Radiological Waste Management and Disposal Facilities

Geosyntec's practitioners work with regulators and stakeholders to develop solutions for a range of radiological challenges, including waste management and disposal, waste packaging and transportation, facility decontamination and decommissioning (D&D), and environmental restoration for government and private clients. Our established credibility with regulators contributes to securing the approvals needed to move demanding projects forward in a timely manner.

Geosyntec has successfully assisted clients in the related practice area of management and containment of by-products and wastes that contain naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) associated with ore processing residuals. For example, a multinational company owned a processing facility at which NORM impacted the buildings, equipment, and process area soils. Geosyntec assessed and characterized site conditions, then designed a secure, on-site disposal facility for thorium-containing residuals, dismantled ore processing equipment, and impacted soils. Our design addressed the liner and cover containment systems; sequencing for constructing, filling, and closing the facility; facility operation and maintenance; and post-closure environmental monitoring. As the general contractor for the project, we implemented a stringent construction and radiological safety program. This included establishing and operating an on-site radiological laboratory capable of measuring gross alpha/beta activity and gamma spectroscopy on debris, impacted soils, airborne particulates, and water. The project was completed with more than 1 million man-hours without either a lost-time accident or a radiological incident, a testament to the importance of safety and the safety culture that Geosyntec has established.

Developing containment facilities for the safe, long-term disposal of radiological and mixed (radiological and hazardous) wastes challenges the norms in terms of technology demonstration, design life, and material performance. When the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) decided to decommission its nuclear weapons complex facilities at Fernald, Ohio, they relied on our ability to design and provide construction quality assurance services for the low-level radioactive waste disposal facilities built to contain impacted soils and demolition debris. Geosyntec met aggressive DOE schedule requirements and delivered award-winning, state-of-the-art facilities with a design life of at least 200 years using currently available technology. In doing so, we have helped DOE and its contractor teams complete site closure years ahead of their original schedules – and billions below the original estimate.  When DOE decided to decommission its nuclear weapons complex facility at Portsmouth, Ohio and Paducah, Kentucky, Geosyntec was again tapped to provide design and permitting for the on-site waste disposal facility.

The extremely long half-lives of the radionuclides present in the waste mean that the radiological characteristics of these materials will not significantly change over long periods of time. Further, this implies that the characteristics of the waste that require that they be disposed and managed in a controlled manner will continue to exist as a disposal facility ages. Geosyntec has conducted performance assessments as part of evaluating the potential impacts associated with radioactive waste disposal under a number of different regulatory settings to demonstrate that the disposal facilities are protective of human health and the environment. The results of the performance assessments are critical in helping our clients understand their design choices and future liabilities.

Geosyntec is perhaps the world leader in applying in-situ technologies to the cleanup and mitigation of environmental contaminants, including radionuclides, in every type of hydrogeologic setting. These technologies include permeable reactive barriers, oxidation/reduction treatment, cation exchange and precipitation, adsorption/sequestration, bioremediation and bioaugmentation, thermal treatment, and others. We have conducted research on these technologies for NASA, US EPA, US DOD, and DOE.  Geosyntec personnel co-authored DOE's Natural Attenuation Guidance Documents for metals, which was one of the groundbreaking works on arsenic, metals, and radionuclide fate and transport and natural attenuation characterization.  In addition, we are collaborating with nearly a dozen universities in the US, Canada, and UK on these topics.

Lead Consultants

  • Rudolph Bonaparte, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, F.ASCE, NAE
    Rudy Bonaparte is a Senior Principal Engineer based in Georgia with more than 30 years of professional experience focused on the areas of: geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering; contaminate ...
  • Robert Bachus, Ph.D., P.E.
    Robert Bachus is a Senior Principal engineer based in Georgia with more than 30 years of professional experience focused on geotechnical engineering, geoenvironmental engineering, waste by-product ...
  • J.F. Beech, Ph.D., P.E.
    Jay Beech is a Senior Consultant Engineer based in Georgia with more than 30 years of experience focused on design and construction of waste containment and subsurface barrier systems, sediment rem ...
  • David Bonnett, P.E., P.Eng.
    David Bonnett is a Principal Engineer based in Massachusetts with 30 years of experience focused on water and natural resources engineering and waste containment facility planning and design, inclu ...
  • Michael Houlihan, P.E.
    Michael Houlihan is a Senior Principal Engineer based in Maryland with more than 30 years of experience focused on industrial and municipal waste management, waste containment system design, geotec ...
  • Greg Corcoran, P.E.
    Greg Corcoran is a Senior Principal Civil Engineer based in California with more than 25 years of experience with a focus on the design, construction, and operation of engineered systems for waste ...
  • Nandra Weeks, P.E.
    Nandra Weeks is a Senior Principal Environmental Engineer based in Florida with more than 20 years of professional experience focused on the engineering and remediation issues associated with envir ...
  • Paul Sabatini, Ph.D., P.E.
    Paul J. Sabatini, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE. is a Senior Principal with Geosyntec Consultants in their Oak Brook, Illinois office.  He has been a practicing engineer for 22 years and has been involved in ...
  • Scott Graves, P.E.
    Scott Graves is a Principal Engineer based in Texas with experience focused on geotechnical, environmental, and water resources engineering. Scott specializes in landfill design and permitting, was ...
  • Bertrand Palmer, Ph.D., P.E.
    Bertrand Palmer is a Senior Principal Engineer based in California with more than 20 years of experience focused on developing innovative approaches and designs for projects involving site assessme ...
  • Kenneth Fredianelli
    Kenneth Fredianelli is a Principal Construction Management Professional based in California with more than 30 years of experience focused on managing engineering, construction, and design/build pro ...
  • Hari Sharma, Ph.D., P.E., G.E.
    Hari Sharma is a Senior Principal Geotechnical Engineer based in California with more than 30 years of experience focused on the design and construction of waste containment facilities and geotechn ...
  • Daniel Schauer, P.G.
    Daniel Schauer is a Senior Principal Geologist based in Florida with over 24 years of geological, hydrogeological, and geotechnical engineering consulting experience focused on multidisciplinary en ...
  • John Seymour, P.E.
    John Seymour is a Senior Principal Civil Engineer based in Illinois with over 30 years of experience focused on site remediation, deep foundation engineering, and construction management. His clien ...
  • James Stout, BCES
    Jim Stout is a Senior Principal Environmental Scientist based in Texas with more than 31 years of experience focused on the effective management of environmental remediation projects for private an ...
  • Anthony Goh, P.E.
    Anthony Goh is a Senior Consultant and Environmental Engineer based in Malaysia with more than 30 years of experience focused on consulting for multinational clients across Malaysia and Singapore a ...
  • Scott Promer, P.E., MBA
    Scott Promer is a Principal Engineer based in Alabama with more than 20 years of professional experience in business development, operations, engineering, and project management delivering large an ...
Geosyntec Consultants
Geosyntec is a specialized consulting and engineering firm that works with private and public sector clients to address new ventures and complex problems involving our environment, natural resources, and civil infrastructure.

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