The Ceramic Waste Form Process at the Idaho National Laboratory

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The treatment of spent nuclear fuel for disposition using an electrometallurgical technique results in two high-level waste forms: a ceramic waste form (CWF) and a metal waste form (MWF). The CWF is a composite of sodalite and glass, which stabilizes the active fission products (alkali, alkaline earths, and rare earths) and transuranic (TRU) elements. Reactive metal fuel constituents, including all the TRU metals and the majority of the fission products remain in the salt as chlorides and are processed into the CWF. The solidified salt is containerized and transferred to the CWF process where it is ground in an argon ... continued below

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Bateman, Ken & Priebe, Stephen August 1, 2006.

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The treatment of spent nuclear fuel for disposition using an electrometallurgical technique results in two high-level waste forms: a ceramic waste form (CWF) and a metal waste form (MWF). The CWF is a composite of sodalite and glass, which stabilizes the active fission products (alkali, alkaline earths, and rare earths) and transuranic (TRU) elements. Reactive metal fuel constituents, including all the TRU metals and the majority of the fission products remain in the salt as chlorides and are processed into the CWF. The solidified salt is containerized and transferred to the CWF process where it is ground in an argon atmosphere. Zeolite 4A is dried in a mechanically-fluidized dryer to about 0.1 wt% moisture and ground to a particle-size range of 45µ to 250µ. The salt and zeolite are mixed in a V-mixer and heated to 500°C for about 18 hours. During this process, the salt occludes into the structure of the zeolite. The salt-loaded zeolite (SLZ) is cooled and then mixed with borosilicate glass frit with a comparable particle-size range. The SLZ/glass mixture is transferred to a crucible, which is placed in a furnace and heated to 925°C. During this process, known as pressureless consolidation, the zeolite is converted to the final sodalite form and the glass thoroughly encapsulates the sodalite, producing a dense, leach-resistant final waste form. During the last several years, changes have occurred to the process, including: particle size of input materials and conversion from hot isostatic pressing to pressureless consolidation, This paper is intended to provide the current status of the CWF process focusing on the adaptation to pressureless consolidation. Discussions will include impacts of particle size on final waste form and the pressureless consolidation cycle. A model will be presented that shows the heating and cooling cycles and the effect of radioactive decay heat on the amount of fission products that can be incorporated into the CWF.

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  • International Pyroprocessing Research Conference ,Idaho Falls, ID,08/08/2006,08/10/2006

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-06-11606
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 911669
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc881525

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  • August 1, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 7, 2016, 5:22 p.m.

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Bateman, Ken & Priebe, Stephen. The Ceramic Waste Form Process at the Idaho National Laboratory, article, August 1, 2006; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc881525/: accessed August 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.