WorldWideScience

Sample records for weapons plutonium disposition

  1. Overview of surplus weapons plutonium disposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rudy, G.

    1996-05-01

    The safe disposition of surplus weapons useable plutonium is a very important and urgent task. While the functions of long term storage and disposition directly relate to the Department`s weapons program and the environmental management program, the focus of this effort is particularly national security and nonproliferation.

  2. 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

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Disposition of excess weapons plutonium from dismantled weapons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jardine, L.J.

    1997-01-01

    With the end of the Cold War and the implementation of various nuclear arms reduction agreements, US and Russia have been actively dismantling tens of thousands of nuclear weapons. As a result,large quantities of fissile materials, including more than 100 (tonnes?) of weapons-grade Pu, have become excess to both countries' military needs. To meet nonproliferation goals and to ensure the irreversibility of nuclear arms reductions, this excess weapons Pu must be placed in secure storage and then, in timely manner, either used in nuclear reactors as fuel or discarded in geologic repositories as solid waste. This disposition in US and Russia must be accomplished in a safe, secure manner and as quickly as practical. Storage of this Pu is a prerequisite to any disposition process, but the length of storage time is unknown. Whether by use as fuel or discard as solid waste, disposition of that amount of Pu will require decades--and perhaps longer, if disposition operations encounter delays. Neither US nor Russia believes that long-term secure storage is a substitute for timely disposition of excess Pu, but long-term, safe, secure storage is a critical element of all excess Pu disposition activities

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. History of the US weapons-usable plutonium disposition program leading to DOE's record of decision

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spellman, D.J.; Thomas, J.F.; Bugos, R.G.

    1997-04-01

    This report highlights important events and studies concerning surplus weapons-usable plutonium disposition in the United States. Included are major events that led to the creation of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fissile Materials Disposition in 1994 and to that DOE office issuing the January 1997 Record of Decision for the Storage and Disposition of Weapons-Useable Fissile Materials Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. Emphasis has been given to reactor-based plutonium disposition alternatives

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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).

  14. 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)

  15. 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

  16. Multi-attribute evaluation and choice of alternatives for surplus weapons-usable plutonium disposition at uncertainty

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kosterev, V.V.; Bolyatko, V.V.; Khajretdinov, S.I.; Averkin, A.N.

    2014-01-01

    The problem of surplus weapons-usable plutonium disposition is formalized as a multi-attribute problem of a choice of alternatives from a set of possible alternatives under fuzzy conditions. Evaluation and ordering of alternatives for the surplus weapons-usable plutonium disposition and sensitivity analysis are carried out at uncertainty [ru

  17. Disposition of plutonium from dismantled nuclear weapons: Fission options and comparisons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Omberg, R.P.; Walter, C.E.

    1993-01-01

    Over the next decade, the United States expects to recover about 50 Mg of excess weapon plutonium and the Republic of Russia expects to recover a similar amount. Ensuring that these large quantities of high-grade material are not reused in nuclear weapons has drawn considerable attention. In response to this problem, the US Department of Energy (DOE) chartered the Plutonium Disposition Task Force (PDTF), in the summer of 1992, to assess a range of practical means for disposition of excess US plutonium. This report summarizes and compares the ''Fission Options'' provided to the Fission Working Group Review Committee (the committee) of the PDTF. The review by the committee was based on preliminary information received as of December 4, 1992, and as such the results summarized in this report should also be considered preliminary. The committee concluded that irradiation of excess weapon plutonium in fission reactors in conjunction with the generation of electricity and storing the spent fuel is a fast, cost-effective, and environmentally acceptable method of addressing the safeguards (diversion) issue. When applied appropriately, this method is consistent with current nonproliferation policy. The principal effect of implementing the fission options is at most a moderate addition of plutonium to that existing in commercial spent fuel. The amount of plutonium in commercial spent fuel by the year 2000 is estimated to be 300 Mg. The addition of 50 Mg of excess weapon plutonium, in this context, is not a determining factor, moreover, several of the fission options achieve substantial annihilation of plutonium

  18. 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.

  19. The US program for disposition of excess weapons plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bunn, M.

    1997-01-01

    After an exhaustive interagency study, the United States has declared that 52.7 tons of plutonium, over half of its stockpile, is excess to its military needs, and has decided to pursue a dual-track approach to eliminating this excess stockpile, burning some of it once-through as power-reactor fuel, and immobilizing the remainder with intensely radioactive fission products. This effort represents a significant step toward increasing the irreversibility of nuclear arms reductions and reducing the risk of nuclear proliferation. The United States expects to complete disposition of this material over the next 2-3 decades, at a net discounted present cost of approximately $1.5 billion. Intemational verification and stringent security and accounting for the material are planned for the entire program

  20. Transportation requirements for the disposition of excess weapon plutonium by burning in fission reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hovingh, J.; Walter, C.E.

    1996-01-01

    Both the US and Russia are planning to dispose of about 50 Mg of excess weapon plutonium over a 25-year period. One option is to transfer the plutonium to Advanced Light Water (power) Reactors (ALWRs) for use as fuel. Subsequent disposal would then be considered commercial spent fuel. This disposition option, like others, involves the transportation of plutonium in various material forms as it proceeds through various points in the recovery operation. This paper examines both the disposition option and the issues surrounding the transportation of 50 Mg of excess plutonium within the US under current regulatory and infrastructure constraints. Transportation issues include criticality control, shielding, and containment of the contents. Allowable limits on each of these issues are specified by the applicable (or selected) regulation. The composition and form of the radioactive materials to be transported will determine, in part, the applicable portions of the regulations as well as the packaging design. The regulations and the packaging design, along with safeguard and security issues, will determine the quantity of plutonium or fuel assemblies per package as well as the number of packages per shipment and the type of highway carrier. For the disposition of 50 Mg of weapon plutonium using ALWRs in a 25-year campaign, the annual shipment rates are determined for the various types of carriers

  1. progress on the U.S.-Russian excess weapons plutonium disposition program. Panel discussion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feinroth, Herb; Sicard, Bruno; Kudryavtsev, Evgeny; Sprankle, Kenneth A.; Nesbit, Steve; Gadsby, Robert; Aratani, Kiyonori

    2001-01-01

    Full text of publication follows: On September 1, 2000, the United States and Russia signed a historic agreement to each dispose of 34 tons of excess weapons plutonium by 2025, or sooner if possible. The agreement was conditional on international financing of the Russian program. The parties are now attempting to establish a specific program for disposition of the Russian plutonium and to secure commitments for international financing of the Russian program. In the United States, efforts are moving forward to design, license, and construct the necessary facilities for its disposition program. With the assistance of France and Germany, efforts are moving forward in Russia to plan and design appropriate reactor modifications as well as the needed facilities for plutonium conversion and mixed-oxide fabrication. Japan and Canada are also participants in the Russian disposition program. This panel session will review the status of actions taken to bring this agreement to fruition. (authors)

  2. Fabrication of zircon for disposition of weapons plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, K.C.; Huang, J.Y.; Serrano, P.L.

    1997-01-01

    This is the final report of a one-year, Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). In an effort to address the problems of long term storage and nuclear waste minimization, zircon has been proposed as a host medium for plutonium and other actinides recovered from dismantled nuclear weapons. The objective of this work is to investigate the feasibility of large scale fabrication of Pu-bearing zircon. Since PuO 2 is thermodynamically less stable than ZrO 2 , it is expected that the process parameters determined for synthesizing ZrSiO 4 (zircon) would be applicable to those for PuSiO 4 (Pu-zircon). Furthermore, since the foremost concern in plutonium processing is the potential for contamination release, this work emphasizes the development of process parameters, using zircon first, to anticipate potential material problems in the containment system for reaction mixtures during processing. Stoichiometric mixtures of ZrO 2 and SiO 2 , in hundred-gram batches, have been subjected to hot isostatic pressing (HIP) at temperatures near 1,500 C and pressures approximately 10,000 psi. The product materials have been analyzed by x-ray powder diffraction, and are found to consist of zircon after approximately two hours of reaction time. From this work, it is clear that the fabrication of large quantities of Pu-zircon is feasible. The most notable result of this work is evidence for the existence of container problems. This result, in turn, suggests potential solutions to these problems. Experiments with the quartz inner container, the glass sealant, a sacrificial metal barrier, and a metal outer container are being investigated to mitigate these potential hazards

  3. Physics studies of weapons plutonium disposition in the IFR closed fuel cycle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hill, R.N.; Wade, D.C.; Liaw, J.R.; Fujita, E.K.

    1994-01-01

    The core performance impact of weapons plutonium introduction into the IFR closed fuel cycle is investigated by comparing three disposition scenarios: a power production mode, a moderate destruction mode, and a maximum destruction mode all at a constant heat rating of 840 MWt. For each scenario, two fuel cycle models are evaluated: cores using weapons material as the sole source of transuranics in a once-through mode, and recycle corns using weapons material only as required for a make-up feed. Calculated results include mass flows, detailed isotopic distributions, neutronic performance characteristics, and reactivity feedback coefficients. In general, it is shown that weapons plutonium feed does not have an adverse impact on IFR core performance characteristics

  4. Physics studies of weapons plutonium disposition in the Integral Fast Reactor closed fuel cycle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hill, R.N.; Wade, D.C.; Liaw, J.R.; Fujita, E.K.

    1995-01-01

    The core performance impact of weapons plutonium introduction into the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) closed fuel cycle is investigated by comparing three disposition scenarios: a power production mode, a moderate destruction mode, and a maximum destruction mode, all at a constant heat rating of 840 MW(thermal). For each scenario, two fuel cycle models are evaluated: cores using weapons material as the sole source of transuranics in a once-through mode and recycle cores using weapons material only as required for a makeup feed. In addition, the impact of alternative feeds (recycled light water reactor or liquid-metal reactor transuranics) on burner core performance is assessed. Calculated results include mass flows, detailed isotopic distributions, neutronic performance characteristics, and reactivity feedback coefficients. In general, it is shown that weapons plutonium does not have an adverse effect on IFR core performance characteristics; also, favorable performance can be maintained for a wide variety of feed materials and fuel cycle strategies

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Safeguards and security requirements for weapons plutonium disposition in light water reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomas, L.L.; Strait, R.S.

    1994-10-01

    This paper explores the issues surrounding the safeguarding of the plutonium disposition process in support of the United States nuclear weapons dismantlement program. It focuses on the disposition of the plutonium by burning mixed oxide fuel in light water reactors (LWR) and addresses physical protection, material control and accountability, personnel security and international safeguards. The S and S system needs to meet the requirements of the DOE Orders, NRC Regulations and international safeguards agreements. Experience has shown that incorporating S and S measures into early facility designs and integrating them into operations provides S and S that is more effective, more economical, and less intrusive. The plutonium disposition safeguards requirements with which the US has the least experience are the implementation of international safeguards on plutonium metal; the large scale commercialization of the mixed oxide fuel fabrication; and the transportation to and loading in the LWRs of fresh mixed oxide fuel. It is in these areas where the effort needs to be concentrated if the US is to develop safeguards and security systems that are effective and efficient

  8. Development of a fresh MOX fuel transport package for disposition of weapons plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ludwig, S.B.; Pope, R.B.; Shappert, L.B.; Michelhaugh, R.D.; Chae, S.M.

    1998-01-01

    The US Department of Energy announced its Record of Decision on January 14, 1997, to embark on a dual-track approach for disposition of surplus weapons-usable plutonium using immobilization in glass or ceramics and burning plutonium as mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel in reactors. In support of the MOX fuel alternative, Oak Ridge National Laboratory initiated development of conceptual designs for a new package for transporting fresh (unirradiated) MOX fuel assemblies between the MOX fabrication facility and existing commercial light-water reactors in the US. This paper summarizes progress made in development of new MOX transport package conceptual designs. The development effort has included documentation of programmatic and technical requirements for the new package and development and analysis of conceptual designs that satisfy these requirements

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. The U.S.-Russian joint studies on using power reactors to disposition surplus weapons plutonium as spent fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chebeskov, A.; Kalashnikov, A.; Pavlovichev, A.

