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Bubble retention in synthetic sludge: Testing of alternative gas retention apparatus

Description: Several of the underground storage tanks currently used to store waste at Hanford have been placed on the Flammable Gas Watch List, because the waste is either known or suspected to generate, store, and episodically release flammable gases. The objective of this experimental study is to develop a method to measure gas bubble retention in simulated tank waste and in diluted simulant. The method and apparatus should (1) allow for reasonably rapid experiments, (2) minimize sample disturbance, and (3) provide realistic bubble nucleation and growth. The scope of this experimental study is to build an apparatus for measuring gas retention in simulated waste and to design the apparatus to be compatible with future testing on actual waste. The approach employed for creating bubbles in sludge involves dissolving a soluble gas into the supernatant liquid at an elevated pressure, recirculating the liquid containing the dissolved gas through the sludge, then reducing the pressure to allow bubbles to nucleate and grow. Results have been obtained for ammonia as the soluble gas and SY1-SIM-91A, a chemically representative simulated tank waste. In addition, proof-of-principle experiments were conducted with both ammonia and CO{sub 2} as soluble gases and sludge composed of 90-micron glass beads. Results are described.
Date: July 1, 1995
Creator: Rassat, S.D. & Gauglitz, P.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gas bubble retention and its effect on waste properties: Retention mechanisms, viscosity, and tensile and shear strengths

Description: Several of the underground nuclear storage tanks at Hanford have been placed on a flammable gas watch list, because the waste is either known or suspected to generate, store, and episodically release flammable gases. Because retention and episodic release of flammable gases from these tanks containing radioactive waste slurries are critical safety concerns, Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) is studying physical mechanisms and waste properties that contribute to the episodic gas release from these storage tanks. This study is being conducted for Westinghouse Hanford Company as part of the PNL Flammable Gas project. Previous investigations have concluded that gas bubbles are retained by the slurry or sludge that has settled at the bottom of the tanks; however, the mechanisms responsible for the retention of these bubbles are not well understood. Understanding the rheological behavior of the waste, particularly of the settled sludge, is critical to characterizing the tendency of the waste to retain gas bubbles and the dynamics of how these bubbles are released from the waste. The presence of gas bubbles is expected to affect the rheology of the sludge, specifically its viscosity and tensile and shear strengths, but essentially no literature data are available to assess the effect of bubbles. The objectives of this study were to conduct experiments and develop theories to understand better how bubbles are retained by slurries and sludges, to measure the effect of gas bubbles on the viscosity of simulated slurries, and to measure the effect of gas bubbles on the tensile and shear strengths of simulated slurries and sludges. In addition to accomplishing these objectives, this study developed correlations, based on the new experimental data, that can be used in large-scale computations of waste tank physical phenomena.
Date: August 1, 1995
Creator: Gauglitz, P.A.; Rassat, S.D. & Powell, M.R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mechanisms of gas bubble retention and release: results for Hanford Waste Tanks 241-S-102 and 241-SY-103 and single-shell tank simulants

Description: Research at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has probed the physical mechanisms and waste properties that contribute to the retention and release of flammable gases from radioactive waste stored in underground tanks at Hanford. This study was conducted for Westinghouse Hanford Company as part of the PNNL Flammable Gas Project. The wastes contained in the tanks are mixes of radioactive and chemical products, and some of these wastes are known to generate mixtures of flammable gases, including hydrogen, nitrous oxide, and ammonia. Because these gases are flammable, their retention and episodic release pose a number of safety concerns.
Date: September 1, 1996
Creator: Gauglitz, P.A.; Rassat, S.D.; Bredt, P.R.; Konynenbelt, J.H.; Tingey, S.M. & Mendoza, D.P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mechanisms of gas retention and release: Experimental results for Hanford waste tanks 241-AW-101 and 241-AN-103

Description: The 177 storage tanks at Hanford contain a vast array of radioactive waste forms resulting, primarily, from nuclear materials processing. Through radiolytic, thermal, and other decomposition reactions of waste components, gaseous species including hydrogen, ammonia, and the oxidizer nitrous oxide are generated within the waste tanks. Many of these tanks are known to retain and periodically release quantities of these flammable gas mixtures. The primary focus of the Flammable Gas Project is the safe storage of Hanford tank wastes. To this end, we strive to develop an understanding of the mechanisms of flammable gas retention and release in Hanford tanks through laboratory investigations on actual tank wastes. These results support the closure of the Flammable Gas Unreviewed Safety Question (USQ) on the safe storage of waste tanks known to retain flammable gases and support resolution of the broader Flammable Gas Safety Issue. The overall purpose of this ongoing study is to develop a comprehensive and thorough understanding of the mechanisms of flammable gas retention and release. The first objective of the current study was to classify bubble retention and release mechanisms in two previously untested waste materials from Tanks 241-AN-103 (AN-103) and 241-AW-101 (AW-101). Results were obtained for retention mechanisms, release characteristics, and the maximum gas retention. In addition, unique behavior was also documented and compared with previously studied waste samples. The second objective was to lengthen the duration of the experiments to evaluate the role of slowing bubble growth on the retention and release behavior. Results were obtained for experiments lasting from a few hours to a few days.
Date: September 1, 1997
Creator: Rassat, S.D.; Gauglitz, P.A.; Bredt, P.R.; Mahoney, L.A.; Forbes, S.V. & Tingey, S.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mechanisms of gas retention and release: Experimental results for Hanford single-shell waste tanks 241-A-101, 241-S-106, and 241-U-103

Description: The 177 underground waste storage tanks at the Hanford Site contain millions of gallons of radioactive waste resulting from the purification of nuclear materials and related processes. Through various mechanisms, flammable gas mixtures of hydrogen, ammonia, methane, and nitrous oxide are generated and retained in significant quantities within the waste in many ({approximately}25) of these tanks. The potential for large releases of retained gas from these wastes creates a flammability hazard. It is a critical component of the effort to understand the flammability hazard and a primary goal of this laboratory investigation to establish an understanding of the mechanisms of gas retention and release in these wastes. The results of bubble retention experimental studies using waste samples from several waste tanks and a variety of waste types support resolution of the Flammable Gas Safety Issue. Gas bubble retention information gained in the pursuit of safe storage will, in turn, benefit future waste operations including salt-well pumping, waste transfers, and sluicing/retrieval.
Date: September 1, 1998
Creator: Rassat, S.D.; Caley, S.M.; Bredt, P.R.; Gauglitz, P.A.; Rinehart, D.E. & Forbes, S.V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department