United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Question 376: "Decay in storage" is one means of waste

disposal authorized in the revised Part 20 [10 CFR 20.2001

(a) (2)]. How can "decay in storage" be used for wastes

(a) at nuclear power plants and (b) at materials facilities?



Answer: (a) The inclusion of the "decay in storage"

option in revised Part 20 does not provide any new options

for waste disposal at nuclear power plants. See the

discussion of "decay in storage" in the preamble to revised

Part 20 (56 FR 23380-23381). "Decay in storage" is a

practical means of disposal only for radionuclides with

short half lives. Wastes from nuclear power reactors

usually include radionuclides whose half lives are too long

for application of the "decay in storage" option. In any

case, wastes that are to be released to unrestricted areas

after having decayed in storage must meet the requirements

of one of the other allowed forms of waste disposal in Part

20, or the requirements of §35.92, "Decay in-storage," of

10 CFR Part 35 or the specific requirements given in the

applicable NRC or Agreement State License conditions.

However, the requirements of §35.92 of Part 35 are not

applicable to Part 50 licensees.



b) As indicated in the answer to part (a) of this

question, wastes that are to be released to unrestricted

areas after having decayed in storage must meet the

requirements of one of the other allowed forms of waste

disposal in Part 20, or the requirements of §35.92, "Decay

in Storage," of 10 CFR Part 35 or the specific requirements

given in the applicable NRC or Agreement State License

conditions. For medical licensees (under 10 CFR Part 35),

requests for specific license amendments providing

exemptions from 10 CFR 35.92 may be considered by the NRC

for approval based on extraordinary circumstances, in

accordance with 10 CFR 35.19, provided that the licensee

demonstrates a real need for the requested exemption.

These exemption requests to NRC Regional Offices will be

reviewed at NRC Headquarters on a case-by-case basis under

a technical assistance request from the Regional Office.

See Question 389 for additional discussion of decay in

storage. (Reference: 10 CFR 20.2001).









Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012