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Title: DWPF Melter Off-Gas Flammability Assessment for Sludge Batch 9

Abstract

The slurry feed to the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) melter contains several organic carbon species that decompose in the cold cap and produce flammable gases that could accumulate in the off-gas system and create potential flammability hazard. To mitigate such a hazard, DWPF has implemented a strategy to impose the Technical Safety Requirement (TSR) limits on all key operating variables affecting off-gas flammability and operate the melter within those limits using both hardwired/software interlocks and administrative controls. The operating variables that are currently being controlled include; (1) total organic carbon (TOC), (2) air purges for combustion and dilution, (3) melter vapor space temperature, and (4) feed rate. The safety basis limits for these operating variables are determined using two computer models, 4-stage cold cap and Melter Off-Gas (MOG) dynamics models, under the baseline upset scenario - a surge in off-gas flow due to the inherent cold cap instabilities in the slurry-fed melter.

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM)
OSTI Identifier:
1262322
Report Number(s):
SRNL-STI-2016-00318
TRN: US1601602
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC09-08SR22470
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; VAPORS; FLAMMABILITY; MITIGATION; SLURRIES; WASTE PROCESSING; COMBUSTION; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; GAS FLOW; EVALUATION; HAZARDS; SLUDGES; OFF-GAS SYSTEMS; DILUTION; INSTABILITY; INTERLOCKS; SURGES; CERAMIC MELTERS; DWPF; SB9; melter off-gas flammability

Citation Formats

Choi, A. S. DWPF Melter Off-Gas Flammability Assessment for Sludge Batch 9. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1262322.
Choi, A. S. DWPF Melter Off-Gas Flammability Assessment for Sludge Batch 9. United States. doi:10.2172/1262322.
Choi, A. S. 2016. "DWPF Melter Off-Gas Flammability Assessment for Sludge Batch 9". United States. doi:10.2172/1262322. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1262322.
@article{osti_1262322,
title = {DWPF Melter Off-Gas Flammability Assessment for Sludge Batch 9},
author = {Choi, A. S.},
abstractNote = {The slurry feed to the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) melter contains several organic carbon species that decompose in the cold cap and produce flammable gases that could accumulate in the off-gas system and create potential flammability hazard. To mitigate such a hazard, DWPF has implemented a strategy to impose the Technical Safety Requirement (TSR) limits on all key operating variables affecting off-gas flammability and operate the melter within those limits using both hardwired/software interlocks and administrative controls. The operating variables that are currently being controlled include; (1) total organic carbon (TOC), (2) air purges for combustion and dilution, (3) melter vapor space temperature, and (4) feed rate. The safety basis limits for these operating variables are determined using two computer models, 4-stage cold cap and Melter Off-Gas (MOG) dynamics models, under the baseline upset scenario - a surge in off-gas flow due to the inherent cold cap instabilities in the slurry-fed melter.},
doi = {10.2172/1262322},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 7
}

Technical Report:

