Technology & Innovation 13(2) Abstracts

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Technology and Innovation, Vol. 13, pp. 99–105, 2011
1929-8241/10 $90.00 + .00
DOI: 10.3727/194982411X13085939956328
E-ISSN 1949-825X
Copyright © 2011 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved

Advanced Remediation Technologies for the Disposition of the Department of Energy’s Radioactive Tank Waste

Gary R. Peterson

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management, Washington, DC, USA

The US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Environmental Management (EM) is responsible for the cleanup of the nation’s nuclear weapons program wastes. In response to congressional direction in 2005, EM inaugurated the Advanced Remediation Technologies (ART) projects to access private sector expertise in order to develop technologies to disposition radioactive waste. This article discusses three ART projects: Cold Crucible Induction Melter (CCIM), Near Tank Treatment System (NTTS), and Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming (FBSR) system. The CCIM was tested at 1,250°C using a simulant representative of DOE tank waste. The test achieved waste loadings of 46 wt%, which is 35% higher than those achieved using a conventional joule heated melter. The NTTS separates the aluminum and cesium from Hanford waste, allowing the leachate to be disposed of as Low Activity Waste (LAW). The project has completed bench-scale testing and has started pilot-scale tests. The FBSR unit was tested using simulated Hanford LAW, completing over 100 h of continuous operation producing a mineralized monolithic product with excellent leach resistance. Results have been encouraging and all three ART technologies may play critical roles in the treatment of radioactive Hanford tank waste.

Key words: Cold Crucible Induction Melter (CCIM); Near Tank Treatment System (NTTS); Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming (FBSR); Boehmite separation

Address correspondence to Gary R. Peterson, P.E., U.S. Department of Energy, Attn: Gary R Peterson (EM-31), 1000 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20585-2040, USA. Tel: 301-903-1619; Fax: 301-903-3617; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Technology and Innovation, Vol. 13, pp. 107–117, 2011
1929-8241/10 $90.00 + .00
DOI: 10.3727/194982411X13085939956373
E-ISSN 1949-825X
Copyright © 2011 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved

Results of External Technical Reviews of Site Modeling Efforts That Support System Plans

Monica C. Regalbuto,* John R. Shultz,† Kevin G. Brown,‡ Candido Pereira,* David W. DePaoli,§ and Sahid C. Smith†

*Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, USA
†US Department of Energy, Office of Waste Processing, Washington, DC, USA
‡School of Engineering and CRESP III, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA
§Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, USA

An External Technical Review (ETR) team evaluated the system-level modeling and simulation tools in support of Savannah River Site and Office of River Protection liquid waste processing and disposal systems. The reviews focused on the following primary areas: software and modeling tools, capability to model needed facilities and operations, rate at which predictions are performed, and need for additional tools. The Liquid Waste Disposition Systems at these sites are highly integrated operations that involve safely storing liquid waste in underground storage tanks; removing, treating, and disposing low-activity fraction on-site; vitrifying high-level waste; and storing the vitrified waste until permanent disposition at a Federal Repository. The purpose of the ETR team was to evaluate the current process simulation tools that support the planning basis for life cycle liquid waste disposition system plans. These plans establish a base for processing the constituents of liquid waste systems to the end of the program mission. Observations and recommendations were made for each of the review areas. In general, tools appear to provide reasonable estimates for their intended purposes; however, additional functionality and new tools are needed, as well as greater flexibility and improved performance in producing estimates for planning purposes.

Key words: Modeling; Waste; Review; Quality assurance

Address correspondence to John R. Shultz, Ph.D., 19901 Germantown Road, Cloverleaf Complex; Mailstop EM-31, Germantown, MD 20874, USA. Tel: 301-903-2422; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .g


Technology and Innovation, Vol. 13, pp. 119–124, 2011
1929-8241/10 $90.00 + .00
DOI: 10.3727/194982411X13085939956427
E-ISSN 1949-825X
Copyright © 2011 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved

An Overview of the Cementitious Barriers Partnership

Daryl R. Haefner* and Sharon L. Marra†

*U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Waste Processing (EM-31), Office of Environmental Management, Washington, DC, USA
†Savannah River National Laboratory, Savannah River Site, Aiken, SC, USA

The Cementitious Barriers Partnership is a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional collaborative project sponsored by the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Waste Processing. Its purpose is to develop a set of simulation tools to estimate as well as improve understanding of time-dependent structural, hydraulic, and chemical performance of cement barriers used in nuclear applications. The foundation of the simulation is individual models, described herein, that will ultimately be integrated to form the working simulation. The simulation can be used to assess cementitious materials in waste management applications or operating facilities. A summary of the project’s documented accomplishments is given in this article.

