DOE’s Plutonium Disposition Infrastructure with a Focus on the Savannah River Site Tom Clements Adviser to the South Carolina Chapter of the Sierra Club Columbia, South Carolina Plutonium Disposition Alternatives Workshop Washington, DC January 30-31, 2014 Key plutonium disposition facilities Savannah River Site – Aiken, South Carolina • K-Area Materials Storage facility (KAMS) • K-Area Interim Surveillance facility (KIS) • H-Canyon reprocessing plant • HB-Line • Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) • MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF) • Waste Solidification Building (WSB) New Mexico • Advanced Recovery and Integrated Extraction System (ARIES) - Los Alamos National Lab, New Mexico • Pipe Overpack Containers (POCs) to Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) - Carlsbad, New Mexico DOE complex Savannah River Site Aiken, South Carolina SRS: 310-square miles/800-square km 10,000 employees; site manager always claims “SRS is not a closure site” C-Reactor – on path for in-situ decommissioning K-Area Materials Storage facility (KAMS) designated as DOE’s storage facility for non-pit plutonium, contains about 13 MT Storage containers in KAMS 9975 shipping and storage container 3013 can, placed inside a 9975 K-Reactor becomes KAMS; IAEA safeguards on about 2 MT – containers tagged and under video observation Pantex (Amarillo, Texas) – weapon assembly & dismantlement site, pit storage (limit 20,000) Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF) 600,000 square feet, 1500 employees December 13, 2013 MFFF includes a PUREX line to purify plutonium to MOX feedstock standards Waste Solidification Building – to process uranium and actinide waste from MFFF; quietly put on 5-year “lay-up” by NNSA in December 2013 Alternative options for MOX plant? Fissile material storage; Pit dissambly; Install furnaces for plutonium oxide production; Install gloveboxes for WIPP option; Fabrication of plutonium pucks – ceramic or glass – for disposal in HLW canisters; Fabrication of “off-spec” MOX pellets for disposal with spent fuel; Packaging of other waste materials at SRS; Small modular reactor fuel fabrication; Mothball for possible future use; Waste Solidification Building for TRU or other waste packaging. H-Canyon Reprocessing Facility - designated to process several MT of non-pit plutonium-239 for MOX feedstock – safety review delayed; first 40 kg plutonium now in solution in process tank; not under IAEA safeguards; 50 years old; 800 employees Los Alamos National Lab TA-55 – location of plutonium facilities, including the planned Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement facility (CMRR) “Plutonium pits are transformed into plutonium oxide powder by roasting them in a way similar to roasting green chili, shown here. (Photo: LANL) “ – “Meeting Nonproliferation Agreements Requires Destroying Thousands of Surplus Plutonium Pits,” National Security Science magazine, November 2012 Advanced Recovery and Integrated Extraction System (ARIES) - has produced several hundred kgs of plutonium oxide to meet MOX feedstock requirements, target in 2014 is 300 kg & 2 MT by 2018; produced in Plutonium Facility-4 (PF-4) at LANL and shipped to SRS in 3013 cans Processing of pits in ARIES; pit and nonpit plutonium in H-Canyon Pit processing needed in all cases. Continue to process all surplus plutonium to oxide? To MOX feedstock standards or for waste disposal? Use both ARIES and aging H-Canyon, in part to continue work for LANL and SRS? Use MOX plant for pit disassembly, conversion; Look again at dedicated pit disassembly facility? Store all plutonium until disposal decisions made and facilities available, halt use of facilities for oxide production? (H-Canyon may still reprocess spent HEU-bearing fuels.) Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) – has filled 3,758 containers – about half of total DWPF receives sludge from “tank farm” and cesium stripped from salt waste; “waste incidental to reprocessing” goes into vaults with grouted saltstone Plutonium loading in DWPF canisters SRS presentation of Sept. 9, 2008: .087 kg Pu-239/m³ allowed, to dispose of 5 MT Pu a loading of 3.6 kg/m³ needed, but ~20 kg/m³ is “critically safe” DWPF and plutonium immobilization Why was immobilization halted? How seriously has it been analyzed in the assessment? What is plutonium loading capacity of a canister? Basis for 897 gm limit now that Yucca Mountain halted? Savannah River National Lab: 18 kg/DWPF canister analysis? Where is criticality analysis of 20 kg/m³? At various loading amounts, how much plutonium can go into remaining canisters? Immobilization of ceramic or glass pucks? Is a radiation barrier needed? What about the “spent fuel standard”? Given Yucca Mtn. situation, new opportunities for repository WAC for DWPF canisters? Problems with processing large amounts of plutonium through HCanyon and to DWPF system? 222 “pipe overpack containers” shipped from SRS to Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) - ~33 kg plutonium; perhaps 600 POCs packaged and ready to ship HB-Line – furnace and glove box to process material form H-Canyon in oxide – into POCs to WIPP or 3013s for MOX feedstock HB-Line glovebox – where plutonium mixed with “stardust” for WIPP disposal ~$100,00/kg to package SRS plutonium into POCS for WIPP Defense Authorization Act of 2002 – amended twice (c) Contingent requirement for removal of plutonium and materials from Savannah River Site If the MOX production objective is not achieved as of January 1, 2014, the Secretary shall, consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 [42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.] and other applicable laws, remove from the State of South Carolina, for storage or disposal elsewhere(1) not later than January 1, 2016, not less than 1 metric ton of defense plutonium or defense plutonium materials; Packaging Plutonium at SRS for WIPP To meet Jan. 1, 2016 requirement to remove 1 MT from SC, WIPP is the only option; Install more gloveboxes and furnace in HB-Line; Install more gloveboxes and furnace in K-Area Interim Surveillance facility (KIS); Install glovebox in H-Canyon “truck well;” Install gloveboxes and furnances in MOX plant; Cost for all steps of oxidation, packaging?; Gloveboxes at other facilities at SRS? L-Reactor, C-Reactor; Packaging of “hybrid container” for WIPP? Conclusions Plutonium disposition necessary; Secure storage of plutonium at SRS, Pantex; Pit disassembly needed; Convert plutonium to oxide; Ship POCs at SRS to WIPP; Install gloveboxes for packaging of initial 1 MT for WIPP; Analyze “stardust;” R&D for rapid deployment of immobilization in DWPF; Mothball MOX plant, explore alternate use; Stakeholder input into assessment, way forward.