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[en] Recent research into the moisture retention properties of saltstone suggest that osmotic pressure may play a potentially significant role in contaminant transport (Dixon et al., 2009 and Dixon, 2011). The Savannah River Remediation Closure and Disposal Assessments Group requested the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) to conduct a literature search on osmotic potential as it relates to contaminant transport and to develop a conceptual model of saltstone that incorporates osmotic potential. This report presents the findings of the literature review and presents a conceptual model for saltstone that incorporates osmotic potential. The task was requested through Task Technical Request HLW-SSF-TTR-2013-0004. Simulated saltstone typically has very low permeability (Dixon et al. 2008) and pore water that contains a large concentration of dissolved salts (Flach and Smith 2013). Pore water in simulated saltstone has a high salt concentration relative to pore water in concrete and groundwater. This contrast in salt concentration can generate high osmotic pressures if simulated saltstone has the properties of a semipermeable membrane. Estimates of osmotic pressure using results from the analysis of pore water collected from simulated saltstone show that an osmotic pressure up to 2790 psig could be generated within the saltstone. Most semi-permeable materials are non-ideal and have an osmotic efficiency <1 and as a result actual osmotic pressures are less than theoretical pressures. Observations from laboratory tests of simulated saltstone indicate that it may exhibit the behavior of a semi-permeable membrane. After several weeks of back pressure saturation in a flexible wall permeameter (FWP) the membrane containing a simulated saltstone sample appeared to have bubbles underneath it. Upon removal from the FWP the specimen was examined and it was determined that the bubbles were due to liquid that had accumulated between the membrane and the sample. One possible explanation for the accumulation of solution between the membrane and sample is the development of osmotic pressure within the sample. Osmotic pressure will affect fluid flow and contaminant transport and may result in the changes to the internal structure of the semi-permeable material. Bénard et al. 2008 reported swelling of wet cured Portland cement mortars containing salts of NaNO3, KNO3, Na3PO4x12H 2O, and K3PO4 when exposed to a dilute solution. Typically hydraulic head is considered the only driving force for groundwater in groundwater models. If a low permeability material containing a concentrated salt solution is present in the hydrogeologic sequence large osmotic pressures may develop and lead to misinterpretation of groundwater flow and solute transport. The osmotic pressure in the semi-permeable material can significantly impact groundwater flow in the vicinity of the semi-permeable material. One possible outcome is that groundwater will flow into the semi-permeable material resulting in hydrologic containment within the membrane. Additionally, hyperfiltration can occur within semi-permeable materials when water moves through a membrane into the more concentrated solution and dissolved constituents are retained in the lower concentration solution. Groundwater flow and transport equations that incorporate chemical gradients (osmosis) have been developed. These equations are referred to as coupled flow equations. Currently groundwater modeling to assess the performance of saltstone waste forms is conducted using the PORFLOW groundwater flow and transport model. PORFLOW does not include coupled flow from chemico-osmotic gradients and therefore numerical simulation of the effect of coupled flow on contaminant transport in and around saltstone cannot be assessed. Most natural semi-permeable membranes are non-ideal membranes and do not restrict all movement of solutes and as a result theoretical osmotic potential is not realized. Osmotic efficiency is a parameter in the coupled flow equation that accounts for the non-ideal behavior of most semi-permeable membranes. On order to evaluate the effects of osmotic potential on the hydraulic of a system the osmotic potential must be known. Several lab methods have been developed to measure osmotic efficiency for use in coupled flow analysis
[en] The multistep outflow method is routinely used to characterize the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of soils. The technique involves placing a soil sample in a pressure plate apparatus, subjecting the sample to multiple gas pressures in discrete steps through time, and measuring the transient volume of pore fluid extracted. Unsaturated hydraulic property values are estimated through inverse modeling of the experimental conditions. In this study the multistep outflow concept was applied to micro-cracked cementitious materials to assess the efficacy of the technique for these materials. The cementitious materials tested were salt-waste simulant grout samples artificially damaged through oven-drying. Compared to typical soils, fractured media exhibit higher saturated conductivity and lower air-entry pressure, and the volume of fluid extractable from fractures is much lower than soil porosity. To accommodate these material differences the standard test apparatus was modified to incorporate a higher conductivity ceramic pressure plate, a high-precision digital balance for logging outflow mass, a low volume (diameter) effluent line, multiple in-line high-precision gas regulators, and a high-precision low-range pressure gauge. Testing to date indicates that the modified apparatus can provide a viable means to measure the unsaturated hydraulic properties of micro-fractured cementitious materials. However the accuracy/uniqueness of inverse modeling is limited by the inherent characteristics of fractured media: high saturated conductivity, low air-entry pressure, and strong non-linearities. Hydraulic property results in the form of van Genuchten / Mualem curves are presented for three fractured grout specimens. DOE Performance Assessments often involve cementitious barriers and/or waste forms that are predicted or assumed to degrade over time due to various mechanisms such as carbonation-influenced reinforcing steel corrosion, external sulfate attack, differential settlement, and seismic activity. Physical degradation typically takes the form of small-scale cracking / fracturing, and the affected materials reside in unsaturated hydrogeologic zones. In these cases, unsaturated hydraulic properties are needed for fractured cementitious materials to simulate moisture movement and contaminant transport within and around the facility. The outflow extraction method, as implemented in the present study, provides a suitable method for estimating these material properties. (authors)
[en] MAXINE is an EXCEL© spreadsheet, which is used to estimate dose to individuals for routine and accidental atmospheric releases of radioactive materials. MAXINE does not contain an atmospheric dispersion model, but rather doses are estimated using air and ground concentrations as input. Minimal input is required to run the program and site specific parameters are used when possible. Complete code description, verification of models, and user’s manual have been included.
[en] The Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) at Hanford is being constructed to treat 56 million gallons of radioactive waste currently stored in underground tanks at the Hanford site. Operation of the WTP will generate several solid secondary waste (SSW) streams including used process equipment, contaminated tools and instruments, decontamination wastes, high-efficiency particulate air filters (HEPA), carbon adsorption beds, silver mordenite iodine sorbent beds, and spent ion exchange resins (IXr) all of which are to be disposed in the Integrated Disposal Facility (IDF). An applied research and development program was developed using a phased approach to incrementally develop the information necessary to support the IDF PA with each phase of the testing building on results from the previous set of tests and considering new information from the IDF PA calculations. This report contains the results from the exploratory phase, Phase 1 and preliminary results from Phase 2. Phase 3 is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of FY17.
[en] Operation of the low activity waste vitrification facility (LAW) part of the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) at Hanford will generate several solid secondary waste (SSW) streams including used process equipment, contaminated tools and instruments, decontamination wastes, high efficiency particulate air filters (HEPA), carbon absorption beds, silver mordenite iodine sorbent beds, and spent ion exchange resins (IXr), all of which are to be disposed of in the Integrated Disposal Facility (IDF). The baseline treatment method in the IDF Performance Assessment (PA) for SSW is solidification/stabilization using cementitious material. The Hanford Mix 5 has been identified as the baseline grout for encapsulation of debris SSW (HEPA filters) and solidification/stabilization of non-debris SSW (carbon absorption beds, silver mordenite iodine sorbent beds, and spent ion exchange resins). Hanford Mix 5 is a blend of ASTM (C150-18) Type I-II cement (OPC), Class F fly ash (FA), water, BASF Pozzolith 80 and BASF Master Fiber M100 (fiber) that is currently used for disposal of debris in carbon steel containers (B25) in Hanford’s 200 West Area Low Level Waste Burial Ground trenches.