246-249-030  <<  246-249-040 >>   246-249-050

WAC 246-249-040

Classification of radioactive waste for near-surface disposal.

(1) Considerations. Determination of the classification of waste involves two considerations. First, consideration must be given to the concentration of long-lived radionuclides (and their shorter-lived precursors) whose potential hazard will persist long after such precautions as institutional controls, improved waste form, and deeper disposal have ceased to be effective. These precautions delay the time when long-lived radionuclides could cause exposures. In addition, the magnitude of the potential dose is limited by the concentration and availability of the radionuclide at the time of exposure. Second, consideration must be given to the concentration of shorter-lived radionuclides for which requirements on institutional controls, waste form, and disposal methods are effective.
(2) Classes of waste.
(a) Class A waste is waste that is usually segregated from other waste classes at the disposal site. The physical form and characteristics of Class A waste must meet the minimum requirements set forth in WAC 246-249-050(1). If Class A waste also meets the stability requirements set forth in WAC 246-249-050(2), it is not necessary to segregate the waste for disposal.
(b) Class B waste is waste that must meet more rigorous requirements on waste form to ensure stability after disposal. The physical form and characteristics of Class B waste must meet both the minimum and stability requirements set forth in WAC 246-249-050.
(c) Class C waste is waste that not only must meet more rigorous requirements on waste form to ensure stability but also requires additional measures at the disposal facility to protect against inadvertent intrusion. The physical form and characteristics of Class C waste must meet both the minimum and stability requirements set forth in WAC 246-249-050.
(3) Classification determined by long-lived radionuclides. If the waste contains only radionuclides listed in Table 1, classification shall be determined as follows:
(a) If the concentration does not exceed 0.1 times the value in Table 1, the waste is Class A.
(b) If the concentration exceeds 0.1 times the value in Table 1, but does not exceed the value in Table 1, the waste is Class C.
(c) If the concentration exceeds the value in Table 1, the waste is not generally acceptable for near-surface disposal.
(d) For waste containing mixtures of radionuclides listed in Table 1, the total concentration shall be determined by the sum of fractions rule described in subsection (7) of this section.
Table 1
Radionuclide
Concentration
Curies/Cubic
Meter
C-14
8
 
C-14 in activated metal
80
 
Ni-59 in activated metal
220
 
Nb-94 in activated metal
0.
2
Tc-99
3
 
I-129
0.
08
Alpha emitting transuranic radionuclides
with half-life greater than five years
100
1
Pu-241
3,500
1
Cm-242
20,000
1
Ra-226
100
1
1
Units are nanocuries per gram, to convert to becquerels (Bq) per gram multiply by 37, to convert from curies to gigabecquerels (GBq) multiply by 37. Specific approval of the department is required for disposal of these radionuclides if their concentration is greater than ten percent of the Table 1 value.
(4) Classification determined by short-lived radionuclides. If the waste does not contain any of the radionuclides listed in Table 1, classification shall be determined based on the concentrations shown in Table 2. If the radioactive waste does not contain any radionuclides listed in either Table 1 or 2, it is Class A.
(a) If the concentration does not exceed the value of Column 1, the waste is Class A.
(b) If the concentration exceeds the value in Column 1, but does not exceed the value in Column 2, the waste is Class B.
(c) If the concentration exceeds the value in Column 2, but does not exceed the value in Column 3, the waste is Class C.
(d) If the concentration exceeds the value in Column 3, the waste is not generally acceptable for near-surface disposal.
(e) For wastes containing mixtures of the radionuclides listed in Table 2, the total concentration shall be determined by the sum of fractions rule described in subsection (7) of this section.
Table 2
Radionuclide
Concentration, Curies/
Cubic Meter
Column 1
Column 2
Column 3
Total of all radionuclides with less than 5-year half-life
700
(*)
(*)
H-3
40
(*)
(*)
Co-60
700
(*)
(*)
Ni-63
3.5
70
700
Ni-63 in activated metal
35
700
7,000
Sr-90
0.04
150
7,000
Cs-137
1
44
4,600
(*)
There are no limits established for these radionuclides in Class B or C wastes. Practical consideration such as the effects of external radiation and internal heat generation on transportation, handling, and disposal will limit the concentrations for these wastes. These wastes shall be Class B unless the concentrations of other radionuclides in Table 2 determine the waste to be Class C independent of these radionuclides. Specific approval of the department is required prior to packaging of Class B tritium waste.
(5) Classification determined by both long-lived and short-lived radionuclides. If the waste contains a mixture of radionuclides, some of which are listed in Table 1, and some of which are listed in Table 2, classification shall be determined as follows:
(a) If the concentration of a radionuclide listed in Table 1 is less than 0.1 times the value listed in Table 1, the class shall be that determined by the concentration of radionuclides listed in Table 2.
(b) If the concentration of a radionuclide listed in Table 1 exceeds 0.1 times the value listed in Table 1, the waste shall be Class C, provided the concentration of radionuclides listed in Table 2 does not exceed the value shown in Column 3 of Table 2.
(6) Classification of waste with radionuclides other than those listed in Tables 1 and 2. If the waste does not contain any radionuclides listed in either Table 1 or 2, it is Class A.
(7) The sum of fractions rule for mixtures of radionuclides. For determining classification for waste that contains a mixture of radionuclides, it is necessary to determine the sum of fractions by dividing each radionuclide's concentration by the appropriate limit and adding the resulting values. The appropriate limits must all be taken from the same column of the same table. The sum of the fractions for the column must be less than or equal to 1.0 if the waste class is to be determined by that column. Example: A waste contains Sr-90 in a concentration of 50 Ci/m3 and Cs-137 in a concentration of 22 Ci/m3. Since the concentrations both exceed the values in Column 1, Table 2, they must be compared to Column 2 values. For Sr-90 fraction, 50/150 = 0.33; for Cs-137 fraction, 22/44 = 0.5; the sum of the fractions = 0.83. Since the sum is less than 1.0, the waste is Class B.
(8) Determination of concentration in wastes. The concentration of a radionuclide may be determined by indirect methods such as use of scaling factors which relate to the inferred concentration of one radionuclide to another that is measured, or radionuclide material accountability, if there is reasonable assurance that the indirect methods can be correlated with actual measurement. The concentration of a radionuclide may be averaged over the volume of the waste, or weight of the waste if the units are expressed as nanocuries per gram.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 70.98.050 and 70.98.080. WSR 91-16-109 (Order 187), § 246-249-040, filed 8/7/91, effective 9/7/91. Statutory Authority: RCW 43.70.040. WSR 91-02-049 (Order 121), recodified as § 246-249-040, filed 12/27/90, effective 1/31/91. Statutory Authority: RCW 70.98.080. WSR 87-01-031 (Order 2450), § 402-62-050, filed 12/11/86.]
Site Contents
Selected content listed in alphabetical order under each group