Conceptual Design of a Simplified Skid-Mounted Caustic-Side Solvent Extraction Process for Removal of Cesium from Savannah Rive Site High-Level Waste

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This report presents the results of a conceptual design of a solvent extraction process for the selective removal of {sup 137}Cs from high-level radioactive waste currently stored in underground tanks at the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River Site (SRS). This study establishes the need for and feasibility of deploying a simplified version of the Caustic-Side Solvent Extraction (CSSX) process; cost/benefit ratios ranging from 33 to 55 strongly support the considered deployment. Based on projected compositions, 18 million gallons of dissolved salt cake waste has been identified as having {sup 137}Cs concentrations that are substantially lower than the worst-case design ... continued below

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Birdwell, JR.J.F. May 12, 2004.

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Description

This report presents the results of a conceptual design of a solvent extraction process for the selective removal of {sup 137}Cs from high-level radioactive waste currently stored in underground tanks at the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River Site (SRS). This study establishes the need for and feasibility of deploying a simplified version of the Caustic-Side Solvent Extraction (CSSX) process; cost/benefit ratios ranging from 33 to 55 strongly support the considered deployment. Based on projected compositions, 18 million gallons of dissolved salt cake waste has been identified as having {sup 137}Cs concentrations that are substantially lower than the worst-case design basis for the CSSX system that is to be deployed as part of the Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF) but that does not meet the waste acceptance criteria for immobilization as grout in the Saltstone Manufacturing and Disposal Facility at SRS. Absent deployment of an alternative cesium removal process, this material will require treatment in the SWPF CSSX system, even though the cesium decontamination factor required is far less than that provided by that system. A conceptual design of a CSSX processing system designed for rapid deployment and having reduced cesium decontamination factor capability has been performed. The proposed accelerated-deployment CSSX system (CSSX-A) has been designed to have a processing rate of 3 million gallons per year, assuming 90% availability. At a more conservative availability of 75% (reflecting the novelty of the process), the annual processing capacity is 2.5 million gallons. The primary component of the process is a 20-stage cascade of centrifugal solvent extraction contactors. The decontamination and concentration factors are 40 and 15, respectively. The solvent, scrub, strip, and wash solutions are to have the same compositions as those planned for the SWPF CSSX system. As in the SWPF CSSX system, the solvent and scrub flow rates are equal. The system is designed to facilitate remote operation and direct maintenance. Two general deployment concepts were considered: (1) deployment in an existing but unused SRS facility and (2) deployment in transportable containers. Deployment in three transportable containers was selected as the preferred option, based on concerns regarding facility availability (due to competition from other processing alternatives) and decontamination and renovation costs. A risk assessment identified environmental, safety, and health issues that exist. These concerns have been addressed in the conceptual design by inclusion of mitigating system features. Due to the highly developed state of CSSX technology, only a few technical issues remain unresolved; however, none of these issues have the potential to make the technology unviable. Recommended development tasks that need to be performed to address technical uncertainties are discussed in this report. Deployment of the proposed CSSX-A system provides significant qualitative and quantitative benefits. The qualitative benefits include (1) verification of full-scale contactor performance under CSSX conditions that will support SWPF CSSX design and deployment; (2) development of design, fabrication, and installation experience bases that will be at least partially applicable to the SWPF CSSX system; and (3) availability of the CSSX-A system as a means of providing contactor-based solvent extraction system operating experience to SWPF CSSX operating personnel. Estimates of fixed capital investment, development costs, and annual operating cost for SRS deployment of the CSSX-A system (in mid-2003 dollars) are $9,165,199, $2,734,801, and $2,108,820, respectively. When the economics of the CSSX-A system are compared with those of the baseline SWPF CSSX system, benefit-to-cost ratios ranging from 20 to 47 are obtained. The benefits in the cost/benefit comparison arise from expedited tank closure and reduced engineering, construction, and operating costs for the SWPF CSSX system. No significant impediments to deployment were determined in the reported analysis, and where technical uncertainties were identified, development tasks to mitigate them are indicated. It is recommended that deployment of the CSSX-A system be pursued in a timely manner in order to derive the greatest possible cost and accelerated treatment benefits.

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2004/59
  • Grant Number: DE-AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/861675 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 861675
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc793469

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  • May 12, 2004

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 19, 2015, 7:14 p.m.

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  • Dec. 5, 2016, 1:09 p.m.

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Birdwell, JR.J.F. Conceptual Design of a Simplified Skid-Mounted Caustic-Side Solvent Extraction Process for Removal of Cesium from Savannah Rive Site High-Level Waste, report, May 12, 2004; [Tennessee]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc793469/: accessed September 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.