Description: Vitrification has been declared by the Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) as the Best Demonstrated Available Technology (BDAT) for the permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Savannah River Site currently uses a sodium tetraphenylborate (NaTPB) precipitation process to remove Cs-137 from a wastewater solution created from the processing of nuclear fuel. This process has several disadvantages such as the formation of a benzene waste stream. It has been proposed to replace the precipitation process with an ion exchange process using a new resorcinol-formaldehyde resin developed by Savannah River Technical Center (SRTC). Preliminary tests, however, showed that problems such as crust formation and a reduced final glass wasteform exist when the resin is placed in the melter environment. The newly developed stirred melter could be capable of overcoming these problems. This research explored the operational feasibility of using the stirred tank melter to vitrify an organic ion exchange resin. Preliminary tests included crucible studies to determine the reducing potential of the resin and the extent of oxygen consuming reactions and oxygen transfer tests to approximate the extent of oxygen transfer into the molten glass using an impeller and a combination of the impeller and an external oxygen transfer system. These preliminary studies were used as a basis for the final test which was using the stirred tank melter to vitrify nonradioactive cesium loaded organic ion exchange resin. Results from this test included a cesium mass balance, a characterization of the semi-volatile organic compounds present in the off gas as products of incomplete combustion (PIC), a qualitative analysis of other volatile metals, and observations relating to the effect the resin had on the final redox state of the glass.
Date: August 1, 1994
Creator: Sargent, T. N., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department