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AFS-IAD-062612

AFS-IAD-062612

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Published by: Washington Bureau on Jul 12, 2012
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01/30/2013

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InterimActionDeterminationUseofH-Canyon/HB-LinetoPrepareFeedfortheMixedOxideFuelFabricationFacilityattheSavannahRiverSiteTheDepartmentofEnergy,includingtheNationalNuclearSecurityAdministration(hereafterDOE)ispreparingtheSurplusPlutoniumDisposition(SPD)SupplementalEnvironmentalImpactStatement(SEIS)(DOE/EIS-0283-S2).IntheSEIS,DOEisevaluatingalternativesfordispositionofplutoniumthatissurplustothenationalsecurityneedsoftheUnitedStatesforwhichDOEhasnotmadeadispositiondecision.TheDepartmentcontinuestoevaluatealternativedispositionpathsforsurplusplutoniummaterialsandoptionsforpreparingplutoniumoxidefeedmaterialfortheMixedOxideFuelFabricationFacility(MFFF).DOEissuedaNoticeofIntentfortheSPDSEISonMarch28,2007(72FederalRegister[FR]14543),anAmendedNoticeofIntentfortheSPDSEISonJuly19,2010(75FR41850)and,onJanuary12,2012,asecondAmendedNoticeofIntent(77FR1920).DOEcurrentlyanticipatesissuingthedraftSPDSEISinthesummerof2012andthefinalSPDSEISearlyin2013.Intheinterim,theDepartmenthascontinuedtoexploreoptionsforpreparingplutoniumoxidefeedmaterialfortheMFFF,withrespecttocertainplutoniumthatDOEpreviouslydecidedtofabricateintomixedoxide(MOX)fuel.DOEneedstoassureasupplyofplutoniumoxidefeedmaterial,fromsurplusweapons-usableplutonium,fortheMFFF.ConstructionoftheMFFFisscheduledtobecompletedandoperationsareslatedtobeginin2016.IntheSPDSEISDOEisexaminingoptionsforconvertingsurplusplutonium,themajorityofwhichisinmetalform,toplutoniumoxide,theformrequiredfordispositionasMOXfuelorfor
disposttion
byimmobilization.In2003DOEdecided(68FR20134)topursueaprogramoffabricatingintoMOXfuelapproximately6.5metrictons(MT)ofsurplusweapons-gradeplutoniumoriginallydestinedforimmobilization.Thismaterial,referredtoasAlternateFeedStock(AFS),isnon-pitplutoniumcurrentlystoredattheSavannahRiverSite(SRS)nearAiken,SouthCarolina.AFSoriginatedatDOEsitesacrossthecomplex:SRS,RockyFlatsEnvironmentalTechnologySite,HanfordSite,LawrenceLivermoreNationalLaboratory,andLosAlamosNationalLaboratory.TheAFShasmoreimpuritiesandsomelargerparticlesizesthantheplutoniumDOEoriginallydesignatedasMFFFfeedmaterial(65FR1608).InadditionsomeAFSplutoniumisinametalformandmustbepreparedorprocessedtoanoxideformfordispositionthroughMFFF.In2003DOEplannedtoprocessAFSmetaltomeettheMFFFacceptancespecificationsusingthePitDisassemblyandConversionFacility(PDCF),whichDOEhaddecidedtoconstructattheSRS(65FR1608).Subsequentlyin2005(DOE2005),DOEalsoexaminedtheimpactsofinstallingandoperatingaDOE-STD-3013
1
stabilizationandpackaginggloveboxinI,,-AreaatSRStopreparesomeoftheAFSforlong-termsafestoragependingfinaldisposition,regardlessofthedispositionpath.
1
DOE-STD-3013"StabilizationandPackagingofPlutoniumMaterials"providesguidanceforstabilization,packaglng,andsafestorageofplutoniumbearingmetalsandoxides.containingatleast30weightpercentplutoniumanduranium,forupto50years.
1
 
