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Gas generation from radiolytic attack of TRU-contaminated hydrogenous waste

Description: In 1970, the Waste Management and Transportation Division of the Atomic Energy Commission ordered a segregation of transuranic (TRU)-contaminated solid wastes. Those below a contamination level of 10 nCi/g could still be buried; those above had to be stored retrievably for 20 y. The possibility that alpha-radiolysis of hydrogenous materials might produce toxic, corrosive, and flammable gases in retrievably stored waste prompted an investigation of gas identities and generation rates in the laboratory and field. Typical waste mixtures were synthesized and contaminated for laboratory experiments, and drums of actual TRU-contaminated waste were instrumented for field testing. Several levels of contamination were studied, as well as pressure, temperature, and moisture effects. G (gas) values were determined for various waste matrices, and degradation products were examined.
Date: June 1, 1979
Creator: Zerwekh, A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gas generation and migration studies involving recently generated /sup 238/Pu-contaminated waste for the TRU Waste Sampling Program

Description: This study is part of the multicontractor TRU Waste Sampling Program. Radiolytically generated gases were vented through a filtering device to determine its effectiveness in maintaining hydrogen concentrations within acceptably safe levels. In the second part of the study measurements were made to determine the ability of these gases, particularly hydrogen, to migrate through a sealed rigid polyethylene drum liner. Void volumes in these drums were found to be generally in excess of 90%. The carbon composite filter was found to satisfactorily vent hydrogen up to moderately high levels of alpha activity in the waste substrate. The sealed 90-mil liner was found to inhibit, but not prevent, the migration of hydrogen and other radiolytically generated gases.
Date: July 1, 1986
Creator: Zerwekh, A. & Warren, J.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

TRU waste-sampling program

Description: As part of a TRU waste-sampling program, Los Alamos National Laboratory retrieved and examined 44 drums of /sup 238/Pu- and /sup 239/Pu-contaminated waste. The drums ranged in age from 8 months to 9 years. The majority of drums were tested for pressure, and gas samples withdrawn from the drums were analyzed by a mass spectrometer. Real-time radiography and visual examination were used to determine both void volumes and waste content. Drum walls were measured for deterioration, and selected drum contents were reassayed for comparison with original assays and WIPP criteria. Each drum tested at atmospheric pressure. Mass spectrometry revealed no problem with /sup 239/Pu-contaminated waste, but three 8-month-old drums of /sup 238/Pu-contaminated waste contained a potentially hazardous gas mixture. Void volumes fell within the 81 to 97% range. Measurements of drum walls showed no significant corrosion or deterioration. All reassayed contents were within WIPP waste acceptance criteria. Five of the drums opened and examined (15%) could not be certified as packaged. Three contained free liquids, one had corrosive materials, and one had too much unstabilized particulate. Eleven drums had the wrong (or not the most appropriate) waste code. In many cases, disposal volumes had been inefficiently used. 2 refs., 23 figs., 7 tabs.
Date: August 1, 1985
Creator: Warren, J.L. & Zerwekh, A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The effect of vibration on alpha radiolysis of transuranic (TRU) waste

Description: This paper reports on previously unpublished scoping work related to the potential for vibration to redistribute radionuclides on transuranic (TRU) waste. If this were to happen, the amount of gases generated, including hydrogen, could be increased above the undisturbed levels. This could be an important consideration for transport of TRU wastes either at DOE sites or from them to a future repository, e.g., the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). These preliminary data on drums of real waste seem to suggest that radionuclide redistribution does not occur. However improvements in the experimental methodology are suggested to enhance safety of future experiments on real wastes as well as to provide more rigorous data.
Date: February 1, 1993
Creator: Zerwekh, A.; Kosiewicz, S. & Warren, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The effect of vibration on alpha radiolysis of transuranic (TRU) waste

Description: This paper reports on previously unpublished scoping work related to the potential for vibration to redistribute radionuclides on transuranic (TRU) waste. If this were to happen, the amount of gases generated, including hydrogen, could be increased above the undisturbed levels. This could be an important consideration for transport of TRU wastes either at DOE sites or from them to a future repository, e.g., the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). These preliminary data on drums of real waste seem to suggest that radionuclide redistribution does not occur. However improvements in the experimental methodology are suggested to enhance safety of future experiments on real wastes as well as to provide more rigorous data.
Date: January 1, 1993
Creator: Zerwekh, A.; Kosiewicz, S. (Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)) & Warren, J. (NFT, Inc., Lakewood, CO (United States))
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department