Numerical Modeling of Mixing of Chemically Reacting, Non-Newtonian Slurry for Tank Waste Retrieval

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In the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) complex, 100 million gallons of radioactive and chemical wastes from plutonium production are stored in 281 underground storage tanks. Retrieval of the wastes from the tanks is the first step in its ultimate treatment and disposal. Because billions of dollars are being spent on this effort, waste retrieval demands a strong scientific basis for its successful completion. As will be discussed in Section 4.2, complex interactions among waste chemical reactions, rheology, and mixing of solid and liquid tank waste (and possibly with a solvent) will occur in DSTs during the waste retrieval (mixer ... continued below

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Yuen, D.A. & Onishi, Y. September 30, 2001.

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In the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) complex, 100 million gallons of radioactive and chemical wastes from plutonium production are stored in 281 underground storage tanks. Retrieval of the wastes from the tanks is the first step in its ultimate treatment and disposal. Because billions of dollars are being spent on this effort, waste retrieval demands a strong scientific basis for its successful completion. As will be discussed in Section 4.2, complex interactions among waste chemical reactions, rheology, and mixing of solid and liquid tank waste (and possibly with a solvent) will occur in DSTs during the waste retrieval (mixer pump) operations. The ultimate goal of this study was to develop the ability to simulate the complex chemical and rheological changes that occur in the waste during processing for retrieval. This capability would serve as a scientific assessment tool allowing a priori evaluation of the consequences of proposed waste retrieval operations. Hanford tan k waste is a multiphase, multicomponent, high-ionic strength, and highly basic mixture of liquids and solids. Wastes stored in the 4,000-m3 DSTs will be mixed by 300-hp mixer pumps that inject high-speed (18.3 m/s) jets to stir up the sludge and supernatant liquid for retrieval. During waste retrieval operations, complex interactions occur among waste mixing, chemical reactions, and associated rheology. Thus, to determine safe and cost-effective operational parameters for waste retrieval, decisions must rely on new scientific knowledge to account for physical mixing of multiphase flows, chemical reactions, and waste rheology. To satisfy this need, we integrated a computational fluid dynamics code with state-of-the-art equilibrium and kinetic chemical models and non-Newtonian rheology (Onishi et al. 1999). This development is unique and holds great promise for addressing the complex phenomena of tank waste retrieval. The current model is, however, applicable only to idealized tank waste conditions-solids are crystals, not hydrates; kinetic rates are fast; the slurry has simple rheology; and the water mass is constant. Thus, this idealized reactive transport model, ARIEL could provide a basis for addressing potentially crippling waste retrieval issues associated with hydrated mineral formation by systematically expanding its modeling capabilities.

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  • Other Information: PBD: 30 Sep 2001

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  • Report No.: EMSP-65371
  • Grant Number: FG07-98ER62716
  • DOI: 10.2172/833256 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 833256
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc786934

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  • September 30, 2001

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • April 21, 2016, 3:18 p.m.

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Yuen, D.A. & Onishi, Y. Numerical Modeling of Mixing of Chemically Reacting, Non-Newtonian Slurry for Tank Waste Retrieval, report, September 30, 2001; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc786934/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.