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Title: A COMPARISON OF CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH SLUDGE REMOVAL & TREATMENT & DISPOSAL AT SEVERAL SPENT FUEL STORAGE LOCATIONS

Abstract

Challenges associated with the materials that remain in spent fuel storage pools are emerging as countries deal with issues related to storing and cleaning up nuclear fuel left over from weapons production. The K Basins at the Department of Energy's site at Hanford in southeastern Washington State are an example. Years of corrosion products and piles of discarded debris are intermingled in the bottom of these two pools that stored more 2,100 metric tons (2,300 tons) of spent fuel. Difficult, costly projects are underway to remove radioactive material from the K Basins. Similar challenges exist at other locations around the globe. This paper compares the challenges of handling and treating radioactive sludge at several locations storing spent nuclear fuel.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Hanford Site (HNF), Richland, WA
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE - Office of Environmental Management (EM)
OSTI Identifier:
897770
Report Number(s):
HNF-31048-FP Rev 0
TRN: US0701517
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC06-96RL13200
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: WM07 WASTE MANAGEMENT SYMPOSIA 2007 02/25/2007 THRU 03/01/2007 TUSCON AZ
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; CLEANING; CORROSION PRODUCTS; METRICS; NUCLEAR FUELS; PRODUCTION; RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS; REMOVAL; SLUDGES; SPENT FUEL STORAGE; SPENT FUELS; UNINTERRUPTIBLE POWER SUPPLIES; WASTE MANAGEMENT; WEAPONS

