Information on the Confinement Capability of the Facility Disposal Area at West Valley, New York (NUREG-1164)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: September 1985
Date Published: December 1985

T. J. Nicholson / RES
R. D. Hurt / NMSS

Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, D.C. 20555

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This report summarizes the previous NRC research studies, NRC licensee source term data and recent DOE site investigations that deal with assessment of the radioactive waste inventory and confinement capability of the Facility Disposal Area (FDA) at West Valley, New York. The radioactive waste inventory for the FDA has a total radioactivity of about 135,000 curies (Ci) and is comprised of H-3 (9,500 Ci), Co-60 (64,000 Ci), SR-90/Y-90 (24,300 Ci), Cs-137/Ra-137m (24,400 Ci), and Pu-241 (13,300 Ci) . These wastes are buried in the Lavery 
Till, a glacial till unit comorised of a clayey silt with very low hydraulic conductivity properties. Recent studies of a tributylphosphate-kerosene plume moving through the shallow ground-water flow system in the FDA indicate need to better assess the fracture flow components of this system particularly the weathered and  fractured Lavery Till unit. The analysis of the deeper ground-water flow system studied by the USGS and NYSGS staffs indicates relatively long pathways and travel times to the accessible environment. Mass wasting, endemic to the glacial-filled valley, contributes to the active slumping in the ravines surrounding the FDA and  also need attention.

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