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Title: Treatment of Problematic Reactive Metal Wastes Using GeoMelt ICV - WM2020 Conference Paper

Abstract

Decommissioning of sodium-cooled reactors and fast reactor technologies has generated a number of reactive metal waste configurations that are problematic to treat and typically lack cost effective treatment methods and disposition options. As a result, Veolia Nuclear Solutions, under contract with Idaho National Laboratory (owned by the U.S. Department of Energy and managed and operated by Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC) demonstrated its GeoMelt® In-Container Vitrification (ICV)™ technology to safely convert sodium metal to a non-reactive vitrified oxide form. The demonstration project, supported by glass formulation and crucible testing, consisted of a series of ICV™ melts that processed elemental sodium into stable non-reactive glass. INL is currently implementing GeoMelt® technology as a means to safely and reliably convert radioactive reactive metal residues that contaminate sodium cooled reactor components into waste forms that comply with existing disposition pathways. Reactive metal wastes require treatment in order to remove the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) reactivity and ignitability characteristics to comply with land disposal restrictions. GeoMelt®, which is an alternative to other potential treatment approaches, provides a robust approach that chemically converts the reactive metals to an inert oxide while also immobilizing radionuclides in a vitrified waste form with durability equal to ormore » better than vitrified nuclear fuel reprocessing wastes (very robust and inert waste forms). Most other treatment approaches generate hydrogen gas which is problematic. In 2016, Veolia Nuclear Solutions first demonstrated the effectiveness of the GeoMelt® ICV™ process in deactivating reactive sodium metal. Crucible, bench-scale, and engineering-scale demonstrations were conducted on several surrogate waste configurations with various ratios of sodium metal and glass-formers. Each ratio and configuration demonstrated complete deactivation of the surrogate sodium metal. Follow-on work in 2017 demonstrated the deactivation of reactive sodium by GeoMelt® ICV™ at a higher waste loading relative to previously demonstrated work performed in 2016; the higher waste loading optimized glass chemistry while enhancing the economical full-scale treatment of reactive metals. Additionally, follow-on demonstration testing in 2018 and 2019 focused on more complex shapes and other reactive-metals (mocked up Experimental Breeder Reactor II [EBR-II] subassembly, sodium filled heat exchanger, and a can containing sodium potassium alloy) which were all performed at engineering-scale. Since 2018, a 10-metric ton full-scale GeoMelt unit (GeoMelt® Richland) was designed, installed, and commissioned at Perma-Fix Northwest in Richland, Washington for the treatment of reactive metal wastes. As of September 2019, over 900 55-gallon drums containing a total of around 3,500 lb of sodium with low levels of radioactivity have been treated at GeoMelt ® Richland, with resulting glass monoliths disposed at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). A full-scale radiological demonstration melt on an actual EBR-II subassembly has also been performed using the full-scale melter in 2019. The GeoMelt® technology is a proven radioactive waste treatment technology capable of immobilizing radioactive wastes, including bulk rubble such as drums and other steel vessels usually without pretreatment. Utilizing the GeoMelt® technology to treat reactive metals eliminates pretreatment steps resulting from having to separate the reactive metal from steel containers or jackets as GeoMelt® can easily operate at temperatures sufficient to melt the steel and expose the reactive metal for treatment. Eliminating handling steps of reactive metals is a significant safety advantage since reactive metals are pyrophoric. The results generated as a part of the 2018-2019 demonstration program are presented in the paper.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2]
  1. Veolia Nuclear Solutions
  2. Idaho National Laboratory
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1599756
Report Number(s):
INL/CON-19-56754-Rev000
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Waste Management Symposium 2020, Phoenix, AZ, 03/08/2020 - 03/12/2020
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 - MGMT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; reactives; waste management; ICV

