The External Flowsheet Review Team (EFRT) has identified the issues relating to the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) pipe plugging. Per the review’s executive summary, “Piping that transports slurries will plug unless it is properly designed to minimize this risk. This design approach has not been followed consistently, which will lead to frequent shutdowns due to line plugging.” To evaluate the potential for plugging, testing was performed to determine critical velocities for the complex WTP piping layout. Critical velocity is defined as the point at which a moving bed of particles begins to form on the pipe bottom during slurry-transport operations. Pressure drops across the fittings of the test pipeline were measured with differential pressure transducers, from which the critical velocities were determined. A WTP prototype flush system was installed and tested upon the completion of the pressure-drop measurements. We also provide the data for the overflow relief system represented by a WTP complex piping geometry with a non-Newtonian slurry. A waste simulant composed of alumina (nominally 50 μm in diameter) suspended in a kaolin clay slurry was used for this testing. The target composition of the simulant was 10 vol% alumina in a suspending medium with a yieldmore » stress of 3 Pa. No publications or reports are available to confirm the critical velocities for the complex geometry evaluated in this testing; therefore, for this assessment, the results were compared to those reported by Poloski et al. (2008) for which testing was performed for a straight horizontal pipe. The results of the flush test are compared to the WTP design guide 24590-WTP-GPG-M-0058, Rev. 0 (Hall 2006) in an effort to confirm flushing-velocity requirements.« le
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