Key words: Cement; Barrier; Evaluation; Performance

Address correspondence to Daryl R. Haefner, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Waste Processing (EM-31), Office of Environmental Management, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Cloverleaf Building, EM-31, Washington, DC 20585, USA. Tel: (301) 903-5737; Fax: (301) 903-4307; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Technology and Innovation, Vol. 13, pp. 125–136, 2011
1929-8241/10 $90.00 + .00
DOI: 10.3727/194982411X13085939956463
E-ISSN 1949-825X
Copyright © 2011 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved

Acquiring Process Knowledge to Support Deactivation and Decommissioning Activities

Joseph K. Santos,* Paula G. Kirk,† Andrew P. Szilagyi,† and Yvette T. Collazo†

*Savannah River National Laboratory, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, Aiken, SC, USA
†U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management, Washington, DC, USA

Process knowledge (PK) is considered a key resource by the US Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management for enabling Deactivation and Decommissioning (D&D) of facilities for disposition. PK consists of that body of technical information about each process in a facility that will allow that process to be deactivated, its equipment decontaminated of residual process material, and dispositioned in a manner to meet the safety, regulatory, economical, and other decommissioning end points. This work develops a framework of recommendations for PK for D&D project execution and for project review teams. The elements of PK were developed based on reviews of the literature, on lines of inquiry developed for Department of Energy organizations to evaluate various projects, surveys of other relevant organizations including the US Army Corps of Engineers, and other elements of the Department of Defense and the Electric Power Research Institute. On the basis of these reviews for D&D project execution, the critical areas identified are developing a knowledge management area, process design documents, and process history documentation. For facility transition teams a longer, detailed list of PK to be developed is presented.

Key words: Process knowledge (PK); Deactivation and decommissioning (D&D); Knowledge management; Knowledge elicitation; Historical site assessments

Address correspondence to Paula G. Kirk, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20585, USA. Tel: 202-281-5793; Fax: 202-586-1942; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Technology and Innovation, Vol. 13, pp. 137–150, 2011
1929-8241/10 $90.00 + .00
DOI: 10.3727/194982411X13085939956508
E-ISSN 1949-825X
Copyright © 2011 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved

Technology Assessment for Management of Aluminum-Based Spent Nuclear Fuel From Research and Test Reactors

Robert Sindelar,* Natraj Iyer,* Dennis Vinson,* William Swift,† Hitesh Nigam,‡ and Edgardo DeLeon‡

*Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, SC, USA
†Savannah River Site, Aiken, SC, USA
‡U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Materials Disposition, Germantown, MD, USA

The Department of Energy’s Environmental Management (DOE EM) Office of Nuclear Materials Disposition is responsible for the receipt and storage pending disposition of aluminum research reactor spent nuclear fuel that was used in research and test reactors worldwide and contains US origin and certain non-US origin enriched uranium. This fuel is currently in wet and dry storage facilities at the Savannah River Site and the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center. A critical review of the technical bases, technologies, and practices associated with safe transportation, receipt, and interim storage of aluminum spent fuel was performed. Spent Fuel Characterization data is used to identify the physical, chemical, and isotopic characteristics of fuel to be returned to the US. Fuel transport involves use of commercial shipping casks to provide containment of the fuel, some of which has breached cladding. Options for safe wet storage or dry storage fully address potential degradation of the aluminum fuel during the storage period. On the basis of this review, it can be concluded that technologies with scientific bases are in place to successfully transport fuel to storage sites, and manage aluminum spent nuclear fuel in interim storage. Midterm storage (up to several decades) is well founded for both wet and dry storage. Long-term storage (up to 100 years) is feasible for both wet and dry storage; however, the technical bases and management practices would need to be strengthened for implementation.

Key words: Spent nuclear fuel; Research reactor; Corrosion; Dry storage

Address correspondence to Robert Sindelar, Savannah River National Laboratory, Building 773-41A, Aiken, SC 29808, USA. Tel: 803-725-5298; Fax: 803-725-4553; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Technology and Innovation, Vol. 13, pp. 151–164, 2011
1929-8241/10 $90.00 + .00
DOI: 10.3727/194982411X13085939956544
E-ISSN 1949-825X
Copyright © 2011 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved

Evaluation of the Efficacy of Polyphosphate Remediation Technology: Direct and Indirect Remediation of Uranium Under Alkaline Conditions

Dawn M. Wellman,*† John S. Fruchter,† Vince R. Vermeul,† Emily Richards,‡ Danielle P. Jansik,† and Ellen Edge*

*Department of Energy, Office of Technology Innovation and Development, Germantown, MD, USA
†Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA
‡Champion Technologies, Inc., Odessa, TX, USA

