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Title: Cheesecloth Alternatives Testing

Abstract

Heat source plutonium oxide (HS-PuO 2) enriched with 65% or greater plutonium-238, is recovered and purified using an aqueous nitric acid process. Historically, cheesecloth has been employed for small spill clean-up and for routine housekeeping. However, the 2016 Department of Energy (DOE) Operating Experience report, entitled Nitrate Waste Evaluations, stated that the mixing of nitrate wastes with organic absorbents, such as cheesecloth, may render transuranic waste unacceptable for disposal at WIPP in the future. This report explores the feasibility of replacement of cheesecloth with an alternative sorbent wipe that has similar absorption and cleaning abilities and improved acid resistance. Currently, cheesecloth is used for three different functions in HS-PuO 2 operations: spill cleanup; general housekeeping operations such as cleaning glovebox floors and windows, balances, furnaces, etc.; and decontamination of iridium cladded heat sources containing HS-PuO 2. Alternatives used for spill cleanup must be able to tolerate high neutron doses found in the HS-Pu gloveboxes. They must also be able to withstand exposure to nitric acid concentrations up to 15.8 M without decomposing. Wipes used for general housekeeping must also be durable enough to clean rough surfaces and remain intact when used for scrubbing. Wipes used for clad decontamination do notmore » need to absorb large amounts of liquid but they must be able to withstand neutron exposures, temperatures of up to several hundred degrees Celsius, and exposure to acid solutions followed by mild scrubbing. Finally wipes used for any purpose must resist chemical reactions with nitric acid that could cause issues for waste disposal such as energetic exothermic reactions or flammable gas build-up. The wipes selected for this study were ranked based on their usability (radiation tolerance, absorbency, integrity in nitric acid, and durability) as well as their chemical compatibility with nitric acid as demonstrated using several types of chemical analyses. Wipes were then ranked based on the combination of their usability and chemical compatibility scores.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1438351
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-18-24415
DOE Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES

Citation Formats

Hollis, Rebecca Vincent, Hollis, William Kirk, Hargraves, Jaqueline, Atencio, Elena, Parsons, Brendon Andrew, Milenski, Helen Marie, and Meyers, Lisa. Cheesecloth Alternatives Testing. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1438351.
Hollis, Rebecca Vincent, Hollis, William Kirk, Hargraves, Jaqueline, Atencio, Elena, Parsons, Brendon Andrew, Milenski, Helen Marie, & Meyers, Lisa. Cheesecloth Alternatives Testing. United States. doi:10.2172/1438351.
Hollis, Rebecca Vincent, Hollis, William Kirk, Hargraves, Jaqueline, Atencio, Elena, Parsons, Brendon Andrew, Milenski, Helen Marie, and Meyers, Lisa. Mon . "Cheesecloth Alternatives Testing". United States. doi:10.2172/1438351. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1438351.
@article{osti_1438351,
title = {Cheesecloth Alternatives Testing},
author = {Hollis, Rebecca Vincent and Hollis, William Kirk and Hargraves, Jaqueline and Atencio, Elena and Parsons, Brendon Andrew and Milenski, Helen Marie and Meyers, Lisa},
abstractNote = {Heat source plutonium oxide (HS-PuO2) enriched with 65% or greater plutonium-238, is recovered and purified using an aqueous nitric acid process. Historically, cheesecloth has been employed for small spill clean-up and for routine housekeeping. However, the 2016 Department of Energy (DOE) Operating Experience report, entitled Nitrate Waste Evaluations, stated that the mixing of nitrate wastes with organic absorbents, such as cheesecloth, may render transuranic waste unacceptable for disposal at WIPP in the future. This report explores the feasibility of replacement of cheesecloth with an alternative sorbent wipe that has similar absorption and cleaning abilities and improved acid resistance. Currently, cheesecloth is used for three different functions in HS-PuO2 operations: spill cleanup; general housekeeping operations such as cleaning glovebox floors and windows, balances, furnaces, etc.; and decontamination of iridium cladded heat sources containing HS-PuO2. Alternatives used for spill cleanup must be able to tolerate high neutron doses found in the HS-Pu gloveboxes. They must also be able to withstand exposure to nitric acid concentrations up to 15.8 M without decomposing. Wipes used for general housekeeping must also be durable enough to clean rough surfaces and remain intact when used for scrubbing. Wipes used for clad decontamination do not need to absorb large amounts of liquid but they must be able to withstand neutron exposures, temperatures of up to several hundred degrees Celsius, and exposure to acid solutions followed by mild scrubbing. Finally wipes used for any purpose must resist chemical reactions with nitric acid that could cause issues for waste disposal such as energetic exothermic reactions or flammable gas build-up. The wipes selected for this study were ranked based on their usability (radiation tolerance, absorbency, integrity in nitric acid, and durability) as well as their chemical compatibility with nitric acid as demonstrated using several types of chemical analyses. Wipes were then ranked based on the combination of their usability and chemical compatibility scores.},
doi = {10.2172/1438351},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {5}
}

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