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storage is underpinned by extensive experience with plutonium-uranium mixed oxide (MOX)
fuel in the commercial nuclear power sector.
Acceptability of materials at the Y-12 Plant is determined in accordance with the Y-12
acceptance criteria [USDOE 1997]. In very broad terms, the upper limit for plutonium is set at
5 ppm. This limit has been accepted as the lower limit for plutonium in uranium to be
dispositioned by the Materials Disposition Program [USDOE 1998].
The minimum plutonium
content for those oxides
The word "residue" does not have a concise, consistent definition
that have significant
from site to site. During the time that weapons were being
produced, there were three general categories of plutonium:
quantities of uranium has
1) product metal or oxide or fuels-grade metal and ceramics;
2) residues - materials that were recycled to recover the
been set at the safeguards
plutonium; and 3) very lean material designated as waste, which
termination limit. This
was discarded. The distinction between residues and waste was
largely economic. When processing was stopped, some product,
provides a convenient and
residues, and wastes were left in unsatisfactory storage
conditions [see e.g., DOE 1994c, DNFSB 1994]. This led to DNFSB
practical threshold for
Recommendation 94-1 and the DOE 94-1 Implementation Plan
distinguishing between
(IP), which defined categories for all materials. Categorization
was worked out on technical and practical grounds, with oxides
materials that require
and metals >50 wt% Pu comprising one category, and residues
and mixed oxides <50 wt% a second. However, the Rocky Flats
continued safeguarding (or,
"Residues EIS" codifies five residue categories, none of which
alternatively, further
include oxides. Rocky Flats plans to place its oxides in long-term
storage, as it is commonly understood that the Fissile Materials
processing to reduce the
Disposition Program will accept all RFETS materials currently
attractiveness prior to
categorized as oxides. Thus, at Rocky Flats, and generally
throughout the complex, the word residue has come to mean
disposition), and those that
materials to be discarded, not stored long-term.
might be disposable
Most Rocky Flats residues have been declared waste and are
destined for appropriate low-level or TRU disposal, although a
without further processing,
very small fraction may be processed. Some residues at other
regardless of the
sites may also be processed to produce a storable oxide or metal
based on practical, programmatic considerations. Since the
enrichment level of the
products of such processing are expected to have impurities and
other characteristics similar to the materials already categorized
contained uranium.
as oxides or metals, they are included in the scope of this
This Standard does not
In summary, oxides are included in the scope of the Standard
apply to materials destined
and residues are not. Broadly speaking, oxides in the EM program
are destined for disposition by the Fissile Materials Disposition
for WIPP, such as residues
Program and residues are destined for disposal. Finally,
plutonium content is not the distinguishing factor between oxides
and TRU Waste.
and residues the two are separated in the final analysis by
programmatic decisions.
The scope of DOE-STD-
3013-96 limits the

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