salt solution

salt solution

WIPP Leak Reaction Simulation Experiment

7mo ago
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Description

WIPP radioactive TRU waste container reaction simulation experiment The following experiment is an attempt to demonstrate the difference in chemical reactivity between the nitrate salt, potassium nitrate (a strong oxidizer, and two different liquid absorbents which the salt solution is absorbed into. The pile on the left involves common, clay based, absorbent and the pile on the right involves a wheat-based organic absorbent. In the case of the organic absorbent it acts as a reducing agent, or fuel when reacted with the contained oxidizer. The mixing ratios in this comparison experiment only crudely approximate the situation involved in the radioactive barrel breach that took place on 14 February 2014 at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in southeastern New Mexico, USA. At the time of this experiment the ignition source remained unknown by the primary accident investigation team. ——- Test sample 1 (5.0 g) - Recipe Ingredients: 1) Swheat Scoop - Natural Clumping Litter (wheat-based organic absorbent) 2) Potassium Nitrate powder (KNO3) (oxidizer) (technical grade) Preparation: Weigh out 2.5 g of each of the ingredients. Completely dissolve the KNO3 in 15.0 mL of water then mix in the organic absorbent. Pour the mixture on a size C-6 watch glass. Heat the mixture at 110 °C in a ventilated oven for two hours. Remove and then scrape the deposited NO3 into a central pile, while mixing it into the dried absorbent. Create a pile of the absorbent mixture on a square of aluminum foil. Move outdoors, or to a well ventilated area. Apply an ignition source to the surface while keeping fingers at least 16 cm away from the pile. Caution: A very energetic reaction will take place generating much smoke. —— Test sample 2 (5.0 g) - Recipe Ingredients: 1) Moltran (Brand) Ultrasorb (clay-based inorganic absorbent) 2) Potassium Nitrate powder (KNO3) (oxidizer) (technical grade) Preparation: Weigh out 2.5 g of each of the ingredients. Completely dissolve the KNO3 in 15.0 mL of water then mix in the inorganic absorbent. Pour the mixture on a size C-6 watch glass. Heat the mixture at 110 °C in a ventilated oven for two hours. Remove and then scrape the deposited NO3 into a central pile, while mixing it into the dried absorbent. Create a pile of the absorbent mixture on a square of aluminum foil. Move outdoors, or to a well ventilated area. Apply an ignition source to the surface while keeping fingers at least 16 cm away from the pile. —— This experiment was performed on Sunday, 5 October 2014, by Vernon Brechin