Appendix B

Demonstration Project Success Criteria and Demonstration Project Accomplishments Through October 26, 1998

Demonstration project accomplishments were presented in briefings to the committee by Robert Benedict (ANL-W) at its June and October 1998 meetings. These accomplishments are listed following ANL's demonstration project success criteria, which are reprinted below from the committee 's previous report1 and were developed in response to earlier recommendations of the committee.2 These criteria were found by the committee to be adequate for judging the success of the demonstration project.

DEMONSTRATION PROJECT SUCCESS CRITERIA

Criterion 1: Demonstration that 125 EBR-II assemblies can be treated in a fuel-conditioning facility (FCF) within 3 years, with a throughput rate of 16 kg/month for driver assemblies sustained for a minimum of 3 months and a blanket throughput rate of 150 kg per month sustained for 1 month.

Specific goals to meet criterion 1:

  1. Freeze process modifications and operating parameters while demonstrating a continuous throughput of 16 kg of driver uranium for 3 consecutive months.

  2. Demonstrate the capability to electrorefine approximately 150 kg of blanket spent fuel in 1 month.

  3. Distill the electrolyte from ER cathode products through the cathode processor in an FCF (Fuel Conditioning Facility) and blend the resulting ingot with depleted uranium in the casting furnace to produce a low-enriched uranium storage ingot.

  4. Specify acceptable operating parameters and throughput for the cathode processor to meet uranium product specifications and ER production rates of 16 kg of driver uranium for 3 consecutive months.

  5. Specify acceptable casting-furnace operating parameters for producing low-enriched uranium from 16-kg driver uranium per month for 3 consecutive months.

  6. Cast three batches of irradiated cladding hulls (two driver assemblies per batch) into a typical metal waste form (stainless steel -15 percent zirconium).

  7. Process 3 kilograms of salt containing approximately 6 weight % fission products into 10 ceramic waste samples.

1  

Electrometallurgical Techniques for DOE Spent Fuel Treatment: Spring 1998 Status Report on Argonne National Laboratory's R&D Activity, National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1998.

2  

An Assessment of Continued R&D into an Electrometallurgical Approach for Treating DOE Spent Nuclear Fuel (1995) and Electrometallurgical Techniques for DOE Spent Fuel Treatment: Fall 1996 Status Report on Argonne National Laboratory's R&D Activity (March 1997), National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.



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ELECTROMETALLURGICAL TECHNIQUES FOR DOE SPENT FUEL TREATMENT: STATUS REPORT ON ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY'S R&D ACTIVITY AS OF FALL 1998 Appendix B Demonstration Project Success Criteria and Demonstration Project Accomplishments Through October 26, 1998 Demonstration project accomplishments were presented in briefings to the committee by Robert Benedict (ANL-W) at its June and October 1998 meetings. These accomplishments are listed following ANL's demonstration project success criteria, which are reprinted below from the committee 's previous report1 and were developed in response to earlier recommendations of the committee.2 These criteria were found by the committee to be adequate for judging the success of the demonstration project. DEMONSTRATION PROJECT SUCCESS CRITERIA Criterion 1: Demonstration that 125 EBR-II assemblies can be treated in a fuel-conditioning facility (FCF) within 3 years, with a throughput rate of 16 kg/month for driver assemblies sustained for a minimum of 3 months and a blanket throughput rate of 150 kg per month sustained for 1 month. Specific goals to meet criterion 1: Freeze process modifications and operating parameters while demonstrating a continuous throughput of 16 kg of driver uranium for 3 consecutive months. Demonstrate the capability to electrorefine approximately 150 kg of blanket spent fuel in 1 month. Distill the electrolyte from ER cathode products through the cathode processor in an FCF (Fuel Conditioning Facility) and blend the resulting ingot with depleted uranium in the casting furnace to produce a low-enriched uranium storage ingot. Specify acceptable operating parameters and throughput for the cathode processor to meet uranium product specifications and ER production rates of 16 kg of driver uranium for 3 consecutive months. Specify acceptable casting-furnace operating parameters for producing low-enriched uranium from 16-kg driver uranium per month for 3 consecutive months. Cast three batches of irradiated cladding hulls (two driver assemblies per batch) into a typical metal waste form (stainless steel -15 percent zirconium). Process 3 kilograms of salt containing approximately 6 weight % fission products into 10 ceramic waste samples. 1   Electrometallurgical Techniques for DOE Spent Fuel Treatment: Spring 1998 Status Report on Argonne National Laboratory's R&D Activity, National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1998. 2   An Assessment of Continued R&D into an Electrometallurgical Approach for Treating DOE Spent Nuclear Fuel (1995) and Electrometallurgical Techniques for DOE Spent Fuel Treatment: Fall 1996 Status Report on Argonne National Laboratory's R&D Activity (March 1997), National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

