Flow evolution models were developed to evaluate the performance of the new advanced design mixer pump (ADMP) for sludge mixing and removal operations in one of the large-scale Savannah River Site (SRS) waste tanks, Tank 18. This paper is the first in a series of four that describe the computational model and its validation, the experiment facility and the flow measurements used to provide the validation data, the extension of the computational results to real tank conditions through the use of existing sludge suspension data, and finally, the sludge removal results from actual Tank 18 operations using the new ADMP. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approach was used to simulate the sludge removal operations. The models employed a three-dimensional representation of the tank with a two-equation turbulence model, since this approach was verified by both test and literature data. The discharge of the ADMP was modeled as oppositely directed hydraulic jets submerged at the center of the 85-ft diameter tank, with pump suction taken from below. The calculations were based on prototypic tank geometry and nominal operating conditions. In the analysis, the magnitude of the local velocity was used as a measure of slurrying and suspension capability. The computational results showed that normal operations in Tank 18 with the ADMP mixer and a 70-in liquid level would provide adequate sludge removal in most regions of the tank. The exception was the region within about 1.2 ft of the tank wall, based on an historical minimum velocity required to suspend sludge. Sensitivity results showed that a higher tank liquid level and a lower elevation of pump nozzle would result in better performance in suspending and removing the sludge. These results were consistent with experimental observations.

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