skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Analysis of the 2H-evaporator scale samples (HTF-17-56, -57)

Abstract

Savannah River National Laboratory analyzed scale samples from both the wall and cone sections of the 242-16H Evaporator prior to chemical cleaning. The samples were analyzed for uranium and plutonium isotopes required for a Nuclear Criticality Safety Assessment of the scale removal process. The analysis of the scale samples found the material to contain crystalline nitrated cancrinite and clarkeite. Samples from both the wall and cone contain depleted uranium. Uranium concentrations of 16.8 wt% 4.76 wt% were measured in the wall and cone samples, respectively. The ratio of plutonium isotopes in both samples is ~85% Pu-239 and ~15% Pu-238 by mass and shows approximately the same 3.5 times higher concentration in the wall sample versus the cone sample as observed in the uranium concentrations. The mercury concentrations measured in the scale samples were higher than previously reported values. The wall sample contains 19.4 wt% mercury and the cone scale sample 11.4 wt% mercury. The results from the current scales samples show reasonable agreement with previous 242-16H Evaporator scale sample analysis; however, the uranium concentration in the current wall sample is substantially higher than previous measurements.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1392909
Report Number(s):
SRNL-STI-2017-00537
DOE Contract Number:
AC09-08SR22470
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
98 NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT, SAFEGUARDS, AND PHYSICAL PROTECTION; 2H evaporator system; radionuclides; criticality

