Assessment of the Potential for Hydrogen Generation During Grouting Operations in the R and P Reactor Vessels
Description: The R- and P-reactor buildings were retired from service and are now being prepared for deactivation and decommissioning (D and D). D and D activities consist primarily of immobilizing contaminated components and structures in a grout-like formulation. Aluminum corrodes very rapidly when it comes in contact with the alkaline grout materials and as a result produces hydrogen gas. To address this potential deflagration/explosion hazard, the Materials Science and Technology Directorate (MS and T) of the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) has been requested to review and evaluate existing experimental and analytical studies of this issue to determine if any process constraints on the chemistry of the fill material and the fill operation are necessary. Various options exist for the type of grout material that may be used for D and D of the reactor vessels. The grout formulation options include ceramicrete (pH 6-8), low pH portland cement + silica fume grout (pH 10.4), or Portland cement groupt (pH 12.5). The assessment concluded that either ceramicrete or the silica fume grout may be used to safely grout the P-reactor vessel. The risk of accumulation of a flammable mixture of hydrogen between the grout-air interface and the top of the reactor is very low. Portland cement grout, on the other hand, for the same range of process parameters does not provide a margin of safety against the accumulation of flammable gas in the reactor vessel during grouting operations in the P-reactor vessel. It is recommended that this grout not be utilized for this task. The R-reactor vessel cotnains significantly less aluminum based on current facility process knowledge, surface observations, and drawings. Therefore, a Portland cement grout may be considered for grouting operations as well as the other grout formulations. For example, if the grout fill rate is less than 1 inch/min and ...
Date: May 24, 2010
Creator: Wiersma, B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department