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Title: A COMPARISON OF HANFORD AND SAVANNAH RIVER SITE HIGH-LEVEL WASTES

Abstract

This study is a simple comparison of high-level waste from plutonium production stored in tanks at the Hanford and Savannah River sites. Savannah River principally used the PUREX process for plutonium separation. Hanford used the PUREX, Bismuth Phosphate, and REDOX processes, and reprocessed many wastes for recovery of uranium and fission products. Thus, Hanford has 55 distinct waste types, only 17 of which could be at Savannah River. While Hanford and Savannah River wastes both have high concentrations of sodium nitrate, caustic, iron, and aluminum, Hanford wastes have higher concentrations of several key constituents. The factors by which average concentrations are higher in Hanford salt waste than in Savannah River waste are 67 for {sup 241}Am, 4 for aluminum, 18 for chromium, 10 for fluoride, 8 for phosphate, 6 for potassium, and 2 for sulfate. The factors by which average concentrations are higher in Hanford sludges than in Savannah River sludges are 3 for chromium, 19 for fluoride, 67 for phosphate, and 6 for zirconium. Waste composition differences must be considered before a waste processing method is selected: A method may be applicable to one site but not to the other.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Hanford Site (HNF), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management (EM)
OSTI Identifier:
1010354
Report Number(s):
WRPS-49044-FP Rev 0
TRN: US1101593
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC27-08RV14800
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: INTERNATIONAL HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WM CONFERENCE (ANS) 04/10/2011 ALBUQUERQUE NM
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; ALUMINIUM; BISMUTH PHOSPHATES; CHROMIUM; FISSION PRODUCTS; IRON; PLUTONIUM; POTASSIUM; PRODUCTION; PUREX PROCESS; SAVANNAH RIVER PLANT; SLUDGES; SODIUM NITRATES; TANKS; URANIUM; WASTE PROCESSING; WASTES; ZIRCONIUM

Citation Formats

HILL RC PHILIP, REYNOLDS JG, and RUTLAND PL. A COMPARISON OF HANFORD AND SAVANNAH RIVER SITE HIGH-LEVEL WASTES. United States: N. p., 2011. Web.
HILL RC PHILIP, REYNOLDS JG, & RUTLAND PL. A COMPARISON OF HANFORD AND SAVANNAH RIVER SITE HIGH-LEVEL WASTES. United States.
HILL RC PHILIP, REYNOLDS JG, and RUTLAND PL. Wed . "A COMPARISON OF HANFORD AND SAVANNAH RIVER SITE HIGH-LEVEL WASTES". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1010354.
@article{osti_1010354,
title = {A COMPARISON OF HANFORD AND SAVANNAH RIVER SITE HIGH-LEVEL WASTES},
author = {HILL RC PHILIP and REYNOLDS JG and RUTLAND PL},
abstractNote = {This study is a simple comparison of high-level waste from plutonium production stored in tanks at the Hanford and Savannah River sites. Savannah River principally used the PUREX process for plutonium separation. Hanford used the PUREX, Bismuth Phosphate, and REDOX processes, and reprocessed many wastes for recovery of uranium and fission products. Thus, Hanford has 55 distinct waste types, only 17 of which could be at Savannah River. While Hanford and Savannah River wastes both have high concentrations of sodium nitrate, caustic, iron, and aluminum, Hanford wastes have higher concentrations of several key constituents. The factors by which average concentrations are higher in Hanford salt waste than in Savannah River waste are 67 for {sup 241}Am, 4 for aluminum, 18 for chromium, 10 for fluoride, 8 for phosphate, 6 for potassium, and 2 for sulfate. The factors by which average concentrations are higher in Hanford sludges than in Savannah River sludges are 3 for chromium, 19 for fluoride, 67 for phosphate, and 6 for zirconium. Waste composition differences must be considered before a waste processing method is selected: A method may be applicable to one site but not to the other.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Feb 23 00:00:00 EST 2011},
month = {Wed Feb 23 00:00:00 EST 2011}
}

