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However, the air sparge was apparently turned on so forcefully that it caused the liquid to rise about 1,200 mm, from the initial liquid height in the pencil tanks to the top of the loop leading to the waste tank, which initiated a siphoning action. Although the siphoning rate was 13 liters per minute, it is difficult to relate this directly to the reactivity insertion rate since it also depended on the degree of mixing. The reactivity insertion rate could have been as high as 25 ¢/s. 63 m long waste receiving tank was lying on its side, the solution configuration approximated a near infinite slab.

From 1 July until the accident, the following procedural violations occurred: 1. The temperature recording instruments of the main cylinders were turned off. 2. The main cylinders were cooled by manually pouring the liquid nitrogen directly onto the iron shot and not through the coil as procedure required. This resulted in significant temperature gradients within the main cylinders and, as a consequence, to misleadingly low temperature readings because the thermometer was adjacent to the liquid nitrogen pour point.

During typical operations, sufficient quantities of aqueous solutions would accumulate in vessels 696 and 697, causing the automatic decanting to occur up to four times per day. The elevation difference between the level indicator and the dip tube was slight, thus causing only 1 or 2 l to be transferred at a time. 31 Vacuum Collector Dip Tubes 696 697 694 Level Indicator Decantation Level Aqueous Organic Outlet Line Figure 19. Schematic of vessels showing organic and aqueous solutions (not intended to imply the exact conditions at the time of the accident).

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