Basic and Acidic Leaching of Sludge from Melton Valley Storage Tank W-25

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Bench-scale leaching tests were conducted with samples of tank waste sludge from the Melton Valley Storage Tank (MVST) Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to evaluate separation technology processes for use in concentrating the radionuclides and reducing the volume of waste for final disposal. This paper discusses the hot cell apparatus, the characterization of the sludge, the leaching methodology, and the results obtained from a variety of basic and acidic leaching tests of samples of sludge at ambient temperature. Basic leaching tests were also conducted at 75 and 95 deg C. The major alpha-,gamma., and beta-emitting radionuclides in the ... continued below

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33 p.

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Collins, J. L.; Egan, B. Z.; Beahm, E. C.; Chase, C. W. & Anderson, K. K. October 1997.

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Bench-scale leaching tests were conducted with samples of tank waste sludge from the Melton Valley Storage Tank (MVST) Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to evaluate separation technology processes for use in concentrating the radionuclides and reducing the volume of waste for final disposal. This paper discusses the hot cell apparatus, the characterization of the sludge, the leaching methodology, and the results obtained from a variety of basic and acidic leaching tests of samples of sludge at ambient temperature. Basic leaching tests were also conducted at 75 and 95 deg C. The major alpha-,gamma., and beta-emitting radionuclides in the centrifuged, wet sludge solids were {sup 137}Cs, {sup 60}Co, {sup 154}Eu, {sup 241}Am, {sup 244}Cm {sup 90}Sr, Pu, U, and Th. The other major metals (in addition to the U and Th) and anions were Na, Ca, Al, K, Mg, NO{sub 3}{sup -},CO{sub 3}{sup 2-}, OH{sup -}, and O{sup 2-} organic carbon content was 3.0 +/- 1.0%. The pH was 13. A surprising result was that about 93% of the {sup 137}Cs in the centrifuged, wet sludge solids was bound in the solids and could not be solubilized by basic leaching at ambient temperature and 75 deg C. However, the solubility of the {sup 137}Cs was enhanced by heating the sludge to 95 deg C. In one of the tests,about 42% of the {sup 137}Cs was removed by leaching with 6.3 M NaOH at 95 deg C.Removing {sup 137}Cs from the W-25 sludge with nitric acid was a slow process. About 13% of the {sup 137}Cs was removed in 16 h with 3.0 M HNO{sub 3}. Only 22% of the {sup 137}Cs was removed in 117 h usi 6.0 M HNO{sub 3}. Successive leaching of sludge solids with 0.5 M, 3.0 M, 3.0 M; and 6.0 M HNO{sub 3} for a total mixing time of 558 h removed 84% of the {sup 137}Cs. The use of caustic leaching prior to HNO{sub 3} leaching, and the use of HF with HNO{sub 3} in acidic leaching, increased the rate of {sup 137}Cs dissolution. Gel formation proved to be one of the biggest problems associated with HNO{sub 3} leaching of the W-25 sludge.

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33 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE98000680

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  • 10. symposium on separation science and technology for energy applications, Gatlinburg, TN (United States), 20-24 Oct 1997; Other Information: DN: [540 549000]

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  • Other: DE98000680
  • Report No.: ORNL/CP--94841
  • Report No.: CONF-9710103--
  • Grant Number: AC05-96OR22464
  • DOI: 10.2172/631171 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 655245
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc703241

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  • October 1997

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  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • June 14, 2016, 5:28 p.m.

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Collins, J. L.; Egan, B. Z.; Beahm, E. C.; Chase, C. W. & Anderson, K. K. Basic and Acidic Leaching of Sludge from Melton Valley Storage Tank W-25, article, October 1997; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc703241/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.