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Decommissioning Cost Savings Measures and Latest Technologies to be Highlighted at ANS Joint Topical Meeting
Posted on July 28th, 2016

Several nuclear power plants are in various stages of costly decommissioning projects throughout the US and abroad.   The goal of these decommissioning efforts in the US is to meet the NRC criteria of 10 CFR 20 Subpart E to free release the land and restrict exposure to 25 mRem/year through all potential exposure pathways for the next 1000 years.  The success of these projects in returning their sites to meet this “end state” for unrestricted use will promote confidence in the new build nuclear plants that are coming on line and in nuclear power as a viable clean energy for the future.

The ANS is hosting their Joint Topical Meeting of the Decommissioning & Environmental Sciences Division (DESD) and the Robotics and Remote Systems Division (RRSD) from July 31- August 4th in Pittsburgh, PA.  This meeting will cover a variety of topics that directly relate to minimizing the time and expense incurred for decommissioning, including the use of robotics, decontamination technologies and waste mitigation techniques.  In addition, the meeting will explore regulatory considerations when planning for decommissioning to ensure concurrence and agreement by all stake holders and facilitate the decommissioning process. 

Eric Darios will give a presentation on “End State Planning – A Key Part of the Decommissioning Process”.  This presentation underscores the importance of end state planning at the outset of a decommissioning project.  Proper end state planning directly impacts the derived concentration guideline limits (DCGLs) that will drive remediation efforts. While the NRC imposes the requirements of 10 CFR 20 Subpart E for end state planning, other state and local requirements can also impact the decommissioning plan for the site.  In the past, the most conservative scenario that accounted for the largest array of exposure pathways was that of the “resident farmer”.  However, this scenario is likely too restrictive. Revising expectations for land use over time following a decommissioning and factoring state and local regulations regarding the end state of buried assets or structures can be an objective of the end state plan.  This will ensure that the final end state meets the criteria for protecting the public and environment while minimizing the overall costs and time incurred for decommissioning. 

In addition, Eric will present on “The Use of Probabilistic Tools for Decommissioning Risk Analysis and Planning”.  This presentation explores the use of MCNP simulation techniques to calculate a probabilistic range of costs and schedule impacts using defined major uncertainty variables. This tool resulted from a collaboration between RSCS and Vose Software, and is currently in use at an active decommissioning nuclear power site.

The proceedings from this meeting with be published by the ANS.

Find more information on the ANS Joint Topical Meeting here.

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