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

Title: ASSESSMENT OF THE POTENTIAL FOR HYDROGEN GENERATION DURING GROUTING OPERATIONS IN THE R- AND P-REACTOR VESSELS

Abstract

The R- and P-reactor buildings were retired from service and are now being prepared for deactivation and decommissioning (D&D). D&D activities will consist primarily of immobilizing contaminated components and structures in a grout-like formulation. Aluminum corrodes very rapidly when it comes in contact with the alkaline grout materials and as a result produces hydrogen gas. To address this potential deflagration/explosion hazard, the Materials Science and Technology Directorate (MS&T) of the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) has been requested to review and evaluate existing experimental and analytical studies of this issue to determine if any process constraints on the chemistry of the fill material and the fill operation are necessary. Various options exist for the type of grout material that may be used for D&D of the reactor vessels. The grout formulation options include ceramicrete (pH 6-8), low pH portland cement + silica fume grout (pH 10.4), or Portland cement grout (pH 12.5). The assessment concluded that either ceramicrete or the silica fume grout may be used to safely grout the P-reactor vessel. The risk of accumulation of a flammable mixture of hydrogen between the grout-air interface and the top of the reactor is very low. Portland cement grout, on themore » other hand, for the same range of process parameters does not provide a significant margin of safety against the accumulation of flammable gas in the reactor vessel during grouting operations in the P-reactor vessel. It is recommended that this grout not be utilized for this task. The R-reactor vessel contains significantly less aluminum and thus a Portland cement grout may be considered as well. For example, if the grout fill rate is less than 1 inch/min and the grout temperature is maintained at 70 C or less, the risk of hydrogen accumulation in the R-reactor vessel is very low for the Portland cement. Alternatively, if the grout fill rate is less than 0.5 inch/min and the grout is maintained at a temperature of 80 C, the risk will again be very low. Although these calculations are conservative, there are some measures that may be taken to further minimize the potential for hydrogen evolution. (1) Minimize the temperature of the grout as much as practical. Lower temperatures will mean lower hydrogen generation rates. For P-reactor, grout temperatures less than 100 C should provide an adequate safety margin for the pH 8 and pH 10.4 grout formulations. For R-reactor, grout temperatures less than 70 C or 80 C will provide an adequate safety margin for the Portland cement. The other grout formulations are also viable options for R-reactor. (2) Minimize the grout fill rate as much as practical. Lowering the fill rate takes advantage of passivation of the aluminum components and hence lower hydrogen generation rates. For P-reactor, fill rates that are less than 2 inches/min for the ceramicrete and the silica fume grouts will reduce the chance of significant hydrogen accumulation. For R-reactor, fill rates less than 1 inch/min will again minimize the risk of hydrogen accumulation. (3) Ventilate the building as much as practical (e.g., leave doors open) to further disperse hydrogen. The volumetric hydrogen generation rates in the P-reactor vessel, however, are low for the pH 8 and pH 10.4 grout, (i.e., less than 0.32 ft{sup 3}/min). If further walk-down inspections of the reactor vessels suggest an increase in the actual areal density of aluminum, the calculations should be re-visited.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SRS
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
972082
Report Number(s):
SRNL-STI-2009-00639R1
TRN: US201006%%885
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC09-08SR22470
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; ALUMINIUM; CHEMISTRY; DEACTIVATION; DECOMMISSIONING; GROUTING; HYDROGEN; MIXTURES; P REACTOR; PASSIVATION; PORTLAND CEMENT; R REACTOR; REACTOR VESSELS; SAFETY; SAFETY MARGINS; SILICA

Citation Formats

Wiersma, B. ASSESSMENT OF THE POTENTIAL FOR HYDROGEN GENERATION DURING GROUTING OPERATIONS IN THE R- AND P-REACTOR VESSELS. United States: N. p., 2009. Web. doi:10.2172/972082.
Wiersma, B. ASSESSMENT OF THE POTENTIAL FOR HYDROGEN GENERATION DURING GROUTING OPERATIONS IN THE R- AND P-REACTOR VESSELS. United States. doi:10.2172/972082.
Wiersma, B. Tue . "ASSESSMENT OF THE POTENTIAL FOR HYDROGEN GENERATION DURING GROUTING OPERATIONS IN THE R- AND P-REACTOR VESSELS". United States. doi:10.2172/972082. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/972082.
@article{osti_972082,
title = {ASSESSMENT OF THE POTENTIAL FOR HYDROGEN GENERATION DURING GROUTING OPERATIONS IN THE R- AND P-REACTOR VESSELS},
author = {Wiersma, B.},
abstractNote = {The R- and P-reactor buildings were retired from service and are now being prepared for deactivation and decommissioning (D&D). D&D activities will consist primarily of immobilizing contaminated components and structures in a grout-like formulation. Aluminum corrodes very rapidly when it comes in contact with the alkaline grout materials and as a result produces hydrogen gas. To address this potential deflagration/explosion hazard, the Materials Science and Technology Directorate (MS&T) of the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) has been requested to review and evaluate existing experimental and analytical studies of this issue to determine if any process constraints on the chemistry of the fill material and the fill operation are necessary. Various options exist for the type of grout material that may be used for D&D of the reactor vessels. The grout formulation options include ceramicrete (pH 6-8), low pH portland cement + silica fume grout (pH 10.4), or Portland cement grout (pH 12.5). The assessment concluded that either ceramicrete or the silica fume grout may be used to safely grout the P-reactor vessel. The risk of accumulation of a flammable mixture of hydrogen between the grout-air interface and the top of the reactor is very low. Portland cement grout, on the other hand, for the same range of process parameters does not provide a significant margin of safety against the accumulation of flammable gas in the reactor vessel during grouting operations in the P-reactor vessel. It is recommended that this grout not be utilized for this task. The R-reactor vessel contains significantly less aluminum and thus a Portland cement grout may be considered as well. For example, if the grout fill rate is less than 1 inch/min and the grout temperature is maintained at 70 C or less, the risk of hydrogen accumulation in the R-reactor vessel is very low for the Portland cement. Alternatively, if the grout fill rate is less than 0.5 inch/min and the grout is maintained at a temperature of 80 C, the risk will again be very low. Although these calculations are conservative, there are some measures that may be taken to further minimize the potential for hydrogen evolution. (1) Minimize the temperature of the grout as much as practical. Lower temperatures will mean lower hydrogen generation rates. For P-reactor, grout temperatures less than 100 C should provide an adequate safety margin for the pH 8 and pH 10.4 grout formulations. For R-reactor, grout temperatures less than 70 C or 80 C will provide an adequate safety margin for the Portland cement. The other grout formulations are also viable options for R-reactor. (2) Minimize the grout fill rate as much as practical. Lowering the fill rate takes advantage of passivation of the aluminum components and hence lower hydrogen generation rates. For P-reactor, fill rates that are less than 2 inches/min for the ceramicrete and the silica fume grouts will reduce the chance of significant hydrogen accumulation. For R-reactor, fill rates less than 1 inch/min will again minimize the risk of hydrogen accumulation. (3) Ventilate the building as much as practical (e.g., leave doors open) to further disperse hydrogen. The volumetric hydrogen generation rates in the P-reactor vessel, however, are low for the pH 8 and pH 10.4 grout, (i.e., less than 0.32 ft{sup 3}/min). If further walk-down inspections of the reactor vessels suggest an increase in the actual areal density of aluminum, the calculations should be re-visited.},
doi = {10.2172/972082},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Dec 29 00:00:00 EST 2009},
month = {Tue Dec 29 00:00:00 EST 2009}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share: