ALTERNATIVES FOR HIGH-LEVEL WASTE SALT PROCESSING AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE

Committee on Cesium Processing Alternatives for High-Level Waste at the Savannah River Site

Board on Radioactive Waste Management

Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.



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ALTERNATIVES FOR HIGH-LEVEL WASTE SALT PROCESSING AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE ALTERNATIVES FOR HIGH-LEVEL WASTE SALT PROCESSING AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE Committee on Cesium Processing Alternatives for High-Level Waste at the Savannah River Site Board on Radioactive Waste Management Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.

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ALTERNATIVES FOR HIGH-LEVEL WASTE SALT PROCESSING AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this study was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy under Grant No.DE-FC01-99EW59049. All opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Energy. International Standard Book Number 0-309-07194-1 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Box 285 Washington, DC20055800-624-6242202-334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area) http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2000 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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ALTERNATIVES FOR HIGH-LEVEL WASTE SALT PROCESSING AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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ALTERNATIVES FOR HIGH-LEVEL WASTE SALT PROCESSING AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE COMMITTEE ON CESIUM PROCESSING ALTERNATIVES FOR HIGH-LEVEL WASTE AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE MILTON LEVENSON, Chair, Bechtel International (retired), Menlo Park, California GREGORY R. CHOPPIN, Vice Chair, Florida State University, Tallahassee JOHN BERCAW, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena DARYLE H. BUSCH, University of Kansas, Lawrence TERESA FRYBERGER, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York GEORGE E. KELLER II, Union Carbide Corporation (retired), South Charleston, West Virginia MATTHEW KOZAK, Monitor Scientific, LLC, Denver, Colorado ALFRED P. SATTELBERGER, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico BARRY E. SCHEETZ, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park MARTIN J. STEINDLER, Argonne National Laboratory (retired), Downers Grove, Illinois Staff ROBERT S. ANDREWS, Senior Staff Officer, Board on Radioactive Waste Management KEVIN D. CROWLEY, Director, Board on Radioactive Waste Management DOUGLAS J. RABER, Director, Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology JOHN R. WILEY, Senior Staff Officer, Board on Radioactive Waste Management LATRICIA C. BAILEY, Senior Project Assistant MATTHEW BAXTER-PARROTT, Project Assistant SUZANNE STACKHOUSE, Project Assistant

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ALTERNATIVES FOR HIGH-LEVEL WASTE SALT PROCESSING AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE BOARD ON RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT JOHN F. AHEARNE, Chair, Sigma Xi and Duke University, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina CHARLES MCCOMBIE, Vice Chair, Gipf-Oberfrick, Switzerland ROBERT M. BERNERO, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (retired), Bethesda, Maryland ROBERT J. BUDNITZ, Future Resources Associates, Inc., Berkeley, California GREGORY R. CHOPPIN, Florida State University, Tallahassee JAMES H. JOHNSON, JR., Howard University, Washington, D.C. ROGER E. KASPERSON, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts JAMES O. LECKIE, Stanford University, Stanford, California JANE C. S. LONG, Mackay School of Mines, University of Nevada, Reno ALEXANDER MACLACHLAN, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (retired), Wilmington, Delaware WILLIAM A. MILLS, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (retired), Olney, Maryland MARTIN J. STEINDLER, Argonne National Laboratory (retired), Downers Grove, Illinois ATSUYUKI SUZUKI, University of Tokyo, Japan JOHN J. TAYLOR, Electric Power Research Institute (retired), Palo Alto, California VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL, Landers and Parsons, Tallahassee, Florida MARY LOU ZOBACK, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California Staff KEVIN D. CROWLEY, Director ROBERT S. ANDREWS, Senior Staff Officer BARBARA PASTINA, Staff Officer GREGORY H. SYMMES, Senior Staff Officer JOHN R. WILEY, Senior Staff Officer SUSAN B. MOCKLER, Research Associate TONI GREENLEAF, Administrative Associate LATRICIA C. BAILEY, Senior Project Assistant MATTHEW BAXTER-PARROTT, Project Assistant LAURA D. LLANOS, Senior Project Assistant SUZANNE STACKHOUSE, Project Assistant ANGELA R. TAYLOR, Senior Project Assistant

