skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: RESULTS OF THE 2H EVAPORATOR ACID CLEANING AND IN-POT NEUTRALIZATION

Abstract

The estimated 200 gallons of sodium aluminosilicate scale (NAS) present in the 242-16H Evaporator pot prior to chemical cleaning was subjected to four batches of 1.5 M (9 wt%) nitric acid. Each batch was neutralized with 19 M (50 wt %) sodium hydroxide (caustic) before transfer to Tank 38. The chemical cleaning process began on November 20, 2006, and was terminated on December 10, 2006. An inspection of the pot's interior was performed and based on data gathered during that inspection; the current volume of scale in the pot is conservatively estimated to be 36.3 gallons, which is well below the 200 gallon limit specified in the Technical Safety Requirements. In addition, the performance during all aspects of cleaning agreed well with the flowsheet developed at the bench and pilot scale. There were some lessons learned during the cleaning outage and are detailed in appendices of this report.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SRS
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
921968
Report Number(s):
WSRC-STI-2007-00286
TRN: US0802137
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC09-96SR18500
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; CLEANING; EVAPORATORS; FLOWSHEETS; NITRIC ACID; PERFORMANCE; SAFETY; SODIUM SILICATES; ALUMINIUM SILICATES; DESCALING

Citation Formats

Wilmarth, B, Phillip Norris, P, and Terry Allen, T. RESULTS OF THE 2H EVAPORATOR ACID CLEANING AND IN-POT NEUTRALIZATION. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/921968.
Wilmarth, B, Phillip Norris, P, & Terry Allen, T. RESULTS OF THE 2H EVAPORATOR ACID CLEANING AND IN-POT NEUTRALIZATION. United States. doi:10.2172/921968.
Wilmarth, B, Phillip Norris, P, and Terry Allen, T. Tue . "RESULTS OF THE 2H EVAPORATOR ACID CLEANING AND IN-POT NEUTRALIZATION". United States. doi:10.2172/921968. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/921968.
@article{osti_921968,
title = {RESULTS OF THE 2H EVAPORATOR ACID CLEANING AND IN-POT NEUTRALIZATION},
author = {Wilmarth, B and Phillip Norris, P and Terry Allen, T},
abstractNote = {The estimated 200 gallons of sodium aluminosilicate scale (NAS) present in the 242-16H Evaporator pot prior to chemical cleaning was subjected to four batches of 1.5 M (9 wt%) nitric acid. Each batch was neutralized with 19 M (50 wt %) sodium hydroxide (caustic) before transfer to Tank 38. The chemical cleaning process began on November 20, 2006, and was terminated on December 10, 2006. An inspection of the pot's interior was performed and based on data gathered during that inspection; the current volume of scale in the pot is conservatively estimated to be 36.3 gallons, which is well below the 200 gallon limit specified in the Technical Safety Requirements. In addition, the performance during all aspects of cleaning agreed well with the flowsheet developed at the bench and pilot scale. There were some lessons learned during the cleaning outage and are detailed in appendices of this report.},
doi = {10.2172/921968},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue May 29 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Tue May 29 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share:
  • Samples retrieved from the 2H Evaporator Pot in October of 2003 were of a similar nature as previous materials. The bulk of the sample was comprised of a sodium aluminosilicate phase, cancrinite. The concentration of uranium in the evaporator solids,however, was very low:less than 0.1 percentage weight. The uranium enrichment was depleted as expected and measured 0.6 percent. These data agree with uranium contents generated during experimental testing. Additionally, the overall specific radionuclide content is lower for this sample than previous measured on samples from the Gravity Drain Line in 1997 and the cone and wall in 2000.
  • This report summarizes all the bases and assumptions used in the model and further highlights some of the key findings of the model runs.
  • The operation of the 242-16H (2H) Evaporator was curtailed in October 1999 due to the presence of an aluminosilicate scale that contained sodium diuranate with a uranium-235 enrichment of approximately 3 percent. The scale had built to the point where steam lifting of the evaporator concentrates was ineffective. Work performed by SRTC during calendar years 1998-2000 had shown that dilute nitric acid was an effective chemical cleaning agent. An overall cleaning flowsheet was developed in calendar year 2000 that addressed numerous safety issues associated with cleaning the pot, neutralizing the uranium-bearing acid and discharging the neutralized solutions to a wastemore » tank. Beginning in May 2001, a depleted uranium and nitric acid mixture was added to the 2H Evaporator pot and heated to elevated temperatures. As a result of this action, the pot was cleaned and returned to service as can be seen in Figure 1. This report summarizes the key conclusions from this work.« less
