Disposal Methods for Greater-Than-Class C Waste
Several disposal options for GTCC waste are being evaluated in the EIS.
The Final GTCC EIS evaluates a range of disposal methods: geologic repository (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant); intermediate depth borehole; enhanced near surface trench, and above-grade vault. These methods are described as follows:
Disposal in Geologic Repositories
Geologic disposal involves placement of the waste in mined cavities deep beneath the earth's surface. This method is currently being used for the disposal of defense transuranic (TRU) waste at WIPP. Pictures of TRU waste disposal activities at WIPP are shown below.
Intermediate Depth Borehole Disposal
Intermediate depth borehole disposal involves the use of drilling equipment to construct a deep borehole (deeper than 30 meters) in the ground. The wastes are then placed in the borehole up to about 30 meters from the surface, and the remaining space is filled with clean soil. Shown to the right is a schematic diagram of a conceptual borehole facility.
Enhanced Near-Surface Disposal (Trench and Above Grade Vault)
Enhanced near-surface disposal (trench and above grade vault) involves the placement of the wastes in engineered trenches, vaults, or other similar facilities. The containment characteristics of these disposal facilities are enhanced by incorporating features such as barriers, deeper depth to disposal, and enhanced waste packaging. Shown below are conceptual designs for an enhanced near-surface trench and above grade vault facility.
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