EVALUATION OF THE IMPACT OF THE DEFENSE WASTE PROCESSING FACILITY (DWPF) LABORATORY GERMANIUM OXIDE USE ON RECYCLE TRANSFERS TO THE H-TANK FARM [electronic resource].
- Washington, D.C. : United States. Dept. of Energy, 2011.
Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy.
- Additional Creators:
- United States. Department of Energy. Savannah River Site, United States. Department of Energy, and United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information
- Restrictions on Access:
- Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- When processing High Level Waste (HLW) glass, the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) cannot wait until the melt or waste glass has been made to assess its acceptability, since by then no further changes to the glass composition and acceptability are possible. Therefore, the acceptability decision is made on the upstream feed stream, rather than on the downstream melt or glass product. This strategy is known as 'feed forward statistical process control.' The DWPF depends on chemical analysis of the feed streams from the Sludge Receipt and Adjustment Tank (SRAT) and the Slurry Mix Evaporator (SME) where the frit plus adjusted sludge from the SRAT are mixed. The SME is the last vessel in which any chemical adjustments or frit additions can be made. Once the analyses of the SME product are deemed acceptable, the SME product is transferred to the Melter Feed Tank (MFT) and onto the melter. The SRAT and SME analyses have been analyzed by the DWPF laboratory using a 'Cold Chemical' method but this dissolution did not adequately dissolve all the elemental components. A new dissolution method which fuses the SRAT or SME product with cesium nitrate (CsNO₃), germanium (IV) oxide (GeO₂) and cesium carbonate (Cs₂CO₃) into a cesium germanate glass at 1050 C in platinum crucibles has been developed. Once the germanium glass is formed in that fusion, it is readily dissolved by concentrated nitric acid (about 1M) to solubilize all the elements in the SRAT and/or SME product for elemental analysis. When the chemical analyses are completed the acidic cesium-germanate solution is transferred from the DWPF analytic laboratory to the Recycle Collection Tank (RCT) where the pH is increased to ≈12 M to be released back to the tank farm and the 2H evaporator. Therefore, about 2.5 kg/yr of GeO₂/year will be diluted into 1.4 million gallons of recycle. This 2.5 kg/yr of GeO₂ may increase to 4 kg/yr when improvements are implemented to attain an annual canister production goal of 400 canisters. Since no Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) exists for germanium in the Tank Farm, the Effluent Treatment Project, or the Saltstone Production Facility, DWPF has requested an evaluation of the fate of the germanium in the caustic environment of the RCT, the 2H evaporator, and the tank farm. This report evaluates the effect of the addition of germanium to the tank farm based on: (1) the large dilution of Ge in the RCT and tank farm; (2) the solubility of germanium in caustic solutions (pH 12-13); (3) the potential of germanium to precipitate as germanium sodalites in the 2H Evaporator; and (4) the potential of germanium compounds to precipitate in the evaporator feed tank. This study concludes that the impacts of transferring up to 4 kg/yr germanium to the RCT (and subsequently the 2H evaporator feed tank and the 2H evaporator) results in <2 ppm per year (1.834 mg/L) which is the maximum instantaneous concentration expected from DWPF. This concentration is insignificant as most sodium germanates are soluble at the high pH of the feed tank and evaporator solutions. Even if sodium aluminosilicates form in the 2H evaporator, the Ge will likely substitute for some small amount of the Si in these structures and will be insignificant. It is recommended that the DWPF continue with their strategy to add germanium as a laboratory chemical to Attachment 8.2 of the DWPF Waste Compliance Plan (WCP).
- Report Numbers:
- E 1.99:srnl-sti-2011-00389
- Other Subject(s):
- Published through SciTech Connect.
Jantzen, C.; Laurinat, J.
- Funding Information:
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