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Photo of employee working with arms in a glovebox system

TRU Waste Processing Center (TWPC) Glovebox Systems

Oak Ridge, Tennessee

There were two glovebox systems in operation at TWPC. The primary system was the Contact-Handled Glovebox (CHGB) consisting of 5 stations and around 48 glove ports in total.

During North Wind operation, only Stations 1 and 2 were used due to the required throughput. These stations were connected to a larger Box Breakdown Area through a pass-through port. The CHGB is a negative pressure enclosure made of stainless steel with windows, glove ports, shielding, internal process equipment, and necessary utilities like electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical services. It has a ventilation system connection, support stands, and ancillary equipment to maintain the internal environmental conditions. AGS-G001 guidelines were used to design the CHGB equipment so it can withstand a maximum pressure differential of 3 in. water column (w.c.) with a typical operating range of -0.5 to 1.50 in. w.c. The CHGB shell is made of polished 304L stainless steel and is designed to be an all-welded, 10-gauge, and unibody construction with stiffening members. The interior fillet welds are smoothed out for a polished finish. Equipment is attached to the glovebox shell using a fastening method that does not require drilling or tapping holes. The internal surfaces that come into contact with waste have a No. 4 mill finish or smoother to facilitate proper decontamination. The shielding and shield supports are made of one-inch carbon steel, and the interior corners are rolled to a 2 in. radius to avoid welds where possible. Glovebox windows are noncombustible, and the gasket materials are fire retardant. Cameras and lights are mounted externally.

To safely oxidize metallic transuranic material that could potentially ignite, a second glovebox system was developed. The MetOx Glovebox is a single-tier, multi-module assembly with a single side and two gloves per module. The Glovebox GB-1 consists of a gas purification system that establishes and maintains the inert atmosphere, while the Transfer Chamber TC-2 connects GB-1 and GB-2. GB-2 operates in an ambient atmosphere and contains oxidation equipment and a bag out port. The construction and design of the MetOx Glovebox and associated equipment comply with the applicable codes and standards identified in DOE O 420.1B, Change 1, and DOE O 420.1C, Change 2. AGS-G001, AGS-G006, and DOE-STD-1066-99 are additional design codes and standards.