WorldWideScience

Sample records for producing weapon-grade plutonium

  1. Burning weapons-grade plutonium in reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Newman, D.F.

    1993-06-01

    As a result of massive reductions in deployed nuclear warheads, and their subsequent dismantlement, large quantities of surplus weapons- grade plutonium will be stored until its ultimate disposition is achieved in both the US and Russia. Ultimate disposition has the following minimum requirements: (1) preclude return of plutonium to the US and Russian stockpiles, (2) prevent environmental damage by precluding release of plutonium contamination, and (3) prevent proliferation by precluding plutonium diversion to sub-national groups or nonweapons states. The most efficient and effective way to dispose of surplus weapons-grade plutonium is to fabricate it into fuel and use it for generation of electrical energy in commercial nuclear power plants. Weapons-grade plutonium can be used as fuel in existing commercial nuclear power plants, such as those in the US and Russia. This recovers energy and economic value from weapons-grade plutonium, which otherwise represents a large cost liability to maintain in safeguarded and secure storage. The plutonium remaining in spent MOX fuel is reactor-grade, essentially the same as that being discharged in spent UO 2 fuels. MOX fuels are well developed and are currently used in a number of LWRs in Europe. Plutonium-bearing fuels without uranium (non-fertile fuels) would require some development. However, such non-fertile fuels are attractive from a nonproliferation perspective because they avoid the insitu production of additional plutonium and enhance the annihilation of the plutonium inventory on a once-through fuel cycle

  2. Disposal of Surplus Weapons Grade Plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alsaed, H.; Gottlieb, P.

    2000-01-01

    The Office of Fissile Materials Disposition is responsible for disposing of inventories of surplus US weapons-usable plutonium and highly enriched uranium as well as providing, technical support for, and ultimate implementation of, efforts to obtain reciprocal disposition of surplus Russian plutonium. On January 4, 2000, the Department of Energy issued a Record of Decision to dispose of up to 50 metric tons of surplus weapons-grade plutonium using two methods. Up to 17 metric tons of surplus plutonium will be immobilized in a ceramic form, placed in cans and embedded in large canisters containing high-level vitrified waste for ultimate disposal in a geologic repository. Approximately 33 metric tons of surplus plutonium will be used to fabricate MOX fuel (mixed oxide fuel, having less than 5% plutonium-239 as the primary fissile material in a uranium-235 carrier matrix). The MOX fuel will be used to produce electricity in existing domestic commercial nuclear reactors. This paper reports the major waste-package-related, long-term disposal impacts of the two waste forms that would be used to accomplish this mission. Particular emphasis is placed on the possibility of criticality. These results are taken from a summary report published earlier this year

  3. Strategies for denaturing the weapons-grade plutonium stockpile

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buckner, M.R.; Parks, P.B.

    1992-10-01

    In the next few years, approximately 50 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium and 150 metric tons of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) may be removed from nuclear weapons in the US and declared excess. These materials represent a significant energy resource that could substantially contribute to our national energy requirements. HEU can be used as fuel in naval reactors, or diluted with depleted uranium for use as fuel in commercial reactors. This paper proposes to use the weapons-grade plutonium as fuel in light water reactors. The first such reactor would demonstrate the dual objectives of producing electrical power and denaturing the plutonium to prevent use in nuclear weapons

  4. Weapons-grade plutonium dispositioning. Volume 1: Executive summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parks, D.L.; Sauerbrun, T.J.

    1993-06-01

    The Secretary of Energy requested the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on International Security and Arms Control to evaluate dispositioning options for weapons-grade plutonium. The Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) assisted NAS in this evaluation by investigating the technical aspects of the dispositioning options and their capability for achieving plutonium annihilation levels greater than 90%. Additionally, the INEL investigated the feasibility of using plutonium fuels (without uranium) for disposal in existing light water reactors and provided a preconceptual analysis for a reactor specifically designed for destruction of weapons-grade plutonium. This four-volume report was prepared for NAS to document the findings of these studies. Volume 2 evaluates 12 plutonium dispositioning options. Volume 3 considers a concept for a low-temperature, low-pressure, low-power-density, low-coolant-flow-rate light water reactor that quickly destroys plutonium without using uranium or thorium. This reactor concept does not produce electricity and has no other mission than the destruction of plutonium. Volume 4 addresses neutronic performance, fabrication technology, and fuel performance and compatibility issues for zirconium-plutonium oxide fuels and aluminum-plutonium metallic fuels. This volumes gives summaries of Volumes 2--4

  5. Weapons-grade plutonium dispositioning. Volume 4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sterbentz, J.W.; Olsen, C.S.; Sinha, U.P.

    1993-06-01

    This study is in response to a request by the Reactor Panel Subcommittee of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on International Security and Arms Control (CISAC) to evaluate the feasibility of using plutonium fuels (without uranium) for disposal in existing conventional or advanced light water reactor (LWR) designs and in low temperature/pressure LWR designs that might be developed for plutonium disposal. Three plutonium-based fuel forms (oxides, aluminum metallics, and carbides) are evaluated for neutronic performance, fabrication technology, and material and compatibility issues. For the carbides, only the fabrication technologies are addressed. Viable plutonium oxide fuels for conventional or advanced LWRs include plutonium-zirconium-calcium oxide (PuO 2 -ZrO 2 -CaO) with the addition of thorium oxide (ThO 2 ) or a burnable poison such as erbium oxide (Er 2 O 3 ) or europium oxide (Eu 2 O 3 ) to achieve acceptable neutronic performance. Thorium will breed fissile uranium that may be unacceptable from a proliferation standpoint. Fabrication of uranium and mixed uranium-plutonium oxide fuels is well established; however, fabrication of plutonium-based oxide fuels will require further development. Viable aluminum-plutonium metallic fuels for a low temperature/pressure LWR include plutonium aluminide in an aluminum matrix (PuAl 4 -Al) with the addition of a burnable poison such as erbium (Er) or europium (Eu). Fabrication of low-enriched plutonium in aluminum-plutonium metallic fuel rods was initially established 30 years ago and will require development to recapture and adapt the technology to meet current environmental and safety regulations. Fabrication of high-enriched uranium plate fuel by the picture-frame process is a well established process, but the use of plutonium would require the process to be upgraded in the United States to conform with current regulations and minimize the waste streams

  6. From Russian weapons grade plutonium to MOX fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Braehler, G.; Kudriavtsev, E.G.; Seyve, C.

    1997-01-01

    The April 1996, G7 Moscow Summit on nuclear matters provided a political framework for one of the most current significant challenges: ensuring a consistent answer to the weapons grade fissile material disposition issue resulting from the disarmament effort engaged by both the USA and Russia. International technical assessments have showed that the transformation of Weapons grade Plutonium in MOX fuel is a very efficient, safe, non proliferant and economically effective solution. In this regard, COGEMA and SIEMENS, have set up a consistent technical program properly addressing incineration of weapons grade plutonium in MOX fuels. The leading point of this program would be the construction of a Weapons grade Plutonium dedicated MOX fabrication plant in Russia. Such a plant would be based on the COGEMA-SIEMENS industrial capabilities and experience. This facility would be operated by MINATOM which is the partner for COGEMA-SIEMENS. MINATOM is in charge of coordination of the activity of the Russian research and construction institutes. The project take in account international standards for non-proliferation, safety and waste management. France and Germany officials reasserted this position during their last bilateral summits held in Fribourg in February and in Dijon in June 1996. MINATOM and the whole Russian nuclear community have already expressed their interest to cooperate with COGEMA-SIEMENS in the MOX field. This follows governmental-level agreements signed in 1992 by French, German and Russian officials. For years, Russia has been dealing with research and development on MOX fabrication and utilization. So, the COGEMA-SIEMENS MOX proposal gives a realistic answer to the management of weapons grade plutonium with regard to the technical, industrial, cost and schedule factors. (author)

  7. Disposition of weapons-grade plutonium in Westinghouse reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alsaed, A.A.; Adams, M.

    1998-03-01

    The authors have studied the feasibility of using weapons-grade plutonium in the form of mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel in existing Westinghouse reactors. They have designed three transition Cycles from an all LEU core to a partial MOX core. They found that four-loop Westinghouse reactors such as the Vogtle power plant are capable of handling up to 45 percent weapons-grade MOX loading without any modifications. The authors have also designed two kinds of weapons-grade MOX assemblies with three enrichments per assembly and four total enrichments. Wet annular burnable absorber (WABA) rods were used in all the MOX feed assemblies, some burned MOX assemblies, and some LEU feed assemblies. Integral fuel burnable absorber (IFBA) was used in the rest of the LEU feed assemblies. The average discharge burnup of MOX assemblies was over 47,000 MWD/MTM, which is more than enough to meet the open-quotes spent fuel standard.close quotes One unit is capable of consuming 0.462 MT of weapons-grade plutonium per year. Preliminary analyses showed that important reactor physics parameters for the three transitions cycles are comparable to those of LEU cores including boron levels, reactivity coefficients, peaking factors, and shutdown margins. Further transient analyses will need to be performed

  8. Weapons grade plutonium disposition in PWR, CANDU and FR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deplech, M.; Tommasi, J.; Zaetta, A.

    2000-01-01

    In the frame work of the AIDA/MOX phase I/I/ program (1994-1997) between France and Russia, the disposition of plutonium in reactors was studied. The LWR (Light Water Reactor), FR (Fast reactors), CANDU (Heavy Water Reactors), HTR (High Temperature Reactors) options for using excess dismantled weapons plutonium for peaceful commercial nuclear power generating purposes offer some advantages over the remaining options (storage). The AIDA/MOX phase 1 program covers different topics, among which are the neutronic aspects of loading reactors with weapons-grade plutonium. The conclusions are that the weapon plutonium consumption is similar in the different type of reactors. However, the use of inert matrices allows to increase the mass balance for a same denaturing level. The use of Thorium as a matrix or special isotopes to increase the proliferation resistance prove to be insufficient. (author)

  9. The export of weapons grade plutonium to the USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kollerstrom, N.

    1986-01-01

    Reprocessed spent Magnox fuel from British nuclear power plants has led, it is claimed, to the production of plutonium, some of weapons grade. Some of this has been exported to the USA where, it is assumed, it is used for military purposes. The route and agreements which make this possible and the quantities involved are reported. Inspection by IAEA is insufficient to check the Central Electricity Generating Board's (CEGB) claim that no CEGB plutonium has been used for a military purpose. The CEGB case, presented at the Sizewell Inquiry is discussed. In the United States it is not clear whether plutonium from Britain, at present in a civil stockpile, will be transferred to military use or not. (U.K.)

  10. The disposition of weapon grade plutonium: costs and tradeoffs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weida, W.J.

    1996-01-01

    This paper explores some of the economic issues surrounding a major area of expenditures now facing the nuclear powers: the disposition of weapon-grade plutonium either through 'burning' in nuclear reactors for power generation or by other means. Under the current budgeting philosophy in the United States, programs managed by the Department of Energy (DOE) tend to compete with one another for the total funds assigned to that agency. For example, in the FY1995 DOE budget a tradeoff was made between increased funding for nuclear weapons and reduced funding for site cleanup. No matter which disposition alternative is chosen, if disposition funds are controlled by the DOE in the US or by a government agency in any other country, disposition is likely to compete directly or indirectly with other alternatives for energy funding. And if they are subsidized by any government, research into plutonium as reactor fuel or the operations associated with such use are likely to consume funds that might otherwise be available to support sustainable energy alternatives. When all costs are considered, final waste disposal costs will be incurred whatever disposal option is taken. These costs could potentially be offset by doing something profitable with the plutonium prior to final storage, but this paper has shown that finding a profitable use for plutonium is unlikely. Thus, the more probable case is one where the costs of basic waste storage are increased by whatever costs are associated with the disposition option chosen. The factors most likely to significantly increase costs appear to arise from four areas: (1) The level of subsidization in the 'profitable' parts of the disposition program. (2) Those items (such as reprocessing) that increase the volume of waste and thus, the cost of waste disposal. (3) The cost of security and its direct relationship to the number of times plutonium is handled or moved. (4) The cost of research and development of new and unproven methods of

  11. A vitrification strategy for weapons-grade plutonium disposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sylvester, K.B.; Simonson, S.A.

    1995-01-01

    Excess weapons-grade plutonium (WGPu) presents a complex but welcome challenge to decision makers. High security is a clear priority but a host of concerns will impact US actions. Making disposition decisions based on a rigid set of criteria designed to identify an 'optimum' technology given immediate objectives and available technologies may delay Russian processing and unnecessarily limit US options. Attention should be given to near-term, verifiable options that may not provide an acceptable level of security in the long-term but nonetheless provide a material barrier to direct theft and immediate use, buying time to evaluate potential disposition technologies. Vitrification of WGPu in borosilicate glass was examined as one such alternative. Rare earth diluents were examined (using MCNP) for their ability to increase the compressed critical mass of the mixture. Increased critical mass complicates weapon design and increases the quantity of material necessarily diverted. Europium was effective in this regard. As Pu-239 has a 24,000 yr half-life, reactivity control in the long-term could be an environmental safety issue should the glass be placed in a repository. Rare earths were investigated as criticality controllers due to their neutron absorption capabilities and insolubility in aqueous environments. Thorium (assumed as a Pu surrogate) and the rare earths Eu, Gd, and Sm were added to a standard frit (SRL-165) and formed into glass. Aqueous leach tests were performed (using MCC-1P guidelines) to measure rare earth leaching and determine the added element's effects on glass durability

  12. CANDU physics considerations for the disposition of weapons-grade plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pitre, J.; Chan, P.; Dastur, A.

    1995-01-01

    At the request of the US Department of Energy AECL has examined the feasibility of using CANDU for the disposition of weapons grade plutonium. Utilizing existing CANDU technology, the feasibility of using MOX (mixed oxide) fuel in an existing CANDU reactor was studied. The results of this study indicate that the target disposition for disposal of weapons grade plutonium can be met without the requirement of any major modifications to existing plant design. (author). 3 refs., 4 tabs., 5 figs

  13. CANDU physics considerations for the disposition of weapons-grade plutonium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pitre, J; Chan, P; Dastur, A [Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., Mississauga, ON (Canada)

    1996-12-31

    At the request of the US Department of Energy AECL has examined the feasibility of using CANDU for the disposition of weapons grade plutonium. Utilizing existing CANDU technology, the feasibility of using MOX (mixed oxide) fuel in an existing CANDU reactor was studied. The results of this study indicate that the target disposition for disposal of weapons grade plutonium can be met without the requirement of any major modifications to existing plant design. (author). 3 refs., 4 tabs., 5 figs.

  14. A strategy for weapons-grade plutonium disposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sylvester, K.W.B. [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)

    1994-09-01

    A political as well as technical analysis was performed to determine the feasibility of glassification (vitrification) for weapons grade plutonium (WGPu) disposition. The political analysis provided the criteria necessary to compare alternative storage forms. The technical areas of weapon useability and environmental safety were then computationally and experimentally explored and a vitrification implementation strategy postulated. The Monte Carlo Neutron Photon (MCNP) computer code was used to model the effect of blending WGPu with reactor grade Pu (RGPu). A mixture of 30% RGPu and 70% WGPu more than doubled the surface flux from a bare sphere of the mixture which assumedly correlates to a significantly increased predetonation probability. Rare earth diluents were also examined (using MCNP) for their ability to increase the compressed critical mass of the WGPu mixture. The rare earths (notably Eu) were effective in this regard. As Pu-239 has a 24,100 year half life, reactivity control in the long term is an environmental safety issue. Rare earths were investigated as criticality controllers due to their neutron absorption capabilities and insolubility in aqueous environments. Thorium (a Pu surrogate) and the rare earths Eu, Gd, and Sm were added to two standard frits (ARM-1 and SRL-165) and formed into glass. Aqueous leach tests were performed (using MCC-1P guidelines) to measure rare earth leaching and determine the added elements` effects on glass durability. Europium was much more leach resistant than boron in the glasses tested. The elements had no negative effect on the environmental durability of the glasses tested at 90 C and minimal effect at room temperature. No fission product releases were detected in the ARM-1 compositions (which contained numerous simulated fission products).

  15. A strategy for weapons-grade plutonium disposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sylvester, K.W.B.

    1994-09-01

    A political as well as technical analysis was performed to determine the feasibility of glassification (vitrification) for weapons grade plutonium (WGPu) disposition. The political analysis provided the criteria necessary to compare alternative storage forms. The technical areas of weapon useability and environmental safety were then computationally and experimentally explored and a vitrification implementation strategy postulated. The Monte Carlo Neutron Photon (MCNP) computer code was used to model the effect of blending WGPu with reactor grade Pu (RGPu). A mixture of 30% RGPu and 70% WGPu more than doubled the surface flux from a bare sphere of the mixture which assumedly correlates to a significantly increased predetonation probability. Rare earth diluents were also examined (using MCNP) for their ability to increase the compressed critical mass of the WGPu mixture. The rare earths (notably Eu) were effective in this regard. As Pu-239 has a 24,100 year half life, reactivity control in the long term is an environmental safety issue. Rare earths were investigated as criticality controllers due to their neutron absorption capabilities and insolubility in aqueous environments. Thorium (a Pu surrogate) and the rare earths Eu, Gd, and Sm were added to two standard frits (ARM-1 and SRL-165) and formed into glass. Aqueous leach tests were performed (using MCC-1P guidelines) to measure rare earth leaching and determine the added elements' effects on glass durability. Europium was much more leach resistant than boron in the glasses tested. The elements had no negative effect on the environmental durability of the glasses tested at 90 C and minimal effect at room temperature. No fission product releases were detected in the ARM-1 compositions (which contained numerous simulated fission products)

  16. Weapons-grade plutonium dispositioning. Volume 3: A new reactor concept without uranium or thorium for burning weapons-grade plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryskamp, J.M.; Schnitzler, B.G.; Fletcher, C.D.

    1993-06-01

    The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) requested that the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) examine concepts that focus only on the destruction of 50,000 kg of weapons-grade plutonium. A concept has been developed by the INEL for a low-temperature, low-pressure, low-power density, low-coolant-flow-rate light water reactor that destroys plutonium quickly without using uranium or thorium. This concept is very safe and could be designed, constructed, and operated in a reasonable time frame. This concept does not produce electricity. Not considering other missions frees the design from the paradigms and constraints used by proponents of other dispositioning concepts. The plutonium destruction design goal is most easily achievable with a large, moderate power reactor that operates at a significantly lower thermal power density than is appropriate for reactors with multiple design goals. This volume presents the assumptions and requirements, a reactor concept overview, and a list of recommendations. The appendices contain detailed discussions on plutonium dispositioning, self-protection, fuel types, neutronics, thermal hydraulics, off-site radiation releases, and economics

  17. Disposition of excess weapon grade plutonium: Status of the Russian program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Diyakov, Anatoly [Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies, Moscow (Russian Federation)

    2015-07-01

    During the Cold War, the Soviet Union and United States produced huge quantities of plutonium for weapons. Substantial cuts in their nuclear arsenals released of huge amounts of weapon grade nuclear materials. This put into the agenda the problem what to do with the excess weapon materials. In 2000 Russia and the United States concluded a Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement (PMDA), committing each to eliminate 34 tons of excess weapon plutonium. It was expected that the implementation of the PMDA Agreement will start in the second half of the year 2009 and the disposition programs finalized in 2025. But from the very beginning the practical implementation of the PMDA agreement met with substantial difficulties. After the consultations held in 2006-2007 the PMDA Agreement was modified. In compliance with the modified Agreement each side pledged to start the disposition of 34 tons of excess plutonium (25 tons in the form of metal and 9 tons in dioxide) in 2018 and to finalize the process in 15 years. Both sides were supposed to use the same disposition method through use in the MOX fuel and its subsequent irradiation in civil nuclear reactors: in light reactors for the USA and in fast neutron reactors for Russia. The presentation is going to provide the current status of the disposition program.

  18. Weapons-grade plutonium dispositioning. Volume 2: Comparison of plutonium disposition options

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brownson, D.A.; Hanson, D.J.; Blackman, H.S. [and others

    1993-06-01

    The Secretary of Energy requested the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on International Security and Arms Control to evaluate disposition options for weapons-grade plutonium. The Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) offered to assist the NAS in this evaluation by investigating the technical aspects of the disposition options and their capability for achieving plutonium annihilation levels greater than 90%. This report was prepared for the NAS to document the gathered information and results from the requested option evaluations. Evaluations were performed for 12 plutonium disposition options involving five reactor and one accelerator-based systems. Each option was evaluated in four technical areas: (1) fuel status, (2) reactor or accelerator-based system status, (3) waste-processing status, and (4) waste disposal status. Based on these evaluations, each concept was rated on its operational capability and time to deployment. A third rating category of option costs could not be performed because of the unavailability of adequate information from the concept sponsors. The four options achieving the highest rating, in alphabetical order, are the Advanced Light Water Reactor with plutonium-based ternary fuel, the Advanced Liquid Metal Reactor with plutonium-based fuel, the Advanced Liquid Metal Reactor with uranium-plutonium-based fuel, and the Modular High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor with plutonium-based fuel. Of these four options, the Advanced Light Water Reactor and the Modular High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor do not propose reprocessing of their irradiated fuel. Time constraints and lack of detailed information did not allow for any further ratings among these four options. The INEL recommends these four options be investigated further to determine the optimum reactor design for plutonium disposition.

  19. Weapons-grade plutonium dispositioning. Volume 2: Comparison of plutonium disposition options

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brownson, D.A.; Hanson, D.J.; Blackman, H.S.

    1993-06-01

    The Secretary of Energy requested the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on International Security and Arms Control to evaluate disposition options for weapons-grade plutonium. The Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) offered to assist the NAS in this evaluation by investigating the technical aspects of the disposition options and their capability for achieving plutonium annihilation levels greater than 90%. This report was prepared for the NAS to document the gathered information and results from the requested option evaluations. Evaluations were performed for 12 plutonium disposition options involving five reactor and one accelerator-based systems. Each option was evaluated in four technical areas: (1) fuel status, (2) reactor or accelerator-based system status, (3) waste-processing status, and (4) waste disposal status. Based on these evaluations, each concept was rated on its operational capability and time to deployment. A third rating category of option costs could not be performed because of the unavailability of adequate information from the concept sponsors. The four options achieving the highest rating, in alphabetical order, are the Advanced Light Water Reactor with plutonium-based ternary fuel, the Advanced Liquid Metal Reactor with plutonium-based fuel, the Advanced Liquid Metal Reactor with uranium-plutonium-based fuel, and the Modular High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor with plutonium-based fuel. Of these four options, the Advanced Light Water Reactor and the Modular High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor do not propose reprocessing of their irradiated fuel. Time constraints and lack of detailed information did not allow for any further ratings among these four options. The INEL recommends these four options be investigated further to determine the optimum reactor design for plutonium disposition

  20. Neutronics benchmark of a MOX assembly with near-weapons-grade plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Difilippo, F.C.; Fisher, S.E.

    1998-01-01

    One of the proposed ways to dispose of surplus weapons-grade plutonium (Pu) is to irradiate the high-fissile material in light-water reactors in order to reduce the Pu enrichment to the level of spent fuels from commercial reactors. Considerable experience has been accumulated about the behavior of mixed-oxide (MOX) uranium and plutonium fuels for plutonium recycling in commercial reactors, but the experience is related to Pu enrichments typical of spent fuels quite below the values of weapons-grade plutonium. Important decisions related to the kind of reactors to be used for the disposition of the plutonium are going to be based on calculations, so the validation of computational algorithms related to all aspects of the fuel cycle (power distributions, isotopics as function of the burnup, etc.), for weapons-grade isotopics is very important. Analysis of public domain data reveals that the cycle-2 irradiation in the Quad cities boiling-water reactor (BWR) is the most recent US destructive examination. This effort involved the irradiation of five MOX assemblies using 80 and 90% fissile plutonium. These benchmark data were gathered by General Electric under the sponsorship of the Electric Power Research Institute. It is emphasized, however, that global parameters are not the focus of this benchmark, since the five bundles containing MOX fuels did not significantly affect the overall core performance. However, since the primary objective of this work is to compare against measured post-irradiation assembly data, the term benchmark is applied here. One important reason for performing the benchmark on Quad Cities irradiation is that the fissile blends (up to 90%) are higher than reactor-grade and, quite close to, weapons-grade isotopics

  1. Some aspects of a technology of processing weapons grade plutonium to nuclear fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bibilashvili, Y.; Glagovsky, E.M.; Zakharkin, B.S.; Orlov, V.K.; Reshetnikov, F.G.; Rogozkin, B.G.; Soloni-N, M.I.

    2000-01-01

    The concept by Russia to use fissile weapons-grade materials, which are being recovered from nuclear pits in the process of disarmament, is based on an assessment of weapons-grade plutonium as an important energy source intended for use in nuclear power plants. However, in the path of involving plutonium excessive from the purposes of national safety into industrial power engineering there are a lot of problems, from which effectiveness and terms of its disposition are being dependent upon. Those problems have political, economical, financial and environmental character. This report outlines several technology problems of processing weapons-grade metallic plutonium into MOX-fuel for reactors based on thermal and fast neutrons, in particular, the issue of conversion of the metal into dioxide from the viewpoint of fabrication of pelletized MOX-fuel. The processing of metallic weapons-grade plutonium into nuclear fuel is a rather complicated and multi-stage process, every stage of which is its own production. Some of the stages are absent in production of MOX-fuel, for instance the stage of the conversion, i.e. transferring of metallic plutonium into dioxide of the ceramic quality. At this stage of plutonium utilization some tasks must be resolved as follows: I. As a result of the conversion, a material purified from ballast and radiogenic admixtures has to be obtained. This one will be applied to fabricate pelletized MOX-fuel going from morphological, physico-mechanical and technological properties. II. It is well known that metallic gallium, which is used as an alloying addition in weapons-grade plutonium, actively reacts with multiple metals. Therefore, an important issue is to study the effect of gallium on the technology of MOX-fuel production, quality of the pellets, as well as the interaction of gallium oxide with zirconium and steel shells of fuel elements depending upon the content of gallium in the fuel. The rate of the interaction of gallium oxide

  2. Physicochemical characterization of discrete weapons grade plutonium metal particles originating from the 1960 BOMARC incident

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, James M.

    The goal of this research was to investigate the physicochemical properties of weapons grade plutonium particles originating from the 1960 BOMARC incident for the purpose of predicting their fate in the environment and to address radiation protection and nuclear security concerns. Methods were developed to locate and isolate the particles in order to characterize them. Physical, chemical, and radiological characterization was performed using a variety of techniques. And finally, the particles were subjected to a sequential extraction procedure, a series of increasingly aggressive reagents, to simulate an accelerated environmental exposure. A link between the morphology of the particles and their partitioning amongst environmental mechanisms was established.

  3. Cooperative Studies in the Utilization and Storage of Excess Weapons-Grade Plutonium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bolyatko, V. V. [Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (Russia)

    1998-01-29

    This technical report is a tangible and verifiable deliverable associated with the Nuclear Group subproject “Cooperative Studies in the Utilization and Storage of Excess Weapons-grade Plutonium.” This report is an assessment ofthe work performed by the Russian party from 1 October 1995 through 30 September 1996 regarding milestones defined in the contract between the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI) and the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES). In these interactions, TEES serves as agent of the Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium (ANRCP) in the capacity oflead institution for the Nuclear Group of the ANRCP. The official Statement ofWork dated 8 April 1996 enumerates specific milestones and deliverables. In its present form, this report is an edited version ofthe translation submitted to TEES by MEPhI on 7 October 1996. The principal investigators for this subproject are Dr. Paul Nelson of TEES and Dr. Victor Bolyatko of the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute.

  4. An assessment of the use of diluents in the vitrification of weapons-grade plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sylvester, K.W.B.; Simonson, S.A.

    1996-01-01

    A technical analysis was performed to determine the feasibility and utility of vitrifying weapons-grade plutonium (WGPu) with various diluents. The diluents considered were reactor-grade plutonium (RGPu) and several rare earths. The use of these diluents could affect both the useability of the material for weapons and long-term environmental safety. Blending RGPu with WGPu would increase the compressed critical mass of the WGPu mixture only slightly; but the blending would increase pre-detonation probabilities. Blends with the rare earths (notably Eu) would be highly effective in increasing the compressed critical mass. In addition to their effectiveness in increasing critical mass, the rare earths were investigated as criticality controllers due to their neutron absorption capabilities and insolubility in aqueous environments. Thorium (assumed as a Pu surrogate) and the rare earths Eu, Gd, and Sm were added to two standard frits (ARM-1 and SRL-165) and melted into glass. Aqueous leach tests were performed to measure rare earth leaching and determine the added elements' effects on glass durability. Europium was much more leach resistant than boron in the glasses tested. The added elements had no negative effect on the environmental durability of the glasses tested at 90 degrees C. No fission product releases were detected in the ARM-1 compositions (which contained numerous simulated fission products)

  5. A new concept of fast reactors, the potentialities of burning in them of actinoid and weapon-grade plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murogov, V.M.; Troyanov, M.F.; Ilyunin, V.G.; Rudneva, V.Ya.

    1992-01-01

    The approach to a possible solution of the problem of peaceful utilization of weapon-grade plutonium released in the result of nuclear disarmament in Russia is given in the repot. As the most safe, ecologically acceptable and economically effective way of the plutonium utilization is the usage of such plutonium as a fuel for atomic power station. It is proposed to decide the problem on the basis of BN-600 and BN-800 reactors. In the approach, thorium could be used as a fertile material. The secondary nuclear fuel U-233 is expedient to use in light-water reactors of new generation. (author)

  6. Disposition of weapons-grade plutonium in LWRs - a utility perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Naughton, W.F.

    1996-01-01

    The optimal alternative for the disposition of weapons-grade plutonium (WPu) is to burn it in currently operating light water reactors (LWRs). There are three key aspects associated with the reactor burn option that lead to this conclusion. They are timeliness, acceptable solution, and equity or resource recovery. The National Academy of Sciences report on this subject has thoroughly covered the first two aspects by indicating that there is open-quotes a clear and present dangerclose quotes associated with WPu - the timeliness issue. Also, the report indicates that the spent-fuel standard is the acceptable long-term solution. Both of these aspects are met by the reactor burn option as it exists today; i.e., the reactor option is both timely and obviously meets the spent-fuel standard. The equity or resource recovery aspect is based on the fact that the resources for the development and use of this material as a nuclear deterrent for the past 50 yr was supplied by, in the U.S.'s case, the taxpayers. Only the reactor burn option offers an opportunity for the partial recovery of those resources in the form of electrical energy

  7. Combining a gas turbine modular helium reactor and an accelerator and for near total destruction of weapons grade plutonium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baxter, A.M.; Lane, R.K.; Sherman, R. [General Atomics, San Diego, CA (United States)

    1995-10-01

    Fissioning surplus weapons-grade plutonium (WG-Pu) in a reactor is an effective means of rendering this stockpile non-weapons useable. In addition the enormous energy content of the plutonium is released by the fission process and can be captured to produce valuable electric power. While no fission option has been identified that can accomplish the destruction of more than about 70% of the WG-Pu without repeated reprocessing and recycling, which presents additional opportunities for diversion, the gas turbine modular helium-cooled reactor (GT-MHR), using an annular graphite core and graphite inner and outer reflectors combines the maximum plutonium destruction and highest electrical production efficiency and economics in an inherently safe system. Accelerator driven sub-critical assemblies have also been proposed for WG-Pu destruction. These systems offer almost complete WG-Pu destruction, but achieve this goal by using circulating aqueous or molten salt solutions of the fuel, with potential safety implications. By combining the GT-MHR with an accelerator-driven sub-critical MHR assembly, the best features of both systems can be merged to achieve the near total destruction of WG-Pu in an inherently safe, diversion-proof system in which the discharged fuel elements are suitable for long term high level waste storage without the need for further processing. More than 90% total plutonium destruction, and more than 99.9% Pu-239 destruction, could be achieved. The modular concept minimizes the size of each unit so that both the GT-MHR and the accelerator would be straightforward extensions of current technology.

  8. Surplus weapons-grade plutonium: a resource for exploring and terraforming Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muscatello, A.C.; Houts, M.G.

    1996-12-31

    With the end of the Cold War, greater than 100 metric tons (MT) of weapons-grade plutonium (WGPu) have become surplus to defense needs in the United States and the Former Soviet Union. This paper is a proposal for an option for WGPu disposition, i.e., use of the plutonium as a fuel for nuclear reactors for Mars exploration and eventual terraforming. WGPu was used in nuclear weapons because it has a much smaller critical mass than highly enriched uranium, allowing lighter weapons with consequent longer ranges. Similarly, WGPu reactors would also require smaller amounts of fuel to attain a critical mass, making the reactor much lighter overall and resulting in large savings in launch costs. The greater than 100 MT of WGPu would generate about 1000 billion kilowatt hours of heat energy, much of which could be converted into electricity. The waste heat would also be useful to a Martian outpost or colony. A potential way of getting the WGPu reactors into space is a large gas gun like that being developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to orbit materials by achieving high velocity at the surface, greatly reducing launch costs and enhancing reliability. Reactor components would be launched on conventional rockets or space shuttles, the reactor fuel rods would be injected into orbit using the gas gun, and the reactor would be assembled in space. Implementation of this proposal would allow disposition of a serious, expensive problem on earth by removing the WGPu from the planet and simultaneously provide a very large energy resource for Mars exploration and terraforming.

  9. Surplus weapons-grade plutonium: a resource for exploring and terraforming Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Muscatello, A.C.; Houts, M.G.

    1996-01-01

    With the end of the Cold War, greater than 100 metric tons (MT) of weapons-grade plutonium (WGPu) have become surplus to defense needs in the United States and the Former Soviet Union. This paper is a proposal for an option for WGPu disposition, i.e., use of the plutonium as a fuel for nuclear reactors for Mars exploration and eventual terraforming. WGPu was used in nuclear weapons because it has a much smaller critical mass than highly enriched uranium, allowing lighter weapons with consequent longer ranges. Similarly, WGPu reactors would also require smaller amounts of fuel to attain a critical mass, making the reactor much lighter overall and resulting in large savings in launch costs. The greater than 100 MT of WGPu would generate about 1000 billion kilowatt hours of heat energy, much of which could be converted into electricity. The waste heat would also be useful to a Martian outpost or colony. A potential way of getting the WGPu reactors into space is a large gas gun like that being developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to orbit materials by achieving high velocity at the surface, greatly reducing launch costs and enhancing reliability. Reactor components would be launched on conventional rockets or space shuttles, the reactor fuel rods would be injected into orbit using the gas gun, and the reactor would be assembled in space. Implementation of this proposal would allow disposition of a serious, expensive problem on earth by removing the WGPu from the planet and simultaneously provide a very large energy resource for Mars exploration and terraforming

  10. Utilization of Cs137 to generate a radiation barrier for weapons grade plutonium immobilized in borosilicate glass canisters. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jardine, L.J.; Armantrout, G.A.; Collins, L.F.

    1995-01-01

    One of the ways recommended by a recent National Academy of Sciences study to dispose of excess weapons-grade plutonium is to encapsulate the plutonium in a glass in combination with high-level radioactive wastes (HLW) to generate an intense radiation dose rate field. The objective is to render the plutonium as difficult to access as the plutonium contained in existing US commercial spent light-water reactor (LWR) fuel until it can be disposed of in a permanent geological repository. A radiation dose rate from a sealed canister of 1,000 rem/h (10 Sv/h) at 1 meter for at least 30 years after fabrication was assumed in this paper to be a radiation dose comparable to spent LWR fuel. This can be achieved by encapsulating the plutonium in a borosilicate glass with an adequate amount of a single fission product in the HLWS, namely radioactive Cs 137 . One hundred thousand curies of Cs 137 will generate a dose rate of 1,000 rem/h (10 Sv/h) at 1 meter for at least 30 years when imbedded into canisters of the size proposed for the Savannah River Site's vitrified high-level wastes. The United States has a current inventory of 54 MCi of CS 137 that has been separated from defense HLWs and is in sealed capsules. This single curie inventory is sufficient to spike 50 metric tons of excess weapons-grade plutonium if plutonium can be loaded at 5.5 wt% in glass, or 540 canisters. Additional CS 137 inventories exist in the United States' HLWs from past reprocessing operations, should additional curies be required. Using only one fission product, CS 137 , rather than the multiple chemical elements and compounds in HLWs to generate a high radiation dose rate from a glass canister greatly simplifies the processing engineering retirement for encapsulating plutonium in a borosilicate glass

  11. Modernization of RTC for fabrication of MOX fuel, Vibropac fuel pins and BN-600 FA with weapon grade plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grachyov, A.F.; Kalygin, V.V.; Skiba, O.V.; Mayorshin, A. A.; Bychkov, A.V.; Kisly, V.A.; Ovsyannikov, Y.F.; Bobrov, D.A.; Mamontov, S.I.; Tsyganov, A.N.; Churutkin, E.I.; Davydov, P.I.; Samosenko, E.A; Shalak, A.R.; Ojima, Hisao

    2004-01-01

    to provide the BN-600 hybrid core with vibro-pac MOX fuel produced from weapon-grade plutonium excess for defense needs

  12. Could weapon-grade plutonium be an asset for managing Pu inventories?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bairiot, H.; Bemden, E. van den

    1997-01-01

    Due to the temporary shortage of MOX fuel fabrication facilities, the stockpile of separated civilian grade Pu (CPu) is predicted to increase up to the turn of the century. An additional quantity of weapon grade Pu (WPu) will be progressively isolated at the same period. Both CPu and WPu surpluses require disposition as soon as feasible. Although non-proliferation concerns, established national policies, public acceptance problems and other considerations largely complicate the aspect of the use of WPu, it is worth examining the advantages which could result from a synergetic management of: LWR grade Pu to which AGR grade Pu might be associated; WPu; GCR grade Pu which should be considered as a Pu variety situated between the two first ones as far as their physical and neutronic characteristics are concerned. Two scenarios of integrated managements of the CPu varieties and WPu are being considered. They indicate several technical and economical advantages but also important problems to be resolved, mainly from the non-proliferation point of view. In that respect, it is concluded that, although no reasonable perspective exists to resolve these problems easily (or at all), the advantages justify an effort of the international community to consider how it could be implemented. (author). 24 refs, 2 figs, 5 tabs

  13. Possibilities for recycling of weapon-grade uranium and plutonium and its peaceful use as reactor fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Floeter, W.

    2000-01-01

    At present 90% of the energy production is based on fossil fuels. Since March 1999, however, the peaceful use of weapon-grade uranium as reactor fuel is being discussed politically. Partners of this discussion is a group of some private western companies on one side and a state-owned company of the Russian Federation (GUS) on the other. Main topic of the deal besides the winning of electrical energy is the useful disposal of the surplus on weapon-grade material of both leading nations. According to the deal, about 160,000 t of Russian uranium, expressed as natural uranium U 3 O 8 , would be processed during the next 15 years. Proven processes would be applied. Those methods are being already used in Russian facilities at low capacity rates. There are shortages in the production of low enriched uranium (LEU), because of the low capacity rates in the old facilities. The capacity should be increased by a factor of ten, but there is not enough money available in Russia for financing the remodeling of the plants. Financing should therefore probably be provided by the western clients of this deal. The limited amount of uranium produced could be furnised to the uranium market without major difficulties for the present suppliers of natural uranium. The discussions regarding the security of the details of the deal - however - are not yet finalized. (orig.) [de

  14. Mimas, a mature and flexible process to convert the stockpiles of separated civil and weapon grade plutonium into MOX fuel for use in LWR's

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vandergheynst, A.; Vanderborck, Y.

    2001-01-01

    The BELGONUCLEAIRE Dessel MOX fabrication plant started operation in 1973. The first ten years have laid down the bases for all the modifications and improvements in the field of fuel fabrication and quality control process and technology, waste management, safety and safeguards. In 1984, BELGONUCLEAIRE developed the MIMAS fabrication process and has used it on industrial scale to make MOX fuel complying with the most stringent fuel vendor specifications. From 1986 to 2000, more than 25 t Pu have been processed into more than 450 tHM of MIMAS fuel delivered in five countries. The MOX fuel produced has been demonstrated to reach at least the same performance as the UO 2 fuel used simultaneously in the same reactors. The BELGONUCLEAIRE MIMAS MOX fuel fabrication process was selected by COGEMA in the late 80(tm)s for its MELOX and its Cadarache plants. In 1999, the MIMAS process was chosen by the US DOE for the new MOX fabrication plant to be built in Savannah (SC-USA) to ''demilitarize'' 25,6 tons of weapon grade plutonium originating from nuclear war- heads. Recently MIMAS was selected by Japan for its domestic MOX plant to be built in Rokkasho-mura. (author)

  15. An Opportunity to Immobilize 1.6 MT or More of Weapons-Grade Plutonium at the Mayak and Krasnoyarsk-26 Sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jardine, L J; Borisov, G B; Rovny, S I; Kudinov, K G; Shvedov, A A

    2001-01-01

    The Mayak Production Association (PA Mayak), an industrial site in Russia, will be assigned multiple new plutonium disposition missions in order to implement the ''Agreement Between The Government Of The United States Of America And The Government Of Russian Federation Concerning The Management And Disposition Of Plutonium Designated As No Longer Required For Defense Purposes And Related Cooperation'' signed September 1, 2000, by Gore and Kasyanov, In addition, the mission of industrial-scale mixed-oxide (MOX) fabrication will be assigned to either the Mining Chemical Combine (MCC) industrial site at Krasnoyarsk-26 (K-26) or PA Mayak. Over the next decades, these new missions will generate radioactive wastes containing weapons-grade plutonium. The existing Mayak and K-26 onsite facilities and infrastructures cannot currently treat and immobilize these Pu-containing wastes for storage and disposal. However, the wastes generated under the Agreement must be properly immobilized, treated, and managed. New waste treatment and immobilization missions at Mayak may include operating facilities for plutonium metal-to-oxide conversion processes, industrial-scale MOX fuel fabrication, BN-600 PAKET hybrid core MOX fuel fabrication, and a plutonium conversion demonstration process. The MCC K-26 site, if assigned the industrial-scale MOX fuel fabrication mission, would also need to add facilities to treat and immobilize the Pu-containing wastes. This paper explores the approach and cost of treatment and immobilization facilities at both Mayak and K-26. The current work to date at Mayak and MCC K-26 indicates that the direct immobilization of 1.6 MT of weapons-grade plutonium is a viable and cost-effective alternative

  16. Pyrochemical processes for the recovery of weapons grade plutonium either as a metal or as PuO2 for use in mixed oxide reactor fuel pellets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Colmenares, C.A.; Ebbinghaus, B.B.; Bronson, M.C.

    1995-01-01

    The authors have developed two processes for the recovery of weapons grade Pu, as either Pu metal or PuO 2 , that are strictly pyrochemical and do not produce any liquid waste. Large amounts of Pu metal (up to 4 kg.), in various geometric shapes, have been recovered by a hydride/dehydride/casting process (HYDEC) to produce metal ingots of any desired shape. The three processing steps are carried out in a single compact apparatus. The experimental technique and results obtained will be described. The authors have prepared PuO 2 powders from weapons grade Pu by a process that hydrides the Pu metal followed by the oxidation of the hydride (HYDOX process). Experimental details of the best way to carry out this process will be presented, as well as the characterization of both hydride and oxide powders produced

  17. The Complete Burning of Weapons Grade Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium with (Laser Inertial Fusion-Fission Energy) LIFE Engine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Farmer, J C; Diaz de la Rubia, T; Moses, E

    2008-12-23

    The National Ignition Facility (NIF) project, a laser-based Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) experiment designed to achieve thermonuclear fusion ignition and burn in the laboratory, is under construction at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and will be completed in April of 2009. Experiments designed to accomplish the NIF's goal will commence in late FY2010 utilizing laser energies of 1 to 1.3 MJ. Fusion yields of the order of 10 to 20 MJ are expected soon thereafter. Laser initiated fusion-fission (LIFE) engines have now been designed to produce nuclear power from natural or depleted uranium without isotopic enrichment, and from spent nuclear fuel from light water reactors without chemical separation into weapons-attractive actinide streams. A point-source of high-energy neutrons produced by laser-generated, thermonuclear fusion within a target is used to achieve ultra-deep burn-up of the fertile or fissile fuel in a sub-critical fission blanket. Fertile fuels including depleted uranium (DU), natural uranium (NatU), spent nuclear fuel (SNF), and thorium (Th) can be used. Fissile fuels such as low-enrichment uranium (LEU), excess weapons plutonium (WG-Pu), and excess highly-enriched uranium (HEU) may be used as well. Based upon preliminary analyses, it is believed that LIFE could help meet worldwide electricity needs in a safe and sustainable manner, while drastically shrinking the nation's and world's stockpile of spent nuclear fuel and excess weapons materials. LIFE takes advantage of the significant advances in laser-based inertial confinement fusion that are taking place at the NIF at LLNL where it is expected that thermonuclear ignition will be achieved in the 2010-2011 timeframe. Starting from as little as 300 to 500 MW of fusion power, a single LIFE engine will be able to generate 2000 to 3000 MWt in steady state for periods of years to decades, depending on the nuclear fuel and engine configuration. Because the fission

  18. DOE plutonium disposition study: Analysis of existing ABB-CE Light Water Reactors for the disposition of weapons-grade plutonium. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-06-01

    Core reactivity and basic fuel management calculations were conducted on the selected reactors (with emphasis on the System 80 units as being the most desirable choice). Methods used were identical to those reported in the Evolutionary Reactor Report. From these calculations, the basic mission capability was assessed. The selected reactors were studied for modification, such as the addition of control rod nozzles to increase rod worth, and internals and control system modifications that might also be needed. Other system modifications studied included the use of enriched boric acid as soluble poison, and examination of the fuel pool capacities. The basic geometry and mechanical characteristics, materials and fabrication techniques of the fuel assemblies for the selected existing reactors are the same as for System 80+. There will be some differences in plutonium loading, according to the ability of the reactors to load MOX fuel. These differences are not expected to affect licensability or EPA requirements. Therefore, the fuel technology and fuel qualification sections provided in the Evolutionary Reactor Report apply to the existing reactors. An additional factor, in that the existing reactor availability presupposes the use of that reactor for the irradiation of Lead Test Assemblies, is discussed. The reactor operating and facility licenses for the operating plants were reviewed. Licensing strategies for each selected reactor were identified. The spent fuel pool for the selected reactors (Palo Verde) was reviewed for capacity and upgrade requirements. Reactor waste streams were identified and assessed in comparison to uranium fuel operations. Cost assessments and schedules for converting to plutonium disposition were estimated for some of the major modification items. Economic factors (incremental costs associated with using weapons plutonium) were listed and where possible under the scope of work, estimates were made.

  19. DOE plutonium disposition study: Analysis of existing ABB-CE Light Water Reactors for the disposition of weapons-grade plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-01-01

    Core reactivity and basic fuel management calculations were conducted on the selected reactors (with emphasis on the System 80 units as being the most desirable choice). Methods used were identical to those reported in the Evolutionary Reactor Report. From these calculations, the basic mission capability was assessed. The selected reactors were studied for modification, such as the addition of control rod nozzles to increase rod worth, and internals and control system modifications that might also be needed. Other system modifications studied included the use of enriched boric acid as soluble poison, and examination of the fuel pool capacities. The basic geometry and mechanical characteristics, materials and fabrication techniques of the fuel assemblies for the selected existing reactors are the same as for System 80+. There will be some differences in plutonium loading, according to the ability of the reactors to load MOX fuel. These differences are not expected to affect licensability or EPA requirements. Therefore, the fuel technology and fuel qualification sections provided in the Evolutionary Reactor Report apply to the existing reactors. An additional factor, in that the existing reactor availability presupposes the use of that reactor for the irradiation of Lead Test Assemblies, is discussed. The reactor operating and facility licenses for the operating plants were reviewed. Licensing strategies for each selected reactor were identified. The spent fuel pool for the selected reactors (Palo Verde) was reviewed for capacity and upgrade requirements. Reactor waste streams were identified and assessed in comparison to uranium fuel operations. Cost assessments and schedules for converting to plutonium disposition were estimated for some of the major modification items. Economic factors (incremental costs associated with using weapons plutonium) were listed and where possible under the scope of work, estimates were made

  20. IFR starts to burn up weapons-grade material

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1994-01-01

    With funding from different parts of the federal government, the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) project has survived into fiscal year 1994 and is now embarking on a demonstration of how this type of liquid-metal-cooled reactor (LMR) can be used to burn fuel derived from weapons-grade plutonium. This month, an assembly made from weapons-grade material is to be loaded into Experimental Breeder Reactor-II in Idaho, which is serving as the prototype for the IFR concept. Although FY 1994 work is being funded by the DOE, this particular examination of plutonium burnup is backed by the Department of Defense

  1. Code Analyses Supporting PIE of Weapons-Grade MOX Fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ott, Larry J.; Bevard, Bruce Balkcom; Spellman, Donald J.; McCoy, Kevin

    2010-01-01

    The U.S. Department of energy has decided to dispose of a portion of the nation's surplus weapons-grade plutonium by reconstituting it into mixed oxide (MOX) fuel and irradiating the fuel in commercial power reactors. Four lead test assemblies (LTAs) were manufactured with weapons-grade mixed oxide (WG-MOX) fuel and irradiated in the Catawba Nuclear Station Unit 1, to a maximum fuel rod burnup of ∼47.3 GWd/MTHM. As part of the fuel qualification process, five rods with varying burnups and initial plutonium contents were selected from one assembly and shipped to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for hot cell examination. ORNL has provided analytical support for the post-irradiation examination (PIE) of these rods via extensive fuel performance modeling which has aided in instrument settings and PIE data interpretation. The results of these fuel performance simulations are compared in this paper with available PIE data.

  2. Electron Microscopy Study of Stainless Steel Radiation Damage Due to Long-Term Irradation by Alpha Particles Emitted From Plutonium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Unlu, Kenan [Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States); Rios-Martinez, Carlos [Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States); Saglam, Mehmet [Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States); Hart, Ron R. [Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States); Shipp, John D. [Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States); Rennie, John [Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States)

    1998-04-16

    Radiation damage and associated surface and microstructural changes produced in stainless steel encapsulation by high-fluence alpha particle irradiations from weapons-grade plutonium of 316-stainless steel are being investigated.

  3. METHOD OF PRODUCING PLUTONIUM TETRAFLUORIDE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tolley, W.B.; Smith, R.C.

    1959-12-15

    A process is presented for preparing plutonium tetrafluoride from plutonium(IV) oxalate. The oxalate is dried and decomposed at about 300 deg C to the dioxide, mixed with ammonium bifluoride, and the mixture is heated to between 50 and 150 deg C whereby ammonium plutonium fluoride is formed. The ammonium plutonium fluoride is then heated to about 300 deg C for volatilization of ammonium fluoride. Both heating steps are preferably carried out in an inert atmosphere.

  4. Weapons-grade nuclear material - open questions of a safe disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Closs, K.D.; Giraud, J.P.; Grill, K.D.; Hensing, I.; Hippel, F. von; Holik, J.; Pellaud, B.

    1995-01-01

    There are suitable technologies available for destruction of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium. Weapons-grade uranium, consisting to 90% of the isotope U-235, can be diluted with the uranium isotope U-238 to make it non-weapons-grade, but it will then still be a material that can be used as a fuel in civil nuclear reactors. For safe plutonium disposal, several options are under debate. There is for instance a process called ''reverse reprocessing'', with the plutonium being blended with high-level radioactive fission products and then being put into a waste form accepted for direct ultimate disposal. The other option is to convert weapons-grade plutonium into MOX nuclear fuel elements and then ''burn'' them in civil nuclear power reactors. This is an option favoured by many experts. Such fuel elements should stay for a long time in the reactor core in order to achieve high burnups, and should then be ready for ultimate disposal. This disposal pathway offers essential advantages: the plutonium is used up or depleted as a component of reactor fuel, and thus is no longer available for illegal activities, and it serves as an energy source for power generation. (orig./HP) [de

  5. Beating plutonium swords into electrical plowshares

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ofte, D.

    1993-01-01

    After decades of producing large quantities of weapons-grade plutonium, the United States and the Confederation of Independent States are faced with an unanticipated dilemma of a growing surplus of that material. This circumstance could not have been anticipated just a few years ago after living with a weapons program that from its inception in the United States was characterized by a chronic tight supply situation. The rapid drawdown of the nuclear weapons stockpile presents a near-term problem of storage capacity in the system until the United States makes a disposition decision for what may be in excess of 50 tonnes of weapons-grade plutonium

  6. Safety and licensing of MOX versus UO2 for BWRs and PWRs: Aspects applicable for civilian and weapons grade Pu

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goldstein, L.; Malone, J.

    2000-01-01

    This paper reviews the safety and licensing differences between MOX and UO 2 BWR and PWR cores. MOX produced from the normal recycle route and from weapons grade material are considered. Reload quantities of recycle MOX assemblies have been licensed and continue to operate safely in European LWRs. In general, the European MOX assemblies in a reload are 2 . These studies indicated that no important technical or safety related issues have evolved from these studies. The general specifications used by fuel vendors for recycled MOX fuel and core designs are as follows: MOX assemblies should be designed to minimize or eliminate local power peaking mismatches with co-resident and adjacently loaded UO 2 assemblies. Power peaking at the interfaces arises from different neutronic behavior between UO 2 and MOX assemblies. A MOX core (MOX and UO 2 or all-MOX assemblies) should provide cycle energy equivalent to that of an all-UO 2 core. This applies, in particular, to recycle MOX applications. An important consideration when burning weapons grade material is rapid disposition which may not necessarily allow for cycle energy equivalence. The reactivity coefficients, kinetics data, power peaking, and the worth of shutdown systems with MOX fuel and cores must be such to meet the design criteria and fulfill requirements for safe reactor operation. Both recycle and weapons grade plutonium are considered, and positive and negative impacts are given. The paper contrasts MOX versus UO 2 with respect to safety evaluations. The consequences of some transients/accidents are compared for both types of MOX and UO 2 fuel. (author)

  7. Non-proliferation issues with weapons-usable plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gray, L.W.

    2000-01-01

    In this paper author deals with the plutonium produced in power reactors and with their using. Excess plutonium, mineralized in a ceramic matrix and incised in HLW glass, is a less attractive target for terrorist groups than either aged, irradiated weapons grade MOX fuel, or aged, U oxide spent fuel. This is especially true after the Russian and United States' Pu Disposition Programs have been completed, until the material (spent MOX fuel or the immobilized form) is stored in a sealed, repository. (authors)

  8. Lung cancers already produced by plutonium inhalation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1981-01-01

    This chapter presents the basis for the author's estimate that plutonium particulates have already committed approximately 950,000 persons worldwide to a lung-cancer death, and that more will be so committed in the future, even if no more plutonium is dispersed in the environment. The author's calculations are based on fallout data from atmospheric bomb testing, and on two sets of workers exposed to plutonium: one group at the Rocky Flats Plant in Colorado, and the other at the Los Alamos Laboratory who were involved in the Manhattan Project

  9. Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR) [SEC 1 THRU 11

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    ULLAH, M K

    2001-02-26

    The Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) is located on the US Department of Energy (DOE) Hanford Site in south central Washington State. The DOE Richland Operations (DOE-RL) Project Hanford Management Contract (PHMC) is with Fluor Hanford Inc. (FH). Westinghouse Safety Management Systems (WSMS) provides management support to the PFP facility. Since 1991, the mission of the PFP has changed from plutonium material processing to preparation for decontamination and decommissioning (D and D). The PFP is in transition between its previous mission and the proposed D and D mission. The objective of the transition is to place the facility into a stable state for long-term storage of plutonium materials before final disposition of the facility. Accordingly, this update of the Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR) reflects the current status of the buildings, equipment, and operations during this transition. The primary product of the PFP was plutonium metal in the form of 2.2-kg, cylindrical ingots called buttoms. Plutonium nitrate was one of several chemical compounds containing plutonium that were produced as an intermediate processing product. Plutonium recovery was performed at the Plutonium Reclamation Facility (PRF) and plutonium conversion (from a nitrate form to a metal form) was performed at the Remote Mechanical C (RMC) Line as the primary processes. Plutonium oxide was also produced at the Remote Mechanical A (RMA) Line. Plutonium processed at the PFP contained both weapons-grade and fuels-grade plutonium materials. The capability existed to process both weapons-grade and fuels-grade material through the PRF and only weapons-grade material through the RMC Line although fuels-grade material was processed through the line before 1984. Amounts of these materials exist in storage throughout the facility in various residual forms left from previous years of operations.

  10. Nuclear legacy. Democracy in a plutonium economy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barnaby, F.

    1997-01-01

    There have already been a few hundred known incidents of nuclear smuggling, mostly of small quantities not close to weapons grade material - but one gram of plutonium is more than sufficient to cause significant harm and to pose a substantial threat. The potential for further thefts is growing as the world produces ever more quantities of plutonium, not only from the dismantling of nuclear weapons but also from the separation out of plutonium from spent uranium nuclear reactor fuel elements. Trying to prevent the theft of gram quantities of plutonium would require levels of protection and surveillance unacceptably high in a democratic society. It is unlikely, therefore, that democracy could survive in a plutonium economy

  11. MEANS FOR PRODUCING PLUTONIUM CHAIN REACTIONS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wigner, E.P.; Weinberg, A.M.

