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Part 382: Regulation Of Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facilities - Page 2

(Statutory authority : Environmental Conservation Law, Parts. 3, 17, 19, 27, 29)

[Effective March 14, 1993]

[page 1 of 2] Pages in this Part:Section 1 to Section 29

Contents:

Sec.

§382.30 Scope, Purpose, and Applicability

Sections 382.30 through 382.35 of this Part specify the minimum characteristics a disposal method must have to be acceptable for use at a land disposal facility. Aboveground disposal methods must meet the requirements of Sections 382.31, 382.32, and 382.33 of this Part. Belowground disposal methods must meet the requirements of Sections 382.31, 382.32, and 382.34 of this Part. Underground mined repositories must meet the requirements of Sections 382.31 and 382.35 of this Part.

§382.31 Criteria for All Disposal Methods

Any method used for a land disposal facility must meet the requirements of this section.

(a) General

(1) Shallow land burial must not be used as a disposal method.

(2) Any disposal unit used for the disposal of mixed low-level radioactive and hazardous wastes or for the disposal of NARM waste mixed with hazardous waste must meet the applicable requirements of Environmental Conservation Law Article 27 and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

(3) The disposal unit construction methods and techniques must not adversely affect the land disposal facility's ability to meet the performance objectives of Sections 382.10 - 382.15 of this Part.

(4) In meeting the requirements of this Part, activities performed during the institutional control period may not be relied upon for more than 100 years.

(b) Design

(1) The disposal units are integral parts of the disposal site and must function in concert with other features of the disposal site to ensure that the performance objectives of Sections 382.10 - 382.15 of this Part are met. Any disposal method must be compatible with the following design requirements for the disposal site.

(i) The disposal site must be designed to complement and improve, where appropriate, the ability of the disposal site's natural characteristics to ensure that the performance objectives of Sections 382.10 - 382.15 of this Part will be met.

(ii) The design of the disposal site must be compatible with the proposed methods of closure and stabilization and ensure that the performance objectives of Sections 382.10 - 382.15 of this Part will be met.

(iii) The disposal site design features must be directed toward long-term isolation and avoidance of the need for continuing active maintenance after site closure and during the institutional control period.

(2) The performance of the disposal units must be capable of being defensibly characterized, modeled, analyzed, and evaluated.

(3) The design of the disposal units must provide reasonable assurance of long-term stability. The time periods for such stability shall be: 100 years for disposal units containing only Class A wastes; 300 years for disposal units containing Class B wastes (alone or with Class A wastes); and 500 years for disposal units containing any Class C waste.

§382.32 Additional Criteria For Aboveground and Belowground Disposal

In addition to the requirements of Section 382.31 and, if applicable, Sections 382.33 and 382.34 of this Part, aboveground and belowground disposal methods must meet the requirements of this section.

(a) The disposal unit design must ensure that the geochemical interaction between the disposal units and the soils with which they come into contact will not adversely affect the ability of the land disposal facility to meet the performance objectives of Sections 382.10 - 382.15 of this Part.

(b) The disposal units must be placed on stable foundations such that settlement of the disposal unit will not adversely affect the ability of the land disposal facility to meet the performance objectives of Sections 382.10 - 382.15 of this Part.

(c) The disposal units must be designed to maintain their stability and containment of waste under the impact of major natural phenomena which could affect the area of the land disposal facility.

(d) The disposal units must be designed to minimize leakage of water into the disposal units. The disposal units must be designed with a system that:

(1) prevents water resulting from possible leakage and internal condensation from saturating the waste; and

(2) provides for the release of such water from the disposal units in a manner that will not adversely affect the ability of the land disposal facility to meet the performance objectives of Sections 382.10 - 382.15 of this Part.

(e) During the operational and institutional control periods, the disposal units must be provided with reliable redundant monitoring systems to give early warning of the failure of the disposal units.

(f) The disposal units must function in concert with the other features of the disposal site to ensure that the performance objectives of Sections 382.10 - 382.15 of this Part are met. The disposal method must be compatible with the following requirements for the disposal site:

(1) The disposal site must be designed:

(i) to minimize water infiltration into the disposal units;

(ii) to direct percolating or surface waters away from the disposal units; and

(iii) to resist degradation by surface geologic processes and biotic activity.

(2) Surface features of the disposal site must direct surface water drainage away from disposal units at velocities and gradients that will not result in erosion that will require ongoing active maintenance during and after the institutional control period.

(3) The disposal site must be designed to minimize the contact of water, ice or snow with waste during storage, the contact of standing water or snow with waste during disposal, and the contact of percolating or standing water with waste after disposal.

