including the United States, who have ratified
or acceded to the Convention  (47 countries as of October 1980).  The
International Maritime Consultative Organization  (IMCO) was designated as
the formal secretariat for the Convention during a meeting of the parties
in December 1975.
International Atomic Energy Agency  (IAEA).

     The London Dumping Convention  provides for  the  IAEA (as  the compe-
tent international body) to define  "high-level radioactive wastes or
other  high-level  radioactive matter as unsuitable for  dumping at sea"
 [3].   The  IAEA also is entrusted with the responsibility of establishing
recommendations that the Contracting Parties  to  the  Convention should

consider in issuing permits for the dumping at sea of radioactive wastes
or other radioactive material not otherwise prohibited by the IAEA Defi-
nition.  Consequently, IAEA responsibilities for recommendations and
guidance on the dumping of radioactive waste at sea comes from the London
Dumping Convention with the recommendations and guidance being taken into
account by the Contracting Parties to the Convention.  Such recommenda-
tions and guidance were issued by IAEA in 1978 [4].

                         APPENDIX C.  REFERENCES
1.  "Decision of the OECD Council of 22 July 1977 Estalishing a Multi-
    lateral Consultation and Surveillance Mechanism for Sea Dumping of
    Radioactive Waste," NEA Sixth Activity Report 1977, OECD Nuclear
    Energy AgencyP Paris, France (1978).

2.  Guidelines for Sea Dumping of Radioactive Waste, Revised Version,
    Nuclear Energy Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development,
    Paris, France (April 1979).

3.  "Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of
    Wastes and Other Matter," drawn up at the Intergovernmental Confer-
    ence on the Dumping of Wastes at Sea, held in London, October 30-
    November 10, 1972.

4.  International Atomic Energy Agency, "Convention on the Prevention of
    Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, - The Defini-
    tion Required by Annex I, paragraphy 6 to the Convention, and the
    Recommendations Required by Annex II, Section D," INFCIRC/205/Add.l/
    Rev.  1, IAEA, Vienna, Austria, August 1978.

                                   TECHNICAL REPORT DATA
                            (Please read Instructions on the reverse before completing)
  EPA 520/1-82-007
                              3. RECIPIENT'S ACCESSION NO.
  Development of a Working  Set of Waste Package
  Performance Criteria  for  Deepsea Disposal of Low-level
  Radioactive Waste
                              5. REPORT DATE
                                  November, 1982
                              6. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION CODE
                                                           8. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION REPORT NO.
   P.  Colombo, M. Fuhrmann,  R.M.Neilson, Jr., and V.L.  Sa
BNL 51525
   Nuclear Waste Research  Group
   Department of Nuclear Energy
   Brookhaven National Laboratory
   Upton,  New York 11973
                                                            10. PROGRAM ELEMENT NO.
                              11. CONTRACT/GRANT NO.
                              Interagency Agreement No.
  Office of Radiation Programs
  U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency
  401 M Street, S.W.
  Washington, D.C.  20460   	
                              13. TYPE OF REPORT AND PERIOD COVERED
                              14. SPONSORING AGENCY CODE

      The United States  ocean dumping regulations developed pursuant to PL92-532,  the
 Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, as amended, provide for a
 general policy of  isolation and containment of  low-level radioactive waste  after
 disposal into the  ocean.

      In order to determine whether any particular waste packaging system  is adequate
 to meet this general  requirement, it is necessary to establish a set of performance
 criteria against which  to evaluate a particular packaging system.  These  performance
 criteria must present requirements for the behavior of the waste in combination with
 its immobilization agent  and outer container in 3 deepsea environment.

      This report presents a working set of waste package performance criteria, and
 includes a glossary of  terms, characteristics  of low-level radioactive waste,
 radioisotopes of importance in low-level radioactive waste, and a summary of domestic
 and international  regulations which control the ocean disposal of these wastes.
                                KEY WORDS AND DOCUMENT ANALYSIS
                                              b.IDENTIFIERS/OPEN ENDED TERMS
                                            c. COS AT I Field/Group
 Radioactive Waste  Packaging
 Low-Level Radioactive  Waste
 Ocean Dumping/Sea  Disposal
 Radioactive Waste  Disposal/Nuclear
 Waste Disposal

 Unlimited Release
                 19. SECURITY CLASS (ThisReport)
      21. NO. OF PAGES
                 20. SECURITY CLASS (Thispage)
                                            22. PRICE
EPA Form 2220-1 (Rev. 4-77)   PREVIOUS EDITION is OBSOLETE
   t U. S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE :  1983—381-545/3806