    1961-01-24

    A neutronic reactor is described with an active portion capable of operating at an energy level of 0.5 to 1000 ev comprising discrete bodies of Pu/ sup 239/ disposed in a body of water which contains not more than 5 molecules of water to one atom of plutonium, the total amount of Pu/sup 239/ being sufficient to sustain a chain reaction. (auth)

  12. Plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watson, G.M.

    1976-01-01

    Discovery of the neutron made it easy to create elements which do not exist in nature. One of these is plutonium, and its isotope with mass number 239 has nuclear properties which make it both a good fuel for nuclear power reactors and a good explosive for nuclear weapons. Since it was discovered during a war the latter characteristic was put to use, but it is now evident that use of plutonium in a particular kind of nuclear reactor, the fast breeder reactor, will allow the world's resources of uranium to last for millennia as a major source of energy. Plutonium is very radiotoxic, resembling radium in this respect. Therefore the widespread introduction of fast breeder reactors to meet energy demands can be contemplated only after assurances on two points; that adequate control of the radiological hazard resulting from the handling of very large amounts of plutonium can be guaranteed, and that diversion of plutonium to illicit use can be prevented. The problems exist to a lesser degree already, since all types of nuclear reactor produce some plutonium. Some plutonium has already been dispersed in the environment, the bulk of it from atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons. (author)

  13. Optimisation of deep burn incineration of reactor waste plutonium in a PBMR DPP-400 core

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serfontein, Dawid E.; Mulder, Eben J.; Reitsma, Frederik

    2014-01-01

    In this article an original set of coupled neutronics and thermo-hydraulic simulation results for the VSOP 99/05 diffusion code are presented for advanced fuel cycles for the incineration of weapons-grade plutonium, reactor-grade plutonium and reactor-grade plutonium with its associated Minor Actinides in the 400 MW th Pebble Bed Modular Reactor Demonstration Power Plant. These results are also compared to those of the standard 9.6 wt% enriched 9 g/fuel sphere U/Pu fuel cycle. The weapons-grade and reactor-grade plutonium fuel cycles produced good burn-ups. However, the addition of the Minor Actinides to the reactor-grade plutonium caused a large decrease in the burn-up and thus an unacceptable increase in the heavy metal (HM) content in the spent fuel, which was intended for direct disposal in a deep geological repository, without chemical reprocessing. All the plutonium fuel cycles failed the adopted safety limits used in the PBMR400 in that either the maximum fuel temperature of 1130 °C during normal operation, or the maximum power density of 4.5 kW/sphere was exceeded. All the plutonium fuel cycles also produced positive uniform temperature reactivity coefficients, i.e. the reactivity coefficient where the temperatures of the fuel and the graphite moderator in the fuel spheres were varied together. These unacceptable positive coefficients were experienced at low temperatures, typically below 700 °C. This was due to the influence of the thermal fission cross-section resonances of 239 Pu and 241 Pu. Weapons-grade plutonium produced the worst safety performance. The safety performance of the reactor-grade plutonium also deteriorated when the HM loading was reduced from 3 g/sphere to 2 g or 1 g

  14. Optimisation of deep burn incineration of reactor waste plutonium in a PBMR DPP-400 core

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Serfontein, Dawid E., E-mail: Dawid.Serfontein@nwu.ac.za [School for Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, North West University, PUK-Campus, Private Bag X6001, Internal Post Box 360, Potchefstroom 2520 (South Africa); Mulder, Eben J. [School for Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, North West University (South Africa); Reitsma, Frederik [Calvera Consultants (South Africa)

    2014-05-01

    In this article an original set of coupled neutronics and thermo-hydraulic simulation results for the VSOP 99/05 diffusion code are presented for advanced fuel cycles for the incineration of weapons-grade plutonium, reactor-grade plutonium and reactor-grade plutonium with its associated Minor Actinides in the 400 MW{sub th} Pebble Bed Modular Reactor Demonstration Power Plant. These results are also compared to those of the standard 9.6 wt% enriched 9 g/fuel sphere U/Pu fuel cycle. The weapons-grade and reactor-grade plutonium fuel cycles produced good burn-ups. However, the addition of the Minor Actinides to the reactor-grade plutonium caused a large decrease in the burn-up and thus an unacceptable increase in the heavy metal (HM) content in the spent fuel, which was intended for direct disposal in a deep geological repository, without chemical reprocessing. All the plutonium fuel cycles failed the adopted safety limits used in the PBMR400 in that either the maximum fuel temperature of 1130 °C during normal operation, or the maximum power density of 4.5 kW/sphere was exceeded. All the plutonium fuel cycles also produced positive uniform temperature reactivity coefficients, i.e. the reactivity coefficient where the temperatures of the fuel and the graphite moderator in the fuel spheres were varied together. These unacceptable positive coefficients were experienced at low temperatures, typically below 700 °C. This was due to the influence of the thermal fission cross-section resonances of {sup 239}Pu and {sup 241}Pu. Weapons-grade plutonium produced the worst safety performance. The safety performance of the reactor-grade plutonium also deteriorated when the HM loading was reduced from 3 g/sphere to 2 g or 1 g.

  15. Possibility of plutonium burning out and minor actinides transmutation in CANDU type reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gerasimov, A.S.; Kiselev, G.V.; Myrtsymova, L.A.

    2000-01-01

    The possibility of power or weapon-grade plutonium use as nuclear fuel in CANDU type reactor with simultaneous minor actinides burn-out is studied. Total thermal power is 1900 MW. The fuel lifetime makes 0.24 years, neutron flux density 10 14 neutr/cm 2 s. About 40-45 % of plutonium is incinerated during fuel lifetime. If weapon-grade plutonium is used in fuel channels instead of power one, its consumption is 40% lower. (author)

  16. The plutonium challenge for the future

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gray, L.W.

    2000-01-01

    In this paper author deal with the weapons-usable plutonium and with the possibilities of their managing. Russia has not disclosed the amount of plutonium produced, but various estimates indicate that the production was about 130 tonnes. Production has been curtailed in Russia; three dual-purpose reactors still produce weapons-grade plutonium - two at Tomsk-7 (renamed Seversk) and one at Krasnoyarsk-26 (renamed Zheleznogorsk Mining and Chemical Combine). In a 1994 United States-Russian agreement that has yet to enter into force, Russia agreed to close the remaining operating reactors by the year 2000. Treaties between the United States and Russia have already cut the number of nuclear warheads from more than 10,000 to about 6,000 under START 1, which has been ratified, and to about 3,500 under START 2, which still awaits approval. If Russia and the United States conclude START 3, that number could drop to between 2,000 and 2,500. On September 2, 1998, the Presidents of the United States and Russia signed the 'Joint statement of principles for Management and Disposition of Plutonium, Designated as No Longer Required for Defense Purposes.' In this joint statement the Presidents affirm the intention of each country to remove by stages approximately 50 metric tons of plutonium and to convert the nuclear weapons programs, and to convert this material so that it can never be used in nuclear weapons. These 100 tonne of plutonium must be managed in proper way such that it becomes neither a proliferation for an environmental risk. The United States has proposed that it manage it's 50 tonnes by a dual approach-once through MOX burning of a portion of the plutonium and immobilization in a ceramic matrix followed by en- casement in high level waste glass. Russia has proposed that it manage its full 50 tonnes by burning in a reactor. The MOX program in the United States would bum the cleaner plutonium metal and residues. Weapons components would be converted to plutonium oxide

  17. How much plutonium does North Korea really have?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dreicer, J.S.

    1997-01-01

    In a previous study, as part of the Global Nuclear Material Control Model effort, the author estimated the maximum quantity of plutonium that could be produced in thermal research reactors in the potential nuclear weapon states (including North Korea), based on their declared power level. D. Albright has estimated the amount of plutonium the North Koreans may have produced since 1986 in the 5-megawatt-electric power reactor at Yongbon. Albright provided an upper-bound estimate of 53 kilograms of weapon-grade plutonium produced cumulatively if the gas-graphite (magnox) reactor had achieved a load factor of 0.80. This cumulative estimate of 53 kilograms ignores the potential plutonium production in the 8-megawatt-thermal research reactor, IRT-DPRK. To better quantify the cumulative North Korean production, the author conducted a study to estimate the amount of plutonium that could have been produced in the IRT-DPRK research reactor operating at the declared power level during the entire period it has operated, including a period it was not safeguarded. The author estimates that, at most, an additional 6 to 33 kilograms of plutonium could have been produced cumulatively in the research reactor operating at the declared power level during the entire period it has operated, including a 12-year period it was not safeguarded, resulting in a total of 13 to 47 kilograms of plutonium possibly produced in both the research and power reactors

  18. Using an induction melter with a cold crucible for the immobilization of plutonium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kushnikov, V.V.; Matiunin, Yu.I.; Smelova, T.V. [A.A. Bochvara All Russian Scientific Research Institute of Non-Organic Materials, Moscow (Russian Federation)

    1996-05-01

    This report evaluates the possibilities for immobilizing weapons-grade plutonium in glass-type materials that satisfy requirements for eventual burial in deep geologic repositories and correspond to the standards set for spent fuel.

  19. Thermal and Physical Properties of Plutonium Dioxide Produced from the Oxidation of Metal: a Data Summary

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wayne, David M. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2014-01-13

    The ARIES Program at the Los Alamos National Laboratory removes plutonium metal from decommissioned nuclear weapons, and converts it to plutonium dioxide in a specially-designed Direct Metal Oxidation furnace. The plutonium dioxide is analyzed for specific surface area, particle size distribution, and moisture content. The purpose of these analyses is to certify that the plutonium dioxide powder meets or exceeds the specifications of the end-user, and the specifications for the packaging and transport of nuclear materials. Analytical results from plutonium dioxide from ARIES development activities, from ARIES production activities, from muffle furnace oxidation of metal, and from metal that was oxidized over a lengthy time interval in air at room temperature, are presented. The processes studied produce plutonium dioxide powder with distinct differences in measured properties, indicating the significant influence of oxidation conditions on physical properties.

  20. Plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koelzer, W.

    1989-03-01

    This report contains with regard to 'plutonium' statements on chemistry, occurrence and reactions in the environment, handling procedures in the nuclear fuel cycle, radiation protection methods, biokinetics, toxicology and medical treatment to make available reliable data for the public discussion on plutonium especially its use in nuclear power plants and its radiological assessment. (orig.) [de

  1. Technical challenges in support of the plutonium materials conversion program in Russia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mason, C.F.V.; Zygmunt, S.J.; Hahn, W.K.; James, C.A.; Costa, D.A.; Smith, W.H.; Yarbro, S.L.

    2000-01-01

    The Department of Energy's Plutonium Materials Conversion Program for Russia is designed to assist Russia in defining a path for the destruction of weapons grade plutonium. A similar program is currently defining a program for destruction of US weapons grade plutonium. These two sister programs arose from the September 1998 meeting between President Yeltsin and President Clinton, after which they issued a 'Joint statement of principles for management and disposition of plutonium designated as no longer required for defense purposes'. The US and Russia have each committed to convert 50 metric tons of plutonium from nuclear weapons programs to forms which are unusable for weapons

  2. Plutonium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miner, William N

    1964-01-01

    This pamphlet discusses plutonium from discovery to its production, separation, properties, fabrication, handling, and uses, including use as a reactor fuel and use in isotope power generators and neutron sources.

  3. Plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1995-01-01

    Plutonium, which was obtained and identified for the first time in 1941 by chemist Glenn Seaborg - through neutron irradiation of uranium 238 - is closely related to the history of nuclear energy. From the very beginning, because of the high radiotoxicity of plutonium, a tremendous amount of research work has been devoted to the study of the biological effects and the consequences on the environment. It can be said that plutonium is presently one of the elements, whose nuclear and physico-chemical characteristics are the best known. The first part of this issue is a survey of the knowledge acquired on the subject, which emphasizes the sanitary effects and transfer into the environment. Then the properties of plutonium related to energy generation are dealt with. Fissionable, like uranium 235, plutonium has proved a high-performance nuclear fuel. Originally used in breeder reactors, it is now being more and more widely recycled in light water reactors, in MOX fuel. Reprocessing, recycling and manufacturing of these new types of fuel, bound of become more and more widespread, are now part of a self-consistent series of operations, whose technical, economical, industrial and strategical aspects are reviewed. (author)

  4. Plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mueller-Christiansen, K.; Wollesen, M.

    1979-01-01

    As emotions and fear of plutonium are neither useful for the non-professionals nor for the political decision makers and the advantages and disadvantages of plutonium can only put against each other under difficulties, the paper wants to present the most essential scientific data of plutonium in a generally understandable way. Each of the individual sections is concluded and they try to give an answer to the most discussed questions. In order to make understanding easier, the scientific facts are only brought at points where it cannot be done without for the correctness of the presentation. Many details were left out knowingly. On the other hand, important details are dealt with several times if it seems necessary for making the presentation correct. The graphical presentations and the figures in many cases contain more than said in the text. They give the interested reader hints to scientific-technical coherences. The total material is to enable the reader to form his own opinion on plutonium problems which are being discussed in public. (orig./HP) [de

  5. The US plutonium materials conversion program in Russia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zygmunt, S.J.; Mason, C.F.V.; Hahn, W.K.

    2000-01-01

    Progress has been made in Russia towards the conversion of weapons-grade plutonium (w-Pu) into plutonium oxide (PuO 2 ) suitable for further manufacture into mixed oxide (MOX) fuels. This program was started in 1998 in response to US proliferation concerns and the acknowledged international need to decrease the available weapons-grade Pu. A similar agenda is being followed in the US to address disposition of US surplus weapons-grade Pu. In Russia a conversion process has been selected and a site proposed. This paper discusses the present state of the program in support of this future operating facility that will process up to 5 metric tons of plutonium a year. (authors)

  6. Preliminary study on weapon grade uranium utilization in molten salt reactor miniFUJI

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aji, Indarta Kuncoro; Waris, A.

    2014-01-01

    Preliminary study on weapon grade uranium utilization in 25MWth and 50MWth of miniFUJI MSR (molten salt reactor) has been carried out. In this study, a very high enriched uranium that we called weapon grade uranium has been employed in UF 4 composition. The 235 U enrichment is 90 - 95 %. The results show that the 25MWth miniFUJI MSR can get its criticality condition for 1.56 %, 1.76%, and 1.96% of UF 4 with 235 U enrichment of at least 93%, 90%, and 90%, respectively. In contrast, the 50 MWth miniFUJI reactor can be critical for 1.96% of UF 4 with 235 U enrichment of at smallest amount 95%. The neutron spectra are almost similar for each power output

  7. Preliminary study on weapon grade uranium utilization in molten salt reactor miniFUJI

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aji, Indarta Kuncoro [Department of Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Institut Teknologi Bandung (Indonesia); Waris, A., E-mail: awaris@fi.itb.ac.id [Nuclear Physics and Biophysics Research Division, Department of Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Jl. Ganesa No. 10 Bandung 40132 (Indonesia)

    2014-09-30

    Preliminary study on weapon grade uranium utilization in 25MWth and 50MWth of miniFUJI MSR (molten salt reactor) has been carried out. In this study, a very high enriched uranium that we called weapon grade uranium has been employed in UF{sub 4} composition. The {sup 235}U enrichment is 90 - 95 %. The results show that the 25MWth miniFUJI MSR can get its criticality condition for 1.56 %, 1.76%, and 1.96% of UF{sub 4} with {sup 235}U enrichment of at least 93%, 90%, and 90%, respectively. In contrast, the 50 MWth miniFUJI reactor can be critical for 1.96% of UF{sub 4} with {sup 235}U enrichment of at smallest amount 95%. The neutron spectra are almost similar for each power output.

  8. Screening study for evaluation of the potential for system 80+ to consume excess plutonium - Volume 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-01-01

    As part of the U.S. effort to evaluate technologies offering solutions for the safe disposal or utilization of surplus nuclear materials, the fiscal year 1993 Energy and Water Appropriations legislation provided the Department of Energy (DOE) the necessary funds to conduct multi-phased studies to determine the technical feasibility of using reactor technologies for the triple mission of burning weapons grade plutonium, producing tritium for the existing smaller weapons stockpile, and generating commercial electricity. DOE limited the studies to five advanced reactor designs. Among the technologies selected is the ABB-Combustion Engineering (ABB-CE) System 80+. The DOE study, currently in Phase ID, is proceeding with a more detailed evaluation of the design's capability for plutonium disposition

  9. Screening study for evaluation of the potential for system 80+ to consume excess plutonium - Volume 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-01-01

    As part of the U.S. effort to evaluate technologies offering solutions for the safe disposal or utilization of surplus nuclear materials, the fiscal year 1993 Energy and Water Appropriations legislation provided the Department of Energy (DOE) the necessary funds to conduct multi-phased studies to determine the technical feasibility of using reactor technologies for the triple mission of burning weapons grade plutonium, producing tritium for the existing smaller weapons stockpile, and generating commercial electricity. DOE limited the studies to five advanced reactor designs. Among the technologies selected is the ABB-Combustion Engineering (ABB-CE) System 80+. The DOE study, currently in Phase ID, is proceeding with a more detailed evaluation of the design's capability for plutonium disposition

  10. Plutonium Consumption Program, CANDU Reactor Project final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-07-31

    DOE is investigating methods for long term dispositioning of weapons grade plutonium. One such method would be to utilize the plutonium in Mixed OXide (MOX) fuel assemblies in existing CANDU reactors. CANDU (Canadian Deuterium Uranium) reactors are designed, licensed, built, and supported by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), and currently use natural uranium oxide as fuel. The MOX spent fuel assemblies removed from the reactor would be similar to the spent fuel currently produced using natural uranium fuel, thus rendering the plutonium as unattractive as that in the stockpiles of commercial spent fuel. This report presents the results of a study sponsored by the DOE for dispositioning the plutonium using CANDU technology. Ontario Hydro`s Bruce A was used as reference. The fuel design study defined the optimum parameters to disposition 50 tons of Pu in 25 years (or 100 tons). Two alternate fuel designs were studied. Safeguards, security, environment, safety, health, economics, etc. were considered. Options for complete destruction of the Pu were also studied briefly; CANDU has a superior ability for this. Alternative deployment options were explored and the potential impact on Pu dispositioning in the former Soviet Union was studied. An integrated system can be ready to begin Pu consumption in 4 years, with no changes required to the reactors other than for safe, secure storage of new fuel.

  11. Plutonium Consumption Program, CANDU Reactor Project final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-01-01

    DOE is investigating methods for long term dispositioning of weapons grade plutonium. One such method would be to utilize the plutonium in Mixed OXide (MOX) fuel assemblies in existing CANDU reactors. CANDU (Canadian Deuterium Uranium) reactors are designed, licensed, built, and supported by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), and currently use natural uranium oxide as fuel. The MOX spent fuel assemblies removed from the reactor would be similar to the spent fuel currently produced using natural uranium fuel, thus rendering the plutonium as unattractive as that in the stockpiles of commercial spent fuel. This report presents the results of a study sponsored by the DOE for dispositioning the plutonium using CANDU technology. Ontario Hydro's Bruce A was used as reference. The fuel design study defined the optimum parameters to disposition 50 tons of Pu in 25 years (or 100 tons). Two alternate fuel designs were studied. Safeguards, security, environment, safety, health, economics, etc. were considered. Options for complete destruction of the Pu were also studied briefly; CANDU has a superior ability for this. Alternative deployment options were explored and the potential impact on Pu dispositioning in the former Soviet Union was studied. An integrated system can be ready to begin Pu consumption in 4 years, with no changes required to the reactors other than for safe, secure storage of new fuel

  12. Kr-85 signatures for various plutonium production schemes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stanoszek, Paul [Carl Friedrich von Weizsaecker-Centre for Science and Peace Research (Germany)

    2009-07-01

    Kr-85 is considered to be the best atmospheric indicator of unreported weapon-grade material production. This fact is based on the half-life of 10.76 years of Kr-85 and its chemical inactivity, which makes it even detectable after extended periods of cooling time. Kr-85 is produced as fission product during nuclear reactor operation and remains in the fuel until reprocessing starts. In order to determine the detectability of plutonium production the Kr-85 source term has to be assessed. The important issue of this presentation is the question on the minimum signal that an inspector can expect under the assumption that a proliferator minimizes his Kr-85 generation in order to circumvent a Kr-85 detection. A further assumption is that for nuclear weapon production a burn-up of typically around 2 MWd/kg is used. In addition, if clandestine plutonium production takes place, the source term might be used to estimate the amount of separated plutonium. The methodology of this study is based on a linkage between MCNPX and MATLAB. All results for actinide concentrations and Kr-85 are evaluated for different enrichments of U-235 and compared to known literature data. The Kr-85 source term per kilogram plutonium depends on the enrichments. As a result the lowest Kr-85 source term is found for depleted uranium.

  13. Decontamination of material in the Marcoule plutonium producing centre (1961)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rodier, J.; Bouzigues, H.; Boutot, P.

    1961-01-01

    The decontamination of material in an atomic centre is an essential operation in view of the cost and the difficulties of replacement. It also makes it possible to reduce the storage of radio-active materials always an expensive task. Surfaces are contaminated by retention of radioactive products and the mechanism of the bounding forces can be explained in terms of chemical, mechanical, electrostatic and surface tension phenomena. The methods used for decontamination are either physical (section, abrasion, steam, ultrasonics) or chemical (acids, alkalis, detergents, reducing and oxidising agents). At Marcoule, chemical methods of treatment are used. This is effected in tanks, the exact composition of the liquids being regulated from a control panel. Working experience has shown that the fact of operating in humid conditions eliminates all problems of atmospheric contamination; as a result it is possible for the personnel to work without any special protective devices. Almost all the material can be re-utilized and the operations produce only a small volume of liquid waste. The decontamination workshop is operated by a small number of workers. The working costs, including capital repayment and treatment of the waste, do not exceed 15 per cent of the value of the apparatus treated. (authors) [fr

  14. Protected Plutonium Production by Transmutation of Minor Actinides for Peace and Sustainable Prosperity [O1] - Fundamentals of P{sup 3} Mechanism and Methodology Development for Plutonium Categorization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saito, Masaki [Research Laboratory for Nuclear Reactor, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro, Tokyo, 1528550 (Japan)

    2009-06-15

    'Protected Plutonium Production (P{sup 3})' has been proposed to enhance the proliferation resistance of plutonium by the transmutation of Minor Actinides (MAs). Doping the small amount of MAs such as {sup 237}Np or {sup 241}Am with large neutron capture cross-section into the uranium fuel to enhance the production of {sup 238}Pu or {sup 242}Pu, which have high spontaneous fission neutron source or also high decay heat to makes the process of the nuclear weapon manufacture and maintenance technologically difficult, can be effective for improving the isotopic barrier of proliferation resistance of the plutonium in thermal reactors. Super weapon grade plutonium could be produced in the blanket of a conventional FBR. However, by increasing the {sup 238}Pu or {sup 242}Pu ratio in the total plutonium by MAs doping into the fresh blanket, the protected plutonium with high proliferation-resistance can be bred. A new evaluation function, 'attractiveness', defined as a ratio of potential of fission yield to the technological difficulties of nuclear explosive device, has been proposed to evaluate the proliferation resistance of Pu based on the nuclear material property for Plutonium Categorization. In the conference, the fundamentals of P{sup 3} mechanism by transmutation of MA, and the comparison of the 'attractiveness' of the Pu produced in advanced reactors based on P{sup 3} mechanism and in the conventional reactors will be presented. Instead of the geological disposal or just their burning of MAs by the fission reaction, they should be treated as valuable fertile materials to enhance the proliferation resistance of plutonium produced in the thermal and fast breeder reactors for peace and sustainable prosperity in future. Acknowledgement: Some parts of this work have been supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan. (authors)

  15. Western Option - Disarmament of Russian Weapon Plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tveiten, B.; Petroll, M.R.

    2002-01-01

    The Western Option concept describes an approach to the conversion of weapon-grade plutonium from Russian nuclear warheads under the special aspects of meeting the criteria of irreversible utilization. Putting this concept of plutonium conversion into non-weapon-grade material into effect would make a major contribution to improving security worldwide. This study is based on an agreement between the Russian Federation and the United States of America concluded in September 2000. It provides for the conversion of 34 t of weapon-grade plutonium in each of the two states. This goal is also supported by other G8 countries. While the United States performs its part of the agreement under its sole national responsibility, the Russian program needs financial support by Western states. Expert groups have pointed out several options as a so-called basic scenario. The funds of approx. US Dollar 2 billion required to put them into effect have not so far been raised. The Western Option approach described in this contribution combines results of the basic scenario with other existing experience and with technical solutions available for plutonium conversion. One of the attractions of the Western Option lies in its financial advantages, which are estimated to amount to approx. US Dollar 1 billion. (orig.) [de

  16. Screening study for evaluation of the potential for system 80+ to consume excess plutonium - Volume 1. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-04-30

    As part of the U.S. effort to evaluate technologies offering solutions for the safe disposal or utilization of surplus nuclear materials, the fiscal year 1993 Energy and Water Appropriations legislation provided the Department of Energy (DOE) the necessary funds to conduct multi-phased studies to determine the technical feasibility of using reactor technologies for the triple mission of burning weapons grade plutonium, producing tritium for the existing smaller weapons stockpile, and generating commercial electricity. DOE limited the studies to five advanced reactor designs. Among the technologies selected is the ABB-Combustion Engineering (ABB-CE) System 80+. The DOE study, currently in Phase ID, is proceeding with a more detailed evaluation of the design`s capability for plutonium disposition.

  17. Screening study for evaluation of the potential for system 80+ to consume excess plutonium - Volume 2. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-04-30

    As part of the U.S. effort to evaluate technologies offering solutions for the safe disposal or utilization of surplus nuclear materials, the fiscal year 1993 Energy and Water Appropriations legislation provided the Department of Energy (DOE) the necessary funds to conduct multi-phased studies to determine the technical feasibility of using reactor technologies for the triple mission of burning weapons grade plutonium, producing tritium for the existing smaller weapons stockpile, and generating commercial electricity. DOE limited the studies to five advanced reactor designs. Among the technologies selected is the ABB-Combustion Engineering (ABB-CE) System 80+. The DOE study, currently in Phase ID, is proceeding with a more detailed evaluation of the design`s capability for plutonium disposition.

  18. Weapon plutonium in accelerator driven power system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shvedov, O.V.; Murin, B.P.; Kochurov, B.P.; Shubin, Yu.M.; Volk, V.I.; Bogdanov, P.V.

    1997-01-01

    Accelerator Driven Systems are planned to be developed for the use (or destruction) of dozens of tons of weapon-grade Plutonium (W-Pu) resulted from the reducing of nuclear weapons. In the paper are compared the parameters of various types of accelerators, the physical properties of various types of targets and blankets, and the results of fuel cycle simulation. Some economical aspects are also discussed

  19. Multi-generational stewardship of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pillay, K.K.S.

    1997-01-01

    The post-cold war era has greatly enhanced the interest in the long-term stewardship of plutonium. The management of excess plutonium from proposed nuclear weapons dismantlement has been the subject of numerous intellectual discussions during the past several years. In this context, issues relevant to long-term management of all plutonium as a valuable energy resource are also being examined. While there are differing views about the future role of plutonium in the economy, there is a recognition of the environmental and health related problems and proliferation potentials of weapons-grade plutonium. The long-term management of plutonium as an energy resource will require a new strategy to maintain stewardship for many generations to come

  20. Plutonium immobilization program - Cold pour Phase 1 test results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamilton, L.

    2000-01-01

    The Plutonium Immobilization Project will disposition excess weapons grade plutonium. It uses the can-in-canister approach that involves placing plutonium-ceramic pucks in sealed cans that are then placed into Defense Waste Processing Facility canisters. These canisters are subsequently filled with high-level radioactive waste glass. This process puts the plutonium in a stable form and makes it unattractive for reuse. A cold (non-radioactive) glass pour program was performed to develop and verify the baseline design for the canister and internal hardware. This paper describes the Phase 1 scoping test results

  1. Plutonium Immobilization Program - Cold pour Phase 1 test results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamilton, L.

    2000-01-01

    The Plutonium Immobilization Project will disposition excess weapons grade plutonium. It uses the can-in-canister approach that involves placing plutonium-ceramic pucks in sealed cans that are then placed into Defense Waste Processing Facility canisters. These canisters are subsequently filled with high-level radioactive waste glass. This process puts the plutonium in a stable form and makes it unattractive for reuse. A cold (non-radioactive) glass pour program was performed to develop and verify the baseline design for the canister and internal hardware. This paper describes the Phase 1 scoping test results

  2. Plutonium Immobilization Project - Can-In-Canister Hardware Development/Selection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamilton, L.

    2001-01-01

    The Plutonium Immobilization Project (PIP) is a program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop technology to disposition excess weapons grade plutonium. This program introduces the ''Can-in-Canister'' (CIC) technology that immobilizes the plutonium by encapsulating it in ceramic forms (or pucks) and ultimately surrounding it with high-level waste glass to provide a deterrent to recovery. Since there are significant radiation, contamination and security concerns, the project team is developing unique technologies to remotely perform plutonium immobilization tasks. This paper covers the design, development and testing of the magazines (cylinders containing cans of ceramic pucks) and the rack that holds them in place inside the waste glass canister. Several magazine and rack concepts were evaluated to produce a design that gives the optimal balance between resistance to thermal degradation and facilitation of remote handling. This paper also reviews the effort to develop a jointed arm robot that can remotely load seven magazines into defined locations inside a stationary canister working only through the 4 inch (102 mm) diameter canister throat

  3. Plutonium Immobilization Project - Can-In-Canister Hardware Development/Selection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamilton, L.

    2001-01-01

    The Plutonium Immobilization Project (PIP) is a program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop technology to disposition excess weapons grade plutonium. This program introduces the ''Can-in-Canister'' (CIC) technology that immobilizes the plutonium by encapsulating it in ceramic forms (or pucks) and ultimately surrounding it with high-level waste glass to provide a deterrent to recovery. Since there are significant radiation, contamination and security concerns, the project team is developing unique technologies to remotely perform plutonium immobilization tasks. This paper covers the design, development and testing of the magazines (cylinders containing cans of ceramic pucks) and the rack that holds them in place inside the waste glass canister. Several magazine and rack concepts were evaluated to produce a design that gives the optimal balance between resistance to thermal degradation and facilitation of remote handling. This paper also reviews the effort to develop a join ted arm robot that can remotely load seven magazines into defined locations inside a stationary canister working only through the 4 inch (102 mm) diameter canister throat

  4. Prospective studies of HTR fuel cycles involving plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bonin, B.; Greneche, D.; Carre, F.; Damian, F.; Doriath, J.Y.

    2002-01-01

    High Temperature Gas Cooled reactors (HTRs) are able to accommodate a wide variety of mixtures of fissile and fertile materials without any significant modification of the core design. This flexibility is due to an uncoupling between the parameters of cooling geometry, and the parameters which characterize neutronic optimisation (moderation ratio or heavy nuclide concentration and distribution). Among other advantageous features, an HTR core has a better neutron economy than a LWR because there is much less parasitic capture in the moderator (capture cross section of graphite is 100 times less than the one of water) and in internal structures. Moreover, thanks to the high resistance of the coated particles, HTR fuels are able to reach very high burn-ups, far beyond the possibilities offered by other fuels (except the special case of molten salt reactors). These features make HTRs especially interesting for closing the nuclear fuel cycle and stabilizing the plutonium inventory. A large number of fuel cycle studies are already available today, on 3 main categories of fuel cycles involving HTRs : i) High enriched uranium cycle, based on thorium utilization as a fertile material and HEU as a fissile material; ii) Low enriched uranium cycle, where only LEU is used (from 5% to 12%); iii) Plutonium cycle based on the utilization of plutonium only as a fissile material, with (or without) fertile materials. Plutonium consumption at high burnups in HTRs has already been tested with encouraging results under the DRAGON project and at Peach Bottom. To maximize plutonium consumption, recent core studies have also been performed on plutonium HTR cores, with special emphasis on weapon-grade plutonium consumption. In the following, we complete the picture by a core study for a HTR burning reactor-grade plutonium. Limits in burnup due to core neutronics are investigated for this type of fuel. With these limits in mind, we study in some detail the Pu cycle in the special case of a

  5. TSUNAMI analysis of the applicability of proposed experiments to reactor-grade and weapons-grade mixed-oxide systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rearden, Bradley T.; Hopper, Calvin M.; Elam, Karla R.

    2005-01-01

    The applicability of proposed critical experiments for the criticality code validation of a series of prototypic reactor-grade and weapons-grade mixed-oxide systems has been assessed with the TSUNAMI methodology from SCALE 5. The application systems were proposed by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Working Party on Nuclear Criticality Safety MOX Experimental Needs Working Group. Forty-eight application systems were conceived to envelope the range of conditions in processing and fabrication of reactor-grade and weapons-grade MOX fuel. The applicability of 303 existing critical benchmarks to each of the 48 applications was assessed, and validation coverage was found to be lacking for certain applications. Two series of proposed critical experiments were also considered in this analysis. The TSUNAMI analysis has revealed that both series of proposed experiments are applicable to numerous configurations of the reactor-grade and weapons-grade systems. A detailed assessment of which experiments were revealed by TSUNAMI to be most applicable to specific prototypic fuel processing systems has been performed. (author)

  6. Accelerator-driven assembly for plutonium transformation (ADAPT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuyle, Greorgy J. Van; Todosow, Michael; Powell, James; Schweitzer, Donald

    1995-01-01

    A particle accelerator-driven spallation target and corresponding blanket region are proposed for the ultimate disposition of weapons-grade plutonium being retired from excess nuclear weapons in the U.S. and Russia. The highly fissle plutonium is contained within .25 to .5 cm diameter silicon-carbide coated graphite beads, which are cooled by helium, within the slightly subcritical blanket region. Major advantages include very high one-pass burnup (over 90%), a high integrity waste form (the coated beads), and operation in a subcritical mode, thereby minimizing the vulnerability to the positive reativity feedbacks often associated with plutonium fuel.

  7. DOE plutonium disposition study: Pu consumption in ALWRs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-01-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) has contracted with Asea Brown Boveri-Combustion Engineering (ABB-CE) to provide information on the capability of ABB-CE's System 80 + Advanced Light Water Reactor (ALWR) to transform, through reactor burnup, 100 metric tonnes (MT) of weapons grade plutonium (Pu) into a form which is not readily useable in weapons. This information is being developed as part of DOE's Plutonium Disposition Study, initiated by DOE in response to Congressional action. This document Volume 2, provides a discussion of: Plutonium Fuel Cycle; Technology Needs; Regulatory Considerations; Cost and Schedule Estimates; and Deployment Strategy

  8. The U.S. weapon-grade plutonium shipment. Safety and security concern for the ''Eurofab'' operation in France

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marignac, Y.; Coeytaux, X.

    2004-09-01

    The present report is a comprehensive update based on a briefing published by W.I.S.E.-Paris in July 2003 on the US plan-also known as Eurofab- to have M.O.X. lead test assemblies fabricated in the French plant of ATPu, Cadarache. Based on recent developments, it discussed the specific risks raised by the unprecedented operation, in particular at the transport and fabrication stages. This analysis includes a joint assessment, by W.I.S.E.-Paris and Large and Associates, in response to the French Institute of radiation protection and nuclear safety (I.R.S.N.) criticism over the independent reports they previously published on this issue. (author)

  9. Generalized Rate Theory for Void and Bubble Swelling and its Application to Delta-Plutonium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Allen, P. G. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Wall, M. A. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Wolfer, W. G. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2016-10-04

    A rate theory for void and bubble swelling is derived that allows both vacancies and self-interstitial atoms to be generated by thermal activation at all sinks. In addition, they can also be produced by displacement damage from external and internal radiation. This generalized rate theory (GRT) is applied to swelling of gallium-stabilized δ-plutonium in which α-decay causes the displacement damage. Since the helium atoms produced also become trapped in vacancies, a distinction is made between empty and occupied vacancies. The growth of helium bubbles observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in weapons-grade and in material enriched with Pu238 is analyzed, using different values for the formation energy of self-interstitial atoms (SIA) and two different sets of relaxation volumes for the vacancy and for the SIA. One set allows preferential capture of SIA at dislocations, while the other set gives equal preference to both vacancy and SIA. It is found that the helium bubble diameters observed are in better agreement with GRT predictions if no preferential capture occurs at dislocations. Therefore, helium bubbles in δ-plutonium will not evolve into voids. The helium density within the bubbles remains sufficiently high to cause thermal emission of SIA. Based on a helium density between two to three helium atoms per vacant site, the sum of formation and migration energies must be around 2.0 eV for SIA in δ-plutonium.

  10. The radiological hazard of plutonium isotopes and specific plutonium mixtures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heindel, G.; Clow, J.; Inkret, W.; Miller, G.

    1995-11-01

    The US Department of Energy defines the hazard categories of its nuclear facilities based upon the potential for accidents to have significant effects on specific populations and the environment. In this report, the authors consider the time dependence of hazard category 2 (significant on-site effects) for facilities with inventories of plutonium isotopes and specific weapons-grade and heat-source mixtures of plutonium isotopes. The authors also define relative hazard as the reciprocal of the hazard category 2 threshold value and determine its time dependence. The time dependence of both hazard category 2 thresholds and relative hazards are determined and plotted for 10,000 years to provide useful information for planning long-term storage or disposal facilities

  11. PRODUCTION OF PLUTONIUM METAL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyon, W.L.; Moore, R.H.

    1961-01-17

    A process is given for producing plutonium metal by the reduction of plutonium chloride, dissolved in alkali metal chloride plus or minus aluminum chloride, with magnesium or a magnesium-aluminum alloy at between 700 and 800 deg C and separating the plutonium or plutonium-aluminum alloy formed from the salt.

  12. ANL-W MOX fuel lead assemblies data report for the surplus plutonium disposition environmental impact statement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Connor, D.G.; Fisher, S.E.; Holdaway, R.

    1997-08-01

    The purpose of this document is to support the US Department of Energy (DOE) Fissile Materials Disposition Program's preparation of the draft surplus plutonium disposition environmental impact statement (EIS). This is one of several responses to data call requests for background information on activities associated with the operation of the lead assembly (LA) mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication facility. The DOE Office of fissile Materials Disposition (DOE-MD) has developed a dual-path strategy for disposition of surplus weapons-grade plutonium. One of the paths is to disposition surplus plutonium through irradiation of MOX fuel in commercial nuclear reactors. MOX fuel consists of plutonium and uranium oxides (PuO 2 and UO 2 ), typically containing 95% or more UO 2 . DOE-MD requested that the DOE Site Operations Offices nominate DOE sites that meet established minimum requirements that could produce MOX LAs. The paper describes the following: Site map and the LA facility; process descriptions; resource needs; employment requirements; wastes, emissions, and exposures; accident analysis; transportation; qualitative decontamination and decommissioning; post-irradiation examination; LA fuel bundle fabrication; LA EIS data report assumptions; and LA EIS data report supplement

  13. ANL-W MOX fuel lead assemblies data report for the surplus plutonium disposition environmental impact statement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    O`Connor, D.G.; Fisher, S.E.; Holdaway, R. [and others

    1997-08-01

    The purpose of this document is to support the US Department of Energy (DOE) Fissile Materials Disposition Program`s preparation of the draft surplus plutonium disposition environmental impact statement (EIS). This is one of several responses to data call requests for background information on activities associated with the operation of the lead assembly (LA) mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication facility. The DOE Office of fissile Materials Disposition (DOE-MD) has developed a dual-path strategy for disposition of surplus weapons-grade plutonium. One of the paths is to disposition surplus plutonium through irradiation of MOX fuel in commercial nuclear reactors. MOX fuel consists of plutonium and uranium oxides (PuO{sub 2} and UO{sub 2}), typically containing 95% or more UO{sub 2}. DOE-MD requested that the DOE Site Operations Offices nominate DOE sites that meet established minimum requirements that could produce MOX LAs. The paper describes the following: Site map and the LA facility; process descriptions; resource needs; employment requirements; wastes, emissions, and exposures; accident analysis; transportation; qualitative decontamination and decommissioning; post-irradiation examination; LA fuel bundle fabrication; LA EIS data report assumptions; and LA EIS data report supplement.

  14. Charge distribution on plutonium-containing aerosols produced in mixed-oxide reactor fuel fabrication and the laboratory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yeh, H.C.; Newton, G.J.; Teague, S.V.

    1976-01-01

    The inhalation toxicity of potentially toxic aerosols may be affected by the electrostatic charge on the particles. Charge may influence the deposition site during inhalation and therefore its subsequent clearance and dose patterns. The electrostatic charge distributions on plutonium-containing aerosols were measured with a miniature, parallel plate, aerosol electrical mobility spectrometer. Two aerosols were studied: a laboratory-produced 238 PuO 2 aerosol (15.8 Ci/g) and a plutonium mixed-oxide aerosol (PU-MOX, natural UO 2 plus PuO 2 , 0.02 Ci/g) formed during industrial centerless grinding of mixed-oxide reactor fuel pellets. Plutonium-238 dioxide particles produced in the laboratory exhibited a small net positive charge within a few minutes after passing through a 85 Kr discharger due to alpha particle emission removal of valence electrons. PU-MOX aerosols produced during centerless grinding showed a charge distribution essentially in Boltzmann equilibrium. The gross alpha aerosol concentrations (960-1200 nCi/l) within the glove box were sufficient to provide high ion concentrations capable of discharging the charge induced by mechanical and/or nuclear decay processes

  15. Recycling of plutonium and uranium in water reactor fuel. Proceedings of a technical committee meeting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-05-01

    The Technical Committee Meeting on Recycling of Plutonium and Uranium in Water Reactor Fuel was recommended by the International Working Group on Fuel Performance and Technology (IWGFPT). Its aim was to obtain an overall picture of MOX fabrication capacity and technology, actual performance of this kind of fuel, and ways explored to dispose of the weapons grade plutonium. The subject of this meeting had been reviewed by the International Atomic Energy Agency every 5 to 6 years and for the first time the problem of weapons grade plutonium disposal was included. The papers presented provide a summary of experience on MOX fuel and ongoing research in this field in the participating countries. The meeting was hosted by British Nuclear Fuels plc, at Newby Bridge, United Kingdom, from 3 to 7 July 1995. Fifty-six participants from twelve countries or international organizations took part. Refs, figs, tabs

  16. Plutonium Disposition Now exclamation point

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buckner, M.R.

    1995-01-01

    A means for use of existing processing facilities and reactors for plutonium disposition is described which requires a minimum capital investment and allows rapid implementation. The scenario includes interim storage and processing under IAEA control, and fabrication into MOX fuel in existing or planned facilities in Europe for use in operating reactors in the two home countries. Conceptual studies indicate that existing Westinghouse four-loop designs can safety dispose of 0.94 MT of plutonium per calendar year. Thus, it would be possible to consume the expected US excess stockpile of about 50 MT in two to three units of this type, and it is highly likely that a comparable amount of the FSU excess plutonium could be deposed of in a few VVER-1000's. The only major capital project for this mode of plutonium disposition would be the weapons-grade plutonium processing which could be done in a dedicated international facility or using existing facilities in the US and FSU under IAEA control. This option offers the potential for quick implementation at a very low cost to the governments of the two countries

  17. Excess plutonium disposition using ALWR technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Phillips, A.; Buckner, M.R.; Radder, J.A.; Angelos, J.G.; Inhaber, H.

    1993-02-01

    The Office of Nuclear Energy of the Department of Energy chartered the Plutonium Disposition Task Force in August 1992. The Task Force was created to assess the range of practicable means of disposition of excess weapons-grade plutonium. Within the Task Force, working groups were formed to consider: (1) storage, (2) disposal,and(3) fission options for this disposition,and a separate group to evaluate nonproliferation concerns of each of the alternatives. As a member of the Fission Working Group, the Savannah River Technology Center acted as a sponsor for light water reactor (LWR) technology. The information contained in this report details the submittal that was made to the Fission Working Group of the technical assessment of LWR technology for plutonium disposition. The following aspects were considered: (1) proliferation issues, (2) technical feasibility, (3) technical availability, (4) economics, (5) regulatory issues, and (6) political acceptance

  18. Development of advanced mixed oxide fuels for plutonium management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eaton, S.; Beard, C.; Buksa, J.; Butt, D.; Chidester, K.; Havrilla, G.; Ramsey, K.

    1997-06-01

    A number of advanced Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel forms are currently being investigated at Los Alamos National Laboratory that have the potential to be effective plutonium management tools. Evolutionary Mixed Oxide (EMOX) fuel is a slight perturbation on standard MOX fuel, but achieves greater plutonium destruction rates by employing a fractional nonfertile component. A pure nonfertile fuel is also being studied. Initial calculations show that the fuel can be utilized in existing light water reactors and tailored to address different plutonium management goals (i.e., stabilization or reduction of plutonium inventories residing in spent nuclear fuel). In parallel, experiments are being performed to determine the feasibility of fabrication of such fuels. Initial EMOX pellets have successfully been fabricated using weapons-grade plutonium

  19. Development of advanced mixed oxide fuels for plutonium management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eaton, S.; Beard, C.; Buksa, J.; Butt, D.; Chidester, K.; Havrilla, G.; Ramsey, K.

    1997-01-01

    A number of advanced Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel forms are currently being investigated at Los Alamos National Laboratory that have the potential to be effective plutonium management tools. Evolutionary Mixed Oxide (EMOX) fuel is a slight perturbation on standard MOX fuel, but achieves greater plutonium destruction rates by employing a fractional nonfertile component. A pure nonfertile fuel is also being studied. Initial calculations show that the fuel can be utilized in existing light water reactors and tailored to address different plutonium management goals (i.e., stabilization or reduction of plutonium inventories residing in spent nuclear fuel). In parallel, experiments are being performed to determine the feasibility of fabrication of such fuels. Initial EMOX pellets have successfully been fabricated using weapons-grade plutonium. (author)

  20. Examination of the potential for diversion or clandestine dual use of a pebble-bed reactor to produce plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ougouag, A.M.; Terry, W.K.; Gougar, H.D.

    2002-01-01

    This paper explores the susceptibility of Pebble-Bed Reactors (PBRs) to be used overtly or covertly for the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons. The basic assumption made for the consideration of overt production is that a country would purchase a PBR with the ostensible motive of producing electric power; then, after the power plant was built, the country would divert the facility entirely to the production of weapons material. It is assumed that the country would then have to manufacture production pebbles from natural uranium. The basic assumption made for covert production is that the country would obtain and use a PBR for power production, but that it would clandestinely feed plutonium production pebbles through the reactor in such small numbers that the perturbation on power plant operation would be very difficult to detect. This paper shows the potential rate of plutonium production under such constraints. It is demonstrated that the PBR is a very poor choice for either form of proliferation-intent use. (author)

  1. Recycling of nuclear matters. Myths and realities. Calculation of recycling rate of the plutonium and uranium produced by the French channel of spent fuel reprocessing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coeytaux, X.; Schneider, M.

    2000-05-01

    The recycling rate of plutonium and uranium are: from the whole of the plutonium separated from the spent fuel ( inferior to 1% of the nuclear matter content) attributed to France is under 50% (under 42 tons on 84 tons); from the whole of plutonium produced in the French reactors is less than 20% (42 tons on 224 tons); from the whole of the uranium separated from spent fuels attributed to France is about 10 % (1600 tons on 16000 tons); from the whole of the uranium contained in the spent fuel is slightly over 5%. (N.C.)

  2. Reactor-Based Plutonium Disposition: Opportunities, Options, and Issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greene, S.R.

    1999-01-01

    The end of the Cold War has created a legacy of surplus fissile materials (plutonium and highly enriched uranium) in the United States (U.S.) and the former Soviet Union. These materials pose a danger to national and international security. During the past few years, the U.S. and Russia have engaged in an ongoing dialog concerning the safe storage and disposition of surplus fissile material stockpiles. In January 1997, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the U. S. would pursue a dual track approach to rendering approximately 50 metric tons of plutonium inaccessible for use in nuclear weapons. One track involves immobilizing the plutonium by combining it with high-level radioactive waste in glass or ceramic ''logs''. The other method, referred to as reactor-based disposition, converts plutonium into mixed oxide (MOX) fuel for nuclear reactors. The U.S. and Russia are moving ahead rapidly to develop and demonstrate the technology required to implement the MOX option in their respective countries. U.S. MOX fuel research and development activities were started in the 1950s, with irradiation of MOX fuel rods in commercial light water reactors (LWR) from the 1960s--1980s. In all, a few thousand MOX fuel rods were successfully irradiated. Though much of this work was performed with weapons-grade or ''near'' weapons-grade plutonium--and favorable fuel performance was observed--the applicability of this data for licensing and use of weapons-grade MOX fuel manufactured with modern fuel fabrication processes is somewhat limited. The U.S. and Russia are currently engaged in an intensive research, development, and demonstration program to support implementation of the MOX option in our two countries. This paper focuses on work performed in the U.S. and provides a brief summary of joint U.S./Russian work currently underway

  3. Reactor-based plutonium disposition: Opportunities, options, and issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greene, S.

    2000-01-01

    The end of the Cold War has created a legacy of surplus fissile materials (plutonium and highly enriched uranium) in the United States (U.S.) and the former Soviet Union. These materials pose a danger to national and international security. During the past few years, the U.S. and Russia have engaged in an ongoing dialog concerning the safe storage and disposition of surplus fissile material stockpiles. In January 1997, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the U.S. would pursue a dual track approach to rendering approximately 50 metric tons of plutonium inaccessible for use in nuclear weapons. One track involves immobilizing the plutonium by combining it with high-level radioactive waste in glass or ceramic ''logs''. The other method, referred to as reactor-based disposition, converts plutonium into mixed oxide (MOX) fuel for nuclear reactors. The U.S. and Russia are moving ahead rapidly to develop and demonstrate the technology required to implement the MOX option in their respective countries. U.S. MOX fuel research and development activities were started in the 1950s with irradiation of MOX fuel rods in commercial light water reactors (LWR) from the 1960s-1980s. In all, a few thousand MOX fuel rods were successfully irradiated. Though much of this work was performed with weapons-grade or ''near'' weapons-grade plutonium - and favorable fuel performance was observed - the applicability of this data for licensing and use of weapons-grade MOX fuel manufactured with modem fuel fabrication processes is somewhat limited. The U.S. and Russia are currently engaged in an intensive research, development, and demonstration program to support implementation of the MOX option in our two countries. This paper focuses on work performed in the U.S. and provides a brief summary of joint U.S./Russian work currently underway. (author)

  4. PRISM reactor. An option for plutonium disposition?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fehlinger, Sebastian; Friess, Friederike; Kuett, Moritz [IANUS, Technische Universitaet Darmstadt (Germany)

    2015-07-01

    The Power Reactor Innovative Small Module (PRISM) is sodium cooled fast reactor model. The energy output depends on the core configuration, however with an energy output of approximately 300 MWe, the PRISM reactor belongs to the class of small modular reactors. Beside using the reactor as a breeder reactor or for the transmutation of nuclear waste, it might also be used as a burner reactor for separated plutonium. This includes for example U.S.-American excess weapon-grade plutonium as well as separated reactor-grade plutonium. Recently, there has been an ongoing discussion in GB to use the PRISM reactor to dispose their excess civilian plutonium. Depending on the task, the core configuration varies slightly. We will present different layouts and the matching MCNP models, these models can then be used to conduct depletion calculations. From these results, analysis of the change in the plutonium isotopics in the spent fuel, the amount of fissioned plutonium, and the possible annual plutonium throughputs is possible.

  5. Safe disposal of surplus plutonium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, W. L.; Naz, S.; Lutze, W.; Busch, R.; Prinja, A.; Stoll, W.

    2001-06-01

    About 150 tons of weapons grade and weapons usable plutonium (metal, oxide, and in residues) have been declared surplus in the USA and Russia. Both countries plan to convert the metal and oxide into mixed oxide fuel for nuclear power reactors. Russia has not yet decided what to do with the residues. The US will convert residues into a ceramic, which will then be over-poured with highly radioactive borosilicate glass. The radioactive glass is meant to provide a deterrent to recovery of plutonium, as required by a US standard. Here we show a waste form for plutonium residues, zirconia/boron carbide (ZrO 2/B 4C), with an unprecedented combination of properties: a single, radiation-resistant, and chemically durable phase contains the residues; billion-year-old natural analogs are available; and criticality safety is given under all conceivable disposal conditions. ZrO 2/B 4C can be disposed of directly, without further processing, making it attractive to all countries facing the task of plutonium disposal. The US standard for protection against recovery can be met by disposal of the waste form together with used reactor fuel.

  6. Management of Russian military plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zaleski, C.P.

    1996-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to propose and discuss a solution which enables storing as quickly as possible all weapons-grade plutonium from Russian military program in a way which would prevent diversion. Two main conditions apply to this solution. First, it should be achieved in a manner acceptable to Russian government, notably by preserving plutonium for possible future energy production, and second, the economics of the total system should be good enough to ensure no charge or limited charge for the storage of plutonium. A proposal is made to store plutonium in a specially designed fast reactor or specially designed reactor core. This solution could be favorable in comparison to other solutions applying the above mentioned goal and conditions. Additionally the proposed solution would have the following side advantages: utilizing available personnel and installations of the Russian nuclear complex; providing possible basis for decommissioning of older and less safe Russian reactors; giving experience of construction and operation of a series of sodium-cooled fast reactors. The major problem however is the need for large capital investment with the risk of getting no adequate return on investment due to difficult political and economic situation in Russia

  7. DOE plutonium disposition study: Pu consumption in ALWRs. Volume 2, Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-05-15

    The Department of Energy (DOE) has contracted with Asea Brown Boveri-Combustion Engineering (ABB-CE) to provide information on the capability of ABB-CE`s System 80 + Advanced Light Water Reactor (ALWR) to transform, through reactor burnup, 100 metric tonnes (MT) of weapons grade plutonium (Pu) into a form which is not readily useable in weapons. This information is being developed as part of DOE`s Plutonium Disposition Study, initiated by DOE in response to Congressional action. This document Volume 2, provides a discussion of: Plutonium Fuel Cycle; Technology Needs; Regulatory Considerations; Cost and Schedule Estimates; and Deployment Strategy.

  8. Fuel qualification issues and strategies for reactor-based surplus plutonium disposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cowell, B.S.; Copeland, G.L.; Moses, D.L.

    1997-08-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) has proposed irradiation of mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel in existing commercial reactors as a disposition method for surplus plutonium from the weapons program. The burning of MOX fuel in reactors is supported by an extensive technology base; however, the infrastructure required to implement reactor-based plutonium disposition does not exist domestically. This report identifies and examines the actions required to qualify and license weapons-grade (WG) plutonium-based MOX fuels for use in domestic commercial light-water reactors (LWRs)

  9. The plutonium fuel cycles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pigford, T.H.; Ang, K.P.

    1975-01-01

    The quantities of plutonium and other fuel actinides have been calculated for equilibrium fuel cycles for 1000-MW water reactors fueled with slightly enriched uranium, water reactors fueled with plutonium and natural uranium, fast-breder reactors, gas-cooled reactors fueled with thorium and highly enriched uranium, and gas-cooled reactors fueled with thorium, plutonium and recycled uranium. The radioactivity quantities of plutonium, americium and curium processed yearly in these fuel cycles are greatest for the water reactors fueled with natural uranium and recycled plutonium. The total amount of actinides processed is calculated for the predicted future growth of the U.S. nuclear power industry. For the same total installed nuclear power capacity, the introduction of the plutonium breeder has little effect upon the total amount of plutonium in this century. The estimated amount of plutonium in the low-level process wastes in the plutonium fuel cycles is comparable to the amount of plutonium in the high-level fission product wastes. The amount of plutonium processed in the nuclear fuel cycles can be considerably reduced by using gas-cooled reactors to consume plutonium produced in uranium-fueled water reactors. These, and other reactors dedicated for plutonium utilization, could be co-located with facilities for fuel reprocessing ad fuel fabrication to eliminate the off-site transport of separated plutonium. (author)

  10. Study on material attractiveness aspect of spent nuclear fuel of LWR and FBR cycles based on isotopic plutonium production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Permana, Sidik; Suzuki, Mitsutoshi; Saito, Masaki; Novitrian,; Waris, Abdul; Suud, Zaki

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • The paper analyzes the plutonium production of recycling nuclear fuel option. • To evaluate material attractiveness based on intrinsic feature of material barrier. • Evaluation based on isotopic plutonium composition of spent fuel LWR and FBR. • Even mass number of plutonium gives a significant contribution to material barrier, in particular Pu-238 and Pu-240. • Doping MA in FBR blanket is effective to increase material barrier from weapon grade plutonium to more than MOX fuel grade. - Abstract: Recycling minor actinide (MA) as well as used uranium and plutonium can be considered to reduce nuclear waste production as well as to increase the intrinsic aspect of nuclear nonproliferation as doping material. Plutonium production as a significant aspect of recycling nuclear fuel option, gives some advantages and challenges, such as fissile material utilization of plutonium as well as production of some even mass number plutonium. The study intends to evaluate the material attractiveness based on the intrinsic feature of material barrier such as plutonium composition, decay heat and spontaneous fission neutron components from spent fuel (SF) light water reactor (LWR) and fast breeder reactor (FBR) cycles. A significant contribution has been shown by decay heat (DH) and spontaneous fission neutron (SFN) of even mass number of plutonium isotopes to the total DH and SFN of plutonium element, in particular from isotopic plutonium Pu-238 and Pu-240 contributions. Longer decay cooling time and higher burnup are effective to increase the material barrier (DH and SFN) level from reactor grade plutonium level to MOX grade plutonium level. Material barrier of plutonium element from spent fuel (SF) FBR in the core regions has similarity to the material barrier profile of SF LWR which can be categorized as MOX fuel grade plutonium. Plutonium compositions, DH and SFN components are categorized as weapon grade plutonium level for FBR blanket regions with no

  11. DOE Plutonium Disposition Study: Pu consumption in ALWRs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-01-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) has contracted with Asea Brown Boveri-Combustion Engineering (ABB-CE) to provide information on the capability of ABB-CE's System 80 + Advanced Light Water Reactor (ALWR) to transform, through reactor burnup, 100 metric tonnes (MT) of weapons grade plutonium (Pu) into a form which is not readily useable in weapons. This information is being developed as part of DOE's Plutonium Disposition Study, initiated by DOE in response to Congressional action. This document, Volume 1, presents a technical description of the various elements of the System 80 + Standard Plant Design upon which the Plutonium Disposition Study was based. The System 80 + Standard Design is fully developed and directly suited to meeting the mission objectives for plutonium disposal. The bass U0 2 plant design is discussed here

  12. LLNL MOX fuel lead assemblies data report for the surplus plutonium disposition environmental impact statement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Connor, D.G.; Fisher, S.E.; Holdaway, R.

    1998-08-01

    The purpose of this document is to support the US Department of Energy (DOE) Fissile Materials Disposition Program's preparation of the draft surplus plutonium disposition environmental impact statement. This is one of several responses to data call requests for background information on activities associated with the operation of the lead assembly (LA) mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication facility. The DOE Office of Fissile Materials Disposition (DOE-MD) has developed a dual-path strategy for disposition of surplus weapons-grade plutonium. One of the paths is to disposition surplus plutonium through irradiation of MOX fuel in commercial nuclear reactors. MOX fuel consists of plutonium and uranium oxides (PuO 2 and UO 2 ), typically containing 95% or more UO 2 . DOE-MD requested that the DOE Site Operations Offices nominate DOE sites that meet established minimum requirements that could produce MOX LAs. LLNL has proposed an LA MOX fuel fabrication approach that would be done entirely inside an S and S Category 1 area. This includes receipt and storage of PuO 2 powder, fabrication of MOX fuel pellets, assembly of fuel rods and bundles, and shipping of the packaged fuel to a commercial reactor site. Support activities will take place within a Category 1 area. Building 332 will be used to receive and store the bulk PuO 2 powder, fabricate MOX fuel pellets, and assemble fuel rods. Building 334 will be used to assemble, store, and ship fuel bundles. Only minor modifications would be required of Building 332. Uncontaminated glove boxes would need to be removed, petition walls would need to be removed, and minor modifications to the ventilation system would be required

  13. LLNL MOX fuel lead assemblies data report for the surplus plutonium disposition environmental impact statement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    O`Connor, D.G.; Fisher, S.E.; Holdaway, R. [and others

    1998-08-01

    The purpose of this document is to support the US Department of Energy (DOE) Fissile Materials Disposition Program`s preparation of the draft surplus plutonium disposition environmental impact statement. This is one of several responses to data call requests for background information on activities associated with the operation of the lead assembly (LA) mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication facility. The DOE Office of Fissile Materials Disposition (DOE-MD) has developed a dual-path strategy for disposition of surplus weapons-grade plutonium. One of the paths is to disposition surplus plutonium through irradiation of MOX fuel in commercial nuclear reactors. MOX fuel consists of plutonium and uranium oxides (PuO{sub 2} and UO{sub 2}), typically containing 95% or more UO{sub 2}. DOE-MD requested that the DOE Site Operations Offices nominate DOE sites that meet established minimum requirements that could produce MOX LAs. LLNL has proposed an LA MOX fuel fabrication approach that would be done entirely inside an S and S Category 1 area. This includes receipt and storage of PuO{sub 2} powder, fabrication of MOX fuel pellets, assembly of fuel rods and bundles, and shipping of the packaged fuel to a commercial reactor site. Support activities will take place within a Category 1 area. Building 332 will be used to receive and store the bulk PuO{sub 2} powder, fabricate MOX fuel pellets, and assemble fuel rods. Building 334 will be used to assemble, store, and ship fuel bundles. Only minor modifications would be required of Building 332. Uncontaminated glove boxes would need to be removed, petition walls would need to be removed, and minor modifications to the ventilation system would be required.

