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Title: Corrosion Testing of Carbon Steel Exposed to Sludge Heel Chemical Cleaning Solutions - 16109

Abstract

As efforts continue to treat and dispose of millions of gallons of legacy radioactive materials from the production of nuclear weapons, non-compliant waste storage tanks will gradually be emptied of the bulk waste volume leaving heel materials requiring removal prior to tank closure. The waste heel slurries are distributed on the floor of large, million gallon tanks, which frequently contain numerous obstructions that limit the effectiveness of mechanical removal methods. As a result, chemical cleaning methods are needed for the effective removal of the heels as well as chemical scales that are present on the tank walls and other interior surfaces. Two tank cleaning technologies have already been implemented at the Savannah River Site (SRS): Low Temperature Aluminum Dissolution (LTAD) and Bulk Oxalic Acid Cleaning (BOAC). Recent chemical cleaning efforts on SRS Tank 12 were very successful with regard to bulk sludge heel (especially for Al, Fe, and U phases) and beta/gamma radionuclide removal. Although chemical cleaning using these technologies has been shown to be effective, no disposition path has been identified for oxalate added during BOAC, and insoluble oxalate salts are accumulating within the SRS tank farm and waste processing facilities (evaporators, etc.). Extensive sludge washing is also requiredmore » to remove moderately soluble sodium oxalate salts prior to sludge vitrification in the SRS Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF). As a result, oxalate additions to the tank farm need to be minimized by the use of supplementary acids to assist sludge removal in OA or the use of other cleaning reagents or processing strategies. Previous SRNL testing revealed the importance of pH control for BOAC and recommended the use of a supplementary acid (dilute HNO{sub 3}) with OA to minimize oxalate additions. Primary drivers in SRS Tank Closure Performance Assessments, which evaluate the fate and impact of tank sludge residuals on a geological timescale, are the removal of alpha emitting radionuclides present at low concentrations such as Pu, Am, and Np, which are not highly soluble in currently utilized chemical cleaning reagents. Scoping studies conducted at SRNL revealed promising methods to dissolve the actinides within the HLW tank heels. Oxidation of the actinides with permanganate in either strong caustic (10 M NaOH) or dilute acidic (0.2 M HNO{sub 3}) solutions was shown to result in dissolution of oxy/hydroxide phases of these metals in the absence of major sludge phases. The waste tanks at SRS and Hanford are constructed of carbon steel. Carbon steel corrodes rapidly in most acidic and/or oxidizing environments. Previous electrochemical corrosion testing indicated that the corrosion rates in dilute HNO{sub 3} with OA may result in manageable corrosion rates, over short exposure periods. Additional corrosion testing was performed to provide data for the nitric acid/OA blend as well as the acid/permanganate and caustic permanganate based chemical cleaning solutions. Corrosion rates from the passive coupon tests for the nitric acid/oxalic acid blend were significantly greater than those observed previously with the electrochemical testing. This result may be due to simultaneous electrochemical and chemical dissolution of the steel. The corrosion rate data from the coupon tests in the nitric acid/oxalic acid blend were evaluated to determine the degree of potential structural damage. The corrosion rates, although relatively high, would not be expected to cause damage that would reduce the capacity of the tank primary wall if the process is completed within a month. The corrosivity of sodium permanganate in four proposed cleaning solutions, 1 nitric acid solution and 3 sodium hydroxide solutions, was studied by electrochemical methods at room temperature. The corrosion rates were significantly less aggressive than in the nitric acid/oxalic acid blend corrosion tests. Passive coupon tests needs to be performed in these solutions to ensure that chemical dissolution of the metal is not occurring simultaneously. (authors)« less

Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Savannah River National Laboratory (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
WM Symposia, Inc., PO Box 27646, 85285-7646 Tempe, AZ (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
22838000
Report Number(s):
INIS-US-19-WM-16109
TRN: US19V1193083355
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: WM2016: 42. Annual Waste Management Symposium, Phoenix, AZ (United States), 6-10 Mar 2016; Other Information: Country of input: France; 9 refs.; available online at: http://archive.wmsym.org/2016/index.html
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; ACTINIDES; ALUMINIUM; CARBON STEELS; ELECTROCHEMICAL CORROSION; NITRIC ACID; OXALATES; OXALIC ACID; RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS; RADIOACTIVE WASTE PROCESSING; RADIOACTIVE WASTE STORAGE; RADIOISOTOPES; SAVANNAH RIVER; STORAGE FACILITIES; TANKS

