Development of analytical methods for characterizing a high-level sludge macrobatch feed to the defense waste-processing facility


Charles J. Coleman, Robert J. Ray, David R. Best, Amy A. Ekechukwu, Damon R. Click, Frank M. Pennebaker, Ned E. Bibler, Terri L. Fellinger, Fernando F. Fondeur, Don W. Blankenship, Carol M. Jantzen, David C. Koopman, and Connie C. Herman. Savannah River Technology Center, Westinghouse Savannah River Company, Building 773-A, Aiken, SC 29808
The Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) at the Savannah River Site combines high-level radioactive defense waste with glass-forming chemicals at 1100 degrees C to make durable waste glass. The DWPF operates with a large tank that contains a 2-3 year supply of sludge feed (a macro-batch). Each macro-batch must be fully characterized to provide processing and waste regulation compliance information. The macro-batch feed that will be processed in 2003 presents a more challenging analytical matrix than previous feeds. Significant quantities of coal, sand, and sodium oxalate are present in the feed. These components must be measured because they can affect DWPF chemical processes and the large coal and sand particles can affect the DWPF tank sampling system. Development of analytical methods for this DWPF macro-batch sludge feed and application of these methods to the actual radioactive sludge will be discussed in this paper.