  14. Storage of plutonium and nuclear power plant actinide waste in the form of critical-mass-free ceramics containing neutron poisons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nadykto, B.A. [RFNC-VNIIEF, Nizhni Novgorod Region (Russian Federation)

    2001-07-01

    The nuclear weapons production has resulted in accumulation of a large quantity of plutonium and uranium highly enriched with uranium-235 isotope (many tons). The work under ISTC Project 332B-97 treated the issues of safe plutonium storage through making critical-mass-free plutonium oxide compositions with neutron poisons. This completely excludes immediate utilization (without chemical reprocessing) of retained plutonium in nuclear devices. It is therewith possible to locate plutonium most compactly in the storage facility, which would allow reduction in required storage areas and costs. The issues of the surplus weapon-grade plutonium management and utilization have been comprehensively studied in the recent decade. The issues are treated in multiple scientific publications, conferences, and seminars. At the same time, issues of nuclear power engineering actinide waste storage are studied no less extensively. The general issues are material radioactivity and energy release and nuclear accident hazards due to critical mass generation. Plutonium accumulated in nuclear power plant spent fuel is more accessible than weapon-grade plutonium and can become of higher and higher interest with time as its activity reduces, including as material for nuclear devices. The urgency of plutonium management is presently related not only to accumulation of surplus weapon-grade plutonium, but also to the fact that it is high time to decide what has to be done regarding reactor plutonium. Presently, the possibility of actinide separation from NPP spent nuclear fuel and compact underground burial separately from other (mainly fragment) activity is being considered. Actinide and neutron poison base critical-mass-free ceramic materials (similar to plutonium ceramics) may be useful for this burial method. (author)

  15. Storage of plutonium and nuclear power plant actinide waste in the form of critical-mass-free ceramics containing neutron poisons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nadykto, B.A.

    2001-01-01

    The nuclear weapons production has resulted in accumulation of a large quantity of plutonium and uranium highly enriched with uranium-235 isotope (many tons). The work under ISTC Project 332B-97 treated the issues of safe plutonium storage through making critical-mass-free plutonium oxide compositions with neutron poisons. This completely excludes immediate utilization (without chemical reprocessing) of retained plutonium in nuclear devices. It is therewith possible to locate plutonium most compactly in the storage facility, which would allow reduction in required storage areas and costs. The issues of the surplus weapon-grade plutonium management and utilization have been comprehensively studied in the recent decade. The issues are treated in multiple scientific publications, conferences, and seminars. At the same time, issues of nuclear power engineering actinide waste storage are studied no less extensively. The general issues are material radioactivity and energy release and nuclear accident hazards due to critical mass generation. Plutonium accumulated in nuclear power plant spent fuel is more accessible than weapon-grade plutonium and can become of higher and higher interest with time as its activity reduces, including as material for nuclear devices. The urgency of plutonium management is presently related not only to accumulation of surplus weapon-grade plutonium, but also to the fact that it is high time to decide what has to be done regarding reactor plutonium. Presently, the possibility of actinide separation from NPP spent nuclear fuel and compact underground burial separately from other (mainly fragment) activity is being considered. Actinide and neutron poison base critical-mass-free ceramic materials (similar to plutonium ceramics) may be useful for this burial method. (author)

  16. Complementary technologies for verification of excess plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Langner, D.G.; Nicholas, N.J.; Ensslin, N.; Fearey, B.L.; Mitchell, D.J.; Marlow, K.W.; Luke, S.J.; Gosnell, T.B.

    1998-01-01

    Three complementary measurement technologies have been identified as candidates for use in the verification of excess plutonium of weapons origin. These technologies: high-resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy, neutron multiplicity counting, and low-resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy, are mature, robust technologies. The high-resolution gamma-ray system, Pu-600, uses the 630--670 keV region of the emitted gamma-ray spectrum to determine the ratio of 240 Pu to 239 Pu. It is useful in verifying the presence of plutonium and the presence of weapons-grade plutonium. Neutron multiplicity counting is well suited for verifying that the plutonium is of a safeguardable quantity and is weapons-quality material, as opposed to residue or waste. In addition, multiplicity counting can independently verify the presence of plutonium by virtue of a measured neutron self-multiplication and can detect the presence of non-plutonium neutron sources. The low-resolution gamma-ray spectroscopic technique is a template method that can provide continuity of knowledge that an item that enters the a verification regime remains under the regime. In the initial verification of an item, multiple regions of the measured low-resolution spectrum form a unique, gamma-radiation-based template for the item that can be used for comparison in subsequent verifications. In this paper the authors discuss these technologies as they relate to the different attributes that could be used in a verification regime

  17. Stop plutonium; Stop plutonium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2003-02-01

    This press document aims to inform the public on the hazards bound to the plutonium exploitation in France and especially the plutonium transport. The first part is a technical presentation of the plutonium and the MOX (Mixed Oxide Fuel). The second part presents the installation of the plutonium industry in France. The third part is devoted to the plutonium convoys safety. The highlight is done on the problem of the leak of ''secret'' of such transports. (A.L.B.)

  18. Peaceful uses of nuclear weapon plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burtak, F.

    1996-01-01

    In 1993, the U.S.A. and the CIS signed Start 2 (the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) in which they committed themselves the reduce their nuclear weapon arsenals to a fraction of that of 1991. For forty-five years the antagonism between the superpowers had been a dominating factor in world history, determining large areas of social life. When Start 2 will have been completed in 2003, some 200 t of weapon grade plutonium and some 2000 t of highly enriched uranium (Heu) will arise from dismantling nuclear weapons. In the absence of the ideological ballast of the debate about Communism versus Capitalism of the past few decades there is a chance of the grave worldwide problem of safe disposal and utilization of this former nuclear weapon material being solved. Under the heading of 'swords turned into plowshares', plutonium and uranium could be used for peaceful electricity generation. (orig.) [de

  19. Plutonium dispositioning in CANDU

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boczar, P.G.; Feinroth, H.; Luxat, J.C.

    1995-07-01

    Recently, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) to evaluate salient technical, strategic, schedule, and cost-related parameters of using CANDU reactors for dispositioning of weapons-grade plutonium in the form of Mixed OXide (MOX) fuel. A study team, consisting of key staff from the CANDU reactor designers and researchers (AECL), operators (Ontario Hydro) and fuel suppliers, analyzed all significant factors involved in such application, with the objective of identifying an arrangement that would permit the burning of MOX in CANDU at the earliest date. One of Ontario Hydro's multi-unit stations, Bruce A nuclear generating station (4x769 MW(e)), was chosen as the reference for the study. The assessment showed that no significant modifications of reactor or process systems are necessary to operate with a full MOX core. Plant modifications would be limited to fuel handling and modifications necessary to accommodate enhanced security and safeguards requirements. No safety limitations were identified

  20. The use of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marshall, W.

    1980-01-01

    The use of plutonium as a vital energy source producing maximum economic benefit with minimum proliferation risks is discussed. Having considered the production of plutonium, several possible plutonium fuel cycle options are identified and the economic value to be attached to plutonium for each examined. It is shown how the use of plutonium in fast reactors gives an opportunity for a non-proliferation policy not available when plutonium is used only in thermal reactors. From the technical considerations reviewed concerning plutonium and fast reactors it is shown that an economic regime involving international trade in spent thermal reactor fuel is possible which benefits equally those countries with fast reactors and those without and also assists in avoiding the proliferation of nuclear weapons. (U.K.)

  1. Technology for down-blending weapons grade uranium into commercial reactor-usable uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arbital, J.G.; Snider, J.D.

    1996-01-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is evaluating options for rendering surplus inventories of highly enriched uranium (HEU) incapable of being used in nuclear weapons. Weapons-capable HEU was earlier produced by enriching the uranium isotope 235 U from its natural occurring 0.71 percent isotopic concentration to at least 20 percent isotopic concentration. Now, by permanently diluting the concentration of the 235 U isotope, the weapons capability of HEU can be eliminated in a manner that is reversible only through isotope re-enrichment, and therefore, highly resistant to proliferation. To the extent that can be economically and technically justified, the down-blended, low-enriched uranium product will be made suitable for use as commercial reactor fuel. Such down-blended uranium product can also be disposed of as waste if chemical or isotopic impurities preclude its use as reactor fuel. The DOE has evaluated three candidate processes for down blending surplus HEU. These candidate processes are: (1) uranium hexafluoride blending; (2) molten uranium metal blending; and (3) uranyl nitrate solution blending. This paper describes each of these candidate processes. It also compares the relative advantages and disadvantages of each process with respect to: (1) the various forms and compounds of HEU comprising the surplus inventory, (2) the use of down-blended product as commercial reactor fuel, or (3) its disposal as waste

  2. Disposition of plutonium-239 via production of fission molybdenum-99

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mushtaq, A., E-mail: muahtaq_a1953@hotmail.co [Isotope Production Division, Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, P.O. Nilore, Islamabad (Pakistan)

    2011-04-15

    A heritage of physical consequences of the U.S.-Soviet arms race has accumulated, the weapons-grade plutonium (WPu), which will become excess as a result of the dismantlement of the nuclear weapons under the arms reduction agreements. Disposition of Pu has been proposed by mixing WPu with high-level radioactive waste with subsequent vitrification into large, highly radioactive glass logs or fabrication into mixed oxide fuel with subsequent irradiation in existing light water reactors. A potential option may be the production of medical isotope molybdenum-99 by using Pu-239 targets.

  3. Application of Sensitivity and Uncertainty Analysis Methods to a Validation Study for Weapons-Grade Mixed-Oxide Fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dunn, M.E.

    2001-01-01

    At the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), sensitivity and uncertainty (S/U) analysis methods and a Generalized Linear Least-Squares Methodology (GLLSM) have been developed to quantitatively determine the similarity or lack thereof between critical benchmark experiments and an application of interest. The S/U and GLLSM methods provide a mathematical approach, which is less judgment based relative to traditional validation procedures, to assess system similarity and estimate the calculational bias and uncertainty for an application of interest. The objective of this paper is to gain experience with the S/U and GLLSM methods by revisiting a criticality safety evaluation and associated traditional validation for the shipment of weapons-grade (WG) MOX fuel in the MO-1 transportation package. In the original validation, critical experiments were selected based on a qualitative assessment of the MO-1 and MOX contents relative to the available experiments. Subsequently, traditional trending analyses were used to estimate the Δk bias and associated uncertainty. In this paper, the S/U and GLLSM procedures are used to re-evaluate the suite of critical experiments associated with the original MO-1 evaluation. Using the S/U procedures developed at ORNL, critical experiments that are similar to the undamaged and damaged MO-1 package are identified based on sensitivity and uncertainty analyses of the criticals and the MO-1 package configurations. Based on the trending analyses developed for the S/U and GLLSM procedures, the Δk bias and uncertainty for the most reactive MO-1 package configurations are estimated and used to calculate an upper subcritical limit (USL) for the MO-1 evaluation. The calculated bias and uncertainty from the S/U and GLLSM analyses lead to a calculational USL that supports the original validation study for the MO-1

  4. Non-fertile fuels for burning weapons plutonium in thermal fission reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lombardi, C.; Mazzola, A.; Vettraino, F.

    1996-01-01

    In the last few years, the excess plutonium disposition has become ever more a topical and critical issue. As a matter of fact, more than 200 MT of plutonium coming from spent fuel reprocessing have been already stockpiled and over the next decade, under the already ratified agreements, another about 200 MT of weapon-grade plutonium are expected to be available from nuclear weapons dismantlement. On this basis, an ever growing plutonium production is no longer the goal and the already stored quantities should be burnt in power reactors by taking care that no new plutonium is generated under irradiation. This new outlook in considering plutonium has led many designers to reassess the Fast Breeder Reactors (FBR) role and shifting from breeder to burner machines perspective. Several solutions for burning plutonium have been so far proposed and discussed from the safeguards, proliferation resistance, environmental safety, technological background, economy and time schedule standpoint. A proposal for plutonium burning in commercial Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR) by using a non-fertile oxide-type fuel consisting of PuO 2 diluted in an inert matrix is reported hereafter. This solution appears to receive an ever growing interest in the nuclear community. In order not to produce new plutonium during irradiation an innovative U-free fuel is being researched, based on an inert matrix which will consist in a mixed compound of inert oxides, such as ZrO 2 , Al2O 3 , MgO, CeO 2 where the plutonium oxide is dispersed in. The matrix will fulfill the following requirements: good chemical compatibility, acceptable thermal conductivity, good nuclear properties, good stability under irradiation, good dissolution resistance. The plutonium relative content will be comparable to that used in MOX fuel. The fuel is expected to be characterized by a high chemical stability (rock-like fuel), so that after discharge from reactor and adequate cooling time, it can be considered a High Level

  5. A summary of volatile impurity measurements and gas generation studies on MISSTD-1, a high-purity plutonium oxide produced by low-temperature calcination of plutonium oxalate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berg, John M. [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Narlesky, Joshua E. [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Veirs, Douglas K. [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2012-06-08

    Plutonium dioxide of high specific surface area was subjected to long-term tests of gas generation in sealed containers. The material preparation and the storage conditions were outside the bounds of acceptable parameters defined by DOE-STD-3013-2012 in that the material was stabilized to a lower temperature than required and had higher moisture content than allowed. The data provide useful information for better defining the bounding conditions for safe storage. Net increases in internal pressure and transient increases in H{sub 2} and O{sub 2} were observed, but were well within the bounds of gas compositions previously shown to not threaten integrity of 3013 containers.

  6. A summary of volatile impurity measurements and gas generation studies on MISSTD-1, a high-purity plutonium oxide produced by low-temperature calcination of plutonium oxalate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berg, John M.; Narlesky, Joshua E.; Veirs, Douglas K.

    2012-01-01

    Plutonium dioxide of high specific surface area was subjected to long-term tests of gas generation in sealed containers. The material preparation and the storage conditions were outside the bounds of acceptable parameters defined by DOE-STD-3013-2012 in that the material was stabilized to a lower temperature than required and had higher moisture content than allowed. The data provide useful information for better defining the bounding conditions for safe storage. Net increases in internal pressure and transient increases in H 2 and O 2 were observed, but were well within the bounds of gas compositions previously shown to not threaten integrity of 3013 containers.

  7. Chemical and Radiochemical Composition of Thermally Stabilized Plutonium Oxide from the Plutonium Finishing Plant Considered as Alternate Feedstock for the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tingey, Joel M.; Jones, Susan A.

    2005-01-01

    PFP. Samples varied in appearance depending on the original source of material. Rocky Flats items were mostly dark olive green with clumps that crushed easily with a mortar and pestle. PRF/RMC items showed more variability. These items were mostly rust colored. One sample contained white particles that were difficult to crush, and another sample was a dark grey with a mixture of fines and large, hard fragments. The appearance and feel of the fragments indicated they might be an alloy. The color of the solution samples was indicative of the impurities in the sample. The double-pass filtrate solution was a brown color indicative of the iron impurities in the sample. The other solution sample was light gray in color. Radiochemical analyses, including thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS), alpha and gamma energy analysis (AEA and GEA), and kinetic phosphorescence analysis (KPA), indicate that these materials are all weapons-grade plutonium with consistent plutonium isotopics. A small amount of uranium (<0.14 wt%) is also present in these samples. The isotopic composition of the uranium varied widely but was consistent among each category of material. The primary water-soluble anions in these samples were Cl-, NO3-, SO42-, and PO43-. The only major anion observed in the Rocky Flats materials was Cl-, but the PRF/RMC samples had significant quantities of all of the primary anions observed. Prompt gamma measurements provide a representative analysis of the Cl- concentration in the bulk material. The primary anions observed in the solution samples were NO3-, and PO43-. The concentration of these anions did not exceed the mixed oxide (MOX) specification limits. Cations that exceeded the MOX specification limits included Cr, Fe, Ni, Al, Cu, and Si. All of the samples exceeded at least the 75% specification limit in one element

  8. Properties of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahn, Jin Su; Yoon, Hwan Ki; Min, Kyung Sik; Kim, Hyun Tae; Ahn, Jong Sung; Kwag, Eon Ho; Ryu, Keon Joong

    1996-03-01

    Plutonium has unique chemical and physical properties. Its uniqueness in use has led to rare publications, in Korea. This report covers physical aspects of phase change of metal plutonium, mechanical properties, thermal conductivity, etc, chemical aspects of corrosion, oxidation, how to produce plutonium from spent fuels by describing various chemical treatment methods, which are currently used and were used in the past. It also contains characteristics of the purex reprocessing process which is the most widely used nowadays. And show processes to purify and metalize from recovered plutonium solution. Detection and analysis methods are introduced with key pints for handling, critical safety, toxicity, and effects on peoples. This report gives not only a general idea on what plutonium is, rather than deep technical description, but also basic knowledge on plutonium production and safeguards diversion from the view point of nonproliferation. 18 refs. (Author) .new

  9. Properties of plutonium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ahn, Jin Su; Yoon, Hwan Ki; Min, Kyung Sik; Kim, Hyun Tae; Ahn, Jong Sung; Kwag, Eon Ho; Ryu, Keon Joong [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daeduk (Korea, Republic of)

    1996-03-01

    Plutonium has unique chemical and physical properties. Its uniqueness in use has led to rare publications, in Korea. This report covers physical aspects of phase change of metal plutonium, mechanical properties, thermal conductivity, etc, chemical aspects of corrosion, oxidation, how to produce plutonium from spent fuels by describing various chemical treatment methods, which are currently used and were used in the past. It also contains characteristics of the purex reprocessing process which is the most widely used nowadays. And show processes to purify and metalize from recovered plutonium solution. Detection and analysis methods are introduced with key pints for handling, critical safety, toxicity, and effects on peoples. This report gives not only a general idea on what plutonium is, rather than deep technical description, but also basic knowledge on plutonium production and safeguards diversion from the view point of nonproliferation. 18 refs. (Author) .new.

  10. Plutonium fires; Incendies de plutonium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mestre, E.

    1959-06-23

    The author reports an information survey on accidents which occurred when handling plutonium. He first addresses accidents reported in documents. He indicates the circumstances and consequences of these accidents (explosion in glove boxes, fires of plutonium chips, plutonium fire followed by filter destruction, explosion during plutonium chip dissolution followed by chip fire). He describes hazards associated with plutonium fires: atmosphere and surface contamination, criticality. The author gives some advices to avoid plutonium fires. These advices concern electric installations, the use of flammable solvents, general cautions associated with plutonium handling, venting and filtration. He finally describes how to fight plutonium fires, and measures to be taken after the fire (staff contamination control, atmosphere control)

  11. Radioactive contamination of aquatic organisms of the Yenisei river in the area affected by the activity of a Russian plutonium complex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bolsunovsky, A.; Sukovaty, A.

    2005-01-01

    The Yenisei River, one of the world's largest rivers, is contaminated with artificial radionuclides released by a Russian facility producing weapons-grade plutonium, which has been in operation for many years. The aim of the study conducted between 1997 and 2003 was to investigate accumulation of artificial radionuclides by aquatic organisms of the Yenisei River and to estimate the exposure dose rates to organisms from various sources. The aquatic plants sampled were of three species: Potamogeton lucens, Fontinalis antipyretica, and Ceratophyllum demersum. The gamma-spectrometric and radiochemical analysis of the samples of aquatic plants for artificial radionuclides has revealed more than 20 long-lived and short-lived radionuclides, including plutonium isotopes. The aquatic animal Phylolimnogammarus viridis and diatoms also contain artificial radionuclides. For most aquatic organisms under study, the dose received from the artificial irradiation is an order of magnitude higher than the dose received from natural irradiation. As Fontinalis antipyretica features the highest capacity to accumulate artificial radionuclides, it accumulates the largest artificial exposure does among the study aquatic organisms (up to 39 μGy/day)

  12. The U.S. weapon-grade plutonium shipment. Safety and security concern for the ''Eurofab'' operation in France

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marignac, Y.; Coeytaux, X

    2004-09-15

    The present report is a comprehensive update based on a briefing published by W.I.S.E.-Paris in July 2003 on the US plan-also known as Eurofab- to have M.O.X. lead test assemblies fabricated in the French plant of ATPu, Cadarache. Based on recent developments, it discussed the specific risks raised by the unprecedented operation, in particular at the transport and fabrication stages. This analysis includes a joint assessment, by W.I.S.E.-Paris and Large and Associates, in response to the French Institute of radiation protection and nuclear safety (I.R.S.N.) criticism over the independent reports they previously published on this issue. (author)

  13. Methodology for the Inventory and Assessment of Americium Contamination Level in 1987 in an Area of Palomares Contaminated with Plutonium Weapon Grade

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Espinosa, A.; Aragon, A.; Cruz de la, B.

    2001-01-01

    This paper presents a methodology applied for the assessment of the ''241 Am coming from the decay of ''241 Pu isotope content in a contaminated area of Palomares, where the clean-up work done in 1966, given the negligible agricultural importance of such area at the time and its geographical characteristics, was not of the same magnitude as for the rest of the region. (Author) 4 refs

  14. Stop plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-02-01

    This press document aims to inform the public on the hazards bound to the plutonium exploitation in France and especially the plutonium transport. The first part is a technical presentation of the plutonium and the MOX (Mixed Oxide Fuel). The second part presents the installation of the plutonium industry in France. The third part is devoted to the plutonium convoys safety. The highlight is done on the problem of the leak of ''secret'' of such transports. (A.L.B.)

  15. Joint U.S./Russian plutonium disposition study: Nonproliferation issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaeger, C.; Erkkila, B.; Fearey, B.; Ehinger, M.; McAllister, S.; Chitaykin, V.; Ptashny, V.

    1996-01-01

    In an effort to establish joint activities in the disposition of fissile materials from nuclear materials, the US and Russia agreed to conduct joint work to develop consistent comparisons of various alternatives for the disposition of weapons-grade plutonium. Joint working groups were established for the analysis of alternatives for plutonium management for water reactors, fast reactors, storage, geological formations, immobilization and stabilization of solutions and other forms. In addition cross-cutting working groups were established for economic analysis and nonproliferation (NP). This paper reviews the activities of the NP working group in support of these studies. The NP working group provided integrated support in the area of nuclear NP to the other US/Russian Study teams. It involved both domestic safeguards and security and international safeguards. The analysis of NP involved consideration of the resistance to theft or diversion and resistance to retrieval, extraction or reuse

  16. Characterizing Surplus US Plutonium for Disposition - 13199

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Allender, Jeffrey S. [Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken SC 29808 (United States); Moore, Edwin N. [Moore Nuclear Energy, LLC, Savannah River Site, Aiken SC 29808 (United States)

    2013-07-01

    The United States (US) has identified 61.5 metric tons (MT) of plutonium that is permanently excess to use in nuclear weapons programs, including 47.2 MT of weapons-grade plutonium. Surplus inventories will be stored safely by the Department of Energy (DOE) and then transferred to facilities that will prepare the plutonium for permanent disposition. The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) operates a Feed Characterization program for the Office of Fissile Materials Disposition (OFMD) of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the DOE Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM). SRNL manages a broad program of item tracking through process history, laboratory analysis, and non-destructive assay. A combination of analytical techniques allows SRNL to predict the isotopic and chemical properties that qualify materials for disposition through the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF). The research also defines properties that are important for other disposition paths, including disposal to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) as transuranic waste (TRUW) or to high-level waste (HLW) systems. (authors)

  17. Plutonium Immobilization Project - Robotic canister loading

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamilton, R.L.

    2000-01-01

    The Plutonium Immobilization Program (PIP) is a joint venture between the Savannah River Site (SRS), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). When operational in 2008, the PIP will fulfill the nation's nonproliferation commitment by placing surplus weapons-grade plutonium in a permanently stable ceramic form and making it unattractive for reuse. Since there are significant radiation and security concerns, the program team is developing novel and unique technology to remotely perform plutonium immobilization tasks. The remote task covered in this paper employs a jointed arm robot to load seven 3.5 inch diameter, 135-pound cylinders (magazines) through the 4 inch diameter neck of a stainless steel canister. Working through the narrow canister neck, the robot secures the magazines into a specially designed rack pre-installed in the canister. To provide the deterrent effect, the canisters are filled with a mixture of high-level waste and glass at the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF)

  18. The toxicity of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crouse, P.L.

    1994-01-01

    Shipments of plutonium occasionally pass around the Cape coastal waters on its way to Japan from Europe. This invariably leads to a great deal of speculation of the dangers involved and of the extreme toxicity of plutonium, with the media and environmental groups claiming that (a) plutonium is the most toxic substance known to man, and that (b) a few kilograms of plutonium ground finely and dispersed in the atmosphere could kill every human being on earth. Comparisons with other poisons are drawn, e.g. common inorganic chemicals and biological agents. The original scare around the extraordinary toxicity of Pu seems to have started in 1974 with the claims of Tamplin and Cochran's hot particle theory about plutonium lodging in the sensitive portions of the lungs in small concentrated aggregates where they are much more effective in producing cancers. This theory, however, is regarded as thoroughly discredited by the experts in the field of radiotoxicity. 8 refs

  19. Plutonium storage phenomenology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szempruch, R.

    1995-12-01

    Plutonium has been produced, handled, and stored at Department of Energy (DOE) facilities since the 1940s. Many changes have occurred during the last 40 years in the sources, production demands, and end uses of plutonium. These have resulted in corresponding changes in the isotopic composition as well as the chemical and physical forms of the processed and stored plutonium. Thousands of ordinary food pack tin cans have been used successfully for many years to handle and store plutonium. Other containers have been used with equal success. This paper addressees the exceptions to this satisfactory experience. To aid in understanding the challenges of handling plutonium for storage or immobilization the lessons learned from past storage experience and the necessary countermeasures to improve storage performance are discussed

  20. Plutonium controversy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Richmond, C.R.

    1980-01-01

    The toxicity of plutonium is discussed, particularly in relation to controversies surrounding the setting of radiation protection standards. The sources, amounts of, and exposure pathways of plutonium are given and the public risk estimated

  1. Plutonium controversy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Richmond, C.R.

    1980-01-01

    The toxicity of plutonium is discussed, particularly in relation to controversies surrounding the setting of radiation protection standards. The sources, amounts of, and exposure pathways of plutonium are given and the public risk estimated. (ACR)

  2. Plutonium disposition study phase 1b final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-01-01

    This report provides the results of the Westinghouse activities performed as part of the Plutonium Disposition Study Phase 1b. These activities, which took place from May 16, 1993 to September 15, 1993, build upon the work completed in Phase 1a, which concluded on May 15, 1993. In Phase 1a, three Plutonium Disposal Reactor (PDR) options were developed for the disposal of excess weapons grade plutonium from returned and dismantled nuclear weapons. This report documents the results of several tasks that were performed to further knowledge in specific areas leading up to Phase 2 of the PDR Study. The Westinghouse activities for Phase 1b are summarized as follows: (1) resolved technical issues concerning reactor physics including equilibrium cycle calculations, use of gadolinium, moderator temperature coefficient, and others as documented in Section 2.0; (2) analyzed large Westinghouse commercial plants for plutonium disposal; (3) reactor safety issues including the steam line break were resolved, and are included in Section 2.0; (4) several tasks related to the PDR Fuel Cycle were examined; (5) cost and deployment options were examined to determine optimal configuration for both plutonium disposal and tritium production; (6) response to questions from DOE and National Academy of Scientists (NAS) reviewers concerning the PDR Phase 1a report are included in Appendix A

  3. U.S. weapons-usable plutonium disposition policy: Implementation of the MOX fuel option

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woods, A.L. [ed.] [Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium, TX (United States); Gonzalez, V.L. [Texas A and M Univ., College Station, TX (United States). Dept. of Political Science

    1998-10-01

    A comprehensive case study was conducted on the policy problem of disposing of US weapons-grade plutonium, which has been declared surplus to strategic defense needs. Specifically, implementation of the mixed-oxide fuel disposition option was examined in the context of national and international nonproliferation policy, and in contrast to US plutonium policy. The study reveals numerous difficulties in achieving effective implementation of the mixed-oxide fuel option including unresolved licensing and regulatory issues, technological uncertainties, public opposition, potentially conflicting federal policies, and the need for international assurances of reciprocal plutonium disposition activities. It is believed that these difficulties can be resolved in time so that the implementation of the mixed-oxide fuel option can eventually be effective in accomplishing its policy objective.

  4. U.S. weapons-useable plutonium disposition policy: Implementation of the MOX fuel option

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woods, A.L.; Gonzalez, V.L.

    1998-10-01

    A comprehensive case study was conducted on the policy problem of disposing of US weapons-grade plutonium, which has been declared surplus to strategic defense needs. Specifically, implementation of the mixed-oxide fuel disposition option was examined in the context of national and international nonproliferation policy, and in contrast to US plutonium policy. The study reveals numerous difficulties in achieving effective implementation of the mixed-oxide fuel option including unresolved licensing and regulatory issues, technological uncertainties, public opposition, potentially conflicting federal policies, and the need for international assurances of reciprocal plutonium disposition activities. It is believed that these difficulties can be resolved in time so that the implementation of the mixed-oxide fuel option can eventually be effective in accomplishing its policy objective

  5. Advanced PWR Core Design with Siemens High-Plutonium-Content MOX Fuel Assemblies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dieter Porsch; Gerhard Schlosser; Hans-Dieter Berger

    2000-01-01

    The Siemens experience with plutonium recycling dates back to the late 1960s. Over the years, extensive research and development programs were performed for the qualification of mixed-oxide (MOX) technology and design methods. Today's typical reload enrichments for uranium and MOX fuel assemblies and modern core designs have become more demanding with respect to accuracy and reliability of design codes. This paper presents the status of plutonium recycling in operating high-burnup pressurized water reactor (PWR) cores. Based on actual examples, it describes the validation status of the design methods and stresses current and future needs for fuel assembly and core design including those related to the disposition of weapons-grade plutonium

  6. Plutonium Oxide Process Capability Work Plan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meier, David E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Tingey, Joel M. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2014-02-28

    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has been tasked to develop a Pilot-scale Plutonium-oxide Processing Unit (P3U) providing a flexible capability to produce 200g (Pu basis) samples of plutonium oxide using different chemical processes for use in identifying and validating nuclear forensics signatures associated with plutonium production. Materials produced can also be used as exercise and reference materials.

  7. Decontamination of material in the Marcoule plutonium producing centre (1961); La decontamination du materiel dans le centre de production du plutonium de Marcoule (1961)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodier, J; Bouzigues, H; Boutot, P [Commissariat a l' Energie Atomique, Centre de Production de Plutonium, Marcoule (France). Centre d' Etudes Nucleaires

    1961-07-01

    The decontamination of material in an atomic centre is an essential operation in view of the cost and the difficulties of replacement. It also makes it possible to reduce the storage of radio-active materials always an expensive task. Surfaces are contaminated by retention of radioactive products and the mechanism of the bounding forces can be explained in terms of chemical, mechanical, electrostatic and surface tension phenomena. The methods used for decontamination are either physical (section, abrasion, steam, ultrasonics) or chemical (acids, alkalis, detergents, reducing and oxidising agents). At Marcoule, chemical methods of treatment are used. This is effected in tanks, the exact composition of the liquids being regulated from a control panel. Working experience has shown that the fact of operating in humid conditions eliminates all problems of atmospheric contamination; as a result it is possible for the personnel to work without any special protective devices. Almost all the material can be re-utilized and the operations produce only a small volume of liquid waste. The decontamination workshop is operated by a small number of workers. The working costs, including capital repayment and treatment of the waste, do not exceed 15 per cent of the value of the apparatus treated. (authors) [French] La decontamination du materiel dans un centre atomique est une operation indispensable etant donne le cout et les difficultes du remplacement. Elle contribue aussi a diminuer les stockages toujours onereux des materiaux radioactifs. Les surfaces se contaminent par retention de corps radioactifs, l'origine des forces de liaison devant etre recherchee dans les phenomenes chimiques, mecaniques, electro-statiques ou de tensions superficielles. Les methodes de decontamination peuvent etre physiques (aspiration, abrasion, vapeur, ultra-sons) ou chimiques (acides, alcalins, detergents, reducteurs, oxydants). Sur le centre de Marcoule, la methode des traitements chimiques a ete

  8. Plutonium Immobilization Program cold pour tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hovis, G.L.; Stokes, M.W.; Smith, M.E.; Wong, J.W.

    1999-01-01

    The Plutonium Immobilization Program (PIP) is a joint venture between the Savannah River Site, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to carry out the disposition of excess weapons-grade plutonium. This program uses the can-in-canister (CIC) approach. CIC involves encapsulating plutonium in ceramic forms (or pucks), placing the pucks in sealed stainless steel cans, placing the cans in long cylindrical magazines, latching the magazines to racks inside Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) canisters, and filling the DWPF canisters with high-level waste glass. This process puts the plutonium in a stable form and makes it attractive for reuse. At present, the DWPF pours glass into empty canisters. In the CIC approach, the addition of a stainless steel rack, magazines, cans, and ceramic pucks to the canisters introduces a new set of design and operational challenges: All of the hardware installed in the canisters must maintain structural integrity at elevated (molten-glass) temperatures. This suggests that a robust design is needed. However, the amount of material added to the DWPF canister must be minimized to prevent premature glass cooling and excessive voiding caused by a large internal thermal mass. High metal temperatures, minimizing thermal mass, and glass flow paths are examples of the types of technical considerations of the equipment design process. To determine the effectiveness of the design in terms of structural integrity and glass-flow characteristics, full-scale testing will be conducted. A cold (nonradioactive) pour test program is planned to assist in the development and verification of a baseline design for the immobilization canister to be used in the PIP process. The baseline design resulting from the cold pour test program and CIC equipment development program will provide input to Title 1 design for second-stage immobilization. The cold pour tests will be conducted in two

  9. Neutronic design of a plutonium-thorium burner small nuclear reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartanto, Donny

    2010-02-01

    A small nuclear reactor using thorium and plutonium fuel has been designed from the neutronic point of view. The thermal power of the reactor is 150 MWth and it is proposed to be used to supply electricity in an island in Indonesia. Thorium and plutonium fuel was chosen because in recent years the thorium fuel cycle is one of the promising ways to deal with the increasing number of plutonium stockpiles, either from the utilization of uranium fuel cycle or from nuclear weapon dismantling. A mixed fuel of thorium and plutonium will not generate the second generation of plutonium which will be a better way to incinerate the excess plutonium compared with the MOX fuel. Three kinds of plutonium grades which are the reactor grade (RG), weapon grade (WG), and spent fuel grade (SFG) plutonium, were evaluated as the thorium fuel mixture in the 17x17 Westinghouse PWR Fuel assembly. The evaluated parameters were the multiplication factor, plutonium depletion, fissile buildup, neutron spectrum, and temperature reactivity feedback. An optimization was also done to increase the plutonium depletion by changing the Moderator to Fuel Ratio (MFR). The computer codes TRITON (coupled NEWT and ORIGEN-S) in SCALE version 6 were used as the calculation tool for this assembly level. From the evaluation and optimization of the fuel assembly, the whole core was designed. The core was consisted of 2 types of thorium fuel with different plutonium grade and it followed the checkerboard loading pattern. A new concept of enriched burnable poison was also introduced to the core. The core life is 6.4 EFPY or 75 GWd/MTHM. It can burn up to 58% of its total mass of initial plutonium. VENTURE was used as the calculation tool for the core level

  10. Lung cancer after internal alpha-exposure of the lung from incorporated plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mikhail, S.

    2004-01-01

    Several epidemiological studies among workers of first Russian nuclear complex Mayak which produced weapon-grade plutonium showed significant increase of lung cancer mortality. The estimated shape of the dose-response was linear with both alpha and gamma dose but risk coefficients for gamma-exposure are on the edge of the significance level. This study was performed in the cohort of male Mayak nuclear workers initially hired in 1948-1958 with known levels of plutonium exposure. Number of observed lung cancer cases available for analyses in this cohort was 217. The relative risk of death from lung cancer among smokers was 10.7 (5.5-25.2) comparatively to non-smokers. This is in good correspondence with results of other studies. The excess relative risk per one Gray was 63. (4.1-9.7) for internal alpha-exposure and 0.18 (0.01-0.5) for external gamma-exposure. According to a model this gives 16:112:60:29 cases of lung cancer attributed to background, smoking, internal alpha-and external gamma-exposure, correspondingly. The relative risks of death from lung cancer were also estimated in a nested case-control study with lung cancer deaths as cases. Controls were selected from the cohort and matched for birth year to account for trend in lung cancer mortality with time. The analyses with nested case-control approach gave relative risks for smoking 14.7 (6.8-38.9). Relative risk of lung cancer among non-smokers after accumulating 0.34 Gy of alpha-exposure to lung was 3.7 (1.7-9.0). It should be emphasized that in fact after accumulation 0.3-0.4 Gy of absorbed dose 3-4 fold increase in lung cancer mortality was observed. This dose is very close to the dose which would be produced after intake of plutonium in quantities which are permissible today. (Author)

  11. Plutonium oxides and uranium and plutonium mixed oxides. Carbon determination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    Determination of carbon in plutonium oxides and uranium plutonium mixed oxides, suitable for a carbon content between 20 to 3000 ppm. The sample is roasted in oxygen at 1200 0 C, the carbon dioxide produced by combustion is neutralized by barium hydroxide generated automatically by coulometry [fr

  12. SRS vitrification studies in support of the U.S. program for disposition of excess plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wicks, G.G.; McKibben, J.M.; Plodinec, M.J.; Ramsey, W.G.

    1995-01-01

    Many thousands of nuclear weapons are being retired in the U.S. and Russian as a result of nuclear disarmament activities. These efforts are expected to produce a surplus of about 50 MT of weapons grade plutonium (Pu) in each country. In addition to this inventory, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has more than 20 MT of Pu scrap, residue, etc., and Russian is also believed to have at least as much of this type of material. The entire surplus Pu inventories in the U.S. and Russian present a clear and immediate danger to national and international security. It is important that a solution be found to secure and manage this material effectively and that such an effort be implemented as quickly as possible. One option under consideration is vitrification of Pu into a safe, durable, accountable and proliferation-resistant form. As a result of decades to experience within the DOE community involving vitrification of a variety of hazardous and radioactive wastes, this existing technology can now be expanded to include mobilization of large amounts of Pu. This technology can then be implemented rapidly using the many existing resources currently available. An overall strategy to vitrify many different types of Pu will be already developed throughout the waste management community can be used in a staged Pu vitrification effort. This approach uses the flexible vitrification technology already available and can even be made portable so that it may be brought to the source and ultimately, used to produce a consistent and common borosilicate glass composition for the vitrified Pu. The final composition of this product can be made similar to nationally and internationally accepted HLW glasses

  13. Production of Plutonium Metal from Aqueous Solutions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Orth, D.A.

    2003-01-16

    The primary separation of plutonium from irradiated uranium by the Purex solvent extraction process at the Savannah River Plant produces a dilute plutonium solution containing residual fission products and uranium. A cation exchange process is used for concentration and further decontamination of the plutonium, as the first step in the final preparation of metal. This paper discusses the production of plutonium metal from the aqueous solutions.

  14. Plutonium controversy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gofman, J.W.

    1976-01-01

    If the world chooses to seek a solution to the energy dilemma through nuclear energy, the element plutonium will become an article of commerce to be handled in quantities of thousands of tonnes annually. Plutonium is a uniquely potent inhalation carcinogen, the potential induction of lung cancer dwarfing other possible toxic effects. For reasons to be presented here, it is the author's opinion that plutonium's carcinogenicity has been very seriously underestimated. If one couples the corrected carcinogenicity with the probable degree of industrial containment of the plutonium, it appears that the commercialization of a plutonium-based energy economy is not an acceptable option for society. Sagan's statement that ''the experience of 30 years supports the contention that plutonium can be used safely'' is manifestly indefensible. No meaningful epidemiological study of plutonium-exposed workers for that 30-year period has ever been done. Since thousands of those possibly exposed have left the industry and are not even available to follow-up, it is doubtful that any meaningful study of ''the experience of 30 years'' will ever be accomplished

  15. Peaceful uses of nuclear weapon plutonium; Friedliche Verwertung von Plutonium aus Kernwaffen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burtak, F. [Siemens AG Bereich Energieerzeugung (KWU), Erlangen (Germany)

    1996-06-01

    In 1993, the U.S.A. and the CIS signed Start 2 (the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) in which they committed themselves the reduce their nuclear weapon arsenals to a fraction of that of 1991. For forty-five years the antagonism between the superpowers had been a dominating factor in world history, determining large areas of social life. When Start 2 will have been completed in 2003, some 200 t of weapon grade plutonium and some 2000 t of highly enriched uranium (Heu) will arise from dismantling nuclear weapons. In the absence of the ideological ballast of the debate about Communism versus Capitalism of the past few decades there is a chance of the grave worldwide problem of safe disposal and utilization of this former nuclear weapon material being solved. Under the heading of `swords turned into plowshares`, plutonium and uranium could be used for peaceful electricity generation. (orig.) [Deutsch] 1993 unterzeichneten die USA und GUS das Start-2-Abkommen (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), in dem sie sich zur Verringerung der Anzahl ihrer Nuklearwaffen auf einen Bruchteil des Bestandes von 1991 verpflichten. 45 Jahre lang stellte die Auseinandersetzung der Supermaechte einen dominierenden Faktor der Weltpolitik dar und bestimmte weite Teile des gesellschaftlichen Lebens. Mit der geplanten Erfuellung von Start 2 im Jahr 2003 werden ca. 200 t waffengraediges Plutonium und ca. 2000 t highly enriched uranium (Heu) aus der Demontage der Kernwaffen anfallen. Ohne den ideologischen Ballast der vergangenen jahrezehntelangen Auseinandersetzung zwischen `Kommunismus` und `Kapitalismus` besteht die Chance, das gravierende weltweite Problem der sicheren Entsorgung und Verwertung dieses ehemaligen Kernwaffenmaterials zu loesen. Unter dem Motto `Schwerter zu Pflugscharen` koennte das Plutonium und Uran zur friedlichen Elektrizitaetserzeugung genutzt werden. (orig.)

  16. Opportunities for mixed oxide fuel testing in the advanced test reactor to support plutonium disposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Terry, W.K.; Ryskamp, J.M.; Sterbentz, J.W.

    1995-08-01

    Numerous technical issues must be resolved before LWR operating licenses can be amended to allow the use of MOX fuel. These issues include the following: (1) MOX fuel fabrication process verification; (2) Whether and how to use burnable poisons to depress MOX fuel initial reactivity, which is higher than that of urania; (3) The effects of WGPu isotopic composition; (4) The feasibility of loading MOX fuel with plutonia content up to 7% by weight; (5) The effects of americium and gallium in WGPu; (6) Fission gas release from MOX fuel pellets made from WGPu; (7) Fuel/cladding gap closure; (8) The effects of power cycling and off-normal events on fuel integrity; (9) Development of radial distributions of burnup and fission products; (10) Power spiking near the interfaces of MOX and urania fuel assemblies; and (11) Fuel performance code validation. The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory possesses many advantages for performing tests to resolve most of the issues identified above. We have performed calculations to show that the use of hafnium shrouds can produce spectrum adjustments that will bring the flux spectrum in ATR test loops into a good approximation to the spectrum anticipated in a commercial LWR containing MOX fuel while allowing operation of the test fuel assemblies near their optimum values of linear heat generation rate. The ATR would be a nearly ideal test bed for developing data needed to support applications to license LWRs for operation with MOX fuel made from weapons-grade plutonium. The requirements for planning and implementing a test program in the ATR have been identified. The facilities at Argonne National Laboratory-West can meet all potential needs for pre- and post-irradiation examination that might arise in a MOX fuel qualification program

  17. A perspective on safeguarding and monitoring of excess military plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sutcliffe, W.G.

    1994-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to provide a perspective and framework for the development of safeguarding and monitoring procedures for the various stages of disposition of excess military plutonium. The paper briefly outlines and comments on some of the issues involved in safeguarding and monitoring excess military plutonium as it progresses from weapons through dismantlement, to fabrication as reactor fuel, to use in a reactor, and finally to storage and disposal as spent fuel. open-quotes Militaryclose quotes refers to ownership, and includes both reactor-grade and weapon-grade plutonium. open-quotes Excessclose quotes refers to plutonium (in any form) that a government decides is no longer needed for military use and can be irrevocably removed from military stockpiles. Many of the issues and proposals presented in this paper are based on, or are similar to, those mentioned in the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report on excess military plutonium. Safeguards for plutonium disposition are discussed elsewhere in terms of requirements established by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Here, the discussion is less specific. The term open-quotes safeguardingclose quotes is used broadly to refer to materials control and accountancy (MC ampersand A), containment and surveillance (C ampersand S), and physical protection of nuclear materials by the state that possesses those materials. This is also referred to as material protection, control, and accountancy (MPCA). The term open-quotes safeguardingclose quotes was chosen for brevity and to distinguish MPCA considered in this paper from international or IAEA safeguards. open-quotes Monitoringclose quotes is used to refer to activities designed to assure another party (state or international organization) that the nuclear materials of the host state (the United States or Russia) are secure and not subject to unauthorized

  18. Plutonium solubilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Puigdomnech, I.; Bruno, J.

    1991-02-01

    Thermochemical data has been selected for plutonium oxide, hydroxide, carbonate and phosphate equilibria. Equilibrium constants have been evaluated in the temperature range 0 to 300 degrees C at a pressure of 1 bar to T≤100 degrees C and at the steam saturated pressure at higher temperatures. Measured solubilities of plutonium that are reported in the literature for laboratory experiments have been collected. Solubility data on oxides, hydroxides, carbonates and phosphates have been selected. No solubility data were found at temperatures higher than 60 degrees C. The literature solubility data have been compared with plutonium solubilities calculated with the EQ3/6 geochemical modelling programs, using the selected thermodynamic data for plutonium. (authors)

  19. Influence of cow urine in the bioavailability of plutonium oxide particles in Palomares soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Espinosa, A.; Aragon, A.; De La Cruz, B.; Gutierrez, J. [CIEMAT, DIAE, Madrid (Spain)

    2004-07-01

    The nuclear accident that occurred in Palomares in 1966 caused the release of plutonium weapon grade particles into a Mediterranean ecosystem, and consequently, urban and farming areas were contaminated with this material. Several studies focussed on the characterization and behaviour of trans-uranides have been carried out in the area. In this work, the solubility evolution of plutonium is analysed for a period of more than 30 years, as well as the influence that the incorporation of cow urine into organic fertilizers has on the solubility of the mentioned element. The average value of the plutonium solubility in water determined in five samples was 0.008% in 1986. However, determinations carried out in samples taken in 1999 and 2000 indicated an increase of the plutonium solubility of 22 to 96 times higher. In order to check the influence of organic fertilizers on the solubility of plutonium, a solubility test was carried out using cow urine as extracting solution. The results show that the solubility of plutonium can reach a value equal to 14%, which is similar to the one obtained with sodium pyrophosphate acting as extracting solution. Thus, these results are a clear warning of what might happen if organic fertilizers are used in transuranic-contaminated soils. (author)

  20. Influence of cow urine in the bioavailability of plutonium oxide particles in Palomares soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Espinosa, A.; Aragon, A.; De La Cruz, B.; Gutierrez, J.

    2004-01-01

    The nuclear accident that occurred in Palomares in 1966 caused the release of plutonium weapon grade particles into a Mediterranean ecosystem, and consequently, urban and farming areas were contaminated with this material. Several studies focussed on the characterization and behaviour of trans-uranides have been carried out in the area. In this work, the solubility evolution of plutonium is analysed for a period of more than 30 years, as well as the influence that the incorporation of cow urine into organic fertilizers has on the solubility of the mentioned element. The average value of the plutonium solubility in water determined in five samples was 0.008% in 1986. However, determinations carried out in samples taken in 1999 and 2000 indicated an increase of the plutonium solubility of 22 to 96 times higher. In order to check the influence of organic fertilizers on the solubility of plutonium, a solubility test was carried out using cow urine as extracting solution. The results show that the solubility of plutonium can reach a value equal to 14%, which is similar to the one obtained with sodium pyrophosphate acting as extracting solution. Thus, these results are a clear warning of what might happen if organic fertilizers are used in transuranic-contaminated soils. (author)

  1. MOX fuel: a contribution to disarmament. U.S. utilities' response to DOE's plutonium disposition decision

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wallace, M.

    1997-01-01

    The author is chairman of the Nuclear Energy Institute Plutonium Disposition Working Group, which includes 11 nuclear utilities, including Ontario Hydro, and all the European fabricators of mixed oxide (MOX) fuel. A feasibility study is going on, to see if Russian or other weapons grade plutonium made into MOX fuel can be used in US, Canadian, or other power reactors. The US nuclear power industry is going through a period of change, and its primary responsibility must be the safe, reliable and economic operation of its plants. There is no current US MOX capacity, but the Europeans have have manufactured and burned over 400 tons of MOX fuel since 1963. Canada may be involved, initially through a pilot-scale experiment in NRU reactor

  2. Status of plutonium ceramic immobilization processes and immobilization forms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ebbinghaus, B.B.; Van Konynenburg, R.A. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States); Vance, E.R.; Jostsons, A. [Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization, Menai (Australia)] [and others

    1996-05-01

    Immobilization in a ceramic followed by permanent emplacement in a repository or borehole is one of the alternatives currently being considered by the Fissile Materials Disposition Program for the ultimate disposal of excess weapons-grade plutonium. To make Pu recovery more difficult, radioactive cesium may also be incorporated into the immobilization form. Valuable data are already available for ceramics form R&D efforts to immobilize high-level and mixed wastes. Ceramics have a high capacity for actinides, cesium, and some neutron absorbers. A unique characteristic of ceramics is the existence of mineral analogues found in nature that have demonstrated actinide immobilization over geologic time periods. The ceramic form currently being considered for plutonium disposition is a synthetic rock (SYNROC) material composed primarily of zirconolite (CaZrTi{sub 2}O{sub 7}), the desired actinide host phase, with lesser amounts of hollandite (BaAl{sub 2}Ti{sub 6}O{sub 16}) and rutile (TiO{sub 2}). Alternative actinide host phases are also being considered. These include pyrochlore (Gd{sub 2}Ti{sub 2}O{sub 7}), zircon (ZrSiO{sub 4}), and monazite (CePO{sub 4}), to name a few of the most promising. R&D activities to address important technical issues are discussed. Primarily these include moderate scale hot press fabrications with plutonium, direct loading of PuO{sub 2} powder, cold press and sinter fabrication methods, and immobilization form formulation issues.

  3. Fuel Cycle Impacts of Uranium-Plutonium Co-extraction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taiwo, Temitope; Szakaly, Frank; Kim, Taek-Kyum; Hill, Robert

    2008-01-01

    A systematic investigation of the impacts of uranium and plutonium co-extraction during fuel separations on reactor performance and fuel cycle has been performed. Proliferation indicators, critical mass and radiation source levels of the separation products or fabricated fuel, were also evaluated. Using LWR-spent-uranium-based MOX fuel instead of natural-uranium-based fuel in a PWR MOX core requires a higher initial plutonium content (∼1%), and results in higher Np-237 content (factor of 5) in the spent fuel, and less consumption of Pu-238 (20%) and Am-241 (14%), indicating a reduction in the effective repository space utilization. Additionally, minor actinides continue to accumulate in the fuel cycle, and thus a separate solution is required for them. Differences were found to be quite smaller (∼0.4% in initial transuranics) between the equilibrium cycles of advanced fast reactor cores using spent and depleted uranium for make-up, in additional to transuranics. The critical masses of the co-extraction products were found to be higher than for weapons-grade plutonium (WG-Pu) and the decay heat and radiation sources of the materials (products) were also found to be generally higher than for WG-Pu in the transuranics content range of 10% to 100% in the heavy-metal. (authors)

  4. Status of plutonium ceramic immobilization processes and immobilization forms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ebbinghaus, B.B.; Van Konynenburg, R.A.; Vance, E.R.; Jostsons, A.

    1996-01-01

    Immobilization in a ceramic followed by permanent emplacement in a repository or borehole is one of the alternatives currently being considered by the Fissile Materials Disposition Program for the ultimate disposal of excess weapons-grade plutonium. To make Pu recovery more difficult, radioactive cesium may also be incorporated into the immobilization form. Valuable data are already available for ceramics form R ampersand D efforts to immobilize high-level and mixed wastes. Ceramics have a high capacity for actinides, cesium, and some neutron absorbers. A unique characteristic of ceramics is the existence of mineral analogues found in nature that have demonstrated actinide immobilization over geologic time periods. The ceramic form currently being considered for plutonium disposition is a synthetic rock (SYNROC) material composed primarily of zirconolite (CaZrTi 2 O 7 ), the desired actinide host phase, with lesser amounts of hollandite (BaAl 2 Ti 6 O 16 ) and rutile (TiO 2 ). Alternative actinide host phases are also being considered. These include pyrochlore (Gd 2 Ti 2 O 7 ), zircon (ZrSiO 4 ), and monazite (CePO 4 ), to name a few of the most promising. R ampersand D activities to address important technical issues are discussed. Primarily these include moderate scale hot press fabrications with plutonium, direct loading of PuO 2 powder, cold press and sinter fabrication methods, and immobilization form formulation issues

  5. Solvent anode for plutonium purification

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bowersox, D.F.; Fife, K.W.; Christensen, D.C.

    1986-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to develop a technique to allow complete oxidation of plutonium from the anode during plutonium electrorefining. This will eliminate the generation of a ''spent'' anode heel which requires further treatment for recovery. Our approach is to employ a solvent metal in the anode to provide a liquid anode pool throughout electrorefining. We use molten salts and metals in ceramic crucibles at 700 0 C. Our goal is to produce plutonium metal at 99.9% purity with oxidation and transfer of more than 98% of the impure plutonium feed metal from the anode into the salt and product phases. We have met these criteria in experiments on the 100 to 1000 g scale. We plan to scale our operations to 4 kg of feed plutonium and to optimize the process parameters

  6. Plutonium Proliferation: The Achilles Heel of Disarmament

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leventhal, Paul

    2001-01-01

    Plutonium is a byproduct of nuclear fission, and it is produced at the rate of about 70 metric tons a year in the world's nuclear power reactors. Concerns about civilian plutonium ran high in the 1970s and prompted enactment of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978 to give the United States a veto over separating plutonium from U.S.-supplied uranium fuel. Over the years, however, so-called reactor-grade plutonium has become the orphan issue of nuclear non-proliferation, largely as a consequence of pressures from plutonium-separating countries. The demise of the fast breeder reactor and the reluctance of utilities to introduce plutonium fuel in light-water reactors have resulted in large surpluses of civilian, weapons-usable plutonium, which now approach in size the 250 tons of military plutonium in the world. Yet reprocessing of spent fuel for recovery and use of plutonium proceeds apace outside the United States and threatens to overwhelm safeguards and security measures for keeping this material out of the hands of nations and terrorists for weapons. A number of historical and current developments are reviewed to demonstrate that plutonium commerce is undercutting efforts both to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and to work toward eliminating existing nuclear arsenals. These developments include the breakdown of U.S. anti-plutonium policy, the production of nuclear weapons by India with Atoms-for-Peace plutonium, the U.S.-Russian plan to introduce excess military plutonium as fuel in civilian power reactors, the failure to include civilian plutonium and bomb-grade uranium in the proposed Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty, and the perception of emerging proliferation threats as the rationale for development of a ballistic missile defense system. Finally, immobilization of separated plutonium in high-level waste is explored as a proliferation-resistant and disarmament-friendly solution for eliminating excess stocks of civilian and military plutonium.

  7. The use of calorimetry for plutonium assay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mason, J.A.

    1982-12-01

    Calorimetry is a technique for measuring the thermal power of heat-producing substances. The technique may be applied to the measurement of plutonium-bearing materials which evolve heat as a result of alpha and beta decay. A calorimetric measurement of the thermal power of a plutonium sample, combined with a knowledge or measurement of the plutonium isotopic mass ratios of the sample provides a convenient and accurate, non-destructive measure of the total plutonium mass of the sample. The present report provides a description, and an assessment of the calorimetry technique applied to the assay of plutonium-bearing materials. Types and characteristics of plutonium calorimeters are considered, as well as calibration and operating procedures. The instrumentation used with plutonium calorimeters is described and the use of computer control for calorimeter automation is discussed. A critical review and assessment of plutonium calorimetry literature since 1970 is presented. Both fuel element and plutonium-bearing material calorimeters are considered. The different types of plutonium calorimeters are evaluated and their relative merits are discussed. A combined calorimeter and gamma-ray measurement assay system is considered. The design principles of plutonium assay calorimeters are considered. An automatic, computer-based calorimeter control system is proposed in conjunction with a general plutonium assay calorimeter design. (author)

  8. Plutonium concentrations in airborne soil at Rocky Flats and Hanford determined during resuspension experiments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sehmel, G.A.

    1978-01-01

    Plutonium resuspension results are summarized for experiments conducted by the author at Rocky Flats, onsite on the Hanford reservation, and for winds blowing from offsite onto the Hanford reservation near the Prosser barricade boundary. In each case, plutonium resuspension was shown by increased airborne plutonium concentrations as a function of either wind speed or as compared to fallout levels. All measured airborne concentrations were far below maximum permissible concentrations (MPC). Both plutonium and cesium concentrations on airborne soil were normalized by the quantity of airborne soil sampled. Airborne radionuclide concentrations in μCi/g were related to published values for radionuclide concentrations on surface soils. For this ratio of radionuclide concentration per gram on airborne soil divided by that for ground surface soil, there are eight orders of magnitude uncertainty from 10 -4 to 10 4 . This uncertainty in the equality between plutonium concentrations per gram on airborne and surface soils is caused by only a fraction of the collected airborne soil being transported from offsite rather than all being resuspended from each study site and also by the great variabilities in surface contamination. Horizontal plutonium fluxes on airborne nonrespirable soils at all three sites were bracketed within the same four orders of magnitude from 10 -7 to 10 -3 μCi/(m 2 day) for 239 Pu and 10 -8 to 10 -5 μCi/(m 2 day) for 238 Pu. Airborne respirable 239 Pu concentrations increased with wind speed for a southwest wind direction coming from offsite near the Hanford reservation Prosser barricade. Airborne plutonium fluxes on nonrespirable particles had isotopic ratios, 240 Pu/ 239 240 Pu, similar to weapons grade plutonium rather than fallout plutonium

  9. Plutonium concentrations in airborne soil at Rocky Flats and Hanford determined during resuspension experiments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sehmel, G.A.

