The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has provided set guidance that hydrogen concentrations in radioactive material packages be limited to 5 vol% unless the package is designed to withstand a bounding hydrogen deflagration or detonation. The NRC guidance further specifies that the expected shipping time for a package be limited to one-half the time to reach 5 vol% hydrogen. This guidance has presented logistical problems for transport of retrieved legacy waste packages on the Department of Energy (DOE) Hanford Site that frequently contain greater than 5 vol% hydrogen due to their age and the lack of venting requirements at the time they were generated. Such packages do not meet the performance-based criteria for Type B packaging, and are considered risk-based packages. Duratek Technical Services (Duratek) has researched the true risk of hydrogen deflagration and detonation with closed packages, and has developed technical justification for elevated concentration limits of up to 15 vol% hydrogen in risk-based packages when transport is limited to the confines of the Hanford Site. Duratek has presented elevated hydrogen limit justification to the DOE Richland Operations Office and is awaiting approval for incorporation into the Hanford Site Transportation Safety Document. This paper details the technical justification methodology for the elevated hydrogen limits.

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