Characterization of Core Samples from a Hardened Crust Layer in Tank 4F

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Waste removal operations in Tank 4F are scheduled to begin in late 2005 to provide material for Sludge Batch 5. Mining/probing operations to support installation of submersible mixer pumps encountered a hard layer of material at {approx}45'' to 50'' from the bottom of the tank. Attempts at penetrating the hard layer using a manual mining tool in several different risers were not successful. A core-sampling tool was used to obtain samples of the hard crust layer in Tank 4F for characterization. Three 12'' core samples and a dip sample of the supernate near the surface of the hard layer were ... continued below

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Hay, M. L. September 28, 2005.

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Description

Waste removal operations in Tank 4F are scheduled to begin in late 2005 to provide material for Sludge Batch 5. Mining/probing operations to support installation of submersible mixer pumps encountered a hard layer of material at {approx}45'' to 50'' from the bottom of the tank. Attempts at penetrating the hard layer using a manual mining tool in several different risers were not successful. A core-sampling tool was used to obtain samples of the hard crust layer in Tank 4F for characterization. Three 12'' core samples and a dip sample of the supernate near the surface of the hard layer were sent to Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) for characterization. X-ray Diffraction (XRD) results for the crystalline solids from both sample FTF-434 and FTF-435 identifies the major component of both samples as Burkeite (Na{sub 6}(CO{sub 3})(SO{sub 4}){sub 2}). All of the other data collected on the crystalline solids from the Tank 4F core samples support this conclusion. The conditions in Tank 4F for the last twenty years have been ideal for Burkeite formation. The tank has been largely undisturbed with a tank temperature consistently above 30 C, a carbonate to sulfate molar ratio in the supernate conducive to Burkeite formation, and slow evaporation of the supernate phase. Thermodynamic modeling and the results of a Burkeite solubility test confirm that a ratio of 1:1:12 for the volumes of Burkeite solids, supernate, and inhibited water will dissolve all of the Burkeite. These ratios could be used to remove the 6'' layer of Burkeite from Tank 4F with no mixing. However, the thermodynamic modeling and the solubility test neglect the sludge layer beneath the Burkeite crust in Tank 4F. Settled sludge in Savannah River Site (SRS) high-level waste tanks usually contains greater than 75% interstitial supernate by volume. If the supernate in the sludge layer should mix into the solution used to dissolve the Burkeite, significantly more inhibited water would be needed to dissolve the Burkeite layer. Additionally, the average thickness of the Burkeite layer across the diameter of the tank may be thicker or thinner than the 6'' assumed for modeling purposes. The 6'' thickness assumed for the Burkeite layer was based on the 6'' plug of solids found in one core sample. An average thickness greater than 6'' would increase the amount of water needed to dissolve the Burkeite.

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  • Report No.: WSRC-TR-2005-00441
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-96SR18500
  • DOI: 10.2172/881332 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 881332
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc886404

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • September 28, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Dec. 2, 2016, 9:06 p.m.

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Hay, M. L. Characterization of Core Samples from a Hardened Crust Layer in Tank 4F, report, September 28, 2005; Aiken, South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc886404/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.