    1978-01-01

    Plutonium resuspension results are summarized for experiments conducted by the author at Rocky Flats, onsite on the Hanford reservation, and for winds blowing from offsite onto the Hanford reservation near the Prosser barricade boundary. In each case, plutonium resuspension was shown by increased airborne plutonium concentrations as a function of either wind speed or as compared to fallout levels. All measured airborne concentrations were far below maximum permissible concentrations (MPC). Both plutonium and cesium concentrations on airborne soil were normalized by the quantity of airborne soil sampled. Airborne radionuclide concentrations in ..mu..Ci/g were related to published values for radionuclide concentrations on surface soils. For this ratio of radionuclide concentration per gram on airborne soil divided by that for ground surface soil, there are eight orders of magnitude uncertainty from 10/sup -4/ to 10/sup 4/. This uncertainty in the equality between plutonium concentrations per gram on airborne and surface soils is caused by only a fraction of the collected airborne soil being transported from offsite rather than all being resuspended from each study site and also by the great variabilities in surface contamination. Horizontal plutonium fluxes on airborne nonrespirable soils at all three sites were bracketed within the same four orders of magnitude from 10/sup -7/ to 10/sup -3/ ..mu..Ci/(m/sup 2/ day) for /sup 239/Pu and 10/sup -8/ to 10/sup -5/ ..mu..Ci/(m/sup 2/ day) for /sup 238/Pu. Airborne respirable /sup 239/Pu concentrations increased with wind speed for a southwest wind direction coming from offsite near the Hanford reservation Prosser barricade. Airborne plutonium fluxes on nonrespirable particles had isotopic ratios, /sup 240/Pu//sup 239/ /sup 240/Pu, similar to weapons grade plutonium rather than fallout plutonium.

  10. Exploiting the plutonium stockpiles in PWRs by using inert matrix fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lombardi, C.; Mazzola, A.

    1996-01-01

    The plutonium coming from dismantled warheads and that already stockpiled coming from spent fuel reprocessing have raised many concerns related to proliferation resistance, environmental safety and economy. The option of disposing of plutonium by fission is one of the most widely discussed and many proposals for plutonium burning in a safe and economical manner have been put forward. Due to their diffusion, PWRs appear to be the main candidates for the reduction of the plutonium stockpiles. In order to achieve a high plutonium consumption rate, a uranium-free fuel may be conceived, based on the dilution of PuO 2 within a carrier matrix made of inert oxide. In this paper, a partial loading of inert matrix fuel in a current technology PWR was investigated with 3-D calculations. The results indicated that this solution has good plutonium elimination capabilities: commercial PWRs operating in a once-through cycle scheme can transmute more than 98% of the loaded Pu-239 and 73 or 81% of the overall initially loaded reactor grade or weapons grade plutonium, respectively. The plutonium still let in the spent fuel was of poor quality and then offered a better proliferation resistance. Power peaking problems could be faced with the adoption of burnable absorbers: IFBA seemed to be particularly suitable. In spite of a reduction of the overall plutonium loaded mass by a factor 3.7 or 5.4 depending on its quality, there was no evidence of an increase of the minor actinides radiotoxicity after a time period of about 25 years. (author)

  11. Survey of Worldwide Light Water Reactor Experience with Mixed Uranium-Plutonium Oxide Fuel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cowell, B.S.; Fisher, S.E.

    1999-02-01

    The US and the Former Soviet Union (FSU) have recently declared quantities of weapons materials, including weapons-grade (WG) plutonium, excess to strategic requirements. One of the leading candidates for the disposition of excess WG plutonium is irradiation in light water reactors (LWRs) as mixed uranium-plutonium oxide (MOX) fuel. A description of the MOX fuel fabrication techniques in worldwide use is presented. A comprehensive examination of the domestic MOX experience in US reactors obtained during the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s is also presented. This experience is described by manufacturer and is also categorized by the reactor facility that irradiated the MOX fuel. A limited summary of the international experience with MOX fuels is also presented. A review of MOX fuel and its performance is conducted in view of the special considerations associated with the disposition of WG plutonium. Based on the available information, it appears that adoption of foreign commercial MOX technology from one of the successful MOX fuel vendors will minimize the technical risks to the overall mission. The conclusion is made that the existing MOX fuel experience base suggests that disposition of excess weapons plutonium through irradiation in LWRs is a technically attractive option.

  12. Survey of Worldwide Light Water Reactor Experience with Mixed Uranium-Plutonium Oxide Fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cowell, B.S.; Fisher, S.E.

    1999-01-01

    The US and the Former Soviet Union (FSU) have recently declared quantities of weapons materials, including weapons-grade (WG) plutonium, excess to strategic requirements. One of the leading candidates for the disposition of excess WG plutonium is irradiation in light water reactors (LWRs) as mixed uranium-plutonium oxide (MOX) fuel. A description of the MOX fuel fabrication techniques in worldwide use is presented. A comprehensive examination of the domestic MOX experience in US reactors obtained during the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s is also presented. This experience is described by manufacturer and is also categorized by the reactor facility that irradiated the MOX fuel. A limited summary of the international experience with MOX fuels is also presented. A review of MOX fuel and its performance is conducted in view of the special considerations associated with the disposition of WG plutonium. Based on the available information, it appears that adoption of foreign commercial MOX technology from one of the successful MOX fuel vendors will minimize the technical risks to the overall mission. The conclusion is made that the existing MOX fuel experience base suggests that disposition of excess weapons plutonium through irradiation in LWRs is a technically attractive option

  13. TECHNICAL BASIS FOR DOE STANDARD 3013 EQUIVALENCY SUPPORTING REDUCED TEMPERATURE STABILIZATION OF OXALATE-DERIVED PLUTONIUM OXIDE PRODUCED BY THE HB-LINE FACILITY AT SAVANNAH RIVER SITE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duffey, J.; Livingston, R.; Berg, J.; Veirs, D.

    2012-07-02

    The HB-Line (HBL) facility at the Savannah River Site (SRS) is designed to produce high-purity plutonium dioxide (PuO{sub 2}) which is suitable for future use in production of Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel. The MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF) requires PuO{sub 2} feed to be packaged per the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Standard 3013 (DOE-STD-3013) to comply with the facility's safety basis. The stabilization conditions imposed by DOE-STD-3013 for PuO{sub 2} (i.e., 950 C for 2 hours) preclude use of the HBL PuO{sub 2} in direct fuel fabrication and reduce the value of the HBL product as MFFF feedstock. Consequently, HBL initiated a technical evaluation to define acceptable operating conditions for production of high-purity PuO{sub 2} that fulfills the DOE-STD-3013 criteria for safe storage. The purpose of this document is to demonstrate that within the defined operating conditions, the HBL process will be equivalent for meeting the requirements of the DOE-STD-3013 stabilization process for plutonium-bearing materials from the DOE complex. The proposed 3013 equivalency reduces the prescribed stabilization temperature for high-purity PuO{sub 2} from oxalate precipitation processes from 950 C to 640 C and places a limit of 60% on the relative humidity (RH) at the lowest material temperature. The equivalency is limited to material produced using the HBL established flow sheet, for example, nitric acid anion exchange and Pu(IV) direct strike oxalate precipitation with stabilization at a minimum temperature of 640 C for four hours (h). The product purity must meet the MFFF acceptance criteria of 23,600 {micro}g/g Pu (i.e., 2.1 wt %) total impurities and chloride content less than 250 {micro}g/g of Pu. All other stabilization and packaging criteria identified by DOE-STD-3013-2012 or earlier revisions of the standard apply. Based on the evaluation of test data discussed in this document, the expert judgment of the authors supports packaging the HBL product under a 3013

  14. CONVERSION OF PLUTONIUM TRIFLUORIDE TO PLUTONIUM TETRAFLUORIDE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fried, S.; Davidson, N.R.

    1957-09-10

    A large proportion of the trifluoride of plutonium can be converted, in the absence of hydrogen fluoride, to the tetrafiuoride of plutonium. This is done by heating plutonium trifluoride with oxygen at temperatures between 250 and 900 deg C. The trifiuoride of plutonium reacts with oxygen to form plutonium tetrafluoride and plutonium oxide, in a ratio of about 3 to 1. In the presence of moisture, plutonium tetrafluoride tends to hydrolyze at elevated temperatures and therefore it is desirable to have the process take place under anhydrous conditions.

  15. Plutonium (Pu)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2002-01-01

    This pedagogical document presents the properties and uses of plutonium: where does it come from, the history of its discovery, its uses and energy content, its recycling and reuse in MOX fuels, its half-life, toxicity and presence in the environment. (J.S.)

  16. Global plutonium management: A security option

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sylvester, K.W.B.

    1998-01-01

    The US surplus plutonium disposition program was created to reduce the proliferation risk posed by the fissile material from thousands of retired nuclear weapons. The Department of Energy has decided to process its Put into a form as secure as Pu in civilian spent fuel. While implementation issues have been considered, a major one (Russian reciprocity) remains unresolved. Russia has made disposition action conditional on extracting the fuel value of its Pu but lacks the infrastructure to do so. Assistance in the construction of the required facilities would conflict with official US policy opposing the development of a Pu fuel cycle. The resulting stagnation provides impetus for a reevaluation of US nonproliferation objectives and Pu disposition options. A strategy for satisfying Russian fuel value concerns and reducing the proliferation risk posed by surplus weapons-grade plutonium (WGPu) is proposed. The effectiveness of material alteration (e.g., isotopic, chemical, etc.hor-ellipsis) at reducing the desire, ability and opportunity for proliferation is assessed. Virtually all the security benefits attainable by material processing can be obtained by immobilizing Pu in large unit size/mass monoliths without a radiation barrier. Russia would be allowed to extract the Pu at a future date for use as fuel in a verifiable manner. Remote tracking capability, if proven feasible, would further improve safeguarding capability. As an alternate approach, the US could compensate Russia for its Pu, allowing it to be disposed of or processed elsewhere. A market based method for pricing Pu is proposed. Surplus Pu could represent access to nuclear fuel at a fixed price at a future date. This position can be replicated in the uranium market and priced using derivative theory. The proposed strategy attempts to meet nonproliferation objectives by recognizing technical limitations and satisfying political constraints

  17. Learning more about plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-01-01

    This document offers chemical, metallurgical and economical information on the plutonium, a hard white radioelement. It deals also on the plutonium formation in the earth, the plutonium use in the nuclear industry, the plutonium in the environment and the plutonium toxicity. (A.L.B.)

  18. Plutonium in nature

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Madic, C.

    1994-01-01

    Plutonium in nature comes from natural sources and anthropogenic ones. Plutonium at the earth surface comes principally from anthropogenic sources. It is easily detectable in environment. The plutonium behaviour in environment is complex. It seems necessary for the future to reduce releases in environment, to improve predictive models of plutonium behaviour in geosphere, to precise biological impact of anthropogenic plutonium releases

  19. Reactor based plutonium disposition - physics and fuel behaviour benchmark studies of an OECD/NEA experts group

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D'Hondt, P.; Gehin, J.; Na, B.C.; Sartori, E.; Wiesenack, W.

    2001-01-01

    One of the options envisaged for disposing of weapons grade plutonium, declared surplus for national defence in the Russian Federation and Usa, is to burn it in nuclear power reactors. The scientific/technical know-how accumulated in the use of MOX as a fuel for electricity generation is of great relevance for the plutonium disposition programmes. An Expert Group of the OECD/Nea is carrying out a series of benchmarks with the aim of facilitating the use of this know-how for meeting this objective. This paper describes the background that led to establishing the Expert Group, and the present status of results from these benchmarks. The benchmark studies cover a theoretical reactor physics benchmark on a VVER-1000 core loaded with MOX, two experimental benchmarks on MOX lattices and a benchmark concerned with MOX fuel behaviour for both solid and hollow pellets. First conclusions are outlined as well as future work. (author)

  20. Drop-in capsule testing of plutonium-based fuels in the Advanced Test Reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chang, G.S.; Ryskamp, J.M.; Terry, W.K.; Ambrosek, R.G.; Palmer, A.J.; Roesener, R.A.

    1996-09-01

    The most attractive way to dispose of weapons-grade plutonium (WGPu) is to use it as fuel in existing light water reactors (LWRs) in the form of mixed oxide (MOX) fuel - i.e., plutonia (PuO[sub 2]) mixed with urania (UO[sub 2]). Before U.S. reactors could be used for this purpose, their operating licenses would have to be amended. Numerous technical issues must be resolved before LWR operating licenses can be amended to allow the use of MOX fuel. The proposed weapons-grade MOX fuel is unusual, even relative to ongoing foreign experience with reactor-grade MOX power reactor fuel. Some demonstration of the in- reactor thermal, mechanical, and fission gas release behavior of the prototype fuel will most likely be required in a limited number of test reactor irradiations. The application to license operation with MOX fuel must be amply supported by experimental data. The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) is capable of playing a key role in the irradiation, development, and licensing of these new fuel types. The ATR is a 250- MW (thermal) LWR designed to study the effects of intense radiation on reactor fuels and materials. For 25 years, the primary role of the ATR has been to serve in experimental investigations for the development of advanced nuclear fuels. Both large- and small-volume test positions in the ATR could be used for MOX fuel irradiation. The ATR would be a nearly ideal test bed for developing data needed to support applications to license LWRs for operation with MOX fuel made from weapons-grade plutonium. Furthermore, these data can be obtained more quickly by using ATR instead of testing in a commercial LWR. Our previous work in this area has demonstrated that it is technically feasible to perform MOX fuel testing in the ATR. This report documents our analyses of sealed drop-in capsules containing plutonium-based test specimens placed in various ATR positions

  1. Plutonium uniqueness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silver, G.L.

    1984-01-01

    A standard is suggested against which the putative uniqueness of plutonium may be tested. It is common folklore that plutonium is unique among the chemical elements because its four common oxidation states can coexist in the same solution. Whether this putative uniqueness appears only during transit to equilibrium, or only at equilibrium, or all of the time, is not generally made clear. But while the folklore may contain some truth, it cannot be put to test until some measure of 'uniqueness' is agreed upon so that quantitative comparisons are possible. One way of measuring uniqueness is as the magnitude of the product of the mole fractions of the element at equilibrium. A 'coexistence index' is defined and discussed. (author)

  2. Plutonium story

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seaborg, G.T.

    1981-09-01

    The first nuclear synthesis and identification (i.e., the discovery) of the synthetic transuranium element plutonium (isotope 238 Pu) and the demonstration of its fissionability with slow neutrons (isotope 239 Pu) took place at the University of California, Berkeley, through the use of the 60-inch and 37-inch cyclotrons, in late 1940 and early 1941. This led to the development of industrial scale methods in secret work centered at the University of Chicago's Metallurgical Laboratory and the application of these methods to industrial scale production, at manufacturing plants in Tennessee and Washington, during the World War II years 1942 to 1945. The chemical properties of plutonium, needed to devise the procedures for its industrial scale production, were studied by tracer and ultramicrochemical methods during this period on an extraordinarily urgent basis. This work, and subsequent investigations on a worldwide basis, have made the properties of plutonium very well known. Its well studied electronic structure and chemical properties give it a very interesting position in the actinide series of inner transition elements

  3. Uncertainty assessment in gamma spectrometric measurements of plutonium isotope ratios and age

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ramebaeck, H., E-mail: henrik.ramebeck@foi.se [Swedish Defence Research Agency, FOI, Division of CBRN Defence and Security, SE-901 82 Umea (Sweden); Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Nuclear Chemistry, SE-412 96 Goeteborg (Sweden); Nygren, U.; Tovedal, A. [Swedish Defence Research Agency, FOI, Division of CBRN Defence and Security, SE-901 82 Umea (Sweden); Ekberg, C.; Skarnemark, G. [Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Nuclear Chemistry, SE-412 96 Goeteborg (Sweden)

    2012-09-15

    A method for the assessment of the combined uncertainty in gamma spectrometric measurements of plutonium composition and age was evaluated. Two materials were measured. Isotope dilution inductively coupled plasma sector field mass spectrometry (ID-ICP-SFMS) was used as a reference method for comparing the results obtained with the gamma spectrometric method for one of the materials. For this material (weapons grade plutonium) the measurement results were in agreement between the two methods for all measurands. Moreover, the combined uncertainty in all isotope ratios considered in this material (R{sub Pu238/Pu239}, R{sub Pu240/Pu239}, R{sub Pu241/Pu239}, and R{sub Am241/Pu241} for age determination) were limited by counting statistics. However, the combined uncertainty for the other material (fuel grade plutonium) were limited by the response fit, which shows that the uncertainty in the response function is important to include in the combined measurement uncertainty of gamma spectrometric measurements of plutonium.

  4. Oxidation-state distribution of plutonium in surface and subsurface waters at Thule, northwest Greenland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McMahon, C.A.; Leon Vintro, L.; Mitchell, P.I.; Dahlgaard, H.

    2000-01-01

    The speciation of plutonium in Arctic waters sampled on the northwest Greenland shelf in August 1997 is discussed in this paper. Specifically, we report the results of analyses carried out on seawater sampled (a) close to the Thule air base where, in 1968, a US military aircraft carrying four nuclear weapons crashed on sea ice, releasing kilogram quantities of plutonium to the snow pack and underlying seabed sediments, and (b) at a reference station (Upernavik) located ∼400 km to the south. The data show that most of the plutonium in the dissolved phase at Thule is in the form of Pu(V, VI) (mean: 68±6%; n=6), with little if any distinction apparent between surface and bottom waters. Further, the oxidation state distribution at stations close to the accident site is similar to that measured at Upernavik, remote from this site. It is also similar to the distribution observed in shelf waters at mid-latitudes, suggesting that the underlying processes controlling plutonium speciation are insensitive to temperature over the range 0-25 deg. C. Measurements using tangential-flow ultrafiltration indicate that virtually all of the plutonium (including the fraction in a reduced chemical form) is present as fully dissolved species. Most of this plutonium would seem to be of weapons fallout origin, as the mean 238 Pu/ 239,240 Pu activity ratio in the water column (dissolved phase) at Thule (0.06±0.02; n=10) is similar to the global fallout ratio at this latitude (∼0.04). Thus, there is little evidence of weapons-grade plutonium in the water column at Thule at the present time

  5. Plutonium and latent nuclear proliferation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quester, G.H.

    1992-01-01

    A country producing nuclear electric power acquires an ability to produce atomic bombs quite easily and without taking many steps beyond that which would be perfectly normal for civilian purposes. The role of plutonium in the three fold list of the gains that must be sought in arms control formulated by Schelling and Halpevin are discussed. On the first, that we should seek to reduce the likelihood of war, it can be argued that plutonium reduces the likelihood in some cases. The second, that we should seek to reduce the destruction in war, is made worse by plutonium. On the third criterion, that we should seek to reduce the burdens in peacetime of everyone's being prepared for war, the situation is confusing and depends on the prospects for nuclear electrical power. It is concluded that latent capability to produce nuclear weapons may be sufficient without the need for actual detonations and deployment of bombs. (UK)

  6. Light water breeder reactor using a uranium-plutonium cycle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radkowsky, A.; Chen, R.

    1990-01-01

    This patent describes a light water receptor (LWR) for breeding fissile material using a uranium-plutonium cycle. It comprises: a prebreeder section having plutonium fuel containing a Pu-241 component, the prebreeder section being operable to produce enriched plutonium having an increased Pu-241 component; and a breeder section for receiving the enriched plutonium from the prebreeder section, the breeder section being operable for breeding fissile material from the enriched plutonium fuel. This patent describes a method of operating a light water nuclear reactor (LWR) for breeding fissile material using a uranium-plutonium cycle. It comprises: operating the prebreeder to produce enriched plutonium fuel having an increased Pu-241 component; fueling a breeder section with the enriched plutonium fuel to breed the fissile material

  7. The 'overlooked trio' of hypothetical terrorist nuclear weapons - reactor grade plutonium, neptunium-237 and tritium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sholly, S.

    2002-01-01

    Full text: Considerations revolving around physical protection of nuclear material are quite commonly and naturally focused on protecting weapons-grade plutonium (WGPu) and highly enriched uranium (HEU) from theft and diversion. These two materials are the center of attention because of their well-known (and demonstrated) potential for use in first-generation nuclear explosive devices of which potential terrorists are widely thought to be capable. They are also the center of attention because of retirements of these materials from military use as the Russian Federation and the United States reduce the number of nuclear weapons in their arsenals. Three other materials - an 'overlooked trio' - must also be borne in mind within this context: (1) reactor-grade plutonium (RGPu); (2) neptunium-237 (Np-237); and (3) tritium (H-3). Although there are still some authorities who either contend that RGPu cannot be used in a nuclear explosive or that there are (for a terrorist) insurmountable difficulties in doing so, the knowledgeable scientific and technical community, recognizes the potential utility of RGPu for hypothetical terrorist nuclear devices. A much smaller community of experts recognizes the usefulness of Np-237 for nuclear devices, but Np-237 is as straight-forwardly and easily usable as HEU and similarly abundant (but not often in separated form). Tritium can be used (with a modest increase in design sophistication) in a conventional first-generation nuclear device with any of the weapons-usable materials (WGPu, HEU, RGPu or Np-237) to increase the yield and/or increase the reliability of a non-fizzle yield. Given the presence of RGPu and Np-237 in abundant quantities in spent commercial reactor fuel, widely available knowledge of how to separate these materials, and a world-wide total of more than 400 nuclear power plants, spent reactor fuel also requires stringent controls. This is especially true of old spent fuel which has far less radiation dose

  8. SEPARATION OF PLUTONIUM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maddock, A.G.; Smith, F.

    1959-08-25

    A method is described for separating plutonium from uranium and fission products by treating a nitrate solution of fission products, uranium, and hexavalent plutonium with a relatively water-insoluble fluoride to adsorb fission products on the fluoride, treating the residual solution with a reducing agent for plutonium to reduce its valence to four and less, treating the reduced plutonium solution with a relatively insoluble fluoride to adsorb the plutonium on the fluoride, removing the solution, and subsequently treating the fluoride with its adsorbed plutonium with a concentrated aqueous solution of at least one of a group consisting of aluminum nitrate, ferric nitrate, and manganous nitrate to remove the plutonium from the fluoride.

  9. Atmospheric deposition, resuspension and root uptake of plutonium in corn and other grain-producing agroecosystems near a nuclear fuel facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pinder, J.E. III; McLeod, K.W.; Adriano, D.C.; Corey, J.C.; Boni, A.L.

    1989-01-01

    Plutonium released to the environment may contribute to dose to humans through inhalation or ingestion of contaminated foodstuffs. Plutonium contamination of agricultural plants may result from interception and retention of atmospheric deposition, resuspension of Pu-bearing soil particles to plant surfaces, and root uptake and translocation to grain. Plutonium on vegetation surfaces may be transferred to grain surfaces during mechanical harvesting. Data obtained from corn grown near the US Department of Energy's H-Area nuclear fuel chemical separations facility on the Savannah River Site was used to estimated parameters of a simple model of Pu transport in agroecosystems. The parameter estimates for corn were compared to those previously obtained for wheat and soybeans. Despite some differences in parameter estimates among crops, the relative importances of atmospheric deposition, resuspension and root uptake were similar among crops. For even small deposition rates, the relative importances of processes for Pu contamination of corn grain should be: transfer of atmospheric deposition from vegetation surfaces to grain surfaces during combining > resuspension of soil to grain surfaces > root uptake. Approximately 3.9 x 10 -5 of a year's atmospheric deposition is transferred to grain. Approximately 6.2 x 10 -9 of the Pu inventory in the soil is resuspended to corn grain, and a further 7.3 x 10 -10 of the soil inventory is absorbed by roots and translocated to grains

  10. Association of plutonium with sediments from the Ob and Yenisey Rivers and Estuaries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Skipperud, Lindis; Brown, Justin; Fifield, L. Keith; Oughton, Deborah H.; Salbu, Brit

    2009-01-01

    The present study applied sequential extraction techniques to investigate the binding and mobility of plutonium (Pu) in sediments from the rivers and estuaries of the Ob and Yenisey. As a study site, the Ob and Yenisey are particularly interesting as both rivers have weapons-grade Pu sources in their catchment areas, including the Russian Pu production and reprocessing plants at Mayak, Tomsk-7 and Krashnoyarsk, and the Semipalantinsk nuclear weapons testing site in Kazakhstan. Plutonium activity and 240 Pu/ 239 Pu ratios were determined using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Sequential extractions showed that between 47 and 80% of the Pu in Yenisey River sediments and 35-53% of the Pu in soils around the Techa River are mobilized with weak oxidising agents, which can indicate that Pu is bound to organic material. In contrast, Pu in Ob and Yenisey Estuarine sediments was more strongly bound, with 60-100% being found in the HNO 3 -extractable fraction. This change in speciation could reflect either that Pu bound to organic material in the Techa and Yenisey River sediments becomes more fixed to the sediments with time, or that organic-bound Pu is mobilized and released to the water when the sediments encounter the more saline water of the Ob and Yenisey estuaries. In general, 240 Pu/ 239 Pu ratios were relatively consistent between different extraction fractions, although, in whole sediments, an increase in ratio was observed with distance from the source. This reflects the increased influence of weapon fallout from catchment runoff within the river systems, as compared to the weapons-grade sources close to the production and reprocessing plants. Knowledge of Pu speciation in the Ob and Yenisey Rivers, and the processes controlling its behaviour in estuarine systems, can improve predictions of its transfer and subsequent environmental impact to Arctic Seas

  11. Continuation application for the Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium, a higher education consortium consisting of Texas A and M University, Texas Tech University, and the University of Texas at Austin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    This report describes the 5 tasks to be covered under this project and compiles budget information. Task 1 is to establish a Plutonium Information Resource, which has been established in Amarillo, Texas. Task 2, Advisory Functions, coordinates studies and activities relating to the disposition of excess weapons-grade plutonium. Task 3, Environmental, Public Health, and Safety, supports soil remediation activities. Task 4, Education and Outreach, is supporting four programs: K--12 education improvement in science and math courses; Academic intervention to identify and encourage high ability high school and middle school students with potential to become scientists and engineers; Graduate education evaluation; and Public outreach programs. Task 5, Plutonium and other Materials Studies, is currently funding two projects for the disposition of high explosives: a feasibility study of burning a mixture of high explosives and other materials in a commercial coal-fired power plant and synthesis of diamond by shock compression of bucky ball with explosives

  12. Report on the control of the safety and security of nuclear facilities. Part 2: the reconversion of military plutonium stocks. The use of the helps given to central and eastern Europe countries and to the new independent states

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Birraux, C.

    2002-01-01

    This report deals with two different aspects of the safety and security of nuclear facilities. The first aspect concerns the reconversion of weapon grade plutonium stocks: the plutonium in excess, plutonium hazards and nuclear fuel potentialities, the US program, the Russian program, the actions of European countries (France, Germany), the intervention of other countries, the unanswered questions (political aspects, uncertainties), the solutions of the future (improvement of reactors, the helium-cooled high temperature reactor technology (gas-turbine modular helium reactor: GT-MHR), the Carlo Rubbia's project). The second aspect concerns the actions carried out by the European Union in favor of the civil nuclear facilities of central and eastern Europe: the European Union competencies through the Euratom treaty, the conclusions of the European audit office about the PHARE and TACIS nuclear programs, the status of committed actions, the coming planned actions, and the critical analysis of the policy adopted so far. (J.S.)

  13. Continuation application for the Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium, a higher education consortium consisting of Texas A and M University, Texas Tech University, and the University of Texas at Austin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-06-29

    This report describes the 5 tasks to be covered under this project and compiles budget information. Task 1 is to establish a Plutonium Information Resource, which has been established in Amarillo, Texas. Task 2, Advisory Functions, coordinates studies and activities relating to the disposition of excess weapons-grade plutonium. Task 3, Environmental, Public Health, and Safety, supports soil remediation activities. Task 4, Education and Outreach, is supporting four programs: K--12 education improvement in science and math courses; Academic intervention to identify and encourage high ability high school and middle school students with potential to become scientists and engineers; Graduate education evaluation; and Public outreach programs. Task 5, Plutonium and other Materials Studies, is currently funding two projects for the disposition of high explosives: a feasibility study of burning a mixture of high explosives and other materials in a commercial coal-fired power plant and synthesis of diamond by shock compression of bucky ball with explosives.

  14. Report on the control of the safety and security of nuclear facilities. Part 2: the reconversion of military plutonium stocks. The use of the helps given to central and eastern Europe countries and to the new independent states; Rapport sur le controle de la surete et de la securite des installations nucleaires. Deuxieme partie: la reconversion des stocks de plutonium militaire. L'utilisation des aides accordees aux pays d'Europe centrale et orientale et aux nouveaux etats independants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Birraux, C

    2002-07-01

    This report deals with two different aspects of the safety and security of nuclear facilities. The first aspect concerns the reconversion of weapon grade plutonium stocks: the plutonium in excess, plutonium hazards and nuclear fuel potentialities, the US program, the Russian program, the actions of European countries (France, Germany), the intervention of other countries, the unanswered questions (political aspects, uncertainties), the solutions of the future (improvement of reactors, the helium-cooled high temperature reactor technology (gas-turbine modular helium reactor: GT-MHR), the Carlo Rubbia's project). The second aspect concerns the actions carried out by the European Union in favor of the civil nuclear facilities of central and eastern Europe: the European Union competencies through the Euratom treaty, the conclusions of the European audit office about the PHARE and TACIS nuclear programs, the status of committed actions, the coming planned actions, and the critical analysis of the policy adopted so far. (J.S.)

  15. Report on the control of the safety and security of nuclear facilities. Part 2: the reconversion of military plutonium stocks. The use of the helps given to central and eastern Europe countries and to the new independent states; Rapport sur le controle de la surete et de la securite des installations nucleaires. Deuxieme partie: la reconversion des stocks de plutonium militaire. L'utilisation des aides accordees aux pays d'Europe centrale et orientale et aux nouveaux etats independants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Birraux, C

    2002-07-01

    This report deals with two different aspects of the safety and security of nuclear facilities. The first aspect concerns the reconversion of weapon grade plutonium stocks: the plutonium in excess, plutonium hazards and nuclear fuel potentialities, the US program, the Russian program, the actions of European countries (France, Germany), the intervention of other countries, the unanswered questions (political aspects, uncertainties), the solutions of the future (improvement of reactors, the helium-cooled high temperature reactor technology (gas-turbine modular helium reactor: GT-MHR), the Carlo Rubbia's project). The second aspect concerns the actions carried out by the European Union in favor of the civil nuclear facilities of central and eastern Europe: the European Union competencies through the Euratom treaty, the conclusions of the European audit office about the PHARE and TACIS nuclear programs, the status of committed actions, the coming planned actions, and the critical analysis of the policy adopted so far. (J.S.)

  16. Reference computations of public dose and cancer risk from airborne releases of plutonium. Nuclear safety technical report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peterson, V.L.

    1993-12-23

    This report presents results of computations of doses and the associated health risks of postulated accidental atmospheric releases from the Rocky Flats Plant (RFP) of one gram of weapons-grade plutonium in a form that is respirable. These computations are intended to be reference computations that can be used to evaluate a variety of accident scenarios by scaling the dose and health risk results presented here according to the amount of plutonium postulated to be released, instead of repeating the computations for each scenario. The MACCS2 code has been used as the basis of these computations. The basis and capabilities of MACCS2 are summarized, the parameters used in the evaluations are discussed, and results are presented for the doses and health risks to the public, both the Maximum Offsite Individual (a maximally exposed individual at or beyond the plant boundaries) and the population within 50 miles of RFP. A number of different weather scenarios are evaluated, including constant weather conditions and observed weather for 1990, 1991, and 1992. The isotopic mix of weapons-grade plutonium will change as it ages, the {sup 241}Pu decaying into {sup 241}Am. The {sup 241}Am reaches a peak concentration after about 72 years. The doses to the bone surface, liver, and whole body will increase slightly but the dose to the lungs will decrease slightly. The overall cancer risk will show almost no change over this period. This change in cancer risk is much smaller than the year-to-year variations in cancer risk due to weather. Finally, x/Q values are also presented for other applications, such as for hazardous chemical releases. These include the x/Q values for the MOI, for a collocated worker at 100 meters downwind of an accident site, and the x/Q value integrated over the population out to 50 miles.

  17. Plutonium-239

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ammerich, Marc; Frot, Patricia; Gambini, Denis-Jean; Gauron, Christine; Moureaux, Patrick; Herbelet, Gilbert; Lahaye, Thierry; Pihet, Pascal; Rannou, Alain

    2014-06-01

    This sheet belongs to a collection which relates to the use of radionuclides essentially in unsealed sources. Its goal is to gather on a single document the most relevant information as well as the best prevention practices to be implemented. These sheets are made for the persons in charge of radiation protection: users, radioprotection-skill persons, labor physicians. Each sheet treats of: 1 - the radio-physical and biological properties; 2 - the main uses; 3 - the dosimetric parameters; 4 - the measurement; 5 - the protection means; 6 - the areas delimitation and monitoring; 7 - the personnel classification, training and monitoring; 8 - the effluents and wastes; 9 - the authorization and declaration administrative procedures; 10 - the transport; and 11 - the right conduct to adopt in case of incident or accident. This sheet deals specifically with Plutonium-239

  18. Uranium-plutonium fuel for fast reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Antipov, S.A.; Astafiev, V.A.; Clouchenkov, A.E.; Gustchin, K.I.; Menshikova, T.S.

    1996-01-01

    Technology was established for fabrication of MOX fuel pellets from co-precipitated and mechanically blended mixed oxides. Both processes ensure the homogeneous structure of pellets readily dissolvable in nitric acid upon reprocessing. In order to increase the plutonium charge in a reactor-burner a process was tested for producing MOX fuel with higher content of plutonium and an inert diluent. It was shown that it is feasible to produce fuel having homogeneous structure and the content of plutonium up to 45% mass

  19. Preventing pollution from plutonium processing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pillay, K.K.S.

    1993-01-01

    The plutonium processing facility at Los Alamos has adopted the strategic goal of becoming a facility that processes plutonium in a way that produces only environmentally benign waste streams. Pollution prevention through source reduction and environmentally sound recycling are being pursued. General approaches to waste reductions are administrative controls, modification of process technologies, and additional waste polishing. Recycling of waste materials, such as spent acids and salts, are technical possibilities and are being pursued to accomplish additional waste reduction. Liquid waste stream polishing to remove final traces of plutonium and hazardous chemical constituents is accomplished through (a) process modifications, (b) use of alternative chemicals and sorbents for residue removal, (c) acid recycling, and (d) judicious use of a variety of waste polishing technologies. Technologies that show promise in waste minimization and pollution prevention are identified. Working toward this goal of pollution prevention is a worthwhile endeavor, not only for Los Alamos, but for the Nuclear Complex of the future

  20. Preventing pollution from plutonium processing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pillay, K.K.S.

    1995-01-01

    The plutonium processing facility at Los Alamos has adopted the strategic goal of becoming a facility that processes plutonium in a way that produces only environmentally benign waste streams. Pollution prevention through source reduction and environmentally sound recycling are being pursued. General approaches to waste reductions are administrative controls, modification of process technologies, and additional waste polishing. Recycling of waste materials, such as spent acids and salts, are technical possibilities and are being pursued to accomplish additional waste reduction. Liquid waste stream polishing to remove final traces of plutonium and hazardous chemical constituents is accomplished through process modifications, use of alternative chemicals and sorbents for residue removal, acid recycling, and judicious use of a variety of waste polishing technologies. Technologies that show promise in waste minimization and pollution prevention are identified. Working toward this goal of pollution prevention is a worthwhile endeavor , not only for Los Alamos, but for the Nuclear Complex of the future. (author) 12 refs.; 2 figs

  1. Decontaminaion of metals containing plutonium and americium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seitz, M.G.; Gerding, T.J.; Steindler, M.J.

    1979-06-01

    Melt-slagging (melt-refining) techniques were evaluated as a decontamination and consolidation step for metals contaminated with oxides of plutonium and americium. Experiments were performed in which mild steel, stainless steel, and nickel contaminated with oxides of plutonium and americium were melted in the presence of silicate slags of various compositions. The metal products were low in contamination, with the plutonium and americium strongly fractionated to the slags. Partition coefficients (plutonium in slag/plutonium in steel) of 7 x 10 6 were measured with boro-silicate slag and of 3 x 10 6 with calcium, magnesium silicate slag. Decontamination of metals containing as much as 14,000 ppM plutonium appears to be as efficient as for metals with plutonium levels of 400 ppM. Staged extraction, that is, a remelting of processed metal with clean slag, results in further decontamination of the metal. The second extraction is effective with either resistance-furnace melting or electric-arc melting. Slag adhering to the metal ingots and in defects within the ingots is in the important contributors to plutonium retained in processed metals. If these sources of plutonium are controlled, the melt-refining process can be used on a large scale to convert highly contaminated metals to homogeneous and compact forms with very low concentrations of plutonium and americium. A conceptual design of a melt-refining process to decontaminate plutonium- and americium-contaminated metals is described. The process includes single-stage refining of contaminated metals to produce a metal product which would have less than 10 nCi/g of TRU-element contamination. Two plant sizes were considered. The smaller conceptual plant processes 77 kg of metal per 8-h period and may be portable.The larger one processes 140 kg of metal per 8-h period, is stationary, and may be near te maximum size that is practical for a metal decontamination process

  2. Disposition of plutonium as non-fertile fuel for water reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chidester, K.; Eaton, S.L.; Ramsey, K.B.

    1998-01-01

    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The original intent of this project was to investigate the possible use of a new fuel form as a means of dispositioning the declared surplus inventory of weapons-grade plutonium. The focus soon changed, however, to managing the larger and rapidly growing inventories of plutonium arising in commercial spent nuclear fuel through implementation of a new fuel form in existing nuclear reactors. LANL embarked on a parallel path effort to study fuel performance using advanced physics codes, while also demonstrating the ability to fabricate a new fuel form using standard processes in LANL's Plutonium Facility. An evolutionary fuel form was also examined which could provide enhanced performance over standard fuel forms, but which could be implemented in a much shorter time frame than a completely new fuel form. Recent efforts have focused on implementation of results into global energy models and development of follow-on funding to continue this research

  3. A Mixed-Oxide Assembly Design for Rapid Disposition of Weapons Plutonium in Pressurized Water Reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alonso, Gustavo; Adams, Marvin L.

    2002-01-01

    We have created a new mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel assembly design for standard pressurized water reactors (PWRs). Design goals were to maximize the plutonium throughput while introducing the lowest perturbation possible to the control and safety systems of the reactor. Our assembly design, which we call MIX-33, offers some advantages for the disposition of weapons-grade plutonium; it increases the disposition rate by 8% while increasing the worth of control material, compared to a previous Westinghouse design. The MIX-33 design is based upon two ideas: the use of both uranium and plutonium fuel pins in the same assembly, and the addition of water holes in the assembly. The main result of this paper is that both of these ideas are effective at increasing Pu throughput and increasing the worth of control material. With this new design, according to our analyses, we can transition smoothly from a full low-enriched-uranium (LEU) core to a full MIX-33 core while meeting the operational and safety requirements of a standard PWR. Given an interruption of the MOX supply, we can transition smoothly back to full LEU while meeting safety margins and using standard LEU assemblies with uniform pinwise enrichment distribution. If the MOX supply is interrupted for only one cycle, the transition back to a full MIX-33 core is not as smooth; high peaking could cause power to be derated by a few percent for a few weeks at the beginning of one transition cycle

  4. Polyethylene-reflected plutonium metal sphere : subcritical neutron and gamma measurements.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mattingly, John K.

    2009-11-01

    Numerous benchmark measurements have been performed to enable developers of neutron transport models and codes to evaluate the accuracy of their calculations. In particular, for criticality safety applications, the International Criticality Safety Benchmark Experiment Program (ICSBEP) annually publishes a handbook of critical and subcritical benchmarks. Relatively fewer benchmark measurements have been performed to validate photon transport models and codes, and unlike the ICSBEP, there is no program dedicated to the evaluation and publication of photon benchmarks. Even fewer coupled neutron-photon benchmarks have been performed. This report documents a coupled neutron-photon benchmark for plutonium metal reflected by polyethylene. A 4.5-kg sphere of ?-phase, weapons-grade plutonium metal was measured in six reflected configurations: (1) Bare; (2) Reflected by 0.5 inch of high density polyethylene (HDPE); (3) Reflected by 1.0 inch of HDPE; (4) Reflected by 1.5 inches of HDPE; (5) Reflected by 3.0 inches of HDPE; and (6) Reflected by 6.0 inches of HDPE. Neutron and photon emissions from the plutonium sphere were measured using three instruments: (1) A gross neutron counter; (2) A neutron multiplicity counter; and (3) A high-resolution gamma spectrometer. This report documents the experimental conditions and results in detail sufficient to permit developers of radiation transport models and codes to construct models of the experiments and to compare their calculations to the measurements. All of the data acquired during this series of experiments are available upon request.

  5. Polyethylene-reflected plutonium metal sphere: subcritical neutron and gamma measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mattingly, John K.

    2009-01-01

    Numerous benchmark measurements have been performed to enable developers of neutron transport models and codes to evaluate the accuracy of their calculations. In particular, for criticality safety applications, the International Criticality Safety Benchmark Experiment Program (ICSBEP) annually publishes a handbook of critical and subcritical benchmarks. Relatively fewer benchmark measurements have been performed to validate photon transport models and codes, and unlike the ICSBEP, there is no program dedicated to the evaluation and publication of photon benchmarks. Even fewer coupled neutron-photon benchmarks have been performed. This report documents a coupled neutron-photon benchmark for plutonium metal reflected by polyethylene. A 4.5-kg sphere of ?-phase, weapons-grade plutonium metal was measured in six reflected configurations: (1) Bare; (2) Reflected by 0.5 inch of high density polyethylene (HDPE); (3) Reflected by 1.0 inch of HDPE; (4) Reflected by 1.5 inches of HDPE; (5) Reflected by 3.0 inches of HDPE; and (6) Reflected by 6.0 inches of HDPE. Neutron and photon emissions from the plutonium sphere were measured using three instruments: (1) A gross neutron counter; (2) A neutron multiplicity counter; and (3) A high-resolution gamma spectrometer. This report documents the experimental conditions and results in detail sufficient to permit developers of radiation transport models and codes to construct models of the experiments and to compare their calculations to the measurements. All of the data acquired during this series of experiments are available upon request.

  6. Plutonium: key issue in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoshisaki, M.B.

    1993-01-01

    The technical report is a 1993 update on weapons-grade plutonium, a key issue in nuclear disarmament. Its vital significance would again be discussed during the fifth and the last Review Conference on the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) for Nuclear Weapons which would end in 1995. Member States shall decide whether an indefinite or conditional extension of NPT is necessary for world peace and international security. Two Non-NPT States, Russia and U.S.A. are in the forefront working for the reduction of nuclear weapons through nuclear disarmament. Their major effort is focused on the implementation of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty I and II or START I and II for world peace. The eventual implementation of START I and II would lead to the dismantling of plutonium from nuclear warheads proposed to be eliminated by both countries. This report gives three technical options to be derived from nuclear disarmament issues for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons: (a) indefinite storage - there is no guarantee that these will not be used in the future (b) disposal as wastes - possible only in principle, because of lack of experience in mixing plutonium with high level wastes, and (c) source of energy - best option in managing stored weapons materials, because it satisfies non-proliferation objectives. It means fuel for energy in Light Water Reactors (LWR) or Fast Breeder Reactors (FBR). (author). 8 refs

  7. Six-kilogram-scale electrorefining of plutonium metal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mullins, L.J.; Morgan, A.N.; Apgar, S.A. III; Christensen, D.C.

    1982-09-01

    The electrorefining of metallic plutonium scrap to produce high purity metal has been an established procedure at Los Alamos since 1964. This is a batch process and was limited to 4-kg plutonium because of criticality safety considerations. Improvements in critical mass measurements have permitted us to develop a process for 6-kg plutonium. The 6-kg process is now operational. The increased size of the process, together with other improvements which have been made, makes plutonium electrorefining the principal industrial tool for processing and purifying metallic plutonium scrap

  8. Qualitative chemical analysis of plutonium by Alpha spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramirez G, J Qumica.J.

    1994-01-01

    In this work the separation and purification of plutonium from irradiated uranium was done. The plutonium, produced by the irradiation of uranium in a nuclear reactor and the β decay of 239 Np, was stabilized to Pu +4 with sodium nitrite. Plutonium was separated from the fission products and uranium by ion exchange using the resin Ag 1 X 8. It was electrodeposited on stainless steel discs and the alpha radioactivity of plutonium was measured in a surface barrier detector. The results showed that plutonium was separated with a radiochemical purity higher than 99 %. (Author)

  9. Plutonium economy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Traube, K.

    1984-01-01

    The author expresses his opinion on the situation, describes the energy-economic setting, indicates the alternatives: fuel reprocessing or immediate long-term storage, and investigates the prospects for economic utilization of the breeder reactors. All the facts suggest that the breeder reactor will never be able to stand economic competition with light-water reactors. However, there is no way to prove the future. It is naive to think that every doubt could and must be removed before stopping the development of breeder reactors - and thus also the reprocessing of the fuel of light-water reactors. On the basis of the current state of knowledge an unbiased cost-benefit-analysis can only lead to the recommendation to stop construction immediately. But can 'experts', who for years or even decades have called for and supported the development of breeder reactors be expected to make an unbiased analysis. Klaus Traube strikes the balance of the state Germany's nuclear economy is in: although there is no chance of definitively abandoning that energy-political cul-de-sac, no new adventures must be embarked upon. Responsible handling of currently used nuclear technology means to give up breeder technology and waive plutonium economy. It is no supreme technology with the aid of which structural unemployment or any other economic problem could be solved. (orig.) [de

  10. Plutonium Finishing Plant

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Plutonium Finishing Plant, also known as PFP, represented the end of the line (the final procedure) associated with plutonium production at Hanford.PFP was also...

  11. Plutonium biokinetics in humans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Popplewell, D.; Ham, G.; McCarthy, W.; Lands, C.

    1994-01-01

    By using an 'unusual' isotope it is possible to carry out experiments with plutonium in volunteers at minimal radiation dose levels. Measurements have been made of the gut transfer factor and the urinary excretion of plutonium after intravenous injection. (author)

  12. Plutonium in uranium deposits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Curtis, D.; Fabryka-Martin, J.; Aguilar, R.; Attrep, M. Jr.; Roensch, F.

    1992-01-01

    Plutonium-239 (t 1/2 , 24,100 yr) is one of the most persistent radioactive constituents of high-level wastes from nuclear fission power reactors. Effective containment of such a long-lived constituent will rely heavily upon its containment by the geologic environment of a repository. Uranium ore deposits offer a means to evaluate the geochemical properties of plutonium under natural conditions. In this paper, analyses of natural plutonium in several ores are compared to calculated plutonium production rates in order to evaluate the degree of retention of plutonium by the ore. The authors find that current methods for estimating production rates are neither sufficiently accurate nor precise to provide unambiguous measures of plutonium retention. However, alternative methods for evaluating plutonium mobility are being investigated, including its measurement in natural ground waters. Preliminary results are reported and establish the foundation for a comprehensive characterization of plutonium geochemistry in other natural environments

  13. Plutonium metal burning facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hausburg, D.E.; Leebl, R.G.

    1977-01-01

    A glove-box facility was designed to convert plutonium skull metal or unburned oxide to an oxide acceptable for plutonium recovery and purification. A discussion of the operation, safety aspects, and electrical schematics are included

  14. Plutonium Training Opportunities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Balatsky, Galya Ivanovna [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Wolkov, Benjamin [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2015-03-26

    This report was created to examine the current state of plutonium training in the United States and to discover ways in which to ensure that the next generation of plutonium workers are fully qualified.

  15. Measurement of the {sup 240}Pu concentration of a plutonium sample by the spontaneous fission method (1960); Mesure de la teneur d'un plutonium en {sup 240}Pu par la methode des fissions spontanees (1960)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Caizergues, R; Clouet d' Orval, C [Commissariat a l' Energie Atomique, Saclay (France).Centre d' Etudes Nucleaires

    1960-07-01

    It is very important to know the plutonium-240 content of the plutonium formed in piles. The method of measurement described here consists in counting the number of spontaneous fissions produced in a known quantity of plutonium. This measurement is carried out in a multiple-plate ionisation chamber, the plutonium being deposited on the plates. The disintegration constant of plutonium-240 by spontaneous fission being known the plutonium-240 content in the sample can be calculated. (author) [French] La connaissance de la teneur en plutonium-240 du plutonium forme dans les piles est une question importante. La methode de mesure presentee ici consiste a compter le nombre de fissions spontanees issues d'une quantite connue de plutonium. Cette mesure est effectuee dans une chambre d'ionisation a plateaux multiples sur lesquels est depose le plutonium. La connaissance de la constante de desintegration du plutonium-240 par fissions spontanees permet de calculer la teneur en plutonium-240. (auteur)

  16. Direct reduction of plutonium from dicesium hexachloroplutonate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Averill, W.A.; Boyd, T.E.

    1991-01-01

    The Rocky Flats Plant produces dicesium hexachloroplutonate (DCHP) primarily as a reagent in the molten salt extraction of americium from plutonium metal. DCHP is precipitated from aqueous chloride solutions derived from the leaching of process residues with a high degree of selectivity. DCHP is a chloride salt of plutonium, while the traditional aqueous precipitate is a hydrated oxide. Plutonium metal preparation from the oxide involves either the conversion of oxide to a halide followed by metallothermic reduction or direct reduction of the oxide using a flux. Either method generates at least three times as much radioactively contaminated waste as metal produced. Plutonium concentration by DCHP precipitation, however, produces a chloride salt that can be reduced using calcium metal at a temperature of approximately 1000K. In this paper the advantages and limitations of this process are discussed

  17. Optimization and plutonium equilibrium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silver, G.L.

    1976-01-01

    The sequential simplex method has been used to estimate the extent of disproportionation of tetravalent plutonium in dilute acid. A method for simulating potentiometric titrations is proposed, and this method suggests that the stoichiometric end point and the inflection point may not always correspond in the potentiometric titration of plutonium. A possible characteristic equation for the nitrite-plutonium reaction is illustrated, and the method of proportional equations is extended to the iron-plutonium reaction

  18. Experience and activities in the field of plutonium recycling in civilian nuclear power plants in the European Union

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Decressin, A.; Gambier, D.J.; Lehmann, J.-P.; Nietzold, D.E.

    1996-01-01

    The European Union industry has established a world-wide leadership position in manufacturing and exploiting plutonium bearing fuel (MOX). About 15 to 20 tons of plutonium have been manufactured in the MOX fuel fabrication plants of E.U. companies. The current capacity of about 60 tons of MOX fuel per year is being upgraded to reach 400 tons/year by the year 2000. As a result, the excess amounts of separated plutonium, presently stored in the European Union, should no longer raise but should steadily decrease to converge to zero. Studies by the European Commission have indicated that the best use at present of weapons-grade and reactor-grade plutonium is to burn it in operating and future planned nuclear reactors. Disposing of plutonium by blending it with fission products or immobilising it into synthetic matrices appears to be far from being an industrially viable option. Following this path would mean to continue storing the excess plutonium of both military and civilian origin for an unknown, but very long period of time. For these and other reasons, the European Commission is striving to foster international cooperation between the European Union companies, having a long industrial experience accumulated in the field of recycling plutonium, and, so far, the Russian Federation and the Newly Independent States. This cooperation is aiming at supporting projects that could be mutually beneficial to all parties involved. To meet this objective, several programmes have been established either bilaterally or multilaterally, in particular within the framework of the International Science and Technology Centre (I.S.T.C.) in Moscow. Some examples of such collaborations will be described. (author)

  19. Improving aircraft accident forecasting for an integrated plutonium storage facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rock, J.C.; Kiffe, J.; McNerney, M.T.; Turen, T.A.

    1998-06-01

    Aircraft accidents pose a quantifiable threat to facilities used to store and process surplus weapon-grade plutonium. The Department of Energy (DOE) recently published its first aircraft accident analysis guidelines: Accident Analysis for Aircraft Crash into Hazardous Facilities. This document establishes a hierarchy of procedures for estimating the small annual frequency for aircraft accidents that impact Pantex facilities and the even smaller frequency of hazardous material released to the environment. The standard establishes a screening threshold of 10 -6 impacts per year; if the initial estimate of impact frequency for a facility is below this level, no further analysis is required. The Pantex Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement (SWEIS) calculates the aircraft impact frequency to be above this screening level. The DOE Standard encourages more detailed analyses in such cases. This report presents three refinements, namely, removing retired small military aircraft from the accident rate database, correcting the conversion factor from military accident rates (accidents per 100,000 hours) to the rates used in the DOE model (accidents per flight phase), and adjusting the conditional probability of impact for general aviation to more accurately reflect pilot training and local conditions. This report documents a halving of the predicted frequency of an aircraft impact at Pantex and points toward further reductions

  20. Cigarette smoke and plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Filipy, R.E.

    1985-01-01

    Autoradiographic techniques with liquid photographic emulsion and cellulose nitrate track-etch film are being used to investigate the spatial distribution of inhaled plutonium in the lungs of beagle dogs exposed to cigarette smoke or to the plutonium aerosol only. More plutonium than expected was detected on the inner surfaces of bronchi, and particles were observed beneath the bronchial mucosa. 2 figures, 2 tables

  1. Optimizing Plutonium stock management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niquil, Y.; Guillot, J.

    1997-01-01

    Plutonium from spent fuel reprocessing is reused in new MOX assemblies. Since plutonium isotopic composition deteriorates with time, it is necessary to optimize plutonium stock management over a long period, to guarantee safe procurement, and contribute to a nuclear fuel cycle policy at the lowest cost. This optimization is provided by the prototype software POMAR

  2. Treatment of plutonium contaminations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lafuma, J.

    1983-01-01

    Three kinds of plutonium contaminations were considered: skin contamination; contaminated wounds; contamination by inhalation. The treatment of these contaminations was studied for insoluble (oxide and metal forms) and soluble plutonium (complexes). The use of DTPA and therapeutic problems encountered with stable plutonium complexes were analyzed. The new possibilities of internal decontamination using Puchel and LICAM were evaluated [fr

  3. Plutonium, nuclear fuel; Le plutonium, combustible nucleaire

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grison, E [Commissariat a l' Energie Atomique, Fontenay aux Roses (France). Centre d' Etudes Nucleaires, Saclay

    1960-07-01

    A review of the physical properties of metallic plutonium, its preparation, and the alloys which it forms with the main nuclear metals. Appreciation of its future as a nuclear fuel. (author) [French] Apercu sur les proprietes physiques du plutonium metallique, sa preparation, ses alliages avec les principaux metaux nucleaires. Consideration sur son avenir en tant que combustible nucleaire. (auteur)

  4. Plutonium economy. Plutonium-Wirtschaft

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Traube, K

    1984-01-01

    The author expresses his opinion on the situation, describes the energy-economic setting, indicates the alternatives: fuel reprocessing or immediate long-term storage, and investigates the prospects for economic utilization of the breeder reactors. All the facts suggest that the breeder reactor will never be able to stand economic competition with light-water reactors. However, there is no way to prove the future. It is naive to think that every doubt could and must be removed before stopping the development of breeder reactors - and thus also the reprocessing of the fuel of light-water reactors. On the basis of the current state of knowledge an unbiased cost-benefit-analysis can only lead to the recommendation to stop construction immediately. But can 'experts', who for years or even decades have called for and supported the development of breeder reactors be expected to make an unbiased analysis. Klaus Traube strikes the balance of the state Germany's nuclear economy is in: although there is no chance of definitively abandoning that energy-political cul-de-sac, no new adventures must be embarked upon. Responsible handling of currently used nuclear technology means to give up breeder technology and waive plutonium economy. It is no supreme technology with the aid of which structural unemployment or any other economic problem could be solved.

  5. Solubility of plutonium dioxide aerosols, in vitro

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Newton, G.J.; Kanapilly, G.M.

    1976-01-01

    Solubility of plutonium aerosols is an important parameter in establishing risk estimates for industrial workers who might accidentally inhale these materials and in evaluating environmental health impacts associated with Pu. In vitro solubility of industrial plutonium aerosols in a simulated lung fluid is compared to similar studies with ultrafine aerosols from laser ignition of delta phase plutonium metal and laboratory-produced spherical particles of 238 PuO 2 and 239 PuO 2 . Although relatively insoluble, industrial plutonium-mixed oxide aerosols were much more soluble than laboratory-produced plutonium dioxide particles. Chain agglomerate aerosols from laser ignition of metallic Pu indicated in vitro dissolution half-times of 10 and 50 days for activity median aerodynamic diameter (AMAD) of 0.7 and 2.3 μm, respectively. Plutonium-containing mixed oxide aerosols indicated dissolution half-times of 40 to 500 days for particles formed by industrial powder comminution and blending. Centerless grinding of fuel pellets yielded plutonium-containing aerosols with dissolution half-times of 1200 to 8000 days. All mixed oxide particles were in the size range 1.0 μm to 2.5 μm AMAD

  6. Plutonium use - present status and perspectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dievoet, J. van; Fossoul, E.; Jonckheere, E.; Bemden, E. van den

    1977-01-01

    Plutonium is being produced in increasing quantities in the so-called proven reactors, which are mostly of the light-water type. Evaluation of this production on a world scale shows that it would be theoretically possible to construct a large number of breeders and thus to make the best use of the intrinsic qualities of plutonium as a fissionable material, while considerably reducing the consumption of uranium. This source of plutonium is nevertheless dependent on an essential stage of the fuel cycle, namely reprocessing of irradiated fuel. The long delays in installing an adequate world reprocessing capacity are substantially weakening the prospects for the introduction of breeders. Furthermore, the critical situation as regards reprocessing may delay the development of complementary reprocessing methods for fuels with a high plutonium content and high burn-up. When it is recalled that fast reactors themselves may suffer some delay in their technological development, if only because of the intention to build power plants of very high unit capacity immediately, it must be concluded that another use will have to be considered for the plutonium available in future -use in thermal reactors, i.e. recycling. The recycling of plutonium is a well-known technique today and the objections which could be raised against it hardly stand up to analysis. Utilization of plutonium offers an appreciable saving in terms of uranium and separative work units, the consumption being of a low order of magnitude in comparison with the total amount of plutonium needed for the eventual fabrication of the first fast reactor cores. It can also be shown that immediate reprocessing of the recycling fuel is not essential for the economics of the concept. Temporary storage of recycled fuel has the advantage of concentrating plutonium in a particularly safe form, namely in irradiated plutonium-bearing fuel assemblies. Lastly, recycling offers such flexibility that it does not in practice represent

  7. Determination of plutonium in soils by mass spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Storms, H.A.; Carlson, D.C.; Hunter, F.F.