    1997-09-01

    In 1996, the US and the Russian Federation completed an initial joint study of the candidate options for the disposition of surplus weapons plutonium in both countries. The options included long term storage, immobilization of the plutonium in glass or ceramic for geologic disposal, and the conversion of weapons plutonium to spent fuel in power reactors. For the latter option, the US is only considering the use of existing light water reactors (LWRs) with no new reactor construction for plutonium disposition, or the use of Canadian deuterium uranium (CANDU) heavy water reactors. While Russia advocates building new reactors, the cost is high, and the continuing joint study of the Russian options is considering only the use of existing VVER-1000 LWRs in Russia and possibly Ukraine, the existing BN-60O fast neutron reactor at the Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant in Russia, or the use of the Canadian CANDU reactors. Six of the seven existing VVER-1000 reactors in Russia and the eleven VVER-1000 reactors in Ukraine are all of recent vintage and can be converted to use partial MOX cores. These existing VVER-1000 reactors are capable of converting almost 300 kg of surplus weapons plutonium to spent fuel each year with minimum nuclear power plant modifications. Higher core loads may be achievable in future years

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Repository and deep borehole disposition of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Halsey, W.G.

    1996-02-01

    Control and disposition of excess weapons plutonium is a growing issue as both the US and Russia retire a large number of nuclear weapons> A variety of options are under consideration to ultimately dispose of this material. Permanent disposition includes tow broad categories: direct Pu disposal where the material is considered waste and disposed of, and Pu utilization, where the potential energy content of the material is exploited via fissioning. The primary alternative to a high-level radioactive waste repository for the ultimate disposal of plutonium is development of a custom geologic facility. A variety of geologic facility types have been considered, but the concept currently being assessed is the deep borehole

  2. Nonproliferation and arms control assessment of weapons-usable fissile material storage and excess plutonium disposition alternatives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-01-01

    This report has been prepared by the Department of Energy's Office of Arms Control and Nonproliferation (DOE-NN) with support from the Office of Fissile Materials Disposition (DOE-MD). Its purpose is to analyze the nonproliferation and arms reduction implications of the alternatives for storage of plutonium and HEU, and disposition of excess plutonium, to aid policymakers and the public in making final decisions. While this assessment describes the benefits and risks associated with each option, it does not attempt to rank order the options or choose which ones are best. It does, however, identify steps which could maximize the benefits and mitigate any vulnerabilities of the various alternatives under consideration

  3. 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

  4. Nonproliferation and arms control assessment of weapons-usable fissile material storage and excess plutonium disposition alternatives

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-01-01

    This report has been prepared by the Department of Energy`s Office of Arms Control and Nonproliferation (DOE-NN) with support from the Office of Fissile Materials Disposition (DOE-MD). Its purpose is to analyze the nonproliferation and arms reduction implications of the alternatives for storage of plutonium and HEU, and disposition of excess plutonium, to aid policymakers and the public in making final decisions. While this assessment describes the benefits and risks associated with each option, it does not attempt to rank order the options or choose which ones are best. It does, however, identify steps which could maximize the benefits and mitigate any vulnerabilities of the various alternatives under consideration.

  5. Excess plutonium disposition: The deep borehole option

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferguson, K.L.

    1994-01-01

    This report reviews the current status of technologies required for the disposition of plutonium in Very Deep Holes (VDH). It is in response to a recent National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report which addressed the management of excess weapons plutonium and recommended three approaches to the ultimate disposition of excess plutonium: (1) fabrication and use as a fuel in existing or modified reactors in a once-through cycle, (2) vitrification with high-level radioactive waste for repository disposition, (3) burial in deep boreholes. As indicated in the NAS report, substantial effort would be required to address the broad range of issues related to deep bore-hole emplacement. Subjects reviewed in this report include geology and hydrology, design and engineering, safety and licensing, policy decisions that can impact the viability of the concept, and applicable international programs. Key technical areas that would require attention should decisions be made to further develop the borehole emplacement option are identified

  6. Plutonium disposition via immobilization in ceramic or glass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gray, L.W.; Kan, T.; Shaw, H.F.; Armantrout, A.

    1997-03-05

    The management of surplus weapons plutonium is an important and urgent task with profound environmental, national, and international security implications. In the aftermath of the Cold War, Presidential Policy Directive 13, and various analyses by renown scientific, technical, and international policy organizations have brought about a focused effort within the Department of Energy to identify and implement paths for the long term disposition of surplus weapons- usable plutonium. The central goal of this effort is to render surplus weapons plutonium as inaccessible and unattractive for reuse in nuclear weapons as the much larger and growing stock of plutonium contained in spent fuel from civilian reactors. One disposition option being considered for surplus plutonium is immobilization, in which the plutonium would be incorporated into a glass or ceramic material that would ultimately be entombed permanently in a geologic repository for high-level waste.

  7. Surplus plutonium disposition draft environmental impact statement. Volume 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-07-01

    On May 22, 1997, DOE published a Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register (62 Federal Register 28009) announcing its decision to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that would tier from the analysis and decisions reached in connection with the Storage and Disposition of Weapons-Usable Fissile Materials Final Programmatic EIS (Storage and Disposition PEIS). DOE's disposition strategy allows for both the immobilization of surplus plutonium and its use as mixed oxide (MOX) fuel in existing domestic, commercial reactors. The disposition of surplus plutonium would also involve disposal of the immobilized plutonium and MOX fuel (as spent nuclear fuel) in a geologic repository. The Surplus Plutonium Disposition Environmental Impact Statement analyzes alternatives that would use the immobilization approach (for some of the surplus plutonium) and the MOX fuel approach (for some of the surplus plutonium); alternatives that would immobilize all of the surplus plutonium; and the No Action Alternative. The alternatives include three disposition facilities that would be designed so that they could collectively accomplish disposition of up to 50 metric tons (55 tons) of surplus plutonium over their operating lives: (1) the pit disassembly and conversion facility would disassemble pits (a weapons component) and convert the recovered plutonium, as well as plutonium metal from other sources, into plutonium dioxide suitable for disposition; (2) the immobilization facility would include a collocated capability for converting nonpit plutonium materials into plutonium dioxide suitable for immobilization and would be located at either Hanford or SRS. DOE has identified SRS as the preferred site for an immobilization facility; (3) the MOX fuel fabrication facility would fabricate plutonium dioxide into MOX fuel. Volume 2 contains the appendices to the report and describe the following: Federal Register notices; contractor nondisclosure statement; adjunct melter

  8. Surplus plutonium disposition draft environmental impact statement. Summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-07-01

    On May 22, 1997, DOE published a Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register (62 Federal Register 28009) announcing its decision to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that would tier from the analysis and decisions reached in connection with the Storage and Disposition of Weapons-Usable Fissile Materials Final Programmatic EIS (Storage and Disposition PEIS). DOE's disposition strategy allows for both the immobilization of surplus plutonium and its use as mixed oxide (MOX) fuel in existing domestic, commercial reactors. The disposition of surplus plutonium would also involve disposal of the immobilized plutonium and MOX fuel (as spent nuclear fuel) in a geologic repository. The Surplus Plutonium Disposition Environmental Impact Statement analyzes alternatives that would use the immobilization approach (for some of the surplus plutonium) and the MOX fuel approach (for some of the surplus plutonium); alternatives that would immobilize all of the surplus plutonium; and the No Action Alternative. The alternatives include three disposition facilities that would be designed so that they could collectively accomplish disposition of up to 50 metric tons (55 tons) of surplus plutonium over their operating lives: (1) the pit disassembly and conversion facility would disassemble pits (a weapons component) and convert the recovered plutonium, as well as plutonium metal from other sources, into plutonium dioxide suitable for disposition; (2) the immobilization facility would include a collocated capability for converting nonpit plutonium materials into plutonium dioxide suitable for immobilization and would be located at either Hanford or SRS. DOE has identified SRS as the preferred site for an immobilization facility; (3) the MOX fuel fabrication facility would fabricate plutonium dioxide into MOX fuel

  9. Regulatory issues for deep borehole plutonium disposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Halsey, W.G.

    1995-03-01

    As a result of recent changes throughout the world, a substantial inventory of excess separated plutonium is expected to result from dismantlement of US nuclear weapons. The safe and secure management and eventual disposition of this plutonium, and of a similar inventory in Russia, is a high priority. A variety of options (both interim and permanent) are under consideration to manage this material. The permanent solutions can be categorized into two broad groups: direct disposal and utilization. The deep borehole disposition concept involves placing excess plutonium deep into old stable rock formations with little free water present. Issues of concern include the regulatory, statutory and policy status of such a facility, the availability of sites with desirable characteristics and the technologies required for drilling deep holes, characterizing them, emplacing excess plutonium and sealing the holes. This white paper discusses the regulatory issues. Regulatory issues concerning construction, operation and decommissioning of the surface facility do not appear to be controversial, with existing regulations providing adequate coverage. It is in the areas of siting, licensing and long term environmental protection that current regulations may be inappropriate. This is because many current regulations are by intent or by default specific to waste forms, facilities or missions significantly different from deep borehole disposition of excess weapons usable fissile material. It is expected that custom regulations can be evolved in the context of this mission

  10. Recovery of weapon plutonium as feed material for reactor fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Armantrout, G.A.; Bronson, M.A.; Choi, Jor-Shan

    1994-01-01

    This report presents preliminary considerations for recovering and converting weapon plutonium from various US weapon forms into feed material for fabrication of reactor fuel elements. An ongoing DOE study addresses the disposition of excess weapon plutonium through its use as fuel for nuclear power reactors and subsequent disposal as spent fuel. The spent fuel would have characteristics similar to those of commercial power spent fuel and could be similarly disposed of in a geologic repository

  11. 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)

  12. 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

  13. Decision model for evaluating reactor disposition of excess plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edmunds, T.

    1995-02-01

    The US Department of Energy is currently considering a range of technologies for disposition of excess weapon plutonium. Use of plutonium fuel in fission reactors to generate spent fuel is one class of technology options. This report describes the inputs and results of decision analyses conducted to evaluate four evolutionary/advanced and three existing fission reactor designs for plutonium disposition. The evaluation incorporates multiple objectives or decision criteria, and accounts for uncertainty. The purpose of the study is to identify important and discriminating decision criteria, and to identify combinations of value judgments and assumptions that tend to favor one reactor design over another

  14. 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

  15. Excess Weapons Plutonium Immobilization in Russia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jardine, L.; Borisov, G.B.

    2000-01-01

    The joint goal of the Russian work is to establish a full-scale plutonium immobilization facility at a Russian industrial site by 2005. To achieve this requires that the necessary engineering and technical basis be developed in these Russian projects and the needed Russian approvals be obtained to conduct industrial-scale immobilization of plutonium-containing materials at a Russian industrial site by the 2005 date. This meeting and future work will provide the basis for joint decisions. Supporting R and D projects are being carried out at Russian Institutes that directly support the technical needs of Russian industrial sites to immobilize plutonium-containing materials. Special R and D on plutonium materials is also being carried out to support excess weapons disposition in Russia and the US, including nonproliferation studies of plutonium recovery from immobilization forms and accelerated radiation damage studies of the US-specified plutonium ceramic for immobilizing plutonium. This intriguing and extraordinary cooperation on certain aspects of the weapons plutonium problem is now progressing well and much work with plutonium has been completed in the past two years. Because much excellent and unique scientific and engineering technical work has now been completed in Russia in many aspects of plutonium immobilization, this meeting in St. Petersburg was both timely and necessary to summarize, review, and discuss these efforts among those who performed the actual work. The results of this meeting will help the US and Russia jointly define the future direction of the Russian plutonium immobilization program, and make it an even stronger and more integrated Russian program. The two objectives for the meeting were to: (1) Bring together the Russian organizations, experts, and managers performing the work into one place for four days to review and discuss their work with each other; and (2) Publish a meeting summary and a proceedings to compile reports of all the

  16. CANDU - a versatile reactor for plutonium disposition or actinide burning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chan, P.S.W.; Gagnon, M.J.N.; Boczar, P.G.; Ellis, R.J.; Verrall, R.A.