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ALTERNATIVES FOR HIGH-LEVEL WASTE SALT PROCESSING AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE BOARD ON CHEMICAL SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY JOHN L. ANDERSON, Co-Chair, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania LARRY E. OVERMAN, Co-Chair, University of California, Irvine BARBARA J. GARRISON, Pennsylvania State University, University Park ALICE P. GAST, Stanford University LOUIS C. GLASGOW, DuPont Fluoroproducts, Wilmington, Delaware KEITH E. GUBBINS, North Carolina State University, Raleigh NANCY B. JACKSON, Sandia National Laboratory, Albuquerque, New Mexico JIRI JONAS, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign GEORGE E. KELLER, Union Carbide Company (retired), South Charleston, West Virginia RICHARD A. LERNER, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California GREGORY A. PETSKO, Rosenstiel Basic Medical Sciences Research Center, Waltham, Massachusetts WAYNE H. PITCHER, JR., Genencor International, Inc., Palo Alto, California KENNETH N. RAYMOND, University of California, Berkeley PAUL J. REIDER, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, New Jersey LYNN F. SCHNEEMEYER, Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey MARTIN B. SHERWIN, ChemVen Group, Inc., Boca Raton, Florida JEFFREY J. SIIROLA, Chemical Process Research Laboratory, Kingsport, Tennessee CHRISTINE S. SLOANE, General Motors, Troy, Michigan PETER J. STANG, University of Utah, Salt Lake City JOHN T. YATES, JR., University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania STEVEN W. YATES, University of Kentucky, Lexington Staff DOUGLAS J. RABER, Director RUTH MCDIARMID, Program Officer SUSAN MORRISSEY, Intern CHRISTOPHER MURPHY, Program Officer SYBIL A. PAIGE, Administrative Associate MARIA P. JONES, Senior Project Assistant

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ALTERNATIVES FOR HIGH-LEVEL WASTE SALT PROCESSING AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE Acknowledgements This fast-track study could not have been completed without the assistance of many individuals and organizations. The committee especially wishes to acknowledge and thank Steve Piccolo (Westinghouse Savannah River Company [WSRC]), Roy Schepens (U.S. Department of Energy [DOE]), Kurt Fisher (DOE), and Kenneth Lang (DOE), who served as liaisons to the committee from Savannah River and DOE Headquarters and provided information and briefings during the course of this study; Robert Jones (WSRC), who served as the committee's main point of contact to the salt processing project at Savannah River and kept track of the committee's sometimes insatiable requests for information; and the other individuals listed in Appendix C, who provided briefings to the committee, in some cases on very short notice, during its two open meetings in Augusta, Georgia. The committee also wishes to thank the following staff of the National Research Council's Board on Radioactive Waste Management and Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology for a strong team effort to support this project: Robert Andrews, Kevin Crowley, Doug Raber, and John Wiley for organizing the project and assisting with the preparation of the committee's reports; and Latricia Bailey, Matthew Baxter-Parrott, and Suzanne Stackhouse for assistance with research and logistics.

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ALTERNATIVES FOR HIGH-LEVEL WASTE SALT PROCESSING AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE List of Report Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council (NRC) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The content of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Robert M. Bernero, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (retired) Mary L. Good, Venture Capitol Investors Edward Lahoda, Westinghouse Science and Technology Department Dade W. Moeller, Dade Moeller & Associates, Inc. Kenneth N. Raymond, University of California, Berkeley Vincent Van Brunt, University of South Carolina Stephen Yates, University of Kentucky Edwin L. Zebroski, Elgis Consulting Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by E-an Zen, appointed by the Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources, and Royce W. Murray, appointed by the Report Review Committee, who were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with NRC procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the NRC.

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ALTERNATIVES FOR HIGH-LEVEL WASTE SALT PROCESSING AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE Contents     Summary,   1  1   Introduction,   5  2   Screening Procedure,   20  3   Strontium and Actinide Removal,   35  4   Tetraphenylborate: In-Tank Precipitation and Small-Tank Precipitation Options,   43  5   Crystalline Silicotitanate Ion Exchange,   55  6   Caustic Side Solvent-Extraction Process,   65  7   Direct Grout Option,   72  8   Barriers to Implementation of HLW Salt Processing Options,   81     References,   88     Appendixes    A   Biographical Sketches of Committee Members,   97  B   Interim Report,   102  C   Information Gathering Meetings,   130  D   Incidental Waste,   132  E   Long-Term Safety of the Direct Grout Option,   135  F   Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board Recommendation 96-1 to the Secretary Of Energy,   138  G   Acronyms and Abbreviations,   142

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