(g) The disposal unit design must minimize the amount of radioactive material that would be released to the environment, should water infiltrate the disposal units.

(h) Recovery or retrieval of waste from the disposal units must be feasible through the institutional control period. This provision must not adversely affect the ability of the disposal site to meet the performance objectives of Sections 382.10 - 382.15 of this Part.

§382.33 Additional Criteria For Aboveground Disposal Only

In addition to the requirements of Sections 382.31 and 382.32 of this Part, aboveground disposal methods must meet the requirements of this section.

(a) The disposal units must be designed to resist inadvertent intrusion. Through a combination of design and a commitment to institutional control, waste disposal units intended to contain only Class A wastes must resist inadvertent intrusion for a period of 100 years. Disposal units intended to contain Class B wastes (alone or with Class A wastes) must be designed to resist inadvertent intrusion for a period of 300 years. Disposal units intended to contain any Class C waste must be designed to resist inadvertent intrusion for a period of 500 years.

(b) The disposal units must maintain their structural stability and containment of the waste under normal environmental conditions, such as exposure to solar radiation, wind, precipitation (rain, hail, snow and ice), humidity, temperature variations, freeze-thaw cycles, and the chemical constituents in precipitation (e.g., acid rain).

(c) The disposal units must facilitate any necessary remedial action during the institutional control period. This provision must not adversely affect the ability of the land disposal facility to meet the performance objectives of Sections 382.10 - 382.15 of this Part.

§382.34 Additional Criteria For Belowground Disposal Only

In addition to the requirements of Sections 382.31 and 382.32 of this Part, disposal units for belowground disposal intended to contain any Class C waste must be designed to resist inadvertent intrusion for a period of at least 500 years or must provide for the placement of Class C waste so that the top of the Class C waste is a minimum of 5 meters below the top surface of the cover material.

§382.35 Additional Criteria For Underground Mined Repository Disposal

In addition to the requirements of Section 382.31 of this Part, underground mined repositories used for land disposal facilities must meet the requirements of this section.

(a) General

(1) Mining operations must not interfere with active waste disposal operations and must not adversely affect the ability of the underground mined repository to meet the performance objectives of Sections 382.10 - 382.15 of this Part.

(2) Mining operations (e.g., blasting) must be performed in a manner that will avoid damage to the surrounding rock that could adversely affect the ability of the underground mined repository to meet the performance objectives of Sections 382.10 - 382.15 of this Part.

(3) Any shafts, access tunnels, or adits and all boreholes in proximity to the underground mined repository which could adversely affect the ability of the underground mined repository to meet the performance objectives of Sections 382.10 - 382.15 of this Part must be identified and sealed with state-of-the-art technologies.

(b) Design

(1) An underground mined repository must be located at a depth below the ground surface of greater than 30 meters.

(2) An underground mined repository must be designed to minimize subsidence of the ground surface.

(3) An underground mined repository must be designed to minimize the contact of water with waste during operation and closure.

(4) An underground mined repository must be designed so that it complies with all federal and New York State laws and regulations that are applicable to mining operations.

§382.36 through 382.79 are reserved.

§382.80 Classification of Waste and NARM Waste for Disposal in Land Disposal Facilities

(a) Considerations

Determination of the classification of radioactive waste involves two considerations. First, consideration must be given to the concentration of long-lived radionuclides (and their shorter-lived precursors) whose potential hazard will persist long after such precautions as institutional controls, improved waste form, and deeper disposal have ceased to be effective. These precautions delay the time when long-lived radionuclides could cause exposures. In addition, the magnitude of the potential dose is limited by the concentration and availability of the radionuclide at the time of exposure. Second, consideration must be given to the concentration of shorter-lived radionuclides for which requirements on institutional controls, waste form, and disposal methods are effective.

(b) Classes of Waste

(1) Class A waste is waste that is usually segregated from other waste classes at the disposal site. The physical form and characteristics of Class A waste must meet the minimum requirements set forth in Section 382.81(a) of this Part. If Class A waste also meets the stability requirements set forth in Section 382.81(b) of this Part, it is not necessary to segregate the waste for disposal.

(2) Class B waste is waste that must meet more rigorous requirements on waste form to ensure stability after disposal. The physical form and characteristics of Class B waste must meet both the minimum and stability requirements set forth in Section 382.81 of this Part.

(3) Class C waste is waste that not only must meet more rigorous requirements on waste form to ensure stability but also requires additional measures at the land disposal facility to protect against in advertent intrusion. The physical form and characteristics of Class C waste must meet both the minimum and stability requirements set forth in Section 382.81 of this Part.