Uranium in soluble form is of concern for chemical toxicity and for radiological exposure. Despite the cessation of uranium releases and the removal of shallow vadose zone source materials, groundwater beneath the 300 Area at the Hanford Site in Southeastern Washington State continues to contain uranium at concentrations that exceed US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maximum contaminant level (MCL). Polyphosphate remediation technology was optimized through a site-specific treatability test for enhanced monitored natural attenuation of the uranium plume within the 300 Area aquifer. The objective was to demonstrate the efficacy of polyphosphate to: 1) reduce the inventory of available uranium that contributes to the groundwater plume through direct precipitation of uranylphosphate (autunite) solids, and 2) provide secondary containment to influent uranium through the precipitation of apatite that can serve as a long-term sorbent for uranium. The field-scale demonstration test site contained 15 monitoring wells and an injection well near the process trenches that had previously received uranium-bearing effluents. The results indicated that direct formation of autunite appears to have been successful; however, the formation of apatite during the test was limited. On the basis of this study, we can conclude that two separate overarching issues impact the efficacy of apatite remediation for uranium sequestration within the 300 Area: 1) efficacy of apatite for sequestering uranium under the present geochemical and hydrodynamic conditions, and 2) formation and emplacement of apatite via polyphosphate technology.

Key words: In situ remediation; Uranium; Phosphate; Contaminant fate; Apatite

Address correspondence to Dawn M. Wellman, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, PO Box 999, Richland, WA 99352, USA. Tel: (509) 375-2017; Fax: (509) 374-7174; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Technology and Innovation, Vol. 13, pp. 165–174, 2011
1929-8241/10 $90.00 + .00
DOI: 10.3727/194982411X13085939956580
E-ISSN 1949-825X
Copyright © 2011 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved

Structured Prioritization Approach for Maximizing the Benefits of Programmatic Investments

Paula G. Kirk,* Yvette T. Collazo,* Andrew P. Szilagyi,* and Ian Seed†

*U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management, Washington, DC, USA
†Cogentus Consulting Limited, Reading, Berkshire, UK

Virtually all large organizations must prioritize their projects based on potential limitations, including available funds. These prioritization requirements are particularly valid for the US Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management in funding technologies that are to be used in the decommissioning of a large number of excess facilities built to support World War II and Cold War efforts. This article describes a structured process for prioritizing projects constrained by limited budgets used by the US Department of Energy’s Environmental Management Office of Deactivation and Decommissioning and Facility Engineering to deliver a ranking of available technology projects aligned with organizational objectives. The process was initiated with workshops involving all key stakeholders that determined the group’s technology needs, developed weighted criteria to rank needs, and scored the technology projects against those criteria. Using Multi-Attribute Utility Theory, a prioritized list of projects that maximizes benefits and is defendable and traceable, was selected based on various anticipated funding levels. The process is robust to changes in the project list and offers a framework for tracking process implementation. By engaging stakeholders throughout the process, communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing among the participants is increased.

Key words: Decision models; Multi-Attribute Utility Theory; Project prioritization; Project portfolios; Resource allocation

Address correspondence to Paula G. Kirk, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20585, USA. Tel: 202-281-5793; Fax: 202-586-1942; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Technology and Innovation, Vol. 13, pp. 175–199, 2011
1929-8241/10 $90.00 + .00
DOI: 10.3727/194982411X13085939956625
E-ISSN 1949-825X
Copyright © 2011 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved

Advanced Simulation Capability for Environmental Management (ASCEM): An Overview of Initial Results

Mark Williamson,* Juan Meza,† David Moulton,‡ Ian Gorton,§ Mark Freshley,§ Paul Dixon,‡ Roger Seitz,¶ Carl Steefel,† Stefan Finsterle,† Susan Hubbard,† Ming Zhu,* Kurt Gerdes,* Russ Patterson,# and Yvette T. Collazo*

*U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management, Washington, DC, USA
†Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA
‡Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, USA
§Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA
¶Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, SC, USA
#U.S. Department of Energy, Carlsbad, NM, USA

The US Department Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM) determined that uniform application of advanced modeling in the subsurface could potentially help reduce the cost and risk associated with its environmental cleanup mission. In response to this determination, the EM Office of Technology Innovation and Development (OTID), Groundwater and Soil Remediation (GW&S) began the program Advanced Simulation Capability for Environmental Management (ASCEM). ASCEM is a state-of-the-art scientific tool and approach for integrating data and scientific understanding to enable prediction of contaminant fate and transport in natural and engineered systems. This initiative supports the reduction of uncertainties and risks associated with EM’s environmental cleanup and closure programs by better understanding and quantifying the subsurface flow and contaminant transport behavior in complex geological systems. This includes the long-term performance of engineered components, including cementitious materials in nuclear waste disposal facilities that may be sources for future contamination of the subsurface. This article describes the ASCEM tools, approach, and reports and ASCEM programmatic accomplishments completed in 2010.

Key words: Environmental management; Simulation; Model; Groundwater; ASCEM

Address correspondence to Mark Williamson, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management, EM-32, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585, USA. Tel: 301-903-8427; Fax: 301-903-4307; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it