REMOVAL OF SOLIDS FROM HIGHLY ENRICHED URANIUM SOLUTIONS USING THE H-CANYON CENTRIFUGE

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Prior to the dissolution of Pu-containing materials in HB-Line, highly enriched uranium (HEU) solutions stored in Tanks 11.1 and 12.2 of H-Canyon must be transferred to provide storage space. The proposed plan is to centrifuge the solutions to remove solids which may present downstream criticality concerns or cause operational problems with the 1st Cycle solvent extraction due to the formation of stable emulsions. An evaluation of the efficiency of the H-Canyon centrifuge concluded that a sufficient amount (> 90%) of the solids in the Tank 11.1 and 12.2 solutions will be removed to prevent any problems. We based this conclusion ... continued below

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Rudisill, T & Fernando Fondeur, F January 15, 2009.

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Prior to the dissolution of Pu-containing materials in HB-Line, highly enriched uranium (HEU) solutions stored in Tanks 11.1 and 12.2 of H-Canyon must be transferred to provide storage space. The proposed plan is to centrifuge the solutions to remove solids which may present downstream criticality concerns or cause operational problems with the 1st Cycle solvent extraction due to the formation of stable emulsions. An evaluation of the efficiency of the H-Canyon centrifuge concluded that a sufficient amount (> 90%) of the solids in the Tank 11.1 and 12.2 solutions will be removed to prevent any problems. We based this conclusion on the particle size distribution of the solids isolated from samples of the solutions and the calculation of particle settling times in the centrifuge. The particle size distributions were calculated from images generated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The mean particle diameters for the distributions were 1-3 {micro}m. A significant fraction (30-50%) of the particles had diameters which were < 1 {micro}m; however, the mass of these solids is insignificant (< 1% of the total solids mass) when compared to particles with larger diameters. It is also probable that the number of submicron particles was overestimated by the software used to generate the particle distribution due to the morphology of the filter paper used to isolate the solids. The settling times calculated for the H-Canyon centrifuge showed that particles with diameters less than 1 to 0.5 {micro}m will not have sufficient time to settle. For this reason, we recommend the use of a gelatin strike to coagulate the submicron particles and facilitate their removal from the solution; although we have no experimental basis to estimate the level of improvement. Incomplete removal of particles with diameters < 1 {micro}m should not cause problems during purification of the HEU in the 1st Cycle solvent extraction. Particles with diameters > 1 {micro}m account for > 99% of the solid mass and will be efficiently removed by the centrifuge; therefore, the formation of emulsions during solvent extraction operations is not an issue. Under the current processing plan, the solutions from Tanks 11.1 and 12.2 will be transferred to the enriched uranium storage (EUS) tank following centrifugation. The solution from Tanks 11.1 and 12.2 may remain in the EUS tank for an extended time prior to purification. The effects of extended storage on the solution were not evaluated as part of this study.

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  • Report No.: SRNL-STI-20009-00002
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-08SR22470
  • DOI: 10.2172/948560 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 948560
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc899668

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  • January 15, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 6:05 p.m.

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Rudisill, T & Fernando Fondeur, F. REMOVAL OF SOLIDS FROM HIGHLY ENRICHED URANIUM SOLUTIONS USING THE H-CANYON CENTRIFUGE, report, January 15, 2009; [Aiken, South Carolina]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc899668/: accessed July 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.