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Strong-Sludge Gas Retention and Release Mechanisms in Clay Simulants

Description: The Hanford Site has 28 double-shell tanks (DSTs) and 149 single-shell tanks (SSTs) containing radioactive wastes that are complex mixes of radioactive and chemical products. The mission of the Department of Energy's River Protection Project is to retrieve and treat the Hanford tank waste for disposal and close the tank farms. A key aspect of the mission is to retrieve and transfer waste from the SSTs, which are at greater risk for leaking, into DSTs for interim storage until the waste is transferred to and treated in the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant. There is, however, limited space in the existing DSTs to accept waste transfers from the SSTs, and approaches to overcoming the limited DST space will benefit the overall mission. The purpose of this study is to summarize and analyze the key previous experiment that forms the basis for the relaxed controls and to summarize progress and results on new experiments focused on understanding the conditions that result in low gas retention. The previous large-scale test used about 50 m3 of sediment, which would be unwieldy for doing multiple parametric experiments. Accordingly, experiments began with smaller-scale tests to determine whether the desired mechanisms can be studied without the difficulty of conducting very large experiments. The most significant results from the current experiments are that progressively lower gas retention occurs in tests with progressively deeper sediment layers and that the method of gas generation also affects the maximum retention. Based on the results of this study, it is plausible that relatively low gas retention could occur in sufficiently deep tank waste in DSTs. The current studies and previous work, however, have not explored how gas retention and release will behave when two or more layers with different properties are present.
Date: February 24, 2012
Creator: Gauglitz, Phillip A.; Buchmiller, William C.; Probert, Samuel G.; Owen, Antionette T. & Brockman, Fred J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department