DOEstillneedstoprepareaportionoftheAFSplutonium(approximately2.4metrictonsofthe6.5metrictonsdesignatedasMFFFfeed(68FR20134))tomeetthespecificationsforMOXfuel.However,constructionofthePDCFhasnotstartedandalternativeoptionsforconvertingplutoniummetaltooxideareunderconsiderationintheSPDSEIS.Also,theK-AreaDOE-STD-3013projectwascancelled.ThereforeDOEisproposingtousetheH-CanyonandHB-LinefacilitiesatSRS,withsomeminormodifications,toprepareAFSmetalasfeedfortheMFFF.DOEregulationsforimplementingtheNationalEnvironmentalPolicyAct(NEPA)atTitle10CodeofFederalRegulations(CFR)1021.104and1021.211,andtheCouncilonEnvironmentalQualityNEPAregulations,40CFR1506.1,describerequirementsforallowableinterimactionconcerningaproposalthatisthesubjectofanongoingproject-specificEIS.Noactionconcerningsuchaproposalmaybetakeniftheactionwould:(1)haveanadverseenvironmentalimpact,or(2)limitthechoiceofreasonablealternativesbeingevaluatedintheongoingEIS.PROPOSEDACTIONDuringfiscalyear2012,DOEwouldinitiateactivitiesinH-CanyonandHB-Linetosupportplutoniumoxideproduction.Followingcompletionofthesepreparations,DOEwouldinitiatedissolutionofAFSplutoniuminH-Canyoninthefourthquarteroffiscalyear2012andproductionofplutoniumoxideinHB-Lineinthefirstquarteroffiscalyear2013(OctoberthroughDecemberof2012).DuringthefirstyearofoperationDOEexpectsH-CanyonandHB-Linetoproduceapproximately250kilogramsofplutoniumoxidethatmeetstheMFFFspecificatlons.Inthesecondyearoffacilityoperation,plutoniumoxideproductionwouldincreasetoapproximately650kilograms.Inthethirdandeachsubsequentyear?ofoperationtheproductionratewouldreachapproximately1,000kilogramsperyear(i.e.,onemetricton(MT)peryear).Therefore,preparingthislimitedquantityofapproximately2.4MTofplutoniumisestimatedtotakeapproximately4years,ThepurposeandneedforthisactionistoensuresufficientearlyfeedstockwillbereadilyavailablewhentheMFFFbeginsoperations..ThisanalysisislimitedtocertainplutoniummaterialsthatDOEhasdecided,throughpreviousNEPAdecisions,touseasfeedstockforMFFF(68FR20134),i.e.,earlyfeedstockofapproximately2.4MTofnon-pitplutonium.TheanalysisanddecisionwhethertouseH-CanyonandHB-Lineforpitplutoniumandadditionalnon-pitplutoniumarenotinthescopeofthisanalysis.Inaddition,becauseH-Canyon/HB-UnewouldnotbecapableofcarryingouttheentiremissionofproducingplutoniumoxidefromplutoniumpitsandmetalfortheMFFForevenasignificantfractionofthe
rnission,
useofthesefacilitiesinthe
:1
OnthisscheduleDOEwouldcompletepreparationofthe2.4metrictonsofplutoniumoxidefromAFSplutoniumInfiscalyear
2016.
H-Canyon/HB-Lineisanalternativeforpreparingadditionalplutoniumfordlsposttion,includingpreparationoffeedfortheMFFF.DOEwilldecideonthealternativetoprepareanddispositionthisadditionalmaterialfollowingcompletionoftheongoingSPDSEIS.
2
 
nearterm,priortoselectionofanoptionforplutoniumconversion,doesnotlimitthechoiceofreasonablealternativesbeingevaluatedintheSPDSEIS3.FacilityModificationsandPreparationDOErecentlyoperatedH-CanyonandHB-Lineto(1)dissolvehighly-enricheduraniumandblendordilutewithnaturaluraniumtoprovidealow-enricheduraniumproductforuseinmanufacturingcommercialpowerreactorfuel,(2)processplutoniummaterialfromtheDOE-STD-3013surveillanceprogram(DOE2008a),and(3)preparesurplusplutoniumfordisposalattheWasteIsolationPilotPlantinNewMexico(DOE2011a,DOE2011b).Evenso,planningfortheproposedpreparationofAFSandsimilarmaterialwillrequireupgradeoftheDocumentedSafetyAnalysesforthesefacilitiestoauthorizesafeoperationofthenewprocess.Inaddition,DOEwoulddesign,fabricate,andinstallaspecializedglovebox,automatedweldingequipment,leaktestingequipment,weldevaluationtoolsandancillaryequipmentnecessarytoweldthestainlesssteelinnerDOE-STD-3013container.InstallationofthegloveboxwouldnotchangetheHB-Linefootprint.InstallationofthegloveboxandHB-Linepreparations,maintenance,andrestartactivitieswouldgenerateupto20cubicmetersoftransuranic(TRU)wasteandupto35cubicmetersoflow-levelradioactivewaste(LLW).NormalannualoperationsatHCanyonandHB-Linecouldgenerateupto112cubicmetersofTRUwasteand1,400cubicmetersofLLW.Therefore,theadditionalwastegeneratedwouldbeasmallpercentageofthenormalannualwastegenerationatH-CanyonandHB-Line.Alsoduringthisperiod,DOEestimatesthatapproximately60workerswouldreceiveacumulativewhole-bodyradiationdoseof3person-rem.DOEexpectsnochangesinliquidorairemissionsfromthefacilityduringactivitiesplannedfortheproposedprocessingoftheAFSmaterial.OperationTheAFSmaterialswouldbebroughtfromK-AreaintoHB-LinewherethematerialswouldberepackagedindissolvablecansthatwilldissolveinnitricacidintheH-Canyondissolvers.InH-Canyon,thematerialswouldbeloadedintochargingbundlesfordissolutionanddissolvedintheexistingHCanyondissolvers.TheresultantplutoniumsolutionfromH-Canyonwouldbetransferredthroughaseriesofpipingandtanks,internaltotheH-Canyonbuildingstructure,toHB-Lineforproductionofplutoniumoxide.HB-LineisconstructedontopofH-CanyonandisintegraltotheH-Canyonstructure.Theequipmentneededtopackageandweldthestainlesssteelinner3013containerswouldbeinstalledaspartofanew
glovebox
withinHB-Line.
3
IntheSPDSEIS,theuseofl-l-CanyonandHB-LinetopreparesteadystatefeedstockforMFFF,asanoptionforpitdisassemblyandconversion,andasanoptionfordispositionofnon-pitplutonium,islimitedto10MTofplutoniumduetothelimitedavailabilityoftheH-CanyonandHB-Linefacilityandthesupportingliquidwastesystemfacilities.
3

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