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Title: White Paper on Potential Hazards Associated with Contaminated Cheesecloth Exposed to Nitric Acid Solutions

This white paper addresses the potential hazards associated with waste cheesecloth that has been exposed to nitric acid solutions. This issue was highlighted by the cleanup of a 100 ml leak of aqueous nitric acid solution containing Heat Source (HS) plutonium on 21 June 2016. Nitration of cellulosic material is a well-understood process due to industrial/military applications of the resulting material. Within the Department of Energy complex, nitric acids have been used extensively, as have cellulosic wipes. If cellulosic materials are nitrated, the cellulosic material can become ignitable and in extreme cases, reactive. We have chemistry knowledge and operating experience to support the conclusion that all current wastes are safe and compliant. There are technical questions worthy of further experimental evaluation. An extent of condition evaluation has been conducted back to 2004. During this time period there have been interruptions in the authorization to use cellulosic wipes in PF-4. Limited use has been authorized since 2007 (for purposes other than spill cleanup), so our extent of condition includes the entire current span of use. Our evaluation shows that there is no indication that process spills involving high molarity nitric acid were cleaned up with cheesecloth since 2007. The materials generatedmore » in the 21 June leak will be managed in a safe manner compliant with all applicable requirements.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1327985
Report Number(s):
LA--UR-16-27191
TRN: US1700332
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; NITRIC ACID; AQUEOUS SOLUTIONS; PLUTONIUM; EVALUATION; HAZARDS; LEAKS; NITRATION; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; CELLULOSE cellulosic acid; cheesecloth; RCRA