Measurements of waste tank passive ventilation rates using tracer gases
This report presents the results of ventilation rate studies of eight passively ventilated high-level radioactive waste tanks using tracer gases. Headspace ventilation rates were determined for Tanks A-101, AX-102, AX-103, BY-105, C-107, S-102, U-1 03, and U-105 using sulfur hexafluoride (SF,) and/or helium (He) as tracer gases. Passive ventilation rates are needed for the resolution of several key safety issues. These safety issues are associated with the rates of flammable gas production and
... entilation, the rates at which organic salt-nitrate salt mixtures dry out, and the estimation of organic solvent waste surface areas. This tracer gas study involves injecting a tracer gas into the tank headspace and measuring its concentration at different times to establish the rate at which the tracer is removed by ventilation. Tracer gas injection and sample collection were performed by SGN Eurisys Service Corporation and/or Lockheed Martin Hanford Corporation, Characterization Project Operations. Headspace samples were analyzed for He and SF, by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The tracer gas method was first demonstrated on Tank S-102. Tests were conducted on Tank S-102 to verify that the tracer gas was uniformly distributed throughout the tank headspace before baseline samples were collected, and that mixing was sufficiently vigorous to maintain an approximately uniform distribution of tracer gas in the headspace during the course of the study. Headspace samples, collected from a location about 4 m away from the injection point and 15,30, and 60 minutes after the injection of He and SF" indicated that both tracer gases were rapidly mixed. The samples were found to have the same concentration of tracer gases after 1 hour as after 24 hours, suggesting that mixing of the tracer gas was essentially complete within 1 hour. Given this evidence for vigorous mixing, inhomogeneities produced by the influx of fresh air during normal ventilation would be expected to be restricted to a small region near the influx.