Canadian Nuclear Laboratories
We have been supporting cleanup efforts for CNL (previously AECL) since 2002. We provide waste management, nuclear services, instrumentation, training, program development, and decommissioning.
Contracts for on-site waste sampling, packaging, and transportation and off-site thermal destruction.
Applied risk analysis process to identify, assess, and manage risks for the B-300 demolition project.
Solid waste characterization and removal. Design and construction of a mobile liquid waste extraction and processing facility.
Remedial Action Plan (RAP) development; design and construction of a mobile liquid waste extraction and processing facility.
MARSSIM survey design, instrumentation services and data collection training.
We have the experience and treatment facilities to reduce risk and manage waste at a lower cost. Our Technical and Nuclear services staff have a broad range of experience in the US and Canada.
Services provided under multiple contracts to CNL (previously AECL) included on-site waste sampling, packaging, and transportation and off-site treatment at a Perma-Fix facility via thermal destruction of mixed waste liquids, including disposal or return of secondary ash upon client request. Perma-Fix holds U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Import/Export licenses for international shipments.
Perma-Fix has an extensive history with the treatment of international waste streams. The treatment for low-level radioactive liquids and sludges consists of thermal destruction which results in significant volume reduction. Combustion processing results in minimal disposal volume for the customer and a certificate of management is issued to the customer upon completion of processing services. The benefits of utilizing Perma-Fix combustion processing facilities include the capability to treat both hazardous and non-hazardous waste, sampling and analyzing 100% of the waste upon receipt to verify constituents, and provide successful destruction of the waste, ~95% volume reduction, and on-site technical support including waste brokerage services for profiling assistance and transportation services through approved transportation providers.
CNL (previously AECL) is decommissioning Whiteshell Laboratories, a nuclear research facility located in Pinawa, Manitoba. As part of the decommissioning of the site, the existing quantity of Intermediate and Low Level Waste (ILLW) had to be removed. Perma-Fix provided the knowledge, experience, and facilities to transfer and treat the waste by volume reduction through thermal treatment; the residual ash was returned to Whiteshell for long-term interim storage.
We developed a project plan that provided the project description, responsibilities, equipment, and methodology to safely sample and remove the liquid contents from tanks and drums. We provided technical oversight of the sampling and packaging of the liquid wastes and also provided a certified shipper/broker to develop the manifests, perform labeling and marking, and ensure the waste was compliantly loaded onto the conveyance. The waste was delivered to the Perma-Fix Northwest (PFNW) facility for thermal treatment.
We provided AECL a 36-hour course covering the key initial steps of decommissioning of radioactive material impacted sites, including historical site assessment, scoping surveys, and characterization surveys. Performance of appropriate assessments and surveys prior to actually beginning the process of decontamination and decommissioning of the site aids in the development of effective plans and improves the overall efficiency of the decommissioning process. The primary objective of the Perma-Fix training was to give the attendees a solid working knowledge of the initial steps of decommissioning, specifically the review of historical data and initial scoping and characterization surveys design and implementation, such that the data produced can add value to the planning and implementation of additional decommissioning activities.
The training was provided in accordance with the following documents: NUREG-1575, MARSSIM; NUREG-1757, Consolidated Decommissioning Guidance; and, NUREG-1575 Supplement 1, MARSAME and included the design of surveys in accordance with the Multi-Agency Radiological Site Survey Investigation Manual (MARSSIM) and use of the SOR 2000-207 clearance criteria.
Appropriate instrumentation and computer demonstration was also provided. A variety of radiation detectors including alpha, beta, and gamma scintillators, and gas proportional detection systems were displayed and discussed. Specialized survey systems and techniques such as GPS-assisted gamma mapping system for outdoor surfaces and our Indoor Radio-frequency and Infrared Survey System (IRISS) were presented, and a demonstration of how the data collected are processed to produce color-coded figures of the open land or structural surfaces surveyed was given.
AECL implemented the Nuclear Legacy Liabilities Program (NLLP) to strategically address legacy waste, decommission facilities, and restore lands affected by AECL's early operations. As part of the initiative, two Active Liquid Waste Tanks (ALWTs), located at CRL in Ontario Canada, had been identified as requiring remediation.
Perma-Fix was awarded a contract for the development of a Remedial Action Plan (RAP); design and construction of a mobile liquid waste extraction and processing facility; and packaging, transportation, and disposal of approximately 3,500-gallons of liquid mixed low-level waste (MLLW). It was determined that the waste would require thermal treatment at a RCRA permitted facility and the resulting ash would be returned to AECL, in accordance with the approved import license agreements. Completion of this project allowed AECL to place the waste management area in a stable configuration and reduce the risk of leakage from the aging tanks.
We managed the solid waste located at the Douglas Point Facility. The Douglas Point nuclear power plant was commissioned in the early 1960's and is located at the Bruce Power site. The plant operated until 1984 when it was deemed to not be economically viable to continue operations. The plant is currently shut down, defueled, and in the process of being decommissioned. An assessment determined that the waste stored in the facility presented a fire hazard and must be removed to ensure the safety of the facility. To support this effort, all debris waste stored at the plant would be characterized, packaged, and transported off-site for processing and disposition. The waste consisted of drums containing contaminated fuel trays, bags of dry active waste (DAW), drums containing contaminated soil, expended high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, lead bricks, and miscellaneous debris. Completion of the waste clean-out effort would place the facility in a safe condition and allow the next phase of decommissioning to proceed.
Perma-Fix removed and characterized 264 drums (114,000 pounds) of fuel tray segments from the Reactor Building and removed, characterized, and packaged waste streams located throughout the Service Building, including 24,000 pounds of DAW, 50,000 pounds of equipment and debris requiring decontamination and survey for free release/recycle, 17,000 pounds of waste for bulk survey for release (BSFR), and 31,000 pounds of lead for decontamination and survey for free release/recycle. We installed a process enclosure within the facility to allow for the intrusive characterization, sorting, and segregating and packaging of the various waste streams. Characterization was performed using contamination surveys, dose rate measurements, and in situ object counting systems (ISOCS) measurements. Packaging was performed using sea/land containers, B-25 boxes, and soft-sided IP-1 containers.
We have been supporting cleanup efforts for AECL since 2002. Our Diversified Scientific Services, Inc. (DSSI) facility has treated low-level liquids and mixed low-level liquids (oils, chemicals, water, lab packs, vials) and sludges typically contaminated with H3 at high levels. Other isotopes of concern included uranium, plutonium, strontium, cobalt, and cesium. The primary treatment technology has been thermal destruction for the liquids and sludges.
Since 2009, CNL has brokered and shipped a total of approximately 2,000 cubic feet of waste to our facility for thermal destruction and has returned ~400 cubic feet (3,779 pounds). The return volumes have consisted of ash from the thermal treatment process and glass, plastic, and empty drums.
Our on-site activities have included brokerage services, packaging oversight, and on-site sampling campaigns. Based on our successful sampling campaigns on-site, CNL contracted with us to provide sampling training. Additionally, Perma-Fix provided on-site services for the Active Tanks 1 and 2 Remediation project at the Chalk River Site which included the design and construction of a mobile liquid waste extraction and processing facility on-site. The liquid wastes were successfully extracted, processed, packaged, and transported for final treatment.