Session Title :

Elemental mercury stockpile stewardship: research, export ban and novel disposal paths

Synopsis :

It is beneficial to share elemental mercury research completed and current and factual information that describe the following:
1. USA Elemental Mercury Stockpiles
2. 3-L Flasks
3. Above Ground Storage at Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada and the Mobile Mercury Transfer System (MMTS) Project
4. Mercury Flask Safe Handling and Liquid Transfer Using Peristaltic Pumping
5. US Department of Energy (DOE) Operated Facility - Scope/Current Status
6. USA Gold Mine Company Mercury Processing Through Disposal – Model and Experience Using DELA Process

Description :

The overall body of work to be presented in intended to be transparent to border, and useful to both industry and the governmental sector as stakeholders work together to improve elemental mercury policy for the benefit of mankind.

Special findings and interesting outcomes stemming from a 5-year research program sponsored by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Strategic Materials will be presented. It is useful and beneficial for the international elemental mercury community to understand lessons learned from this significant elemental mercury research effort. It is useful and beneficial to communicate current status and plans for the other selected elemental mercury related projects outlined herein.

This 120 minute poster-only session will showcase factual information describing the USA National Defense Stockpile (government stockpile), flasks and other containers, handling and storage experience, significant research completed, and ongoing plans for managing elemental mercury. The poster presentations will document ORNL research including documenting the stockpile origination, storage history, monitoring experience, domestic transportation, exclusion from commerce, and consolidation projects. Poster presentations will include the decision, methods used, and challenges to realize consolidated storage from three sites to one site. Deliberative planning steps and the research and development (R&D) path will be described, with specific warehouse modifications, highlights of the transportation across country, off-loading, warehouse spacing procedures and current lay-out at the Hawthorne Army Depot (HWAD) in Nevada. Unique research of 3-L flasks studied will be presented, with emphasis on assessing structural/material integrity and impacts due to the presence of micro-beads on flasks. Measurement results and findings from non-destructive and destructive analyses will be presented. The poster presentation will include the Chemical Accident Prevention Program (CAPP) regulatory process and extensive documentation and training. The poster presentation will include a description of the Mobile Mercury Transfer System (MMTS), which is a novel transportable system for use in safely and efficiently transferring elemental mercury (using peristaltic pumping with equipment mounted in hoods) from old 3-L flasks to new metric ton containers. If approved by involved stakeholders the specific plan for the Mercury Export Ban Act (MEBA) driven Department of Energy elemental mercury storage facility and operation will be presented. If approved by involved stakeholders, a poster will be presented by a USA gold mining company expert documenting their experience with use of a stabilization process, a German owned technology and process currently is use for elemental mercury treatment for disposal.

Independent of conference-specific reports, a limited number of CDs/DVDs of existing DLA Strategic Materials sponsored ORNL technical reports covering related subjects will be made available. The ORNL staff would provide a short technical paper complimenting each of the four (4) posters.