PROGRESS IN TREATMENT OF A RADIOACTIVE CONDENSATE WASTE Page: 5 of 80
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PROGRESS IN TREATMENT
OF A RADIOACTIVE CONDENSATE WASTE
This report describes the experimental evaluation of a radioactive
condensate waste decontamination process on a small engineering scale.
The management of wastes in nuclear fuels reprocessing plants
requires consideration be given to six waste streams. These are the high-
level wastes, the process condensates, the steam condensates, the cooling
water, the cell drainage, and the laboratory wastes. Since the cell drain-
age and laboratory wastes are low volume but highly contaminated streams,
they will probably be combined with the high level wastes. The resulting
dilution of the high-level waste will be overcome by evaporation, and the
volumes of the process condensate and steam condensate streams will be
increased accordingly. The cooling water and steam condensate wastes will
be segregated, discharged to holding basins for monitoring, and then either
discharged to the environment or combined with the process condensate if
excessive radiocontaminants are present; the most likely one to be contami-
nated is the steam condensate which is similar in composition to the process
condensate. Thus, only the high-level wastes and process condensate waste
will require routine treatment.
Process condensate is an intermediate-level waste both in volume
and radionuclide content. To dispose this waste safely to the environment,
decontamination factor requirements of 100 are ordinary and 1000 are not
unusual. These decontamination factors must be routinely and economically
achieved on a volume of waste which is greater than 95% of the total treat-
able volume from a plant.
Research and development studies at Hanford and Oak Ridge indicated
that one way to obtain high capacity and high decontamination is by ion-
exchange. These studies, generally conducted on wastes spiked with selected
radionuclides, revealed many potential ion-exchange materials for a decon-
tamination process. If actual waste was used, the samples were not of
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Skarpelos, J.M. PROGRESS IN TREATMENT OF A RADIOACTIVE CONDENSATE WASTE, report, October 1, 1963; Richland, Washington. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc866645/m1/5/: accessed March 26, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.