Cost-Benefit of Final Radiological Survey versus Radioactive Waste Disposal


J. Barroso, S. Roberts


A significant portion of the cost for D&D incorporates Waste Disposition (both radioactive and non-radioactive) and the Final Radiological Survey. For this reason, a careful cost-benefit analysis should be performed weighing the cost of survey and decontamination of the building media for release against the cost of disposing of the material as radioactive waste. This type of cost-benefit analysis formed the basis for decision at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site during the recent D&D of two facilities: (1) B123, former analytical laboratory demolished in 1998 and (2) B779, former plutonium processing and research facility demolished in 2000. Both B123 and B779 were characterized for radiological contamination early in the planning process. Based on this information and process history, a schedule and budget were developed based on areas to be 1) decontaminated and surveyed and 2) disposed of as radioactive waste. However, for both of these projects, a significant number of interior walls, structures, etc., originally slated for final survey were disposed of as radioactive waste following a mid-project cost-benefit analysis. Additionally, there were many small and complex (i.e., non-flat) surfaces that proved to be far more expensive to final survey than dispose of as radioactive waste. The cost-benefit that led to these decisions considered several items: (1) the cost of decontamination and subsequent survey versus disposal as radioactive waste, (2) the probability that the area will meet the radiological release criteria, and (3) the cost and schedule impact of performing final surveys on complex surfaces versus disposal as radioactive waste.


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

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