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ELECTROMETALLURGICAL TECHNIQUES FOR DOE SPENT FUEL TREATMENT: STATUS REPORT ON ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY'S R&D ACTIVITY AS OF FALL 1998 Criterion 2: Quantification (for both composition and mass) of recycle, waste, and product streams that demonstrate projected material balance with no significant deviations. Specific goals to meet criterion 2: Develop uranium product specifications with range of acceptable impurities: plutonium, neptunium, technetium-99 and ruthenium-106. Specify process-operating parameters for uranium ingots that meet uranium specifications. Develop metal waste specifications that are based on performance characterization results of small samples with variations in the principal constituents: zirconium, uranium, technetium, plutonium, neptunium, and noble metals. Determine performance characterization with electrochemical techniques, corrosion tests, vapor hydration tests, and attribute tests. Develop metal waste process specifications for major process variables: operating temperatures, hold time, and cooling rate. Develop ceramic waste specifications that are based on performance characterization results of samples with principal constituent variations: glass, fission products, uranium, and plutonium. Determine performance characteristics with attribute, characterization, accelerated, and service condition tests. Develop ceramic waste process specifications for major process variables: free chloride, zeolite moisture content, and chloride per unit cell. Quantify volume of low-level and transuranic waste generation under standard operating conditions. Return the cathode processor condensate to the individual ERs (electrorefiners) during the 16-kg driver per month for 3 months and 150 kg blanket per month operations. Specify unit process operations for metal spent fuel treatment, uranium ingot production, and waste form production. Estimate mass balances for uranium, transuranics, sodium, and key fission products for overall process. Prepare the flowsheet and develop process specifications for the subsequent inventory operation. Criterion 3: Demonstration of an overall dependable and predictable process, considering uptime, repair and maintenance, and operability of linked process steps. Specific goals to meet criterion 3: Record facility and equipment availability for process operations during the 3-month 16 kg per month driver demonstration. Record process interruption for chemistry results during the 3-month operation at 16 kg per month. Develop quantitative process models for each key step in the treatment process. Develop a process model that estimates throughputs as a function of equipment availability, maintenance requirements, and individual process times.

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ELECTROMETALLURGICAL TECHNIQUES FOR DOE SPENT FUEL TREATMENT: STATUS REPORT ON ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY'S R&D ACTIVITY AS OF FALL 1998 Criterion 4: Demonstration that safety risks, environmental impacts, and nuclear materials accountancy are quantified and acceptable within regulatory limits. Specific goals to meet criterion 4: Demonstrate that the FCF air emissions result in an effective dose equivalent to the public less than 10 mrem per year, which is the limit in DOE 5400.5 and is less than the 25 mrem per year limit in the State of Idaho Permit to Construct Air Pollution Emitting Source. Show that FCF personnel exposure is less than 0.5 rem per year average and 1.5 rem per year for the maximum individual exposure, which is a factor of 3 less than the DOE Occupational Radiation Protection Final Rule 10CFR835 limit that is 5 rem per year. Demonstrate a material control and accountability system that shows the historical inventory difference for uranium and plutonium is within control limits based on variance propagation of measurement and sampling errors, as specified in DOE Order 5633.3B. Record any unlikely and extremely unlikely accident (as defined in the Final Safety Analysis Report) during the demonstration. Estimate the safety risks, environmental impacts, and material accountancy for the inventory operations. DEMONSTRATION PROJECT ACCOMPLISHMENTS Significant Accomplishments in the Treatment Process as Reported by ANL at the Committee's June 1998 Meeting Criterion 1: Demonstration Project Accomplishments as Reported by ANL Goal 1-1: Driver treatment of 32 kg uranium per month has been reached and is twice the goal rate. Goal 1-2: Unirradiated blanket assembly has been chopped and electrorefining is in progress. Goal 1-3: 516 kilograms of low enriched uranium product has been produced. Goal 1-4: Acceptable cathode processing parameters have been specified at 1200 °C and 1 torr pressure. These parameters have been used to process 39 kg U per month. Goal 1-5: Acceptable casting furnace operating parameters have been specified at 1260 °C with one stir cycle. These parameters have been used to process 39 kg U per month Goal 1-6: One (5.5 kg) of three metal waste ingots has been cast from cladding hulls. Goal 1-7: Ceramic waste process equipment has been tested with nonradioactive fission product containing salt. Equipment will be installed in the Hot Fuel Examination Facility by the end of 1998.

