Screening for organic solvents in Hanford waste tanks using organic vapor concentrations

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The potential ignition of organic liquids stored in the Hanford Site high-level radioactive waste tanks has been identified as a safety issue because expanding gases could potentially affect tank dome integrity. Organic liquid waste has been found in some of the waste tanks, but most are thought to contain only trace amounts. Due to the inhomogeneity of the waste, direct sampling of the tank waste to locate organic liquids may not conclusively demonstrate that a given tank is free of risk. However, organic vapors present above the organic liquid waste can be detected with a high degree of confidence and ... continued below

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48 p.

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Huckaby, J.L. & Sklarew, D.S. September 1, 1997.

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  • Pacific Northwest Laboratory
    Publisher Info: Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States)
    Place of Publication: Richland, Washington

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Description

The potential ignition of organic liquids stored in the Hanford Site high-level radioactive waste tanks has been identified as a safety issue because expanding gases could potentially affect tank dome integrity. Organic liquid waste has been found in some of the waste tanks, but most are thought to contain only trace amounts. Due to the inhomogeneity of the waste, direct sampling of the tank waste to locate organic liquids may not conclusively demonstrate that a given tank is free of risk. However, organic vapors present above the organic liquid waste can be detected with a high degree of confidence and can be used to identify problem tanks. This report presents the results of a screening test that has been applied to 82 passively ventilated high-level radioactive waste tanks at the Hanford Site to identify those that might contain a significant amount of organic liquid waste. It includes seven tanks not addressed in the previous version of this report, Screening for Organic Solvents in Hanford Waste Tanks Using Total Non-Methane Organic Compound Vapor Concentrations. The screening test is based on a simple model of the tank headspace that estimates the effective surface area of semivolatile organic liquid waste in a tank. Analyses indicate that damage to the tank dome is credible only if the organic liquid burn rate is above a threshold value, and this can occur only if the surface area of organic liquid in a tank is above a corresponding threshold value of about one square meter. Thirteen tanks were identified as potentially containing at least that amount of semivolatile organic liquid based on conservative estimates. Most of the tanks identified as containing potentially significant quantities of organic liquid waste are in the 241-BY and 241-C tank farms, which agrees qualitatively with the fact that these tank farms received the majority of the PUREX process organic wash waste and waste organic liquids.

Physical Description

48 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE97054528

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  • Other Information: PBD: Sep 1997

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  • Other: DE97054528
  • Report No.: PNNL--11698
  • Grant Number: AC06-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/552804 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 552804
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc690491

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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Creation Date

  • September 1, 1997

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Aug. 14, 2015, 8:43 a.m.

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  • June 13, 2016, 8:53 p.m.

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Huckaby, J.L. & Sklarew, D.S. Screening for organic solvents in Hanford waste tanks using organic vapor concentrations, report, September 1, 1997; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc690491/: accessed July 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.