In 1996, the "Implementing Arrangement between the Department of Energy of the United States of America and the National Atomic Energy Commission of the Argentine Republic for Technical Exchange and Cooperation in the Area of Radioactive and Mixed Waste Management" was signed to promote international scientific collaboration. The duration of the bilateral agreement is ten years.
The objective of this international partnership is to assist DOE in meeting its environmental restoration and waste management goals by developing and demonstrating technologies that are safer, more efficient, and less costly than those currently in use. Other benefits include encouraging the introduction and use of U.S. environmental technologies and services outside the U.S. and bringing leading scientists from multiple countries together to develop innovative environmental solutions. This working partnership conducts cost-effective, innovative technology demonstration and deployment projects that are applicable to the environmental contamination in
Argentina, at DOE facilities in the U.S., and at other sites worldwide.
The Joint Coordinating Committee for Radioactive and Mixed Waste Management (JCCRM) was established to manage the activities conducted under the auspices of the DOE/CNEA Agreement. The JCCRM meets annually to assess program progress, review and approve proposals, and determine the level of future activities for implementation. The CNEA Head of the Coordination Unit of Projects on Radioactive Waste and the DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science and Technology, Office of Environmental Management (EM) co-chair the JCCRM. Membership consists of specialists from both the U.S. and Argentina who represent the technical areas of cooperation. OST participation in the JCCRM ensures that the areas of technical cooperation address DOE/EM's most critical needs. JCCRM projects are reviewed and evaluated by DOE technical staff for scientific merit, applicability to key DOE site needs, and relevance to DOE users.
At the first JCCRM meeting, held May 30-31, 1996, in Miami, Florida, participants
defined the following three areas of cooperation: uranium mill tailings remediation,
D&D, and research and development of low- and high-level waste. Technical
presentations were made by both delegations. CNEA presented a review of the nuclear
activities in Argentina and of its facilities, as well as described the objectives of its
Radioactive Waste Management Program. This included a description of their research
and development programs, types of waste generated, technologies being applied for waste
treatment and conditioning, the existing and projected facilities for final disposal, and
an overview of the Argentina Uranium Mill Tailings program. The DOE delegation also
provided an overview of their corresponding programs and description of their Focus Areas.
To support these agreed areas of cooperation, it was decided that the following four
activities should be performed:
- Preliminary evaluation of possible activities on D&D applied to the Argentina Alpha
- Characterization and immobilization by vitrification of spent ion exchange resins;
- Characterization and separation methods of Cesium-137 (Cs-137) from Mixed-Low Level
Waste (MLW) of Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) production; and
- A scientific exchange in the area of uranium mill tailings.
It was also determined that both countries would begin to exchange technical
information within these cooperative areas.
The second JCCRM meeting was held in December 1997 in Miami, Florida, coinciding with
X-Change '97. The conference covered operational approaches, new technologies, and
other innovations for increasing the performance while reducing the costs of D&D
activities on buildings and equipment at nuclear sites and other locations that handle
hazardous and radioactive wastes. Managers in government and industry discussed
their specific spending plans, highlighting projects where operational decisions and new
technologies can yield significant improvements in cost and performance.
The purpose of the JCCRM meeting was to discuss the projects conducted during the
previous year and to determine the scope of future activities. Program Managers and
Principal Investigators provided presentations on the past years activities, discussing
project results, obstacles and hurdles, and their recommendations for future activities.
Upon the agreement of future program direction, both parties signed a Record of
Meeting, and collaborations were established in the following areas: D&D,
Crystalline Silicotitnate (CST), and Resin Vitrification.
The 4th JCCRM meeting was held in Bariloche, Argentina, from August 30 to
September 3, 1999. The meeting was co-chaired by Dr. Guido-Lavelle of CNEA and Mr. Gerald
Boyd, DOE/EM-OST Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary. Technical areas of discussion
included; deactivation and decommissioning, subsurface contamination; uranium mill
tailings contamination, and solidification/vitrification processes.
The Fifth Annual JCCRM Meeting was held in Augusta, Georgia on November 15, 2000. The meeting was
held in conjunction with the 12th Technical Information Exchange (TIE) Workshop. The purpose of the
JCCRM Meeting was to discuss JCCRM activities that had taken place during the previous year, and to
determine the scope of future activities. The co-chairs agreed that the number of activities taking
place under the JCCRM should be increased, using the Resin Vitrification project as a model for
successful cooperation. It was also agreed that the U.S. DOE would provide financial support to
CNEA to carry out several key projects for implementation in FY01.
CNEA presented a brief overview of changes that had occurred in their organization since the last
JCCRM meeting, due to their recent presidential election. Program Managers from each side gave
brief presentations on JCCRM cooperative activities during FY00, and future projects in each area
of cooperation were discussed. Upon the agreement of future program direction, both parties signed
a Record of Meeting, and collaborations were established in the following areas:
High Level Tank Remediation, Deactivation and Decommissioning, and Characterization.