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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
practical threshold for
DNFSB Recommendation 94-1 and the DOE 94-1 Implementation
distinguishing between
Plan (IP), which defined categories for all materials.
Categorization was worked out on technical and practical
materials that require
grounds, with oxides and metals >50 wt% Pu comprising one
continued safeguarding (or,
category, and residues and mixed oxides <50 wt% a second.
However, the Rocky Flats "Residues EIS" codifies five residue
alternatively, further
categories, none of which include oxides. Rocky Flats plans to
place its oxides in long-term storage, as it is commonly
processing to reduce the
understood that the Fissile Materials Disposition Program will
attractiveness prior to
accept all RFETS materials currently categorized as oxides. Thus,
at Rocky Flats, and generally throughout the complex, the word
disposition), and those that
residue has come to mean materials to be discarded, not stored
might be disposable
Most Rocky Flats residues have been declared waste and are
without further processing,
destined for appropriate low-level or TRU disposal, although a
regardless of the
very small fraction may be processed. Some residues at other
sites may also be processed to produce a storable oxide or metal
enrichment level of the
based on practical, programmatic considerations. Since the
contained uranium.
products of such processing are expected to have impurities and
other characteristics similar to the materials already categorized
as oxides or metals, they are included in the scope of this
This Standard does not
apply to materials destined
In summary, oxides are included in the scope of the Standard
and residues are not. Broadly speaking, oxides in the EM
for WIPP, such as residues
program are destined for disposition by the Fissile Materials
and TRU Waste.
Disposition Program and residues are destined for disposal.
Finally, plutonium content is not the distinguishing factor
The scope of DOE-STD-
between oxides and residues the two are separated in the final
analysis by programmatic decisions.
3013-96 limits the

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