Characterization and Classification
Radioactive waste management requires planned and systematic actions to provide confidence in correct and accurate results. A correct characterization, NRC Classification, and DOT Classification is always the first step in a successful waste management project. We pride ourselves as being the industry leader in providing those defensible characterization and classification results.
The goal of the characterization is to provide correct results in terms of waste weight, waste volume, and activity for each radionuclide that is present in that particular piece of radioactive material. Once the characterization is known, the NRC and DOT classification is determined based on the extensive volume of rules and laws that are in place to govern radioactive waste transportation and disposal.
Correct characterization & classification results allow the remainder of the project to be successfully planned, providing proper shielding & packaging of the radioactive material. We tend to specialize in the characterization of non-routine waste that commercial and decommissioning power plants have generated over the past 40 years. However, our experience as the provider of the industry’s premiere characterization of routine waste streams also allows us to provide unparalleled expertise characterizing any radioactive material.
We pride ourselves on being the industry leader in providing those defensible characterization and classification results
Routine Radioactive Material
WMG has been streamlining the process by which commercial nuclear utilities characterize and classify their routine plant wastes since the inception of 10 CFR 61. WMG continues to stay involved in the development and refinement of regulations governing those activities to make sure that utility perspectives are appropriately heard and represented in both the NRC and DOT regulatory process. Along those lines, we are happy to also perform the characterization and classification analysis for routine projects if the customer either doesn’t have the resources or simply feels more confident having the industry leading experts perform this service.
Non-Routine Radioactive Material
For us, non-routine could mean large or rare components, rare waste streams, or possibly legacy waste streams where the desired data might not have been collected or retained. In general, nonroutine projects usually require some creativity in characterization, shielding, and packaging. As such, this is one of our favorite areas of radioactive waste management to service.
Any metals that have been exposed to a neutron flux can, and most often should be considered irradiated components. Determining the levels of activation concentrations requires several disciplines of engineering to come together including, but not limited to, mechanical and nuclear engineering. Our world class staff of analysts pride themselves on being the industry leaders in this service. Common examples of irradiated components are BWR Control Rod Blades, Reactor Vessels & Internals and Nuclear Instrumentation from both BWRs and PWRs (i.e., LPRMs, excore detectors and Reactor Vessel and Internals.).