Chemical Processing Department Monthly Report: July 1957 Page: 79 of 107
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Research and Engineering HW-51802 J
it. The shaft surface was not damaged and no evidence of interpenetration
was found. However, if this resulted from swelling of the- carbon (known to
occur) upon exposure to the peculiar chemical characteristics of the HAIS
stream, it is to be hoped that glass bearings will solve -this problem.
All product batches met specifications except twelve 29U batches which contained
too much radio-ruthenium and were-ozonated. Eight of these twelve 2ZU batches
met specifications and the others were blended in the storage tanks with
material meeting specifications. The high gamma activities were caused by ex-
tensive rework operations and temporary high acidity in the HAIS stream.
Throughout the July operation, the lAX flow ratio was maintained at 30 percent
above the ratio used in June. Since this flowsheet change, the 1AW and 2AW plu-
tonium losses have shown none of the erratic high values characteristic of-the
earlier operation with high MND/T metal and low lAX ratios. Preliminary lab-
oratory studies show that rapid reduction and polymerization of plutonium may
occur in the hexone phase of two-phase, acid-deficient systems simulating the
2A Column scrub section. Also, the apparent rate of this reaction leading to
plutonium deposition is markedly increased by increasing ;he initial plutonium
concentration. The plant and laboratory data indicate that the plutonium re-
cycle and deposition problem which had recurred since January probably resulted
from acid and plutonium concentration conditions unique to the AP stream.
Studies are being contined to confirm this explanation of the deposition and
to find the most economical means to prevent recurrence.
The 2A Column flowsheet tests, made to determine whether inadequate plutonium
oxidation in the 1AMS concentrator was a cause of IA Column losses, were con-
tinued until the success of the 1AX ratio increase was apparent. Stepwise re-
ductions in the extractant flow were made until 2AW losses of about 0.2 percent
were reached at an aqueous-to-organic volume ratio of 2.3 in the extraction
section. After a demonstration period of approximately 36 hours at the 2.3
ratio, the ratio was reduced to 1.5 to diminish the hazards of unusual losses
during 2AF acidity reductions.
The 1AFS concentrator tube bundle which had been installed in June, 1954, failed
and was blanked off. Concentration is being effected with the alternate bundle,
and the failed bundle will be replaced at a convenient time.
Over-all recoveries were 99.82 percent for uranium and 99.48 percent for plu-
tonium. The principal losses resulted from accidental undersalting of the HA
Column on start-ups. Significant losses were incurred on discarding residues
from the June acid flushes and as a consequence of a plug in the HAIS line.
Some plutonium-bearing wastes worth reworking had to be discarded because of
storage limitations or the presence of emulsifying materials.
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Hanford Atomic Products Operation. Chemical Processing Department. Chemical Processing Department Monthly Report: July 1957, report, August 22, 1957; Richland, Washington. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1312193/m1/79/: accessed May 26, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.