  • Due to the materials that are processed through 2H Evaporator, scale is constantly being deposited on the surfaces of the evaporator pot. In order to meet the requirements of the Nuclear Criticality Safety Analysis/Evaluation (NCSA/NCSE) for 2H Evaporator, inspections of the pot are performed to determine the extent of scaling. Once the volume of scale reaches a certain threshold, the pot must be chemically cleaned to remove the scale. Prior to cleaning the pot, samples of the scale are obtained to determine the concentration of uranium and plutonium and also to provide information to assist with pot cleaning. Savannah Rivermore » National Laboratory (SRNL) was requested by Liquid Waste Organization (LWO) Engineering to obtain these samples from two locations within the evaporator. Past experience has proven the difficulty of successfully obtaining solids samples from the 2H Evaporator pot. To mitigate this risk, a total of four samplers were designed and fabricated to ensure that two samples could be obtained. Samples had previously been obtained from the cone surface directly below the vertical access riser using a custom scraping tool. This tool was fabricated and deployed successfully. A second scraper was designed to obtain sample from the nearby vertical thermowell and a third scraper was designed to obtain sample from the vertical pot wall. The newly developed scrapers both employed a pneumatically actuated elbow. The scrapers were designed to be easily attached/removed from the elbow assembly. These tools were fabricated and deployed successfully. A fourth tool was designed to obtain sample from the opposite side of the pot under the tube bundle. This tool was fabricated and tested, but the additional modifications required to make the tool field-ready could not be complete in time to meet the aggressive deployment schedule. Two samples were obtained near the pot entry location, one from the pot wall and the other from the evaporator feed pipe. Since a third sampler was available and all of the radiological controls were in place, the decision was made to obtain a third sample. The third sampler dropped directly below the riser to obtain a scrape sample from the evaporator cone. Samples were obtained from all of these locations in sufficient quantities to perform the required analysis.« less
  • Savannah River Remediation (SRR) is planning to remove a buildup of sodium aluminosilicate scale from the 2H-evaporator pot by loading and soaking the pot with heated 1.5 M nitric acid solution. Sampling and analysis of the scale material has been performed so that uranium and plutonium isotopic analysis can be input into a Nuclear Criticality Safety Assessment (NCSA) for scale removal by chemical cleaning. Historically, since the operation of the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF), silicon in the DWPF recycle stream combines with aluminum in the typical tank farm supernate to form sodium aluminosilicate scale mineral deposits in the 2Hevaporatormore » pot and gravity drain line. The 2H-evaporator scale samples analyzed by Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) came from the bottom cone sections of the 2H-evaporator pot [Sample HTF-13-77] and the wall 2H-evaporator [sample HTF-13-82]. X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) confirmed that both the 2H-evaporator pot scale and the wall samples consist of nitrated cancrinite (a crystalline sodium aluminosilicate solid) and clarkeite (a uranium oxy-hydroxide mineral). On “as received” basis, the bottom pot section scale sample contained an average of 2.59E+00 ± 1.40E-01 wt % total uranium with a U-235 enrichment of 6.12E-01 ± 1.48E-02 %, while the wall sample contained an average of 4.03E+00 ± 9.79E-01 wt % total uranium with a U-235 enrichment of 6.03E-01% ± 1.66E-02 wt %. The bottom pot section scale sample analyses results for Pu-238, Pu-239, and Pu-241 are 3.16E- 05 ± 5.40E-06 wt %, 3.28E-04 ± 1.45E-05 wt %, and <8.80E-07 wt %, respectively. The evaporator wall scale samples analysis values for Pu-238, Pu-239, and Pu-241 averages 3.74E-05 ± 6.01E-06 wt %, 4.38E-04 ± 5.08E-05 wt %, and <1.38E-06 wt %, respectively. The Pu-241 analyses results, as presented, are upper limit values. These results are provided so that SRR can calculate the equivalent uranium-235 concentrations for the NCSA. Results confirm that the uranium contained in the scale remains depleted with respect to natural uranium. SRNL did not calculate an equivalent U-235 enrichment, which takes into account other fissionable isotopes U-233, Pu-239 and Pu-241. The applicable method for calculation of equivalent U-235 will be determined in the NCSA.« less