    1997-10-01

    High neutron economy, on-line refuelling, and a simple fuel-bundle design result in a high degree of versatility in the use of the CANDU reactor for the disposition of weapons-derived plutonium and for the annihilation of long-lived radioactive actinides, such as plutonium, neptunium, and americium isotopes, created in civilian nuclear power reactors. Inherent safety features are incorporated into the design of the bundles carrying the plutonium and actinide fuels. This approach enables existing CANDU reactors to operate with various plutonium-based fuel cycles without requiring major changes to the current reactor design. (author)

  17. 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

  18. Crystalline ceramics: Waste forms for the disposal of weapons plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ewing, R.C.; Lutze, W.; Weber, W.J.

    1995-05-01

    At present, there are three seriously considered options for the disposition of excess weapons plutonium: (i) incorporation, partial burn-up and direct disposal of MOX-fuel; (ii) vitrification with defense waste and disposal as glass ''logs''; (iii) deep borehole disposal (National Academy of Sciences Report, 1994). The first two options provide a safeguard due to the high activity of fission products in the irradiated fuel and the defense waste. The latter option has only been examined in a preliminary manner, and the exact form of the plutonium has not been identified. In this paper, we review the potential for the immobilization of plutonium in highly durable crystalline ceramics apatite, pyrochlore, monazite and zircon. Based on available data, we propose zircon as the preferred crystalline ceramic for the permanent disposition of excess weapons plutonium

  19. 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)

  20. Surplus plutonium disposition draft environmental impact statement. Volume 1, Part A

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-07-01

    On May 22, 1997, DOE published a Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register (62 Federal Register 28009) announcing its decision to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that would tier from the analysis and decisions reached in connection with the Storage and Disposition of Weapons-Usable Fissile Materials Final Programmatic EIS (Storage and Disposition PEIS). DOE's disposition strategy allows for both the immobilization of surplus plutonium and its use as mixed oxide (MOX) fuel in existing domestic, commercial reactors. The disposition of surplus plutonium would also involve disposal of the immobilized plutonium and MOX fuel (as spent nuclear fuel) in a geologic repository. The Surplus Plutonium Disposition Environmental Impact Statement analyzes alternatives that would use the immobilization approach (for some of the surplus plutonium) and the MOX fuel approach (for some of the surplus plutonium); alternatives that would immobilize all of the surplus plutonium; and the No Action Alternative. The alternatives include three disposition facilities that would be designed so that they could collectively accomplish disposition of up to 50 metric tons (55 tons) of surplus plutonium over their operating lives: (1) the pit disassembly and conversion facility would disassemble pits (a weapons component) and convert the recovered plutonium, as well as plutonium metal from other sources, into plutonium dioxide suitable for disposition; (2) the immobilization facility would include a collocated capability for converting nonpit plutonium materials into plutonium dioxide suitable for immobilization and would be located at either Hanford or SRS. DOE has identified SRS as the preferred site for an immobilization facility; (3) the MOX fuel fabrication facility would fabricate plutonium dioxide into MOX fuel. This volume includes background information; purpose of and need for the proposed action; alternatives for disposition of surplus weapons useable plutonium; and

  1. Surplus plutonium disposition draft environmental impact statement. Volume 1, Part B

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-07-01

    On May 22, 1997, DOE published a Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register (62 Federal Register 28009) announcing its decision to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that would tier from the analysis and decisions reached in connection with the Storage and Disposition of Weapons-Usable Fissile Materials Final Programmatic EIS (Storage and Disposition PEIS). DOE's disposition strategy allows for both the immobilization of surplus plutonium and its use as mixed oxide (MOX) fuel in existing domestic, commercial reactors. The disposition of surplus plutonium would also involve disposal of the immobilized plutonium and MOX fuel (as spent nuclear fuel) in a geologic repository. The Surplus Plutonium Disposition Environmental Impact Statement analyzes alternatives that would use the immobilization approach (for some of the surplus plutonium) and the MOX fuel approach (for some of the surplus plutonium); alternatives that would immobilize all of the surplus plutonium; and the No Action Alternative. The alternatives include three disposition facilities that would be designed so that they could collectively accomplish disposition of up to 50 metric tons (55 tons) of surplus plutonium over their operating lives: (1) the pit disassembly and conversion facility would disassemble pits (a weapons component) and convert the recovered plutonium, as well as plutonium metal from other sources, into plutonium dioxide suitable for disposition; (2) the immobilization facility would include a collocated capability for converting nonpit plutonium materials into plutonium dioxide suitable for immobilization and would be located at either Hanford or SRS. DOE has identified SRS as the preferred site for an immobilization facility; (3) the MOX fuel fabrication facility would fabricate plutonium dioxide into MOX fuel. This volume has chapters on environmental consequences; environmental regulations, permits, and consultations; a glossary; list of preparers; distribution list

  2. 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

  3. Derivation of plutonium-239 materials disposition categories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brough, W.G.

    1995-01-01

    At this time, the Office of Fissile Materials Disposition within the DOE, is assessing alternatives for the disposition of excess fissile materials. To facilitate the assessment, the Plutonium-Bearing Materials Feed Report for the DOE Fissile Materials Disposition Program Alternatives report was written. The development of the material categories and the derivation of the inventory quantities associated with those categories is documented in this report

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

  6. 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

  7. 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)

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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)

  11. Preventive arms control. Case study: plutonium disposition. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liebert, W.

    2001-01-01

    Plutonium stored in separated form poses a severe threat of nuclear weapons proliferation. While options for the disposition of military plutonium stockpiles have been studied for several years, similar work has hardly been undertaken for plutonium stockpiles in the civilian sector. In the framework of this project, the various options to dispose of stockpiles of separated plutonium in the civilian sector were to be investigated. The project was embedded in the FONAS-project network on Preventive Arms Control, and the findings of this study were to be considered for the development of a concept of Preventive Arms Control. As a first step, the internationally available information on different options for plutonium disposition (MOX-use, immobilization together with radioactive wastes, elimination) were collected and compiled to allow further assessment of the different options. For some of the options, technical questions were examined in more detail. For this purpose, neutron transport and fuel burnup calculations were performed. In particular, the analysis focused on concepts for the elimination of plutonium by the use of uranium-free fuel in existing light-water reactors, since they are particularly attractive from the point of view of non-proliferation. The calculations were performed for a reference fuel based on yttrium-stabilized zirconia, with parameters like the initial plutonium content or the use of burnable neutron poisons varying. A systematic and complete analysis of the performed calculations, however, could not be undertaken due to project time restrictions. On the basis of assessment criteria for Preventive Arms Control developed by the project network, a specific set of criteria for the assessment of the pros and cons of different plutonium disposition methods has been defined. These criteria may then be used as part of a concept of prospective technology assessment. The project findings present a starting base for a comprehensive assessment of the

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Surplus plutonium disposition environmental impact statement. Public scoping meeting: Comment summary report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-09-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Record of Decision for the Storage and Disposition of Weapons-Usable Fissile Materials Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (S ampersand D PEIS) (DOE/EIS-0229) on January 14, 1997. In that Record of Decision, DOE stated its decision to pursue a strategy for plutonium disposition that allows for immobilization of surplus weapons plutonium in glass or ceramic forms and irradiating the surplus plutonium as mixed oxide (MOX) fuel in existing reactors, while reserving the option to immobilize all the surplus weapons plutonium. The Department also decided that the extent to which either or both of these disposition approaches would ultimately be deployed would depend in part upon future National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review for surplus weapons plutonium disposition. On May 22, 1997, DOE published in the Federal Register (62 FR 28013) a Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (tiered from the S ampersand D PEIS) on the disposition of United States' surplus weapons-usable plutonium. The purpose of the Notice of Intent was to describe DOE's proposed action, to solicit public input, and to announce the schedule for the public scoping meetings. During the public scoping period (May 22 - July 22, 1997), the public was invited to submit written comments by U.S. mail, fax, or through the Office of Fissile Materials Disposition's Website, as well as to provide oral comments by voicemail or by participating in public scoping meetings. Written and oral comments on the scope of the SPD EIS that were submitted during the formal comment period have been uniquely identified and have become part of the official record. This is the case whether the comments were submitted via U.S. mail, fax, website, toll-free telephone number, or through participation at a public scoping meeting

  15. A preliminary analysis of the reactor-based plutonium disposition alternative deployment schedules

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zurn, R.M.

    1997-09-01

    This paper discusses the preliminary analysis of the implementation schedules of the reactor-based plutonium disposition alternatives. These schedule analyses are a part of a larger process to examine the nine decision criteria used to determine the most appropriate method of disposing of U.S. surplus weapons plutonium. The preliminary analysis indicates that the mission durations for the reactor-based alternatives range from eleven years to eighteen years and the initial mission fuel assemblies containing surplus weapons-usable plutonium could be loaded into the reactors between nine and fourteen years after the Record of Decision

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

  18. 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.

  19. Study of plutonium disposition using existing GE advanced Boiling Water Reactors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-06-01

    The end of the cold war and the resulting dismantlement of nuclear weapons has resulted in the need for the US to dispose of 50 to 100 metric tons of excess of plutonium in a safe and proliferation resistant manner. A number of studies, including the recently released National Academy of Sciences (NAS) study, have recommended conversion of plutonium into spent nuclear fuel with its high radiation barrier as the best means of providing permanent conversion and long-term diversion resistance to this material. The NAS study ``Management and Disposition of Excess Weapons Plutonium identified Light Water Reactor spent fuel as the most readily achievable and proven form for the disposition of excess weapons plutonium. The study also stressed the need for a US disposition program which would enhance the prospects for a timely reciprocal program agreement with Russia. This summary provides the key findings of a GE study where plutonium is converted into Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel and a typical 1155 MWe GE Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) is utilized to convert the plutonium to spent fuel. A companion study of the Advanced BWR has recently been submitted. The MOX core design work that was conducted for the ABWR enabled GE to apply comparable fuel design concepts and consequently achieve full MOX core loading which optimize plutonium throughput for existing BWRs.

  20. Study of plutonium disposition using existing GE advanced Boiling Water Reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-01-01

    The end of the cold war and the resulting dismantlement of nuclear weapons has resulted in the need for the US to dispose of 50 to 100 metric tons of excess of plutonium in a safe and proliferation resistant manner. A number of studies, including the recently released National Academy of Sciences (NAS) study, have recommended conversion of plutonium into spent nuclear fuel with its high radiation barrier as the best means of providing permanent conversion and long-term diversion resistance to this material. The NAS study ''Management and Disposition of Excess Weapons Plutonium identified Light Water Reactor spent fuel as the most readily achievable and proven form for the disposition of excess weapons plutonium. The study also stressed the need for a US disposition program which would enhance the prospects for a timely reciprocal program agreement with Russia. This summary provides the key findings of a GE study where plutonium is converted into Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel and a typical 1155 MWe GE Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) is utilized to convert the plutonium to spent fuel. A companion study of the Advanced BWR has recently been submitted. The MOX core design work that was conducted for the ABWR enabled GE to apply comparable fuel design concepts and consequently achieve full MOX core loading which optimize plutonium throughput for existing BWRs

  1. 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

  2. Study of plutonium disposition using the GE Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-04-30

    The end of the cold war and the resulting dismantlement of nuclear weapons has resulted in the need for the U.S. to disposition 50 to 100 metric tons of excess of plutonium in parallel with a similar program in Russia. A number of studies, including the recently released National Academy of Sciences (NAS) study, have recommended conversion of plutonium into spent nuclear fuel with its high radiation barrier as the best means of providing long-term diversion resistance to this material. The NAS study {open_quotes}Management and Disposition of Excess Weapons Plutonium{close_quotes} identified light water reactor spent fuel as the most readily achievable and proven form for the disposition of excess weapons plutonium. The study also stressed the need for a U.S. disposition program which would enhance the prospects for a timely reciprocal program agreement with Russia. This summary provides the key findings of a GE study where plutonium is converted into Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel and a 1350 MWe GE Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) is utilized to convert the plutonium to spent fuel. The ABWR represents the integration of over 30 years of experience gained worldwide in the design, construction and operation of BWRs. It incorporates advanced features to enhance reliability and safety, minimize waste and reduce worker exposure. For example, the core is never uncovered nor is any operator action required for 72 hours after any design basis accident. Phase 1 of this study was documented in a GE report dated May 13, 1993. DOE`s Phase 1 evaluations cited the ABWR as a proven technical approach for the disposition of plutonium. This Phase 2 study addresses specific areas which the DOE authorized as appropriate for more in-depth evaluations. A separate report addresses the findings relative to the use of existing BWRs to achieve the same goal.

