CHEMICAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SLUDGE SOLIDS AT THE F AND H AREA TANK FARMS

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The primary source of waste solids received into the F Area Tank Farm (FTF) was from PUREX processing performed to recover uranium and plutonium from irradiated depleted uranium targets. In contrast, two primary sources of waste solids were received into the H Area Tank Farm (HTF): a) waste from PUREX processing; and b) waste from H-modified (HM) processing performed to recover uranium and neptunium from burned enriched uranium fuel. Due to the differences between the irradiated depleted uranium targets and the burned enriched uranium fuel, the average compositions of the F and H Area wastes are markedly different from one ... continued below

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Reboul, S. August 29, 2012.

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The primary source of waste solids received into the F Area Tank Farm (FTF) was from PUREX processing performed to recover uranium and plutonium from irradiated depleted uranium targets. In contrast, two primary sources of waste solids were received into the H Area Tank Farm (HTF): a) waste from PUREX processing; and b) waste from H-modified (HM) processing performed to recover uranium and neptunium from burned enriched uranium fuel. Due to the differences between the irradiated depleted uranium targets and the burned enriched uranium fuel, the average compositions of the F and H Area wastes are markedly different from one another. Both F and H Area wastes contain significant amounts of iron and aluminum compounds. However, because the iron content of PUREX waste is higher than that of HM waste, and the aluminum content of PUREX waste is lower than that of HM waste, the iron to aluminum ratios of typical FTF waste solids are appreciably higher than those of typical HTF waste solids. Other constituents present at significantly higher concentrations in the typical FTF waste solids include uranium, nickel, ruthenium, zinc, silver, cobalt and copper. In contrast, constituents present at significantly higher concentrations in the typical HTF waste solids include mercury, thorium, oxalate, and radionuclides U-233, U-234, U-235, U-236, Pu-238, Pu-242, Cm-244, and Cm-245. Because of the higher concentrations of Pu-238 in HTF, the long-term concentrations of Th-230 and Ra-226 (from Pu-238 decay) will also be higher in HTF. The uranium and plutonium distributions of the average FTF waste were found to be consistent with depleted uranium and weapons grade plutonium, respectively (U-235 comprised 0.3 wt% of the FTF uranium, and Pu-240 comprised 6 wt% of the FTF plutonium). In contrast, at HTF, U-235 comprised 5 wt% of the uranium, and Pu-240 comprised 17 wt% of the plutonium, consistent with enriched uranium and high burn-up plutonium. X-ray diffraction analyses of various FTF and HTF samples indicated that the primary crystalline compounds of iron in sludge solids are Fe{sub 2}O{sub 3}, Fe{sub 3}O{sub 4}, and FeO(OH), and the primary crystalline compounds of aluminum are Al(OH){sub 3} and AlO(OH). Also identified were carbonate compounds of calcium, magnesium, and sodium; a nitrated sodium aluminosilicate; and various uranium compounds. Consistent with expectations, oxalate compounds were identified in solids associated with oxalic acid cleaning operations. The most likely oxidation states and chemical forms of technetium are assessed in the context of solubility, since technetium-99 is a key risk driver from an environmental fate and transport perspective. The primary oxidation state of technetium in SRS sludge solids is expected to be Tc(IV). In salt waste, the primary oxidation state is expected to be Tc(VII). The primary form of technetium in sludge is expected to be a hydrated technetium dioxide, TcO{sub 2} {center_dot} xH{sub 2}O, which is relatively insoluble and likely co-precipitated with iron. In salt waste solutions, the primary form of technetium is expected to be the very soluble pertechnetate anion, TcO{sub 4}{sup -}. The relative differences between the F and H Tank Farm waste provide a basis for anticipating differences that will occur as constituents of FTF and HTF waste residue enter the environment over the long-term future. If a constituent is significantly more dominant in one of the Tank Farms, its long-term environmental contribution will likely be commensurately higher, assuming the environmental transport conditions of the two Tank Farms share some commonality. It is in this vein that the information cited in this document is provided - for use during the generation, assessment, and validation of Performance Assessment modeling results.

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  • Report No.: SRNL-STI-2012-00479
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-08SR22470
  • DOI: 10.2172/1050233 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1050233
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc846911

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  • August 29, 2012

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  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 3:37 p.m.

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Reboul, S. CHEMICAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SLUDGE SOLIDS AT THE F AND H AREA TANK FARMS, report, August 29, 2012; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc846911/: accessed April 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.