ENHANCED CHEMICAL CLEANING: A NEW PROCESS FOR CHEMICALLY CLEANING SAVANNAH RIVER WASTE TANKS

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The Savannah River Site (SRS) has 49 high level waste (HLW) tanks that must be emptied, cleaned, and closed as required by the Federal Facilities Agreement. The current method of chemical cleaning uses several hundred thousand gallons per tank of 8 weight percent (wt%) oxalic acid to partially dissolve and suspend residual waste and corrosion products such that the waste can be pumped out of the tank. This adds a significant quantity of sodium oxalate to the tanks and, if multiple tanks are cleaned, renders the waste incompatible with the downstream processing. Tank space is also insufficient to store this ... continued below

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Ketusky, E; Neil Davis, N & Renee Spires, R January 17, 2008.

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The Savannah River Site (SRS) has 49 high level waste (HLW) tanks that must be emptied, cleaned, and closed as required by the Federal Facilities Agreement. The current method of chemical cleaning uses several hundred thousand gallons per tank of 8 weight percent (wt%) oxalic acid to partially dissolve and suspend residual waste and corrosion products such that the waste can be pumped out of the tank. This adds a significant quantity of sodium oxalate to the tanks and, if multiple tanks are cleaned, renders the waste incompatible with the downstream processing. Tank space is also insufficient to store this stream given the large number of tanks to be cleaned. Therefore, a search for a new cleaning process was initiated utilizing the TRIZ literature search approach, and Chemical Oxidation Reduction Decontamination--Ultraviolet (CORD-UV), a mature technology currently used for decontamination and cleaning of commercial nuclear reactor primary cooling water loops, was identified. CORD-UV utilizes oxalic acid for sludge dissolution, but then decomposes the oxalic acid to carbon dioxide and water by UV treatment outside the system being treated. This allows reprecipitation and subsequent deposition of the sludge into a selected container without adding significant volume to that container, and without adding any new chemicals that would impact downstream treatment processes. Bench top and demonstration loop measurements on SRS tank sludge stimulant demonstrated the feasibility of applying CORD-UV for enhanced chemical cleaning of SRS HLW tanks.

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  • Waste Management 08

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  • Report No.: WSRC-STI-2008-00035
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-96SR18500
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 923250
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc895303

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  • January 17, 2008

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 5:52 p.m.

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Ketusky, E; Neil Davis, N & Renee Spires, R. ENHANCED CHEMICAL CLEANING: A NEW PROCESS FOR CHEMICALLY CLEANING SAVANNAH RIVER WASTE TANKS, article, January 17, 2008; [Aiken, South Carolina]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc895303/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.