Overview of Fiscal Year 2002 Research and Development for Savannah River Site's Salt Waste Processing Facility Page: 3 of 14
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WM'03 Conference, February 23-27, 2003, Tucson, AZ
The new integrated strategy for disposition of the salt function of the high-level waste is as
" Treat low-curie salt waste and dispose via Saltstone,
" Create an Actinide Removal Process to enable disposal of additional low curie/high actinide
waste and potentially provide actinide removal for the high-curie Salt Waste Processing
" Dispose of high-curie salt waste by removing cesium in a small-scale demonstration Salt
Waste Processing Facility, and
" Tailor follow-on high-curie salt waste processing capability depending on the success of
early low-curie salt disposal.
Successful implementation of the Low Curie and Actinide Removal Process initiatives will
reduce the quantities of re-dissolved salt cake needing to be processed through the future Salt
Waste Processing Facility and support the closure of old type high-level waste tanks. This new
strategy is illustrated in Figure 1.
The current preconceptual design for the CSSX process requires removal of strontium and
transuranic radionuclides in advance of removing cesium from the solution (see Figure 2). The
selected technology involves addition of an inorganic sorbent, monosodium titanate (MST), and
subsequent removal of solids by cross-flow filtration. The MST shows a very high affinity for
strontium and also effectively removes soluble actinides such as plutonium from solution. The
MST also sorbs uranium and lesser amounts of neptunium and other alpha emitting
radionuclides. The treated liquid (filtrate) is processed by solvent extraction to remove cesium
(described in the next section). The collected solids require washing to reduce the concentration
of soluble salts of sodium prior to transfer to the Defense Waste Processing Facility. The
process requires an analysis to verify adequate removal of alpha emitters and strontium prior to
release of any treated waste to the Saltstone Production Facility.
Previous studies showed a low filtration flux during the solid-liquid separation step.(4) Because
of the lower fluxes, the CSSX process requires larger filtration equipment, process vessels, and
storage vessels to maintain the desired waste processing rate.
Caustic-Side Solvent Extraction (CSSX)
Caustic-Side Solvent Extraction (CSSX) was selected to remove cesium from the SRS salt waste.
The treatment technology will utilize a multistage centrifugal contactor system to extract cesium-
137 from the waste. In this CSSX flowsheet (Figure 3), cesium will be extracted from the SRS
waste solution in the extraction section, leaving behind a decontaminated aqueous raffinate. The
cesium will then be removed from the cesium-loaded solvent in the strip section. The aqueous
strip solution containing the cesium will then be sent to the Defense Waste Processing Facility to
WM03 Session 57
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Harmon, H. D.; Leugemors, R.; Fink, S.; Thompson, M.; Walker, D.; Suggs, P. et al. Overview of Fiscal Year 2002 Research and Development for Savannah River Site's Salt Waste Processing Facility, article, February 26, 2003; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc780189/m1/3/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.