Determining the Cause for Low Flowrates during Am/Cm Simulant Testing in F-Area

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30,000 gallons of Americium/Curium (Am/Cm) slurry was transferred from F-Canyon to Tank 51H over an 18 hour period. This was the first continuous transfer of waste from F-Canyon to a waste tank. Prior to the successful Am/Cm transfer, the facility had experienced difficulties in transferring simulated solutions. A team of personnel from several divisions worked in well-coordinated fashion to determine a cost effective means to identify and mitigate the obstacles to the transfer. The team successfully diagnosed the causes of the problem, replicated the observed behavior in laboratory tests and computer modeling, and recommended controls and changes to facility operations. ... continued below

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Lambert, D.P. September 8, 2003.

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30,000 gallons of Americium/Curium (Am/Cm) slurry was transferred from F-Canyon to Tank 51H over an 18 hour period. This was the first continuous transfer of waste from F-Canyon to a waste tank. Prior to the successful Am/Cm transfer, the facility had experienced difficulties in transferring simulated solutions. A team of personnel from several divisions worked in well-coordinated fashion to determine a cost effective means to identify and mitigate the obstacles to the transfer. The team successfully diagnosed the causes of the problem, replicated the observed behavior in laboratory tests and computer modeling, and recommended controls and changes to facility operations. A successful simulant transfer demonstrated readiness for the Am/Cm transfer. This report summarizes the results of the investigation to determine the cause for the poor flow rate experienced during simulant testing in F-Area. Flow rates as low as 3 gallons per minute (gpm) occurred at the end of the transfer. This report includes an explanation for the low flow rate and recommends controls to prevent the reoccurrence. We recommend the following controls to prevent the reoccurrence of slow flows. 1. Control the temperature of the contents of the simulant and real waste storage tanks near ambient during preparation and storage. Temperature control will minimize the inadvertent evaporation of the slurry and minimize any negative impacts of a high temperature during precipitation and storage of the slurry. 2. Avoid any evolution that can inadvertently concentrate the solutions. Well mixed storage tanks and the proper jet or pump operation are necessary to ensure a uniform slurry transfer and avoid concentrating a heel in Tank 13.3. 3. Minimize the air purge rate in the storage tanks after preparation of the simulant and actual waste. The purge leads to slow evaporation of the slurry as well as addition of carbonates, from carbon dioxide sorption. 4. Replace evaporative losses by adding inhibited water as needed. 5. During the transfer of the simulant solids will likely settle in the lines. We recommend intermittent flushing with inhibited water to scour the insoluble solids from the transfer piping.

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  • Other Information: PBD: 8 Sep 2003

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  • Report No.: WSRC-TR-2002-00569
  • Grant Number: AC09-96SR18500
  • DOI: 10.2172/815591 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 815591
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc733612

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  • September 8, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 18, 2015, 6:40 p.m.

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  • May 4, 2016, 11:37 p.m.

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Lambert, D.P. Determining the Cause for Low Flowrates during Am/Cm Simulant Testing in F-Area, report, September 8, 2003; South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc733612/: accessed November 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.