Conditioning: waste packages

The waste package is the product that includes the waste form and any container(s) and internal barriers (e. g., absorbing materials and liner), as prepared in accordance with requirements for handling, transport, storage and/or disposal [ 11] , These requirements can be different for each step indicated above or they can be combined in one set of parameters that combine conservative requirements for each step. If there may be a signifi­cant delay before an acceptable disposal route becomes available, the con­tainer should provide integrity during the pre-disposal storage period and should be capable of allowing for: (a) retrieval at the end of the storage period; (b) transport to and handling at a disposal facility; (c) performance as required in the disposal environment.

If a container is not initially designed to meet the relevant acceptance criteria for transport, storage or disposal, an additional container, or an overpack, will be necessary to meet the acceptance criteria. Care should be taken to consider the compatibility of the waste package and the overpack with respect to the waste acceptance criteria (WAC). Waste packages are often produced when no disposal facility exists and therefore no applicable disposal WAC are available to guide the design and preparation of the packages [11,21]. In this case, it may be necessary to develop waste package specifications in place of the WAC. These specifications are considered as a design output, and are intended to control the radiological, physical and chemical characteristics of the waste package to be produced. Waste speci­fications are usually oriented towards the performance or control of specific facility processes and may be used as a contractual vehicle to control sub­contracted operations. Waste specifications, like the WAC, should be cogni­zant of intended storage/disposal facility parameters and transport regulations, and incorporate relevant parameters of the WAC, or in lieu of the WAC, when they have not been developed. It should be noted that the requirements on waste packages imposed by the IAEA transport regula­tions [37] meet many of basic requirements of the generic WAC.

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