March 23rd, 2011 – Questions on Boric Acid Solubility in Seawater

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From: Lehning, John I
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 7:50 AM
To: Klein, Paul
Subject: RE: Question on boric acid solubility in seawater


Thanks for the quick reply. I stopped down a minute ago but missed you. I saw some curves of the temperature-solubility effect. Weather should be warming up there. Although they have only looked at salt, and the actual injected boron quantity is hard to estimate, after 9-11 days, they surely have built up some reasonable quantity of boron in the core as well, given that they have been mixing additional boric acid with the seawater prior to injection.

Relative to the actual available volume, I’m thinking there is a pretty good sized salt lick inside those vessels even now (versus the end of the month).

– John L.

From: Klein, Paul
Sent: Wednesday, ac 23, 2011 7:09 AM
To: Lehning, John; Yoder, Matthew
Subject: RE: Question on boric acid solubility in seawater


Seawater contains about 4 to 5 ppm boron. Compared to pure water, seawater has many dissolved solids already. For this reason, and due to the common ion effect, we would expect less solubility of boron in seawater compared to fresh water. That said, however, the temperature at which the boron dissolves should be a much more dominant effect than seawater compared to pure water. The unknowns associated with how much boron was added, in what form the boron was added, the mixing conditions, and whether additional boron dissolved inside the reactor core overwhelm the solubility differences.

The lack of information makes it difficult to draw a conclusion on solubility. I will give you a call to discuss.


From: Lehning, John
Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 4:46 PM
To: Klein, Paul; Yoder, Matthew
Subject: Question on boric acid solubility in seawater

Paul or Matt,
If either of you have a minute to reply to this – I am wondering from the standpoint of recriticality whether one should expect a difference or significant difference in boron solubility in fresh water as opposed to sea water.

I don’t remember from chemistry classes whether a firm rule could be established, such as decreased solubility for individual species with multiple salts in solution (my semi-ignorant expectation), or whether such a rule of thumb can’t really be depended on in generality. I seem to remember a similar question was one of the chemical PIRT unknown items. I guess experiments would probably be needed in any case to determine coefficients or actual limits?

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