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Title: Handling and Treatment of Sodium-Potassium Alloy (NaK) after the Loss of Key Personnel – 19002

Abstract

ABSTRACT In September 2010, during cleanup and removal efforts associated with a glovebox containing a sodium-potassium alloy (NaK) cooling system, a NaK reaction event occurred. Near the end of the evolution, which was at a Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC) research facility at the Idaho National Laboratory, a 2 to 3-ounce sample of NaK was being transferred from a metal can to a polyethylene bottle so it could be sent to the disposal outlet for verification analysis. During the transfer, a reaction of the NaK with ambient air was observed in both the metal can and sample container. The potential for a reaction was identified during the planning of this activity and mitigating steps were included in the procedures. In response, the two containers were flooded with argon, closed, and observed overnight. No additional reaction was noted. The sample container and metal can were packaged into a 10-gallon drum and transferred to a permitted storage location pending disposal. While the other containers generated from the deactivation and decommissioning activity were sent off-site for disposal, the 10-gal drum remained due to concerns by a staff specialist that the material could contain potassium superoxide (KO2) as a result of the reaction event.more » The intent at that time was to treat the NaK in a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)-permitted treatment facility at MFC, instead of sending it off-site for disposal. The container was labeled, inspected, and managed as a hazardous waste. Due to the complexities associated with safely handling and treating NaK and KO2, the container remained in storage. Treatment and disposal of the NaK and KO2 container was revisited in 2016, when researchers and chemists were consulted regarding the potential for superoxide formation and the best means to safely store and treat the container. The facility came to realize that due to the retirements of key personnel, it needed to provide current employees operational experience with the handling and treatment of NaK. An outside company was identified and contracted to provide training and consulting services. Several Battelle Energy Alliance, Inc. (BEA) personnel then attended an alkali metals safety training class. The training course provided participants with classroom and hands–on instruction associated with: • Hazards associated with handling and using sodium and NaK • Proper personal protection equipment, spill control techniques, and first aid • Common design approaches for buildings, systems, and equipment used to contain sodium and NaK • What to expect in the event of a water reaction and how to respond • How to properly prepare for a fire and contain/extinguish small metal fires • A hands-on demonstration of NaK reaction and controls. Following the training, a procedure was developed to open the container, and inspect and treat the NaK. In June 2017, facility operations personnel successfully completed the inspection and treatment of the NaK drum, eliminating the legacy liability.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Idaho National Laboratory
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
MFC Safety and Compliance
OSTI Identifier:
1498077
Report Number(s):
INL/CON-18-51894-Rev000
DOE Contract Number:  
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Waste Management Symposium 2019, Phoenix, Arizona, 03/03/2019 - 03/07/2019
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
99 - GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS; Sodium potassium, NaK, treatment

Citation Formats

Hart, Edward P. Handling and Treatment of Sodium-Potassium Alloy (NaK) after the Loss of Key Personnel – 19002. United States: N. p., 2018. Web.
Hart, Edward P. Handling and Treatment of Sodium-Potassium Alloy (NaK) after the Loss of Key Personnel – 19002. United States.
Hart, Edward P. Mon . "Handling and Treatment of Sodium-Potassium Alloy (NaK) after the Loss of Key Personnel – 19002". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1498077.
@article{osti_1498077,
title = {Handling and Treatment of Sodium-Potassium Alloy (NaK) after the Loss of Key Personnel – 19002},
author = {Hart, Edward P},
abstractNote = {ABSTRACT In September 2010, during cleanup and removal efforts associated with a glovebox containing a sodium-potassium alloy (NaK) cooling system, a NaK reaction event occurred. Near the end of the evolution, which was at a Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC) research facility at the Idaho National Laboratory, a 2 to 3-ounce sample of NaK was being transferred from a metal can to a polyethylene bottle so it could be sent to the disposal outlet for verification analysis. During the transfer, a reaction of the NaK with ambient air was observed in both the metal can and sample container. The potential for a reaction was identified during the planning of this activity and mitigating steps were included in the procedures. In response, the two containers were flooded with argon, closed, and observed overnight. No additional reaction was noted. The sample container and metal can were packaged into a 10-gallon drum and transferred to a permitted storage location pending disposal. While the other containers generated from the deactivation and decommissioning activity were sent off-site for disposal, the 10-gal drum remained due to concerns by a staff specialist that the material could contain potassium superoxide (KO2) as a result of the reaction event. The intent at that time was to treat the NaK in a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)-permitted treatment facility at MFC, instead of sending it off-site for disposal. The container was labeled, inspected, and managed as a hazardous waste. Due to the complexities associated with safely handling and treating NaK and KO2, the container remained in storage. Treatment and disposal of the NaK and KO2 container was revisited in 2016, when researchers and chemists were consulted regarding the potential for superoxide formation and the best means to safely store and treat the container. The facility came to realize that due to the retirements of key personnel, it needed to provide current employees operational experience with the handling and treatment of NaK. An outside company was identified and contracted to provide training and consulting services. Several Battelle Energy Alliance, Inc. (BEA) personnel then attended an alkali metals safety training class. The training course provided participants with classroom and hands–on instruction associated with: • Hazards associated with handling and using sodium and NaK • Proper personal protection equipment, spill control techniques, and first aid • Common design approaches for buildings, systems, and equipment used to contain sodium and NaK • What to expect in the event of a water reaction and how to respond • How to properly prepare for a fire and contain/extinguish small metal fires • A hands-on demonstration of NaK reaction and controls. Following the training, a procedure was developed to open the container, and inspect and treat the NaK. In June 2017, facility operations personnel successfully completed the inspection and treatment of the NaK drum, eliminating the legacy liability.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {10}
}

Conference:
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