Small-Scale Spray Releases: Initial Aerosol Test Results

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One of the events postulated in the hazard analysis at the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) and other U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear facilities is a breach in process piping that produces aerosols with droplet sizes in the respirable range. The current approach for predicting the size and concentration of aerosols produced in a spray leak involves extrapolating from correlations reported in the literature. These correlations are based on results obtained from small engineered spray nozzles using pure liquids with Newtonian fluid behavior. The narrow ranges of physical properties on which the correlations are based do not cover ... continued below

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Mahoney, Lenna A.; Gauglitz, Phillip A.; Kimura, Marcia L.; Brown, Garrett N.; Kurath, Dean E.; Buchmiller, William C. et al. November 1, 2012.

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Description

One of the events postulated in the hazard analysis at the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) and other U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear facilities is a breach in process piping that produces aerosols with droplet sizes in the respirable range. The current approach for predicting the size and concentration of aerosols produced in a spray leak involves extrapolating from correlations reported in the literature. These correlations are based on results obtained from small engineered spray nozzles using pure liquids with Newtonian fluid behavior. The narrow ranges of physical properties on which the correlations are based do not cover the wide range of slurries and viscous materials that will be processed in the WTP and across processing facilities in the DOE complex. Two key technical areas were identified where testing results were needed to improve the technical basis by reducing the uncertainty due to extrapolating existing literature results. The first technical need was to quantify the role of slurry particles in small breaches where the slurry particles may plug and result in substantially reduced, or even negligible, respirable fraction formed by high-pressure sprays. The second technical need was to determine the aerosol droplet size distribution and volume from prototypic breaches and fluids, specifically including sprays from larger breaches with slurries where data from the literature are scarce. To address these technical areas, small- and large-scale test stands were constructed and operated with simulants to determine aerosol release fractions and generation rates from a range of breach sizes and geometries. The properties of the simulants represented the range of properties expected in the WTP process streams and included water, sodium salt solutions, slurries containing boehmite or gibbsite, and a hazardous chemical simulant. The effect of anti-foam agents was assessed with most of the simulants. Orifices included round holes and rectangular slots. The round holes ranged in size from 0.2 to 4.46 mm. The slots ranged from (width × length) 0.3 × 5 to 2.74 × 76.2 mm. Most slots were oriented longitudinally along the pipe, but some were oriented circumferentially. In addition, a limited number of multi-hole test pieces were tested in an attempt to assess the impact of a more complex breach. Much of the testing was conducted at pressures of 200 and 380 psi, but some tests were conducted at 100 psi. Testing the largest postulated breaches was deemed impractical because of the large size of some of the WTP equipment. This report presents the experimental results and analyses for the aerosol measurements obtained in the small-scale test stand. It includes a description of the simulants used and their properties, equipment and operations, data analysis methodologies, and test results. The results of tests investigating the role of slurry particles in plugging small breaches are reported in Mahoney et al. (2012). The results of the aerosol measurements in the large-scale test stand are reported in Schonewill et al. (2012) along with an analysis of the combined results from both test scales.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-21367
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/1057839 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1057839
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc841749

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  • November 1, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • Dec. 1, 2016, 10:23 p.m.

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Mahoney, Lenna A.; Gauglitz, Phillip A.; Kimura, Marcia L.; Brown, Garrett N.; Kurath, Dean E.; Buchmiller, William C. et al. Small-Scale Spray Releases: Initial Aerosol Test Results, report, November 1, 2012; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc841749/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.