  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. The Optimum Plutonium Inert Matrix Fuel Form for Reactor-Based Plutonium Disposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tulenko, J.S.; Wang, J.; Acosta, C.

    2004-01-01

    The University of Florida has underway an ongoing research program to validate the economic, operational and performance benefits of developing an inert matrix fuel (IMF) for the disposition of the U.S. weapons plutonium (Pu) and for the recycle of reprocessed Pu. The current fuel form of choice for Pu disposition for the Department of Energy is as a mixed oxide (MOX) (PuO2/UO2). We will show analyses that demonstrate that a Silicon Carbide (SiC) IMF offers improved performance capabilities as a fuel form for Pu recycle and disposition. The reason that UF is reviewing various materials to serve as an inert matrix fuel is that an IMF fuel form can offer greatly reduced Pu and transuranic isotope (TRU) production and also improved thermal performance characteristics. Our studies showed that the Pu content is reduced by an order of magnitude while centerline fuel temperatures are reduced approximately 380 degrees centigrade compared to MOX. These reduced temperatures result in reduced stored heat and thermal stresses in the pellet. The reduced stored heat reduces the consequences of the loss of coolant accident, while the reduced temperatures and thermal stresses yield greatly improved fuel performance. Silicon Carbide is not new to the nuclear industry, being a basic fuel material in gas cooled reactors

  5. Supplement to the Surplus Plutonium Disposition Draft Environmental Impact Statement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1999-01-01

    On May 22, 1997, DOE published a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register (62 Federal Register 28009) announcing its decision to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that would tier from the analysis and decisions reached in connection with the ''Storage and Disposition of Weapons-Usable Fissile Materials Final Programmatic EIS (Storage and Disposition PEIS)''. ''The Surplus Plutonium Disposition Draft Environmental Impact Statement'' (SPD Draft EIS) (DOWEIS-0283-D) was prepared in accordance with NEPA and issued in July 1998. It identified the potential environmental impacts of reasonable alternatives for the proposed siting, construction, and operation of three facilities for plutonium disposition. These three facilities would accomplish pit disassembly and conversion, immobilization, and MOX fuel fabrication. For the alternatives that included MOX fuel fabrication, the draft also described the potential environmental impacts of using from three to eight commercial nuclear reactors to irradiate MOX fuel. The potential impacts were based on a generic reactor analysis that used actual reactor data and a range of potential site conditions. In May 1998, DCE initiated a procurement process to obtain MOX fuel fabrication and reactor irradiation services. The request for proposals defined limited activities that may be performed prior to issuance of the SPD EIS Record of Decision (ROD) including non-site-specific work associated with the development of the initial design for the MOX fuel fabrication facility, and plans (paper studies) for outreach, long lead-time procurements, regulatory management, facility quality assurance, safeguards, security, fuel qualification, and deactivation. No construction on the proposed MOX facility would begin before an SPD EIS ROD is issued. In March 1999, DOE awarded a contract to Duke Engineering and Services; COGEMA, Inc.; and Stone and Webster (known as DCS) to provide the requested services. The procurement process

  6. Supplement to the Surplus Plutonium Disposition Draft Environmental Impact Statement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    N/A

    1999-05-14

    On May 22, 1997, DOE published a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register (62 Federal Register 28009) announcing its decision to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that would tier from the analysis and decisions reached in connection with the ''Storage and Disposition of Weapons-Usable Fissile Materials Final Programmatic EIS (Storage and Disposition PEIS)''. ''The Surplus Plutonium Disposition Draft Environmental Impact Statement'' (SPD Draft EIS) (DOWEIS-0283-D) was prepared in accordance with NEPA and issued in July 1998. It identified the potential environmental impacts of reasonable alternatives for the proposed siting, construction, and operation of three facilities for plutonium disposition. These three facilities would accomplish pit disassembly and conversion, immobilization, and MOX fuel fabrication. For the alternatives that included MOX fuel fabrication, the draft also described the potential environmental impacts of using from three to eight commercial nuclear reactors to irradiate MOX fuel. The potential impacts were based on a generic reactor analysis that used actual reactor data and a range of potential site conditions. In May 1998, DCE initiated a procurement process to obtain MOX fuel fabrication and reactor irradiation services. The request for proposals defined limited activities that may be performed prior to issuance of the SPD EIS Record of Decision (ROD) including non-site-specific work associated with the development of the initial design for the MOX fuel fabrication facility, and plans (paper studies) for outreach, long lead-time procurements, regulatory management, facility quality assurance, safeguards, security, fuel qualification, and deactivation. No construction on the proposed MOX facility would begin before an SPD EIS ROD is issued. In March 1999, DOE awarded a contract to Duke Engineering & Services; COGEMA, Inc.; and Stone & Webster (known as DCS) to provide the requested

  7. Collector for recovering gallium from weapons plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Philip, C.V.; Anthony, R.G.; Chokkaram, S.

    1998-09-01

    Currently, the separation of gallium from weapons plutonium involves the use of aqueous processing using either solvent extraction of ion exchange. However, this process generates significant quantities of liquid radioactive wastes. A Thermally Induced Gallium Removal process, or TIGR, developed by researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratories, is a simpler alternative to aqueous processing. This research examined this process, and the behavior of gallium suboxide, a vapor that is swept away by passing hydrogen/argon over gallium trioxide/plutonium oxide heated at 1100 C during the TIGR process. Through experimental procedures, efforts were made to prevent the deposition of corrosive gallium onto furnace and vent surfaces. Experimental procedures included three options for gallium removal and collection: (1) collection of gallium suboxide through use of a cold finger; (2) collection by in situ air oxidation; and (3) collection of gallium on copper. Results conclude all three collection mechanisms are feasible. In addition, gallium trioxide exists in three crystalline forms, and each form was encountered during each experiment, and that each form will have a different reactivity

  8. A Roadmap and Discussion of Issues for Physics Analyses Required to Support Plutonium Disposition in VVER-1000 Reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Primm, R.T.; Drischler, J.D.; Pavlovichev, A.M.; Styrine, Y.A.

    2000-01-01

    The purpose of this report is to document the physics analyses that must be performed to successfully disposition weapons-usable plutonium in VVER-1000 reactors in the Russian Federation. The report is a document to support programmatic and financial planning. It does not include documentation of the technical procedures by which physics analyses are performed, nor are the results of any analyses included

  9. A Roadmap and Discussion of Issues for Physics Analyses Required to Support Plutonium Disposition in VVER-1000 Reactors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Primm, R.T.; Drischler, J.D.; Pavlovichev, A.M. Styrine, Y.A.

    2000-06-01

    The purpose of this report is to document the physics analyses that must be performed to successfully disposition weapons-usable plutonium in VVER-1000 reactors in the Russian Federation. The report is a document to support programmatic and financial planning. It does not include documentation of the technical procedures by which physics analyses are performed, nor are the results of any analyses included.

  10. Laboratory directed research and development on disposal of plutonium recovered from weapons. FY1994 final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pitts, J.H.; Choi, J.S.

    1994-01-01

    This research project was conceived as a multi-year plan to study the use of mixed plutonium oxide-uranium oxide (MOX) fuel in existing nuclear reactors. Four areas of investigation were originally proposed: (1) study reactor physics including evaluation of control rod worth and power distribution during normal operation and transients; (2) evaluate accidents focusing upon the reduced control rod worth and reduced physical properties of PuO 2 ; (3) assess the safeguards required during fabrication and use of plutonium bearing fuel assemblies; and (4) study public acceptance issues associated with using material recovered from weapons to fuel a nuclear reactor. First year accomplishments are described. Appendices contain 2 reports entitled: development and validation of advanced computational capability for MOX fueled ALWR assembly designs; and long-term criticality safety concerns associated with weapons plutonium disposition

  11. Getting the plutonium disposition job done: the concept of a joint-venture disposition enterprise financed by additional sales of highly enriched uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bunn, M.

    1996-01-01

    The paper gives an outline of a concept which has the potential to provide both substantial financing needed for disposition of plutonium from excess nuclear weapons and the long-term management structure required to implement this effort. The three most important issues were underlined. First, it is urgent to modernize security and accounting systems for all weapon-usable nuclear materials, particularly from former Soviet Union. Second, excess plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) must be brought under international monitoring to ensure irreversibility of nuclear arms reduction. Third, quick move should be done towards actual disposition of excess plutonium and HEU. Technology already exists, but the key issues are how to get finance and manage this operation, particularly given its immense scope and controversial nature. An international joint venture 'Enterprise for nuclear Security' that would build and operate plutonium disposition facilities under stringent non-proliferation controls, financed through additional sales of HEU is a potentially promising approach to addressing the most difficult issues facing the disposition problem

  12. 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

  13. Chemical Disposition of Plutonium in Hanford Site Tank Wastes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Delegard, Calvin H. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Jones, Susan A. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2015-05-07

    This report examines the chemical disposition of plutonium (Pu) in Hanford Site tank wastes, by itself and in its observed and potential interactions with the neutron absorbers aluminum (Al), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), and sodium (Na). Consideration also is given to the interactions of plutonium with uranium (U). No consideration of the disposition of uranium itself as an element with fissile isotopes is considered except tangentially with respect to its interaction as an absorber for plutonium. The report begins with a brief review of Hanford Site plutonium processes, examining the various means used to recover plutonium from irradiated fuel and from scrap, and also examines the intermediate processing of plutonium to prepare useful chemical forms. The paper provides an overview of Hanford tank defined-waste–type compositions and some calculations of the ratios of plutonium to absorber elements in these waste types and in individual waste analyses. These assessments are based on Hanford tank waste inventory data derived from separately published, expert assessments of tank disposal records, process flowsheets, and chemical/radiochemical analyses. This work also investigates the distribution and expected speciation of plutonium in tank waste solution and solid phases. For the solid phases, both pure plutonium compounds and plutonium interactions with absorber elements are considered. These assessments of plutonium chemistry are based largely on analyses of idealized or simulated tank waste or strongly alkaline systems. The very limited information available on plutonium behavior, disposition, and speciation in genuine tank waste also is discussed. The assessments show that plutonium coprecipitates strongly with chromium, iron, manganese and uranium absorbers. Plutonium’s chemical interactions with aluminum, nickel, and sodium are minimal to non-existent. Credit for neutronic interaction of plutonium with these absorbers

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. The Minatom concept of surplus weapons plutonium utilization in Russia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yegorov, N.N.; Bogdan, V.V.; Kagramanian, V.S.

    1996-01-01

    The fuel cycle industry in Russia has necessary basis and experience to begin solving problems of ensuring safe utilisation of weapons plutonium. Russian concept of plutonium management (both civil and military) is based on the fuel cycle closing in the nuclear power industry to increase the efficiency of the fuel use and decrease the activity of the long lived waste. Short term program of plutonium management in Russia includes safe and reliable storage of weapons and separated civil plutonium until they are used in reactors. Further studies are needed concerning optimal use of MOX fuel in fast BN reactors as well as in WWER type reactors having in mind non-proliferation aspects, nuclear radiation safety, economics and ecology

  18. Chinese strategic weapons and the plutonium option (U)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lewis, John W.; Xui Litai

    1988-04-01

    In their article "Chinese Strategic Weapons and the Plutonium Option," John W. Lewis and Xue Litai of the Center for International Security and Arms Control at Stanford University's International Strategic Institute present an unclassified look at plutonium processing in the PRC. The article draws heavily on unclassified PRC sources for its short look at this important subject. Interested readers will find more detailed information in the recently available works referenced in the article.

  19. Life cycle costs for the domestic reactor-based plutonium disposition option

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, K.A.

