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Title: SAVANNAH RIVER SITE TANK CLEANING: CORROSION RATE FOR ONE VERSUS EIGHT PERCENT OXALIC ACID SOLUTION

Until recently, the use of oxalic acid for chemically cleaning the Savannah River Site (SRS) radioactive waste tanks focused on using concentrated 4 and 8-wt% solutions. Recent testing and research on applicable dissolution mechanisms have concluded that under appropriate conditions, dilute solutions of oxalic acid (i.e., 1-wt%) may be more effective. Based on the need to maximize cleaning effectiveness, coupled with the need to minimize downstream impacts, SRS is now developing plans for using a 1-wt% oxalic acid solution. A technology gap associated with using a 1-wt% oxalic acid solution was a dearth of suitable corrosion data. Assuming oxalic acid's passivation of carbon steel was proportional to the free oxalate concentration, the general corrosion rate (CR) from a 1-wt% solution may not be bound by those from 8-wt%. Therefore, after developing the test strategy and plan, the corrosion testing was performed. Starting with the envisioned process specific baseline solvent, a 1-wt% oxalic acid solution, with sludge (limited to Purex type sludge-simulant for this initial effort) at 75 C and agitated, the corrosion rate (CR) was determined from the measured weight loss of the exposed coupon. Environmental variations tested were: (a) Inclusion of sludge in the test vessel or assuming amore » pure oxalic acid solution; (b) acid solution temperature maintained at 75 or 45 C; and (c) agitation of the acid solution or stagnant. Application of select electrochemical testing (EC) explored the impact of each variation on the passivation mechanisms and confirmed the CR. The 1-wt% results were then compared to those from the 8-wt%. The immersion coupons showed that the maximum time averaged CR for a 1-wt% solution with sludge was less than 25-mils/yr for all conditions. For an agitated 8-wt% solution with sludge, the maximum time averaged CR was about 30-mils/yr at 50 C, and 86-mils/yr at 75 C. Both the 1-wt% and the 8-wt% testing demonstrated that if the sludge was removed from the testing, there would be a significant increase in the CR. Specifically, the CR for an agitated 1-wt% pure oxalic acid solution at 45 or 75 C was about 4 to 10 times greater than those for a 1-wt% solution with sludge. For 8-wt% at 50 C, the effect was even larger. The lower CRs suggest that the cathodic reactions were altered by the sludge. For both the 1-wt% and 8-wt% solution, increasing the temperature did not result in an increased CR. Although the CR for a 1-wt% acid with sludge was considered to be non-temperature dependent, a stagnant solution with sludge resulted in a CR that was greater at 45 C than at 75 C, suggesting that the oxalate film formed at a higher temperature was better in mitigating corrosion. For both a 1 and an 8-wt% solution, agitation typically resulted in a higher CR. Overall, the testing showed that the general CR to the SRS carbon steel tanks from 1-wt% oxalic acid solution will remain bounded by those from an 8-wt% oxalic acid solution.« less
Authors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1003848
Report Number(s):
SRR-LWE-2011-00024
TRN: US1100525
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC09-09SR22505
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Waste Management 2011
Research Org:
SRS
Sponsoring Org:
DOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; CARBON STEELS; CLEANING; CORROSION; DISSOLUTION; OXALATES; OXALIC ACID; PASSIVATION; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; SAVANNAH RIVER PLANT; SLUDGES; TANKS; TESTING; WASTE MANAGEMENT