10 CFR 61.55 - Waste classification.

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§ 61.55 Waste classification.
(a) Classification of waste for near surface disposal—
(1) 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.
(2) Classes of waste.
(i) 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 § 61.56(a). If Class A waste also meets the stability requirements set forth in § 61.56(b), it is not necessary to segregate the waste for disposal.
(ii) 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 § 61.56.
(iii) 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 disposal facility to protect against inadvertent intrusion. The physical form and characteristics of Class C waste must meet both the minimum and stability requirements set forth in § 61.56.
(iv) Waste that is not generally acceptable for near-surface disposal is waste for which 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, such waste must be disposed of in a geologic repository as defined in part 60 or 63 of this chapter unless proposals for disposal of such waste in a disposal site licensed pursuant to this part are approved by the Commission.
(3) Classification determined by long-lived radionuclides. If radioactive waste contains only radionuclides listed in Table 1, classification shall be determined as follows:
(i) If the concentration does not exceed 0.1 times the value in Table 1, the waste is Class A.
(ii) 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.
(iii) If the concentration exceeds the value in Table 1, the waste is not generally acceptable for near-surface disposal.
(iv) For wastes containing mixtures of radionuclides listed in Table 1, the total concentration shall be determined by the sum of fractions rule described in paragraph (a)(7) of this section.
Table 1
Radionuclide Concentration curies per cubic meter
1 Units are nanocuries per gram.
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
Alpha emitting transuranic nuclides with half-life greater than 5 years 1 100
Pu-241 1 3,500
Cm-242 1 20,000
(4) Classification determined by short-lived radionuclides. If radioactive waste does not contain any of the radionuclides listed in Table 1, classification shall be determined based on the concentrations shown in Table 2. However, as specified in paragraph (a)(6) of this section, if radioactive waste does not contain any nuclides listed in either Table 1 or 2, it is Class A.
(i) If the concentration does not exceed the value in Column 1, the waste is Class A.
(ii) If the concentration exceeds the value in Column 1, but does not exceed the value in Column 2, the waste is Class B.
(iii) If the concentration exceeds the value in Column 2, but does not exceed the value in Column 3, the waste is Class C.
(iv) If the concentration exceeds the value in Column 3, the waste is not generally acceptable for near-surface disposal.
(v) For wastes containing mixtures of the nuclides listed in Table 2, the total concentration shall be determined by the sum of fractions rule described in paragraph (a)(7) of this section.
Table 2
Radionuclide Concentration, curies per cubic meter
Col. 1 Col. 2 Col. 3
1 There are no limits established for these radionuclides in Class B or C wastes. Practical considerations such as the effects of external radiation and internal 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.
Total of all nuclides with less than 5 year half-life 700 (1) (1)
H-3 40 (1) (1)
Co-60 700 (1) (1)
Ni-63 3.5 70 700
Ni-63 in activated metal 35 700 7000
Sr-90 0.04 150 7000
Cs-137 1 44 4600
(5) 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 shall be determined as follows:
(i) If the concentration of a nuclide listed in Table 1 does not exceed 0.1 times the value listed in Table 1, the class shall be that determined by the concentration of nuclides listed in Table 2.
(ii) If the concentration of a nuclide 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 shall be Class C, provided the concentration of nuclides listed in Table 2 does not exceed the value shown in Column 3 of Table 2.
(6) Classification of wastes with radionuclides other than those listed in Tables 1 and 2. If radioactive waste does not contain any nuclides listed in either Table 1 or 2, it is Class A.
(7) 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 nuclide's concentration by the appropriate limit and adding 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.
(8) Determination of concentrations in wastes. The concentration of a radionuclide may be determined by indirect methods such as use of scaling factors which relate the inferred concentration of one radionuclide to another that is measured, or radionuclide material accountability, if there is reasonable assurance that the indirect methods can be correlated with actual measurements. The concentration of a radionuclide may be averaged over the volume of the waste, or weight of the waste if the units are expressed as nanocuries per gram.
[47 FR 57463, Dec. 27, 1982, as amended at 54 FR 22583, May 25, 1989; 66 FR 55792, Nov. 2, 2001]

Title 10 published on 2014-01-01

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  • 2014-11-10; vol. 79 # 217 - Monday, November 10, 2014
    1. 79 FR 66598 - Miscellaneous Corrections
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      NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
      Final rule.
      This rule is effective on December 10, 2014.
      10 CFR Parts 2, 15, 19, 20, 26, 30, 40, 50, 51, 52, 55, 60, 61, 63, 70, 71, 72, 73, and 76

Title 10 published on 2014-01-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 10 CFR 61 after this date.

  • 2014-11-10; vol. 79 # 217 - Monday, November 10, 2014
    1. 79 FR 66598 - Miscellaneous Corrections
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
      Final rule.
      This rule is effective on December 10, 2014.
      10 CFR Parts 2, 15, 19, 20, 26, 30, 40, 50, 51, 52, 55, 60, 61, 63, 70, 71, 72, 73, and 76