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Given the enormous scope of the decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) work that government and industry face, there is a tremendous opportunity to save money and avoid…
Given the enormous scope of the decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) work that government and industry face, there is a tremendous opportunity to save money and avoid further insults to the environment and to human health by applying the principles of life cycle analysis (LCA). An LCA approach is presented that is especially valuable in D&D decision making because it provides a systematic, comprehensive, defensible decision‐aiding process to find solutions that reduce costs and risks of D&D projects. Our approach to LCA differs from other approaches by taking into consideration all the factors important to owners and stakeholders – life cycle cost, health and safety, the environment, programmatic impacts, and other factors. Stakeholder participation is also a key part of the process. The result is robust, durable solutions for even the most complex D&D project. A specific demonstration of this approach to aid D&D at two US Department of Energy sites is presented.
Life‐cycle analysis (LCA) provides a general framework for assessing and summarizing all of the information important to a decision. LCA has been used to analyze the…
Life‐cycle analysis (LCA) provides a general framework for assessing and summarizing all of the information important to a decision. LCA has been used to analyze the desirability of replacing lead (Pb) with a composite of tungsten (W) and tin (Sn) in projectile slugs used in small arms ammunition at US Department of Energy (DOE) training facilities for security personnel. The analysis includes consideration of costs, performance, environmental and human health impacts, availability of raw materials, and stakeholder acceptance. Projectiles developed by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) using a composite of tungsten and tin are shown to perform as well as, or better than, those fabricated using lead. A cost analysis shows that tungsten‐tin is less costly to use than lead, since, for the current number of rounds used annually, the higher tungsten‐tin purchase price is small compared with higher maintenance costs associated with lead. The tungsten‐tin composite presents a much smaller potential for adverse human health and environmental impacts than lead. Only a small fraction of the world’s tungsten production occurs in the USA, however, and market‐economy countries account for only around 15 per cent of world tungsten production. Concludes that stakeholders would prefer tungsten‐tin on the basis of total cost, performance, reduced environmental impact and lower human toxicity. However, lead is preferable on the basis of material availability. Life cycle analysis clearly shows that advantages outweigh disadvantages in replacing lead with tungsten‐tin in small‐caliber projectiles at DOE training facilities. Concerns about the availability of raw tungsten are mitigated by the ease of converting back to lead (if necessary) and the recyclability of tungsten‐tin rounds.