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Title: PUREX (Plutonium-Uranium Extraction) L-Cell concentrator corrosion evaluation

Abstract

Problems with solids plugging the piping associated with the E-L7-1 concentrator at the Plutonium-Uranium Extraction (PUREX) Plant were experienced shortly after it was put into use in 1971. The transfer line from the concentrator was first plugged in 1972. The PUREX Plant was shut down shortly thereafter after processing of available feed was finished. The plant was restarted in 1983, and plugging occurred again in early 1985. Both times, the transfer line was cleared by pulsing the fluid. The transfer line was replaced because of plugging in mid-1986 when pulsing failed to remove the plug. The concentrator, which is made of titanium, is used for the final concentration of the plutonium nitrate solution. The solids plugging the transfer line were identified as both the rutile and anatase forms of titanium dioxide. Ultrasonic examinations of titanium equipment in L-Cell showed that the concentrator wall thickness was decreasing as the acid refluxing area of the E-L7-1 tower was approached. The PUREX Plant Systems and Technology then requested the Plutonium Process Support Laboratories (PPSL) to set up and perform experiments to determine the cause(s) and possible corrective actions for the E-L7-1 corrosion. After testing samples of titanium and other metals under controlled conditionsmore » identical to E-L7-1 concentrator operation, zirconium was selected for long-term testing as a replacement for the tower section. Two long-term test apparatus were then built and tested on a pilot scale. 9 refs., 13 figs., 5 tabs.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Westinghouse Hanford Co., Richland, WA (USA)
Sponsoring Org.:
DOE/DP
OSTI Identifier:
6760605
Report Number(s):
WHC-SA-0641-FP
ON: DE90013275, CONF-8910260-6
DOE Contract Number:
AC06-87RL10930
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: 1989 Plutonium/Uranium Recovery Operations Conference, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, October 24, 1989; Conference: Plutonium/uranium recovery operations conference, Oak Ridge, TN (USA), 24-26 Oct 1989
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; NITRIC ACID; CORROSIVE EFFECTS; TITANIUM; CORROSION; TITANIUM OXIDES; ZIRCONIUM; CONCENTRATORS; FUEL REPROCESSING PLANTS; MATERIALS TESTING; PLUGGING; PUREX PROCESS; VAPORS; CHALCOGENIDES; CHEMICAL REACTIONS; ELEMENTS; FLUIDS; GASES; HYDROGEN COMPOUNDS; INORGANIC ACIDS; METALS; NUCLEAR FACILITIES; OXIDES; OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; REPROCESSING; SEPARATION PROCESSES; TESTING; TITANIUM COMPOUNDS; TRANSITION ELEMENT COMPOUNDS; TRANSITION ELEMENTS 050800* -- Nuclear Fuels-- Spent Fuels Reprocessing; 360105 -- Metals & Alloys-- Corrosion & Erosion

Citation Formats

Compton, J. A., and Delegard, C. H. PUREX (Plutonium-Uranium Extraction) L-Cell concentrator corrosion evaluation. United States: N. p., 1990. Web.
Compton, J. A., & Delegard, C. H. PUREX (Plutonium-Uranium Extraction) L-Cell concentrator corrosion evaluation. United States.
Compton, J. A., and Delegard, C. H. 1990. "PUREX (Plutonium-Uranium Extraction) L-Cell concentrator corrosion evaluation". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/6760605.
@article{osti_6760605,
title = {PUREX (Plutonium-Uranium Extraction) L-Cell concentrator corrosion evaluation},
author = {Compton, J. A. and Delegard, C. H.},
abstractNote = {Problems with solids plugging the piping associated with the E-L7-1 concentrator at the Plutonium-Uranium Extraction (PUREX) Plant were experienced shortly after it was put into use in 1971. The transfer line from the concentrator was first plugged in 1972. The PUREX Plant was shut down shortly thereafter after processing of available feed was finished. The plant was restarted in 1983, and plugging occurred again in early 1985. Both times, the transfer line was cleared by pulsing the fluid. The transfer line was replaced because of plugging in mid-1986 when pulsing failed to remove the plug. The concentrator, which is made of titanium, is used for the final concentration of the plutonium nitrate solution. The solids plugging the transfer line were identified as both the rutile and anatase forms of titanium dioxide. Ultrasonic examinations of titanium equipment in L-Cell showed that the concentrator wall thickness was decreasing as the acid refluxing area of the E-L7-1 tower was approached. The PUREX Plant Systems and Technology then requested the Plutonium Process Support Laboratories (PPSL) to set up and perform experiments to determine the cause(s) and possible corrective actions for the E-L7-1 corrosion. After testing samples of titanium and other metals under controlled conditions identical to E-L7-1 concentrator operation, zirconium was selected for long-term testing as a replacement for the tower section. Two long-term test apparatus were then built and tested on a pilot scale. 9 refs., 13 figs., 5 tabs.},
doi = {},
journal = {1989 Plutonium/Uranium Recovery Operations Conference, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, October 24, 1989},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1990,
month = 5
}

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  • The existing Purex flowsheet used in the second plutonium cycle at the Savannah River Plant (SRP) does not remove uranium from the plutonium stream. To develop new flowsheets for the Purex second plutonium cycle, computer simulation using SEPHIS was used. SEPHIS is an ORNL-developed solvent extraction simulation code. Box-Wilson experimental design was used to select the minimum set of process conditions simulated. The calculated results were plotted into three-dimensional response surfaces by SAS/Graph (statistical analysis systems). These surfaces provide a broad and complete overview of the responses. Specific ranges of key variables were then investigated. The second series of processmore » simulations identified flowsheets that provide high uranium decontamination while meeting all other key process requirements. The proposed flowsheet consists of modifying the existing 2B bank flowsheet by relocating the feed, increasing the extractant acidity, and adding a scrub stream. The nuclear safety issue was also examined.« less
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