    1999-01-01

    Projected constant dollar life cycle cost (LCC) estimates are presented for the domestic reactor-based plutonium disposition program being managed by the US Department of Energy Office of Fissile Materials Disposition (DOE/MD). The scope of the LCC estimate includes: design, construction, licensing, operation, and deactivation of a mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication facility (FFF) that will be used to purify and convert weapons-derived plutonium oxides to MOX fuel pellets and fabricate MOX fuel bundles for use in commercial pressurized-water reactors (PWRs); fuel qualification activities and modification of facilities required for manufacture of lead assemblies that will be used to qualify and license this MOX fuel; and modification, licensing, and operation of commercial PWRs to allow irradiation of a partial core of MOX fuel in combination with low-enriched uranium fuel. The baseline cost elements used for this document are the same as those used for examination of the preferred sites described in the site-specific final environmental impact statement and in the DOE Record of Decision that will follow in late 1999. Cost data are separated by facilities, government accounting categories, contract phases, and expenditures anticipated by the various organizations who will participate in the program over a 20-year period. Total LCCs to DOE/MD are projected at approximately $1.4 billion for a 33-MT plutonium disposition mission

  20. Optimization and implementation study of plutonium disposition using existing CANDU Reactors. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-09-01

    Since early 1994, the Department of Energy has been sponsoring studies aimed at evaluating the merits of disposing of surplus US weapons plutonium as Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel in existing commercial Canadian Pressurized Heavy Water reactors, known as CANDU's. The first report, submitted to DOE in July, 1994 (the 1994 Executive Summary is attached), identified practical and safe options for the consumption of 50 to 100 tons of plutonium in 25 years in some of the existing CANDU reactors operating the Bruce A generating station, on Lake Huron, about 300 km north east of Detroit. By designing the fuel and nuclear performance to operate within existing experience and operating/performance envelope, and by utilizing existing fuel fabrication and transportation facilities and methods, a low cost, low risk method for long term plutonium disposition was developed. In December, 1995, in response to evolving Mission Requirements, the DOE requested a further study of the CANDU option with emphasis on more rapid disposition of the plutonium, and retaining the early start and low risk features of the earlier work. This report is the result of that additional work

  1. GLASS FABRICATION AND PRODUCT CONSISTENCY TESTING OF LANTHANIDE BOROSILICATE FRIT X COMPOSITION FOR PLUTONIUM DISPOSITION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marra, J

    2006-11-15

    The Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management (DOE/EM) plans to conduct the Plutonium Disposition Project at the Savannah River Site (SRS) to disposition excess weapons-usable plutonium. A plutonium glass waste form is the preferred option for immobilization of the plutonium for subsequent disposition in a geologic repository. A reference glass composition (Lanthanide Borosilicate (LaBS) Frit B) was developed during the Plutonium Immobilization Program (PIP) to immobilize plutonium in the late 1990's. A limited amount of performance testing was performed on this baseline composition before efforts to further pursue Pu disposition via a glass waste form ceased. Recent FY05 studies have further investigated the LaBS Frit B formulation as well as development of a newer LaBS formulation denoted as LaBS Frit X. The objectives of this present task were to fabricate plutonium loaded LaBS Frit X glass and perform corrosion testing to provide near-term data that will increase confidence that LaBS glass product is suitable for disposal in the Yucca Mountain Repository. Specifically, testing was conducted in an effort to provide data to Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) personnel for use in performance assessment calculations. Plutonium containing LaBS glass with the Frit X composition with a 9.5 wt% PuO{sub 2} loading was prepared for testing. Glass was prepared to support Product Consistency Testing (PCT) at Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL). The glass was thoroughly characterized using x-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) prior to performance testing. A series of PCTs were conducted at SRNL using quenched Pu Frit X glass with varying exposed surface areas. Effects of isothermal and can-in-canister heat treatments on the Pu Frit X glass were also investigated. Another series of PCTs were performed on these different heat-treated Pu Frit X glasses. Leachates from all these PCTs

  2. Accelerator-based conversion (ABC) of reactor and weapons plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jensen, R.J.; Trapp, T.J.; Arthur, E.D.; Bowman, C.D.; Davidson, J.W.; Linford, R.K.

    1993-01-01

    An accelerator-based conversion (ABC) system is presented that is capable of rapidly burning plutonium in a low-inventory sub-critical system. The system also returns fission power to the grid and transmutes troublesome long-lived fission products to short lived or stable products. Higher actinides are totally fissioned. The system is suited not only to controlled, rapid burning of excess weapons plutonium, but to the long range application of eliminating or drastically reducing the world total inventory of plutonium. Deployment of the system will require the successful resolution of a broad range of technical issues introduced in the paper

  3. Accelerator-based conversion (ABC) of reactor and weapons plutonium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jensen, R.J.; Trapp, T.J.; Arthur, E.D.; Bowman, C.D.; Davidson, J.W.; Linford, R.K.

    1993-06-01

    An accelerator-based conversion (ABC) system is presented that is capable of rapidly burning plutonium in a low-inventory sub-critical system. The system also returns fission power to the grid and transmutes troublesome long-lived fission products to short lived or stable products. Higher actinides are totally fissioned. The system is suited not only to controlled, rapid burning of excess weapons plutonium, but to the long range application of eliminating or drastically reducing the world total inventory of plutonium. Deployment of the system will require the successful resolution of a broad range of technical issues introduced in the paper.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Disposition of already separated plutonium in Russia: Consideration of short- and long-term options

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Diakov, A.S.

    1995-01-01

    The plutonium stockpile presents a serious risk to national and international security. However, the utilization of already separated plutonium involves a complex set of political, technical, economical, and environmental problems. How Russia can best deal with all the problems associated with plutonium stockpiles is the subject of this paper. The official Russian concept of plutonium utilization views it as a valuable energy source. This concept entails the following two measures: (1) storage of both surplus weapons and civil plutonium; (2) fabrication of MOX fuel for future use in a different type of reactor: light-water reactors and fast-neutron reactors. To implement this concept, building four 800-Megawatt fast-neutron reactors and completing the construction of MOX plant is proposed. Technical and economical evaluations are being conducted on plutonium utilization in VVER-1000 reactors. When operating, these reactors (four BN-800 and seven VVER-1000) could dispose of about 9 tons of plutonium per year. But given Russia's current chaotic political and economic conditions, it seems unlikely that these plans will be carried out any time soon. Furthermore, the comparative economic analysis conducted for the different types of fuel cycles shows that due to several factors there is no economic motivation for Russia to use plutonium for fuel fabrication in the near future. These observations indicate that the real question that needs to be answered is what priority needs to be placed on short-, medium-, and long-term to identify and choose between different disposition options? This question is easily answered when one considers the currently turbulent political and economic situation in Russia. The priority that makes the most sense is to concentrate efforts on short-term options

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Fabrication of mixed oxide fuel using plutonium from dismantled weapons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blair, H.T.; Chidester, K.; Ramsey, K.B.

    1996-01-01

    A very brief summary is presented of experimental studies performed to support the use of plutonium from dismantled weapons in fabricating mixed oxide (MOX) fuel for commercial power reactors. Thermal treatment tests were performed on plutonium dioxide powder to determine if an effective dry gallium removal process could be devised. Fabrication tests were performed to determine the effects of various processing parameters on pellet quality. Thermal tests results showed that the final gallium content is highly dependent on the treatment temperature. Fabrication tests showed that the milling process, sintering parameters, and uranium feed did effect pellet properties. 1 ref., 1 tab

  10. GLASS FABRICATION AND PRODUCT CONSISTENCY TESTING OF LANTHANIDE BOROSHILICATE FRIT X COMPOSITION FOR PLUTONIUM DISPOSITION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marra, J

    2006-11-21

    The Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management (DOE/EM) plans to conduct the Plutonium Disposition Project at the Savannah River Site (SRS) to disposition excess weapons-usable plutonium. A plutonium glass waste form is the preferred option for immobilization of the plutonium for subsequent disposition in a geologic repository. A reference glass composition (Lanthanide Borosilicate (LaBS) Frit B) was developed during the Plutonium Immobilization Program (PIP) to immobilize plutonium in the late 1990's. A limited amount of performance testing was performed on this baseline composition before efforts to further pursue Pu disposition via a glass waste form ceased. Recent FY05 studies have further investigated the LaBS Frit B formulation as well as development of a newer LaBS formulation denoted as LaBS Frit X. The objectives of this present task were to fabricate plutonium loaded LaBS Frit X glass and perform corrosion testing to provide near-term data that will increase confidence that LaBS glass product is suitable for disposal in the Yucca Mountain Repository. Specifically, testing was conducted in an effort to provide data to Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) personnel for use in performance assessment calculations. Plutonium containing LaBS glass with the Frit X composition with a 9.5 wt% PuO{sub 2} loading was prepared for testing. Glass was prepared to support Product Consistency Testing (PCT) at Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL). The glass was thoroughly characterized using x-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) prior to performance testing. A series of PCTs were conducted at SRNL using quenched Pu Frit X glass with varying exposed surface areas. Effects of isothermal and can-in-canister heat treatments on the Pu Frit X glass were also investigated. Another series of PCTs were performed on these different heat-treated Pu Frit X glasses. Leachates from all these PCTs

  11. Summary report of the screening process to determine reasonable alternatives for long-term storage and disposition of weapons-usable fissile materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    Significant quantities of weapons-usable fissile materials (primarily plutonium and highly enriched uranium) have become surplus to national defense needs both in the US and Russia. These stocks of fissile materials pose significant dangers to national and international security. The dangers exist not only in the potential proliferation of nuclear weapons but also in the potential for environmental, safety and health consequences if surplus fissile materials are not properly managed. As announced in the Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS), the Department of Energy is currently conducting an evaluation process for disposition of surplus weapons-usable fissile materials determined surplus to National Security needs, and long-term storage of national security and programmatic inventories, and surplus weapons-usable fissile materials that are not able to go directly from interim storage to disposition. An extensive set of long-term storage and disposition options was compiled. Five broad long-term storage options were identified; thirty-seven options were considered for plutonium disposition; nine options were considered for HEU disposition; and eight options were identified for Uranium-233 disposition. Section 2 discusses the criteria used in the screening process. Section 3 describes the options considered, and Section 4 provides a detailed summary discussions of the screening results

  12. Summary report of the screening process to determine reasonable alternatives for long-term storage and disposition of weapons-usable fissile materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-03-29

    Significant quantities of weapons-usable fissile materials (primarily plutonium and highly enriched uranium) have become surplus to national defense needs both in the US and Russia. These stocks of fissile materials pose significant dangers to national and international security. The dangers exist not only in the potential proliferation of nuclear weapons but also in the potential for environmental, safety and health consequences if surplus fissile materials are not properly managed. As announced in the Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS), the Department of Energy is currently conducting an evaluation process for disposition of surplus weapons-usable fissile materials determined surplus to National Security needs, and long-term storage of national security and programmatic inventories, and surplus weapons-usable fissile materials that are not able to go directly from interim storage to disposition. An extensive set of long-term storage and disposition options was compiled. Five broad long-term storage options were identified; thirty-seven options were considered for plutonium disposition; nine options were considered for HEU disposition; and eight options were identified for Uranium-233 disposition. Section 2 discusses the criteria used in the screening process. Section 3 describes the options considered, and Section 4 provides a detailed summary discussions of the screening results.

