Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Vol.100, No.6, 2533-2542, 2017
Thermal properties of simulated Hanford waste glasses
The Hanford Tank Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant will vitrify the mixed hazardous wastes generated from 45 years of plutonium production at the Hanford Site in Washington State. The molten glasses will be poured into stainless steel containers or canisters and subsequently cooled for storage and disposal. For appropriate facility design and operations to handle such highly energy-consuming processes, knowledge of the material properties is required. The thermal properties (heat capacity, thermal diffusivity, and thermal conductivity) of representative high-level and low-activity waste glasses were studied as functions of temperature in the range of 200 degrees C-800 degrees C (relevant to the cooling process). Simultaneous differential scanning calorimetry-thermal gravimetry (DSC-TGA), Xe-flash diffusivity, pycnometry, and dilatometry were implemented. The study showed that simultaneous DSC-TGA would be a reliable method for obtaining the heat capacity of various glasses in the temperature range of interest. Accurate thermal properties from this study were shown to provide a more realistic guideline for capacity and time constraints of the heat removal process when compared to the original conservative design-basis engineering estimates. The estimates, though useful for design in the absence of measured physical properties, can now be supplanted and the measured thermal properties can be used in design verification activities.