Quantcast Liquid Waste - doe-std-1128-98_ch10226


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Sampling and Monitoring - doe-std-1128-98_ch10225
DOE Standard Guide of Good Practices for Occupational Radiological Protection In Plutonium Facilities
Operational Controls - doe-std-1128-98_ch10227

Existing storage and packaging requirements for plutonium metal and oxide are
addressed in DOE Order 460.1A (DOE, 1996b). The DOE's existing storage
practices for plutonium and plutonium-containing materials and wastes were
evaluated at a DOE Workshop in May 1993 [see Assessment of Plutonium Storage
Safety Issues at Department of Energy Facilities (DOE, 1994a)]. The draft
recommendations from this workshop for metals and oxides that are not in
containment vessels with certified hermetic seals [per ANSI N14.5 (ANSI, 1997a)]
are given in Table 8.3. The variety of plutonium-containing materials is illustrated
by the inventory information for the Hanford Site contained in documents by
Christensen et al. (1989) and Hoyt (1993).
Liquid waste from plutonium facilities includes various aqueous waste streams such as
cooling water, laundry waste, and floor-drain waste, and numerous organic and inorganic
chemical wastes. The design criteria and operational controls to make these streams
treatable and disposable, and the methods to treat them are beyond the scope of this
document and are highly facility-specific. General considerations are given below.
Design Objectives
If a facility process requires the generation of plutonium-contaminated liquids, it is
probably best to ensure that the mother liquid is demineralized water and that
plutonium is the only contaminant added. In this case, the liquid can be filtered,
demineralized, and recycled. Any other chemicals added to the water will
complicate treatment, increase the volume of secondary waste, and diminish the
opportunity for recycle. Organic contaminants such as oils, solvents, and detergents
will likely foul the ion exchange resin, greatly increasing resin volume.
A pure organic solvent has many of the advantages of demineralized water,
especially if it does not chemically degrade or evaporate under the conditions of
use. (Solvents are not usually amenable to purification by ion exchange; however,
filtration, extraction into aqueous solutions, and distillation are possible.)
Unfortunately, most organic solvents are classified as hazardous materials and any
material that comes in contact with them is likely to be a hazardous (or mixed)
waste when it is disposed of. If the solvent is combustible and the facility includes
an approved incinerator of sufficient capacity to handle the secondary waste, then
the organic solvents are highly desirable.
While such guidance may be helpful in facility design, there will be waste streams
that do not conform to either of the situations above. Most decontamination wastes,
laundry wastes, and floor-drain wastes are examples. In decontamination, it is
important that the process is selected with provisions to manage the waste. In many
cases, the nature of the facility determines that the waste will be a mixed waste. In
these cases, minimizing the volume is most important. For example, if a plutonium-
contaminated surface has been painted with a lead-based paint, the
decontamination waste will be mixed waste unless it is further treated to ensure that
the lead is not in a leachable form. In this example, removing the paint by dry ice
blasting, high-pressure water blasting, heat, or a similar method would be

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