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Glycolic acid is being studied as a replacement for formic acid in the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) feed preparation process. After implementation, the recycle stream from DWPF back to the high-level waste Tank Farm will contain soluble sodium glycolate. Most of the potential impacts of glycolate in the Tank Farm were addressed via a literature review and simulant testing, but several outstanding issues remained. This report documents the actual-waste tests to determine the impacts of glycolate on storage and evaporation of Savannah River Site high-level waste. The objectives of this study are to address the following: Determine the extent to which sludge constituents (Pu, U, Fe, etc.) dissolve (the solubility of sludge constituents) in the glycolate-containing 2H-evaporator feed. Determine the impact of glycolate on the sorption of fissile (Pu, U, etc.) components onto sodium aluminosilicate solids. The first objective was accomplished through actual-waste testing using Tank 43H and 38H supernatant and Tank 51H sludge at Tank Farm storage conditions. The second objective was accomplished by contacting actual 2H-evaporator scale with the products from the testing for the first objective. There is no anticipated impact of up to 10 g/L of glycolate in DWPF recycle to the Tank Farm onmore » tank waste component solubilities as investigated in this test. Most components were not influenced by glycolate during solubility tests, including major components such as aluminum, sodium, and most salt anions. There was potentially a slight increase in soluble iron with added glycolate, but the soluble iron concentration remained so low (on the order of 10 mg/L) as to not impact the iron to fissile ratio in sludge. Uranium and plutonium appear to have been supersaturated in 2H-evaporator feed solution mixture used for this testing. As a result, there was a reduction of soluble uranium and plutonium as a function of time. The change in soluble uranium concentration was independent of added glycolate concentration. The change in soluble plutonium content was dependent on the added glycolate concentration, with higher levels of glycolate (5 g/L and 10 g/L) appearing to suppress the plutonium solubility. The inclusion of glycolate did not change the dissolution of or sorption onto actual-waste 2H-evaporator pot scale to an extent that will impact Tank Farm storage and concentration. The effects that were noted involved dissolution of components from evaporator scale and precipitation of components onto evaporator scale that were independent of the level of added glycolate.« less
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United States
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES 2H Evaporator, DWPF Alternate Reductant, Uranium, Plutonium, Sodium Aluminosilicate