Description: Recent field investigation that collected and characterized vadose zone sediments from beneath inactive liquid disposal facilities at the Hanford 200 Areas show lower than expected concentrations of a long-term risk driver, Tc-99. Therefore laboratory studies were performed to re-create one of the three processes that were used to separate the plutonium from spent fuel and that created most of the wastes disposed or currently stored in tanks at Hanford. The laboratory simulations were used to compare with current estimates based mainly on flow sheet estimates and spotty historical data. Three simulations of the bismuth phosphate precipitation process show that less that 1% of the Tc-99, Cs-135/137, Sr-90, I-129 carry down with the Pu product and thus these isotopes should have remained within the metals waste streams that after neutralization were sent to single shell tanks. Conversely, these isotopes should not be expected to be found in the first and subsequent cycle waste streams that went to cribs. Measurable quantities (~20 to 30%) of the lanthanides, yttrium, and trivalent actinides (Am and Cm) do precipitate with the Pu product, which is higher than the 10% estimate made for current inventory projections. Surprisingly, Se (added as selenate form) also shows about 10% association with the Pu/bismuth phosphate solids. We speculate that the incorporation of some Se into the bismuth phosphate precipitate is caused by selenate substitution into crystal lattice sites for the phosphate. The bulk of the U daughter product Th-234 and Np-237 daughter product Pa-233 also associate with the solids. We suspect that the Pa daughter products of U (Pa-234 and Pa-231) would also co-precipitate with the bismuth phosphate induced solids. No more than 1 % of the Sr-90 and Sb-125 should carry down with the Pu product that ultimately was purified. Thus the current scheme used to estimate where fission ...
Date: February 28, 2007
Creator: Serne, R. JEFFREY; Lindberg, Michael J.; Jones, Thomas E.; Schaef, Herbert T. & Krupka, Kenneth M.
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Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department