    1974-01-01

    A procedure is described in which mass spectrometry is utilized for the determination of plutonium in soils. Using this procedure we have measured plutonium isotopic compositions at concentrations as low as 2 x 10 -14 grams Pu per gram soil. A thermal ionization source with canoe-shaped rhenium filament, is utilized in the mass spectrometer. The plutonium, when loaded onto the filament, is contained in a single Dowex-1 resin bead which is about 350 micrometers in diameter. Concentrating the plutonium within this single bead is a key step in the procedure and produces a relatively clean plutonium fraction. The resin bead also serves as an effective diffusion barrier such that the plutonium is prevented from being removed with the lower boiling impurities. The Pu remains in the bead until the temperature is sufficiently high for efficient production of Pu + ions. Plutonium ionization efficiencies as high as 2.5 percent have been measured

  8. Plutonium use - Present status and prospects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dievoet, J. van; Fossoul, E.; Jonckheere, E.; Bemden, E. van den

    1977-01-01

    The use of plutonium in thermal and fast reactors is a demonstrated, if not proven, technology. Moreover, plutonium is being produced in increasing quantities. Evaluation of this production on a world scale shows that it would be theoretically possible to construct numerous breeders and thus to make the best use of plutonium, while considerably reducing uranium consumption. This source of plutonium is nevertheless dependent on the reprocessing of irradiated fuel. Long delays in installing and adequate world reprocessing capacity are weakening the prospects for introducing breeders. Furthermore, the critical situation regarding reprocessing may delay the development of complementary reprocessing methods for fuels with a high plutonium content and high burnup. The recycling of plutonium is now a well-known technique and any objections to it hardly bear analysis. Utilization of plutonium offers an appreciable saving in terms of uranium and separative work units; and it can also be shown that immediate reprocessing of the recycling fuel is not essential for the economics of the concept. Temporary storage of recycled fuel is a particularly safe form of concentrating plutonium, namely in irradiated plutonium-bearing fuel assemblies. Finally, recycling offers such flexibility that it represents no obstacle to fuel management at power plants with light-water reactors. These strategic considerations imply that the technology of using plutonium for fabricating thermal or fast reactor fuels is both technically reliable and economically viable. The methods used in industrial facilities are fully reassuring in this respect. Although various unsolved problems exist, none seems likely to impede current developments, while the industrial experience gained has enabled the economics and reliability of the methods to be improved appreciably. Apart from the techno-economic aspects, the plutonium industry must face extremely important problems in connection with the safety of personnel

  9. The plutonium society

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mez, L.; Richter, M.

    1981-01-01

    The lectures of an institute are reported on, which took place between 25th and 27th January 1980 in Berlin. The subsequent public panel discussion with representations from the political parties is then documentated in a few press-reports. The themes of the 8 lectures are: views and facts on plutonium, plutonium as an energy resource, military aspects of the production of plutonium, economic aspects of the plutonium economy, the position of the trade unions on the industrial reconversion, the alleged inevitability of a plutonium society and the socio-political alternatives and perspectives of nuclear waste disposal. (UA) [de

  10. Plutonium oxide dissolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gray, J.H.

    1992-01-01

    Several processing options for dissolving plutonium oxide (PuO 2 ) from high-fired materials have been studied. The scoping studies performed on these options were focused on PuO 2 typically generated by burning plutonium metal and PuO 2 produced during incineration of alpha contaminated waste. At least two processing options remain applicable for dissolving high-fired PuO 2 in canyon dissolvers. The options involve solid solution formation of PuO 2 With uranium oxide (UO 2 ) and alloying incinerator ash with aluminum. An oxidative dissolution process involving nitric acid solutions containing a strong oxidizing agent, such as cerium (IV), was neither proven nor rejected. This uncertainty was due to difficulty in regenerating cerium (IV) ions during dissolution. However, recent work on silver-catalyzed dissolution of PuO 2 with persulfate has demonstrated that persulfate ions regenerate silver (II). Use of persulfate to regenerate cerium (IV) or bismuth (V) ions during dissolution of PuO 2 materials may warrant further study

  11. Calculating the plutonium in spent fuel elements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barnham, Keith

    1992-01-01

    Many members of the public are concerned about plutonium. They are worried about its environmental, health and proliferation risks. Fundamental to all such considerations are two related questions: how much plutonium do nuclear reactors produce ? and how accurately do the relevant authorities know these production figures ? These two questions have been studied with particular reference to the UK civil Magnox reactors. In 1990 these were still the only UK civil reactors whose spent fuel had been reprocessed to extract plutonium in routine production. It has not been possible to conclude that the relevant government industry and safeguard authorities are aware of how much plutonium these reactors produce and that the figures are known to the highest achievable accuracy. To understand why, this chapter will outline some of the history of the attempts to get answers to these two questions. (author)

  12. Plutonium dioxide storage: Conditions for preparation and handling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haschke, J.M.; Ricketts, T.E.

    1995-08-01

    Desorption and adsorption of plutonium dioxide are derived from production-scale experiments that demonstrate techniques of preparing weapons-grade material for extended storage. In combination with data from literature, results define conditions for preparing and certifying PuO 2 and provide essential information for developing and implementing a repackaging process compliant with DOE standards for safe storage of plutonium. As demonstrated by loss-on-ignition (LOI) analysis, adsorbates are effectively removed by heating the oxide in air at 950 C for two hours. After oxides are fired at this temperature, specific surface areas are consistently less than 5 m 2 /g. Due to this low surface area, water adsorption by fired oxide is limited to a maximum of 0.2 mass % at 50% relative humidity. Kinetic data for the adsorption process show that water is accommodated on the oxide surface by a sequence of distinct first-order steps comprising five types of adsorbate interaction and accumulating ten molecular layers of H 2 0 at 100% humidity. An equation defining the humidity dependence of the adsorption rate during the first step is applied in estimating time periods that a fired oxide may remain in given configurations without detrimental adsorption. Particle size measurements show that the source terms for environmental dispersal of oxides prepared by hydride-catalyzed reaction of metal and by oxalate calcination are approximately 20 and 0.1 mass %, respectively, and that the values are reduced by firing. Evidence for a chemical reaction between dioxide and water is discussed and practical applications of the results to oxide stabilization and LOI analysis are presented

  13. Plutonium in nature; Le plutonium dans la nature

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Madic, C.

    1994-12-31

    Plutonium in nature comes from natural sources and anthropogenic ones. Plutonium at the earth surface comes principally from anthropogenic sources. It is easily detectable in environment. The plutonium behaviour in environment is complex. It seems necessary for the future to reduce releases in environment, to improve predictive models of plutonium behaviour in geosphere, to precise biological impact of anthropogenic plutonium releases.

  14. A world of horror full with plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Broda, E.

    1977-01-01

    This article discusses the possibility of building a nuclear-bomb out of plutonium which has been originated in civil-nuclear power plants and the causes of plutonium on the human-body. In an interview Prof. Broda warns that some countries have already used civil-nuclear-technique in order to produce nuclear-arms and that there are severe risks for the future. (kancsar)

  15. Plutonium speciation affected by environmental bacteria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Neu, M.P.; Icopini, G.A.; Boukhalfa, H.

    2005-01-01

    Plutonium has no known biological utility, yet it has the potential to interact with bacterial cellular and extracellular structures that contain metal-binding groups, to interfere with the uptake and utilization of essential elements, and to alter cell metabolism. These interactions can transform plutonium from its most common forms, solid, mineral-adsorbed, or colloidal Pu(IV), to a variety of biogeochemical species that have much different physico-chemical properties. Organic acids that are extruded products of cell metabolism can solubilize plutonium and then enhance its environmental mobility, or in some cases facilitate plutonium transfer into cells. Phosphate- and carboxylate-rich polymers associated with cell walls can bind plutonium to form mobile biocolloids or Pu-laden biofilm/mineral solids. Bacterial membranes, proteins or redox agents can produce strongly reducing electrochemical zones and generate molecular Pu(III/IV) species or oxide particles. Alternatively, they can oxidize plutonium to form soluble Pu(V) or Pu(VI) complexes. This paper reviews research on plutonium-bacteria interactions and closely related studies on the biotransformation of uranium and other metals. (orig.)

  16. Tracing discharges of plutonium and technetium from nuclear processing plants by ultra-sensitive accelerator mass spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fifield, L.K.; Hausladen, P.A.; Cresswell, R.G.; Di Tada, M.L.; Day, J.P.; Carling, R.S.; Oughton, D.H.

    1999-01-01

    Historical discharges of plutonium from the Russian nuclear processing plant at Mayak in the Urals have been traced in sediments, soils and river water using ultra-sensitive detection of plutonium isotopes by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Significant advantages of AMS over other techniques are its very high sensitivity. which is presently ∼10 6 atoms (1 μBq), and its ability to determine the 240 Pu/ 239 Pu ratio. The latter is a sensitive indicator of the source of the plutonium, being very low (1-2%) for weapons grade plutonium, and higher (∼ 20%) for plutonium from civil reactors or fallout from nuclear weapons testing. Since this ratio has changed significantly over the years of discharges from Mayak, a measurement can provide important information about the source of plutonium at a particular location. Similar measurements have been performed on samples from the Kara Sea which contains a graveyard of nuclear submarines from the former Soviet Union. AMS techniques have also been developed for detection of 99 Tc down to levels of a few femtograms. This isotope is one of the most prolific fission products and has a very long half-life of 220 ka. Hundreds of kg have been discharged from the nuclear reprocessing plant at Sellafield in the UK. While there may be public health issues associated with these discharges which can be addressed with AMS, these discharges may also constitute a valuable oceanographic tracer experiment in this climatically-important region of the world's oceans. Applications to date have included a human uptake study to assess long-term retention of 99 Tc in the body, and a survey of seaweeds from northern Europe to establish a baseline for a future oceanographic study

  17. Plutonium speciation and isotope ratios in Yenisey and Ob river and Yenisey estuary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Skipperud, L.; Oughton, DH.; Fifield, K.; Lind, O.C.; Salbu, B.; Brown, J.

    2004-01-01

    Plutonium isotope ratios are known to vary with reactor type, nuclear fuel-burn up time, neutron flux, and energy, and for fallout from nuclear detonations, weapon type and yield. Weapons-grade plutonium is characterized by a low content of the 240 Pu isotope, with 240 Pu/ 239 Pu isotope ratio less than 0.05. In contrast, both global weapons fallout and spent nuclear fuel from civil reactors have higher 240 Pu/ 239 Pu isotope ratios (civil nuclear power reactors have 240 Pu/ 239 Pu atom ratios of between about 0.2-1). Thus, different sources often exhibit characteristic plutonium isotope ratios and these ratios can be used to identify the origin of contamination, calculate inventories, or follow the migration of contaminated sediments and waters. Together with activity measurements and isotope ratios, knowledge of plutonium speciation in the Ob and Yenisey rivers and processes controlling its behaviour in estuarine systems is a prerequisite for predicting the transfer and subsequent environmental impact to Arctic Seas. With this in mind, the study had two objectives: first to determine whether discharges from nuclear installations in the river catchment areas are having any influence on Pu levels in the estuaries; and, second, to investigate the transfer and mobility of plutonium in the Yenisey river and estuary. Plutonium 240/239 ratios were determined using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). The data indicated a clear influence from a low 240 Pu: 239 Pu source in surface sediments collected from the Yenisey Estuary, whereas plutonium in the Ob Estuary sediments are dominated by global fallout. The results also show an increase in plutonium concentration and a decrease in isotope ratio going upstream from the estuary. Sequential extractions of sediments indicate that up 70% of the Pu in the Yenisey river is easily mobilized with weak oxidizing agents, which indicates that the Pu is organically bound, while the Pu is more strongly irreversible bound further out

  18. Civil plutonium management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sicard, B.; Zaetta, A.

    2004-01-01

    During 1960 and 1970 the researches on the plutonium recycling in fast neutrons reactors were stimulated by the fear of uranium reserves diminishing. At the beginning of 1980, the plutonium mono-recycling for water cooled reactors is implementing. After 1990 the public opinion concerning the radioactive wastes management and the consequences of the disarmament agreements between Russia and United States, modified the context. This paper presents the today situation and technology associated to the different options and strategical solutions of the plutonium management: the plutonium use in the world, the neutronic characteristics, the plutonium effect on the reactors characteristics, the MOX behavior in the reactors, the MOX fabrication and treatment, the possible improvements to the plutonium use, the concepts performance in a nuclear park. (A.L.B.)

  19. World status report: plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dircks, W.

    1992-01-01

    In a recent speech in Japan, the Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that the economic case for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel had been severely eroded. An edited version of the speech is given. The changed prospects for nuclear energy is given as the reason why the demand for plutonium has declined sharply. The oil crisis of the 1970s reduced the demand for electric power and the economic justification for the use of recycled plutonium. The stockpile of isolated plutonium is growing rapidly giving rise to worries about its security. From this point of view, isolated plutonium is best kept in reactor fuel not separated out. In this connection the IAEA has offered to help in the storage of plutonium so that vigorous safety and security requirements are met. In Japan there is a debate about the plutonium which is dependent on the future of the fast breeder reactor programme. (UK)

  20. Progress on plutonium stabilization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hurt, D.

    1996-01-01

    The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board has safety oversight responsibility for most of the facilities where unstable forms of plutonium are being processed and packaged for interim storage. The Board has issued recommendations on plutonium stabilization and has has a considerable influence on DOE's stabilization schedules and priorities. The Board has not made any recommendations on long-term plutonium disposition, although it may get more involved in the future if DOE develops plans to use defense nuclear facilities for disposition activities

  1. PLUTONIUM-ZIRCONIUM ALLOYS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schonfeld, F.W.; Waber, J.T.

    1960-08-30

    A series of nuclear reactor fuel alloys consisting of from about 5 to about 50 at.% zirconium (or higher zirconium alloys such as Zircaloy), balance plutonium, and having the structural composition of a plutonium are described. Zirconium is a satisfactory diluent because it alloys readily with plutonium and has desirable nuclear properties. Additional advantages are corrosion resistance, excellent fabrication propenties, an isotropie structure, and initial softness.

  2. Cigarette smoke and plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Filipy, R.E.

    1983-01-01

    The major objective of this project is to obtain experimental data that are directly applicable to resolving the question of whether cigarette smokers are at greater risk than nonsmokers to potential health effects of inhaled plutonium. Because cigarette smokers constitute a large fraction of the population, a synergistic effect of plutonium and cigarette smoke might influence estimates of the health risk for plutonium and other transuranics released to the environment

  3. Pulmonary carcinogenesis from plutonium-containing particles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomas, R.G.; Smith, D.M.; Anderson, E.C.

    1980-01-01

    Induction of lung tumors by various types of radiation is of paramount concern to the nuclear industry. The data presented were obtained by exposing the pulmonary system of Syrian hamsters to particles of zirconium oxide containing various amounts of either plutonium-238 or -239 as the alpha radiation source. These particles were injected intravenously and lodged permanently in the capillary bed of the lung. When less than 20% of the lung tissue was irradiated, simulating the ''hot particle'' mode, tumors were not evident with lung burdens up to 500 nCi plutonium. More diffuse irradiation significantly increased the tumor incidence, with lung burdens of 50 to 150 nCi. When plutonium-laden microspheres were administered intratracheally, tumor production was considerably increased and the addition of 3 mg of iron oxide intratracheally further increased the incidence. Using the zirconium oxide matrix for the carrier of plutonium in aerosol particles produced tumor incidences of up to 50% in Syrian hamsters exposed by inhalation. Initial pulmonary (alveolar) burdens reached 100 nCi of plutonium. Similar inhalation studies using plutonium dioxide alone (no matrix) failed to produce any increase in lung tumorigenesis. The results are discussed in terms of possible mechanisms necessary for lung carcinogenesis. (H.K.)

  4. Siting criteria based on the prevention of deterministic effects from plutonium inhalation exposures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sorensen, S.A.; Low, J.O.

    1998-01-01

    Siting criteria are established by regulatory authorities to evaluate potential accident scenarios associated with proposed nuclear facilities. The 0.25 Sv (25 rem) siting criteria adopted in the United States has been historically based on the prevention of deterministic effects from acute, whole-body exposures. The Department of Energy has extended the applicability of this criterion to radionuclides that deliver chronic, organ-specific irradiation through the specification of a 0.25 Sv (25 rem) committed effective dose equivalent siting criterion. A methodology is developed to determine siting criteria based on the prevention of deterministic effects from inhalation intakes of radionuclides which deliver chronic, organ-specific irradiation. Revised siting criteria, expressed in terms of committed effective dose equivalent, are proposed for nuclear facilities that handle primarily plutonium compounds. The analysis determined that a siting criterion of 1.2 Sv (120 rem) committed effective dose equivalent for inhalation exposures to weapons-grade plutonium meets the historical goal of preventing deterministic effects during a facility accident scenario. The criterion also meets the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Department of Energy Nuclear Safety Goals provided that the frequency of the accident is sufficiently low

  5. Perspective on plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sun, L.S.

    1993-01-01

    This paper is intended as a brief overview on the element plutonium. Plutonium is the first primarily man-made element to play a significant role not only in technological development, but also in the economic growth of many countries. The importance of plutonium centers around its enormous energy making it ideal for wide-scale use in reactors, while the nuclear industry continues to work toward improving safety and efficiency of plutonium as a reactor fuel politicians and the public still debate over the safety and benefits of nuclear power. (30 refs.)

  6. The use of plutonium rapides surregenerateurs aspects techniques et economiques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guillet, H.; Delayre, R.; Mougniot, J.C.; Ferrari, A.

    1977-01-01

    Nuclear energy production utilizing U 235 and U 238 inevitably results in the formation of plutonium. Some of this is directly used by the reactor in power production. Some reactors, e.g. the Candu type, burn most of their plutonium ''in situ''. However the surplus quantity of plutonium produced is increasing, and by 1990 the world stock of plutonium is predicted to be about 1000 tons (300 tons in Europe and 400 in the USA). This represents approximately 0.1 Q of potential power, where Q=10 21 joules. Proposals for dealing with this plutonium include its storage, either as irradiated fuel or as a refined substance (plutonium nitrate or oxide); its use in thermal reactors as a substitute for U 235 ; its use in fast breeder reactors which can act as consumers of plutonium as well as producers and which can therefore regulate the world's plutonium stocks. Leaving aside the question of storage, certain technical conditions must be fulfilled. It is essential that reprocessing plants should be operational and available in adequate numbers. An industry able to make use of plutonium should be developed with large capacity units. There seem to be no problems with plutonium use in reactors: conclusive experiments have proved the accuracy of calculations regarding plutonium recycling in thermal reactors and a number of fast breeders have proved the possibility of using plutonium in them. Experience acquired during the past ten years permits us to deal with the safety and safeguards problem of using plutonium. Many economic questions remain, however, including questions affecting the utilization of plutonium, such as the cost of regenerating irradiated fuel and of making fuel, and questions affecting the strategy of using plutonium in different ways, such as the price at which it should be sold. Also the cost of producing electricity using plutonium is not yet clear. It is unavoidable that plutonium will be used in nuclear power development. The technical and economic problems

  7. Attribute measurement equipment for the verification of plutonium in classified forms for the Trilateral Initiative

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Langner, D.G.; Hsue, S.-T.; Macarthur, D.W.

    2001-01-01

    teams have agreed are important to a verification regime of this kind include the presence of plutonium, the presence of plutonium that is of weapons grade (a 240 Pu to 239 Pu ratio of less than 0.1), and the presence of plutonium with a mass that is more than some agreed-upon threshold. The technical experts have provisionally agreed to general technical requirements and functional specifications for an attribute measurement system with an information barrier. Briefly, the information barrier must be designed to both physically protect the classified information from unauthorized access by the inspecting party and to facilitate the use of inspectorate-employed means to detect tampering by the host party. In addition, the measurement equipment must be able to be calibrated and validated using unclassified reference materials, and the data obtained from unclassified measurements must be available to the inspector. Finally, the information barrier must isolate the security functions from the measurement functions in such a way that the inspector can have confidence that the measurement equipment and data analysis functions operate in exactly the same manner whether the system is measuring an unclassified or a classified item. With careful attention to the design and implementation of these systems, the technical teams are optimistic that the inspectors will be able to authenticate such equipment and thus reach independent conclusions. In addition to the challenge of producing a measurement system that can both protect classified information and be authenticated, the discussions of the technical experts have revealed some other measurement challenges associated with the types of plutonium that might come under a Trilateral Initiative regime. The greatest challenge will be to provide high-confidence, timely measurements of items that are stored in containers specifically designed to shield the radiation emissions required for the measurements. The shielding characteristics

  8. Transuranic elements in nature - plutonium all around us

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keller, C.; Baptista de Alleluia, I.

    1979-01-01

    At first the transuranic element plutonium was thought to be an artificial element which was formed during nuclear reactions. However, in the earth's crust traces of plutonium have also been found which has constantly been renewing itself ever since the birth of our solar system. But it is the quantities of artificially produced plutonium which make up the bulk of this element on our planet. Part of it has spread fairly equally over the whole of the earth. Plutonium can be proved to exist on every field an in every sample of air today. (orig.) [de

  9. The first milligrams of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goldschmidt, B.

    1997-01-01

    A historical review of the development of the very first quantities of plutonium produced during World War II in the United States and in Canada, as remembered by the French nuclear chemist, Mr Goldschmidt, who participated to the various programs which were involved in the development of the atomic bomb, and to the first steps of the French atomic program after the war. Mr Goldschmidt worked especially on organic solvent extraction, with the selection, in 1945, of non volatile tri glycol dichloride, and the development of the Chalk River plant. In 1949, at the Bouchet plant, his team has isolated the first milligrams of French plutonium from uranium oxide; and in 1952, the PUREX process was developed

  10. Cigarette smoke and plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1981-01-01

    The overall objective of this study is to determine whether cigarette smoking increases the probability of plutonium-induced lung cancer. Initial experiments, designed to characterize the effect of chronic cigarette smoke exposure on pulmonary clearance of plutonium aerosols, are described

  11. Plutonium valence state distributions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silver, G.L.

    1974-01-01

    A calculational method for ascertaining equilibrium valence state distributions of plutonium in acid solutions as a function of the plutonium oxidation number and the solution acidity is illustrated with an example. The method may be more practical for manual use than methods based upon polynomial equations. (T.G.)

  12. A vision for environmentally conscious plutonium processing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Avens, L.R.; Eller, P.G.; Christensen, D.C.; Miller, W.L.

    1998-01-01

    Regardless of individual technical and political opinions about the uses of plutonium, it is virtually certain that plutonium processing will continue on a significant global scale for many decades for the purposes of national defense, nuclear power, and remediation. An unavoidable aspect of plutonium processing is that radioactively contaminated gas, liquid, and solid waste streams are generated. These streams need to be handled in a manner that not only is in full compliance with today's laws but also will be considered environmentally and economically responsible now and in the future. In this regard, it is indeed ironic that the multibillion dollar and multidecade radioactive cleanup mortgage that the US Department of Energy (and its Russian counterpart) now owns resulted from waste management practices that were at the time in full legal compliance. It is now abundantly evident that in the long run, these practices have proven to be neither environmentally nor economically sound. Recent dramatic advances in actinide science and technology now make it possible to drastically minimize or even eliminate the problematic waste streams of traditional plutonium processing operations. Advanced technology thereby provides the means to avoid passing on to children and grandchildren significant environmental and economic legacies that traditional processing inevitably produces. The authors describe such a vision for plutonium processing that could be implemented fully within 5 yr at a facility such as the Los Alamos National Laboratory Plutonium Facility (TA55). As a significant bonus, even on this short timescale, the initial technology investment is handsomely returned in avoided waste management costs

  13. A vision for environmentally conscious plutonium processing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Avens, L.R.; Eller, P.G.; Christensen, D.C.; Miller, W.L.

    1998-01-01

    Regardless of individual technical and political opinions about the uses of plutonium, it is virtually certain that plutonium processing will continue on a significant global scale for many decades for the purposes of national defense, nuclear power and remediation. An unavoidable aspect of plutonium processing is that radioactive contaminated gas, liquid, and solid streams are generated. These streams need to be handled in a manner that is not only in full compliance with today's laws,but also will be considered environmentally and economically responsible now and in the future. In this regard, it is indeed ironic that the multibillion dollar and multidecade radioactive cleanup mortgage that the US Department of Energy (and its Russian counterpart) now owns resulted from waste management practices that were at the time in full legal compliance. The theme of this paper is that recent dramatic advances in actinide science and technology now make it possible to drastically minimize or even eliminate the problematic waste streams of traditional plutonium processing operations. Advanced technology thereby provides the means to avoid passing on to our children and grandchildren significant environmental and economic legacies that traditional processing inevitably produces. This paper will describe such a vision for plutonium processing that could be implemented fully within five years at a facility such as the Los Alamos Plutonium Facility (TA55). As a significant bonus, even on this short time scale, the initial technology investment is handsomely returned in avoided waste management costs

  14. Plutonium storage criteria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chung, D. [Scientech, Inc., Germantown, MD (United States); Ascanio, X. [Dept. of Energy, Germantown, MD (United States)

    1996-05-01

    The Department of Energy has issued a technical standard for long-term (>50 years) storage and will soon issue a criteria document for interim (<20 years) storage of plutonium materials. The long-term technical standard, {open_quotes}Criteria for Safe Storage of Plutonium Metals and Oxides,{close_quotes} addresses the requirements for storing metals and oxides with greater than 50 wt % plutonium. It calls for a standardized package that meets both off-site transportation requirements, as well as remote handling requirements from future storage facilities. The interim criteria document, {open_quotes}Criteria for Interim Safe Storage of Plutonium-Bearing Solid Materials{close_quotes}, addresses requirements for storing materials with less than 50 wt% plutonium. The interim criteria document assumes the materials will be stored on existing sites, and existing facilities and equipment will be used for repackaging to improve the margin of safety.

  15. Plutonium roundtable discussion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Penneman, R.A.

    1982-01-01

    The roundtable discussion began with remarks by the chairman who pointed out the complicated nature of plutonium chemistry. Judging from the papers presented at this symposium, he noticed a pattern which indicated to him the result of diminished funding for investigation of basic plutonium chemistry and funding focused on certain problem areas. Dr. G.L. silver pointed to plutonium chemists' erroneous use of a simplified summary equation involving the disproportionation of Pu(EV) and their each of appreciation of alpha coefficients. To his appreciation of alpha coefficients. To his charges, Dr. J.T. Bell spoke in defense of the chemists. This discussion was followed by W.W. Schulz's comments on the need for experimental work to determine solubility data for plutonium in its various oxidation states under geologic repository conditions. Discussion then turned to plutonium pyrachemical process with Dana C. Christensen as the main speaker. This paper presents edited versions of participants' written version

  16. Adsorption of neptunium and plutonium on metal phosphites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silver, G.L.

    1979-01-01

    The removal of neptunium and plutonium from water by adsorption on titanium, zirconium, bismuth, thorium, and uranium phosphites was investigated. These phosphites hydrolyze in neutral or alkaline solution producing the hydrous metal oxides that are more effective adsorbents than the original phosphite compounds. Ageing the plutonium-238 polymer changes its adsorption characteristics on commercial bone char. 37 figures, 7 tables

  17. Decommissioning and Decontamination Program: Battelle Plutonium Facility, Environmental assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1979-09-01

    This assessment describes the decontamination of Battelle-Columbus Plutonium Facility and removal from the site of all material contamination which was associated with or produced by the Plutonium Facility. Useable uncontaminated material will be disposed of by procedures normally employed in scrap declaration and transfer. Contaminated waste will be transported to approved radioactive waste storage sites. 5 refs., 1 fig

  18. Radioactive waste management and plutonium recovery within the context of the development of nuclear energy in Russia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kushnikov, V. [V.G. Khlopin Radium Institute, St. Petersburg (Russian Federation)

    1996-05-01

    The Russian strategy for radioactive waste and plutonium management is based on the concept of the closed fuel cycle that has been adopted in Russia, and, to a great degree, falls under the jurisdiction of the existing Russian nuclear energy structures. From its very beginning, Russian atomic energy policy was based on finding the most effective method of developing the new fuel direction with the maximum possible utilization of the energy potential from the fission of heavy atoms and the achievement of fuel self-sufficiency through the recycling of secondary fuel. Although there can be no doubt about the importance of economic considerations (for the future), concerns for the safety of the environment are currently of the utmost importance. In this context, spent NPP fuel can be viewed as a waste to be buried only if there is persuasive evidence that such an approach is both economically and environmentally sound. The production of I GW of energy per year is accompanied by the accumulation of up to 800-1000 kg of highly radioactive fission products and approximately 250 kg of plutonium. Currently, spent fuel from the VVER 100 and the RBNK reactors contains approximately 25 tons of plutonium. There is an additional 30 tons of fuel-grade plutonium in the form of purified oxide, separated from spent fuels used in VVER440 reactors and other power production facilities, as well as approximately 100 tons of weapons-grade plutonium from dismantled warheads. The spent fuel accumulates significant amounts of small actinoids - neptunium americium, and curium. Science and technology have not yet found technical solutions for safe and secure burial of non-reprocessed spent fuel with such a broad range of products, which are typically highly radioactive and will continue to pose a threat for hundreds of thousands of years.

  19. Fused salt processing of impure plutonium dioxide to high-purity plutonium metal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mullins, L.J.; Christensen, D.C.; Babcock, B.R.

    1982-01-01

    A process for converting impure plutonium dioxide (approx. 96% pure) to high-purity plutonium metal (>99.9%) was developed. The process consists of reducing the oxide to an impure plutonium metal intermediate with calcium metal in molten calcium chloride. The impure intermediate metal is cast into an anode and electrorefined to produce high-purity plutonium metal. The oxide reduction step is being done now on a 0.6-kg scale with the resulting yield being >99.5%. The electrorefining is being done on a 4.0-kg scale with the resulting yield being 80 to 85%. The purity of the product, which averages 99.98%, is essentially insensitive to the purity of the feed metal. The yield, however, is directly dependent on the chemical composition of the feed. To date, approximately 250 kg of impure oxide has been converted to pure metal by this processing sequence. The availability of impure plutonium dioxide, together with the need for pure plutonium metal, makes this sequence a valuable plutonium processing tool

  20. Plutonium vulnerability issues at Hanford's Plutonium Finishing Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feldt, E.; Templeton, D.W.; Tholen, E.

    1995-01-01

    The Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) at the Hanford, Washington Site was operated to produce plutonium (Pu) metal and oxide for national defense purposes. Due to the production requirements and methods utilized to meet national needs and the abrupt shutdown of the plant in the late 1980s, the plant was left in a condition that poses a risk of radiation exposure to plant workers, of accidental radioactive material release to the environment, and of radiation exposure to the public. In early 1994, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to determine the best methods for cleaning out and stabilizing Pu materials in the PFP was started. While the EIS is being prepared, a number of immediate actions have been completed or are underway to significantly reduce the greatest hazards in the PFP. Recently, increased attention his been paid to Pu risks at Department of Energy (DOE) facilities resulting in the Department-wide Plutonium Vulnerability Assessment and a recommendation by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) for DOE to develop integrated plans for managing its nuclear materials

  1. Toxicology of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bair, W.J.

    1974-01-01

    Data are reviewed from studies on the toxicity of Pu in experimental animals. Of the several plutonium isotopes, only 238 Pu and 239 Pu have been studied well. Sufficient results have been obtained to show that the behavior of 238 Pu in biological systems and the resulting biological effects cannot be precisely predicted from studies of 239 Pu. This probably applies also to other radiologically important plutonium isotopes which have half-lives ranging from 45 days to 10 7 years and decay by β-emission, electron capture, and spontaneous fission, as well as by emission of α-particles. All the biological effects of plutonium described in this review are attributed to alpha-particle radiation emitted by the plutonium. However, since plutonium is a chemically active heavy metal, one cannot ignore the possibility of chemical toxicity of the low-specific-activity isotopes, 239 Pu, 242 Pu, and 244 Pu. The preponderance of our knowledge of plutonium toxicology has come from short-term studies of relatively high dosage levels in several animal species. The consequences of high-level internal exposures can be predicted with confidence in experimental animals and probably also in man. However, considering the care with which plutonium is handled in the nuclear industry, a high-level contamination event is unlikely. Considerably less is known about the long-term effects of low levels of contamination. (250 references) (U.S.)

  2. The plutonium danger

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ruiter, W. de

    1983-01-01

    Nobody can ignore the fact that plutonium is potentially very dangerous and the greatest danger concerning it lies in the spreading of nuclear weapons via nuclear energy programmes. The following seven different attitudes towards this problem are presented and discussed: 1) There is no connection between peaceful and military applications; 2) The problem cannot be prevented; 3) A technical solution must be found; 4) plutonium must be totally inaccessible to countries involved in acquiring nuclear weapons; 5) The use of plutonium for energy production should only occur in one multinational centre; 6) Dogmas in the nuclear industry must be enfeebled; 7) All developments in this area should stop. (C.F.)

  3. Automation of plutonium spectrophotometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perez, J.J.; Boisde, G.; Goujon de Beauvivier, M.; Chevalier, G.; Isaac, M.

    1980-01-01

    Instrumentation was designed and constructed for automatic control of plutonium by molecular absorption spectrophotometry, on behalf of the reprocessing facilities, to meet two objectives: on-line measurement, of the valency state of plutonium, on by-pass, with the measured concentration covering the process concentration range up to a few mg.l -1 ; laboratory measurement of plutonium adjusted to valency VI, with operation carried out using a preparative system meeting the required containment specifications. For this two objectives, the photometer, optical cell connections are made by optical fibers resistant to β, γ radiation. Except this characteristic the devices are different according to the quality required for result [fr

  4. Plutonium Vulnerability Management Plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-03-01

    This Plutonium Vulnerability Management Plan describes the Department of Energy's response to the vulnerabilities identified in the Plutonium Working Group Report which are a result of the cessation of nuclear weapons production. The responses contained in this document are only part of an overall, coordinated approach designed to enable the Department to accelerate conversion of all nuclear materials, including plutonium, to forms suitable for safe, interim storage. The overall actions being taken are discussed in detail in the Department's Implementation Plan in response to the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) Recommendation 94-1. This is included as Attachment B

  5. Plutonium Plant, Trombay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yadav, J.S.; Agarwal, K.

    2017-01-01

    The journey of Indian nuclear fuel reprocessing started with the commissioning of Plutonium Plant (PP) at Trombay on 22"n"d January, 1965 with an aim to reprocess the spent fuel from research reactor CIRUS. The basic process chosen for the plant was Plutonium Uranium Reduction EXtraction (PUREX) process. In seventies, the plant was subjected to major design modifications and replacement of hardware, which later met the additional demand from research reactor DHRUVA. The augmented plutonium plant has been operating since 1983. Experience gained from this plant was very much helpful to design future reprocessing plant in the country

  6. Progress on plutonium stabilization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hurt, D. [Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, Washington, DC (United States)

    1996-05-01

    The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board has safety oversight responsibility for most of the facilities where unstable forms of plutonium are being processed and packaged for interim storage. The Board has issued recommendations on plutonium stabilization and has has a considerable influence on DOE`s stabilization schedules and priorities. The Board has not made any recommendations on long-term plutonium disposition, although it may get more involved in the future if DOE develops plans to use defense nuclear facilities for disposition activities.

  7. Cigarette smoke and plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Filipy, R.E.

    1982-01-01

    The major objective of this project is to obtain experimental data that are directly applicable to resolving the question of whether cigarette smokers are at greater risk than nonsmokers to potential health effects of inhaled plutonium. Progress was made on two fronts during the past year. The autoradiographic technique developed from detection of plutonium on the interior surface of pulmonary airways (Annual Report, 1978) has been adapted to routine use in examining tracheas and bronchi of rats. Also, dogs exposed to cigarette smoke for over a year after inhalation of plutonium were killed and necropsied

  8. Plutonium spectrophotometric analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Esteban, A.; Cassaniti, P.; Orosco, E.H.

    1990-01-01

    Plutonium ions in solution have absorption spectra so different that it is possible to use them for analytical purposes. Detailed studies have been performed in nitric solutions. Some very convenient methods for the determination of plutonium and its oxidation states, especially the ratios Pu(III):Pu(IV) and Pu(IV):Pu(VI) in a mixture of both, have been developed. These methods are described in this paper, including: a) Absorption spectra for plutonium (III), (IV), (VI) and mixtures. b) Relative extinction coefficients for the above mentioned species. c) Dependences of the relative extinction coefficients on the nitric acid concentration and the plutonium VI deviation from the Beer-Lambert law. The developed methods are simple and rapid and then, suitable in process control. Accuracy is improved when relative absorbance measurements are performed or controlled the variables which have effect on the spectra and extinction coefficients. (Author) [es

  9. French plutonium management program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greneche, D.

    2002-01-01

    The French plutonium management program is summarized in this paper. The program considers nuclear generation as a major component of national electric power supply and includes the reprocessing of the spent fuel. (author)

  10. Learning more about plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2008-01-01

    This digest brochure explains what plutonium is, where it comes from, how it is used, its recycling into Mox fuel, its half life, historical discovery, its presence in the environment, toxicity and radioactivity. (J.S.)

  11. Plutonium safe handling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tvehlov, Yu.

    2000-01-01

    The abstract, prepared on the basis of materials of the IAEA new leadership on the plutonium safe handling and its storage (the publication no. 9 in the Safety Reports Series), aimed at presenting internationally acknowledged criteria on the radiation danger evaluation and summarizing the experience in the safe management of great quantities of plutonium, accumulated in the nuclear states, is presented. The data on the weapon-class and civil plutonium, the degree of its danger, the measures for provision of its safety, including the data on accident radiation consequences with the fission number 10 18 , are presented. The recommendations, making it possible to eliminate the super- criticality danger, as well as ignition and explosion, to maintain the tightness of the facility, aimed at excluding the radioactive contamination and the possibility of internal irradiation, to provide for the plutonium security, physical protection and to reduce irradiation are given [ru

  12. Plutonium solution analyzer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burns, D.A.

    1994-09-01

    A fully automated analyzer has been developed for plutonium solutions. It was assembled from several commercially available modules, is based upon segmented flow analysis, and exhibits precision about an order of magnitude better than commercial units (0.5%-O.05% RSD). The system was designed to accept unmeasured, untreated liquid samples in the concentration range 40-240 g/L and produce a report with sample identification, sample concentrations, and an abundance of statistics. Optional hydraulics can accommodate samples in the concentration range 0.4-4.0 g/L. Operating at a typical rate of 30 to 40 samples per hour, it consumes only 0.074 mL of each sample and standard, and generates waste at the rate of about 1.5 mL per minute. No radioactive material passes through its multichannel peristaltic pump (which remains outside the glovebox, uncontaminated) but rather is handled by a 6-port, 2-position chromatography-type loop valve. An accompanying computer is programmed in QuickBASIC 4.5 to provide both instrument control and data reduction. The program is truly user-friendly and communication between operator and instrument is via computer screen displays and keyboard. Two important issues which have been addressed are waste minimization and operator safety (the analyzer can run in the absence of an operator, once its autosampler has been loaded)

  13. Plutonium solution analyzer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burns, D.A.

    1994-09-01

    A fully automated analyzer has been developed for plutonium solutions. It was assembled from several commercially available modules, is based upon segmented flow analysis, and exhibits precision about an order of magnitude better than commercial units (0.5%-O.05% RSD). The system was designed to accept unmeasured, untreated liquid samples in the concentration range 40-240 g/L and produce a report with sample identification, sample concentrations, and an abundance of statistics. Optional hydraulics can accommodate samples in the concentration range 0.4-4.0 g/L. Operating at a typical rate of 30 to 40 samples per hour, it consumes only 0.074 mL of each sample and standard, and generates waste at the rate of about 1.5 mL per minute. No radioactive material passes through its multichannel peristaltic pump (which remains outside the glovebox, uncontaminated) but rather is handled by a 6-port, 2-position chromatography-type loop valve. An accompanying computer is programmed in QuickBASIC 4.5 to provide both instrument control and data reduction. The program is truly user-friendly and communication between operator and instrument is via computer screen displays and keyboard. Two important issues which have been addressed are waste minimization and operator safety (the analyzer can run in the absence of an operator, once its autosampler has been loaded).

  14. Plutonium recycling and the problem of nuclear proliferation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Albright, D.; Feiveson, H.S.

    1988-01-01

    A typical 1-gigawatt light water reactor (LWR), the dominant commercial power reactor type today, operating at 70% capacity factor, generates approximately 250 kilograms of plutonium annually. This plutonium, which is produced in the reactor through neutron capture by uranium-238, is then discharged from the reactor along with the other constituents of the spent fuel. About 70% of the plutonium, or 175 kilograms, consists of fissile (odd-numbered) plutonium isotopes. As long as the plutonium discharged from the reactor is left intermixed with the highly radioactive fission products also contained in the spent fuel, it cannot readily be used for power or for weapons. However, upon chemical separation from the radioactive fission products and other components of the spent reactor fuel, the plutonium produced each year in a gigawatt reactor could be used, either in recycled fuel (to replace about 175 kilograms of U-235 in a power reactor) or to provide the fissile material for more than 25 nuclear warheads. Commercial separation of plutonium and the introduction of nuclear fuel cycles using recycled plutonium, which are now impending in several countries, force one to balance the probable increased risks of nuclear proliferation due to these activities against various economic and other motives that have been forwarded in their defense. The authors undertake an assessment of this balancing in this article

  15. Determination of plutonium in pure plutonium nitrate solutions - Gravimetric method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-01-01

    This International Standard specifies a precise and accurate gravimetric method for determining the concentration of plutonium in pure plutonium nitrate solutions and reference solutions, containing between 100 and 300 g of plutonium per litre, in a nitric acid medium. The weighed portion of the plutonium nitrate is treated with sulfuric acid and evaporated to dryness. The plutonium sulfate is decomposed and formed to oxide by heating in air. The oxide is ignited in air at 1200 to 1250 deg. C and weighed as stoichiometric plutonium dioxide, which is stable and non-hygroscopic

  16. Plutonium in coniferous forests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rantavaara, A.; Kostiainen, E.

    2002-01-01

    Our aim was to study the uptake of plutonium by trees, undervegetation and some wild foods. The ratio of 238 Pu/ 239,240 Pu in soil samples was determined for comparisons of the fallout origin. In twelve years the Chernobyl derived plutonium has not reached the mineral soil. This refers to a very slow downward migration in podsolic soil. The study confirmed also the low Pu uptake by vegetation and an insignificant contribution to human doses through wild foods. (au)

  17. Beating swords into plowshares. [Surplus plutonium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anon.

    With the end of the Cold War and the consequent dismantling of United States and Russian nuclear weapons, comes the problem of what to do with the plutonium and highly enriched uranium thus produced. This surplus fissile material could pose a national and international security hazard and recent studies have stresses the need for mutual and cooperative monitoring of fissile material stocks. Long term proposals for disposal, such as burning the plutonium in nuclear plants, vitrifying it into high-level waste glass logs and burying it in deep boreholes in the Earth's surface are all considered with respect to safety and economic viability. (UK).

  18. Multiple recycling of plutonium in advanced PWRs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kloosterman, J.L.

    1998-04-01

    The influence of the moderator-to-fuel ratio in MOX fueled PWRs on the moderator void coefficient, the fuel temperature coefficient, the moderator temperature coefficient, the boron reactivity worth, the critical boron concentration, the mean neutron generation time and the effective delayed neutron fraction has been assessed. Increasing the moderator-to-fuel ratio to values larger than three, gives a moderator void coefficient sufficiently large to recycle the plutonium at least four times. Scenario studies show that four times recycling of plutonium in PWRs reduces the plutonium mass produced with a factor of three compared with a reference once-through reactor park, but that the americium and curium production triple. If the minor actinides and the remaining plutonium after four times recycling are disposed of, the reduction of the radiotoxicity reaches only a factor of two. This factor increases to five at the maximum when the plutonium is further recycled. Recycling of americium and curium is needed to further reduce the radiotoxicity of the spent fuel. 4 refs

  19. The use of plutonium in Swedish reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Forsstroem, H.

    1982-09-01

    The report deals with the utilization of plutonium in Swedish nuclear power plants. The plutonium content of the mixed oxide fuel will normally be 3-7 per cent. The processing of spent nuclear fuel will produce about 6 ton plutonium. The use of mixed oxide fuel in Forsmark 3 and Oskarshamn 3 is discussed. The fuel cycle will start with the manufacturing of the fuel elements abroad and proceeds with transport and utilization, storing of spent fuel about 40 years in Sweden followed by direct disposal. The manufacture and use of mixed oxide (MOX) fuel is based on well-known techniques. Approximately 20 000 MOX fuel rods have been irradiated and the fuel is essentially equivalent to uranium oxide fuel. 30-50 per cent of the core may be composed of MOX-fuel without any effect on the operation and safety of the reactor which has been originally designed for uranium fuel. The evaluation of international fuel cycle (INFCE) states that the proliferation risks are very small. The recycling of plutonium will reduce demand for enriched uranium and the calculations show that 6.3 ton plutonium will replace the enrichment of 600 ton natural uranium. (G.B.)

  20. Pathology associated with inhaled plutonium in beagles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dagle, G.E.; Park, J.F.; Weller, R.E.; Ragan, H.A.; Stevens, D.L.

    1986-01-01

    The pathology associated with the inhalation of plutonium was studied in beagle dogs given a single exposure to aerosols of 239 PuO 2 , 238 PuO 2 , or 239 Pu(NO 3 ) 4 . The temporal-spatial relationships between plutonium deposition and the development of lesions in dogs were evaluated up to 11 years, 8 years, or 5 years, respectively, after exposures, resulting in initial lung burdens ranging from ∼2 to ∼5500 nCi. Exposure of the lung to high dose levels produced a spectrum of progressively more severe morphological changes, ranging from radiation pneumonitis to fibrosis. Lung tumors occurred at exposure levels that did not result in early death from radiation pneumonitis or fibrosis. Bronchiolar-alveolar carcinomas, papillary adenocarcinomas, epidermoid carcinomas, and combined epidermoid and adenocarcinomas were observed. Sclerosing tracheobronchial lymphadenitis, radiation osteodystrophy, osteosarcoma, and hepatic adenomatous hyperplasia were the principal extrapulmonary lesions resulting from translocation of plutonium. 15 refs., 2 tabs

  1. Optimal management of weapons plutonium through MOX recycling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McMurphy, M.A.; Bastard, G. le

    1995-01-01

    Beyond the satisfaction of witnessing the end of the nuclear arms race, the availability of large quantities of plutonium from the dismantlement of nuclear weapons in Russia and the US can be perceived as a challenge and an opportunity. A challenge because poor management of this material would maintain a problematic situation in terms of proliferation; an opportunity because such plutonium represents a high value energy source that the civilian industry is capable of using efficiently, actually turning it from swords to plowshares. The object of this paper is to describe the main characteristics of the use of weapons plutonium in the civilian cycle to produce electricity through the use of mixed uranium-plutonium oxide (MOX), or moxification. A comparison with the main alternate solution--plutonium vitrification--is offered, in particular with regard to industrial availability, energy resource management, economy, environment and proliferation

  2. Monitoring and detection of plutonium movement in storage vaults

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuckertz, T.H.; Bieri, J.M.; Caldwell, J.T.; France, S.W.; Hastings, R.D.; Pratt, J.C.; Shunk, E.R.; Goin, R.W.

    1981-01-01

    We investigated a method for monitoring a typical large storage vault for unauthorized removal of plutonium. The method is based on the assumption that the neutron field in a vault produced by a particular geometric configuration of bulk plutonium remains constant in time and space as long as the configuration is undisturbed. To observe such a neutron field, we installed an array of 25 3 He proportional counters in the ceiling of a plutonium storage vault at Argonne National Laboratory West. Data collected by each counter were processed to determine whether statistically significant changes had occurred in the neutron field. Continuous observation experiments measured the long-term stability of the system. Removal experiments were performed in which known quantities of plutonium were removed from the vault. Both types of experiments demonstrated that the neutron monitoring system can detect removal or addition of bulk plutonium (11% 240 Pu) whose mass is as small as 0.04% of the total inventory

  3. Utilization of plutonium in HTGR and its actinide production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karin, S.; Brogli, R.; Lefler, W.; Nordheim, L.

    1976-01-01

    The HTGR is a potential plutonium consumer. In this function it would burn plutonium, produce electricity and the valuable fissile isotope U-233. The advantages of this concept are discussed but particular attention is given to the production and the destruction of the higher actinides due to the high burnup achievable in such a system. The presence of the strong resonances in the plutonium isotopes demanded an extension of the methods for evaluation of self-shielding factors, a different structure for broad groups, and the adaptation of the reactor codes to these changes. Specifications for coated plutonium particles were developed. Also procedures were determined to evaluate the alpha ray and neutron emission rates of the actinide nuclides. First cycle calculations were carried out to establish in detail the characteristics of the plutonium reactors and their results are given

  4. Recovery of plutonium from pyrolysis and incineration residues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Isaacs, J.W.; McDonald, L.A.; Roberts, W.G.; Sutcliffe, P.W.; Wilkins, J.D.

    1981-01-01

    The effect of ashes prepared from typical plutonium-handling, glove box, combustible wastes on the dissolution of PuO 2 is described. Synthetic ashes have been prepared by doping inactively-prepared ashes with various plutonium-containing compounds, followed by heating at temperatures in the range 550-1200 0 C. The resulting ashes have been leach-tested in order to provide information on the relationship between leachability, the nature of the ashes, the type of plutonium contamination and temperature of thermal treatment. Optimum temperatures for the recovery of plutonium and for the production of inert ''slag'' -type residues have been identified. A furnace for producing model incinerator ashes and pyrolysis chars under carefully controlled conditions is described. Preliminary results on the leaching of these plutonium-active ashes and chars are discussed. (author)

  5. Plutonium-236 traces determination in plutonium-238 by α spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Acena, M.L.; Pottier, R.; Berger, R.

    1969-01-01

    Two methods are described in this report for the determination of plutonium-236 traces in plutonium-238 by a spectrometry using semi-conductor detectors. The first method involves a direct comparison of the areas under the peaks of the α spectra of plutonium-236 and plutonium-238. The electrolytic preparation of the sources is carried out after preliminary purification of the plutonium. The second method makes it possible to determine the 236 Pu/ 238 Pu ratio by comparing the areas of the α peaks of uranium-232 and uranium-234, which are the decay products of the two plutonium isotopes respectively. The uranium in the source, also deposited by electrolysis, is separated from a 1 mg amount of plutonium either by a T.L.A. extraction, or by the use of ion-exchange resins. The report ends with a discussion of the results obtained with plutonium of two different origins. (authors) [fr

  6. Qualitative chemical analysis of plutonium by Alpha spectroscopy.; Determinacion cualitativa de plutonio mediante espectroscopia alfa.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ramirez G, J Qumica.J.

    1994-12-31

    In this work the separation and purification of plutonium from irradiated uranium was done. The plutonium, produced by the irradiation of uranium in a nuclear reactor and the {beta} decay of {sup 239} Np, was stabilized to Pu {sup +4} with sodium nitrite. Plutonium was separated from the fission products and uranium by ion exchange using the resin Ag 1 X 8. It was electrodeposited on stainless steel discs and the alpha radioactivity of plutonium was measured in a surface barrier detector. The results showed that plutonium was separated with a radiochemical purity higher than 99 %. (Author).

  7. Conversion of metal plutonium to plutonium dioxide by pyrochemical method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Panov, A.V.; Subbotin, V.G. [Russian Federal Nuclear Center, ALL-Russian Science and Research Institute of Technical Physics, Snezhinsk (Russian Federation); Mashirev, V.P. [ALL-Russian Science and Research Institute of Chemical Technology, Moscow (Russian Federation)

    2000-07-01

    Report contains experimental results on metal plutonium of weapon origin samples conversion to plutonium dioxide by pyrochemical method. Circuits of processes are described. Their advantages and shortcomings are shown. Parameters of plutonium dioxide powders (phase and fraction compositions, poured density) manufactured by pyrochemical method in RFNC-VNIITF are shown as well. (authors)

  8. Ceramification: A plutonium immobilization process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rask, W.C. [Dept. of Energy, Golden, CO (United States); Phillips, A.G. [Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site, Golden, CO (United States)

    1996-05-01

    This paper describes a low temperature technique for stabilizing and immobilizing actinide compounds using a combination process/storage vessel of stainless steel, in which measured amounts of actinide nitrate solutions and actinide oxides (and/or residues) are systematically treated to yield a solid article. The chemical ceramic process is based on a coating technology that produces rare earth oxide coatings for defense applications involving plutonium. The final product of this application is a solid, coherent actinide oxide with process-generated encapsulation that has long-term environmental stability. Actinide compounds can be stabilized as pure materials for ease of re-use or as intimate mixtures with additives such as rare earth oxides to increase their degree of proliferation resistance. Starting materials for the process can include nitrate solutions, powders, aggregates, sludges, incinerator ashes, and others. Agents such as cerium oxide or zirconium oxide may be added as powders or precursors to enhance the properties of the resulting solid product. Additives may be included to produce a final product suitable for use in nuclear fuel pellet production. The process is simple and reduces the time and expense for stabilizing plutonium compounds. It requires a very low equipment expenditure and can be readily implemented into existing gloveboxes. The process is easily conducted with less associated risk than proposed alternative technologies.

  9. Evaluation of alternatives for the disposition of surplus weapons-usable plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dyer, J.S.; Butler, J.C.; Edmunds, T.

    1997-01-01

    The Department of Energy Record of Decision (ROD) selected alternatives for disposition of surplus, weapons grade plutonium. A major objective of this decision was to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Other concerns addressed included economic, technical, institutional, schedule, environmental, and health and safety issues. The analysis reported here was conducted in parallel with technical, environmental, and nonproliferation analyses; it uses multiattribute utility theory to combine these considerations in order to facilitate an integrated evaluation of alternatives. This analysis is intended to provide additional insight regarding alternative evaluation and to assist in understanding the rationale for the choice of alternatives recommended in the ROD. Value functions were developed for objectives of disposition, and used to rank alternatives. Sensitivity analyses indicated that the ranking of alternatives for the base case was relatively insensitive to changes in assumptions over reasonable ranges. The analyses support the recommendation of the ROD to pursue parallel development of the vitrification immobilization alternative and the use of existing light water reactors alternative. 27 refs., 109 figs., 20 tabs

  10. Aqueous Solution Chemistry of Plutonium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clark, David L. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2014-01-28

    Things I have learned working with plutonium: Chemistry of plutonium is complex; Redox equilibria make Pu solution chemistry particularly challenging in the absence of complexing ligands; Understanding this behavior is key to successful Pu chemistry experiments; There is no suitable chemical analog for plutonium.

  11. Physics of plutonium recycling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-01-01

    The commercial recycling of plutonium as PuO 2 /UO 2 mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel is an established practice in pressurised water reactors (PWRs) in several countries, the main motivation being the consumption of plutonium arising from spent fuel reprocessing. Although the same motivating factors apply in the case of boiling water reactors (BWRs), they have lagged behind PWRs for various reasons, and MOX utilisation in BWRs has been implemented in only a few reactors to date. One of the reasons is that the nuclear design of BWR MOX assemblies (or bundles) is more complex than that of PWR assemblies. Recognizing the need and the timeliness to address this issue at the international level, the OECD/NEA Working Party on the Physics of Plutonium Fuels and Innovative Fuel Cycles (WPPR) conducted a physics code benchmark test for a BWR assembly. This volume reports on the benchmark results and conclusions that can be drawn from it. (authors)

  12. Plutonium recycle in PWR reactors (Brazilian Nuclear Program)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rubini, L.A.

    1978-02-01

    An evaluation is made of the material requirements of the nuclear fuel cycle with plutonium recycle. It starts from the calculation of a reference reactor and allows the evaluation of demand under two alternatives of nuclear fuel cycle for Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR): without plutonium recycle; and with plutonium recycle. Calculations of the reference reactor have been carried out with the CELL-CORE codes. For plutonium recycle, the concept of uranium and plutonium homogeneous mixture has been adopted, using self-produced plutonium at equilibrium, in order to get minimum neutronic perturbations in the reactor core. The refueling model studied in the reference reactor was the 'out-in' scheme with a constant number of changed fuel elements (approximately 1/3 of the core). Variations in the material requirements were studied considering changes in the installed nuclear capacity of PWR reactors, the capacity factor of these reactors, and the introduction of fast breeders. Recycling plutonium produced inside the system can reach economies of about 5%U 3 O 8 and 6% separative work units if recycle is assumed only after the 5th operation cycle of the thermal reactors. The cumulative amount of fissile plutonium obtained by the Brazilian Nuclear Program of PWR reactors by 1991 should be sufficient for a fast breeder with the same capacity as Angra 2. For the proposed fast breeder programs, the fissile plutonium produced by thermal reactors is sufficient to supply fast breeder initial necessities. Howewer, U 3 O 8 and SWU economy with recycle is not significant when the proposed fast breeder program is considered. (Author) [pt

  13. The uranium-plutonium breeder reactor fuel cycle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Salmon, A.; Allardice, R.H.

    1979-01-01

    All power-producing systems have an associated fuel cycle covering the history of the fuel from its source to its eventual sink. Most, if not all, of the processes of extraction, preparation, generation, reprocessing, waste treatment and transportation are involved. With thermal nuclear reactors more than one fuel cycle is possible, however it is probable that the uranium-plutonium fuel cycle will become predominant; in this cycle the fuel is mined, usually enriched, fabricated, used and then reprocessed. The useful components of the fuel, the uranium and the plutonium, are then available for further use, the waste products are treated and disposed of safely. This particular thermal reactor fuel cycle is essential if the fast breeder reactor (FBR) using plutonium as its major fuel is to be used in a power-producing system, because it provides the necessary initial plutonium to get the system started. In this paper the authors only consider the FBR using plutonium as its major fuel, at present it is the type envisaged in all, current national plans for FBR power systems. The corresponding fuel cycle, the uranium-plutonium breeder reactor fuel cycle, is basically the same as the thermal reactor fuel cycle - the fuel is used and then reprocessed to separate the useful components from the waste products, the useful uranium and plutonium are used again and the waste disposed of safely. However the details of the cycle are significantly different from those of the thermal reactor cycle. (Auth.)

  14. Plutonium microstructures. Part 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cramer, E.M.; Bergin, J.B.

    1981-09-01

    This report is the first of three parts in which Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory metallographers exhibit a consolidated set of illustrations of inclusions that are seen in plutonium metal as a consequence of inherent and tramp impurities, alloy additions, and thermal or mechanical treatments. This part includes illustrations of nonmetallic and intermetallic inclusions characteristic of major impurity elements as an aid to identifying unknowns. It also describes historical aspects of the increased purity of laboratory plutonium samples, and it gives the composition of the etchant solutions and describes the etching procedure used in the preparation of each illustrated sample. 25 figures

  15. Potentiometric titration of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silver, G.L.

    1978-01-01

    In the potentiometric titration of plutonium(III), it has been customary to take the equivalence point as the inflection point on a plot of potential vs. volume of titrant. It have not been, however, demonstrated, that the stoichiometric end point corresponds to the inflection point. Suggestions are made according to which these points may not correspond in the potentiometric titration of plutonium(III), as these titrations are ordinarily concluded in a period of time which is short compared to the time required for valence state rearrangement through disproportionation. (T.G.)

  16. Precipitation of plutonium (III) oxalate and calcination to plutonium oxide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Esteban, A.; Orosco, E.H.; Cassaniti, P.; Greco, L.; Adelfang, P.

