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Evaluation of 235U Isotopic Dilution with the Addition of Depleted Uranium to Supernatant Liquid Waste

Lawrence N. Oji, David T. Hobbs, Paul D. d'Entremont

Nuclear Technology

Volume 145 / Number 2 / February 2004 / Pages 204-214


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Laboratory-scale results on experiments performed to examine the feasibility of isotopic dilution of 235U in supernatant liquid storage tanks at the Savannah River Site are described. The isotopic dilution tests were accomplished by adding an alkaline depleted uranium solution to small portions of simulated and actual storage tank waste solutions with enriched 235U compositions. Based on the laboratory observations, recommendations were made, which involved the addition of significant quantities of uranyl carbonate solution to more than 4 million l of 235U enriched waste stored in tank 43H at the site to reduce the risk for criticality.

A post-uranyl carbonate addition analysis on the tank supernate confirmed the effectiveness of depleted uranium in isotopic dilution of 235U. The 235U enrichment in tank 43H was isotopicaly diluted from an original high of >4 wt% down to <0.5 wt%, as predicted from the laboratory investigations.

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