Citation Formats

Wiersma, Bruce, King, William-Bill, and Wyrwas, Richard. Corrosion Testing of Carbon Steel Exposed to Sludge Heel Chemical Cleaning Solutions - 16109. United States: N. p., 2016. Web.
Wiersma, Bruce, King, William-Bill, & Wyrwas, Richard. Corrosion Testing of Carbon Steel Exposed to Sludge Heel Chemical Cleaning Solutions - 16109. United States.
Wiersma, Bruce, King, William-Bill, and Wyrwas, Richard. 2016. "Corrosion Testing of Carbon Steel Exposed to Sludge Heel Chemical Cleaning Solutions - 16109". United States.
@article{osti_22838000,
title = {Corrosion Testing of Carbon Steel Exposed to Sludge Heel Chemical Cleaning Solutions - 16109},
author = {Wiersma, Bruce and King, William-Bill and Wyrwas, Richard},
abstractNote = {As efforts continue to treat and dispose of millions of gallons of legacy radioactive materials from the production of nuclear weapons, non-compliant waste storage tanks will gradually be emptied of the bulk waste volume leaving heel materials requiring removal prior to tank closure. The waste heel slurries are distributed on the floor of large, million gallon tanks, which frequently contain numerous obstructions that limit the effectiveness of mechanical removal methods. As a result, chemical cleaning methods are needed for the effective removal of the heels as well as chemical scales that are present on the tank walls and other interior surfaces. Two tank cleaning technologies have already been implemented at the Savannah River Site (SRS): Low Temperature Aluminum Dissolution (LTAD) and Bulk Oxalic Acid Cleaning (BOAC). Recent chemical cleaning efforts on SRS Tank 12 were very successful with regard to bulk sludge heel (especially for Al, Fe, and U phases) and beta/gamma radionuclide removal. Although chemical cleaning using these technologies has been shown to be effective, no disposition path has been identified for oxalate added during BOAC, and insoluble oxalate salts are accumulating within the SRS tank farm and waste processing facilities (evaporators, etc.). Extensive sludge washing is also required to remove moderately soluble sodium oxalate salts prior to sludge vitrification in the SRS Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF). As a result, oxalate additions to the tank farm need to be minimized by the use of supplementary acids to assist sludge removal in OA or the use of other cleaning reagents or processing strategies. Previous SRNL testing revealed the importance of pH control for BOAC and recommended the use of a supplementary acid (dilute HNO{sub 3}) with OA to minimize oxalate additions. Primary drivers in SRS Tank Closure Performance Assessments, which evaluate the fate and impact of tank sludge residuals on a geological timescale, are the removal of alpha emitting radionuclides present at low concentrations such as Pu, Am, and Np, which are not highly soluble in currently utilized chemical cleaning reagents. Scoping studies conducted at SRNL revealed promising methods to dissolve the actinides within the HLW tank heels. Oxidation of the actinides with permanganate in either strong caustic (10 M NaOH) or dilute acidic (0.2 M HNO{sub 3}) solutions was shown to result in dissolution of oxy/hydroxide phases of these metals in the absence of major sludge phases. The waste tanks at SRS and Hanford are constructed of carbon steel. Carbon steel corrodes rapidly in most acidic and/or oxidizing environments. Previous electrochemical corrosion testing indicated that the corrosion rates in dilute HNO{sub 3} with OA may result in manageable corrosion rates, over short exposure periods. Additional corrosion testing was performed to provide data for the nitric acid/OA blend as well as the acid/permanganate and caustic permanganate based chemical cleaning solutions. Corrosion rates from the passive coupon tests for the nitric acid/oxalic acid blend were significantly greater than those observed previously with the electrochemical testing. This result may be due to simultaneous electrochemical and chemical dissolution of the steel. The corrosion rate data from the coupon tests in the nitric acid/oxalic acid blend were evaluated to determine the degree of potential structural damage. The corrosion rates, although relatively high, would not be expected to cause damage that would reduce the capacity of the tank primary wall if the process is completed within a month. The corrosivity of sodium permanganate in four proposed cleaning solutions, 1 nitric acid solution and 3 sodium hydroxide solutions, was studied by electrochemical methods at room temperature. The corrosion rates were significantly less aggressive than in the nitric acid/oxalic acid blend corrosion tests. Passive coupon tests needs to be performed in these solutions to ensure that chemical dissolution of the metal is not occurring simultaneously. (authors)},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/22838000}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {7}
}

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