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Development of an Ion-Exchange Process for Removing Cesium from High-Level Radioactive Liquid Wastes

  • P. K. Baumgarten
  • R. M. Wallace
  • D. A. Whitehurst
  • J. M. Steed
Part of the Advances in Nuclear Science & Technology book series (ANST)

Abstract

A process is now being developed to solidify and isolate the biologically hazardous radionuclides from approximately 20 million gallons of alkaline high level radioactive waste accumulated at the Savannah River Plant (SRP) and now being stored in large underground tanks. The waste consists mainly of liquid waste supernate, a damp sodium salt cake and a gelatinous, insoluble sludge. The process involves dissolving the salt cake in water, separating it from the sludge, washing the sludge and adding the washings to the dissolved salt cake. The aqueous portion is then treated by ion exchange to remove cesium-137, plutonium and other actinides and soluble strontium-90. After elution, the cesium and actinides are concentrated by evaporation and immobilized on zeolite. The strontium is similarly concentrated. The cesium-zeolite and strontium concentrate are combined with washed sludge for calcination. The calcined mixture is melted with glass frit to form a leach resistant glass. The final glass is encased in 0.8 m3 metal canisters. The decontaminated aqueous waste is concentrated by evaporation and returned to cleaned underground tanks for storage as a salt cake.

Keywords

Breakthrough Curve Column Volume Radioactive Liquid Waste Decontamination Factor Cesium Concentration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. K. Baumgarten
    • 1
  • R. M. Wallace
    • 1
  • D. A. Whitehurst
    • 1
  • J. M. Steed
    • 1
  1. 1.Savannah River LaboratoryE. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Inc.AikenUSA

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