K-Basin sludge treatment facility pump test report Page: 3 of 7
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HNF-4527, Rev 0
Page 1 of 5
K-Basin Sludge Treatment Facility Pump Test Report
The initial concepts for K-Basin sludge treatment delivered sludge batches to a processing facility. The facility
required transfer pumps to move the sludge from one process vessel to another. The sludge contains mostly fine
particles with some large heavy fuel particles. The difficult to pump fuel particles pose risks for a reliable sludge
transfer system. This test effort was intended to identify the pump(s) most suitable for transferring untreated
sludge for Sludge Treatment Project (A-13B).
Engineering study, HNF-3445, "Evaluation of Transfer Method and Instrumentation Applicable to Sludge
Treatment Project' identified the disc pump, double diaphragm pump and eddy pump as pumps with promise for
sludge transfer applications. The eddy pump vendor was adamant that they would perform all tests on the pump
and were reluctant to sell a pump for the tests. The eddy pump was not included in the tests for this reason.
Test plan, HNF-3739, "K-Basin Sludge Treatment Facility Pump Test Plan" describes a series of tests on the
three (two tested) pump types. The test plan included demonstrations of each pump's ability to transfer large
heavy particles, measurement of pump damage to ion exchange resin beads and a pump endurance run. The
flow rate that is required for transferring heavy particles defined the flow rate for the remaining tests. For this
reason, the heavy particle transfer tests were performed first.
Many difficulties were experienced in efforts to pump the heavy particles. These efforts did not meet with
successes that could be applied to remotely operated equipment. The test program was so stymied by these
problems that the remaining measurements and demonstrations were not attempted. Altemate concepts for the
sludge treatment process negated the need for completing the pump tests.
Fuel Particle Simulant
The K basin West canister removal and fuel wash station will produce a feed stream with the greatest
concentration of fuel particles. The baseline concept collected large fuel particles in a knockout pot and delivered
them to the treatment facility in a segregated batch. Appendix D of HNF-2735, "K Basin Sludge Treatment
Process Description", gives a uranium metal concentration of 121.5 g/l for this feed stream. The fuel particle
simulant was made from 6.35 mm (1/4 inch) diameter tungsten welding electrodes that were broken into pieces
small enough to pass through a metal screen with 6.35 mm square openings but larger than 420 pm (0.0165 inch)
square openings. Tungsten, with a density of 19,250 Kg/m3, is a close match to the metallic uranium fuel having
a density of 19,050 Kg/m3.
Disc Pump Tests
A disc pump is comprised of two or more discs rotating within a case. The pump case looks similar to a
centrifugal pump with the inlet located on the pump motor's centerline and the discharge located on a tangent to
the circular rotor housing. The discs have a hole in the center to admit fluid from the suction inlet. Energy is
imparted to the fluid by viscous drag between the rotating discs and the fluid.
The tests used a DiscfloTM model 2015-8, disc pack style 2HHD-8, serial number 3670, 1491 watt (2 hp) pump.
This pump has a stainless steel pump body close coupled to the motor. The disc pack was constructed of two
discs with low profile radial ribs on the opposing disc faces.
The disc pump's suction was fitted with a bell reducer to reduce the five cm (two inch) diameter inlet to a 2.54 cm
(one inch) diameter. The pump was oriented vertically in a cone bottomed holding tank so that the suction inlet
was 0.95 cm (3/ inch) above the tank bottom. The bell reducer increases the suction velocity so that heavy
particles could be drawn into the pump. This arrangement simulates the early treatment facility concept of
submerged pumps within the tanks. The test system's holding tank could be filled with water to provide 23.3 cm
(9.19 inches) of water head at the pump's reduced inlet.
1Discflo is a trademark of Discflo Corporation.
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SQUIER, D.M. K-Basin sludge treatment facility pump test report, report, June 2, 1999; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc723052/m1/3/: accessed January 17, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.