(4) Waste that is not generally acceptable for disposal at a land disposal facility is waste for which waste form and disposal methods must be different, and in general more stringent, than those specified for Class C waste. In the absence of specific requirements in this Part, proposals for disposal of this waste may be submitted to the Department for approval, pursuant to Section 382.83 of this Part.

(5) Except for NARM waste contaminated with radium-226 and its decay products, NARM waste will be classified pursuant to Section 382.83 of this Part and not pursuant to Section 382.80(f). NARM waste contaminated with radium-226 and its decay products will be classified pursuant to Sections 382.80(c), (e), (g), and (h) of this Part.

(c) Classification Determined by Long-Lived Radionuclides

If radioactive waste contains only radionuclides listed in Table 1, classification will be determined as follows:

(1) If the concentration does not exceed 0.1 times the value in Table 1, the waste is Class A.

(2) If the concentration exceeds 0.1 times the value in Table 1, but does not exceed the value in Table 1, the waste is Class C.

(3) If the concentration exceeds the value in Table 1, the waste is not generally acceptable for disposal at a land disposal facility.

(4) For wastes containing mixtures of radionuclides listed in Table 1, the total concentration will be determined by the sum of fractions rule described in subdivision (g) of this section.

(d) Classification Determined by Short-Lived Radionuclides

If radioactive waste does not contain any of the radionuclides listed in Table 1, classification will be determined based on the concentrations shown in Table 2 as follows. However, as specified in subdivision (f) of this section, if radioactive waste does not contain any radionuclides listed in either Table 1 or 2, it is Class A.

(1) If the concentration does not exceed the value in Column 1 of Table 2, the waste is Class A.

(2) If the concentration exceeds the value in Column 1 of Table 2, but does not exceed the value in Column 2, the waste is Class B.

(3) If the concentration exceeds the value in Column 2 of Table 2, but does not exceed the value in Column 3, the waste is Class C.

(4) If the concentration exceeds the value in Column 3 of Table 2, the waste is not generally acceptable for disposal at land disposal facilities.

(5) For wastes containing mixtures of the radionuclides listed in Table 2, the total concentration will be determined by the sum of fractions rule described in subdivision (g) of this section.

(e) Classification Determined by Both Long- and Short-Lived Radionuclides

If radioactive waste contains a mixture of radionuclides, some of which are listed in Table 1, and some of which are listed in Table 2, classification will be determined as follows:

(1) If the concentration of a radionuclide listed in Table 1 does not exceed 0.1 times the value listed in Table 1, the class will be that determined by the concentration of radionuclides listed in Table 2.

(2) If the concentration of a radionuclide listed in Table 1 exceeds 0.1 times the value listed in Table 1 but does not exceed the value in Table 1, the waste will be Class C, provided the concentration of radionuclides listed in Table 2 does not exceed the value shown in Column 3 of Table 2.

(f) Classification of Wastes with Radionuclides Other than those Listed in Tables 1 and 2

If radioactive waste does not contain any radionuclides listed in either Table 1 or 2, it is Class A.

(g) The Sum of the Fractions Rule for Mixtures of Radionuclides

For determining classification for waste that contains a mixture of radionuclides, it is necessary to determine the sum of fractions by dividing each radionuclide's concentration by the appropriate limit and summing the resulting values. The appropriate limits must all be taken from the same column of the same table. The sum of the fractions for the column must be less than 1.0 if the waste class is to be determined by that column.

Example:

A waste contains Sr-90 in a concentration of 50 Ci/m3 and Cs-137 in a concentration of 22 Ci/m3.

Since the concentrations both exceed the values in Column 1, Table 2, they must be compared to Column 2 values.

For SR-90 fraction, 50/150 = 0.33; For Cs-137 fraction, 22/44 = 0.5.

The sum of the fractions = 0.83. Since the sum is less than 1.0, the waste is Class B.

(h) Determination of Concentrations in Wastes

(1) The concentration of a radionuclide may be determined by indirect methods, such as use of scaling factors which relate to the inferred concentration of one radionuclide to another that is measured, or radionuclide material accountability, if it is reasonably ensured that the indirect methods can be correlated with actual measurements.

