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dukenuke

  • Guest
exemption levels of radioactive waste
« on: Jun 13, 2006, 04:31 »
Please help!

I've got some bottles of waste from lab experiments with c14 marked atracine and i'd like to

know if it meets exemption levels so the lab can treat it as common chemical waste. I know

exemption level is 0.01mSv/year, and i know the activity (measured with a scintillation counter).

How can i do?
I guess i have to consider geometrical factors in the calculations (distance from the source) ¿ am i right?

thanks

atomicarcheologist

  • Guest
Re: exemption levels of radioactive waste
« Reply #1 on: Jun 13, 2006, 05:50 »
Go to  the RadPro calculator on this site and punch in your activity.  The dose will be calculated for your.  It's a simple plug and chug.

alphadude

  • Guest
Re: exemption levels of radioactive waste
« Reply #2 on: Jun 14, 2006, 11:13 »
don't forget that the method of destruction will play an important factor in the disposal. any method that concentrates the nuclide will have to be considered.

radmoonrising

  • Guest
Re: exemption levels of radioactive waste
« Reply #3 on: Jun 14, 2006, 12:38 »
You have to be careful here.  In general, a release to "clean" chemical treatment involves what you can sell to the treatment site and especially what you can sell to your regulators.  There is no table you can go to in this circumstance.  You did not say whether this was a solid or a liquid.  I don't think the Rad Pro Calculator, which calculates external dose-rates in air is what you are looking for.  Your 0.01 mSv/yr is probably based on ingestion doses.

If it is a liquid, you can point the regulators to acceptable limits for effluent releases of water.  For NRC (10CFR20), the DCG limit for water effluent releases is based on the "Reference Man" drinking the liquid for a year and receiving 0.5 mSv a year.  That number is 3E-5 microCi/ml.  If you divide down to your 0.01 mSv per year, your limit would be 6E-7 microCi/ml.  You could also point to the proposed EPA limit for drinking water (1997).  For C-14, that number is 3.2E-6 microCi/ml.

If it is a solid, the only thing I personally know of is also in 10CFR20:

Quote
§ 20.2005 Disposal of specific wastes.
(a) A licensee may dispose of the following
licensed material as if it were
not radioactive:
(1) 0.05 microcurie (1.85 kBq), or less,
of hydrogen-3 or carbon-14 per gram of
medium used for liquid scintillation
counting; and
(2) 0.05 microcurie (1.85 kBq), or less,
of hydrogen-3 or carbon-14 per gram of
animal tissue, averaged over the
weight of the entire animal.

What the treatment site is going to want is probably non-radioactive waste.  The way you do it is to sell your MDA to the regulators, based on the numbers above or other regulatory numbers and then count the sample long enough to prove that you LASS systems meets that MDA and call it less than MDA or non-radioactive.  If your MDA is less than what you want, then you have the sticky politics of selling counting those samples for less time than normal to intentionally raise your MDA.  Good luck with that one ;D
« Last Edit: Jun 14, 2006, 01:12 by RadMoonRising »

alphadude

  • Guest
Re: exemption levels of radioactive waste
« Reply #4 on: Jun 14, 2006, 12:44 »
excellent reply.. more than I wished to post 8) 

Seeking advice here for material release to the public is somewhat risky, as the previous post identified.. many things are unknown-liquid. solid, RCRA, etc.  When posting here, one should remember that most of the experience here is technical based for operational facilities and replies tend to be from that experience level.  Waste management issues are fraught with peril and the "take a dose rate on it" is not the final solution and often times not any part of the solution.  (counting methods, MDA's, MDC's MACs, RCRA SW method, permits, storage time, and so on)

As a word of advice, if you don't known the path to disposal and you are asking here for information, you may be in over your head.  Any person involved with waste management and disposal should fully research the issue and READ all the information no matter how time consuming.. after all RCRA is one of the few regs that can hold you personally responsible, with harsh fines up to jail time.  Exclusion from the burial site for rad would not be fun either. 
« Last Edit: Jun 14, 2006, 12:59 by alphadude »

radmoonrising

  • Guest
Re: exemption levels of radioactive waste
« Reply #5 on: Jun 14, 2006, 03:52 »
Well put alphadude.  Of course we both may be assuming that dukenuke is in the USA.  The regulatory and political climate would be different in Asia or Europe.  Your research and know what you are doing advice will apply everywhere though.

Dukenuke, if you are in the USA, you probably have yourself a mixed waste there since you "know what the activity is."  If you can measure it, most chemical treatment sites will not touch it.  I could be wrong in your situation.  In any case, base your proposed release criteria on logical application of your regulations and present it to your regulators in writing and get their concurrence in writing, if possible.


dukenuke

  • Guest
Re: exemption levels of radioactive waste
« Reply #6 on: Jun 15, 2006, 02:31 »
Thank you very much for your replies.

Just as a matter of curiosity, you were right, i'm not writing from the US. I'm writing from Colombia!. i've had some trouble figuring out what MDA's, MDC's MACs, RCRA SW, LASS system, MDA, etc.  mean...

Beleive it or not, colombian regulation concerning radiological protection dates from 2002, and its application on practice remains "folcloric". So thats part of our present task, to seek if becomes more rigourous in the labs at the National University.

i'll be posting soon with more questions...

atomicarcheologist

  • Guest
Re: exemption levels of radioactive waste
« Reply #7 on: Jun 15, 2006, 06:16 »
I didn't think you were in the U.S. of A., dukenuke.  Plese let me know if my reply was off vector to your question.  I'm glad to help and I know that many times the questions posed here are not seeking normal, general knowledge.

 


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