CRITICALITY SAFETY OF PROCESSING SALT SOLUTION AT SRS

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High level radioactive liquid waste generated as a result of the production of nuclear material for the United States defense program at the Savannah River Site has been stored as 36 million gallons in underground tanks. About ten percent of the waste volume is sludge, composed of insoluble metal hydroxides primarily hydroxides of Mn, Fe, Al, Hg, and most radionuclides including fission products. The remaining ninety percent of the waste volume is saltcake, composed of primarily sodium (nitrites, nitrates, and aluminates) and hydroxides. Saltcakes account for 30% of the radioactivity while the sludge accounts for 70% of the radioactivity. A ... continued below

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Stephens, K; Davoud Eghbali, D & Michelle Abney, M January 15, 2008.

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High level radioactive liquid waste generated as a result of the production of nuclear material for the United States defense program at the Savannah River Site has been stored as 36 million gallons in underground tanks. About ten percent of the waste volume is sludge, composed of insoluble metal hydroxides primarily hydroxides of Mn, Fe, Al, Hg, and most radionuclides including fission products. The remaining ninety percent of the waste volume is saltcake, composed of primarily sodium (nitrites, nitrates, and aluminates) and hydroxides. Saltcakes account for 30% of the radioactivity while the sludge accounts for 70% of the radioactivity. A pilot plant salt disposition processing system has been designed at the Savannah River Site for interim processing of salt solution and is composed of two facilities: the Actinide Removal Process Facility (ARPF) and the Modular Caustic Side Solvent Extraction Unit (MCU). Data from the pilot plant salt processing system will be used for future processing salt at a much higher rate in a new salt processing facility. Saltcake contains significant amounts of actinides, and other long-lived radioactive nuclides such as strontium and cesium that must be extracted prior to disposal as low level waste. The extracted radioactive nuclides will be mixed with the sludge from waste tanks and vitrified in another facility. Because of the presence of highly enriched uranium in the saltcake, there is a criticality concern associated with concentration and/or accumulation of fissionable material in the ARP and MCU.

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  • ANS Nuclear Science and Technology Now Arriving on Main Street

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  • Report No.: WSRC-MS-2008-00001
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-96SR18500
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 923438
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc896596

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  • January 15, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 5:47 p.m.

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Stephens, K; Davoud Eghbali, D & Michelle Abney, M. CRITICALITY SAFETY OF PROCESSING SALT SOLUTION AT SRS, article, January 15, 2008; [Aiken, South Carolina]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc896596/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.