EXPERIMENTAL METHODS TO ESTIMATE ACCUMULATED SOLIDS IN NUCLEAR WASTE TANKS

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The Department of Energy has a large number of nuclear waste tanks. It is important to know if fissionable materials can concentrate when waste is transferred from staging tanks prior to feeding waste treatment plants. Specifically, there is a concern that large, dense particles, e.g., plutonium containing, could accumulate in poorly mixed regions of a blend tank heel for tanks that employ mixing jet pumps. At the request of the DOE Hanford Tank Operations Contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions, the Engineering Development Laboratory of the Savannah River National Laboratory performed a scouting study in a 1/22-scale model of a waste ... continued below

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Duignan, M.; Steeper, T. & Steimke, J. December 10, 2012.

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The Department of Energy has a large number of nuclear waste tanks. It is important to know if fissionable materials can concentrate when waste is transferred from staging tanks prior to feeding waste treatment plants. Specifically, there is a concern that large, dense particles, e.g., plutonium containing, could accumulate in poorly mixed regions of a blend tank heel for tanks that employ mixing jet pumps. At the request of the DOE Hanford Tank Operations Contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions, the Engineering Development Laboratory of the Savannah River National Laboratory performed a scouting study in a 1/22-scale model of a waste tank to investigate this concern and to develop measurement techniques that could be applied in a more extensive study at a larger scale. Simulated waste tank solids and supernatant were charged to the test tank and rotating liquid jets were used to remove most of the solids. Then the volume and shape of the residual solids and the spatial concentration profiles for the surrogate for plutonium were measured. This paper discusses the overall test results, which indicated heavy solids only accumulate during the first few transfer cycles, along with the techniques and equipment designed and employed in the test. Those techniques include: Magnetic particle separator to remove stainless steel solids, the plutonium surrogate from a flowing stream; Magnetic wand used to manually remove stainless steel solids from samples and the tank heel; Photographs were used to determine the volume and shape of the solids mounds by developing a composite of topographical areas; Laser rangefinders to determine the volume and shape of the solids mounds; Core sampler to determine the stainless steel solids distribution within the solids mounds; Computer driven positioner that placed the laser rangefinders and the core sampler over solids mounds that accumulated on the bottom of a scaled staging tank in locations where jet velocities were low. These devices and techniques were very effective to estimate the movement, location, and concentrations of the solids representing plutonium and are expected to perform well at a larger scale. The operation of the techniques and their measurement accuracies will be discussed as well as the overall results of the accumulated solids test.

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  • Waste Management Symposia 2013

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  • Report No.: SRNL-STI-2012-00490
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-08SR22470
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1067361
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc827883

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • December 10, 2012

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  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • Dec. 9, 2016, 11:30 p.m.

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Duignan, M.; Steeper, T. & Steimke, J. EXPERIMENTAL METHODS TO ESTIMATE ACCUMULATED SOLIDS IN NUCLEAR WASTE TANKS, article, December 10, 2012; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc827883/: accessed June 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.