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  • The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) has been working with the Savannah River Remediation (SRR) Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) in the development and implementation of a flammability control strategy for DWPF’s melter operation during the processing of Sludge Batch 8 (SB8). SRNL’s support has been in response to technical task requests that have been made by SRR’s Waste Solidification Engineering (WSE) organization. The flammability control strategy relies on measurements that are performed on Slurry Mix Evaporator (SME) samples by the DWPF Laboratory. Measurements of nitrate, oxalate, formate, and total organic carbon (TOC) standards generated by the DWPF Laboratory aremore » presented in this report, and an evaluation of the uncertainties of these measurements is provided. The impact of the uncertainties of these measurements on DWPF’s strategy for controlling melter flammability also is evaluated. The strategy includes monitoring each SME batch for its nitrate content and its TOC content relative to the nitrate content and relative to the antifoam additions made during the preparation of the SME batch. A linearized approach for monitoring the relationship between TOC and nitrate is developed, equations are provided that integrate the measurement uncertainties into the flammability control strategy, and sample calculations for these equations are shown to illustrate the impact of the uncertainties on the flammability control strategy.« less
  • The work described in this report is preliminary in nature since its goal was to demonstrate the feasibility of estimating the off-gas carryover from the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) melter based on a simple mass balance using measured feed and glass pour stream (PS) compositions and time-averaged melter operating data over the duration of one canister-filling cycle. The DWPF has been in radioactive operation for over 20 years processing a wide range of high-level waste (HLW) feed compositions under varying conditions such as bubbled vs. non-bubbled and feeding vs. idling. So it is desirable to find out how themore » varying feed compositions and operating parameters would have impacted the off-gas entrainment. However, the DWPF melter is not equipped with off-gas sampling or monitoring capabilities, so it is not feasible to measure off-gas entrainment rates directly. The proposed method provides an indirect way of doing so.« less
  • Glycolic acid and sugar are being considered as potential candidates to substitute for much of the formic acid currently being added to the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) melter feed as a reductant. A series of small-scale melter tests were conducted at the Vitreous State Laboratory (VSL) in January 2011 to collect necessary data for the assessment of the impact of these alternate reductants on the melter off-gas flammability. The DM10 melter with a 0.021 m{sup 2} melt surface area was run with three different feeds which were prepared at SRNL based on; (1) the baseline formic/nitric acid flowsheet, (2)more » glycolic/formic/nitric acid flowsheet, and (3) sugar/formic/nitric acid flowsheet - these feeds will be called the baseline, glycolic, and sugar flowsheet feeds, respectively, hereafter. The actual addition of sugar to the sugar flowsheet feed was made at VSL before it was fed to the melter. For each feed, the DM10 was run under both bubbled (with argon) and non-bubbled conditions at varying melter vapor space temperatures. The goal was to lower its vapor space temperature from nominal 500 C to less than 300 C at 50 C increments and maintain steady state at each temperature at least for one hour, preferentially for two hours, while collecting off-gas data including CO, CO{sub 2}, and H{sub 2} concentrations. Just a few hours into the first test with the baseline feed, it was discovered that the DM10 vapor space temperature would not readily fall below 350 C simply by ramping up the feed rate as the test plan called for. To overcome this, ambient air was introduced directly into the vapor space through a dilution air damper in addition to the natural air inleakage occurring at the operating melter pressure of -1 inch H{sub 2}O. A detailed description of the DM10 run along with all the data taken is given in the report issued by VSL. The SRNL personnel have analyzed the DM10 data and identified 25 steady state periods lasting from 32 to 92 minutes for all six melter runs (bubbled and non-bubbled runs for each of the three feeds). The steady state selection was made by limiting the standard deviation of the average vapor space temperature readings from two bare thermocouples (TT-03 and TT-05) to less than 5 C in most cases at a constant feed rate. The steady state data thus selected were mass and heat balanced and the off-gas data were re-baselined to assess the flammability potential of each feed under the DWPF melter operating conditions. Efforts were made to extract as much information out of the data as possible necessary to extend the applicability of the existing baseline cold cap and off-gas combustion models to the glycolic and sugar flowsheet feeds. This report details the outcome of these activities.« less
  • An assessment has been made to evaluate the impact on the DWPF melter off-gas flammability of replacing the current solvent used in the Modular Caustic-Side Solvent Extraction Process Unit (MCU) process with the Next Generation Solvent (NGS-MCU) and blended solvent. The results of this study showed that the concentrations of nonvolatile carbon and hydrogen of the current solvent in the Slurry Mix Evaporator (SME) product would both be about 29% higher than their counterparts of the NGS-MCU and blended solvent in the absence of guanidine partitioning. When 6 ppm of guanidine (TiDG) was added to the effluent transfer to DWPFmore » to simulate partitioning for the NGS-MCU and blended solvent cases and the concentration of Isopar{reg_sign} L in the effluent transfer was controlled below 87 ppm, the concentrations of nonvolatile carbon and hydrogen of the NGS-MCU and blended solvent were still about 12% and 4% lower, respectively, than those of the current solvent. It is, therefore, concluded that as long as the volume of MCU effluent transfer to DWPF is limited to 15,000 gallons per Sludge Receipt and Adjustment Tank (SRAT)/SME cycle and the concentration of Isopar{reg_sign} L in the effluent transfer is controlled below 87 ppm, using the current solvent assumption of 105 ppm Isopar{reg_sign} L or 150 ppm solvent in lieu of NGS-MCU or blended solvent in the DWPF melter off-gas flammability assessment is conservative for up to an additional 6 ppm of TiDG in the effluent due to guanidine partitioning. This report documents the calculations performed to reach this conclusion.« less
  • The Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) is currently processing Sludge Batch 2 (SB2) and plans to initiate processing of SB3 in the spring of 2004. In addition, the Savannah River High Level Waste Division proposes to transfer existing excess Pu and Am/Cm materials through the Liquid Radioactive Waste Handling Facility directly to the Extended Sludge Process Facility. Current blending strategies have both the Pu and Am/Cm materials being vitrified within SB3 in the DWPF.