    1989-01-01

    The plutonium based fuel fabrication requires the conversion of the plutonium nitrate solution from nuclear fuel reprocessing into pure PuO2. The conversion method based on the precipitation of plutonium (III) oxalate and subsequent calcination has been studied in detail. In this procedure, plutonium (III) oxalate is precipitated, at room temperature, by the slow addition of 1M oxalic acid to the feed solution, containing from 5-100 g/l of plutonium in 1M nitric acid. Before precipitation, the plutonium is adjusted to trivalent state by addition of 1M ascorbic acid in the presence of an oxidation inhibitor such as hydrazine. Finally, the precipitate is calcinated at 700 deg C to obtain PuO2. A flowsheet is proposed in this paper including: a) A study about the conditions to adjust the plutonium valence. b) Solubility data of plutonium (III) oxalate and measurements of plutonium losses to the filtrate and wash solution. c) Characterization of the obtained products. Plutonium (III) oxalate has several potential advantages over similar conversion processes. These include: 1) Formation of small particle sizes powder with good pellets fabrication characteristics. 2) The process is rather insensitive to most process variables, except nitric acid concentration. 3) Ambient temperature operations. 4) The losses of plutonium to the filtrate are less than in other conversion processes. (Author) [es

  17. Recovery of plutonium from incinerator ash at Rocky Flats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, T.C.

    1976-01-01

    Incineration of combustible materials highly contaminated with plutonium produces a residue of incinerator ash. Recovery of plutonium from incinerator ash residues at Rocky Flats is accomplished by a continuous leaching operation with nitric acid containing fluoride ion. Special equipment used in the leaching operation consists of a screw feeder, air-lift dissolvers, filters, solids dryer, and vapor collection system. Each equipment item is described in detail. The average dissolution efficiency of plutonium experienced with the process was 68% on the first pass, 74% on the second pass, and 64% on each subsequent pass. Total-solids dissolution efficiencies averaged 47% on the first pass and about 25% on each subsequent pass

  18. Los Alamos DP West Plutonium Facility decontamination project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garde, R.; Cox, E.J.; Valentine, A.M.

    1982-01-01

    The DP West Plutonium Facility operated by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico, was decontaminated between April 1978 and April 1981. The facility was constructed in 1944 to 1945 to produce plutonium metal and fabricate parts for nuclear weapons. It was continually used as a plutonium processing and research facility until mid-1978. Decontamination operations included dismantling and removing gloveboxes and conveyor tunnels; removing process systems, utilities, and exhaust ducts; and decontaminating all remaining surfaces. This report describes glovebox and conveyor tunnel separations, decontamination techniques, health and safety considerations, waste management procedures, and costs of the operation

  19. Plutonium isotopes in the environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holm, E.

    1977-12-01

    Determination of plutonium and americium by ion exchange and alpha-spectrometry. Deposition of global fall-out and accumulated area-content of 238 Pu, 239 Pu, 240 Pu, 241 Pu, 242 Pu and 241 Am in central Sweden (62.3 deg N, 12.4 deg E), by using the lichen species Cladonia alpestris as bioindicator. Retention and distribution of plutonium in carpets of lichen and soil. Transfer of plutonium from lichen to reindeer and man. Absorbed dose in reindeer and man from plutonium. Basic studies of plutonium and americium in the western Mediterranean surface waters, with emphases on particulate form of the transuranics. (author)

  20. Plutonium management for the future

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pillay, K.K.S.

    1996-01-01

    Managment of excess nuclear materials from US weapons dismantlement has been the subject of numerous intellectual discussions during the past 5 years. Although there has been some objective recommendations, there is still much controversy surrounding the procsses that could lead to a national decision on Pu management. Two immediate needs are to secure the inventories of all Pu in safe configurations and to develop strategies for reducing proliferation risks. Specific suggestions discussed here are to (a) accept the deterrence value of Pu, (b) reappraise its potential as an energy resource, (c) recognize limitations to influence the future of Pu use world-wide, (d) isolate recoverable weapons-grade Pu and store it in stable configurations under international safeguards, and (e) manage Pu in spent fuels so that the valuable resources are not lost to a future generation

  1. Investigation of plutonium (4) hydroxoformates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andryushin, V.G.; Belov, V.A.; Galaktionov, S.V.; Kozhevnikov, P.B.; Matyukha, V.A.; Shmidt, V.S.

    1982-01-01

    Deposition processes of plutonium (4) hydroxoformates in the system Pu(NO 3 ) 4 -HNO 3 -HCoOH-N6 4 OH-H 2 O have been studied in pH range 0.2-10.7 at total plutonium concentration in the system 100 g/l. It is shown that under the conditions plutonium (4) hydrolysis takes place with the formation of hydroxoformates. A local maximum of plutonium (4) hydroxoformate solubility in the range pH=3.8-4.8, which is evidently conditioned by the formation of soluble formate complex of plutonium in the region, is pointed out. The basic plutonium (4) formates of the composition PuOsub(x)(OH)sub(y)(COOH)sub(4-2x-y)xnHsub(2)O, where 1,3 >=x >= 0.7, 1.7 >= y >= 1.0 and n=1.5-7.0, are singled out, their thermal stability being studied. Density of the crystals and plutonium dioxide, formed during their thermal decomposition, is measured. It is established that for plutonium (4) hydroxoformates common regularities of the influence of salt composition (OH - -, CHOO - - and H 2 O-group numbers in the mulecule) on position of temperature decomposition effects and on the density of compounds, which have been previously found during the study of thorium and plutonium hydroxosalts are observed. It is shown that the density of plutonium dioxide decreases with the increase of hydration and hydrolysis degree of the initial plutonium hydroxoformate

  2. International plutonium policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1979-02-01

    As any other fissile material, the plutonium raises several utilization problems, particularly as far as diversion by sub-national groups or proliferation are concerned. The purpose of this paper is to show that these problems can be given reasonable solutions avoiding over penalties on energy production

  3. Plutonium safety training course

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moe, H.J.

    1976-03-01

    This course seeks to achieve two objectives: to provide initial safety training for people just beginning work with plutonium, and to serve as a review and reference source for those already engaged in such work. Numerous references have been included to provide information sources for those wishing to pursue certain topics more fully. The first part of the course content deals with the general safety approach used in dealing with hazardous materials. Following is a discussion of the four properties of plutonium that lead to potential hazards: radioactivity, toxicity, nuclear properties, and spontaneous ignition. Next, the various hazards arising from these properties are treated. The relative hazards of both internal and external radiation sources are discussed, as well as the specific hazards when plutonium is the source. Similarly, the general hazards involved in a criticality, fire, or explosion are treated. Comments are made concerning the specific hazards when plutonium is involved. A brief summary comparison between the hazards of the transplutonium nuclides relative to 239 Pu follows. The final portion deals with control procedures with respect to contamination, internal and external exposure, nuclear safety, and fire protection. The philosophy and approach to emergency planning are also discussed

  4. Atomic spectrum of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blaise, J.; Fred, M.; Gutmacher, R.G.

    1984-08-01

    This report contains plutonium wavelengths, energy level classifications, and other spectroscopic data accumulated over the past twenty years at Laboratoire Aime Cotton (LAC) Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The primary purpose was term analysis: deriving the energy levels in terms of quantum numbers and electron configurations, and evaluating the Slater-Condon and other parameters from the levels

  5. Plutonium: An introduction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Condit, R.H.

    1993-10-01

    This report is a summary of the history and properties of plutonium. It presents information on the atoms, comparing chemical and nuclear properties. It looks at the history of the atom, including its discovery and production methods. It summarizes the metallurgy and chemistry of the element. It also describes means of detecting and measuring the presence and quantity of the element

  6. Plutonium Disposition by Immobilization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gould, T.; DiSabatino, A.; Mitchell, M.

    2000-01-01

    The ultimate goal of the Department of Energy (DOE) Immobilization Project is to develop, construct, and operate facilities that will immobilize between 17 to 50 tonnes (MT) of U.S. surplus weapons-usable plutonium materials in waste forms that meet the ''spent fuel'' standard and are acceptable for disposal in a geologic repository. Using the ceramic can-in-canister technology selected for immobilization, surplus plutonium materials will be chemically combined into ceramic forms which will be encapsulated within large canisters of high level waste (HLW) glass. Deployment of the immobilization capability should occur by 2008 and be completed within 10 years. In support of this goal, the DOE Office of Fissile Materials Disposition (MD) is conducting development and testing (D and T) activities at four DOE laboratories under the technical leadership of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The Savannah River Site has been selected as the site for the planned Plutonium Immobilization Plant (PIP). The D and T effort, now in its third year, will establish the technical bases for the design, construction, and operation of the U. S. capability to immobilize surplus plutonium in a suitable and cost-effective manner. Based on the D and T effort and on the development of a conceptual design of the PIP, automation is expected to play a key role in the design and operation of the Immobilization Plant. Automation and remote handling are needed to achieve required dose reduction and to enhance operational efficiency

  7. Plutonium cores of zenith

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barclay, F R; Cameron, I R; Drageset, A; Freemantle, R G; Wilson, D J

    1965-03-15

    The report describes a series of experiments carried out with plutonium fuel in the heated zero power reactor ZENITH, with the aim of testing current theoretical methods, with particular reference to excess reactivity, temperature coefficients, differential spectrum and reaction rate distributions. Two cores of widely different fissile/moderator atom ratios were loaded in order to test the theory under significantly varied spectrum conditions.

  8. Plutonium and textbooks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silver, G.L.

    2008-01-01

    Chemical equilibrium is not characterized by equilibrium constants alone. At least one conservation principle is necessary. Textbook descriptions of plutonium chemistry that are based on two-reaction-product disproportionation equations, or do not recognize the conservation principles, are incomplete and potentially misleading. (author)

  9. Japan's plutonium economy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hecht, M.M.

    1994-01-01

    Japan's plutonium economy is based on the most efficient use of nuclear energy, as envisioned under the Atoms for Peace program of the 1950s and 1960s. The nuclear pioneers assumed that all nations would want to take full advantage of atomic energy, recycling waste into new fuel to derive as much energy as possible from this resource

  10. Transport of plutonium nitrate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1982-02-01

    This leaflet discusses the subject under the headings: why do we need plutonium; why must we transport it; what action is carried out; how is it moved; what are the risks. The transport of the material in specially designed containers, from Dounreay in Caithness by road and sea to Sellafield in Cumbria, is described. (U.K.)

  11. Use of plutonium for power production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1965-01-01

    The panel reviewed available information on various aspects of plutonium utilization, such as physics of plutonium, technology of plutonium fuels in thermal and fast reactors, behaviour of plutonium fuel under reactor irradiation, technological and economic aspects of plutonium fuel cycle. Refs, figs and tabs

  12. Plutonium Finishing Plant. Interim plutonium stabilization engineering study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sevigny, G.J.; Gallucci, R.H.; Garrett, S.M.K.; Geeting, J.G.H.; Goheen, R.S.; Molton, P.M.; Templeton, K.J.; Villegas, A.J. [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States); Nass, R. [Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. (United States)

    1995-08-01

    This report provides the results of an engineering study that evaluated the available technologies for stabilizing the plutonium stored at the Plutonium Finishing Plant located at the hanford Site in southeastern Washington. Further processing of the plutonium may be required to prepare the plutonium for interim (<50 years) storage. Specifically this document provides the current plutonium inventory and characterization, the initial screening process, and the process descriptions and flowsheets of the technologies that passed the initial screening. The conclusions and recommendations also are provided. The information contained in this report will be used to assist in the preparation of the environmental impact statement and to help decision makers determine which is the preferred technology to process the plutonium for interim storage.

  13. Plutonium Finishing Plant. Interim plutonium stabilization engineering study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sevigny, G.J.; Gallucci, R.H.; Garrett, S.M.K.; Geeting, J.G.H.; Goheen, R.S.; Molton, P.M.; Templeton, K.J.; Villegas, A.J.; Nass, R.

    1995-08-01

    This report provides the results of an engineering study that evaluated the available technologies for stabilizing the plutonium stored at the Plutonium Finishing Plant located at the hanford Site in southeastern Washington. Further processing of the plutonium may be required to prepare the plutonium for interim (<50 years) storage. Specifically this document provides the current plutonium inventory and characterization, the initial screening process, and the process descriptions and flowsheets of the technologies that passed the initial screening. The conclusions and recommendations also are provided. The information contained in this report will be used to assist in the preparation of the environmental impact statement and to help decision makers determine which is the preferred technology to process the plutonium for interim storage

  14. Innovative inert matrix-thoria fuels for in-reactor plutonium disposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vettraino, F.; Padovani, E.; Luzzi, L.; Lombardi, C.; Thoresen, H.; Oberlander, B.; Iversen, G.; Espeland, M.

    1999-01-01

    The present leading option for plutonium disposition, either civilian or weapons Pu, is to burn it in LWRs after having converted it to MOX fuel. However, among the possible types of fuel which can be envisaged to burn plutonium in LWRs, innovative U-free fuels such as inert matrix and thoria fuel are novel concept in view of a more effective and ultimate solution from both security and safety standpoint. Inert matrix fuel is an non-fertile oxide fuel consisting of PuO 2 , either weapon-grade or reactor-grade, diluted in inert oxides such as for ex. stabilized ZrO 2 or MgAl 2 O 4 , its primary advantage consisting in no-production of new plutonium during irradiation, because it does not contain uranium (U-free fuel) whose U-238 isotope is the departure nuclide for breeding Pu-239. Some thoria addition in the matrix (thoria-doped fuel) may be required for coping with reactivity feedback needs. The full thoria-plutonia fuel though still a U-free variant cannot be defined non-fertile any more because the U-233 generation. The advantage of such a fuel option consisting basically on a remarkable already existing technological background and a potential acceleration in getting rid of the Pu stocks. All U-free fuels are envisaged to be operated under a once-through cycle scheme being the spent fuel outlooked to be sent directly to the final disposal in deep geological formations without requiring any further reprocessing treatment, thanks to the quality-poor residual Pu and a very high chemical stability under the current fuel reprocessing techniques. Besides, inert matrix-thoria fuel technology is suitable for in-reactor MAs transmutation. An additional interest in Th containing fuel refers to applicability in ADS, the innovative accelerated driven subcritical systems, specifically aimed at plutonium, minor actnides and long lived fission products transmutation in a Th-fuel cycle scheme which enables to avoid generations of new TRUs. A first common irradiation experiment

  15. Historical aspects of the discovery of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clark, David L.

    2016-01-01

    The historical events that led up to the discovery of plutonium and subsequently, how that discovery helped shape the modern period table of the elements, and ushered in a new era of nuclear science and technology are discussed. When the first of the transuranium elements, neptunium was discovered, it was realized that the radioactive βdecay of "2"3"9Np should lead to the formation of element 94. The scale of the experiments at that time, however, precluded its identification. Plutonium was first produced late in 1940 by Seaborg, McMillan, Kennedy, and Wahl1,2 by bombarding uranium with deuterons to produce the isotope "2"3"8Pu

  16. Preparation of fused chloride salts for use in pyrochemical plutonium recovery operations at Los Alamos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fife, K.W.; Bowersox, D.F.; Christensen, D.C.; Williams, J.D.

    1986-07-01

    The Plutonium Metal Technology Group at Los Alamos routinely uses pyrochemical processes to produce and purify plutonium from impure sources. The basic processes (metal production, metal purification, and residue treatment) involve controlling oxidation and reduction reactions between plutonium and its compounds in molten salts. Current production methods are described, as well as traditional approaches and recent developments in the preparation of solvent salts for electrorefining, molten salt extraction, lean metal (pyroredox) purification, and direct oxide reduction

  17. Preparation of fused chloride salts for use in pyrochemical plutonium recovery operations at Los Alamos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fife, K.W.; Bowersox, D.F.; Christensen, D.C.; Williams, J.D.

    1986-07-01

    The Plutonium Metal Technology Group at Los Alamos routinely uses pyrochemical processes to produce and purify plutonium from impure sources. The basic processes (metal production, metal purification, and residue treatment) involve controlling oxidation and reduction reactions between plutonium and its compounds in molten salts. Current production methods are described, as well as traditional approaches and recent developments in the preparation of solvent salts for electrorefining, molten salt extraction, lean metal (pyroredox) purification, and direct oxide reduction.

  18. Chemistry of plutonium revealed

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Connick, R.E.

    1992-01-01

    In 1941 one goal of the Manhattan Project was to unravel the chemistry of the synthetic element plutonium as rapidly as possible. In this paper the work carried out at Berkeley from the spring of 1942 to the summer of 1945 is described briefly. The aqueous chemistry of plutonium is quite remarkable. Important insights were obtained from tracer experiments, but the full complexity was not revealed until macroscopic amounts (milligrams) became available. Because processes for separation from fission products were based on aqueous solutions, such solution chemistry was emphasized, particularly precipitation and oxidation-reduction behavior. The latter turned out to be unusually intricate when it was discovered that two more oxidation states existed in aqueous solution than had previously been suspected. Further, an equilibrium was rapidly established among the four aqueous oxidation states, while at the same time any three were not in equilibrium. These and other observations made while doing a crash study of a previously unknown element are reported

  19. International plutonium policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1978-12-01

    The need to distinguish between diversion by sub-national groups and by governments is clearly stated. The paper identifies the international safeguards measures which already exist for the handling of plutonium. It proposes that the implementation of Article XII A5 of the IAEA statute concerning the international storage of plutonium could be an important additional measure. The paper also mentions the concept of using confinement as a complimentary safeguards measure and identifies the PIPEX concept. In addition, greater use is proposed of containment and surveillance procedures. The multiplication of small reprocessing plants spread over many countries is perceived as a proliferation risk. Other means such as co-location of reprocessing and fuel fabrication facilities are relevant to diversion by sub-national groups

  20. Analysis and characterization of plutonium in pyrochemical salt residues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haschke, John M.; Phillips, Alan G.

    2000-01-01

    Quantitative measurement of hydrogen produced during salt-catalyzed hydrolysis of plutonium in pyrochemical salt residues show that the metal is present in concentrations of 10 ± 5 mass%. The analytical method is based on stoichiometric reaction of metal with water to form plutonium monoxide monohydride (PuOH) and hydrogen. Results of a kinetic model developed to describe the observed time dependence of the hydrolysis rate shows that metal is present predominately as particles with essentially spherical geometries and diameters near 1 mm. The presence of smaller metallic particles cannot be verified or excluded. Plutonium concentrations measured for residues stored in different configurations suggest that a sizable fraction of the metal has oxidized during storage. Application of the hydrolysis method in determining concentrations and dimensions of metallic plutonium in other nuclear waste forms is proposed

  1. The plutonium recycle for PWR reactors from brazilian nuclear program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rubini, L.A.

    1978-01-01

    The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate the material requirements of the nuclear fuel cycle with plutonium recycle. The study starts with the calculation of a reference reactor and has flexibility to evaluate the demand under two alternatives of nuclear fuel cycle for Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR): Without plutonium recycle; and with plutonium recycle. Calculations of the reference reactor have been carried out with the CELL-CORE codes. Variations in the material requirements were studied considering changes in the installed nuclear capacity of PWR reactors, the capacity factor of these reactors, and the introduction of fast breeders. Recycling plutonium produced inside the system can reach economies of about 5% U 3 O 8 and 6% separative work units if recycle is assumed only after the fifth operation cycle of the thermal reactors. (author)

  2. Plutonium and Americium Geochemistry at Hanford: A Site Wide Review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cantrell, Kirk J.; Felmy, Andrew R.

    2012-08-23

    This report was produced to provide a systematic review of the state-of-knowledge of plutonium and americium geochemistry at the Hanford Site. The report integrates existing knowledge of the subsurface migration behavior of plutonium and americium at the Hanford Site with available information in the scientific literature regarding the geochemistry of plutonium and americium in systems that are environmentally relevant to the Hanford Site. As a part of the report, key research needs are identified and prioritized, with the ultimate goal of developing a science-based capability to quantitatively assess risk at sites contaminated with plutonium and americium at the Hanford Site and the impact of remediation technologies and closure strategies.

  3. Strategies for the plutonium utilization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zouain, D.M.; Lima, J.O.V.; Sakamoto, L.H.

    1981-11-01

    A review of the activities involving plutonium (its recycle, utilization and technological status and perspectives) is done. These informations are useful for an economic viability study for the plutonium utilization in thermal reactors (recycling) and in fast breeders reactor (FBR), trying to collect the major number of informations about these subjects. The initial phase describes the present status and projections of plutonium accumulation and requirements. Then, the technological process are described and some strategies are analyzed. (E.G.) [pt

  4. Plutonium in the environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kudo, A.

    2001-01-01

    The first volume of the new series, Radioactivity in the Environment, focuses on the environmental occurrence, the speciation, the behaviour, the fate, the applications and the health consequences of that much-feared and much-publicised element, plutonium. Featuring a collection of selected, peer-reviewed, up-to-date papers by leading researchers in the field, this work provides a state-of-the-art description of plutonium in the environment. This title helps to explain where present frontiers are drawn in our continuing efforts to understand the science of environmental plutonium and will help to place widespread concerns into perspective. As a whole this new book series on environmental radioactivity addresses, at academic research level, the key aspects of this socially important and complex interdisciplinary subject. Presented objectively and with the ultimate authority gained from the many contributions by the world's leading experts, the negative and positive consequences of having a radioactive world around us will be documented and given perspective. refs

  5. F. Biological hazards of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1976-01-01

    Plutonium is an unavoidable result of present nuclear power programmes. Its predominant isotopes are extremely long-lived and very toxic if absorbed in the body. In view of the increasing potential for plutonium and man to come into contact, the consequences of any plutonium release into the environment should be scientifically examined. This report is an attempt to place in one document a fully referenced account of the on-going work in many areas. There are three sections. Part 1 deals with the amounts of plutonium available in the fuel cycle, its properties and the probability of routine or accidental release. Part 2 examines the ways in which plutonium can reach man, in particular through food chains or inhalation. Part 3 details the biological effects of plutonium once it is absorbed into the body, assesses the amounts likely to be harmful and discusses the adequacy of present standards for plutonium burdens. There are two appendices. The likely differences between Pu-239, the most studied isotope, and other plutonium isotopes or transuranic nuclides are outlined in Appendix A. Appendix B contains a fuller account of the ways in which the fate of ingested or inhaled plutonium have been determined

  6. Plutonium in the marine environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jarvis, N.V.; Linder, P.W.; Wade, P.W.

    1994-01-01

    The shipping of plutonium from Europe to Japan around the Cape is a contentious issue which has raised public concern that South Africa may be at risk to plutonium exposure should an accident occur. The paper describes the containers in which the plutonium (in the form of plutonium oxide, PuO 2 ) is housed and consequences of the unlikely event of these becoming ruptured. Wind-borne pollution is considered not to be a likely scenario, with the plutonium oxide particles more likely to remain practically insoluble and sediment. Plutonium aqueous and environmental chemistry is briefly discussed. Some computer modelling whereby plutonium oxide is brought into contact with seawater has been performed and the results are presented. The impact on marine organisms is discussed in terms of studies performed at marine dump sites and after the crash of a bomber carrying nuclear warheads in Thule, Greenland in 1968. Various pathways from the sea to land are considered in the light of studies done at Sellafield, a reprocessing plant in the United Kingdom. Some recent debates in the popular scientific press, such as that on the leukemia cluster at Sellafield, are described. Plutonium biochemistry and toxicity are discussed as well as medical histories of workers exposed to plutonium. 35 refs., 2 tabs., 1 fig

  7. Implications of plutonium utilization strategies on the transition from a LWR economy to a breeder economy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Newman, D.F.; Fleischman, R.M.; White, M.K.

    1977-02-01

    The plutonium interface between the LWR and LMFBR fuel cycles is examined for typical nuclear growth projections both with and without plutonium recycle in LWRs. In order to guarantee a fuel supply for projected LMFBR growth rates, significant multiple Pu recycle in LWRs will not be possible. However, about 78% of the benefit of multiple plutonium recycle between now and the turn of the century is realized by one recycle and then stockpiling spent MOX for the LMFBR. LMFBR reprocessing schecules are estimated based on accumulation of reprocessing load. These schedules are used to estimate the amount of plutonium recovered from LMFBR fuels and determine the residual LWR plutonium required to meet LMFBR demand. The stockpile of LWR produced plutonium in spent MOX is sufficient to fuel the LMFBR until commercial LMFBR reprocessing can be justified. After that time, recycle of plutonium in LWRs will be significantly limited by a continuing LMFBR demand for LWR plutonium due to the projected high LMFBR growth rate. LWR reprocessing requirements are estimated for the assumed condition that LWR plutonium recycle is not approved, but the LMFBR is still pursued as an energy option. The uncertainties presented by this condition are addressed qualitatively. However, in our judgment these uncertainties in the plutonium market would likely delay LMFBR growth to levels significantly below current projections

  8. Fast Thorium Molten Salt Reactors Started with Plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Merle-Lucotte, E.; Heuer, D.; Le Brun, C.; Brissot, R.; Liatard, E.; Meplan, O.; Nuttin, A.; Mathieu, L.

    2006-01-01

    One of the pending questions concerning Molten Salt Reactors based on the 232 Th/ 233 U fuel cycle is the supply of the fissile matter, and as a consequence the deployment possibilities of a fleet of Molten Salt Reactors, since 233 U does not exist on earth and is not yet produced in the current operating reactors. A solution may consist in producing 233 U in special devices containing Thorium, in Pressurized Water or Fast Neutrons Reactors. Two alternatives to produce 233 U are examined here: directly in standard Molten Salt Reactors started with Plutonium as fissile matter and then operated in the Th/ 233 U cycle; or in dedicated Molten Salt Reactors started and fed with Plutonium as fissile matter and Thorium as fertile matter. The idea is to design a critical reactor able to burn the Plutonium and the minor actinides presently produced in PWRs, and consequently to convert this Plutonium into 233 U. A particular reactor configuration is used, called 'unique channel' configuration in which there is no moderator in the core, leading to a quasi fast neutron spectrum, allowing Plutonium to be used as fissile matter. The conversion capacities of such Molten Salt Reactors are excellent. For Molten Salt Reactors only started with Plutonium, the assets of the Thorium fuel cycle turn out to be quickly recovered and the reactor's characteristics turn out to be equivalent to Molten Salt Reactors operated with 233 U only. Using a combination of Molten Salt Reactors started or operated with Plutonium and of Molten Salt Reactors started with 233 U, the deployment capabilities of these reactors fully satisfy the condition of sustainability. (authors)

  9. Searching plutonium from a travelling vehicle by neutron measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosenstock, W.; Koeble, T.; Hilger, P.; Engelen, J.

    2001-01-01

    less for higher burn up. In case of weapon grade plutonium this neutron intensity corresponds to a quantity of 3.5 kg. When driving slowly (velocity approx. 10 km/h) past the house in a distance of about 5 m a significant rise in count rate of up to 130 cps was monitored in the module row faced toward the house. Passing on the street in a distance of 10 m still a rise in count rate was monitored for velocities up to 10 km/h: we measured 25 - 30 cps. For strong sources neutron coincidences may be measured in addition. If coincidences are recorded this is a clear evidence for fissionable material. The measurements show that such fissionable material can be detected clearly and easily from a car. This system may be used to discover illicit trafficking of nuclear material and to prohibit nuclear proliferation

  10. High-temperature enthalpies of plutonium monocarbide and plutonium sesquicarbide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oetting, F.L.

    1979-01-01

    The high-temperature enthalpies of plutonium monocarbide and plutonium sesquicarbide have been determined with a copper-block calorimeter of the isoperibol type. The experimental enthalpy data, which was measured relative to 298 K, covered the temperature range from 400 to 1500 K. The calculation of the temperature rise of the calorimeter takes into account the added heat evolution from the radioactive decay of the plutonium samples. These enthalpy results, combined with the heat capacity and entropy of the respective carbide at 298 K available from the literature, has made it possible to generate tables of thermodynamic functions for the plutonium carbides. The behavior of the heat capacity of both of the plutonium carbides, i.e., a relatively steep increase in the heat capacity as the temperature increases, may be attributed to a premelting effect with the formation of vacancies within the crystal lattice although a theoretical treatment of this phenomenon is not given

  11. Conceptual Design for the Pilot-Scale Plutonium Oxide Processing Unit in the Radiochemical Processing Laboratory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lumetta, Gregg J.; Meier, David E.; Tingey, Joel M.; Casella, Amanda J.; Delegard, Calvin H.; Edwards, Matthew K.; Jones, Susan A.; Rapko, Brian M.

    2014-08-05

    This report describes a conceptual design for a pilot-scale capability to produce plutonium oxide for use as exercise and reference materials, and for use in identifying and validating nuclear forensics signatures associated with plutonium production. This capability is referred to as the Pilot-scale Plutonium oxide Processing Unit (P3U), and it will be located in the Radiochemical Processing Laboratory at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The key unit operations are described, including plutonium dioxide (PuO2) dissolution, purification of the Pu by ion exchange, precipitation, and conversion to oxide by calcination.

  12. In-line analytical methods for fuel reprocessing streams : Part IV -Neutron monitoring for plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rao, V.K.; Bhargava, V.K.; Marathe, S.G.; Iyer, R.H.; Ramaniah, M.V.; Srinivasan, N.

    1975-01-01

    A neutron monitoring assembly consisting of a stainless steel housing packed with beryllium oxide chips, a paraffin moderator, a ring of fifteen BF 3 counters and an all stainless steel continuous flow system for circulating plutonium solutions has been fabricated and tested for monitoring plutonium concentrations in flow solutions. The method is based on the detection and measurement of neutron flux produced when alpha particles from plutonium interact with beryllium by the nuclear reactoon 9 4 Be(α,n) 12 6 C. The unit was successfully tested for the estimation of plutonium concentrations upto 10 g/1 in solutions of plutonium and plutonium solutions mixed with uranium and fission products. The unit gave an accuracy of 10-15%. Details of the construction and working of the system are discussed. (author)

  13. Production and industrial applications of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lafontaine, I.

    1975-01-01

    In the present document, an evaluation is made of the quantities of plutonium which will be produced by all nuclear power stations until 1980 and of the plants which are actually able to treat burned nuclear fuels with a view to recover this material. As soon as the plutonium, in the form of dioxide, becomes available, it is transported towards fuel rod and fuel assembly fabrication plants, in containers especially commissioned by the competent authorities; these containers have to resist succesfully to very severe tests specified by the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. Additional protections are foreseen during transportation, namely to prevent an attempt of nuclear materials' diversion. The plant for fabrication of nuclear fuels is designed on the basis of extensive safety studies. Indeed, various probabilities of accidents and associated risks have been evaluated and have given rise namely to safe working rules and the provision of elements of protection [fr

  14. Determination of plutonium in environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sakanoue, Masanobu

    1978-01-01

    Past and present methods of determining the amount of plutonium in the environment are summarized. Determination of the amount of plutonium in uranium ore began in 1941. Plutonium present in polluted environments due to nuclear explosions, nuclear power stations, etc. was measured in soil and sand in Nagasaki in 1951 and in ash in Bikini in 1954. Analytical methods of measuring the least amount of plutonium in the environment were developed twenty years later. Many studies on and reviews of these methods have been reported all over the world, and a standard analytical procedure has been adopted. A basic analytical method of measurement was drafted in Japan in 1976. The yield, treatment of samples, dissolution, separation, control of measurable ray sources determination by α spectrometry, cross-check determination, and treatment of samples containing hardly soluble plutonium were examined. At present, the amount of plutonium can be determined by all of these methods. The presence of plutonium was studied further, and the usefulness of determination of the plutonium isotope ratio is discussed. (Kumagai, S.)

  15. Work surface for soluble plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silver, G.L.

    2005-01-01

    A three-dimensional work surface for aqueous plutonium is illustrated. It is constructed by means of estimating work as a function of the ambient pH and redox potential in a plutonium solution. The surface is useful for illustrating the chemistry of disproportionation reactions. Work expressions are easier to use than work integrals. (author)

  16. The economics of plutonium recycle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    James, R.A.

    1977-11-01

    The individual cost components and the total fuel cycle costs for natural uranium and uranium-plutonium mixed oxide fuel cycles for CANDU-PHW reactors are discussed. A calculation is performed to establish the economic conditions under which plutonium recycle would be economically attractive. (auth)

  17. System Definition Document: Reactor Data Necessary for Modeling Plutonium Disposition in Catawba Nuclear Station Units 1 and 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ellis, R.J.

    2000-01-01

    The US Department of Energy (USDOE) has contracted with Duke Engineering and Services, Cogema, Inc., and Stone and Webster (DCS) to provide mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication and reactor irradiation services in support of USDOE's mission to dispose of surplus weapons-grade plutonium. The nuclear station units currently identified as mission reactors for this project are Catawba Units 1 and 2 and McGuire Units 1 and 2. This report is specific to Catawba Nuclear Station Units 1 and 2, but the details and materials for the McGuire reactors are very similar. The purpose of this document is to present a complete set of data about the reactor materials and components to be used in modeling the Catawba reactors to predict reactor physics parameters for the Catawba site. Except where noted, Duke Power Company or DCS documents are the sources of these data. These data are being used with the ORNL computer code models of the DCS Catawba (and McGuire) pressurized-water reactors

  18. Survey of glass plutonium contents and poison selection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Plodinec, M.J.; Ramsey, W.G. [Westinghouse Savannah River Company, Aiken, SC (United States); Ellison, A.J.G.; Shaw, H. [Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, CA (United States)

    1996-05-01

    If plutonium and other actinides are to be immobilized in glass, then achieving high concentrations in the glass is desirable. This will lead to reduced costs and more rapid immobilization. However, glasses with high actinide concentrations also bring with them undersirable characteristics, especially a greater concern about nuclear criticality, particularly in a geologic repository. The key to achieving a high concentration of actinide elements in a glass is to formulate the glass so that the solubility of actinides is high. At the same time, the glass must be formulated so that the glass also contains neutron poisons, which will prevent criticality during processing and in a geologic repository. In this paper, the solubility of actinides, particularly plutonium, in three types of glasses are discussed. Plutonium solubilities are in the 2-4 wt% range for borosilicate high-level waste (HLW) glasses of the type which will be produced in the US. This type of glass is generally melted at relatively low temperatures, ca. 1150{degrees}C. For this melting temperature, the glass can be reformulated to achieve plutonium solubilities of at least 7 wt%. This low melting temperature is desirable if one must retain volatile cesium-137 in the glass. If one is not concerned about cesium volatility, then glasses can be formulated which can contain much larger amounts of plutonium and other actinides. Plutonium concentrations of at least 15 wt% have been achieved. Thus, there is confidence that high ({ge}5 wt%) concentrations of actinides can be achieved under a variety of conditions.

  19. The Plutonium Fuel Laboratory at Studsvik and Its Activities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hultgren, A.; Berggren, G.; Brown, A.; Eng, H. U.; Forsyth, R. S. [AB Atomenergi, Studsvik (Sweden)

    1967-09-15

    The plutonium fuel laboratory at Studsvik is engaged in development work on plutonium-enriched fuel. At present, low enriched fuel for thermal reactors is being studied: work on fuel with a higher plutonium content for fast reactors is foreseen at a later date. So far only the pellet technique is under consideration, and a number of pellet rod specimens will be produced and irradiated in the reactor R2. These specimens include pellets from both co-precipitated uranium-plutonium salts and from physically mixed oxides. Comparison of these two materials will be extended to different density levels and different heat ratings. The methods and techniques used and studied include wet chemical work for powder preparation (continuous precipitation of Pu(IV)-oxalate with oxalic acid, continuous co-precipitation of plutonium and uranium with ammonia, optimization of.precipitation conditions using U(IV) and U(VI) respectively) ; powder preparation (drying, calcination, reduction, mixing, milling, binder addition, granulation); pellet preparation (pressing, debonding, sintering, inspection): encapsulation (charging, welding of end plug, helium filling, end sealing by welding, leak detection, decontamination); metallography (specimen preparation (moulding, polishing), etching, microscopy); structure investigations (thermal analysis (TG, DTA), X-ray diffraction, neutron diffraction, data handling by computer analysis); radiometric methods (direct plutonium determination by gamma spectrometry, non-destructive burn-up analysis by high resolution gamma spectrometry, using a Ge(Li) detector) ; rework of waste (recovery of plutonium from fuel waste by extraction with trilauryl amine and anion exchange). The plutonium fuel laboratory forms part of the Active Central Laboratory. The equipment is contained in four adjacent 10 x 15 m rooms; .for diffraction work and inactive uranium work additional space is available. All the forty glove boxes in operation except two are of AB Atomenergi

  20. US and Russia face urgent decisions on weapons plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hileman, B.

    1994-01-01

    Surplus plutonium poses a ''clear and present danger to national and international security,'' warns a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) study released in January, titled ''The Management and Disposition of Excess Weapons Plutonium.'' Over the past few years, many different methods of disposing of plutonium have been proposed. They range from shooting it into the Sun with missiles, to deep-seabed disposal, to fissioning it within a new generation of nuclear reactors. The NAS report rejects most of the methods suggested so far, but does recommend pursuing two of the options. One is to incorporate the plutonium in mixed-oxide fuel, a mixture of plutonium and uranium oxides, and use it to fuel commercial nuclear reactors. The other is to mix the plutonium with high-level waste and molten glass and mold the resulting material into large glass logs for eventual geologic disposal. Both are discussed here. The panel that wrote the NAS study is a standing committee called the Committee on International Security ampersand Arms Control. It suggests steps that should be taken now to guard supplies of plutonium removed from weapons. One step is bilateral US-Russian monitoring of warhead dismantlement. Others include setting up secure interim storage for the fissile materials and establishing an international monitoring system to verify the stockpiles and ensure that materials are not withdrawn for use in new weapons. The panel also urges Russia to stop producing fissile weapons materials and both countries to commit a very large fraction of their plutonium and highly enriched uranium from dismantled weapons to nonaggressive uses. The US and Russia have already made initial moves to accomplish these goals but have not fully implemented any of them

  1. Plutonium Round Robin Test

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dudder, G.B.; Herbillon, G.H.

    2001-01-01

    Full text: The goal of nuclear forensics is to develop a preferred approach to illicit trafficking investigations. This approach must be widely understood and acceptable as credible. The principle objectives of the Round Robin Test are to prioritize the forensic techniques and methods, evaluate attribution capabilities, and examine the utility of database. The Plutonium Round Robin has made a tremendous contribution to fulfilling these goals through a collaborative learning experience that resulted from the outstanding efforts of the six participating international laboratories. A prioritize list of techniques and methods has been developed based on this exercise. Future work will focus on a Highly Enriched Round Robin and extent to which the techniques and methods can be generalized. The Plutonium Round Robin demonstrated a rather high level of capability to determine the important characteristics of the materials and processes using analytical methods. When this capability to was combined with the appropriate knowledge and database, it resulted in a demonstrated capability to attribute the source of the materials to a specific nuclear fuel, reactor, and reprocessing facility. A number of shortfalls were also identified in our current capabilities. These included alternative dating techniques. Light Water Reactor discrimination techniques, and the lack of a comprehensive network of data/knowledge bases. The result of the Round Robin will be used to develop guidelines or a 'recommended protocol' to be made available to the interested authorities and countries to use in real cases. The poster will present a summary of the results of the Plutonium Round Robin and describe the plans the subsequent Highly Enriched Uranium Round Robin Test. (author)

  2. Using Biomolecules to Separate Plutonium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gogolski, Jarrod

    Used nuclear fuel has traditionally been treated through chemical separations of the radionuclides for recycle or disposal. This research considers a biological approach to such separations based on a series of complex and interdependent interactions that occur naturally in the human body with plutonium. These biological interactions are mediated by the proteins serum transferrin and the transferrin receptor. Transferrin to plutonium in vivo and can deposit plutonium into cells after interacting with the transferrin receptor protein at the cell surface. Using cerium as a non-radioactive surrogate for plutonium, it was found that cerium(IV) required multiple synergistic anions to bind in the N-lobe of the bilobal transferrin protein, creating a conformation of the cerium-loaded protein that would be unable to interact with the transferrin receptor protein to achieve a separation. The behavior of cerium binding to transferrin has contributed to understanding how plutonium(IV)-transferrin interacts in vivo and in biological separations.

  3. Cycle downstream: the plutonium question

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zask, G.; Rome, M.; Delpech, M.

    1998-01-01

    This day, organized by the SFEN, took place at Paris the 4 june 1998. Nine papers were presented. They take stock on the plutonium physics and its utilization as a nuclear fuel. This day tried to bring information to answer the following questions: do people have to keep the plutonium in the UOX fuel or in the MOX fuel in order to use it for future fast reactors? Do people have to continue obstinately the plutonium reprocessing in the MOX for the PWR type reactors? Will it be realized a underground disposal? Can it be technically developed plutonium incinerators and is it economically interesting? The plutonium physics, the experimental programs and the possible solutions are presented. (A.L.B.)

  4. Plutonium storage study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1979-01-01

    This Spanish study gives a more detailed analysis of a possible store for plutonium oxide. The capacity of the store is assumed to be 30 t Pu and the minimum storage time 2 years. The study includes a general description of the store and its design philosophy; comments on the quality and properties of the material stored; a detailed criticality study and comments on gas and heat generation and shielding requirements; and a brief cost evaluation. Costs are estimated to be about $110/kg PuO 2 /year

  5. The toxicity of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramsden, D.; Johns, T.F.

    1977-01-01

    Reference is made to recent publications concerned with the radiotoxicity of inhaled insoluble Pu compounds. The publications are a paper by Thorne and Vennart (Nature 263:555 (1976)), a report entitled 'The Toxicity of Plutonium', (London (HMSO), 1975), and the 'Sixth Report of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution', (Cmnd. 6618, London (HMSO), 1976). Thorne and Vennart concluded that the previously accepted value for the maximum permissible annual intake (MPAI) of such compounds may be too high by a factor of about five, and a similar conclusion was reached in the other two publications. It is thought by the present authors that the methods which have been used to suggest new values for the MPAI are unduly pessimistic for high-fired PuO 2 ; calculations have been based on the lung model of ICRP Publication 19 'The Metabolism of Compounds of Plutonium and the Other Actinides', (International Commission of Radiological Protection, 1972). This involves concluding that the risks to bone and liver are comparable to those for lung. This is discussed and it is thought that the previously established idea that the lung is the critical organ remains substantially correct for the case of high-fired PuO 2 . (U.K.)

  6. The dangers of the plutonium economy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Altner, G.; Schmitz-Feuerhake, I.

    1979-01-01

    The fast breeder is a critical point in the energy discussion which is even more controversial than other points before: Will modern industrial society submit to the constraints of a plutonium economy or will it have the power and the courage required for the alternative of a more human technology. The fast breeder can produce tons and tons of plutonium, a new energy source; this is an argument frequently presented in view of the limited uranium reserves. At the same time, plutonium is one of the most dangerous poisons, and its radiation endangers lives even at amounts as small as one-millionth of one gramme. This means that technical and political safeguards must be intensified, which in turn will result in just the 'nuclear dictatorship' which is beginning to show up at the horizon already today. In this book, committed journalists and scientists present their arguments to show that the price to be paid for this kind of progress would be two high. (orig./HP) [de

  7. Hazards of plutonium and fuel reprocessing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watson, G.M.

    1978-01-01

    Apart from the possibility that civil plutonium may be diverted to military use the main argument against the introduction of a plutonium economy seems to be the supposedly unmanageable biological risk attached to plutonium itself. The author points out weaknesses in many of the opponents' arguments against the increased use of plutonium and argues that current safety practices are more than adequate in handling plutonium and other radioactive materials

  8. Recovery of plutonium by pyroredox processing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McNeese, J.A.; Bowersox, D.F.; Christensen, D.C.

    1985-09-01

    Using pyrochemical oxidation and reduction, we have developed a process to recover the plutonium in impure scrap with less than 95% plutonium. This plutonium metal was further purified by pyrochemical electrorefining. During development of the procedures, depleted electrorefining anodes were processed, and over 80% of the plutonium was recovered as high-purity metal in one electrorefining cycle. Over 40 kg of plutonium has been recovered from 55 kg of impure anodes with our procedures. 6 refs., 7 figs., 4 tabs

  9. Recovery of plutonium by pyroredox processing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McNeese, J.A.; Bowersox, D.F.; Christensen, D.C.

    1985-01-01

    Using pyrochemical oxidation and reduction, we have developed a process to recover the plutonium in impure scrap with less than 95% plutonium. This plutonium metal was further purified by pyrochemical electrorefining. During development of the procedures, depleted electrorefining anodes were processed, and over 80% of the plutonium was recovered as high-purity metal in one electrorefining cycle. Over 40 kg of plutonium has been recovered from 55 kg of impure anodes with our procedures. 6 refs., 2 figs., 5 tabs

  10. Compositions of airborne plutonium-bearing particles from a plutonium finishing operation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanders, S.M. Jr.

    1976-11-01

    The elemental composition of 111 plutonium-bearing particles was determined (using an electron microprobe) as part of a program to investigate the origin and behavior of the long-lived transuranic radionuclides released from fuel reprocessing facilities at the Savannah River Plant. These particles, collected from wet-cabinet and room-air exhausts from the plutonium finishing operation (JB-Line), were between 0.4 and 36 μm in diameter. Ninety-nine of the particles were found to be aggregates of various minerals and metals, six were quartz, and six were small (less than 2-μm-diameter) pieces of iron oxide. Collectively, these particles contained less minerals and more metals than natural dusts contain. The metallic constituents included elements normally not found in dusts, e.g., chromium, nickel, copper, and zinc. Concentrations of aluminum and iron exceeded those normally found in minerals. Elemental concentrations in individual particles covered a wide range: one 2-μm-diameter particle contained 97 percent NiO, a 9-μm-diameter particle contained 72 percent Cr 2 O 3 . Although the particles were selected because they produced plutonium fission tracks, the plutonium concentration was too low to be estimated by microprobe analysis in all but a 1-μm-diameter particle. This plutonium-bearing particle contained 73 percent PuO 2 by weight in combination with Fe 2 O 3 and mica; its activity was estimated at 0.17 pCi of 239 Pu

  11. Probing phonons in plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wong, Joe; Krisch, M.; Farber, D.; Occelli, F.; Schwartz, A.; Chiang, T.C.; Wall, M.; Boro, C.; Xu, Ruqing

    2010-01-01

    Plutonium (Pu) is well known to have complex and unique physico-chemical properties. Notably, the pure metal exhibits six solid-state phase transformations with large volume expansions and contractions along the way to the liquid state: α → β → γ → (delta) → (delta)(prime) → (var e psilon) → liquid. Unalloyed Pu melts at a relatively low temperature ∼640 C to yield a higher density liquid than that of the solid from which it melts, (Figure 1). Detailed understanding of the properties of plutonium and plutonium-based alloys is critical for the safe handling, utilization, and long-term storage of these important, but highly toxic materials. However, both technical and and safety issues have made experimental observations extremely difficult. Phonon dispersion curves (PDCs) are key experimenta l data to the understanding of the basic properties of Pu materials such as: force constants, sound velocities, elastic constants, thermodynamics, phase stability, electron-phonon coupling, structural relaxation, etc. However, phonon dispersion curves (PDCs) in plutonium (Pu) and its alloys have defied measurement for the past few decades since the discovery of this element in 1941. This is due to a combination of the high thermal-neutron absorption cross section of plutonium and the inability to grow the large single crystals (with dimensions of a few millimeters) necessary for inelastic neutron scattering. Theoretical simulations of the Pu PDC continue to be hampered by the lack of suitable inter -atomic potentials. Thus, until recently the PDCs for Pu and its alloys have remained unknown experimentally and theoretically. The experimental limitations have recently been overcome by using a tightly focused undulator x-ray micro-beam scattered from single -grain domains in polycrystalline specimens. This experimental approach has been applied successfully to map the complete PDCs of an fcc d-Pu-Ga alloy using the high resolution inelastic x-ray scattering (HRIXS

  12. A method for the gravimetric determination of plutonium in pure plutonium nitrate concentrate solution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mair, M.A.; Savage, D.J.

    1986-12-01

    Plutonium nitrate solution is treated with sulphuric acid before being heated and finally ignited. The stoichiometric plutonium dioxide so formed is weighed and hence the plutonium content is calculated. (author)

  13. Plutonium contaminated materials research programme

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Higson, S.G.

    1986-01-01

    The paper is a progress report for 1985 from the Plutonium Contaminated Materials Working Party (PCMWP). The PCMWP co-ordinates research and development on a national basis in the areas of management, treatment and immobilisation of plutonium contaminated materials, for the purpose of waste management. The progress report contains a review of the development work carried out in eight areas, including: reduction of arisings, plutonium measurement, sorting and packaging, washing of shredded combustible PCM, decommissioning and non-combustible PCM treatment, PCM immobilisation, treatment of alpha bearing liquid wastes, and engineering objectives. (UK)

  14. Plutonium again (smuggling and movements)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1994-01-01

    A link is discounted between nuclear proliferation and the recently discovered smuggled plutonium from the former Soviet Union at Munich airport and other places in Germany. It is argued that governments wishing to obtain nuclear materials to develop a weapons programme would not arrange to have it smuggled in a suitcase. Instead, it is speculated that a link exists between the plutonium smuggling incidents and the desire to promote the production of mixed oxide (MOX) fuel. Such incidents, by further raising public anxiety, may be intended to turn public opinion in favour of MOX fuel production as a sensible way of getting rid of surplus plutonium. (UK)

  15. Learning more about plutonium; En savoir plus sur le plutonium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2008-07-01

    This digest brochure explains what plutonium is, where it comes from, how it is used, its recycling into Mox fuel, its half life, historical discovery, its presence in the environment, toxicity and radioactivity. (J.S.)

  16. The transports in the French Plutonium Industry. A high risk activity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2003-02-01

    This study throws light on the scale of transport of plutonium in France nuclear industry, an activity involving quantities of high risk materials often unknown to the public. The study is a significantly extended update of the one carried out by WISE-Paris in 1995 for the Plutonium Forum. It was motivated by important developments in the French plutonium industry and the publication of numerous data concerning transport activities since 1995. The 2003 study presents, in particular, all of the flows of plutonium crossing France every year, as well as analysis of the risks associated with this particular transport activity. Putting these data into perspective in terms of a rapidly and permanently changing political and industrial context, and a description of the regulatory framework within which shipments of plutonium take place, serve as a guide and source of reference to help readers better understand the issues. The importance of transport in the plutonium ''chain'', i.e. the stages corresponding to various industrial processes, is often under-estimated, even by the nuclear industry itself. Transport is, in fact, the activity which involves the greatest quantities of plutonium in the entire nuclear chain. Plutonium, produced during the fission reactions in the cores of nuclear reactors, is transported, contained in the irradiated fuel, to the facilities at La Hague where reprocessing separates it from the other radioactive components of the spent fuel. Part of the plutonium, now isolated in powder form, is then shipped to one of the three plants able to produce the fuel known as MOX. These are located at Cadarache and Marcoule, in France, and at Dessel in Belgium. Once in the MOX form, this plutonium has to be re-transported to reactor sites to be used. Once irradiated, the spent MOX will return to the La Hague installations to be stored for an unknown period; the plutonium contained in the spent MOX is not, at present, destined to be re

  17. The transports in the French Plutonium Industry. A high risk activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-02-01

    This study throws light on the scale of transport of plutonium in France nuclear industry, an activity involving quantities of high risk materials often unknown to the public. The study is a significantly extended update of the one carried out by WISE-Paris in 1995 for the Plutonium Forum. It was motivated by important developments in the French plutonium industry and the publication of numerous data concerning transport activities since 1995. The 2003 study presents, in particular, all of the flows of plutonium crossing France every year, as well as analysis of the risks associated with this particular transport activity. Putting these data into perspective in terms of a rapidly and permanently changing political and industrial context, and a description of the regulatory framework within which shipments of plutonium take place, serve as a guide and source of reference to help readers better understand the issues. The importance of transport in the plutonium ''chain'', i.e. the stages corresponding to various industrial processes, is often under-estimated, even by the nuclear industry itself. Transport is, in fact, the activity which involves the greatest quantities of plutonium in the entire nuclear chain. Plutonium, produced during the fission reactions in the cores of nuclear reactors, is transported, contained in the irradiated fuel, to the facilities at La Hague where reprocessing separates it from the other radioactive components of the spent fuel. Part of the plutonium, now isolated in powder form, is then shipped to one of the three plants able to produce the fuel known as MOX. These are located at Cadarache and Marcoule, in France, and at Dessel in Belgium. Once in the MOX form, this plutonium has to be re-transported to reactor sites to be used. Once irradiated, the spent MOX will return to the La Hague installations to be stored for an unknown period; the plutonium contained in the spent MOX is not, at present, destined to be re-used. (author)

  18. Thorium utilization as a Pu-burner: proposal of Plutonium-Thorium Mixed Oxide (PT-MOX) Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aizawa, Otohiko

    2000-01-01

    In this paper, a Pu-Th mixed oxide (PT-MOX) project is proposed for a thorium utilization and a plutonium burning. None of plutonium can be newly produced from PT-MOX fuel, and the plutonium mass of about 1 ton can be consumed with one reactor (total heavy metal assumed: 100 tons) for 1 year. In order to consume plutonium produced from usual Light Water Reactor, it should be better to operate one PT-MOX reactor for three to five Light Water Reactors. (author)

  19. Initial data report in response to the surplus plutonium disposition environmental impact statement data call for the UO2 supply. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    White, V.S.; Cash, J.M.; Michelhaugh, R.D.

    1997-11-01

    The purpose of this document is to support the US Department of Energy (DOE) Fissile Materials Disposition Program's preparation of the draft Surplus Plutonium Disposition Environmental Impact Statement. This is one of several responses to data calls generated to provide background information on activities associated with the operation of the Mixed-Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility. Urania feed for the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility may be either natural or depleted. Natural uranium typically contains 0.0057 wt% 234 U, 0.711 wt% 235 U, and the majority as 238 U. The fissile isotope is 235 U, and uranium is considered depleted if the total 235 U content is less than 0.711 wt% as found in nature. The average composition of 235 U in DOE's total depleted urania inventory is 0.20 wt%. The depleted uranium assay range proposed for use in this program is 0.2500--0.2509 wt%. Approximately 30% more natural uranium would be required than depleted uranium based on the importance of maintaining a specific fissile portion in the MOX fuel blend. If the uranium component constitutes a larger quantity of fissile material, less plutonium can be dispositioned on an annual basis. The percentage composition, referred to as assay, of low-enriched uranium necessary for controlled fission in commercial light-water nuclear power reactors is 1.8--5.0 wt% 235 U. This data report provides information on the schedule, acquisition, impacts, and conversion process for using uranium, derived from depleted uranium hexafluoride (UF 6 ), as the diluent for the weapons-grade plutonium declared as surplus. The case analyzed is use of depleted UF 6 in storage at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon, Ohio, being transported to a representative UF 6 to uranium dioxide conversion facility (GE Nuclear Energy) for processing, and subsequently transported to the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility

  20. Plutonium waste container identification

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmierer, T.J.

    1979-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to define the parameters of a method for identifying plutonium waste containers. This information will form the basis for a permanent committee to develop a complete identification program for use throughout the world. Although a large portion of the information will be on handwritten notebooks and may not be as extensive as is desired, it will all be helpful. The final information will be programmed into computer language and be available to all interested parties as well as a central control committee which will have the expertise to provide each government with advice on the packaging, storage, and measurement of the waste for which it is responsible. As time progresses, this central control committee should develop permanent storage sites and establish a system of records which will last for hundreds of years

  1. Uranium plutonium oxide fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cox, C.M.; Leggett, R.D.; Weber, E.T.

    1981-01-01

    Uranium plutonium oxide is the principal fuel material for liquid metal fast breeder reactors (LMFBR's) throughout the world. Development of this material has been a reasonably straightforward evolution from the UO 2 used routinely in the light water reactor (LWR's); but, because of the lower neutron capture cross sections and much lower coolant pressures in the sodium cooled LMFBR's, the fuel is operated to much higher discharge exposures than that of a LWR. A typical LMFBR fuel assembly is shown. Depending on the required power output and the configuration of the reactor, some 70 to 400 such fuel assemblies are clustered to form the core. There is a wide variation in cross section and length of the assemblies where the increasing size reflects a chronological increase in plant size and power output as well as considerations of decreasing the net fuel cycle cost. Design and performance characteristics are described

  2. The plutonium ban

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1977-01-01

    'Nuclear Power Issues and Choices' is the title of a recent report which has been performed by a study group sponsored by the Ford Foundation and administered by the MITRE Corporation. The main concern of this study is to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Since the reprocessing of spent fuel elements yields among others plutonium of bomb quality, the report of the Ford Foundation comes to the conclusion that the USA should defer the closing of the fuel cycle, defer the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel, deposit the spent fuel elemenets as a whole, and defer the breeder which can not run without fuel reprocessing. The German attitude however is that we can not relinquish on reprocessing and recycling of nuclear fuel because we are lacking such rich resources of coal, oil and uranium as the USA have. Furthermore, the deposition of spent fuel elements may be more dangerous than the deposition of the radioactive waste from reprocessing plants. (orig.) [de

  3. Differential spectrophotometric determination of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lecat, J.

    1980-01-01

    Differential spectrophotometric method is used for determination of plutonium reduced to oxydation state III+ by ascorbic acid, at 560 nm. Concentration of solutions is 4 g/l and accuracy of the method is better than 0,3% [fr

  4. The first milligrams of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goldschmidt, B.

    1996-01-01

    This paper relates the discovery of the different plutonium chemical extraction processes in their historical context. The first experiments started during the second world war in 1942 with the American ''Metallurgical Laboratory'' project which brought together Arthur Compton, Enrico Fermi and Glenn Seaborg. During the same period, a competitive English-Canadian project, the ''Montreal Project'', was carried out to test different plutonium solvent extraction techniques. The author participated in both projects and joined the CEA in 1946, where he was in charge of the uranium and plutonium chemistry. By the end of 1949, his team could isolate the first milligrams of French plutonium from uranium oxide pellets of the ZOE reactor. In the beginning of 1952 he developed with his team the PUREX process. (J.S.)

