Date: December 31, 1999
Creator: Tingey, Joel M.; Berg, John D.; Keefer, K.D.; Lea, A.S.; Rector, D.R.; Virden, J.W. et al.
Description: Disposal of millions of gallons of existing radioactive wastes in underground storage tanks is a major remediation activity for the United States Department of Energy. These wastes include a substantial volume of insoluble sludges consisting of submicron colloidal particles. Processing these sludges under the proposed processing conditions presents unique challenges in retrieval, transport, separation, and solidification of these waste streams. Depending on processing conditions, these colloidal particles can form agglomerated networks having high viscosities that could clog transfer lines or produce high volumes of low-density sediments that interfere with solid-liquid separations. Under different conditions, these particles can be dispersed to form very fine suspended particles that do not settle. Given the wide range of waste chemistries present at Department of Energy sites, it is impractical to measure the properties of all treatment procedures. The underlying principle s of colloid chemistry and physics were studied to provide data that would make it possible to predict and eventually control the physical properties of sludge suspensions and sediment layers in tank wastes and other waste processing streams.
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