(2) The concentration of a radionuclide may be averaged over the volume of the waste, (or weight of the waste if the concentration is expressed in units of nanocuries per gram. If the waste form is a homogeneous mixture of waste in a solidification agent or matrix, the solidification agent or matrix may include in the volume or weight of the waste. The concentration of radionuclides in discrete objects (such as sealed sources, filters, and metal components containing induced radioactivity) that are encapsulated in solidification agent or matrix must be averaged over the volume of the object, not of the solidification agent or matrix. The volume of packaging, containers, liners, or overpacks cannot be included in this calculations, nor can the volume of the waste mixture be artificially increased by the addition of solids or objects even if they are considered as waste, NARM waste, or solid waste.

§382.81 Waste Characteristics

(a) The following requirements are minimum requirements for all classes of waste and are intended to facilitate handling at the disposal site and provide protection of health and safety of personnel at the disposal site.

(1) Waste must not be packaged for disposal in cardboard or fiberboard boxes.

(2) Liquid waste must be solidified or stabilized by other methods. Only those methods approved by the Department in the permit may be used. Liquid waste packaged in absorbent materials is not acceptable for disposal.

(3) Free standing and noncorrosive liquids in solid waste and solidified or stabilized liquid waste must be minimized, but in no case shall the amount of liquid exceed one-half percent (0.5 percent) of the waste volume.

(4) Waste must not be readily capable of detonation or of explosive decomposition or reaction at normal pressures and temperatures, or of explosive reaction with water.

(5) Waste must not contain, or be capable of generating, quantities of toxic gases, vapors, or fumes harmful to persons transporting, handling, or disposing of the waste. This does not apply to low-level radioactive gaseous waste packaged in accordance with paragraph (a)(7) of this section.

(6) Waste must not be pyrophoric. Pyrophoric materials contained in waste must be treated, prepared, and packaged to be nonflammable.

(7) Waste in a gaseous form must be packaged at a pressure that does not exceed 1.5 atmospheres at 68 F (20 C). Total activity must not exceed 100 curies per container.

(8) Waste containing hazardous, biological, pathogenic, or infectious material must be treated to minimize the potential hazard from the nonradiological materials.

(b) The requirements in this section are intended to provide stability of the waste. Stability is intended to ensure that the waste does not structurally degrade and affect overall stability of the site through slumping, collapse, or other failure of the disposal unit and there by lead to water infiltration. Stability is also a factor in limiting exposure to an inadvertent intruder, since it provides a recognizable and nondispersible waste.

(1) Waste must have structural stability. A structurally stable waste form will generally maintain its physical dimensions and its form, under the expected disposal conditions, such as weight of overburden and compaction equipment, the presence of moisture, and microbial activity, and internal factors such as radiation effects and chemical changes. Structural stability can be provided by the waste form itself, processing the waste to a stable form, or placing the waste in a disposal container or structure that provides stability after disposal.

(2) Void spaces within the waste and between the waste and its container must be minimized.

§382.82 Labeling Requirements

Each container of waste must be clearly labeled to identify whether it is Class A waste, Class B waste, or Class C waste as determined in accordance with Section 382.80 of this Part.

§382.83 Alternative Requirements for Waste Classification and Characteristics

The Department may, upon request or on its own initiative, authorize other provisions for the classification and characteristics of a specific waste on a case by case basis, if, after evaluation of the specific characteristics of the waste, disposal site, and method of disposal, it finds compliance with the performance objectives in Sections 382.10 - 382.15 of this Part can be reasonably ensured, and if it finds such alternative provisions are permissible under other applicable federal and state regulations.

§382.84 through 382.98 are reserved.

§382.99 Material Incorporated by Reference

§Table 1

Radionuclide Concentration
Curies per Cubic Meter1
C-14 8
C-14 in activated metal 80
Ni-59 in activated metal 220
Nb-94 in activated metal 0.2
Tc-99 3
I-129 0.08
Ra-226 1002
Alpha emitting transuranic nuclides with half-life greater than five years 1002
Pu-241 3,5002
Cm-242 20,0002

1 One cubic meter is approximately 35.3 cubic feet.

2 Units are nanocuries per gram.

§Table 2

Radionuclide Concentration in Curies
Per Cubic Meter1
Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
Total of all nuclides with less than 5 year half-life 700 (2) (2)
H-3 40 (2) (2)
Co-60 700 (2) (2)
Ni-63 3.5 70 700
Ni-63 in activated metal 35 700 7,000
Sr-90 0.04 150 7,000
Cs-137 1 44 4,600

1 One cubic meter is approximately 35.3 cubic feet.

2 There are no limits established for these radionuclides in Class B or C wastes. Practical consideration such as the effects of external radiation and heat generation on transportation, handling, and disposal will limit the concentrations for these wastes. These wastes shall be Class B unless the concentrations of other nuclides in Table 2 determine the waste to be Class C independent of these nuclides.