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Title: Laboratory Scoping Tests Of Decontamination Of Hanford Waste Treatment Plant Low Activity Waste Off-Gas Condensate Simulant

The Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) Low Activity Waste (LAW) vitrification facility will generate an aqueous condensate recycle stream (LAW Off-Gas Condensate) from the off-gas system. The baseline plan for disposition of this stream is to send it to the WTP Pretreatment Facility, where it will be blended with LAW, concentrated by evaporation and recycled to the LAW vitrification facility again. Alternate disposition of this stream would eliminate recycling of problematic components, and would enable de-coupled operation of the LAW melter and the Pretreatment Facilities. Eliminating this stream from recycling within WTP would also decrease the LAW vitrification mission duration and quantity of glass waste. This LAW Off-Gas Condensate stream contains components that are volatile at melter temperatures and are problematic for the glass waste form. Because this stream recycles within WTP, these components accumulate in the Condensate stream, exacerbating their impact on the number of LAW glass containers that must be produced. Approximately 32% of the sodium in Supplemental LAW comes from glass formers used to make the extra glass to dilute the halides to acceptable concentrations in the LAW glass, and diverting the stream reduces the halides in the recycled Condensate and is a key outcomemore » of this work. Additionally, under possible scenarios where the LAW vitrification facility commences operation prior to the WTP Pretreatment facility, identifying a disposition path becomes vitally important. This task seeks to examine the potential treatment of this stream to remove radionuclides and subsequently disposition the decontaminated stream elsewhere, such as the Effluent Treatment Facility (ETF), for example. The treatment process envisioned is very similar to that used for the Actinide Removal Process (ARP) that has been operating for years at the Savannah River Site (SRS), and focuses on using mature radionuclide removal technologies that are also compatible with longterm tank storage and immobilization methods. For this new application, testing is needed to demonstrate acceptable treatment sorbents and precipitating agents and measure decontamination factors for additional radionuclides in this unique waste stream. The origin of this LAW Off-Gas Condensate stream will be the liquids from the Submerged Bed Scrubber (SBS) and the Wet Electrostatic Precipitator (WESP) from the LAW melter off-gas system. The stream is expected to be a dilute salt solution with near neutral pH, and will likely contain some insoluble solids from melter carryover. The soluble components are expected to be mostly sodium and ammonium salts of nitrate, chloride, and fluoride. This stream has not been generated yet and will not be available until the WTP begins operation, but a simulant has been produced based on models, calculations, and comparison with pilot-scale tests. One of the radionuclides that is volatile and expected to be in high concentration in this LAW Off-Gas Condensate stream is Technetium-99 (99Tc). Technetium will not be removed from the aqueous waste in the Hanford WTP, and will primarily end up immobilized in the LAW glass by repeated recycle of the off-gas condensate into the LAW melter. Other radionuclides that are also expected to be in appreciable concentration in the LAW Off-Gas Condensate are 129I, 90Sr, 137Cs, and {sup 241}Am. This report discusses results of preliminary radionuclide decontamination testing of the simulant. Testing examined use of Monosodium Titanate (MST) to remove 90Sr and actinides, inorganic reducing agents for 99Tc, and zeolites for 137Cs. Test results indicate that excellent removal of 99Tc was achieved using Sn(II)Cl2 as a reductant, coupled with sorption onto hydroxyapatite, even in the presence of air and at room temperature. This process was very effective at neutral pH, with a Decontamination Factor (DF) >577 in two hours. It was less effective at alkaline pH. Conversely, removal of the cesium was more effective at alkaline pH, with a DF of 17.9. As anticipated, ammonium ion probably interfered with the Ionsiv®a IE-95 zeolite uptake of 137Cs. Although this DF of 137Cs was moderate, additional testing is expected to identify more effective conditions. Similarly, Monosodium Titanate (MST) was more effective at alkaline pH at removing Sr, Pu, and U, with a DF of 319, 11.6, and 10.5, respectively, within 24 hours. Actually, the Ionsiv® IE-95, which was targeting removal of Cs, was also moderately effective for Sr, and highly effective for Pu and U at alkaline pH. The only deleterious effect observed was that the chromium co-precipitates with the {sup 99}Tc during the SnCl2 reduction. This effect was anticipated, and would have to be considered when managing disposition paths of this stream. Results of this separation testing indicate that sorption/precipitation was a viable concept and has the potential to decontaminate the stream. All radionuclides were at least partially removed by one or more of the materials tested. Based on the results, a possible treatment scenario could involve the use of a reductive precipitation agent (SnCl2) and sorbent at neutral pH to remove the Tc, followed by pH adjustment and the addition of zeolite (Ionsiv® IE-95) to remove the Cs, Sr, and actinides. Addition of MST to remove Sr and actinides may not be needed. Since this was an initial phase of testing, additional tasks to improve separation methods were expected to be identified. Primarily, further testing is needed to identify the conditions for the decontamination process. Once these conditions are established, follow-on tasks likely include evaluation and testing of applicable solid-liquid separation technologies, slurry rheology measurements, composition variability testing and evaluations, corrosion and erosion testing, slurry storage and immobilization investigations, and decontaminated LAW Off-Gas Condensate evaporation and solidification.« less
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  1. Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
TRN: US1400286
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States