  13. Disposition of excess plutonium using ''off-spec'' MOX pellets as a sintered ceramic waste form

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1996-02-01

    The authors describe a potential strategy for the disposition of excess weapons plutonium in a way that minimizes (1) technological risks, (2) implementation costs and completion schedules, and (3) requirements for constructing and operating new or duplicative Pu disposition facilities. This is accomplished by an optimized combination of (1) using existing nuclear power reactors to ''burn'' relatively pure excess Pu inventories as mixed oxide (MOX) fuel and (2) using the same MOX fuel fabrication facilities to fabricate contaminated or impure excess Pu inventories into an ''off-spec'' MOX solid ceramic waste form for geologic disposition. Diversion protection for the SCWF to meet the ''spent fuel standard'' introduced by the National Academy of Sciences can be achieved in at least three ways. (1) One can utilize the radiation field from defense high-level nuclear waste by first packaging the SCWF pellets in 2- to 4-L cans that are subsequently encapsulated in radioactive glass in the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) glass canisters (a ''can-in-canister'' approach). (2) One can add 137 Cs (recovered from defense wastes at Hanford and currently stored as CsCl in capsules) to an encapsulating matrix such as cement for the SCWF pellets in a small hot-cell facility and thus fabricate large monolithic forms. (3) The SCWF can be fabricated into reactor fuel-like pellets and placed in tubes similar to fuel assemblies, which can then be mixed in sealed repository containers with irradiated spent nuclear fuel for geologic disposition

  14. Plutonium-bearing materials feed report for the DOE Fissile Materials Disposition Program alternatives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brough, W.G.; Boerigter, S.T.

    1995-01-01

    This report has identified all plutonium currently excess to DOE Defense Programs under current planning assumptions. A number of material categories win clearly fan within the scope of the MD (Materials Disposition) program, but the fate of the other categories are unknown at the present time. MD planning requires that estimates be made of those materials likely to be considered for disposition actions so that bounding cases for the PEIS (Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement) can be determined and so that processing which may be required can be identified in considering the various alternatives. A systematic analysis of the various alternatives in reachmg the preferred alternative requires an understanding of the possible range of values which may be taken by the various categories of feed materials. One table identifies the current total inventories excess to Defense Program planning needs and represents the bounding total of Pu which may become part of the MD disposition effort for all materials, except site return weapons. The other categories, principally irradiated fuel, rich scrap, and lean scrap, are discussed. Another table summarizes the ranges and expected quantities of Pu which could become the responsibility of the MD program. These values are to be used for assessing the impact of the various alternatives and for scaling operations to assess PEIS impact. Determination of the actual materials to be included in the disposition program will be done later

  15. A methodology for the analysis and selection of alternatives for the disposition of surplus plutonium. Quarterly technical progress report, April 1, 1995--June 30, 1995

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mulder, R.

    1995-01-01

    The Office of Fissile Materials Disposition is currently involved in the development of a comprehensive approach to the long-term storage and disposition of fissile materials. A major objective of this effort is to provide a framework for US efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. This will entail both the elimination of excess highly enriched uranium and plutonium, and the insurance of the highest standards of safety, security, and international accountability. The Office of Fissile Materials Disposition is supporting an Interagency Working Group that has initiated a comprehensive review of alternatives for plutonium disposition which takes into account non-proliferation, economic, technical, institutional, schedule, environmental, and health and safety issues. These alternatives were identified by the development of screening criteria as a guide to the selection of alternatives that best achieve the fissile nuclear material long-term storage and disposition goals of the US Government

  16. 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.)

  17. A comparative assessment of the economics of plutonium disposition including comparison with other nuclear fuel cycles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, K.A.; Miller, J.W.; Reid, R.L.

    1997-01-01

    DOE has been evaluating three technologies for the disposition of approximately 50 metric tons of surplus plutonium from defense-related programs: reactors, immobilization, and deep boreholes. As part of the process supporting an early CY 1997 Record of Decision (ROD), a comprehensive assessment of technical viability, cost, and schedule has been conducted. Oak Ridge National Laboratory has managed and coordinated the life-cycle cost (LCC) assessment effort for this program. This paper discusses the economic analysis methodology and the results prior to ROD. Other objectives of the paper are to discuss major technical and economic issues that impact plutonium disposition cost and schedule. Also to compare the economics of a once-through weapons-derived MOX nuclear fuel cycle to other fuel cycles, such as those utilizing spent fuel reprocessing. To evaluate the economics of these technologies on an equitable basis, a set of cost estimating guidelines and a common cost-estimating format were utilized by all three technology teams. This paper also includes the major economic analysis assumptions and the comparative constant-dollar and discounted-dollar LCCs

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.)

  3. A Methodology for the Analysis and Selection of Alternative for the Disposition of Surplus Plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1999-01-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) - Office of Fissile Materials Disposition (OFMD) has announced a Record of Decision (ROD) selecting alternatives for disposition of surplus plutonium. A major objective of this decision was to further U.S. efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Other concerns that were addressed include economic, technical, institutional, schedule, environmental, and health and safety issues. The technical, environmental, and nonproliferation analyses supporting the ROD are documented in three DOE reports (DOE-TSR 96, DOE-PEIS 96, and DOE-NN 97, respectively). At the request of OFMD, a team of analysts from the Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium (ANRCP) provided an independent evaluation of the alternatives for plutonium that were considered during the evaluation effort. This report outlines the methodology used by the ANRCP team. This methodology, referred to as multiattribute utility theory (MAU), provides a structure for assembling results of detailed technical, economic, schedule, environment, and nonproliferation analyses for OFMD, DOE policy makers, other stakeholders, and the general public in a systematic way. The MAU methodology has been supported for use in similar situations by the National Research Council, an agency of the National Academy of Sciences.1 It is important to emphasize that the MAU process does not lead to a computerized model that actually determines the decision for a complex problem. MAU is a management tool that is one component, albeit a key component, of a decision process. We subscribe to the philosophy that the result of using models should be insights, not numbers. The MAU approach consists of four steps: (1) identification of alternatives, objectives, and performance measures, (2) estimation of the performance of the alternatives with respect to the objectives, (3) development of value functions and weights for the objectives, and (4) evaluation of the alternatives and sensitivity

  4. A comparative assessment of the economics of plutonium disposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, K.A.; Miller, J.W.; Reid, R.L.

    1997-01-01

    The US Department of Energy office of Fissile Materials Disposition (DOE/MD) has been evaluating three technologies for the disposition of approximately 50 metric tons of surplus plutonium from defense-related programs: reactors, immobilization, and deep boreholes. As part of the process supporting an early CY 1997 Record of Decision (ROD), a comprehensive assessment of technical viability, cost, and schedule has been conducted by DOE/MD and its national laboratory contractors. Oak Ridge National Laboratory has managed and coordinated the life-cycle cost (LCC) assessment effort for this program. This paper discusses the economic analysis methodology and the results prior to ROD. A secondary intent of the paper is to discuss major technical and economic issues that impact cost and schedule. To evaluate the economics of these technologies on an equitable basis, a set of cost-estimating guidelines and a common cost-estimating format were utilized by all three technology teams. This paper also includes the major economic analysis assumptions and the comparative constant-dollar and discounted-dollar LCCs

  5. Underground autocatalytic-criticality potential and its implications to weapons fissile- material disposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choi, J.-S.

    1998-01-01

    Several options for weapons fissile-material disposition, such as once-through mixed- oxide (MOX) fuel in reactors or immobilisation in waste glass, would result in end products requiring geologic disposal. The criticality potential of the fissile end products containing U-235 and Pu-239 and the associated consequences in a geologic setting are important considerations for the final disposal of these materials. The possibility of underground criticality, and especially autocatalytic criticality, is affected by (1) groundwater leaking into a failed waste container, (2) preferential leaching of neutron absorbers or of fissile material from a failed container, and (3) preferential deposition of fissile material in the surrounding rock. Bowman and Venneri have pointed out that fissile material mixed with varying compositions of water and silica can undergo a nuclear chain reaction. Some configurations can become autocatalytically supercritical resulting in considerable energy release, terminated finally by disassembly. Some reviews rejected the Bowman and Venneri warning as implausible because of low probabilities of scenarios that could lead to such configurations. Sanchez et al. reported possible supercritical conditions in systems of Pu-SiO 2 -H 2 O and Pu-tuff-H 2 O but concluded that the probability of forming such combinations is extremely low. Kastenberg et al. studied the potential for autocatalytic criticality of plutonium or highly enriched uranium in the proposed Yucca Mountain geologic repository. They concluded that plutonium or uranium could, theoretically, become supercritical, but that such criticality is unlikely given the hydrology, geology and geochemistry of the Yucca Mountain site. These studies are not definitive. The possibility of criticality exists. Detailed mechanisms have not been sufficiently studied for clear conclusions on the probabilities of occurrence. More technical analysis is needed to understand the potential for underground

  6. A host phase for the disposal of weapons plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lutze, Werner; Helean, K.B.; Gong, W.L.; Ewing, Rodney C.

    1999-01-01

    Research was conducted into the possible use of zircon (ZrSiO 4 ) as a host phase for storage or disposal of excess weapons plutonium. Zircon is one of the most chemically durable minerals. Its structure can accommodate a variety of elements, including plutonium and uranium. Natural zircon contains uranium and thorium together in different quantities, usually in the range of less than one weight percent up to several weight percent. Zircon occurs in nature as a crystalline or a partially to fully metamict mineral, depending on age and actinide element concentration, i.e., on radiation damage. These zircon samples have been studied extensively and the results are documented in the literature in terms of radiation damage to the crystal structure and related property changes, e.g., density, hardness, loss of uranium and lead, etc. Thus, a unique suite of natural analogues are available to describe the effect of decay of 239 Pu on zircon's structure and how zircon's physical and chemical properties will be affected over very long periods of time. Actually, the oldest zircon samples known are over 3 billion years old. This period covers the time for decay of 239 Pu (half-life 24,300 yr.) and most of its daughter 235 U (half-life 700 million yr.). Because of its chemical durability, even under extreme geological conditions, zircon is the most widely used mineral for geochronological dating (7,000 publications). It is the oldest dated mineral on earth and in the universe. Zircon has already been doped with about 10 weight percent of plutonium. Pure PuSiO 4 has also been synthesized and has the same crystal structure as zircon. However, use of zircon as a storage medium or waste form for plutonium requires further materials characterization. Experiments can either be conducted in laboratories where plutonium can be handled or plutonium can be simulated by other elements, and experiments can be done under less restricted conditions. The authors conducted work with zircon

  7. 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)

  8. 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

  9. Disposition of TA-33-21, a plutonium contaminated experimental facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1975-01-01

    The report discusses the decontamination, demolition and disposal of a plutonium contaminated experimental physics facility which housed physics experiments with plutonium from 1951 until 1960. The results of preliminary decontamination efforts in 1960 are reported along with health physics, waste management, and environmental aspects of final disposition work accomplished during 1974 and 1975. (auth)

  10. 75 FR 41850 - Amended Notice of Intent to Modify the Scope of the Surplus Plutonium Disposition Supplemental...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-19

    ... and packaging capabilities, including direct metal oxidation, to fulfill plutonium storage..., disassemble nuclear weapons pits (a weapons component) and convert the plutonium metal to an oxide form for fabrication into mixed uranium-plutonium oxide (MOX) reactor fuel in the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility...

  11. On weapons plutonium in the arctic environment (Thule, Greenland)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eriksson, M

    2002-04-01

    This thesis concerns a nuclear accident that occurred in the Thule (Pituffik) area, NW Greenland in 1968, called the Thule accident.Results are based on different analytical techniques, i.e. gamma spectrometry, alpha spectrometry, ICP-MS, SEM with EDX and different sediment models, i.e. (CRS, CIC). The scope of the thesis is the study of hot particles. Studies on these have shown several interesting features, e.g. that they carry most of the activity dispersed from the accident, moreover, they have been very useful in the determination of the source term for the Thule accident debris. Paper I, is an overview of the results from the Thule-97 expedition. This paper concerns the marine environment, i.e. water, sediment and benthic animals in the Bylot Sound. The main conclusions are; that plutonium is not transported from the contaminated sediments into the surface water in this shelf sea, the debris has been efficiently buried in the sediment to great depth as a result of biological activity and transfer of plutonium to benthic biota is low. Paper II, concludes that the resuspension of accident debris on land has been limited and indications were, that americium has a faster transport mechanism from the catchment area to lakes than plutonium and radio lead. Paper III, is a method description of inventory calculation techniques in sediment with heterogeneous activity concentration, i.e. hot particles are present in the samples. It is concluded that earlier inventory estimates have been under estimated and that the new inventory is about 3.8 kg (10 TBq) of {sup 239,240}Pu. Paper IV, describes hot particle separation/identification techniques using real-time digital image systems. These techniques are much faster than conventionally used autoradiography and give the results in real time. Paper V, is a study of single isolated hot particles. The most interesting result is that the fission material in the weapons involved in the accident mostly consisted of {sup 235}U

  12. On weapons plutonium in the arctic environment (Thule, Greenland)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eriksson, M.