Conference:
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  • Radiolytically-produced bubbles of trapped gas are observed in simulated high-level waste (HLW) damp salt cake exposed to Co-60 gamma radiation. As the damp salt cake is irradiated, its volume increases due to the formation of trapped gas bubbles. Based on the increase in volume, the rate of trapped gas generation varies between 0.04 and 0.2 molecules/100 eV of energy deposited in the damp salt cake. The maximum volume of trapped gas observed in experiments is in the range 21--26 vol %. After reaching these volumes, the gas bubbles begin to escape. The generated gas includes hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrous oxide.more » The ratio in which these components are produced depends on the composition of the waste. Nitrous oxide production increases with the amount of sodium nitrite. Gases trapped by this mechanism may account for some of the observed level changes in Savannah River Site and Hanford waste tanks.« less
  • Some of the conclusions of this study are: no waste form has a clear advantage; ceramic forms retain uranium best; high-silica glass retains cesium best; all forms retain rare earths (cerium) well; all forms leach incongruently; leaching increases with temperature; effect of leachant is small; and effect of sludge type is small, with exceptions.
  • A significant fraction of the high-level nuclear waste produced from fuel reprocessing operations at the Savannah River Site (SRS) must be pretreated to remove 137Cs, 90Sr and alpha-emitting radionuclides (i.e., actinides) prior to disposal onsite as low level waste. Separation processes planned at the SRS include caustic side solvent extraction for 137Cs and sorption onto monosodium titanate (MST) for 90Sr and alpha-emitters. The predominant alpha-emitting radionuclides in the highly alkaline waste solutions include plutonium isotopes 238Pu, 239Pu and 240Pu. This paper describes the planned Sr/actinide separation process and summarizes recent tests and demonstrations with simulated and actual tank waste solutions.
  • A significant fraction of the high-level nuclear waste produced from fuel reprocessing operations at the Savannah River Site (SRS) must be pretreated to remove 137Cs, 90Sr and alpha-emitting radionuclides (i.e., actinides) prior to disposal onsite as low level waste. Separation processes planned at the SRS include caustic side solvent extraction for 137Cs and sorption onto monosodium titanate (MST) for 90Sr and alpha-emitters. The predominant alpha-emitting radionuclides in the highly alkaline waste solutions include plutonium isotopes 238Pu, 239Pu and 240Pu. This paper describes the planned Sr/actinide separation process and summarizes recent tests and demonstrations with simulated and actual tank waste solutions.
  • The Savannah River Site, SRS, is currently pursuing an aggressive program to empty its High Level Waste, HLW, tanks and immobilize its radioactive waste into a durable borosilicate glass in the Defense Waste Processing Facility, DWPF. To create a batch of feed for the DWPF, several tanks of sludge slurry are combined into one of the million gallon, i.e. 3.79E06 liters, feed tanks for DWPF. A batch of feed nominally consists of 500,000 gallons, i.e. 1.89E06 liters. After a batch of feed is prepared, a portion of the batch, 26,500 liters, is transferred to DWPF. This batch is then chemicallymore » adjusted in the Chemical Processing Cell, CPC, prior to being fed to the melter to make the final product; canisters filled with glass. During the processing of the third batch, or Sludge Batch 2, of feed through the DWPF CPC, pumping and transfer problems were noted. These problems hindered the processing of the feed through the CPC, and thus impacted canister production in DWPF. In order to investigate the root cause of these problems, data were collected and evaluated for possible trends. One trend noted was the relationship between the pH, solids loading concentration, and temperature of the feed. As any one of these three variables changed, the rheological properties of the feed appeared to change. To determine the dependency of the rheological property, samples were obtained and shipped to Savannah River National Laboratory's, SRNL, Shielded Cells Facility. The samples were processed under two sets of conditions and rheological measurements obtained. The results of the SRNL studies showed that the ending pH of the samples impacted the rheological properties of the sample. Lowering the pH of the sludge slurry resulted in lower plastic viscosity and yield stress values,thus alleviating the processing problems. Increasing the solids loading typically increased both the plastic viscosity and yield stress. There was minimal or no dependency on temperature.« less