At the West End Treatment Facility of the Oak Ridge Plant nitric acid was the primary solvent used to clean depleted uranium. These were in the form of cast billets, cast iron, and wrought iron parts. It was the single biggest contaminant in the waste treatment facility. This document goes into the details of how they moved from nitric acid to alternative cleaning methods for these parts. In testing for they found that ultrasonic cleaning was the most effective cleaning method for certain type of wrought iron parts. By moving these parts to the ultrasonic cleaning facility the study found that there would be a 83% decrease in part throughput at the nitric acid facility and a correspondingly significant decrease in wastes generated and associated costs overall.
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