Past Event

Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management and Disposition: A Workshop

October 24, 2016 - October 25, 2016

Location: Keck Center of the National Academies
500 Fifth St. NW Washington DC 20001

The Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM) is responsible for the cleanup of the sites used by the federal government for nuclear weapons development and nuclear energy research. DOE-EM cleanup involves retrieval, treatment, storage, transportation, and disposition of hundreds of different radioactive and hazardous solid and liquid wastes. Low-level radioactive waste--defined by exclusion: waste that does not meet the statutory definitions for spent nuclear fuel, high-level radioactive waste, or transuranic waste--is physically and chemically diverse, ranging from lightly contaminated soils and building materials to highly irradiated nuclear reactor components. It is the most volumetrically significant waste stream (millions of cubic meters) being generated by the cleanup program.

This workshop considered similarities between successful case studies, in which unique disposition pathways have been developed to address low-level radioactive wastes, and explored ways to extend these similar characteristics to problematic waste -- low-level wastes currently without a clear disposition pathway. Specifically, the workshop explored:

-- the key physical, chemical, and radiological characteristics of low-level radioactive waste that govern its safe and secure management (i.e., packaging, transport, storage) and disposition, in aggregate and for individual waste-streams, and

-- how key characteristics of low-level waste are incorporated into standards, orders, and regulations that govern the management and disposition of low-level radioactive waste in the United States and in other major waste-producing countries.

Discussion paper

Sponsored by the Department of Energy

Panel Members

John S. Applegate (Chair), Indiana University
Larry W. Camper, Advoco Professional Services, LLC and USNRC-retired
Rebecca A. Robbins, International Atomic Energy Agency
Nina D. Rosenberg, Los Alamos National Laboratory


Jennifer Heimberg, Study Director
Darlene Gros, Senior Program Assistant
Toni Greenleaf, Administrative/Financial Associate

Workshop Summaries Resulting from this Event

Low-level Radioactive Waste Management and Disposition: Proceedings of a Workshop (2017)

The Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management (DOE) is responsible for the safe cleanup of sites used for nuclear weapons development and government-sponsored nuclear energy research. Low-level radioactive waste is the most volumetrically significant waste stream generated by the DOE cleanup program, and it is also generated through commercial activities such as nuclear power plant operations and medical treatments. In the Unite... More >>


Session 1: The Scope of the LLW Challenge


LLW Challenges – The Canadian Context

Miklos (Mike) Garamszeghy
Design Authority and Manager, Technology Assessment and Planning Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), Canada


Overview of Commercial Power Plant Wastes

Lisa Edwards
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)


Low Level Radioactive Waste (LLW)

Daniel B. Shrum
Senior Vice President Regulatory Affairs, EnergySolutions


Low-Level Radioactive Waste Regulatory Process

Larry Camper, organizing committee member
Nuclear Safety Consultant, Talisman International LLC; USNRC, retired


LLW Management and the IAEA Regulations, Standards, Orders and Guidance

Andrew Orrell
Section Head for Waste and Environmental Safety, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)


Thomas Magette [oral comments only—no slides]
Managing Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services, LLC


Mark A.Yeager [oral comments— no slides]
Environmental Health Manager, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control


Session 2: Lessons Learned in Establishing LLW Disposition Pathways


Solidification and Disposal of SPRU Radioactive Sludge Waste

Melanie Pearson-Hurley
DOE-EM Headquarters Site Liaison for the SPRU project


LLRW Waste Streams Reviewed for Disposal at NNSS – Key Characteristics, Variation, and Management

Greg Lovato
Deputy Administrator, Nevada Division of Environmental Protection


LLW Case Studies – Canada

Mike Garamszeghy, NWMO


Low-level radioactive waste management: The French case

Gérald Ouzounian
Director, International Division, ANDRA-Agence nationale pour la gestion des déchets radioactifs


Session 3: Applying Common Themes to Problem Cases


Greater Than Class C LLW (GTCC) and Commercial Transuranics >100 nCi/g (TRU)

Lawrence R. Jacobi, Jr.
Principal Consultant, Jacobi Consulting


Sealed sources

Temeka Taplin [oral comments only—no slides]


Clearance or exempt waste & Low activity waste (e.g., lowest 10% Class A waste)

Lisa Edwards [see Session 1 presentation]
Senior Program Manager, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)


Incident waste

Will Nichols [oral comments only—no slides]
Principal Engineer and Group Manager, INTERA


Depleted uranium (DU)

Scott Kirk (slides currently unavailable)
Director of Regulatory Affairs, BWXT


Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management and Disposition: A Workshop, Session 3—Common Themes from Day One 

(Summary of key points by the committee: John Applegate, Larry Camper, Nina Rosenberg, Rebecca Robbins)