Challenges in the Stabilization of a Research Facility Hot Cell


D. S. Mantooth, W. Smith, L. C. Zinsli


The 324 Facility is located in the 300 Area of the Hanford Site in Southeastern Washington State and is operated by Fluor Hanford, Incorporated. The facility was employed for research and development (R&D) activities involving highly radioactive materials for over three decades. The destructive analysis of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and experiments in the glassification of high-level radioactive waste are two such projects that were carried out in this area. B-Cell is one of the Radiochemical Engineering Cells (REC) within 324 Facility. As a result of testing and experiments dispersed residues and internal facility spills, the B-Cell contains both fixed and dispersible contamination present on deactivated equipment and the liner of the cell. The activities required to meet the Tri-Party Agreement M-89-02 milestone, required the size reduction, packaging and disposal of all process related equipment and materials, and the accumulation and disposal of all bulk dispersible material. The estimated radioactivity contained in these components at the start of the cleanout process was over 37 PBq (1 MCi). During the B Cell cleanout and dispersible removal campaign, materials which could be rinsed with water to remove hazardous constituents, were packaged into cylindrical grout containers and disposed of as remote handled transuranic waste or low-level waste (RH-TRU or RH-LLW) using the 3-82B shipping cask. All known mixed waste equipment and components were packaged for shipment and retrievable storage using the Steel Waste Package (SWP). This waste stream was primarily remote handled mixed TRU and hazardous waste (RH-TRUM). The radiation dose rate associated with this material was extremely high (up to 200 Sv hr-1[20,000 rem hr-1]) in some cases. Packaging operations were performed almost exclusively utilizing remote handling, i.e., master/slave manipulators and overhead crane methods. This paper discusses radiological control challenges encountered during the use of each of these packages.


This abstract was presented at the 35th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration", Decommissioning 3 Session, 2/17/2002 - 2/20/2002, held in Orlando, FL.

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