Citation Formats

Hay, M., Coleman, C., and Diprete, D. Analysis of the 2H-evaporator scale samples (HTF-17-56, -57). United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1392909.
Hay, M., Coleman, C., & Diprete, D. Analysis of the 2H-evaporator scale samples (HTF-17-56, -57). United States. doi:10.2172/1392909.
Hay, M., Coleman, C., and Diprete, D. 2017. "Analysis of the 2H-evaporator scale samples (HTF-17-56, -57)". United States. doi:10.2172/1392909. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1392909.
@article{osti_1392909,
title = {Analysis of the 2H-evaporator scale samples (HTF-17-56, -57)},
author = {Hay, M. and Coleman, C. and Diprete, D.},
abstractNote = {Savannah River National Laboratory analyzed scale samples from both the wall and cone sections of the 242-16H Evaporator prior to chemical cleaning. The samples were analyzed for uranium and plutonium isotopes required for a Nuclear Criticality Safety Assessment of the scale removal process. The analysis of the scale samples found the material to contain crystalline nitrated cancrinite and clarkeite. Samples from both the wall and cone contain depleted uranium. Uranium concentrations of 16.8 wt% 4.76 wt% were measured in the wall and cone samples, respectively. The ratio of plutonium isotopes in both samples is ~85% Pu-239 and ~15% Pu-238 by mass and shows approximately the same 3.5 times higher concentration in the wall sample versus the cone sample as observed in the uranium concentrations. The mercury concentrations measured in the scale samples were higher than previously reported values. The wall sample contains 19.4 wt% mercury and the cone scale sample 11.4 wt% mercury. The results from the current scales samples show reasonable agreement with previous 242-16H Evaporator scale sample analysis; however, the uranium concentration in the current wall sample is substantially higher than previous measurements.},
doi = {10.2172/1392909},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 9
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share:
  • Savannah River Remediation (SRR) is planning to remove a buildup of sodium aluminosilicate scale from the 2H-evaporator pot by loading and soaking the pot with heated 1.5 M nitric acid solution. Sampling and analysis of the scale material has been performed so that uranium and plutonium isotopic analysis can be input into a Nuclear Criticality Safety Assessment (NCSA) for scale removal by chemical cleaning. Historically, since the operation of the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF), silicon in the DWPF recycle stream combines with aluminum in the typical tank farm supernate to form sodium aluminosilicate scale mineral deposits in the 2Hevaporatormore » pot and gravity drain line. The 2H-evaporator scale samples analyzed by Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) came from the bottom cone sections of the 2H-evaporator pot [Sample HTF-13-77] and the wall 2H-evaporator [sample HTF-13-82]. X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) confirmed that both the 2H-evaporator pot scale and the wall samples consist of nitrated cancrinite (a crystalline sodium aluminosilicate solid) and clarkeite (a uranium oxy-hydroxide mineral). On “as received” basis, the bottom pot section scale sample contained an average of 2.59E+00 ± 1.40E-01 wt % total uranium with a U-235 enrichment of 6.12E-01 ± 1.48E-02 %, while the wall sample contained an average of 4.03E+00 ± 9.79E-01 wt % total uranium with a U-235 enrichment of 6.03E-01% ± 1.66E-02 wt %. The bottom pot section scale sample analyses results for Pu-238, Pu-239, and Pu-241 are 3.16E- 05 ± 5.40E-06 wt %, 3.28E-04 ± 1.45E-05 wt %, and <8.80E-07 wt %, respectively. The evaporator wall scale samples analysis values for Pu-238, Pu-239, and Pu-241 averages 3.74E-05 ± 6.01E-06 wt %, 4.38E-04 ± 5.08E-05 wt %, and <1.38E-06 wt %, respectively. The Pu-241 analyses results, as presented, are upper limit values. These results are provided so that SRR can calculate the equivalent uranium-235 concentrations for the NCSA. Results confirm that the uranium contained in the scale remains depleted with respect to natural uranium. SRNL did not calculate an equivalent U-235 enrichment, which takes into account other fissionable isotopes U-233, Pu-239 and Pu-241. The applicable method for calculation of equivalent U-235 will be determined in the NCSA.« less
  • Savannah River Remediation (SRR) is planning to remove a buildup of sodium aluminosilicate scale from the 2H-evaporator pot by loading and soaking the pot with heated 1.5 M nitric acid solution. Sampling and analysis of the scale material has been performed so that uranium and plutonium isotopic analysis can be input into a Nuclear Criticality Safety Assessment (NCSA) for scale removal by chemical cleaning. Historically, since the operation of the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF), silicon in the DWPF recycle stream combines with aluminum in the typical tank farm supernate to form sodium aluminosilicate scale mineral deposits in the 2H-evaporatormore » pot and gravity drain line. The 2H-evaporator scale samples analyzed by Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) came from two different locations within the evaporator pot; the bottom cone sections of the 2H-evaporator pot [Sample HTF-13-77] and the wall 2H-evaporator [sample HTF-13-82]. X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) confirmed that both the 2H-evaporator pot scale and the wall samples consist of nitrated cancrinite (a crystalline sodium aluminosilicate solid) and clarkeite (a uranium oxyhydroxide mineral). On ''as received'' basis, the bottom pot section scale sample contained an average of 2.59E+00 {+-} 1.40E-01 wt % total uranium with a U-235 enrichment of 6.12E-01 {+-} 1.48E-02 %, while the wall sample contained an average of 4.03E+00 {+-} 9.79E-01 wt % total uranium with a U-235 enrichment of 6.03E-01% {+-} 1.66E-02 wt %. The bottom pot section scale sample analyses results for Pu-238, Pu-239, and Pu-241 are 3.16E-05 {+-} 5.40E-06 wt %, 3.28E-04 {+-} 1.45E-05 wt %, and <8.80E-07 wt %, respectively. The evaporator wall scale samples analysis values for Pu-238, Pu-239, and Pu-241 averages 3.74E-05 {+-} 6.01E-06 wt %, 4.38E-04 {+-} 5.08E-05 wt %, and <1.38E-06 wt %, respectively. The Pu-241 analyses results, as presented, are upper limit values. For these two evaporator scale samples obtained at two different locations within the evaporator pot the major radioactive components (on a mass basis) in the additional radionuclide analyses were Sr-90, Cs-137 Np-237, Pu-239/240 and Th-232. Small quantities of americium and curium were detected in the blanks used for Am/Cm method for these radionuclides. These trace radionuclide amounts are assumed to come from airborne contamination in the shielded cells drying or digestion oven, which has been replaced. Therefore, the Am/Cm results, as presented, may be higher than the true Am/Cm values for these samples. These results are provided so that SRR can calculate the equivalent uranium-235 concentrations for the NCSA. Results confirm that the uranium contained in the scale remains depleted with respect to natural uranium. SRNL did not calculate an equivalent U-235 enrichment, which takes into account other fissionable isotopes U-233, Pu-239 and Pu-241. The applicable method for calculation of equivalent U-235 will be determined in the NCSA. With a few exceptions, a comparison of select radionuclides measurements from this 2013 2H evaporator scale characterization (pot bottom and wall scale samples) with those measurements for the same radionuclides in the 2010 2H evaporator scale analysis shows that the radionuclide analysis for both years are fairly comparable; the analyses results are about the same order of magnitude.« less
  • The build-up of sodium aluminosilicate scale in the 2H Evaporator system continues to cause operational difficulties. The use of a nitric acid cleaning operation proved successful in 2001. However, the operation required additional facilities to support spent cleaning solution neutralization and was quite costly. A proposed caustic cleaning flowsheet has many advantages over the acid flowsheet. Therefore, samples were retrieved from the evaporator system (gravity drain line and pot) for both chemical and radiological characterization and dissolution testing. The characterization of these scale samples showed the presence of nitrated cancrinite along with a dehydrated zeolite. Small amounts of depleted uraniummore » were also found in these samples as expected and the amount of uranium ranged from 0.5 wt% to 2 wt%. Dissolution in sodium hydroxide solutions of various caustic concentrations showed that the scale slowly dissolves at elevated temperature (90 C). Data from similar testing indicate that the scale removed from the GDL in 2005 dissolves slower than that removed in 1997. Differences in the particle size of these samples of scale may well explain the measured dissolution rate differences.« less
  • This report documents the results of applying thermal analysis methods to the characterization of the properties of Slurry Mix Evaporator (SME) product samples as a function of temperature. The goal of the research program was to determine if various thermal analysis methods could aid in measuring melter feed melt rate, study the impact of post SME additions of formic acid, and aid in developing a better understanding of melter cold cap chemistry. The thermal analysis methods tested in this program included Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), and Accelerating Rate Calorimetry (ARC). The samples used in the study weremore » from a study on the impact of acid stoichiometry and redox on melt rate.« less
  • This report tabulates the chemical analysis of the 3H, 2H and 2F evaporator overhead samples including the inorganic, organic, and radionuclide species according the ETP WAC (rev.4). In addition, the physical properties including pH, total suspended solids, and average particle size are listed for each sample. The report identifies all sample receipt dates, preparation methods, and analyses completed to accumulate these values. All values were found to be within the ETP WAC specifications for WWCT except for the {sup 137}Cs concentration for the 2F sample which was slightly above the limit ({approx}5%). However, tank farm personnel sample each tank overheadmore » for beta/gamma prior to transfer using a pulse height analyzer and these field readings were all well within limits. Additional actions will be taken to help understand the reason in the discrepancy of the field measurement versus laboratory analysis.« less