Author: K. Pillay 1
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  • 1 Los Alamos National Laboratory Nuclear Materials Technology Division 87545 Los Alamos NM (USA)
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Abstract  

The plutonium processing facility at Los Alamos has adopted the strategic goal of becoming a facility that processes plutonium in a way that produces only environmentally benign waste streams. Pollution prevention through source reduction and environmentally sound recycling are being pursued. General approaches to waste reductions are administrative controls, modification of process technologies, and additional waste polishing. Recycling of waste materials, such as spent acids and salts, are technical possibilities and are being pursued to accomplish additional waste reduction. Liquid waste stream polishing to remove final traces of plutonium and hazardous chemical constituents is accomplished through (a) process modifications, (b) use of alternative chemicals and sorbents for residue removal, (c) acid recycling, and (d) judicious use of a variety of waste polishing technologies. Technologies that show promise in waste minimization and pollution prevention are identified. Working toward this goal of pollution prevention is a worthwhile endeavor, not only for Los Alamos, but for the Nuclear Complex of the future.