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CX-005500: Categorical Exclusion Determination

Non-Acid Elution (NAE) of Cesium From Resorcinol-Formaldehyde Resin
CX(s) Applied: B3.6
Date: 02/24/2011
Location(s): Aiken, South Carolina
Office(s): Environmental Management, Savannah River Operations Office

Plans are underway to use small-column ion exchange (SCIX) units installed in high-level waste tanks to remove Cesium (Cs)-137 from highly alkaline salt solutions. Spherical Resorcinol-Formaldehyde (sRF) ion exchange (IX) resin, known for its high selectivity for cesium in highly alkaline radioactive wastes, is the baseline material under consideration for the Hanford site. It is a weak acid cation (WAC) exchange resin and as a result has a high affinity for hydrogen ions. Therefore, it is easily eluted with acid solutions. Nitric acid is used most frequently. Tanks containing highly alkaline radioactive waste are made of carbon steel. Use of an acid eluant may pose a hazard to the tank integrity (corrosion and associated structural damage) in the event of a spill, leak, etc. A non-acid eluant may be a viable alternative. It will eliminate the need for special acid handling requirements within the tank farms. The objective of this study is therefore to evaluate the ability of eluant compounds (ammonium carbonate, ammonium acetate, nitric acid, etc.) to elute Cs absorbed on the sRF resin via batch contact and column ion exchange tests. All the tests will be performed with nonrad simulant solutions.