Waste Processing & Special Nuclear Materials

CRESP performs research, strategic assessment and reviews with the goal of developing tools and techniques that enhance the performance and safety of engineered and institutional features of:

  • Waste treatment
  • Containment
  • Tank waste closure
  • Storage and land disposal systems for disposition of radioactive waste, used nuclear fuel and special nuclear materials
  • Land disposal systems

Projects focus on the disposition of radioactive wastes, used nuclear fuel and special nuclear materials.

Lead Researchers

David Kosson, CRESP Principal Investigator, Vanderbilt University
Kevin Brown, Vanderbilt University
Andrew C. Garrabrants, Vanderbilt University
Martha Grover, Georgia Institute of Technology
Kimberly L. Jones, Howard University
Steven L. Krahn, Vanderbilt University
Hans Meeussen, Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG)
Ronald W. Rousseau, Georgia Institute of Technology
Florence Sanchez, Vanderbilt University
Paul Seignette, Consultant
Hans van der Sloot, Consultant

EM Sites Impacted

Hanford: Richland Operations Office and Office of River Protection

Savannah River

Highlighted Projects

Cementitious Barrier Partnership (CBP)

LEAF – Leaching Environmental Assessment Framework

Current Project Areas

Reducing Uncertainty in Tank Integrity and Performance Under Closure

To perform experimental and modeling studies in support of waste tank closure at Hanford Site and Low Activity Waste disposal vaults at Savannah River Site.

EM Sites Impacted

  • Hanford
  • Savannah River

Hanford Tank Waste Treatment: Providing Foundations for Tank Waste Treatment and Disposition Planning

(1) To evaluate Hanford tank waste technical information and legal and regulatory requirements to ensure a complete and accurate understanding of the facts and constraints to help inform future decision making associated with the disposition of tank wastes.
(2) To develop technical and financial decision tools to help inform DOE decision making.

EM Sites Impacted

  • Hanford Site
  • Savannah River Site

Leaching Assessment for Improving Performance Assessment of Glass and Cementitious Wasteforms during Near-surface Disposal

To develop generalized guidance on the use of leaching tests and leaching assessment1 frameworks to improve the accuracy and transparency of evaluation of wasteforms and barriers for DOE Near-surface Disposal.2

1Cast Stone and ILAW glass for the Hanford Site and saltstone for the Savannah River Site

2Hanford Site Integrated Disposal Facility and Savannah River Site Saltstone Disposal Facility.

EM Sites Impacted

  • Hanford
  • Savannah River

On-Line Methods for Monitoring Tank Waste Processing

Development of on-line monitoring of waste composition and particulates for WTP LAW facility in collaboration with Savannah River National Laboratories, utilizing both ATR-FTIR and Raman spectroscopy for species analysis and focused-beam reflectance for particulate detection. The initial work utilizes simulants whose compositions have been provided by SRNL. The methodology has the potential to reduce the number of samples that must be drawn for off-line analysis in the WTP.

Recent Project Outcomes/Results

  • Under past support from CRESP, CRESP developed tailored and robust regression algorithms to estimate the solution composition of a multi-component salt solution [1]. That work was focused on monitoring simplified solutions with ATR-FTIR only.
  • More recently, the work was expanded to monitor simulants with both IR and Raman spectroscopy, so that we can compare and contrast the feasibility of both methods. Testing was recently started on more complex solutions with a higher number of analytes to make our methodology more relevant for DFLAW applications. Specifically, we used common, calibration-based chemometric methods, such as multiple least squares regression and principal component regression to predict the composition.
  • We also started assessing the feasibility and the development of calibration-free algorithms (also called “blind techniques”), particularly in the framework of Independent Component Analysis (ICA). We have selected two main algorithms to perform ICA and tested their performance (accuracy and efficiency) with simulated Raman spectra of mixtures with 2 to 6 components, reproducing those typically measured in simulant mixtures. So far, the species considered were sodium sulfate, phosphate, nitrate, nitrite, and carbonate, as well as water.

