Analysis of organics in highly radioactive nuclear wastes

  • A. P. Toste
  • T. J. Lechner-Fish
  • D. J. Hendren
  • R. D. Scheele
  • W. G. Richmond
Article

Abstract

Analytical methods are being developed at Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) for the organic analysis of nuclear wastes. In this study our laboratory analyzed the organic content of two highly radioactive wastes, a neutralized cladding removal waste (NCRW) and a volume reduction, double-shell slurry (DSS) waste. In-house methods were developed and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) methods were modified for isolating and analyzing volatile, semivolatile and hydrophilic organics in the hot cell and radiation hood. The procedures worked well, particularly for the NCRW, in which 94.9% of the waste's total organic carbon (TOC) has been characterized. In contrast, only 1.2% of the DSS waste's TOC has been identified to date. Quite a variety of volatile, semivolatile and hydrophilic organics, e.g., chelating agents, were identified in the wastes, occasionally at relatively high mM, or mg/g, concentrations. Most of the compounds are either source-term organics associated with nuclear operations or their degradation products, indicating that organic diagenesis in nuclear wastes can be quite vigorous and extensive.

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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. P. Toste
    • 1
  • T. J. Lechner-Fish
    • 1
  • D. J. Hendren
    • 1
  • R. D. Scheele
    • 1
  • W. G. Richmond
    • 2
  1. 1.Pacific Northwest LaboratoryRichland(USA)
  2. 2.Rockwell Handford OperationsRichland(USA)

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