Compatibility of packaging components with simulant mixed waste Page: 1 of 5
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Proposed for Presentation at the 20th Compatibility, Aging, and Stockpile Stewardship Conference
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Compatibility of Packaging Components with Simulant Mixed Waste*
P. J. Nigrey and T. G. Dickens
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico
INTRODUCTION APR0 1 1
The purpose of hazardous and radioactive materials packaging is to enable these materials o b T I
transported without posing a threat to the health or property of the general public. To achieve this
aim, regulations in the United States have been written establishing general design requirements for
such packagings. While no regulations have been written specifically for mixed waste packaging,
regulations for the constituents of mixed wastes, i.e., hazardous and radioactive substances, have
been codified by the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT, 49 CFR 173) and the U.S.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC, 10 CFR 71). Based on these national requirements, a
Chemical Compatibility Testing Program was developed in the Transportation Systems Department at
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). The program provides a basis to assure any regulatory body
that the issue of packaging material compatibility towards hazardous and radioactive materials has
In this paper, we present the results of the second phase of this testing program. The first phase
screened five liner materials and six seal materials towards four simulant mixed wastes. This phase
involved the comprehensive testing of five candidate liner materials to an aqueous Hanford Tank
simulant mixed waste. The comprehensive testing protocol involved exposing the respective materials
a matrix of four gamma radiation doses (-1, 3, 6, and 40 kGy), three temperatures (18, 50, and
601C), and four exposure times (7, 14, 28, and 180 days). Following their exposure to these
combinations of conditions, the materials were evaluated by measuring five material properties.
These properties were specific gravity, dimensional changes, hardness, stress cracking, and
The selected materials were five plastics having known chemical resistance to a large number of
classes of chemicals. The plastics were high-density polyethylene (HDPE), cross-linked polyethylene
(XLPE), polypropylene (PP), fluorocarbon (Kel-F), and polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon).
The simulant mixed waste form used in this testing phase was an aqueous alkaline simulant Hanford
Tank waste. It was prepared by dissolving 179 g (2.10 moles) of sodium nitrate and 50 g (0.73
moles) sodium nitrite in deionized water (600 mL) using a 4-L beaker. After these salts had
completely dissolved, 82 g (2.05 moles) sodium hydroxide was added under stirring and slight
heating using a magnetic stirrer. To this hot (-70 C) stirred solution, 17 g (0.107 moles) cesium
chloride and 16 g (0.0952 moles) strontium chloride were added. Finally, 32 g (0.301 moles) of
sodium carbonate was added to the solution. To the resulting mixture was added another 400 mL of
deionized water to bring the total volume of water used to 1 L. After cooling to near ambient
temperature, the stirred mixture was stored in Amber Glass Bottles.
* This work was performed at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico, supported by the United
States Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC04-94 85000.
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Nigrey, P. J. & Dickens, T. G. Compatibility of packaging components with simulant mixed waste, report, April 1, 1996; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc666714/m1/1/: accessed November 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.