  5. Technological alternatives for plutonium transport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1978-12-01

    This paper considers alternative transport modes (air, sea, road, rail) for moving (1) plutonium from a reprocessing plant to a store or a fuel fabrication facility, and (2) MOX fuel from the latter to a reactor. These transport modes and differing forms of plutonium are considered in terms of: their proliferation resistance and safeguards; environmental and safety aspects; and economic aspects. It is tentatively proposed that the transport of plutonium could continue by air or sea where long distances are involved and by road or rail over shorter distances; this would be acceptable from the non-proliferation, environmental impact and economic aspects - there may be advantages in protection if plutonium is transported in the form of mixed oxide

  6. Plutonium helps probe protein, superconductor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1990-01-01

    Scientists are finding that plutonium can be a useful research tool that may help them answer important questions in fields as diverse as biochemistry and solid-state physics. This paper reports that U.S. research involving plutonium is confined to the Department of Energy's national laboratories and centers around nuclear weapons technology, waste cleanup and disposal, and health effects. But at Los Alamos National Laboratory, scientists also are using plutonium to probe the biochemical behavior of calmodulin, a key calcium-binding protein that mediates calcium-regulated processes in biological systems. At Argonne National Laboratory, another team is trying to learn how a superconductor's properties are affected by the 5f electrons of an actinide like plutonium

  7. An alternative plutonium disposition method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kueppers, C.

    2002-01-01

    This paper provides a feasibility study on vitrification of plutonium with high active waste concentrate, and fabrication of MOX fuel rods for direct final disposal. These are potential alternatives to the direct use of MOX fuel in a reactor. (author)

  8. Chloride removal from plutonium alloy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holcomb, H.P.

    1983-01-01

    SRP is evaluating a program to recover plutonium from a metallic alloy that will contain chloride salt impurities. Removal of chloride to sufficiently low levels to prevent damaging corrosion to canyon equipment is feasible as a head-end step following dissolution. Silver nitrate and mercurous nitrate were each successfully used in laboratory tests to remove chloride from simulated alloy dissolver solution containing plutonium. Levels less than 10 ppM chloride were achieved in the supernates over the precipitated and centrifuged insoluble salts. Also, less than 0.05% loss of plutonium in the +3, +4, or +6 oxidation states was incurred via precipitate carrying. These results provide impetus for further study and development of a plant-scale process to recover plutonium from metal alloy at SRP

  9. Plutonium contamination in soils and sediments at Mayak PA, Russia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skipperud, Lindis; Salbu, Brit; Oughton, Deborah H; Drozcho, Eugeny; Mokrov, Yuri; Strand, Per

    2005-09-01

    The Mayak Production Association (Mayak PA) was established in the late 1940's to produce plutonium for the Soviet Nuclear Weapons Programme. In total, seven reactors and two reprocessing plants have been in operation. Today, the area comprises both military and civilian reactors as well as reprocessing and metallurgical plants. Authorized and accidental releases of radioactive waste have caused severe contamination to the surrounding areas. In the present study, [alpha]-spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) have been used to determine plutonium activities and isotope ratios in soil and sediment samples collected from reservoirs of the Techa River at the Mayak area and downstream Techa River. The objective of the study was to determine the total inventory of plutonium in the reservoirs and to identify the different sources contributing to the plutonium contamination. Results based on [alpha]-spectrometry and ICP-MS measurements show the presence of different sources and confirmed recent reports of civilian reprocessing at Mayak. Determination of activity levels and isotope ratios in soil and sediment samples from the Techa River support the hypothesis that most of the plutonium, like other radionuclides in the Techa River, originated from the very early waste discharges to the Techa River between 1949 and 1951. Analysis of reservoir sediment samples suggest that about 75% of the plutonium isotopes could have been released to Reservoir 10 during the early weapons production operation of the plant, and that the majority of plutonium in Reservoir 10 originates from discharges from power production or reprocessing. Enhanced 240Pu/239Pu atom ratios in river sediment upper layers (0-2 cm) between 50 and 250 km downstream from the plant indicate a contribution from other, non-fallout sources.

  10. Inhaled plutonium oxide in dogs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1981-01-01

    This project is concerned with long-term experiments to determine the life-span dose-effect relationships of inhaled 239 PuO 2 and 238 PuO 2 in beagles. The data will be used to estimate the health effects of inhaled transuranics. The tissue distribution of plutonium, radiation effects in the lung and hematologic changes in plutonium-exposed beagles with lung tumors were evaluated

  11. Plutonium contamination in italian population

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cave-Bondi, G.; Merli, S.; Rogo, M.; Sgarbazzini, M.; Clemente, G.F.; Mancini, L.; Santori, G.; Tardella, Q.

    1983-01-01

    The literature data concerning the biological and the chemical physical characteristics of plutonium are summarized in the first part of the paper. The experimental results of the plutonium concentration in complete diets, single food items and some human autopsy tissues, regarding the Italian situation, are then presented and discussed. Our experimental data are in good agreement with similar data reported in several studies carried out in some countries of the north emisphere

  12. Plutonium: real and false problems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bemden, E. van den

    1981-01-01

    This paper deals with technical and technological state of the possibilities of using plutonium as fuel in the thermal and fast reactors. It also describes the political blockage restraining its use and the reasons for it. The accent is put on some fundamental lacks of international coordination and on some problems of commercial policy, which impede, in a certain way, the industrial use of plutonium as a fuel. (author)

  13. The plutonium utilization in thermal and fast reactor in Japan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amanuma, T.; Uematsu, K.

    1977-01-01

    The nuclear power development in Japan is rather extensive one, and the installed nuclear power capacity is expected to reach 49,000 MWe by 1985 and possibly to reach 170,000 MWe by 2000 according to a prediction. Currently istalled nuclear power is mainly based on Light Water type Reactor, and this trend is expected to persist for the time-being. The plutonium produced by LWR will be accumulated to 20 tons by 1985 and to more than 200 tons by 2000. If the produced plutonium will simply be stored, it will raise the economic pressure to utilities and the management and physical protection problems associated with plutonium storing. Therefore, it is not too wise simply to store plutonium in a locked vault. In Japan, there are three ways of solving these problems which are currently worked out. There is no doubt that the best solution is to use plutonium in fast reactors. To reach this goal, an Experimental Fast Reactor ''JOYO''has been constructed and it is waiting for criticality in very near future. A prototype fast breeder reactor ''MONJU'', which is designed for about 300 MWe, is nearing to the last stage of the design work. The start of its construction will take place in a few yesars. The domonstration fast breeder reactor will come next to ''MONJU'' and the large scale commercial use of fast breeder reactor is expected to start around 1995. To anwer the near-term need for plutonium utilization, two technologies, which are equally important to Japan, are currently developed. One is the recycle use of plutonium into LWR. This technology has long been jointly developed by research organizations and utilities. Some of fuel irradiation data are already obtained and the physics study has also been extensive. The application of this technology is expected to start about 1987. The other is to burn plutonium in an Advanced Thermal Reactor (D 2 O moderated, Boiling Water Cooled) which shows better characteristics of using plutonium. The 160 MWe ''Fugen'' is a prototype

  14. Monitoring the risks of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holliday, B.

    1978-01-01

    The difficulties in monitoring the environment in work areas where plutonium is handled are identified and both continuous and personal air sampling techniques considered. Methods of estimating the amounts of plutonium retained in the body are: (1) Direct external counting over the chest of the 'soft' low energy X-rays and gamma rays emitted by the plutonium deposited in the lungs. (2) Measuring plutonium excreted in urine. (3) Analysing faeces soon after a suspected contamination. Limitation of these techniques are discussed and it is shown that estimating the amount of plutonium in the body, or a specific organ, is extremely difficult, both because of the lack of sensitivity of the measuring techniques (especially chest scanning) and because of the problems in interpreting data, stemming from a lack of knowledge of crucial characteristics of the inhaled plutonium (such as particle size and solubility). Nevertheless it is felt that the judicious integration of all the options creates a level of certainty that no individual technique can possibly inspire. (U.K.)

  15. Atomic energy policy of Japan, especially plutonium utilization policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moriguchi, Y.

    1993-01-01

    The necessity of plutonium use in Japan is discussed. Basic policy regarding plutonium use and future plutonium utilization programme is described including such an aspect as management of plutonium from dismantled nuclear weapons

  16. High-temperature vacuum distillation separation of plutonium waste salts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia, E.

    1996-01-01

    In this task, high-temperature vacuum distillation separation is being developed for residue sodium chloride-potassium chloride salts resulting from past pyrochemical processing of plutonium. This process has the potential of providing clean separation of the salt and the actinides with minimal amounts of secondary waste generation. The process could produce chloride salt that could be discarded as low-level waste (LLW) or low actinide content transuranic (TRU) waste, and a concentrated actinide oxide powder that would meet long-term storage standards (DOE-DTD-3013-94) until a final disposition option for all surplus plutonium is chosen

  17. Chloride-catalyzed corrosion of plutonium in glovebox atmospheres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burgess, M.; Haschke, J.M.; Allen, T.H.; Morales, L.A.; Jarboe, D.M.; Puglisi, C.V.

    1998-04-01

    Characterization of glovebox atmospheres and the black reaction product formed on plutonium surfaces shows that the abnormally rapid corrosion of components in the fabrication line is consistent with a complex salt-catalyzed reaction involving gaseous hydrogen chloride (HCl) and water. Analytical data verify that chlorocarbon and HCl vapors are presented in stagnant glovebox atmospheres. Hydrogen chloride concentrations approach 7 ppm at some locations in the glovebox line. The black corrosion product is identified as plutonium monoxide monohydride (PuOH), a product formed by hydrolysis of plutonium in liquid water and salt solutions at room temperature. Plutonium trichloride (PuCl 3 ) produced by reaction of HCl at the metal surface is deliquescent and apparently forms a highly concentrated salt solution by absorbing moisture from the glovebox atmosphere. Rapid corrosion is attributed to the ensuing salt-catalyzed reaction between plutonium and water. Experimental results are discussed, possible involvement of hydrogen fluoride (HF) is examined, and methods of corrective action are presented in this report

  18. Neutron monitoring of plutonium at the ZPPR storage vault

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Caldwell, J.T.; Kuckertz, T.H.; Bieri, J.M.; France, S.W.; Goin, R.W.; Hastings, R.D.; Pratt, J.C.; Shunk, E.R.

    1981-12-01

    We investigated a method for monitoring a typical large storage vault for unauthorized removal of plutonium. The method is based on the assumption that the neutron field in a vault produced by a particular geometric configuration of bulk plutonium remains constant in time and space as long as the configuration is undisturbed. To observe such a neutron field, we installed an array of 25 neutron detectors in the ceiling of a plutonium storage vault at Argonne National Laboratory West. Each neutron detector provided an independent spatial measurement of the vault neutron field. Data collected by each detector were processed to determine whether statistically significant changes had occurred in the neutron field. Continuous observation experiments measured the long-term stability of the system. Removal experiments were performed in which known quantities of plutonium were removed from the vault. Both types of experiments demonstrated that the neutron monitoring system can detect removal or addition of bulk plutonium (11% 240 Pu) whose mass is as small as 0.04% of the total inventory

  19. Plutonium re-cycle in HTR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Desoisa, J. A.

    1974-03-15

    The study of plutonium cycles in HTRs using reprocessed plutonium from Magnox and AGR fuel cycles has shown that full core plutonium/uranium loadings are in general not feasible, burn-up is limited due the need for lower loadings of plutonium to meet reload core reactivity limits, on-line refueling is not practicable due to the need for higher burnable poison loadings, and low conversion rates in the plutonium-uranium cycles cannot be mitigated by axial loading schemes so that fissile make-up is needed if HTR plutonium recycle is desired.

  20. The approaching plutonium surplus: a Japanese/European predicament

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berkhout, F.; Suzuki, Tatsujiro; Walker, W.

    1990-01-01

    The vision of cheap energy independence through civil nuclear power has faded in the late 1980s as the costs of nuclear programmes have come to light. But present nuclear plans in Japan, France and Britain are set to produce quantities of plutonium in the 1990s which, the authors argue, will be surplus to requirements and very difficult to use. The over-production of plutonium will pose political and security problems - particularly for Japan, which owns large stocks of separated plutonium in Europe that it may not be able to bring back home. Nuclear strategy in Japan and Europe needs to be rethought if serious international problems are to be avoided. (author)

  1. Metering management at the plutonium research and development facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hirata, Masaru; Miyamoto, Fujio; Kurosawa, Makoto; Abe, Jiro; Sakai, Haruyuki; Suzuki, Tsuneo.

    1996-01-01

    Nuclear fuel research laboratory of the Oarai Research Laboratory of the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute is an R and D facility to treat with plutonium and processes various and versatile type samples in chemical and physical form for use of various experimental researches even though on much small amount. Furthermore, wasted and plutonium samples are often transported to other KMP and MBA such as radioactive waste management facility, nuclear reactor facility and so forth. As this facility is a place to treat plutonium important on the safeguards, it is a facility necessary for detection and allowance actions and for detail managements on the metering management data to report to government and IAEA in each small amount sample and different configuration. In this paper, metering management of internationally regulated matters and metering management system using a work station newly produced in such small scale facility were introduced. (G.K.)

  2. Preliminary safety evaluation for the plutonium stabilization and packaging system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shapley, J.E.

    1997-01-01

    This Preliminary Safety Evaluation (PSE) describes and analyzes the installation and operation of the Plutonium Stabilization and Packaging System (SPS) at the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP). The SPS is a combination of components required to expedite the safe and timely storage of Plutonium (Pu) oxide. The SPS program will receive site Pu packages, process the Pu for storage, package the Pu into metallic containers, and safely store the containers in a specially modified storage vault. The location of the SPS will be in the 2736- ZB building and the storage vaults will be in the 2736-Z building of the PFP, as shown in Figure 1-1. The SPS will produce storage canisters that are larger than those currently used for Pu storage at the PFP. Therefore, the existing storage areas within the PFP secure vaults will require modification. Other modifications will be performed on the 2736-ZB building complex to facilitate the installation and operation of the SPS

  3. Imperatives for using plutonium in commercial power reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sandquist, G.M.; Kunze, J.F.

    1995-01-01

    The use of reprocessed or newly produced plutonium as a fissile fuel in commercial nuclear reactors in the US has been actively suppressed by the current US Administration. Yet, many other advanced nations have already adopted mixed oxide fuels which are manufactured from a mixture of plutonium and natural uranium compounds. These nations have successfully proven the use of such nuclear fuel in their commercial power reactors for many years. The full consequence of the restrictive nuclear policy in the US will greatly limit the lifetime of the nuclear fuel resources in the US from a nominal potential of 100 centuries or more of potential energy supply to about 50 years or less at economical prices for uranium. This paper addresses both the imperatives and the potential and the perceived hazards of plutonium utilization and examines the consequences of government policy regarding utilization of nuclear power

  4. Characterization and storage of the Rocky Flats plutonium oxide legacy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stakebake, J.L.

    1997-01-01

    Prior to 1989, plutonium oxide storage at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS) could generally be considered as short term. Packaging configurations for short-term storage consisted of slip-lid cans and sealed produce cans. Prior to packaging, most of the oxide had been stabilized by heating to ∼500 degrees C. When storage times were relatively short, few problems were attributed to either packaging or storage. However, with projected storage times extended up to 50 yr, most of the old packaging of RFETS plutonium oxide will be in two welded steel containers in compliance with the DOE Standard 3013-96, which defines processing and packaging criteria for safe, long-term storage of plutonium oxide

  5. Gamma-ray isotopic ratio measurements for the plutonium inventory verification program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lemming, J.F.; Haas, F.X.; Jarvis, J.Y.

    1976-01-01

    The Plutonium Inventory Verification Program at Mound Laboratory provides a nondestructive means of assaying bulk plutonium-bearing material. The assay is performed by combining the calorimetrically determined heat output of the sample and the relative abundances of the heat-producing isotopes. This report describes the method used for the nondestructive determination of plutonium-238, -240, -241 and americium-241 relative to plutonium-239 using gamma-ray spectroscopy for 93 percent plutonium-239 material. Comparison of chemical data on aliquots of samples to the nondestructive data shows accuracies of +-7 percent for 238 Pu/ 239 Pu, +-15 percent for 240 Pu/ 239 Pu, +- 3 percent for 241 Pu/ 239 Pu, and +-7 percent for 241 Am/ 239 Pu

  6. Erosional losses of fallout plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foster, G.R.; Hakonson, T.E.

    1987-01-01

    Plutonium from fallout after atmospheric explosion of nuclear weapons in the 1950's and 1960s is being redistributed over the landscape by soil erosion and carried on sediment by streams to oceans. Erosion rates computed with the Universal Soil Loss Equation for more than 200,000 sample points on nonfederal land across the US were used to estimate plutonium removal rates by soil erosion. On the average, only about 4% of the eroded sediment reaches the outlet of a major river. The remaining sediment is deposited en route, and because deposition is a selective process, the sediment is enriched in fine particles having the highest concentration of plutonium because of the element's strong association with clay and silt-sized sediment. Estimated enrichment ratios, sediment delivery ratios, and erosion rates were used to estimate annual delivery of fallout plutonium. These estimates ranged from 0.002% of the initial fallout plutonium inventory for the Savannah River basin to 0.01% for the Columbia River basin, to 0.02% for the Hudson and Rio Grande River basins, to 0.08% for the Mississippi River basin. If the deposition of plutonium had been uniformly 1 mCi/km 2 , the estimated plutonium activity on suspended sediment would range from about 7 fCi/g of sediment of the Savannah River basin, to 9 fCi/g for the Mississippi River basin, to 12 fCi/g for the Hudson River basin, to 14 fCi/g for the Columbia and Rio Grande River basins. 45 references, 2 figures, 17 tables

  7. Prospects for the Use of Plutonium in Reactors; Prospective d'Utilisation du Plutonium dans les Reacteurs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fossoul, E.; Haubert, P. [BELGONUCLEAIRE (Belgium); Hirschberg, D.; Morlet, E. [International Business Machines of Belgium, Bruxelles (Belgium)

    1967-09-15

    The introduction, at an increasing rate, of power reactors using slightly enriched uranium will inevitably lead to the production of considerable quantities of plutonium over the next decade. Fast reactors will not be capable of absorbing this material before 1980. The question thus arises of whether one should store the plutonium far future use in fast reactors, recycle it in existing thermal reactors, or try to sell it. The problem has been studied for an electric power generating system that does not foresee selling the plutonium produced by its reactors and does not buy plutonium outside, which enables a good approximation to be made and eliminates the major unknown quantity represented by the future market price of plutonium. Assuming within this system a programme that provides for the construction of power reactors of a given type and capacity at specific dates, the utilization of the plutonium produced can be optimized by linear programming techniques so as to minimize the discounted total cost of the power generated over a given period. A later stage consists in optimizing, by various techniques, not only the utilization but also the production of plutonium by appropriate selection of the power reactor types to be constructed. (author) [French] L'implantation, a un rythme croissant, de centrales nucleaires a uranium legerement enrichi entrainera la production ineluctable d'une quantite importante de plutonium au cours de la prochaine decennie. Les reacteurs a neutrons rapides ne seront capables d'absorber cette production qu'apres 1980. La question se pose donc de savoir s'il est preferable de stocker le plutonium en vue de son utilisation ulterieure dans les reacteurs a neutrons rapides plutot que de le recycler dans les reacteurs actuels a neutrons thermiques ou d'essayer de le vendre. Ce probleme a ete etudie dans le cadre d'un systeme de production d'energie electrique qui ne prevoirait pas la vente du plutonium produit par ses reacteurs nucleaires ni

  8. Plutonium focus area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-08-01

    To ensure research and development programs focus on the most pressing environmental restoration and waste management problems at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Environmental Management (EM) established a working group in August 1993 to implement a new approach to research and technology development. As part of this new approach, EM developed a management structure and principles that led to the creation of specific Focus Areas. These organizations were designed to focus the scientific and technical talent throughout DOE and the national scientific community on the major environmental restoration and waste management problems facing DOE. The Focus Area approach provides the framework for intersite cooperation and leveraging of resources on common problems. After the original establishment of five major Focus Areas within the Office of Technology Development (EM-50, now called the Office of Science and Technology), the Nuclear Materials Stabilization Task Group (EM-66) followed the structure already in place in EM-50 and chartered the Plutonium Focus Area (PFA). The following information outlines the scope and mission of the EM, EM-60, and EM-66 organizations as related to the PFA organizational structure

  9. Plutonium oxide shipment report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1979-01-01

    While following procedures for unloading shipping containers containing plutonium oxide, SRP personnel experienced problems. While using a pipe cutter to cut through the wall of the inner container, the pipe section fell to the floor. Three empty food cans in the bottom of the inner canister also fell to the floor and a puff of smoke was observed. Personnel were evacuated and contamination was detected in the room. As a result of the investigations conducted by Westinghouse and SRP, thermal effects, food can coatings, and fuel volatiles were eliminated as the cause of the problem. Helium used to leak test the RL070 shipping container seals entered the inner canister through two weld defects resulting in a pressurization of the contents. When the end cap was removed, the inner canister vented rapidly, the food cans did not, thus creating a differential pressure across the food cans. This caused the food cans to swell. It was recommended that a dye penetrant test of all inner container welds be added. Additional unloading procedures were also recommended

  10. History and stabilization of the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) complex, Hanford Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gerber, M.S., Fluor Daniel Hanford

    1997-02-18

    The 231-Z Isolation Building or Plutonium Metallurgy Building is located in the Hanford Site`s 200 West Area, approximately 300 yards north of the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) (234-5 Building). When the Hanford Engineer Works (HEW) built it in 1944 to contain the final step for processing plutonium, it was called the Isolation Building. At that time, HEW used a bismuth phosphate radiochemical separations process to make `AT solution,` which was then dried and shipped to Los Alamos, New Mexico. (AT solution is a code name used during World War II for the final HEW product.) The process was carried out first in T Plant and the 224-T Bulk Reduction Building and B Plant and the 224-B Bulk Reduction Building. The 224-T and -B processes produced a concentrated plutonium nitrate stream, which then was sent in 8-gallon batches to the 231-Z Building for final purification. In the 231-Z Building, the plutonium nitrate solution underwent peroxide `strikes` (additions of hydrogen peroxide to further separate the plutonium from its carrier solutions), to form the AT solution. The AT solution was dried and shipped to the Los Alamos Site, where it was made into metallic plutonium and then into weapons hemispheres.` The 231-Z Building began `hot` operations (operations using radioactive materials) with regular runs of plutonium nitrate on January 16, 1945.

  11. The generation of denatured reactor plutonium by different options of the fuel cycle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Broeders, C.H.M.; Kessler, G. [Inst. for Neutron Physics and Reactor Technology, Research Center Karlsruhe (Germany)

    2006-11-15

    Denatured (proliferation resistant) reactor plutonium can be generated in a number of different fuel cycle options. First denatured reactor plutonium can be obtained if, instead of low enriched U-235 PWR fuel, re-enriched U-235/U-236 from reprocessed uranium is used (fuel type A). Also the envisaged existing 2,500 t of reactor plutonium (being generated world wide up to the year 2010), mostly stored in intermediate fuel storage facilities at present, could be converted during a transition phase into denatured reactor plutonium by the options fuel type B and D. Denatured reactor plutonium could have the same safeguards standard as present low enriched (<20% U-235) LWR fuel. It could be incinerated by recycling once or twice in PWRs and subsequently by multi-recycling in FRs (CAPRA type or IFRs). Once denatured, such reactor plutonium could remain denatured during multiple recycling. In a PWR, e.g., denatured reactor plutonium could be destroyed at a rate of about 250 kg/GWey. While denatured reactor plutonium could be recycled and incinerated under relieved IAEA safeguards, neptunium would still have to be monitored by the IAEA in future for all cases in which considerable amounts of neptunium are produced. (orig.)

  12. Long time contamination from plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fueloep, M.; Patzeltova, N.; Ragan, P.; Matel, L.

    1995-01-01

    Plutonium isotopes in the organism of the patient (who had participated in the liquidation works after the Chernobyl accident; for three month he had stayed in the epicenter, where he acted as a chauffeur driving a radioactive material to the place of destination) from urine were determined. For determination of the concentration of Pu-239, Pu-240 in urine a modified radiochemical method was used. After mineralization the sample was separated as an anion-nitrate complex with contact by the anion form of the resin in the column. The resin was washed by 8 M HNO 3 , the 8 M HCl with 0.3 M HNO 3 for removing the other radionuclides. The solution 0.36 M HCl with 0.01 M HF was used for the elution of plutonium. Using the lanthanum fluoride technique the sample was filtrated through a membrane filter. The plutonium was detected in the dry sample. The Pu-239 tracer was used for the evaluation of the plutonium separation efficiency. The alpha spectrometric measurements were carried out with a large area silicon detector. The samples were measured and evaluated in the energy region 4.98-5.18 MeV. The detection limit of alpha spectrometry measurements has been 0.01 Bq dm -3 . The concentration of plutonium in the 24-hour urine was determined three times in the quarter year intervals. The results are: 54 mBq, 63.2 mBq, 53 mBq, with average 56,7 mBq. From the results of the analyses of plutonium depositions calculated according to ICRP 54 the intake of this radionuclide for the patient was 56.7 kBq. To estimate a committed effective dose (50 years) from the intake of plutonium was used a conversion factor 6.8.10 -5 Sv.Bq -1 (class W). So the expressed committed effective dose received from the plutonium intake is 3.8 Sv. This number is relatively high and all the effective dose will be higher, because the patient was exposed to the other radionuclides too. For example the determination of the rate radionuclides Am-241/Pu-239,Pu-240 was 32-36 % in the fallout after the Chernobyl

  13. Double shell tanks plutonium inventory assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tusler, L.A.

    1995-01-01

    This report provides an evaluation that establishes plutonium inventory estimates for all DSTs based on known tank history information, the DST plutonium inventory tracking system, tank characterization measurements, tank transfer records, and estimated average concentration values for the various types of waste. These estimates use data through December 31, 1994, and give plutonium estimates as of January 1, 1995. The plutonium inventory values for the DSTs are given in Section 31. The plutonium inventory estimate is 224 kg for the DSTs and 854 kg for the SSTs for a total of 1078 kg. This value compares favorably with the total plutonium inventory value of 981 kg obtained from the total plutonium production minus plutonium recovery analysis estimates

  14. Oxidation-state maxima in plutonium chemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silver, G.L.

    2013-01-01

    Maxima in the fractions of the trivalent and hexavalent oxidation states of plutonium are inherent in the algebra of its disproportionation reactions. The maxima do not support overall disproportionation equations as satisfactory representations of aqueous plutonium. (author)

  15. Recovery studies for plutonium machining oil coolant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Navratil, J.D.; Baldwin, C.E.

    1977-01-01

    Lathe coolant oil, contaminated with plutonium and having a carbon tetrachloride diluent, is generated in plutonium machining areas at Rocky Flats. A research program was initiated to determine the nature of plutonium in this mixture of oil and carbon tetrachloride. Appropriate methods then could be developed to remove the plutonium and to recycle the oil and carbon tetrachloride. Studies showed that the mixtures of spent oil and carbon tetrachloride contained particulate plutonium and plutonium species that are soluble in water or in oil and carbon tetrachloride. The particulate plutonium was removed by filtration; the nonfilterable plutonium was removed by adsorption on various materials. Laboratory-scale tests indicated the lathe-coolant oil mixture could be separated by distilling the carbon tetrachloride to yield recyclable products

  16. Plutonium and americium separation from salts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hagan, P.G.; Miner, F.J.

    1976-01-01

    Salts or materials containing plutonium and americium are dissolved in hydrochloric acid, heated, and contacted with an alkali metal carbonate solution to precipitate plutonium and americium carbonates which are thereafter readily separable from the solution

  17. Plutonium-238 and plutonium-239 metabolism in dairy cows following ingestion of mixed oxides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patzer, R.G.; Mullen, A.A.; Sutton, W.W.; Potter, G.D.; Mosley, R.E.; Efurd, D.W.; Stalnaker, N.D.

    1985-01-01

    Dairy cows were given oral dosage of plutonium-238 and plutonium-239 dioxide particles in a study to determine the relative gastrointestinal absorption and tissue distribution of the nuclides. Two cows were given particles in which the two isotopes were homogeneously mixed within the particles. A third cow was given two batches of particles which contained either plutonium-238 or plutonium-239. Results indicate that, when the two isotopes of plutonium are homogeneous within the particles, there is no difference between plutonium-238 and plutonium-239 in the relative gastrointestinal absorption and tissue distribution

  18. Fuel cycles using adulterated plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brooksbank, R.E.; Bigelow, J.E.; Campbell, D.O.; Kitts, F.G.; Lindauer, R.B.

    1978-01-01

    Adjustments in the U-Pu fuel cycle necessitated by decisions made to improve the nonproliferation objectives of the US are examined. The uranium-based fuel cycle, using bred plutonium to provide the fissile enrichment, is the fuel system with the highest degree of commercial development at the present time. However, because purified plutonium can be used in weapons, this fuel cycle is potentially vulnerable to diversion of that plutonium. It does appear that there are technologically sound ways in which the plutonium might be adulterated by admixture with 238 U and/or radioisotopes, and maintained in that state throughout the fuel cycle, so that the likelihood of a successful diversion is small. Adulteration of the plutonium in this manner would have relatively little effect on the operations of existing or planned reactors. Studies now in progress should show within a year or two whether the less expensive coprocessing scheme would provide adequate protection (coupled perhaps with elaborate conventional safeguards procedures) or if the more expensive spiked fuel cycle is needed as in the proposed civex pocess. If the latter is the case, it will be further necessary to determine the optimum spiking level, which could vary as much as a factor of a billion. A very basic question hangs on these determinations: What is to be the nature of the recycle fuel fabrication facilities. If the hot, fully remote fuel fabrication is required, then a great deal of further development work will be required to make the full cycle fully commercial

  19. Selecting a plutonium vitrification process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jouan, A. [Centre d`Etudes de la Vallee du Rhone, Bagnols sur Ceze (France)

    1996-05-01

    Vitrification of plutonium is one means of mitigating its potential danger. This option is technically feasible, even if it is not the solution advocated in France. Two situations are possible, depending on whether or not the glass matrix also contains fission products; concentrations of up to 15% should be achievable for plutonium alone, whereas the upper limit is 3% in the presence of fission products. The French continuous vitrification process appears to be particularly suitable for plutonium vitrification: its capacity is compatible with the required throughout, and the compact dimensions of the process equipment prevent a criticality hazard. Preprocessing of plutonium metal, to convert it to PuO{sub 2} or to a nitric acid solution, may prove advantageous or even necessary depending on whether a dry or wet process is adopted. The process may involve a single step (vitrification of Pu or PuO{sub 2} mixed with glass frit) or may include a prior calcination step - notably if the plutonium is to be incorporated into a fission product glass. It is important to weigh the advantages and drawbacks of all the possible options in terms of feasibility, safety and cost-effectiveness.

  20. Plutonium in depleted uranium penetrators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McLaughlin, J.P.; Leon-Vintro, L.; Smith, K.; Mitchell, P.I.; Zunic, Z.S.

    2002-01-01

    Depleted Uranium (DU) penetrators used in the recent Balkan conflicts have been found to be contaminated with trace amounts of transuranic materials such as plutonium. This contamination is usually a consequence of DU fabrication being carried out in facilities also using uranium recycled from spent military and civilian nuclear reactor fuel. Specific activities of 239+240 Plutonium generally in the range 1 to 12 Bq/kg have been found to be present in DU penetrators recovered from the attack sites of the 1999 NATO bombardment of Kosovo. A DU penetrator recovered from a May 1999 attack site at Bratoselce in southern Serbia and analysed by University College Dublin was found to contain 43.7 +/- 1.9 Bq/kg of 239+240 Plutonium. This analysis is described. An account is also given of the general population radiation dose implications arising from both the DU itself and from the presence of plutonium in the penetrators. According to current dosimetric models, in all scenarios considered likely ,the dose from the plutonium is estimated to be much smaller than that due to the uranium isotopes present in the penetrators. (author)

  1. A World made of Plutonium?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Broda, E.

    1976-01-01

    This lecture by Engelbert Broda was written for the 26th Pugwash Conference in Mühlhausen, Germany, 26 – 31 August 1976: Public doubts about nuclear energy are generally directed at the problems of routine emissions of radionuclides, of catastrophic accidents, and of terminal waste disposal. Curiously, the most important problem is not being given sufficient attention: The use of plutonium from civilian reactors fpr weapons production. According to current ideas about a nuclear future, 5000 tons (order of magnitude) of plutonium are to be made annually by year 2000, and about 10 000 tons will all the time be in circulation (transport, reprocessing, reproduction of fuel elements, etc.). It is a misconception that plutonium from power reactors is unsuitable as a nuclear explosive. 5000 tons are enough for several hundred thousand (!) of bombs, Nagasaki type. By the year 2000 maybe 40 – 50 countries will have home-made plutonium. Plutonium production and proliferation are the most serious problems in a nuclear world. (author)

  2. Plutonium determination by isotope dilution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lucas, M.

    1980-01-01

    The principle is to add to a known amount of the analysed solution a known amount of a spike solution consisting of plutonium 242. The isotopic composition of the resulting mixture is then determined by surface ionization mass spectrometry, and the plutonium concentration in the solution is deduced, from this measurement. For irradiated fuels neutronic studies or for fissile materials balance measurements, requiring the knowledge of the ratio U/Pu or of concentration both uranium and plutonium, it is better to use the double spike isotope dilution method, with a spike solution of known 233 U- 242 Pu ratio. Using this method, the ratio of uranium to plutonium concentration in the irradiated fuel solution can be determined without any accurate measurement of the mixed amounts of sample and spike solutions. For fissile material balance measurements, the uranium concentration is determined by using single isotope dilution, and the plutonium concentration is deduced from the ratio Pu/U and U concentration. The main advantages of isotope dilution are its selectivity, accuracy and very high sensitivity. The recent improvements made to surface ionization mass spectrometers have considerably increased the precision of the measurements; a relative precision of about 0.2% to 0.3% is obtained currently, but it could be reduced to 0.1%, in the future, with a careful control of the experimental procedures. The detection limite is around 0.1 ppb [fr

  3. Evolutionary/advanced light water reactor data report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-02-09

    The US DOE Office of Fissile Material Disposition is examining options for placing fissile materials that were produced for fabrication of weapons, and now are deemed to be surplus, into a condition that is substantially irreversible and makes its use in weapons inherently more difficult. The principal fissile materials subject to this disposition activity are plutonium and uranium containing substantial fractions of plutonium-239 uranium-235. The data in this report, prepared as technical input to the fissile material disposition Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) deal only with the disposition of plutonium that contains well over 80% plutonium-239. In fact, the data were developed on the basis of weapon-grade plutonium which contains, typically, 93.6% plutonium-239 and 5.9% plutonium-240 as the principal isotopes. One of the options for disposition of weapon-grade plutonium being considered is the power reactor alternative. Plutonium would be fabricated into mixed oxide (MOX) fuel and fissioned (``burned``) in a reactor to produce electric power. The MOX fuel will contain dioxides of uranium and plutonium with less than 7% weapon-grade plutonium and uranium that has about 0.2% uranium-235. The disposition mission could, for example, be carried out in existing power reactors, of which there are over 100 in the United States. Alternatively, new LWRs could be constructed especially for disposition of plutonium. These would be of the latest US design(s) incorporating numerous design simplifications and safety enhancements. These ``evolutionary`` or ``advanced`` designs would offer not only technological advances, but also flexibility in siting and the option of either government or private (e.g., utility) ownership. The new reactor designs can accommodate somewhat higher plutonium throughputs. This data report deals solely with the ``evolutionary`` LWR alternative.

  4. Evolutionary/advanced light water reactor data report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-01-01

    The US DOE Office of Fissile Material Disposition is examining options for placing fissile materials that were produced for fabrication of weapons, and now are deemed to be surplus, into a condition that is substantially irreversible and makes its use in weapons inherently more difficult. The principal fissile materials subject to this disposition activity are plutonium and uranium containing substantial fractions of plutonium-239 uranium-235. The data in this report, prepared as technical input to the fissile material disposition Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) deal only with the disposition of plutonium that contains well over 80% plutonium-239. In fact, the data were developed on the basis of weapon-grade plutonium which contains, typically, 93.6% plutonium-239 and 5.9% plutonium-240 as the principal isotopes. One of the options for disposition of weapon-grade plutonium being considered is the power reactor alternative. Plutonium would be fabricated into mixed oxide (MOX) fuel and fissioned (''burned'') in a reactor to produce electric power. The MOX fuel will contain dioxides of uranium and plutonium with less than 7% weapon-grade plutonium and uranium that has about 0.2% uranium-235. The disposition mission could, for example, be carried out in existing power reactors, of which there are over 100 in the United States. Alternatively, new LWRs could be constructed especially for disposition of plutonium. These would be of the latest US design(s) incorporating numerous design simplifications and safety enhancements. These ''evolutionary'' or ''advanced'' designs would offer not only technological advances, but also flexibility in siting and the option of either government or private (e.g., utility) ownership. The new reactor designs can accommodate somewhat higher plutonium throughputs. This data report deals solely with the ''evolutionary'' LWR alternative

  5. Methodology for the Inventory and Assessment of Americium Contamination Level in 1987 in an Area of Palomares Contaminated with Plutonium Weapon Grade; Estimacion del Contenido de Americio Existente en el Ano 1987 en una Zona de Palomares Contaminada en 1966 por Material de Plutonio Grado Bomba

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Espinosa, A.; Aragon, A.; Cruz de la, B.

    2001-07-01

    This paper presents a methodology applied for the assessment of the ''241 Am coming from the decay of ''241 Pu isotope content in a contaminated area of Palomares, where the clean-up work done in 1966, given the negligible agricultural importance of such area at the time and its geographical characteristics, was not of the same magnitude as for the rest of the region. (Author) 4 refs.

  6. Civil plutonium amounts in the world

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Naudet, G.

    1994-01-01

    The experience of plutonium reprocessing in water reactors is positive and today the use of this nuclear fuel is at industrial level. Plutonium quantities in spent fuel go on increasing, plutonium stock coming from reprocessing can be controlled: according to conjuncture, it will evolve by stabilization or decreasing at the beginning of next century

  7. Tabulated Neutron Emission Rates for Plutonium Oxide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shores, Erik Frederick [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2017-07-24

    This work tabulates neutron emission rates for 80 plutonium oxide samples as reported in the literature. Plutonium-­238 and plutonium-­239 oxides are included and such emission rates are useful for scaling tallies from Monte Carlo simulations and estimating dose rates for health physics applications.

  8. Technological alternatives for plutonium storage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1978-12-01

    This paper discusses the problems of large long term storage since stores at fabrication plants may depend on the form of plutonium ultimately chosen for transport. The paper's conclusion includes: MOX can be regarded as more proliferation resistant than PUO 2 but no experience of long term storage is available, therefore further R and D is required; co-location of the store with reprocessing plants (and fuel fabrication plant) would appear to have advantages in non-proliferation, safeguards implementation, environmental protection and economic aspects; there are strong non-proliferation and security arguments for not moving plutonium away from the site where it was separated until there is an identifiable and scheduled end use. The design of the store, the form in which plutonium should be stored, particularly as MOX, and the costs and further R and D required are considered. The possible location of stores is also discussed and institutional questions briefly considered

  9. Plutonium and U-233 mines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Milgram, M.S.

    1983-08-01

    A comparison is made among second generation reactor systems fuelled primarily with fissile plutonium and/or U-233 in uranium or thorium. This material is obtained from irradiated fuel from first generation CANDU reactors fuelled by natural or enriched uranium and thorium. Except for plutonium-thorium reactors, second generation reactors demand similar amounts of reprocessing throughput, but the most efficient plutonium burning systems require a large prior allocation of uranium. Second generation reactors fuelled by U-233 make more efficient use of resources and lead to more flexible fuelling strategies, but require development of first generation once-through thorium cycles and early demonstration of the commercial viability of thorium fuel reprocessing. No early implementation of reprocessing technology is required for these cycles

  10. Political influences in plutonium recycling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patak, H.N.

    1982-01-01

    The history of plutonium safeguards is one of political error and misunderstandings, as well as a lack of technical knowledge. Although there was widespread support for preventing the proliferation of nuclear explosives, with over 100 nations signing the Nonproliferation Treaty of 1969, India's 1974 nuclear test brought renewed political activity to prevent another such occurrence. Opposition has been directed only at how to pursue this goal, but the status of four major experiments aimed at minimizing weapons proliferation is one of failure, intensified by a weakening of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). If the link between plutonium power and weapons production can be broken through on-site reprocessing, the situation could improve. One course would be for the nuclear power industry to adopt its own system for safe guarding plutonium

  11. Plutonium accident resistant container project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andersen, J.A.

    1978-09-01

    The PARC (plutonium accident resistant container) project resulted in the design, development, and certification testing of a crashworthy air-transportable plutonium package (shipping container) for certification by the USNRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission). This PAT-1 (plutonium air transportable) package survives a very severe sequential test program of impact, crush, puncture, slash, burn, and water immersion. There is also an individual hydrostatic pressure test. The package has a payload mass capacity of 2 kg of PuO 2 and a thermal capacity of 25 watts. The design rationale for very high energy absorption (impact, crush, puncture, and slash protection) with residual high-level fire protection, resulted in a reasonably small air-transportable package, advancing the packaging state-of-art. Optimization design iterations were utilized in the areas of impact energy absorption and stress and thermal analysis. Package test results are presented in relation to radioactive materials containment acceptance criteria, shielding and criticality standards

  12. Plutonium accident resistant container project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andersen, J.A.

    1978-05-01

    The PARC (plutonium accident resistant container) project resulted in the design, development, and certification testing of a crashworthy air-transportable plutonium package (shipping container) for certification by the USNRC. This PAT-1 (plutonium air transportable) package survives a very severe sequential test program of impact, crush, puncture, slash, burn, and water immersion. There is also an individual hydrostatic pressure test. The package has a payload mass capacity of 2 kg of PuO2 and a thermal capacity of 25 watts. The design rationale for very high energy absorption (impact, crush, puncture, and slash protection) with residual high-level fire protection, resulted in a reasonalby small air-transportable package, advancing the packaging state-of-art. Optimization design iterations were utilized in the areas of impact energy absorption and stress and thermal analysis. Package test results are presented in relation to radioactive materials containment acceptance criteria, shielding and criticality standards

  13. Shielding calculational system for plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zimmerman, M.G.; Thomsen, D.H.

    1975-08-01

    A computer calculational system has been developed and assembled specifically for calculating dose rates in AEC plutonium fabrication facilities. The system consists of two computer codes and all nuclear data necessary for calculation of neutron and gamma dose rates from plutonium. The codes include the multigroup version of the Battelle Monte Carlo code for solution of general neutron and gamma shielding problems and the PUSHLD code for solution of shielding problems where low energy gamma and x-rays are important. The nuclear data consists of built in neutron and gamma yields and spectra for various plutonium compounds, an automatic calculation of age effects and all cross-sections commonly used. Experimental correlations have been performed to verify portions of the calculational system. (23 tables, 7 figs, 16 refs) (U.S.)

  14. Safeguarding the Plutonium Fuel Cycle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, S.J.; Lockwood, D.

    2013-01-01

    In developing a Safeguards Approach for a plutonium process facility, two general diversion and misuse scenarios must be addressed: 1) Unreported batches of undeclared nuclear material being processed through the plant and bypassing the accountancy measurement points, and 2) The operator removing plutonium at a rate that cannot be detected with confidence due to measurement uncertainties. This paper will look at the implementation of international safeguards at plutonium fuel cycle facilities in light of past lessons learned and current safeguards approaches. It will then discuss technical areas which are currently being addressed as future tools to improve on the efficiency of safeguards implementation, while maintaining its effectiveness. The discussion of new improvements will include: safeguards by design (SBD), process monitoring (PM), measurement and monitoring equipment, and data management. The paper is illustrated with the implementation of international safeguards at the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant in Japan and its accountancy structure is detailed. The paper is followed by the slides of the presentation

  15. Nukem's plutonium hitches a ride

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1988-01-01

    The European repercussions of a scandal involving the illegal movement of plutonium and cobalt 60 in canisters in which it was claimed there was only low-level radioactive waste, from West Germany to the reprocessing centre at Mol, Belgium are considered. Large bribes were paid to employees of the nuclear industry and government inspectors to allow this illicit transport to carry on over a number of years. It is not yet clear where the plutonium came from or where it was going. The suggestion that it may have been sold to Libya or Pakistan for nuclear weapons is very damaging to the nuclear safety argument. Even if the plutonium was being disposed of because it could not be accounted for, the safeguard procedures do not give confidence to the European public more aware of nuclear safety than ever. (UK)

  16. Plutonium-238 Decision Analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, Mike; Lechel, David J.; Leigh, C.D.

    1999-01-01

    Five transuranic (TRU) waste sites in the Department of Energy (DOE) complex, collectively, have more than 2,100 cubic meters of Plutonium-238 (Pu-238) TRU waste that exceed the wattage restrictions of the Transuranic Package Transporter-II (TRUPACT-11). The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is being developed by the DOE as a repository for TRU waste. With the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) opening in 1999, these sites are faced with a need to develop waste management practices that will enable the transportation of Pu-238 TRU waste to WIPP for disposal. This paper describes a decision analysis that provided a logical framework for addressing the Pu-238 TRU waste issue. The insights that can be gained by performing a formalized decision analysis are multifold. First and foremost, the very process. of formulating a decision tree forces the decision maker into structured, logical thinking where alternatives can be evaluated one against the other using a uniform set of criteria. In the process of developing the decision tree for transportation of Pu-238 TRU waste, several alternatives were eliminated and the logical order for decision making was discovered. Moreover, the key areas of uncertainty for proposed alternatives were identified and quantified. The decision analysis showed that the DOE can employ a combination approach where they will (1) use headspace gas analyses to show that a fraction of the Pu-238 TRU waste drums are no longer generating hydrogen gas and can be shipped to WIPP ''as-is'', (2) use drums and bags with advanced filter systems to repackage Pu-238 TRU waste drums that are still generating hydrogen, and (3) add hydrogen getter materials to the inner containment vessel of the TRUPACT-11to relieve the build-up of hydrogen gas during transportation of the Pu-238 TRU waste drums

  17. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-01-01

    This study was concerned with plutonium contamination of grassland at the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration Rocky Flats plant northwest of Denver, Colorado. Of interest were: the definition of major plutonium-containing ecosystem compartments; the relative amounts in those compartments; how those values related to studies done in other geogrphical areas; whether or not the predominant isotopes, 238 Pu and 239 Pu, behaved differently; and what mechanisms might have allowed for the observed patterns of contamination. Samples of soil, litter, vegetation, arthropods, and small mammals were collected for plutonium analysis and mass determination from each of two macroplots. Small aliquots (5 g or less) were analyzed by a rapid liquid scintillation technique and by alpha spectrometry. Of the compartments sampled, greater than 99% of the total plutonium was contained in the soil. The concentrations of plutonium in soil were significantly inversely correlated with distance from the contamination source, depth of the sample, and particle size of the sieved soil samples. The soil data suggested that the distribution of contamination largely resulted from physical transport processes. A mechanism of agglomerated submicron plutonium oxide particles and larger (1-500 μm) host soil particles was proposed. Concentrations of Pu in litter and vegetation were inversely correlated to distance from the source and directly correlated to soil concentrations at the same location. Comparatively high concentration ratios of vegetation to soil suggested wind resuspension of contamination as an important transport mechanism. Arthropod and small mammal samples were highly skewed, kurtotic, and quite variable, having coefficients of variation (standard deviation/mean) as high as 600%. Bone Pu concentrations were lower than other tissues. Hide, GI, and lung were generally not higher in Pu than kidney, liver and muscle

  18. Technical report for generic site add-on facility for plutonium polishing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-06-01

    The purpose of this report is to provide environmental data and reference process information associated with incorporating plutonium polishing steps (dissolution, impurity removal, and conversion to oxide powder) into the genetic-site Mixed-Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MOXFF). The incorporation of the plutonium polishing steps will enable the removal of undesirable impurities, such as gallium and americium, known to be associated with the plutonium. Moreover, unanticipated impurities can be removed, including those that may be contained in (1) poorly characterized feed materials, (2) corrosion products added from processing equipment, and (3) miscellaneous materials contained in scrap recycle streams. These impurities will be removed to the extent necessary to meet plutonium product purity specifications for MOX fuels. Incorporation of the plutonium polishing steps will mean that the Pit Disassembly and Conversion Facility (PDCF) will need to produce a plutonium product that can be dissolved at the MOXFF in nitric acid at a suitable rate (sufficient to meet overall production requirements) with the minimal usage of hydrofluoric acid, and its complexing agent, aluminum nitrate. This function will require that if the PDCF product is plutonium oxide powder, that powder must be produced, stored, and shipped without exceeding a temperature of 600 C

  19. Plutonium stabilization and packaging system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-01-01

    This document describes the functional design of the Plutonium Stabilization and Packaging System (Pu SPS). The objective of this system is to stabilize and package plutonium metals and oxides of greater than 50% wt, as well as other selected isotopes, in accordance with the requirements of the DOE standard for safe storage of these materials for 50 years. This system will support completion of stabilization and packaging campaigns of the inventory at a number of affected sites before the year 2002. The package will be standard for all sites and will provide a minimum of two uncontaminated, organics free confinement barriers for the packaged material

  20. Long time contamination from plutonium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fueloep, M; Patzeltova, N; Ragan, P [Inst. of Preventive and Clinical Medicine, Bratislava (Slovakia); Matel, L [Comenius Univ., Bratislava (Slovakia). Department of Nuclear Chemistry

    1996-12-31

    Plutonium isotopes in the organism of the patient (who had participated in the liquidation works after the Chernobyl accident; for three month he had stayed in the epicenter, where he acted as a chauffeur driving a radioactive material to the place of destination) from urine were determined. For determination of the concentration of Pu-239, Pu-240 in urine a modified radiochemical method was used. After mineralization the sample was separated as an anion-nitrate complex with contact by the anion form of the resin in the column. The resin was washed by 8 M HNO{sub 3}, the 8 M HCl with 0.3 M HNO{sub 3} for removing the other radionuclides. The solution 0.36 M HCl with 0.01 M HF was used for the elution of plutonium. Using the lanthanum fluoride technique the sample was filtrated through a membrane filter. The plutonium was detected in the dry sample. The Pu-239 tracer was used for the evaluation of the plutonium separation efficiency. The alpha spectrometric measurements were carried out with a large area silicon detector. The samples were measured and evaluated in the energy region 4.98-5.18 MeV. The detection limit of alpha spectrometry measurements has been 0.01 Bq dm{sup -3}. The concentration of plutonium in the 24-hour urine was determined three times in the quarter year intervals. The results are: 54 mBq, 63.2 mBq, 53 mBq, with average 56,7 mBq. From the results of the analyses of plutonium depositions calculated according to ICRP 54 the intake of this radionuclide for the patient was 56.7 kBq. To estimate a committed effective dose (50 years) from the intake of plutonium was used a conversion factor 6.8.10{sup -5} Sv.Bq{sup -1} (class W). So the expressed committed effective dose received from the plutonium intake is 3.8 Sv. This number is relatively high and all the effective dose will be higher, because the patient was exposed to the other radionuclides too. (Abstract Truncated)

  1. Determination of plutonium-238 in plutonium by alpha spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aggarwal, S.K.; Jain, H.C.; Mathews, C.K.; Ramaniah, M.V.

    1975-01-01

    A method is presented for the determination of 238 Pu in plutonium samples by alpha spectrometry. Various factors attributing towards the energy degradation, a problem usually encountered in alpha spectrometry, are discussed. A computer programme is given for the evaluation of peak areas when the alpha spectrum is degraded. The results are compared with those obtained by mass spectrometry. (author)

  2. Los Alamos DP West Plutonium Facility decontamination project, 1978-1981

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garde, R.; Cox, E.J.; Valentine, A.M.

    1982-09-01

    The DP West Plutonium Facility operated by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico was decontaminated between April 1978 and April 1981. The facility was constructed in 1944 to 1945 to produce plutonium metal and fabricate parts for nuclear weapons. It was continually used as a plutonium processing and research facility until mid-1978. Decontamination operations included dismantling and removing gloveboxes and conveyor tunnels; removing process systems, utilities, and exhaust ducts; and decontaminating all remaining surfaces. This report describes glovebox and conveyor tunnel separations, decontamination techniques, health and safety considerations, waste management procedures, and costs of the operation

  3. In situ observation of plutonium transfer processes in the marine environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guary, J.-C.; Fraizier, Andre

    1975-09-01

    A preliminary observation of plutonium transfer processes in the marine environment was carried out and showed that concentration of the radionuclide was lower when marine organisms stood at a higher trophic level. This observation supplemented by an investigation on contamination pathways showed that plutonium was not concentrated along the food chain and its uptake occured preferentially by direct contact of species with seawater, a process chiefly affecting producers and primary consumers. It appeared that the marine sediment was not a significant vector of plutonium transfer in burrowing species [fr

  4. Plutonium Speciation, Solubilization and Migration in Soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Neu, M.; Runde, W.

    1999-01-01

    This report summarizes research completed in the first half of a three-year project. As outlined in the authors' proposal they are focusing on (1) characterizing the plutonium at an actinide contaminated site, RFETS, including determining the origin, dispersion, and speciation of the plutonium, (2) studying environmentally important plutonium complexes, primarily hydroxides and carbonates, and (3) examining the interactions of plutonium species with manganese minerals. In the first year the authors focused on site based studies. This year they continue to characterize samples from the RFETS, study the formation and structural and spectroscopic features of environmentally relevant Pu species, and begin modeling the environmental behavior of plutonium

  5. Plutonium recovery from carbonate wash solutions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gray, J.H.; Reif, D.J.; Chostner, D.F.; Holcomb, H.P.

    1991-01-01

    540Periodically higher than expected levels of plutonium are found in carbonate solutions used to wash second plutonium cycle solvent. The recent accumulation of plutonium in carbonate wash solutions has led to studies to determine the cause of that plutonium accumulation, to evaluate the quality of all canyon solvents, and to develop additional criteria needed to establish when solvent quality is acceptable. Solvent from three canyon solvent extraction cycles was used to evaluate technology required to measure tributyl phosphate (TBP) degradation products and was used to evaluate solvent quality criteria during the development of plutonium recovery processes. 1 fig

  6. HB-Line Plutonium Oxide Data Collection Strategy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Watkins, R. [Savannah River Nuclear Solutions; Varble, J. [Savannah River Nuclear Solutions; Jordan, J. [Savannah River Nuclear Solutions

    2015-05-26

    HB-Line and H-Canyon will handle and process plutonium material to produce plutonium oxide for feed to the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF). However, the plutonium oxide product will not be transferred to the MFFF directly from HB-Line until it is packaged into a qualified DOE-STD-3013-2012 container. In the interim, HB-Line will load plutonium oxide into an inner, filtered can. The inner can will be placed in a filtered bag, which will be loaded into a filtered outer can. The outer can will be loaded into a certified 9975 with getter assembly in compliance with onsite transportation requirement, for subsequent storage and transfer to the K-Area Complex (KAC). After DOE-STD-3013-2012 container packaging capabilities are established, the product will be returned to HB-Line to be packaged into a qualified DOE-STD-3013-2012 container. To support the transfer of plutonium oxide to KAC and then eventually to MFFF, various material and packaging data will have to be collected and retained. In addition, data from initial HB-Line processing operations will be needed to support future DOE-STD-3013-2012 qualification as amended by the HB-Line DOE Standard equivalency. As production increases, the volume of data to collect will increase. The HB-Line data collected will be in the form of paper copies and electronic media. Paper copy data will, at a minimum, consist of facility procedures, nonconformance reports (NCRs), and DCS print outs. Electronic data will be in the form of Adobe portable document formats (PDFs). Collecting all the required data for each plutonium oxide can will be no small effort for HB-Line, and will become more challenging once the maximum annual oxide production throughput is achieved due to the sheer volume of data to be collected. The majority of the data collected will be in the form of facility procedures, DCS print outs, and laboratory results. To facilitate complete collection of this data, a traveler form will be developed which

  7. Purpose and objectives for international plutonium storage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kupp, R.W.

    1983-01-01

    Separated and decontaminated plutonium - out of a reactor, in a bottle, tank or canister represents an easy target for diversion into possible non-peaceful uses. It also presents a situation that is of concern from a terrorist attack standpoint. Because this special nuclear material has such national and international sensitivity, storage for those quantities which are ''in excess'' of those necessary to be used for peaceful purposes is of concern to the Nations of the World. Recognizing these concerns, Article XII.A.5 of the IAEA Statutes was developed (1956) and the introduction to this Sub-article 5 states ''...that with respect to any Agency Project or other arrangements where the Agency is requested by the parties concerned to apply safeguards, the Agency shall have the following rights and responsibilities to the extent relevant to the project or arrangement....'' Article XII.A.5 then continues: ''To approve the means to be used for chemical processing.... to insure that this chemical processing will not lend itself to diversion of materials for military purposes.... to require that special additional materials recovered or produced as by-product be used for peaceful purposes under continuing Agency safeguards, for research or in reactors.... and to require deposit with the Agency of any excess.... over what is needed for the above stated uses in order to prevent stockpiling of these materials, provided that thereafter, at the request of the member or members concerned.... (plutonium) shall be returned promptly.... for use under the same provisions as stated above.''

  8. Plutonium inventories for stabilization and stabilized materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Williams, A.K.

    1996-05-01

    The objective of the breakout session was to identify characteristics of materials containing plutonium, the need to stabilize these materials for storage, and plans to accomplish the stabilization activities. All current stabilization activities are driven by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board Recommendation 94-1 (May 26, 1994) and by the recently completed Plutonium ES&H Vulnerability Assessment (DOE-EH-0415). The Implementation Plan for accomplishing stabilization of plutonium-bearing residues in response to the Recommendation and the Assessment was published by DOE on February 28, 1995. This Implementation Plan (IP) commits to stabilizing problem materials within 3 years, and stabilizing all other materials within 8 years. The IP identifies approximately 20 metric tons of plutonium requiring stabilization and/or repackaging. A further breakdown shows this material to consist of 8.5 metric tons of plutonium metal and alloys, 5.5 metric tons of plutonium as oxide, and 6 metric tons of plutonium as residues. Stabilization of the metal and oxide categories containing greater than 50 weight percent plutonium is covered by DOE Standard {open_quotes}Criteria for Safe Storage of Plutonium Metals and Oxides{close_quotes} December, 1994 (DOE-STD-3013-94). This standard establishes criteria for safe storage of stabilized plutonium metals and oxides for up to 50 years. Each of the DOE sites and contractors with large plutonium inventories has either started or is preparing to start stabilization activities to meet these criteria.

  9. The first weighing of plutonium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1967-09-10

    The following text, transcribed from the remarks of those scientists who gathered at the University of Chicago on September 10, 1967, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first weighing of plutonium, tells an important part of the story of this fascinating new element that is destined to play an increasingly significant role in the future of man.

  10. Spectrographic analysis of plutonium (1960)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Artaud, J.; Chaput, M.; Robichet, J.

