Potential Flammable Gas Explosion in the TRU Vent and Purge Machine

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The objective of the analysis was to determine the failure of the Vent and Purge (V&P) Machine due to potential explosion in the Transuranic (TRU) drum during its venting and/or subsequent explosion in the V&P machine from the flammable gases (e.g., hydrogen and Volatile Organic Compounds [VOCs]) vented into the V&P machine from the TRU drum. The analysis considers: (a) increase in the pressure in the V&P cabinet from the original deflagration in the TRU drum including lid ejection, (b) pressure wave impact from TRU drum failure, and (c) secondary burns or deflagrations resulting from excess, unburned gases in the ... continued below

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Vincent, A April 5, 2006.

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The objective of the analysis was to determine the failure of the Vent and Purge (V&P) Machine due to potential explosion in the Transuranic (TRU) drum during its venting and/or subsequent explosion in the V&P machine from the flammable gases (e.g., hydrogen and Volatile Organic Compounds [VOCs]) vented into the V&P machine from the TRU drum. The analysis considers: (a) increase in the pressure in the V&P cabinet from the original deflagration in the TRU drum including lid ejection, (b) pressure wave impact from TRU drum failure, and (c) secondary burns or deflagrations resulting from excess, unburned gases in the cabinet area. A variety of cases were considered that maximized the pressure produced in the V&P cabinet. Also, cases were analyzed that maximized the shock wave pressure in the cabinet from TRU drum failure. The calculations were performed for various initial drum pressures (e.g., 1.5 and 6 psig) for 55 gallon TRU drum. The calculated peak cabinet pressures ranged from 16 psig to 50 psig for various flammable gas compositions. The blast on top of cabinet and in outlet duct ranged from 50 psig to 63 psig and 12 psig to 16 psig, respectively, for various flammable gas compositions. The failure pressures of the cabinet and the ducts calculated by structural analysis were higher than the pressure calculated from potential flammable gas deflagrations, thus, assuring that V&P cabinet would not fail during this event. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 68 calculations showed that for a failure pressure of 20 psig, the available vent area in the V&P cabinet is 1.7 to 2.6 times the required vent area depending on whether hydrogen or VOCs burn in the V&P cabinet. This analysis methodology could be used to design the process equipment needed for venting TRU waste containers at other sites across the Department of Energy (DOE) Complex.

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  • Report No.: WSRC-MS-2006-00072
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-96SR1850
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 890059
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc876581

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  • April 5, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Nov. 2, 2016, 1:01 p.m.

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Vincent, A. Potential Flammable Gas Explosion in the TRU Vent and Purge Machine, article, April 5, 2006; [Aiken, South Carolina]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc876581/: accessed December 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.