EM Sites Impacted

  • Hanford
  • Savannah River

Nuclear Safety and Waste Processing Facilities

(1) To participate in and evaluate continuing DOE safety management initiatives and understand their impact on the safety and effectiveness of nuclear waste processing activities;

(2) To develop recommended enhancements (performance measures, potential metrics, improved processes) for use in monitoring the safety and effective operation of nuclear waste processing and nuclear fuel cycle facilities.

EM Sites Impacted

  • Hanford
  • Idaho
  • Paducah and Portsmouth Sites
  • Savannah River

Membrane Separations

(1) To understand the fouling mechanisms of tank waste in a cross-flow filtration system;

(2) To develop a simulation model to better predict fouling behaviors and provide fouling control strategies.

EM Sites Impacted

  • Hanford

All Publications: Waste Processing & Special Nuclear Materials, 2006-2019 (pdf)

Highlighted Publications and Reports

CRESP Waste Processing & Special Nuclear Materials

Kocevska, S, Grover, M & Rousseau, R 2019a, ‘Monitoring the Composition of Low-Activity Nuclear Waste using In-Situ Instrumentation, presentation’, WM ‘2019, WM Symposia, Phoenix, Arizona.

Kocevska, S, Grover, M & Rousseau, R 2019b, ‘Monitoring the Composition of Low-Activity Nuclear Waste using In-Situ Instrumentation, presentation’, Career, Research, and Innovation Development Conference, Atlanta Georgia.

Henry, B, Fortenberry, K, Pierce, E, Echols, R, Edwards, R & Brown, K 2019, ‘Development of the DOE Mercury Management Strategy, Panel’, WM ‘2019, WM Symposia, Phoenix, Arizona.

Greenberg, M, Apostolakis, G, Field, T, Goldstein, B, Kosson, D, Krahn, S, Matthews, R, Rispoli, J, Stewart, J & Stewart, R 2019, ‘Advancing Risk-Informed Decision Making in Managing Defense Nuclear Waste in the United States: Opportunities and Challenges for Risk Analysis’, Risk Analysis, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 375-388. https://doi.org/10.1111/risa.13135

Zhang, P, Branch, J, Garrabrants, A, Delapp, R, Klein-Ben David, O & Kosson, D 2018, ‘The Effect of Environmental Relative Humidity on Carbonation and Oxidation in a Cementitious Waste Form–18448’, WM’2018, WM Symposia, Phoenix, Arizona. http://toc.proceedings.com/40439webtoc.pdf

Kocevska, S, Rousseau, R & Grover, M 2018, ‘Evaluation of In-Situ Infrared Spectroscopy for Direct Feed Low Activity Waste Processing’, Real-Time, In-Line Monitoring Hanford Program Review, Richland, Washington.

Kocevska, S, Grover, M & Rousseau, R 2018, ‘880 Monitoring the Composition of Low Activity Nuclear Waste using in-situ Measurement Methods, Presentation’, ACSS/SciX Conference, Atlanta, Georgia. https://www.scixconference.org/images/pdfs/program/scix-2018-final-program-wcovers-web.pdf

Brown, L, Allison, PG & Sanchez, F 2018, ‘Use of nanoindentation phase characterization and homogenization to estimate the elastic modulus of heterogeneously decalcified cement pastes’, Materials & Design, vol. 142, pp. 308-318. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matdes.2018.01.030

Brown, K 2018, ‘Hanford Tank Waste Treatment: Foundations for Waste Treatment and Disposition Planning, Poster Session’, Vanderbilt Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. www.cresp.org

Branch, J, Epps, R & Kosson, D 2018, ‘The impact of carbonation on bulk and ITZ porosity in microconcrete materials with fly ash replacement’, Cement and Concrete Research, vol. 103, pp. 170-178. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cemconres.2017.10.012

Branch, J 2018, ‘Impact of Aging in the Presence of Reactive Gases on Cementitious Waste Forms and Barriers’, Ph.D. dissertation in Environmental Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.

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