Attendance: Committee members G. Choppin (chair), M. Apted, P. Baisden, E. Flanigen, C. Hussey, B. Kear, F. Mansfeld, E. McNeese, R. Osteryoung, and R. White; staff members D. Raber, C. Murphy
Unable to attend: J. Williams
Participants: R. Benedict, E. Gay, D. Abraham, M. Petri, J. Ackerman, C. McPheeters, L. Simpson, K. Goff, T. Fanning, B. Cook, and D. Funk
Gregory R. Choppin convened the meeting at 8:30 a.m. in Conference Room A138 Building 208, ANL-E.
Robert W. Benedict, ANL-W, described the Spent Fuel Treatment Demonstration project status. On August 1 ANL-W began treating blanket assemblies. Now 72 of 100 driver assemblies have been treated. ANL-W has have cast two of three waste metal ingots and is on track for hot cell HIP. Two incidents have caused a delay in the schedule. The first was contamination that occurred during sealed tube maintenance. The second, a platen malfunction, halted equipment transfers. These incidents have caused a delay of about six weeks. ANL-W will try to make up this lost time before the end of the demonstration, but there may be a delay beyond the scheduled June 1999 completion. Plans are to have a final report on the demonstration project out at the end of September 1999. ANL-W is planning an environmental impact statement (EIS), and the general counsel is reviewing the Notice of Intent for an EIS at the present time. ANL-W is planning to begin fuel treatment operations after the EIS, and this will last for 12 years. Significant accomplishments for driver treatment include eight assemblies treated in 1 month, 693 kg of low enriched uranium cast, cathode processor batch size increased from 12 to 17 kilograms, casting furnace batch size increased from 36 to 54 kg, and 468 kg of low enriched uranium shipped. Blanket treatment started in August 1998. The Mark-V electrorefiner has run its first batch of irradiated baskets. Results from the Mark-IV anode-cathode module tests are used to design Mark-V improvements. Finally, the blanket element chopper is operational.
Eddie C. Gay, ANL-E, talked about Electrorefiner Development Testing. In the past three months ANL-E has been conducting ACM tests in the CMT glovebox. They have 20 baskets, with a capacity of 150 kg of uranium. The cathode assembly for the 25-in.-diameter HTER can run over a variety of batch sizes. The support bars have beryllia insulation so as not to deposit uranium. They have transported 150 kg of uranium. In the original design the scrapers trailed the anode baskets, resulting in uranium hold-up between the faces of the anode baskets and the cathode tubes. This causes the anode driver to stop rotating. A dense deposit forms with increasing rpm. The initial resolution of this problem was to perform periodic stripping, which consisted of reversal of the polarity, and transport of the uranium to the anode baskets. The cathode strippers were modified so that the uranium is knocked off the cathode tubes in the space between the anode baskets. In the outer cathode channel, the number of scrapers per revolution was increased from one to three.