Citation Formats

PERES, M.W. A COMPARISON OF CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH SLUDGE REMOVAL & TREATMENT & DISPOSAL AT SEVERAL SPENT FUEL STORAGE LOCATIONS. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
PERES, M.W. A COMPARISON OF CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH SLUDGE REMOVAL & TREATMENT & DISPOSAL AT SEVERAL SPENT FUEL STORAGE LOCATIONS. United States.
PERES, M.W. Tue . "A COMPARISON OF CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH SLUDGE REMOVAL & TREATMENT & DISPOSAL AT SEVERAL SPENT FUEL STORAGE LOCATIONS". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/897770.
@article{osti_897770,
title = {A COMPARISON OF CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH SLUDGE REMOVAL & TREATMENT & DISPOSAL AT SEVERAL SPENT FUEL STORAGE LOCATIONS},
author = {PERES, M.W.},
abstractNote = {Challenges associated with the materials that remain in spent fuel storage pools are emerging as countries deal with issues related to storing and cleaning up nuclear fuel left over from weapons production. The K Basins at the Department of Energy's site at Hanford in southeastern Washington State are an example. Years of corrosion products and piles of discarded debris are intermingled in the bottom of these two pools that stored more 2,100 metric tons (2,300 tons) of spent fuel. Difficult, costly projects are underway to remove radioactive material from the K Basins. Similar challenges exist at other locations around the globe. This paper compares the challenges of handling and treating radioactive sludge at several locations storing spent nuclear fuel.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Jan 09 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Tue Jan 09 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Conference:
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  • The Hanford site is currently dealing with a number of types of Spent Nuclear Fuel. The route to interim dry storage for the various fuel types branches along two different paths. Fuel types such as metallic N reactor fuel and Shippingport Core 2 Blanket assemblies are being placed in approximately 4 m long canisters which are then stored in tubes below grade in a new canister storage building. Other fuels such as TRIGA{trademark} and Light Water Reactor fuel will be relocated and stored in stand-alone casks on a concrete pad. Varying degrees of sophistication are being applied with respect tomore » the drying and/or evacuation of the fuel interim storage canisters depending on the reactivity of the fuel, the degree of damaged fuel and the previous storage environment. The characterization of sludge from the Hanford K Basins is nearly complete and canisters are being designed to store the sludge (including uranium particles from fuel element cleaning) on an interim basis.« less
  • The private spent fuel storage initiative goal is to build and operate a private, temporary, cost effective spent fuel storage facility on the Mescalero Apache tribal lands that would begin operation by 2002. A chronology of the Mescalero project is given. The business structure and action plan for this endeavor are outlined. The Mescalero tribal council believes that a facility can be built and operated safely and cost-effectively. Many siting challenges remain but monumental progress has been made.
  • As a result of the termination of the Yucca Mountain used fuel repository program and a continuing climate of uncertainty in the national policy for nuclear fuel disposition, the likelihood has increased that extended storage, defined as more than 60 years, and subsequent transportation of used nuclear fuel after periods of extended storage may become necessary. Whether at the nation's 104 nuclear energy facilities, or at one or more consolidated interim storage facilities, the operational challenges of extended storage and transportation will depend upon the future US policy for Used Fuel Management and the future Regulatory Framework for EST, bothmore » of which should be developed with consideration of their operational impacts. Risk insights into the regulatory framework may conclude that dry storage and transportation operations should focus primarily on ensuring canister integrity. Assurance of cladding integrity may not be beneficial from an overall risk perspective. If assurance of canister integrity becomes more important, then mitigation techniques for potential canister degradation mechanisms will be the primary source of operational focus. If cladding integrity remains as an important focus, then operational challenges to assure it would require much more effort. Fundamental shifts in the approach to design a repository and optimize the back-end of the fuel cycle will need to occur in order to address the realities of the changes that have taken place over the last 30 years. Direct disposal of existing dual purpose storage and transportation casks will be essential to optimizing the back end of the fuel cycle. The federal used fuel management should focus on siting and designing a repository that meets this objective along with the development of CIS, and possibly recycling. An integrated approach to developing US policy and the regulatory framework must consider the potential operational challenges that they would create. Therefore, it should be integral to these efforts to redefine retrievability to apply to the dual purpose cask, and not to apply to individual assemblies. (authors)« less
  • Until 2004, the K Basins at Hanford, in southeastern Washington State, held the largest collection of spent nuclear fuel in the United States Department of Energy (DOE) complex. The K East and K West Basins are massive pools each holding more than 4 million liters of water - that sit less than 450 meters from the Columbia River. In a significant multi-year campaign that ended in 2004, Fluor Hanford removed all of the fuel from the two Basins, over 2,300 metric tons (4.6 million pounds), dried it, and then placed it into dry storage in a specially designed facility awaymore » from the River. Removing the fuel, however, did not finish the cleanup work at the K Basins. The years of underwater storage had corroded the metallic uranium fuel, leaving behind a thick and sometimes hard-packed layer of sludge that coated the walls, floors and equipment inside the Basins. In places, the depth of the sludge was measured in feet rather than inches, and its composition was definitely not uniform. Together the Basins held an estimated 50 cubic meters of sludge (42 cubic meters in K East and 8 cubic meters in K West). The K East sludge retrieval and transfer work was completed in May 2007. Vacuuming up the sludge into large underwater containers in each of the Basins and then consolidating it all in containers in the K West Basin have presented significant challenges, some unexpected. This paper documents some of those challenges and presents the lessons learned so that other nuclear cleanup projects can benefit from the experience at Hanford.« less
  • A unified modeling method applicable to the processing, shipping, and storage of spent nuclear fuel and sludge has been incrementally developed, validated, and applied over a period of about 15 years at the US DOE Hanford site. The software, FATE{sup TM}, provides a consistent framework for a wide dynamic range of common DOE and commercial fuel and waste applications. It has been used during the design phase, for safety and licensing calculations, and offers a graded approach to complex modeling problems encountered at DOE facilities and abroad (e.g., Sellafield). FATE has also been used for commercial power plant evaluations includingmore » reactor building fire modeling for fire PRA, evaluation of hydrogen release, transport, and flammability for post-Fukushima vulnerability assessment, and drying of commercial oxide fuel. FATE comprises an integrated set of models for fluid flow, aerosol and contamination release, transport, and deposition, thermal response including chemical reactions, and evaluation of fire and explosion hazards. It is one of few software tools that combine both source term and thermal-hydraulic capability. Practical examples are described below, with consideration of appropriate model complexity and validation. (authors)« less