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ELECTROMETALLURGICAL TECHNIQUES FOR DOE SPENT FUEL TREATMENT: STATUS REPORT ON ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY'S R&D ACTIVITY AS OF FALL 1998 Criterion 2: Process Quantification Accomplishments as Reported by ANL Goal 2-1: Twenty uranium ingots have been characterized in support of the draft electrorefiner process specification. Goal 2-2: Ninety laboratory-scale samples and one demonstration-scale sample have been cast and are being characterized for metal waste specification. Goal 2-3: Casting at 1600 °C with a two-hour hold time has produced a good metal waste form from cladding hulls. Goal 2-4: One hundred twenty-one laboratory-scale and 18 demonstration-scale samples have been produced at different compositions and characterization testing has started. Goal 2-5: Ceramic waste form tests have examined the importance of free chloride, zeolite moisture content, and chloride per unit cell. Additional Process Accomplishments Ten m3 low-level waste has been produced as compared to the 20 m3 that were projected for the demonstration. Cathode processor condensate has been returned routinely to the Mark-IV electrorefiner without any problems. The process unit operations are fixed for sodium bonded fuel. Mass balances are being prepared for uranium, plutonium, neptunium, sodium and cesium. Prepared flow sheets that list the amounts of waste generated from processing 60 metric tons of sodium bonded fuel needed for the Yucca Mountain Environmental Impact Statement. Criterion 3: Process Operability Accomplishments as Reported by ANL Goal 3-1: Treatment process equipment has been available approximately 80% of the time during the past 12 months. Goal 3-2: Demonstration operations have not been interrupted by the lack of chemistry results. Goal 3-3: Electrorefiner model is used to plan and analyze operations. Goal 3-4: Process models have been developed to characterize FCF operations and for equipment availability, maintenance requirements, and process times. Criterion 4: Regulatory Compliance Accomplishments as Reported by ANL Goal 4-1: The measured air emissions are lower than half of the analyzed value for the State of Idaho air permit. Goal 4-2: The average exposure for FCF operations personnel was 0.02 roentgen equivalent man (rem) for 1998 first quarter. Goal 4-3: FCF nuclear materials accountancy received a satisfactory rating during DOE biennial safeguards and security inspection. Goal 4-4: No unlikely or extremely unlikely accident has occurred during the demonstration.

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ELECTROMETALLURGICAL TECHNIQUES FOR DOE SPENT FUEL TREATMENT: STATUS REPORT ON ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY'S R&D ACTIVITY AS OF FALL 1998 Goal 4-5: Environmental impact statement preparation will start this July [1999]. Significant Accomplishments in the Treatment Process as Reported by ANL at the Committee's October 1998 Meeting Driver treatment processed 72 of 100 driver assemblies Eight assemblies treated in one month 692 kilograms low enriched uranium (LEU) cast Cathode processor batch size increased from 12 to 17 kilograms Casting furnace batch size increased from 36 to 54 kilograms 468 kilograms low enriched uranium shipped Blanket treatment started in August 1998 Mark-V electrorefiner ran first batch of irradiated blankets Results from Mark-IV anode-cathode module tests used to design Mk-V improvements Blanket element chopper operational

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