Citation Formats

Garrett, Ben, Butler, Sadie, and Connolly, Michael J. Treatment of Problematic Reactive Metal Wastes Using GeoMelt ICV - WM2020 Conference Paper. United States: N. p., 2020. Web.
Garrett, Ben, Butler, Sadie, & Connolly, Michael J. Treatment of Problematic Reactive Metal Wastes Using GeoMelt ICV - WM2020 Conference Paper. United States.
Garrett, Ben, Butler, Sadie, and Connolly, Michael J. Mon . "Treatment of Problematic Reactive Metal Wastes Using GeoMelt ICV - WM2020 Conference Paper". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1599756.
@article{osti_1599756,
title = {Treatment of Problematic Reactive Metal Wastes Using GeoMelt ICV - WM2020 Conference Paper},
author = {Garrett, Ben and Butler, Sadie and Connolly, Michael J},
abstractNote = {Decommissioning of sodium-cooled reactors and fast reactor technologies has generated a number of reactive metal waste configurations that are problematic to treat and typically lack cost effective treatment methods and disposition options. As a result, Veolia Nuclear Solutions, under contract with Idaho National Laboratory (owned by the U.S. Department of Energy and managed and operated by Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC) demonstrated its GeoMelt® In-Container Vitrification (ICV)™ technology to safely convert sodium metal to a non-reactive vitrified oxide form. The demonstration project, supported by glass formulation and crucible testing, consisted of a series of ICV™ melts that processed elemental sodium into stable non-reactive glass. INL is currently implementing GeoMelt® technology as a means to safely and reliably convert radioactive reactive metal residues that contaminate sodium cooled reactor components into waste forms that comply with existing disposition pathways. Reactive metal wastes require treatment in order to remove the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) reactivity and ignitability characteristics to comply with land disposal restrictions. GeoMelt®, which is an alternative to other potential treatment approaches, provides a robust approach that chemically converts the reactive metals to an inert oxide while also immobilizing radionuclides in a vitrified waste form with durability equal to or better than vitrified nuclear fuel reprocessing wastes (very robust and inert waste forms). Most other treatment approaches generate hydrogen gas which is problematic. In 2016, Veolia Nuclear Solutions first demonstrated the effectiveness of the GeoMelt® ICV™ process in deactivating reactive sodium metal. Crucible, bench-scale, and engineering-scale demonstrations were conducted on several surrogate waste configurations with various ratios of sodium metal and glass-formers. Each ratio and configuration demonstrated complete deactivation of the surrogate sodium metal. Follow-on work in 2017 demonstrated the deactivation of reactive sodium by GeoMelt® ICV™ at a higher waste loading relative to previously demonstrated work performed in 2016; the higher waste loading optimized glass chemistry while enhancing the economical full-scale treatment of reactive metals. Additionally, follow-on demonstration testing in 2018 and 2019 focused on more complex shapes and other reactive-metals (mocked up Experimental Breeder Reactor II [EBR-II] subassembly, sodium filled heat exchanger, and a can containing sodium potassium alloy) which were all performed at engineering-scale. Since 2018, a 10-metric ton full-scale GeoMelt unit (GeoMelt® Richland) was designed, installed, and commissioned at Perma-Fix Northwest in Richland, Washington for the treatment of reactive metal wastes. As of September 2019, over 900 55-gallon drums containing a total of around 3,500 lb of sodium with low levels of radioactivity have been treated at GeoMelt ® Richland, with resulting glass monoliths disposed at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). A full-scale radiological demonstration melt on an actual EBR-II subassembly has also been performed using the full-scale melter in 2019. The GeoMelt® technology is a proven radioactive waste treatment technology capable of immobilizing radioactive wastes, including bulk rubble such as drums and other steel vessels usually without pretreatment. Utilizing the GeoMelt® technology to treat reactive metals eliminates pretreatment steps resulting from having to separate the reactive metal from steel containers or jackets as GeoMelt® can easily operate at temperatures sufficient to melt the steel and expose the reactive metal for treatment. Eliminating handling steps of reactive metals is a significant safety advantage since reactive metals are pyrophoric. The results generated as a part of the 2018-2019 demonstration program are presented in the paper.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {3}
}

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