Standardization News

Physical and Rheological Properties of Radioactive Solutions, Slurries and Sludges

Obtaining data from the measurement and calculation of physical and rheological properties of radioactive solutions, slurries and sludges is essential in developing appropriate simulants for the design and testing of retrieval, transport, mixing and storage systems for treating radioactive materials. A new ASTM International standard provides guidelines for gathering this data.

C1752, Guide for Measuring Physical and Rheological Properties of Radioactive Solutions, Slurries and Sludges, was developed by Subcommittee C26.13 on Spent Fuel and High Level Waste, part of ASTM International Committee C26 on Nuclear Fuel Cycle.

C1752 gives instructions for making and analyzing measurements that provide data used in predicting how solutions containing solids behave in tanks and pipelines when they are being mixed, during flow in pipelines and when they are settling.

"These predictions help determine the processes and equipment required to retrieve the wastes from underground storage tanks, transport the wastes to the waste treatment facility and process the waste to obtain a stable waste form for disposal," says Joel Tingey, Ph.D., staff scientist, international technology assessments, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. "This data also helps to predict the behavior of the waste slurries during unexpected situations such as loss of power."

According to Tingey, impetus for the development of the standard came in part from a slurry handling workshop sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Participants at the workshop recommended that technical guidelines for performing physical and rheological properties measurements be documented for use by engineers and scientists working on tank waste slurry issues.

All interested parties are invited to participate in future revisions to C1752.

"There is a desire by the U.S. Department of Energy to obtain broad collaboration among the private sector, academia and all DOE sites on continued development of methods to measure and predict rheological and physical properties of radioactive waste slurries and sludges," says Tingey. "Sharing technical expertise and lessons learned is vital to reducing risk and technical uncertainties in processing these complex mixtures."

To purchase ASTM standards, visit and search by the standard designation or contact ASTM Customer Relations (phone: 610-832-9585;

CONTACT Technical Information: Joel M. Tingey, Ph.D., Pacific Northwest National Laboratory • Kennewick, Wash. • Phone: 509-376-2580 | ASTM Staff: Joe Koury • Phone: 610-832-9804 | Upcoming Meeting: June 24-28 • June Committee Week • San Diego, Calif.

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