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Liquid Waste Handling Facilities for a Conceptual Light Water Reactor Spent Fuel Reprocessing Complex

D. C. Witt, R. F. Bradley

Nuclear Technology

Volume 43 / Number 2 / April 1979 / Pages 244-258


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One alternative for closing the nuclear fuel cycle is efficient, high decontamination separation of uranium and plutonium and fabrication of a Pu-U mixed-oxide fuel Detailed flowsheets were prepared by Savannah River Laboratory for a conceptual 10 MT/day reprocessing facility. The generation of liquid waste and the associated liquid waste handling facilities for the reprocessing plant were defined. Over 40 individual waste streams were identified. The reference facility generates 6.4 m3 (1700 gal) of high-level liquid waste (HLLW) per day, which is converted to 0.5 m3 (130 gal) of glass contained in three packages, each 0.3 m (12 in.) in diameter × 3 m (10 ft) high. Each operating day, the process converts 2.9 m3 (775 gal) of concentrated intermediate-level liquid waste (ILLW) to 4 m3 (1050 gal) of cemented solid in 21 carbon steel drums. Large-scale underground tank storage of liquid waste is eliminated by prompt solidification of the HLLW and ILLW. Each container of glass contains 30 kW nuclear decay heat and must be stored in water for an interim period prior to shipment to a federal repository.

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