    2002-04-01

    This thesis concerns a nuclear accident that occurred in the Thule (Pituffik) area, NW Greenland in 1968, called the Thule accident.Results are based on different analytical techniques, i.e. gamma spectrometry, alpha spectrometry, ICP-MS, SEM with EDX and different sediment models, i.e. (CRS, CIC). The scope of the thesis is the study of hot particles. Studies on these have shown several interesting features, e.g. that they carry most of the activity dispersed from the accident, moreover, they have been very useful in the determination of the source term for the Thule accident debris. Paper I, is an overview of the results from the Thule-97 expedition. This paper concerns the marine environment, i.e. water, sediment and benthic animals in the Bylot Sound. The main conclusions are; that plutonium is not transported from the contaminated sediments into the surface water in this shelf sea, the debris has been efficiently buried in the sediment to great depth as a result of biological activity and transfer of plutonium to benthic biota is low. Paper II, concludes that the resuspension of accident debris on land has been limited and indications were, that americium has a faster transport mechanism from the catchment area to lakes than plutonium and radio lead. Paper III, is a method description of inventory calculation techniques in sediment with heterogeneous activity concentration, i.e. hot particles are present in the samples. It is concluded that earlier inventory estimates have been under estimated and that the new inventory is about 3.8 kg (10 TBq) of 239,240 Pu. Paper IV, describes hot particle separation/identification techniques using real-time digital image systems. These techniques are much faster than conventionally used autoradiography and give the results in real time. Paper V, is a study of single isolated hot particles. The most interesting result is that the fission material in the weapons involved in the accident mostly consisted of 235 U (about 4times

  13. Long-term retrievability and safeguards for immobilized weapons plutonium in geologic storage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peterson, P.F.

    1996-01-01

    If plutonium is not ultimately used as an energy source, the quantity of excess weapons plutonium (w-Pu) that would go into a US repository will be small compared to the quantity of plutonium contained in the commercial spent fuel in the repository, and the US repository(ies) will likely be only one (or two) locations out of many around the world where commercial spent fuel will be stored. Therefore excess weapons plutonium creates a small perturbation to the long-term (over 200,000 yr) global safeguard requirements for spent fuel. There are details in the differences between spent fuel and immobilized w-Pu waste forms (i.e. chemical separation methods, utility for weapons, nuclear testing requirements), but these are sufficiently small to be unlikely to play a significant role in any US political decision to rebuild weapons inventories, or to change the long-term risks of theft by subnational groups

  14. Long-term retrievability and safeguards for immobilized weapons plutonium in geologic storage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peterson, P.F. [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    1996-05-01

    If plutonium is not ultimately used as an energy source, the quantity of excess weapons plutonium (w-Pu) that would go into a US repository will be small compared to the quantity of plutonium contained in the commercial spent fuel in the repository, and the US repository(ies) will likely be only one (or two) locations out of many around the world where commercial spent fuel will be stored. Therefore excess weapons plutonium creates a small perturbation to the long-term (over 200,000 yr) global safeguard requirements for spent fuel. There are details in the differences between spent fuel and immobilized w-Pu waste forms (i.e. chemical separation methods, utility for weapons, nuclear testing requirements), but these are sufficiently small to be unlikely to play a significant role in any US political decision to rebuild weapons inventories, or to change the long-term risks of theft by subnational groups.

  15. Unconventional options for plutonium disposition. Proceedings of a technical committee meeting held in Obninsk, Russian Federation, 7-11 November 1994

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-11-01

    This publication summarizes discussions and presents selected papers from a Technical Committee meeting that the IAEA convened in Obninsk, near Moscow, Russia, 7-11 November 1994 at the invitation of the Ministry of the Russian Federation on Atomic Energy, and which was hosted by the Institute of Physics and Power Engineering. The meeting focused on the disposition of plutonium produced from the operation of nuclear power plants in areas related to the nuclear fuel cycle. Plutonium is formed in all existing nuclear power plants and the unconsumed part remaining in spent fuel is a generic by-product of nuclear power generation. Over the next 15 to 20 years, a significant amount of plutonium will be produced in nuclear power stations worldwide, adding to amounts already in storage. Additionally, the world`s plutonium stocks are being affected by decisions concerning the management and utilization of plutonium recovered from nuclear weapons which are being dismantled. In this context, national strategies are directed at reducing the stockpiles of separated plutonium worldwide, and in further developing technologies capable of safely and securely using and handling plutonium. The purpose of the IAEA`s Technical Committee meeting was to consider unconventional approaches for plutonium disposition, both from the points of view of the fuel cycle as a whole and the specific types of nuclear fuel being used. The aims were to obtain technical descriptions of these approaches, engineering judgements on their technological status and development, and reports on national experience in this field. The meeting`s results and conclusions are providing valuable guidance for future activities in this subject area. Refs, figs and tabs.

  16. Unconventional options for plutonium disposition. Proceedings of a technical committee meeting held in Obninsk, Russian Federation, 7-11 November 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-11-01

    This publication summarizes discussions and presents selected papers from a Technical Committee meeting that the IAEA convened in Obninsk, near Moscow, Russia, 7-11 November 1994 at the invitation of the Ministry of the Russian Federation on Atomic Energy, and which was hosted by the Institute of Physics and Power Engineering. The meeting focused on the disposition of plutonium produced from the operation of nuclear power plants in areas related to the nuclear fuel cycle. Plutonium is formed in all existing nuclear power plants and the unconsumed part remaining in spent fuel is a generic by-product of nuclear power generation. Over the next 15 to 20 years, a significant amount of plutonium will be produced in nuclear power stations worldwide, adding to amounts already in storage. Additionally, the world's plutonium stocks are being affected by decisions concerning the management and utilization of plutonium recovered from nuclear weapons which are being dismantled. In this context, national strategies are directed at reducing the stockpiles of separated plutonium worldwide, and in further developing technologies capable of safely and securely using and handling plutonium. The purpose of the IAEA's Technical Committee meeting was to consider unconventional approaches for plutonium disposition, both from the points of view of the fuel cycle as a whole and the specific types of nuclear fuel being used. The aims were to obtain technical descriptions of these approaches, engineering judgements on their technological status and development, and reports on national experience in this field. The meeting's results and conclusions are providing valuable guidance for future activities in this subject area. Refs, figs and tabs

  17. Plutonium in the marine environment at Thule, NW-Greenland after a nuclear weapons accident

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dahlgaard, H.; Eriksson, M.; Ilus, E.

    2001-01-01

    was revisited in August 1997, 29 years after the accident. Water and brown algae data indicate that plutonium is not transported from the contaminated sediments into the surface waters in significant quantities. Sediment core data only indicate minor translocation of plutonium from the accident to the area...... outside Bylot Sound. The present data support an earlier quantification of the sedimentation rate as 2-4 mm per year, i.e. 5-12 cm during the 29 years since the accident. Biological activity has mixed accident plutonium much deeper down, to 20-30 cm, and the 5-12 cm new sediment has been efficiently mixed...... than in sediments. Some biota groups show a somewhat higher uptake of americium than of plutonium. Sediment samples with weapons plutonium from the accident show a significant variation in Pu-240/Pu-239 atom ratios in the range 0.027-0.057. This supports the hypothesis that the Thule plutonium...

  18. The disposition of civil plutonium in the UK

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sadnicki, M.J.; Barker, F.

    2001-01-01

    This paper quantifies the likely future stockpile of UK separated plutonium, and reviews current UK policy. The current strategy of storing plutonium oxide powder is shown to be inconsistent with passivity and disposability objectives. Analysis also shows that there is little potential for use on a commercial basis of Mixed-Oxide (MOX) fuel to reduce the stockpile. Four plutonium immobilisation options are defined, with particular reference to non-proliferation goals. The resource costs of implementing these options are quantified, together with the resource costs of a programme of Government-subsidized MOX use. Immobilisation may offer a more cost-effective solution than a MOX fuel route. (author)

  19. Fissile Material Disposition Program: Deep borehole disposal Facility PEIS date input report for immobilized disposal. Immobilized disposal of plutonium in coated ceramic pellets in grout with canisters. Version 3.0

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wijesinghe, A.M.; Shaffer, R.J.

    1996-01-01

    Following President Clinton's Non-Proliferation Initiative, launched in September, 1993, an Interagency Working Group (IWG) was established to conduct a comprehensive review of the options for the disposition of weapons-usable fissile materials from nuclear weapons dismantlement activities in the United States and the former Soviet Union. The IWG review process will consider technical, nonproliferation, environmental budgetary, and economic considerations in the disposal of plutonium. The IWG is co-chaired by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Security Council. The Department of Energy (DOE) is directly responsible for the management, storage, and disposition of all weapons-usable fissile material. The Department of Energy has been directed to prepare a comprehensive review of long-term options for Surplus Fissile Material (SFM) disposition, taking into account technical, nonproliferation, environmental, budgetary, and economic considerations

  20. Fissile Material Disposition Program: Deep borehole disposal Facility PEIS date input report for immobilized disposal. Immobilized disposal of plutonium in coated ceramic pellets in grout with canisters. Version 3.0

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wijesinghe, A.M.; Shaffer, R.J.

    1996-01-15

    Following President Clinton`s Non-Proliferation Initiative, launched in September, 1993, an Interagency Working Group (IWG) was established to conduct a comprehensive review of the options for the disposition of weapons-usable fissile materials from nuclear weapons dismantlement activities in the United States and the former Soviet Union. The IWG review process will consider technical, nonproliferation, environmental budgetary, and economic considerations in the disposal of plutonium. The IWG is co-chaired by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Security Council. The Department of Energy (DOE) is directly responsible for the management, storage, and disposition of all weapons-usable fissile material. The Department of Energy has been directed to prepare a comprehensive review of long-term options for Surplus Fissile Material (SFM) disposition, taking into account technical, nonproliferation, environmental, budgetary, and economic considerations.

  1. Disposition of PUREX facility tanks D5 and E6 uranium and plutonium solutions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harty, D.P.

    1993-12-01

    Approximately 9 kilograms of plutonium and 5 metric tons of uranium in a 1 molar nitric acid solution are being stored in two PUREX facility vessels, tanks D5 and E6. The plutonium was accumulated during cleanup activities of the plutonium product area of the PUREX facility. Personnel at PUREX recently completed a formal presentation to the Surplus Materials Peer Panel (SMPP) regarding disposition of the material currently in these tanks. The peer panel is a group of complex-wide experts who have been chartered by EM-64 (Office of Site and Facility Transfer) to provide a third party independent review of disposition decisions. The information presented to the peer panel is provided in the first section of this report. The panel was generally receptive to the information provided at that time and the recommendations which were identified

  2. 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

  3. Options For The Disposition Of UK Civil Plutonium Stocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moore, R.G.; Zimmerman, C.H.; Scales, C.; Worrall, A.; Sims, H.E.; Fowler, L. [Nexia Solutions Ltd (United Kingdom)

    2008-07-01

    The UK Civil Pu Disposition project will identify and assess the viability of several technical options for dealing with the UK's civil separated Pu stockpile and the discriminators that will support technology option down-selection decisions. The overall aim will be to deliver feasible technical options and comprehensive information on political, economic, sociological, environmental and technical factors for each strategic option. This paper briefly describes the work completed to date to assess immobilisation and re-use technologies as disposition strategies and on the work that will identify discriminators to support technology down-selection. The Pu disposition project is anticipated to continue for several years while the necessary investigations are made to fully understand the various options. The work planned over this period is discussed. (authors)

  4. Options For The Disposition Of UK Civil Plutonium Stocks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moore, R.G.; Zimmerman, C.H.; Scales, C.; Worrall, A.; Sims, H.E.; Fowler, L.

