Authors:D. Robertson, V. Thomas, H. Rieck, D. Haggard, W. Reece, J. Pappin, W. Hensley, D. Brown, C. Thomas, and P. Robinson
Battelle, Pacific Northwest Laboratories has recently developed, tested and field-demonstrated a technology for the direct assay of transuranic radionuclides (TRU), fission products, and activation products in a variety of radwaste packages generated at commercial nuclear power plants. This technology involves non-destructive passive neutron counting for determination of nanocurie/gram quantities of the TRU radionuclides. Direct gamma spectrometry combined with thermoluminescent dosimetry (TLD) and correlation analysis is also utilized to determine the concentrations of the fission and activation products present in the radwaste packages. Employing counting times of 10 to 20 minutes, a complete analysis of all radionuclides specified for assay by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (in 10CFR61) prior to shallow-land disposal of commercial radwastes can be measured at concentrations at least tenfold below the least restrictive Class A waste catagory.