    1960-01-01

    Various possibilities for the spectrographic determination of impurities in plutonium are considered. The application of the 'copper spark' method, of sparking on graphite and of fractional distillation in the arc are described and discussed in some detail (apparatus, accessories, results obtained). (author) [fr

  11. Plutonium waste incineration using pyrohydrolysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meyer, M.L.

    1991-01-01

    Waste generated by Savannah River Site (SRS) plutonium operations includes a contaminated organic waste stream. A conventional method for disposing of the organic waste stream and recovering the nuclear material is by incineration. When the organic material is burned, the plutonium remains in the incinerator ash. Plutonium recovery from incinerator ash is highly dependent on the maximum temperature to which the oxide is exposed. Recovery via acid leaching is reduced for a high fired ash (>800 degree C), while plutonium oxides fired at lower decomposition temperatures (400--800 degrees C) are more soluble at any given acid concentration. To determine the feasibility of using a lower temperature process, tests were conducted using an electrically heated, controlled-air incinerator. Nine nonradioactive, solid, waste materials were batch-fed and processed in a top-heated cylindrical furnace. Waste material processing was completed using a 19-liter batch over a nominal 8-hour cycle. A processing cycle consisted of 1 hour for heating, 4 hours for reacting, and 3 hours for chamber cooling. The water gas shift reaction was used to hydrolyze waste materials in an atmosphere of 336% steam and 4.4% oxygen. Throughput ranged from 0.14 to 0.27 kg/hr depending on the variability in the waste material composition and density

  12. The first weighing of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1967-01-01

    The following text, transcribed from the remarks of those scientists who gathered at the University of Chicago on September 10, 1967, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first weighing of plutonium, tells an important part of the story of this fascinating new element that is destined to play an increasingly significant role in the future of man

  13. Design of plutonium processing facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Derbyshire, W.; Sills, R.J.

    1982-01-01

    Five considerations for the design of plutonium processing facilities are identified. These are: Toxicity, Radiation, Criticality, Containment and Remote Operation. They are examined with reference to reprocessing spent nuclear fuel and application is detailed both for liquid and dry processes. (author)

  14. On plutonium, journalism and ethics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rundo, J.

    1994-01-01

    This editorial comments on the furore resulting from three lay articles published by E. Welsome in the Albuquerque Tribune for 15 November 1993, concerning the injection of plutonium into humans in the 1940s, and discusses the ethics of administration of radioactive materials with and without informed consent. (Author)

  15. The influence of plutonium concentration and solution flow rate on the effective capacity of macroporous anion exchange resin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marsh, S.F.; Gallegos, T.D.

    1987-07-01

    The principal aqueous process used to recover and purify plutonium at the Los Alamos Plutonium Facility is anion exchange in nitric acid. Previous studies with gel-type anion exchange resin have shown an inverse relationship between plutonium concentration in the feed solution and the optimum flow rate for this process. Because gel-type resin has been replaced with macroporous resin at Los Alamos, the relationship between plutonium concentration and solution flow rate was reexamined with the selected Lewatit MP-500-FK resin using solutions of plutonium in nitric acid and in nitric acid with high levels of added nitrate salts. Our results with this resin differ significantly from previous data obtained with gel-type resin. Flow-rate variation from 10 to 80 liters per hour had essentially no effect on the measured quantities of plutonium sorbed by the macroporous resin. However, the effect of plutonium concentration in the feed solutions was pronounced, as feed solutions that contained the highest concentrations of plutonium also produced the highest resin loadings. The most notable effect of high concentrations of dissolved nitrate salts in these solutions was an increased resin capacity for plutonium at low flow rates. 16 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs

  16. Plutonium and the Rio Grande: Environmental change and contamination in the nuclear age

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Graf, W.L.

    1994-01-01

    An attempt is made to analyze questions concerning the issue of plutonium in the Rio Grande. The author describes in great detail how he arrived at the conclusions. The objective has been to produce research that is absolutely transparent, so that its results can be fairly evaluated and duplicated by anyone. The results of this work show that plutonium from Los Alamos National Laboratory and atmospheric fallout has been deposited along the Rio Grande in small, though detectable, quantities in certain predictable places

  17. Review of operating experience at the Los Alamos Plutonium Electrorefining Facility, 1963-1977

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mullins, L.J.; Morgan, A.N.

    1981-12-01

    This report reviews the operation of the Los Alamos Plutonium Electrorefining Plant at Technical Area 21 for the period 1964 through 1977. During that period, approximately 1568 kg of plutonium metal, > 99.95% pure, was produced in 653 runs from 1930 kg of metal fabrication scrap, 99% pure. General considerations of the electrorefining process and facility operation and recommendations for further improvement of the process are discussed

  18. Thorium-Based Fuel Cycles in the Modular High Temperature Reactor

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHANG Hong; YANG Yongwei; JING Xingqing; XU Yunlin

    2006-01-01

    Large stockpiles of civil-grade as well as weapons-grade plutonium have been accumulated in the world from nuclear power or other programs of different countries. One alternative for the management of the plutonium is to incinerate it in the high temperature reactor (HTR). The thorium-based fuel cycle was studied in the modular HTR to reduce weapons-grade plutonium stockpiles, while producing no additional plutonium or other transuranic elements. Three thorium-uranium fuel cycles were also investigated. The thorium absorption cross sections of the resolved and unresolved resonances were generated using the ZUT-DGL code based on existing resonance data. The equilibrium core of the modular HTR was calculated and analyzed by means of the code VSOP'94. The results show that the modular HTR can incinerate most of the initially loaded plutonium amounting to about 95.3% net 239Pu for weapons-grade plutonium and can effectively utilize the uranium and thorium in the thorium-uranium fuel cycles.

  19. LITERATURE REVIEW FOR OXALATE OXIDATION PROCESSES AND PLUTONIUM OXALATE SOLUBILITY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nash, C.

    2012-02-03

    A literature review of oxalate oxidation processes finds that manganese(II)-catalyzed nitric acid oxidation of oxalate in precipitate filtrate is a viable and well-documented process. The process has been operated on the large scale at Savannah River in the past, including oxidation of 20 tons of oxalic acid in F-Canyon. Research data under a variety of conditions show the process to be robust. This process is recommended for oxalate destruction in H-Canyon in the upcoming program to produce feed for the MOX facility. Prevention of plutonium oxalate precipitation in filtrate can be achieved by concentrated nitric acid/ferric nitrate sequestration of oxalate. Organic complexants do not appear practical to sequester plutonium. Testing is proposed to confirm the literature and calculation findings of this review at projected operating conditions for the upcoming campaign. H Canyon plans to commence conversion of plutonium metal to low-fired plutonium oxide in 2012 for eventual use in the Mixed Oxide Fuel (MOX) Facility. The flowsheet includes sequential operations of metal dissolution, ion exchange, elution, oxalate precipitation, filtration, and calcination. All processes beyond dissolution will occur in HB-Line. The filtration step produces an aqueous filtrate that may have as much as 4 M nitric acid and 0.15 M oxalate. The oxalate needs to be removed from the stream to prevent possible downstream precipitation of residual plutonium when the solution is processed in H Canyon. In addition, sending the oxalate to the waste tank farm is undesirable. This report addresses the processing options for destroying the oxalate in existing H Canyon equipment.

  20. Radiolytic gas generation in plutonium contaminated waste materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kazanjian, A.R.

    1976-01-01

    Many plutonium contaminated waste materials decompose into gaseous products because of exposure to alpha radiation. The gases generated (usually hydrogen) over long-storage periods may create hazardous conditions. To determine the extent of such hazards, knowing the gas generation yields is necessary. These yields were measured by contacting some common Rocky Flats Plant waste materials with plutonium and monitoring the enclosed atmospheres for extensive periods of time. The materials were Plexiglas, polyvinyl chloride, glove-box gloves, machining oil, carbon tetrachloride, chlorothene VG solvent, Kimwipes (dry and wet), polyethylene, Dowex-1 resin, and surgeon's gloves. Both 239 Pu oxide and 238 Pu oxide were used as radiation sources. The gas analyses were made by mass spectrometry and the results obtained were the total gas generation, the hydrogen generation, the oxygen consumption rate, and the gas composition over the entire storage period. Hydrogen was the major gas produced in most of the materials. The total gas yields varied from 0.71 to 16 cm 3 (standard temperature pressure) per day per curie of plutonium. The oxygen consumption rates varied from 0.0088 to 0.070 millimoles per day per gram of plutonium oxide-239 and from 0.0014 to 0.0051 millimoles per day per milligram 238 Pu

  1. Uranium, plutonium and co

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sauerbrey, Roland; Joehnk, Peter

    2016-01-01

    To date there is no repository facility for highly radioactive and heat-generating waste in Germany. This politically ''hot'' topic is undeniably a very big, urgent problem in our society. The Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers is dedicated to developing scientific solutions for such issues. It looks back on 20 years of history: In 1995 the loosely organized collective bearing the name ''Working Association of Large-Scale Research Institutes'' (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Grossforschungseinrichtungen) became an association of now 18 research centers. These centers collectively work in a total of six research areas. While the HZDR has only belonged to the largest research association in Germany since 2011, repository research was already on the agenda way back when the Rossendorf research center established itself in 1992 after the fall of the Berlin Wall. A good enough reason to examine the results from about 20 years of repository research in Dresden in more detail. In this issue of ''discovered'' we will take an inside look at radiochemical, radiogeological, and microbiological labs, look over the shoulders of researchers using the ''Rossendorf Beamline'' at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, and descend hundreds of meters into Finnish, Swedish, and Swiss research labs. How do ''uranium, plutonium, and co.'' react with mineral surfaces in environments that are low in oxygen or watery? How do they interact with microorganisms deep underground? And how can host rock or other materials be used as technical barriers to prevent the spread of radioactive substances? In order to answer these and further questions, the researchers of the HZDR use a wide range of spectroscopic methods. They expose test samples to lasers, infrared light, and X-rays or use the fluorescent properties of certain compounds to learn about the behavior of actinides

  2. Uranium, plutonium and co

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sauerbrey, Roland; Joehnk, Peter (eds.)

    2016-04-15

    To date there is no repository facility for highly radioactive and heat-generating waste in Germany. This politically ''hot'' topic is undeniably a very big, urgent problem in our society. The Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers is dedicated to developing scientific solutions for such issues. It looks back on 20 years of history: In 1995 the loosely organized collective bearing the name ''Working Association of Large-Scale Research Institutes'' (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Grossforschungseinrichtungen) became an association of now 18 research centers. These centers collectively work in a total of six research areas. While the HZDR has only belonged to the largest research association in Germany since 2011, repository research was already on the agenda way back when the Rossendorf research center established itself in 1992 after the fall of the Berlin Wall. A good enough reason to examine the results from about 20 years of repository research in Dresden in more detail. In this issue of ''discovered'' we will take an inside look at radiochemical, radiogeological, and microbiological labs, look over the shoulders of researchers using the ''Rossendorf Beamline'' at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, and descend hundreds of meters into Finnish, Swedish, and Swiss research labs. How do ''uranium, plutonium, and co.'' react with mineral surfaces in environments that are low in oxygen or watery? How do they interact with microorganisms deep underground? And how can host rock or other materials be used as technical barriers to prevent the spread of radioactive substances? In order to answer these and further questions, the researchers of the HZDR use a wide range of spectroscopic methods. They expose test samples to lasers, infrared light, and X-rays or use the fluorescent properties of certain compounds to learn about the behavior of actinides

  3. Feasibility and options for purchasing nuclear weapons, highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium from the former Soviet Union (FSU)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-01-01

    In response to a recent tasking from the National Security Council, this report seeks to analyze the possible options open to the US for purchasing, from the former Soviet Union (FSU) substantial quantities of plutonium and highly enriched uranium recovered from the accelerated weapons retirements and dismantlements that will soon be taking place. The purpose of this paper is to identify and assess the implications of some of the options that now appear to be open to the United States, it being recognized that several issues might have to be addressed in further detail if the US Government, on its own, or acting with others seeks to negotiate any such purchases on an early basis. As an outgrowth of the dissolution of the Soviet Union three of the C.I.S. republics now possessing nuclear weapons, namely the Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, have stated that it is their goal, without undue delay, to become non-nuclear weapon states as defined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Of overriding US concern is the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Third World, and the significant opportunity that the availability of such a large quantity of surplus weapons grade material might present in this regard, especially to a cash-starved FSU Republic. Additionally, the US, in its endeavor to drawdown its own arsenal, needs to assure itself that these materials are not being reconfigured into more modern weapons within the CIS in a manner which would be inconsistent with the stated intentions and publicized activities. The direct purchase of these valuable materials by the US government or by interested US private enterprises could alleviate these security concerns in a straightforward and very expeditious manner, while at the same time pumping vitally needed hard currency into the struggling CIS economy. Such a purchase would seem to be entirely consistent with the Congressional mandate indicated by the Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act of 1991

  4. Source-dependent and source-independent controls on plutonium oxidation state and colloid associations in groundwater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buesseler, Ken O; Kaplan, Daniel I; Dai, Minhan; Pike, Steven

    2009-03-01

    Plutonium (Pu) was characterized for its isotopic composition, oxidation states, and association with colloids in groundwater samples near disposal basins in F-Area of the Savannah River Site and compared to similar samples collected six years earlier. Two sources of Pu were identified, the disposal basins, which contained a 24Pu/l39Pu isotopic signature consistent with weapons grade Pu, and 244Cm, a cocontaminant that is a progenitor radionuclide of 24Pu. 24Pu that originated primarily from 244Cm tended to be appreciably more oxidized (Pu(V/VI)), less associated with colloids (approximately 1 kDa - 0.2 microm), and more mobile than 239Pu, as suggested by our prior studies at this site. This is not evidence of isotope fractionation but rather "source-dependent" controls on 240Pu speciation which are processes that are not at equilibrium, i.e., processes that appear kinetically hindered. There were also "source-independent" controls on 239Pu speciation, which are those processes that follow thermodynamic equilibrium with their surroundings. For example, a groundwater pH increase in one well from 4.1 in 1998 to 6.1 in 2004 resulted in an order of magnitude decrease in groundwater 239Pu concentrations. Similarly, the fraction of 239Pu in the reduced Pu(III/IV) and colloidal forms increased systematically with decreases in redox condition in 2004 vs 1998. This research demonstrates the importance of source-dependent and source-independent controls on Pu speciation which would impact Pu mobility during changes in hydrological, chemical, or biological conditions on both seasonal and decadal time scales, and over short spatial scales. This implies more dynamic shifts in Pu speciation, colloids association, and transport in groundwater than commonly believed.

  5. Physics of Plutonium Recycling in Thermal Reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kinchin, G.H.

    1967-01-01

    A substantial programme of experimental reactor physics work with plutonium fuels has been carried out in the UK; the purpose of this paper is to review the experimental and theoretical work, with emphasis on plutonium recycling in thermal reactors. Although the main incentive for some of the work may have been to study plutonium build-up in uranium-fuelled reactors, it is nevertheless relevant to plutonium recycling and no distinction is drawn between build-up and enrichment studies. A variety of techniques have been for determining reactivity, neutron spectrum and reaction rates in simple assemblies of plutonium-aluminium fuel with water, graphite and beryllia moderators. These experiments give confidence in the basic data and methods of calculation for near-homogeneous mixtures of plutonium and moderator. In the practical case of plutonium recycling it is necessary to confirm that satisfactory predictions can be made for heterogeneous lattices enriched with plutonium. In this field, experiments have been carried out with plutonium-uranium metal and oxide-cluster fuels in graphite-moderated lattices and in SGHW lattices, and the effects of 240 Pu have been studied by perturbation measurements with single fuel elements. The exponential and critical experiments have used tonne quantities of fuel with plutonium contents ranging from 0.25 to 1.2% and the perturbation experiments have extended both the range of plutonium contents and the range of isotopic compositions of plutonium. In addition to reactivity and reactivity coefficients, such as the temperature coefficients, attention has been concentrated on relative reaction rate distributions which provide evidence for variations of neutron spectrum. .Theoretical comparisons, together with similar comparisons for non-uniform lattices, establish the validity of methods of calculation which have been used to study the feasibility of plutonium recycling in thermal reactors. (author)

  6. Physics of Plutonium Recycling in Thermal Reactors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kinchin, G. H. [Atomic Energy Establishment, Winfrith, Dorchester, Dorset (United Kingdom)

    1967-09-15

    A substantial programme of experimental reactor physics work with plutonium fuels has been carried out in the UK; the purpose of this paper is to review the experimental and theoretical work, with emphasis on plutonium recycling in thermal reactors. Although the main incentive for some of the work may have been to study plutonium build-up in uranium-fuelled reactors, it is nevertheless relevant to plutonium recycling and no distinction is drawn between build-up and enrichment studies. A variety of techniques have been for determining reactivity, neutron spectrum and reaction rates in simple assemblies of plutonium-aluminium fuel with water, graphite and beryllia moderators. These experiments give confidence in the basic data and methods of calculation for near-homogeneous mixtures of plutonium and moderator. In the practical case of plutonium recycling it is necessary to confirm that satisfactory predictions can be made for heterogeneous lattices enriched with plutonium. In this field, experiments have been carried out with plutonium-uranium metal and oxide-cluster fuels in graphite-moderated lattices and in SGHW lattices, and the effects of {sup 240}Pu have been studied by perturbation measurements with single fuel elements. The exponential and critical experiments have used tonne quantities of fuel with plutonium contents ranging from 0.25 to 1.2% and the perturbation experiments have extended both the range of plutonium contents and the range of isotopic compositions of plutonium. In addition to reactivity and reactivity coefficients, such as the temperature coefficients, attention has been concentrated on relative reaction rate distributions which provide evidence for variations of neutron spectrum. .Theoretical comparisons, together with similar comparisons for non-uniform lattices, establish the validity of methods of calculation which have been used to study the feasibility of plutonium recycling in thermal reactors. (author)

  7. Expert system for estimating LWR plutonium production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sandquist, G.M.

    1988-01-01

    An Artificial Intelligence-Expert System called APES (Analysis of Proliferation by Expert System) has been developed and tested to permit a non proliferation expert to evaluate the capability and capacity of a specified LWR reactor and PUREX reprocessing system for producing and separating plutonium even when system information may be limited and uncertain. APES employs an expert system coded in LISP and based upon an HP-RL (Hewlett Packard-Representational Language) Expert System Shell. The user I/O interface communicates with a blackboard and the knowledge base which contains the quantitative models required to describe the reactor, selected fission product production and radioactive decay processes, Purex reprocessing and ancillary knowledge

  8. Report by a special panel of the American Nuclear Society: Protection and management of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bengelsdorf, H.

    1996-01-01

    The American Nuclear Society (ANS) established an independent and prestigious panel several months ago to take the matter up where the US National Academy of Science (NAS) left off. The challenge was to look at the broader issue of what to do with civil plutonium, as well as excess weapons material. In terms of approach, the report focused on several short- and long-term issues. The short-term focus was on the disposition of excess weapons plutonium, while the longer-range issue concerned the disposition of the plutonium being produced in the civil nuclear fuel cycle. For the short term, the ANS panel strongly endorsed the concept that all plutonium scheduled for release from the US and Russian weapons stocks should be converted to a form that is intensively radioactive in order to protect the plutonium from theft of seizure (the spent fuel standard). However, since the conversion will at best take several years to complete, the panel has concluded that immediate emphasis should be placed on the assurance that all unconverted materials are protected as securely as when they were part of the active weapon stockpiles. More importantly, the panel also recommended prompt implementation of the so-called reactor option for disposing of surplus US and Russian weapons plutonium. The longer-term issues covered by the panel were those posed by the growing stocks of both separated plutonium and spent fuel generated in the world's civil nuclear power programs. These issues included what fuel cycle policies should be prudently pursued in light of proliferation risks and likely future energy needs, what steps should be taken in regard to the increase in the demand for nuclear power in the future, and how civil plutonium in its various forms should be protected and managed to minimize proliferation. Overall, the panel concluded that plutonium is an energy resource that should be used and not a waste material to be disposed of

  9. Bibliography on plutonium and its compounds; Bibliographie sur le plutonium et ses composes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dirian, J; Choquet, J [Commissariat a l' Energie Atomique, Saclay (France). Centre d' Etudes Nucleaires

    1958-07-01

    Collection of bibliographical references on plutonium and its principal compounds from 1942 to end of 1957. (author) [French] Compilation de references bibliographiques sur le plutonium et ses principaux composes de 1942 a fin 1957. (auteur)

  10. Plutonium working group report on environmental, safety and health vulnerabilities associated with the department's plutonium storage. Volume II, part 10: Sandia National Laboratories - New Mexico working group assessment team report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-09-01

    The Secretary of Energy's memorandum of March 15, 1994, established an initiative for a Department-wide assessment of the vulnerabilities of the inventory of plutonium in storage. Plutonium in intact nuclear weapons and spent fuel were excluded from this study. The DOE Plutonium Vulnerability Working Group, which was formed for this purpose and produced the Project and Assessment Plans, will also manage the open-quote snap-shot close-quote assessments and produce a final report for the Secretary by September 30, 1994. The Project Plan and Assessment Plan to accomplish this study, and which established responsibilities for personnel essential to the study, were issued on April 25, 1994

  11. The use of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marshall, W.

    1981-01-01

    It is shown that a policy can be formulated which allows all countries the benefits of the development of nuclear power whilst at the same time reducing the risk of its abuse to produce the raw materials for nuclear weapons. (U.K.)

  12. Plutonium Immobilization Can Loading Concepts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kriikku, E.; Ward, C.; Stokes, M.; Randall, B.; Steed, J.; Jones, R.; Hamilton, L.; Rogers, L.; Fiscus, J.; Dyches, G.

    1998-05-01

    The Plutonium Immobilization Facility will encapsulate plutonium in ceramic pucks and seal the pucks inside welded cans. Remote equipment will place these cans in magazines and the magazines in a Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) canister. The DWPF will fill the canister with glass for permanent storage. This report discusses five can loading conceptual designs and the lists the advantages and disadvantages for each concept. This report identifies loading pucks into cans and backfilling cans with helium as the top priority can loading development areas. The can loading welder and cutter are very similar to the existing Savannah River Site (SRS) FB-Line bagless transfer welder and cutter and thus they are a low priority development item

  13. The chemistry of plutonium revealed

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Connick, R.E.

    1990-01-01

    In 1941 one goal of the Manhattan Project was to unravel the chemistry of the synthetic element plutonium as rapidly as possible. Important insights were obtained from tracer experiments, but the full complexity of plutonium chemistry was not revealed until macroscopic amounts (milligrams) became available. Because processes for separation from fission products were aqueous solution based, such solution chemistry was emphasized, particularly precipitation and oxidation-reduction behavior. The latter turned out to be unusually intricate when it was discovered that two more oxidation states existed in aqueous solution than had previously been suspected. Further, it was found that an equilibrium was rapidly established among the four aqueous oxidation states while at the same time any three were not in equilibrium. These and other observations made while doing a crash study of a previously unknown element will be reported

  14. Plutonium chemistry of the ocean

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Folsom, T.R.

    1972-01-01

    Plutonium is a man-made element whose behavior in the marine environment is inadequately known at present. It has been studied intensively in connection with production of weapons and power sources and has been characterized as an extremely toxic substance. Nevertheless, only a few dozen measurements have been made of concentrations in seawater and in the associated organisms and sediments. The first of these were as recent as 1964. There are reasons to believe its chemical behavior in the ocean is different from what has been observed on land, and that it will be difficult to predict how plutonium will distribute itself in the ocean. The consequences of increased environmental concentrations of Pu are discussed

  15. Confinement facilities for handling plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maraman, W.J.; McNeese, W.D.; Stafford, R.G.

    1975-01-01

    Plutonium handling on a multigram scale began in 1944. Early criteria, equipment, and techniques for confining contamination have been superseded by more stringent criteria and vastly improved equipment and techniques for in-process contamination control, effluent air cleaning and treatment of liquid wastes. This paper describes the evolution of equipment and practices to minimize exposure of workers and escape of contamination into work areas and into the environment. Early and current contamination controls are compared. (author)

  16. Plutonium decontamination studies using Reverse Osmosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Plock, C.E.; Travis, T.N.

    1980-01-01

    Water in batches of 45 gallons each, from a creek crossing the Rocky Flats Plant, was transferred to the Reverse Osmosis (RO) laboratory for experimental testing. The testing involved using RO for plutonium decontamination. For each test, the water was spiked with plutonium, had its pH adjusted, and was then processed by RO. At a water recovery level of 87%, the plutonium decontamination factors ranged from near 100 to 1200, depending on the pH of the processed water

  17. Safe handling of plutonium in research laboratories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1976-01-01

    The training film illustrates the main basic requirements for the safe handling of small amounts of plutonium. The film is intended not only for people setting up plutonium research laboratories but also for all those who work in existing plutonium research laboratories. It was awarded the first prize in the category ''Protection of Workers'' at the international film festival organized by the 4th World Congress of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) in Paris in April 1977

  18. Addressing mixed waste in plutonium processing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Christensen, D.C.; Sohn, C.L.; Reid, R.A.

    1991-01-01

    The overall goal is the minimization of all waste generated in actinide processing facilities. Current emphasis is directed toward reducing and managing mixed waste in plutonium processing facilities. More specifically, the focus is on prioritizing plutonium processing technologies for development that will address major problems in mixed waste management. A five step methodological approach to identify, analyze, solve, and initiate corrective action for mixed waste problems in plutonium processing facilities has been developed

  19. Plutonium recycle. In-core fuel management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vincent, F.; Berthet, A.; Le Bars, M.

    1985-01-01

    Plutonium recycle in France will concern a dozen of PWR 900 MWe controlled in gray mode till 1995. This paper presents the main characteristics of fuel management with plutonium recycle. The organization of management studies will be copied from this developed for classical management studies. Up these studies, a ''feasibility report'' aims at establishing at each stage of the fuel cycle, the impact of the utilization of fuel containing plutonium [fr

  20. Plutonium-induced lymphadenitis in beagles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dagle, G.E.; Park, J.F.

    1976-01-01

    Plutonium oxide particles accumulate in the tracheobronchial lymph nodes of beagles exposed by inhalation and in the popliteal lymph nodes after subcutaneous injection in the hind paws. The sequence of histopathologic changes after phagocytosis of particles included necrosis, increased numbers of macrophages, and fibroplasia. Scar tissue eventually replaced the normal architecture of the lymph nodes and sequestered the plutonium particles from surrounding parenchyma. Electron microscopy showed that plutonium particles were aggregated in phagolysosomes of macrophages

  1. Safe handling of plutonium in research laboratories

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1977-12-31

    The training film illustrates the main basic requirements for the safe handling of small amounts of plutonium. The film is intended not only for people setting up plutonium research laboratories but also for all those who work in existing plutonium research laboratories. It was awarded the first prize in the category ``Protection of Workers`` at the international film festival organized by the 4th World Congress of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) in Paris in April 1977

  2. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-08-01

    A study was made of plutonium contamination of grassland at the Rocky Flats plant northwest of Denver, Colorado. Of interest were: the definition of major plutonium-containing ecosystem compartments; the relative amounts in those compartments; how those values related to studies done in other geographical areas; whether or not the predominant isotopes, 238 Pu and 239 Pu, behaved differently; and what mechanisms might have allowed for the observed patterns of contamination. Samples of soil, litter, vegetation, arthropods, and small mammals were collected for Pu analysis and mass determination from each of two macroplots. Small aliquots (5 g or less) were analyzed by a rapid liquid scintillation technique and by alpha spectrometry. Of the compartments sampled, greater than 99 percent of the total plutonium was contained in the soil and the concentrations were significantly inversely correlated with distance from the contamination source, depth of the sample, and particle size of the sieved soil samples. The soil data suggested that the distribution of contamination largely resulted from physical transport processes

  3. An Improved Plutonium Trifluoride Precipitation Flowsheet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harmon, H.D.

    2001-06-26

    This report discusses results of the plutonium trifluoride two-stage precipitation study. A series of precipitation experiments was used to identify the significant process variables affecting precipitation performance. A mathematical model of the precipitation process was developed which is based on the formation of plutonium fluoride complexes. The precipitation model relates all process variables, in a single equation, to a single parameter which can be used to control the performance of the plutonium trifluoride precipitation process. Recommendations have been made which will optimize the FB-Line plutonium trifluoride precipitation process.

  4. Safe handling of plutonium: a panel report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1974-01-01

    This guide results from a meeting of a Panel of Experts held by the International Atomic Energy Agency on 8 to 12 November 1971. It is directed to workers in research laboratories handling plutonium in gram amounts. Contents: aspects of the physical and chemical properties of plutonium; metabolic features of plutonium; facility design features for safe handling of plutonium (layout of facility, working zones, decontamination room, etc.); glove boxes; health surveillance (surveillance of environment and supervision of workers); emergencies; organization. Annexes: types of glove boxes; tables; mobile ..cap alpha.. air sampler; aerosol monitor; bio-assay limits of detection; examples of contamination control monitors.

  5. Plutonium use in foreign countries (03)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Otagaki, Takao

    2004-03-01

    European countries and Japan had been implementing the strategy of spent fuel reprocessing in order to use nuclear material to the maximum. Plutonium recovered from reprocessing, however, must be recycle on light water reactors (LWRs) because of considerable delay of fast reactor development. In Europe, much of experiences of plutonium recycling have been accumulated until now. Thus, the status of plutonium recycling up to the end of 2003 in France, Germany, The U.K., Belgium, Switzerland and other countries were studied based on the following scope. (1) Basic policy and present status of plutonium recycling in primary countries of France, Germany, The U.K., Belgium, Switzerland, and Sweden which plans to recycle a part of plutonium: Backend policy and the status of spent fuel management were studied, then integrated analysis and evaluation of the position of plutonium recycling in backend and the status of plutonium recycling development were performed. (2) Plan and experience of Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication and reprocessing of spent fuels: The data and information on plan and experience of MOX fuel fabrication and reprocessing in foreign countries were collected. (3) Plutonium inventories: The data and information of plutonium inventories of foreign countries were collected. (author)

  6. Plutonium use in foreign countries (01)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Otagaki, Takao

    2002-03-01

    European countries and Japan had been implementing the strategy of spent fuel reprocessing in order to use nuclear material to the maximum. Plutonium recovered from reprocessing, however, must be recycle on light water reactors (LWRs) because of considerable delay of fast reactor development. In Europe, much of experience of plutonium recycling have been accumulated until now. Thus, the status of plutonium recycling up to the end of 2001 in France, Germany, The U.K., Belgium, Switzerland and other countries were studied based on the following scope. (1) Basic policy and present status of plutonium recycling in primary countries of France, Germany, The U.K., Belgium, Switzerland, and Sweden which recently appears the move of recycling a part of plutonium. Backend policy and the status of spent fuel management were studied, then integrated analysis and evaluation of the position of plutonium recycling in backend and the status of plutonium recycling development were performed. (2) Plan and experience of Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication and reprocessing of spent fuels. The data and information on plan and experience of MOX fuel fabrication and reprocessing in foreign countries were collected. (3) Plutonium inventories. The data and information on plutonium inventories of foreign countries were collected. (author)

  7. Plutonium use in foreign countries (99)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Otagaki, Takao

    2000-03-01

    European countries and Japan had been implementing the strategy of spent fuel reprocessing in order to use nuclear material to the maximum. Plutonium recovered from reprocessing, however, must be recycle on light water reactors (LWRs) because of considerable delay of fast reactor development. In Europe, much of experience of plutonium recycling have been accumulated until now. Thus, the status of plutonium recycling up to the end of 1999 in France, Germany, The U.K., Belgium, Switzerland and other countries were studied based on the following scope. (1) Basic policy and present status of plutonium recycling in primary countries of France, Germany, The U.K., Belgium, Switzerland, and Sweden which recently appears the move to recycling a part of plutonium backend policy and the status of spent fuel management were studied, then integrated analysis and evaluation of the position of plutonium recycling in backend and the status of plutonium recycling development were performed. (2) Plan and experience of Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication and reprocessing of spent fuels. The data and information on plan and experience of MOX fuel fabrication and reprocessing in foreign countries were collected. (3) Plutonium inventories. The data and information on plutonium inventories of foreign counties were collected. (author)

  8. Plutonium use in foreign countries (02)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Otagaki, Takao

    2003-02-01

    European countries and Japan had been implementing the strategy of spent fuel reprocessing in order to use nuclear material to the maximum. Plutonium recovered from reprocessing, however, must be recycle on light water reactors (LWRs) because of considerable delay of fast reactor development. In Europe, much of experience of plutonium recycling have been accumulated until now. Thus, the status of plutonium recycling up to the end of 2002 in France, Germany, The U.K., Belgium, Switzerland and other countries were studied based on the following scope. (1) Basic policy and present status of plutonium recycling in primary countries of France, Germany, The U.K., Belgium, Switzerland, and Sweden which recently appears the move of recycling a part of plutonium. Backend policy and the status of spent fuel management were studied, then integrated analysis and evaluation of the position of plutonium recycling in backend and the status of plutonium recycling development were performed. (2) Plan and experience of Mixed Oside (MOX) fuel fabrication and reprocessing of spent fuels. The data and information on plan and experience of MOX fuel fabrication and reprocessing in foreign countries were collected. (3) Plutonium inventories. The data and information on plutonium inventories of foreign countries were collected. (author)

  9. Plutonium use in foreign countries. (04)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Otagaki, Takao

    2005-03-01

    European countries and Japan had been implementing the strategy of spent fuel reprocessing in order to use nuclear material to the maximum. Plutonium recovered from reprocessing, however, must be recycle on light water reactors (LWRs) because of considerable delay of fast reactor development. In Europe, much of experience of plutonium recycling have been accumulated until now. Thus, the status of plutonium recycling up to the end of 2004 in France, Germany, The U.K., Belgium, Switzerland and other countries were studied based on the following scope. (1) Basic policy and present status of plutonium recycling in primary countries of France, Germany, the U.K., Belgium, Switzerland, and Sweden which plans to recycle a limited amount of plutonium: Backend policy and the status of spent fuel management were studied, then integrated analysis and evaluation of the position of plutonium recycling in backend and the status of plutonium recycling development were performed. (2) Plan and experience of Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication and reprocessing of spent fuels: The data and information on plan and experience of MOX fuel fabrication and reprocessing in foreign countries were collected. (3) Plutonium inventories: The data and information on plutonium inventories of foreign countries were collected. (author)

  10. An Improved Plutonium Trifluoride Precipitation Flowsheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harmon, H.D.

    2001-01-01

    This report discusses results of the plutonium trifluoride two-stage precipitation study. A series of precipitation experiments was used to identify the significant process variables affecting precipitation performance. A mathematical model of the precipitation process was developed which is based on the formation of plutonium fluoride complexes. The precipitation model relates all process variables, in a single equation, to a single parameter which can be used to control the performance of the plutonium trifluoride precipitation process. Recommendations have been made which will optimize the FB-Line plutonium trifluoride precipitation process

  11. Assay of low-level plutonium effluents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hsue, S.T.; Hsue, F.; Bowersox, D.F.

    1981-01-01

    In the plutonium recovery section at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, an effluent solution is generated that contains low plutonium concentration and relatively high americium concentration. Nondestructive assay of this solution is demonstrated by measuring the passive L x-rays following alpha decay. Preliminary results indicate that an average deviation of 30% between L x-ray and alpha counting can be achieved for plutonium concentrations above 10 mg/L and Am/Pu ratios of up to 3; for plutonium concentrations less than 10 mg/L, the average deviation is 40%. The sensitivity of the L x-ray assay is approx. 1 mg Pu/L

  12. Some investigations into the behaviour of plutonium in the marine environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hetherington, J.A.; Jefferies, D.F.; Lovett, M.B.

    1975-01-01

    Plutonium and other transuranic elements are produced during the operation of magnox reactors, although they do not usually present any problems of waste management until the fuel reaches the reprocessing stage. At this stage one of the chief aims is to separate and recover the plutonium from the depleted uranium and the fission products, the incentive being the value of plutonium itself as a nuclear fuel particularly for the fast breeder reactors. For this reason the amounts of plutonium appearing in the low activity waste streams for discharge to the environment are usually small, and their radiological impact insignificant compared with that of the more abundant fission products. However, with the prospect of use of large quantities of plutonium in the fast reactors, considerable interest surrounds all aspects of the properties of plutonium, and in an attempt to give a fuller understanding of the behaviour of plutonium in the marine environment use has been made of the small amounts which have been discharged in recent years to the north-east Irish Sea from the fuel reprocessing plant at Windscale in Cumbria. Details of the amounts of 239 Pu and 240 Pu discharged to sea are given and the resultant measured concentrations of the isotopes in the water throughout the Irish Sea are shown. The distribution of plutonium in sea water is shown to follow the same basic pattern as the fission products, details of which have been reported previously. By comparing the concentration gradients with distance from the point of discharge for plutonium and caesium, a value for the rate of loss of plutonium from the water to the other important compartment, namely the sediment, has been deduced. Measurements have been made of 239 Pu and 240 Pu in seabed and estuarine sediments and by combining these with the water data values of the concentration factor for the nuclide in sediment have been calculated. The results of a number of core samples have been used to calculate an

  13. Preparation of plutonium oxide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roberts, W.G.; Sutcliffe, P.W.

    1982-01-01

    A 238 Pu 16 O 2 fuel for a heart pacemaker battery is produced on an essentially two-stage process wherein, in the first stage, 238 Pusup(nat)O 2 is reduced with graphite to form the sesquicarbide 238 Pu 2 C 3 and, in the second stage, the carbide is converted to 238 Pu 16 O 2 by using water depleted in 17 O and 18 O. The product, which can be made reproducibly, has radiation characteristics well within those recommended for bio-medical use. (author)

  14. Determination of plutonium in nitric acid solutions - Method by oxidation by cerium(IV), reduction by iron(II) ammonium sulfate and amperometric back-titration with potassium dichromate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-01-01

    This International Standard specifies a precise and accurate analytical method for determining plutonium in nitric acid solutions. Plutonium is oxidized to plutonium(VI) in a 1 mol/l nitric acid solution with cerium(IV). Addition of sulfamic acid prevents nitrite-induced side reactions. The excess of cerium(IV) is reduced by adding a sodium arsenite solution, catalysed by osmium tetroxide. A slight excess of arsenite is oxidized by adding a 0.2 mol/l potassium permanganate solution. The excess of permanganate is reduced by adding a 0.1 mol/l oxalic acid solution. Iron(III) is used to catalyse the reduction. A small excess of oxalic acid does not interfere in the subsequent plutonium determination. These reduction and oxidation stages can be followed amperometrically and the plutonium is left in the hexavalent state. The sulfuric acid followed by a measured amount of standardized iron(II) ammonium sulfate solution in excess of that required to reduce the plutonium(VI) to plutonium(IV) is added. The excess iron(II) and any plutonium(III) formed to produce iron(III) and plutonium(IV) is amperometrically back-titrated using a standard potassium dichromate solution. The method is almost specifically for plutonium. It is suitable for the direct determination of plutonium in materials ranging from pure product solutions, to fast reactor fuel solutions with a uranium/plutonium ratio of up to 10:1, either before or after irradiation

  15. Plutonium working group report on environmental, safety and health vulnerabilities associated with the department's plutonium storage. Volume II, part 11: Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory working group assessment team report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-09-01

    President Clinton has directed an Interagency Working Group to initiate a comprehensive review of long-term options for the disposition of surplus plutonium. As part of this initiative, Secretary of Energy, Hazel O'Leary, has directed that a Department of Energy project be initiated to develop options and recommendations for the safe storage of these materials in the interim. A step in the process is a plutonium vulnerability assessment of facilities throughout the Department. The Plutonium Vulnerability Working Group was formed to produce the Project and Assessment Plans, to manage the assessments and to produce a final report for the Secretary by September 30, 1994. The plans established the approach and methodology for the assessment. The Project Plan specifies a Working Group Assessment Team (WGAT) to examine each of the twelve DOE sites with significant holdings of plutonium. The Assessment Plan describes the methodology that the Site Assessment Team (SAT) used to report on the plutonium holdings for each specific site.This report provides results of the assessment of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

  16. Plutonium chemistry: a synthesis of experimental data and a quantitative model for plutonium oxide solubility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haschke, J.M.; Oversby, V.M.

    2002-01-01

    The chemistry of plutonium is important for assessing potential behavior of radioactive waste under conditions of geologic disposal. This paper reviews experimental data on dissolution of plutonium oxide solids, describes a hybrid kinetic-equilibrium model for predicting steady-state Pu concentrations, and compares laboratory results with predicted Pu concentrations and oxidation-state distributions. The model is based on oxidation of PuO 2 by water to produce PuO 2+x , an oxide that can release Pu(V) to solution. Kinetic relationships between formation of PuO 2+x , dissolution of Pu(V), disproportionation of Pu(V) to Pu(IV) and Pu(VI), and reduction of Pu(VI) are given and used in model calculations. Data from tests of pyrochemical salt wastes in brines are discussed and interpreted using the conceptual model. Essential data for quantitative modeling at conditions relevant to nuclear waste repositories are identified and laboratory experiments to determine rate constants for use in the model are discussed

  17. Los Alamos Plutonium Facility newly generated TRU waste certification

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gruetzmacher, K.; Montoya, A.; Sinkule, B.; Maez, M.

    1997-01-01

    This paper presents an overview of the activities being planned and implemented to certify newly generated contact handled transuranic (TRU) waste produced by Los Alamos National Laboratory's (LANL's) Plutonium Facility. Certifying waste at the point of generation is the most important cost and labor saving step in the WIPP certification process. The pedigree of a waste item is best known by the originator of the waste and frees a site from expensive characterization activities such as those associated with legacy waste. Through a cooperative agreement with LANLs Waste Management Facility and under the umbrella of LANLs WIPP-related certification and quality assurance documents, the Plutonium Facility will be certifying its own newly generated waste. Some of the challenges faced by the Plutonium Facility in preparing to certify TRU waste include the modification and addition of procedures to meet WIPP requirements, standardizing packaging for TRU waste, collecting processing documentation from operations which produce TRU waste, and developing ways to modify waste streams which are not certifiable in their present form

  18. Disposition of plutonium from dismantled warheads: Belgonucleaire's proposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haas, D.; Vanderborck, Y.; Vandenberg, C.; Vliet, J. van

    1996-01-01

    Set up in 1957 by Union Miniere, Belgonucleaire (BN) has been working since its origin in the field of plutonium and has accumulated extensive experience in the design and fabrication of mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel, as well as in the fuel management and licensing of MOX cores for fast breeder reactors (FBRs), pressurized water reactors (PWRs), and boiling water reactors (BWRs). Although BN's MOX plant first went into operation in 1973 (it was used for FBRs and light water reactor (LWR) demonstration fuel fabrication), industrial production started in 1986. The MOX fuel produced (280 t heavy metal (HM) until the end of 1995) has been loaded in PWRs and BWRs in four countries in Europe: France, Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium. They propose the development of MOX plants as the means for disposal of plutonium from warhead disassembly

  19. Literature review for oxalate oxidation processes and plutonium oxalate solubility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nash, C. A. [Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)

    2015-10-01

    A literature review of oxalate oxidation processes finds that manganese(II)-catalyzed nitric acid oxidation of oxalate in precipitate filtrate is a viable and well-documented process. The process has been operated on the large scale at Savannah River in the past, including oxidation of 20 tons of oxalic acid in F-Canyon. Research data under a variety of conditions show the process to be robust. This process is recommended for oxalate destruction in H-Canyon in the upcoming program to produce feed for the MOX facility. Prevention of plutonium oxalate precipitation in filtrate can be achieved by concentrated nitric acid/ferric nitrate sequestration of oxalate. Organic complexants do not appear practical to sequester plutonium. Testing is proposed to confirm the literature and calculation findings of this review at projected operating conditions for the upcoming campaign.

  20. Plutonium in domestic animals and man

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coughtrey, P.J.; Jackson, D.; Jones, C.H.; Kane, P.; Thorne, M.C.

    1984-01-01

    This chapter deals with plutonium adsorption, retention and translocation rates in lungs, the gastrointestinal tract, liver and in body tissues of domestic animals and man. Urinary and faecal excretion of plutonium is discussed. Transfer rates to eggs, milk, foetus and newborn are considered. Of all these subjects, data are presented extracted from literature and cast in tables

  1. Two-stage precipitation of plutonium trifluoride

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luerkens, D.W.

    1984-04-01

    Plutonium trifluoride was precipitated using a two-stage precipitation system. A series of precipitation experiments identified the significant process variables affecting precipitate characteristics. A mathematical precipitation model was developed which was based on the formation of plutonium fluoride complexes. The precipitation model relates all process variables, in a single equation, to a single parameter that can be used to control particle characteristics

  2. Plutonium production and utilization forecasts in Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haijtink, B.

    1976-01-01

    The planned accelerated growth of nuclear energy generation in the near future will lead to a large production of plutonium in the thermal reactors. Therefore, up to 1985, the major part of the available plutonium will be plutonium recovered from spent uranium-metal, particularly in the United Kingdom and in France. Because of the low demand for fuelling the fast breeder reactors within the near future, a surplus of fissile plutonium will be accumulated in Europe. Even if the planned availability of the oxide reprocessing capacity will be delayed with two or three years, a plutonium surplus will still exist in Europe, e.g.; in 1985: 25-20 tons. On longer term, up to 2000, the plutonium production in thermal reactors will be sufficient to meet the estimated demand for fast breeder reactors at their commercial introduction foreseen for the nineties. That means that all the plutonium surplus needs not to be stocked for use in fast breeder reactors later on but could be recycled in thermal reactors. The magnitude of the available fissionable materials give an idea of the importance to promote, on an industrial scale, the plutonium recycling technology

  3. Plutonium in the Gulf of Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scott, M.R.; Salter, P.F.

    The geochemistry of fallout plutonium in the sediments of the Gulf of Mexico was studied. A series of sediment cores was collected in a traverse from the deep Gulf of Mexico to the Mississippi Delta. The cores were sliced into 1 cm intervals and analyzed for plutonium. Explanations for the variations in concentration are presented

  4. The transport of civil plutonium by air

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

    The paper presents the review entitled ''The Transport of Civil Plutonium by Air'' reported by the Advisory Committee on the Safe Transport of Radioactive Materials (ACTRAM) 1988. The contents contain chapters on the following topics:- the reasons for air transport, the various regulations, packagings for plutonium transport, testing of the packagings, accidents, the consequences of a release, and emergency arrangements. (U.K.)

  5. Ventilation design for new plutonium recovery facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oliver, A.J.; Amos, C.L.

    1975-01-01

    In 1972 the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) issued revised guidelines on ''Minimum Design Criteria for New Plutonium Facilities.'' With these criteria as guidelines, a new Plutonium Recovery Facility is being designed and constructed at the AEC Rocky Flats Plant. The methods by which the confinement of contamination and air treatment are being handled in this facility are described. (U.S.)

  6. Options for converting excess plutonium to feed for the MOX fuel fabrication facility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Watts, Joe A [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Smith, Paul H [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Psaras, John D [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Jarvinen, Gordon D [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Costa, David A [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Joyce, Jr., Edward L [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2009-01-01

    The storage and safekeeping of excess plutonium in the United States represents a multibillion-dollar lifecycle cost to the taxpayers and poses challenges to National Security and Nuclear Non-Proliferation. Los Alamos National Laboratory is considering options for converting some portion of the 13 metric tons of excess plutonium that was previously destined for long-term waste disposition into feed for the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF). This approach could reduce storage costs and security ri sks, and produce fuel for nuclear energy at the same time. Over the course of 30 years of weapons related plutonium production, Los Alamos has developed a number of flow sheets aimed at separation and purification of plutonium. Flow sheets for converting metal to oxide and for removing chloride and fluoride from plutonium residues have been developed and withstood the test oftime. This presentation will address some potential options for utilizing processes and infrastructure developed by Defense Programs to transform a large variety of highly impure plutonium into feedstock for the MFFF.

  7. How not to reduce plutonium stocks. The danger of MOX-fuelled nuclear reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1999-01-01

    Plutonium is a radioactive by-product of nuclear reactor operation and one of the most toxic substances known. The world would be a safer place if the governments of countries with stocks of it, including Britain, would adopt effective policies for reducing and managing them. Two recent authoritative reports recommend that the British government take urgent action to reduce its 'civil' plutonium stock - currently one quarter of the world's total and set to rise to about two-thirds by the year 2010. The March 1999 House of Lords report, Management of Nuclear Waste, concludes that British government policy on plutonium 'should be the maintenance of the minimum strategic stock, and the declaration of the remainder as waste'. A report from the Royal Society, Britain's main learned society, meanwhile states that: 'In addition to disposing of some of the plutonium already in the stockpile, steps should be taken to reduce the amount added to it each year, primarily by reducing the amount of reprocessing carried out'. The government's reply to the House of Lords is expected to be followed by a public consultation before changes in legislation are proposed. But, at the same time, the government is considering an application from British Nuclear Fuels Limited (BNFL), the government-owned company which separates plutonium from spent nuclear fuel rods, for a licence to operate a new plant at Sellafield in Cumbria to produce mixed-oxide (MOX) nuclear fuel from its plutonium stockpile. The nuclear industry justifies the Sellafield MOX plant as one way of reducing plutonium stocks. But critics point out that this is not a rational way to manage plutonium. This briefing aims to contribute to an informed debate during the current flurry of British government nuclear policymaking by explaining why. (author)

  8. Assessment of plutonium in the Savannah River Site environment. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carlton, W.H.; Evans, A.G.; Geary, L.A.; Murphy, C.E. Jr.; Pinder, J.E.; Strom, R.N.

    1992-12-31

    Plutonium in the Savannah River Site Environment is published as a part of the Radiological Assessment Program (RAP). It is the fifth in a series of eight documents on individual radioisotopes released to the environment as a result of Savannah River Site (SRS) operations. These are living documents, each to be revised and updated on a two-year schedule. This document describes the sources of plutonium in the environment, its release from SRS, environmental transport and ecological concentration of plutonium, and the radiological impact of SRS releases to the environment. Plutonium exists in the environment as a result of above-ground nuclear weapons tests, the Chernobyl accident, the destruction of satellite SNAP 9-A, plane crashes involving nuclear weapons, and small releases from reactors and reprocessing plants. Plutonium has been produced at SRS during the operation of five production reactors and released in small quantities during the processing of fuel and targets in chemical separations facilities. Approximately 0.6 Ci of plutonium was released into streams and about 12 Ci was released to seepage basins, where it was tightly bound by clay in the soil. A smaller quantity, about 3.8 Ci, was released to the atmosphere. Virtually all releases have occurred in F- and H-Area separation facilities. Plutonium concentration and transport mechanisms for the atmosphere, surface water, and ground water releases have been extensively studied by Savannah River Technology Center (SRTC) and ecological mechanisms have been studied by Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL). The overall radiological impact of SRS releases to the offsite maximum individual can be characterized by a total dose of 15 mrem (atmospheric) and 0.18 mrem (liquid), compared with the dose of 12,960 mrem from non-SRS sources during the same period of time (1954--1989). Plutonium releases from SRS facilities have resulted in a negligible impact to the environment and the population it supports.

  9. Constitutional problems in the handling of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Witt, S. de.

    1989-01-01

    Reprocessing and final storage involve two different systems of nuclear energy utilization: with or without the use of plutonium. There is a choice available between these two systems. The paper discusss the constitutional implications of this choice. The permission of the use of plutonium as nuclear fuel by the Atomic Energy Law is irreconcilable with the Basic Law, i.e. the Constitution. If the corresponding provisions of the Atomic Energy Law are repealed, then only the plutonium-related branch will be revoked and not the legal permission of nuclear energy as a whole. The fact is not ignored that the Atomic Energy law does not permit the construction and operation of a plant or the handling of plutonium if this were to violate a basic right. However, the plutonium-related branch of nculear energy utilization inevitably results in such basic right violations; hence the Atomic Energy law is unconstitutional in this respect. (orig./HSCH) [de

  10. Disposing of the world's excess plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCormick, J.M.; Bullen, D.B.

    1998-01-01

    The authors undertake three key objectives in addressing the issue of plutonium disposition at the end of the Cold War. First, the authors estimate the total global inventory of plutonium both from weapons dismantlement and civil nuclear power reactors. Second, they review past and current policy toward handling this metal by the US, Russia, and other key countries. Third, they evaluate the feasibility of several options (but especially the vitrification and mixed oxide fuel options announced by the Clinton administration) for disposing of the increasing amounts of plutonium available today. To undertake this analysis, the authors consider both the political and scientific problems confronting policymakers in dealing with this global plutonium issue. Interview data with political and technical officials in Washington and at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria, and empirical inventory data on plutonium from a variety of sources form the basis of their analysis

  11. Plutonium fallout at Fayetteville, AR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sandoval, D.N.; Essien, I.O.; Kuroda, P.K.

    1985-01-01

    It is well established that atmospheric Pu fallout has its origin in the testing of nuclear devices and satellite accidents. Monitoring injections of Pu during the testing of nuclear devices can be useful in characterizing the detonation and subsequently tagging its global fallout. Since Pu uptake pathway into humans is mainly through the respiratory and digestive systems, it is important to know about the behavior of Pu in the atmosphere. Snow and rain samples were collected between Jan 1981 and April 1983, and analyzed for plutonium

  12. Sandia Laboratories plutonium protection system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bernard, E.A.; Miyoshi, D.S.; Gutierrez, F.D.

    1977-01-01

    Sandia Laboratories is developing an improved plutonium protection system (PPS) to demonstrate new concepts for enhancing special nuclear materials safeguards. PPS concepts include separation of functions, real-time item accountability and improved means for control of materials, activities and personnel access. Physical barriers and a secure communications network are designed into the system to offer greater protection against sabotage, diversion and theft attempts. Prototype systems are being constructed at Hanford, Washington and Albuquerque, New Mexico and will be subjected to a comprehensive testing and evaluation program

  13. Inhaled plutonium nitrate in dogs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dagle, G.E.

    1987-01-01

    The major objective of this project is to determine dose-effect relationships of inhaled plutonium nitrate in dogs to aid in predicting health effects of accidental exposure in man. For lifespan dose-effect studies, beagle dogs were given a single inhalation exposure to 239 Pu(NO 3 ) 4 , in 1976 and 1977. The earliest biological effect was on the hematopoietic system; lymphopenia and neutropenia occurred at the two highest dose levels. They have also observed radiation pneumonitis, lung cancer, and bone cancer at the three highest dose levels. 1 figure, 3 tables

  14. Inhaled plutonium nitrate in dogs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dagle, G.E.

    1986-01-01

    The major objective of this project is to determine dose-effect relationships of inhaled plutonium nitrate in dogs to aid in predicting health effects of accidental exposure in man. For lifespan dose-effect studies, beagle dogs were given a single inhalation exposure to 239 Pu(NO 3 ) 4 , in 1976 and 1977. The earliest biological effect was on the hematopoietic system; lymphopenia and neutropenia occurred at the two highest dose levels. The authors have also observed radiation pneumonitis, lung cancer, and bone cancer at the three highest dose levels. 1 figure, 4 tables

  15. Inhaled plutonium nitrate in dogs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dagle, G.E.

    1982-01-01

    The major objective of this project is to determine dose-effect relationships of inhaled plutonium nitrate in dogs to aid in the prediction of health effects of accidental exposure in man. For lifespan dose-effect studies, beagle dogs were given a single inhalation exposure to 239 Pu(NO 3 ) 4 , in 1976 and 1977. The earliest biological effect was on the hematopoietic system; as described in previous Annual Reports, lymphopenia and neutropenia occurred at the two highest dose levels. Radiation pneumonitis, lung cancer, and bone cancer have been observed at the highest dose levels

  16. Waste forms for plutonium disposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, S.G.; O'Holleran, T.P.; Frank, S.M.; Meyer, M.K.; Hanson, M.; Staples, B.A.; Knecht, D.A.; Kong, P.C.

    1997-01-01

    The field of plutonium disposition is varied and of much importance, since the Department of Energy has decided on the hybrid option for disposing of the weapons materials. This consists of either placing the Pu into mixed oxide fuel for reactors or placing the material into a stable waste form such as glass. The waste form used for Pu disposition should exhibit certain qualities: (1) provide for a suitable deterrent to guard against proliferation; (2) be of minimal volume, i.e., maximize the loading; and (3) be reasonably durable under repository-like conditions. This paper will discuss several Pu waste forms that display promising characteristics

  17. The plutonium mountain: preventing diversion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pohling-Brown, Pamela.

    1997-01-01

    With continued arms-reduction between the USA and the former Soviet Union, surplus nuclear materials, from dismantled weapons, requires handling. A number of risks are identified including occupational safety for workers involved with handling nuclear materials, and environmental protection. Perhaps the most sinister is the extra security needed to ensure that these materials are not diverted to rogue states or terrorist groups, as materials are handled in a larger number of countries. In particular, the author addresses the problem of plutonium reserves, and discusses the role of reprocessing in preventing diversion. (UK)

  18. Extraction of Plutonium From Spiked INEEL Soil Samples Using the Ligand-Assisted Supercritical Fluid Extraction (LA-SFE) Technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fox, R.V.; Mincher, B.J.; Holmes, R.G.G.

    1999-01-01

    In order to investigate the effectiveness of ligand-assisted supercritical fluid extraction for the removal of transuranic contaminations from soils an Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) silty-clay soil sample was obtained from near the Radioactive Waste Management Complex area and subjected to three different chemical preparations before being spiked with plutonium. The spiked INEEL soil samples were subjected to a sequential aqueous extraction procedure to determine radionuclide portioning in each sample. Results from those extractions demonstrate that plutonium consistently partitioned into the residual fraction across all three INEEL soil preparations whereas americium partitioned 73% into the iron/manganese fraction for soil preparation A, with the balance partitioning into the residual fraction. Plutonium and americium were extracted from the INEEL soil samples using a ligand-assisted supercritical fluid extraction technique. Initial supercritical fluid extraction runs produced plutonium extraction technique. Initial supercritical fluid extraction runs produced plutonium extraction efficiencies ranging from 14% to 19%. After a second round wherein the initial extraction parameters were changed, the plutonium extraction efficiencies increased to 60% and as high as 80% with the americium level in the post-extracted soil samples dropping near to the detection limits. The third round of experiments are currently underway. These results demonstrate that the ligand-assisted supercritical fluid extraction technique can effectively extract plutonium from the spiked INEEL soil preparations

  19. The effects of polymeric plutonium on erythrocyte survival in mice, (1)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Joshima, Hisamasa; Kashima, Masatoshi; Matsuoka, Osamu

    1976-01-01

    The changes in erythrocyte counts, hematocrit, hemoglobin, reticulocyte counts and erythrocyte survival following an intravenous injection of polymeric 239 Pu at the dose level of 15 μCi/kg, 10 μCi/kg and 5 μCi/kg were studied in CF no. 1 male mice in order to investigate the possible pathogenesis of anemia produced by irradiation of polymeric plutonium. The administration of 15 μCi/kg and 10 μCi/kg of polymeric plutonium produced anemia but 5 μCi/kg had no significant effect. Studies with 51 Cr labelled erythrocyte showed a moderate reduction in survival of erythrocyte following a single intraveneous injection of polymeric plutonium. Not only the intracorpuscular effect but also extracorpuscular effect of polymeric plutonium was considered to lead to a reduction in erythrocyte survival, but no clear dose relationship could be observed between the reduction of survival and either intracorpuscular effect or extracorpuscular effect. Although the most important pathogenesis of anemia produced by polymeric plutonium is supposed to be a decreased erythropoiesis, it was believed that both qualitatively impaired erythropoiesis and abnormal erythrocyte destruction might also play some role in the occurrence of anemia. (auth.)

  20. Impact of MCNP Unresolved Resonance Probability-Table Treatment on Uranium and Plutonium Benchmarks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mosteller, R.D.; Little, R.C.

    1999-01-01

    A probability-table treatment recently has been incorporated into an intermediate version of the MCNP Monte Carlo code named MCNP4XS. This paper presents MCNP4XS results for a variety of uranium and plutonium criticality benchmarks, calculated with and without the probability-table treatment. It is shown that the probability-table treatment can produce small but significant reactivity changes for plutonium and 233 U systems with intermediate spectra. More importantly, it can produce substantial reactivity increases for systems with large amounts of 238 U and intermediate spectra