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Title: ABSORBING WIPP BRINES: A TRU WASTE DISPOSAL STRATEGY

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has completed experiments involving 15 each, 250- liter experimental test containers of transuranic (TRU) heterogeneous waste immersed in two types of brine similar to those found in the underground portion of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). To dispose of the waste without removing the brine from the test containers, LANL added commercially available cross-linked polyacrylate granules to absorb the 190 liters of brine in each container, making the waste compliant for shipping to the WIPP in a Standard Waste Box (SWB). Prior to performing the absorption, LANL and the manufacturer of the absorbent conducted laboratory and field tests to determine the ratio of absorbent to brine that would fully absorb the liquid. Bench scale tests indicated a ratio of 10 parts Castile brine to one part absorbent and 6.25 parts Brine A to one part absorbent. The minimum ratio of absorbent to brine was sought because headspace in the containers was limited. However, full scale testing revealed that the ratio should be adjusted to be about 15% richer in absorbent. Additional testing showed that the absorbent would not apply more than 13.8 kPa pressure on the walls of the vessel and that the absorbentmore » would still function normally at that pressure and would not degrade in the approximately 5e-4 Sv/hr radioactive field produced by the waste. Heat generation from the absorption was minimal. The in situ absorption created a single waste stream of 8 SWBs whereas the least complicated alternate method of disposal would have yielded at least an additional 2600 liters of mixed low level liquid waste plus about two cubic meters of mixed low level solid waste, and would have resulted in higher risk of radiation exposure to workers. The in situ absorption saved $311k in a combination of waste treatment, disposal, material and personnel costs compared to the least expensive alternative and $984k compared to the original plan.« less
Authors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
832708
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Waste Management 2002 Symposium, Tucson, AZ (US), 02/24/2002--02/28/2002; Other Information: PBD: 25 Feb 2002
Publisher:
WM Symposia, Inc., Tucson, Arizona
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM; Aquadox, 2749 Curtiss Street, Downers Grove, IL (US)
Sponsoring Org:
US Department of Energy (US)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; ABSORPTION; ALPHA-BEARING WASTES; BRINES; CONTAINERS; FIELD TESTS; LIQUID WASTES; MANUFACTURERS; POLYACRYLATES; RADIATIONS; SOLID WASTES; TESTING; WASTE MANAGEMENT; WASTE PROCESSING; WIPP