Requirements for Controlling a Repository's Releases of Carbon-14 Dioxide; The High Costs and Negligible Benefits

by U Sun Park, Science Applications Int Corp, United States,
Chris G. Pflum, Science Applications Int Corp, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1990

Abstract: A repository excavated within the unsaturated zone may release carbon(C)-14 dioxide in amounts that exceed limits imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The release would not threaten the general population, but may expose some hypothetical maximally exposed individual to 0.0005 millirems/year (mrem/yr). Yet a repository's releases of C-14 dioxide are strictly regulated, perhaps unintentionally. The EPA and NRC regulations could force the Department of Energy (DOE) to design and fabricate an expensive 10,000-year waste package solely for the sake of controlling releases of C-14 dioxide. This paper argues that the repository regulations should exempt releases of C-14 dioxide or at least impose more equitable limits.

Subject Headings: Environmental Protection Agency | Radioactive wastes | Excavation | Sustainable development | Fabrication | Waste management | Carbon

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