    2008-01-01

    The UK Civil Pu Disposition project will identify and assess the viability of several technical options for dealing with the UK's civil separated Pu stockpile and the discriminators that will support technology option down-selection decisions. The overall aim will be to deliver feasible technical options and comprehensive information on political, economic, sociological, environmental and technical factors for each strategic option. This paper briefly describes the work completed to date to assess immobilisation and re-use technologies as disposition strategies and on the work that will identify discriminators to support technology down-selection. The Pu disposition project is anticipated to continue for several years while the necessary investigations are made to fully understand the various options. The work planned over this period is discussed. (authors)

  5. 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)

  6. Plutonium stabilization and disposition focus area, FY 1999 and FY 2000 multi-year program plan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1998-03-01

    Consistent with the Environmental Management`s (EM`s) plan titled, ``Accelerating Cleanup: Paths to Closure``, and ongoing efforts within the Executive Branch and Congress, this Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP) for the Plutonium Focus Area was written to ensure that technical gap projects are effectively managed and measured. The Plutonium Focus Area (PFA) defines and manages technology development programs that contribute to the effective stabilization of nuclear materials and their subsequent safe storage and final disposition. The scope of PFA activities includes the complete spectrum of plutonium materials, special isotopes, and other fissile materials. The PFA enables solutions to site-specific and complex-wide technology issues associated with plutonium remediation, stabilization, and preparation for disposition. The report describes the current technical activities, namely: Plutonium stabilization (9 studies); Highly enriched uranium stabilization (2 studies); Russian collaboration program (2 studies); Packaging and storage technologies (6 studies); and PFA management work package/product line (3 studies). Budget information for FY 1999 and FY 2000 is provided.

  7. Plutonium stabilization and disposition focus area, FY 1999 and FY 2000 multi-year program plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-03-01

    Consistent with the Environmental Management's (EM's) plan titled, ''Accelerating Cleanup: Paths to Closure'', and ongoing efforts within the Executive Branch and Congress, this Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP) for the Plutonium Focus Area was written to ensure that technical gap projects are effectively managed and measured. The Plutonium Focus Area (PFA) defines and manages technology development programs that contribute to the effective stabilization of nuclear materials and their subsequent safe storage and final disposition. The scope of PFA activities includes the complete spectrum of plutonium materials, special isotopes, and other fissile materials. The PFA enables solutions to site-specific and complex-wide technology issues associated with plutonium remediation, stabilization, and preparation for disposition. The report describes the current technical activities, namely: Plutonium stabilization (9 studies); Highly enriched uranium stabilization (2 studies); Russian collaboration program (2 studies); Packaging and storage technologies (6 studies); and PFA management work package/product line (3 studies). Budget information for FY 1999 and FY 2000 is provided

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Alternative technical summary report for direct disposition in deep boreholes: Direct disposal of plutonium metal/plutonium dioxide in compound canisters, Version 4.0. Fissile Materials Disposition Program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wijesinghe, A.M.

    1996-08-23

    This report summarizes and compares the Immobilized and Direct Beep Borehole Disposition Alternatives. The important design concepts, facility features and operational procedures are briefly described, and a discussion of the issues that affect the evaluation of each alternative against the programmatic assessment criteria that have been established for selecting the preferred alternatives for plutonium disposition.

  11. A survey of the Maralinga atomic weapons testing range for residual plutonium contamination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ellis, W.R.

    1979-06-01

    Residual plutonium levels in soil, flora, fauna and the air of the Maralinga (South Australia) Atomic Weapons Testing Range are presented and discussed. It is shown that only on rare occasions (and possibly never) would the plutonium concentration in air from wind resuspended dust exceed the maximum allowable concentration for continuous exposure of the general public. In the case of artificially resuspended dust, this maximum concentration could be exceeded for short periods, but the accompanying dust level would be such that working conditions would be uncomfortable, if not intolerable. Potential hazards from other possible exposure routes are so low that they are of no consequence

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Site Selection for Surplus Plutonium Disposition Facilities at the Savannah River Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wike, L.D.

    2000-01-01

    A site selection study was conducted to evaluate locations for the proposed Surplus Plutonium Disposition Facilities. Facilities to be located include the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility, the Pit Disassembly and Conversion Facility (PDCF), and the Plutonium Immobilization Project (PIP) facility. Objectives of the study include: (1) Confirm that the Department of Energy (DOE) selected locations for the MOX and PDCF were suitable based on selected siting criteria, (2) Recommend a site in the vicinity of F Area that is suitable for the PIP, and (3) Identify alternative suitable sites for one or more of these facilities in the event that further geotechnical characterization or other considerations result in disqualification of a currently proposed site

  15. Disposition Options for Uranium-233

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beahm, E.C.; Dole, L.R.; Forsberg, C.W.; Icenhour, A.S.; Storch, S.N.

    1999-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Fissile Materials Disposition Program (MD), in support of the U.S. arms-control and nonproliferation policies, has initiated a program to disposition surplus weapons-usable fissile material by making it inaccessible and unattractive for use in nuclear weapons. Weapons-usable fissile materials include plutonium, high-enriched uranium (HEU), and uranium-233 (sup 233)U. In support of this program, Oak Ridge National Laboratory led DOE's contractor efforts to identify and characterize options for the long-term storage and disposal of excess (sup 233)U. Five storage and 17 disposal options were identified and are described herein

  16. LANL MOX fuel lead assemblies data report for the surplus plutonium disposition environmental impact statement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fisher, S.E.; Holdaway, R.; Ludwig, S.B.

    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. LANL 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 both Category 1 and 2 areas. Technical Area (TA) 55/Plutonium Facility 4 will be used to store the bulk PuO 2 powder, fabricate MOX fuel pellets, assemble rods, and store fuel bundles. Bundles will be assembled at a separate facility, several of which have been identified as suitable for that activity. The Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Building (at TA-3) will be used for analytical chemistry support. Waste operations will be conducted in TA-50 and TA-54. Only very minor modifications will be needed to accommodate the LA program. These modifications consist mostly of minor equipment upgrades. A commercial reactor operator has not been identified for the LA irradiation. Postirradiation examination (PIE) of the irradiated fuel will take place at either Oak Ridge National Laboratory or ANL-W. The only modifications required at either PIE site would be to accommodate full-length irradiated fuel rods. Results from this program are critical to the overall plutonium distribution schedule

  17. LANL MOX fuel lead assemblies data report for the surplus plutonium disposition environmental impact statement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fisher, S.E.; Holdaway, R.; Ludwig, S.B. [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. LANL 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 both Category 1 and 2 areas. Technical Area (TA) 55/Plutonium Facility 4 will be used to store the bulk PuO{sub 2} powder, fabricate MOX fuel pellets, assemble rods, and store fuel bundles. Bundles will be assembled at a separate facility, several of which have been identified as suitable for that activity. The Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Building (at TA-3) will be used for analytical chemistry support. Waste operations will be conducted in TA-50 and TA-54. Only very minor modifications will be needed to accommodate the LA program. These modifications consist mostly of minor equipment upgrades. A commercial reactor operator has not been identified for the LA irradiation. Postirradiation examination (PIE) of the irradiated fuel will take place at either Oak Ridge National Laboratory or ANL-W. The only modifications required at either PIE site would be to accommodate full-length irradiated fuel rods. Results from this program are critical to the overall plutonium distribution schedule.

  18. 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.

  19. Development and implementation of attractiveness Level E criteria and the plutonium disposition methodology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Christensen, D.C.; Robinson, M.A.

    1998-03-01

    Historically, the Department of Energy used the Economic Discard Limits (EDLs), those Special Nuclear Material (SNM) concentrations in residue matrices below which production of new SNM was more economic than SNM recovery, as a basis for discard decisions. In 1994, a joint team from DOE Defense Programs (DP) and Environmental Management (EM) determined that the EDLs were no longer a valid discriminator and directed that SNM disposition consider instead 12 specific criteria, foremost of which are waste minimization, environmental impacts, safety, proliferation concerns, and cost. In response, the Los Alamos National Laboratory developed a technical basis for determining SNM bearing materials unattractive for proliferation purposes and a quantitative method for predicting materials disposition consequences as a basis for decision making called the plutonium disposition methodology. The objective of attractiveness Level E criteria is to insure that waste is unattractive for proliferation or terrorist purposes. Level E criteria is about 0.17 kg Pu per 208 liter drum (requiring diversion of a minimum of 54 drums, assuming 100% recovery efficiency)

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy for the elemental analysis of plutonium-bearing materials for the materials disposition program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Voit, S.L.; Boerigter, S.T.; Rising, T.L.

    1997-01-01

    The US Fissile Materials Disposition (MD) program will disposition about 50 MT of plutonium in the next century. Both of the alternative technologies for disposition, MOX Fuel and Immobilization require knowledge of the incoming composition to 1--5 wt%. Wavelength Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (WDXRF) systems, a common elemental analysis technology with a variety of industrial applications and commercial vendors, can readily achieve this level of characterization. Since much of the excess plutonium will be packaged in a long-term storage container as part of the DOE Environmental Management (DOE-EM) program to stabilize plutonium-bearing materials, the characterization system must be implemented during the packaging process. The authors describe a preliminary design for the integration of the WDXRF system into the packaging system to be used at the Rocky Flats site. The Plutonium Stabilization and Packaging System (PuSPS), coupled with the WDXRF characterization system will provide MD with stabilized plutonium-bearing excess material that can be more readily fed to an immobilization facility. The overall added expense to the MD program of obtaining analytical information after materials have been packaged in long-term storage containers could far exceed the expense of implementing XRF analysis during the packaging process

  3. 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)

  4. 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)

  5. Towards a single host phase ceramic formulation for UK plutonium disposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stennett, M. C.; Hyatt, N. C.; Gilbert, M.; Livens, F. R.; Maddrell, E. R.

    2008-01-01

    The UK has a considerable stockpile of separated plutonium; a legacy of over 50 years of civilian nuclear programmes. This material has been considered both as an asset for future energy generation and a liability due to the proliferation threat. A proportion of the PuO 2 stocks may be consumed by nuclear fission, in mixed oxide (MOx) or inert matrix (IMF) fuels but a quantity of waste PuO 2 will remain which is unsuitable for fuel manufacture and will require immobilisation. A research program is currently underway to investigate the potential of various single phase ceramic formulations for the immobilisation of this waste PuO 2 fraction. In this work a number of synthetic mineral systems have been considered including titanate, zirconate, phosphate and silicate based matrices. Although a wealth of information on plutonium disposition in some of the systems exists in the literature, the data is not always directly comparable which hinders comparison between different ceramic hosts. The crux of this research has been to compile a database of information on the proposed hosts to allow impartial comparison of the relative merits and shortcomings in each system. (authors)

  6. Immobilization as a route to surplus fissile materials disposition. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gray, L.W.; Kan, T.; McKibben, J.M.

    1996-01-01

    The safe management of surplus weapons plutonium is a very important and urgent task with profound environmental, national and international security implications. In the aftermath of the Cold War, Presidential Police Directive 13 and various analysis by renown scientific, technical and international policy organizations have brought about a focused effort within the Department of Energy to identify and implement paths forward for the long term disposition of surplus weapons usable plutonium. The central, overarching goal is to render surplus weapons plutonium as inaccessible and unattractive for reuse in nuclear weapons, as the much larger and growing stock of plutonium contained in civilian spent reactor fuel. One disposition alternative considered for surplus Pu is immobilization, in which plutonium would be emplaced in glass, ceramic or glass-bonded zeolite. This option, along with some of the progress over the last year is discussed

  7. Fissile Material Disposition Program: Deep Borehole Disposal Facility PEIS data input report for direct disposal. Direct disposal of plutonium metal/plutonium dioxide in compound metal canisters. Version 3.0

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wijesinghe, A.M.; Shaffer, R.J.

    1996-01-15

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is examining options for disposing of excess weapons-usable nuclear materials [principally plutonium (Pu) and highly enriched uranium (HEU)] in a form or condition that is substantially and inherently more difficult to recover and reuse in weapons production. This report is the data input report for the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). The PEIS examines the environmental, safety, and health impacts of implementing each disposition alternative on land use, facility operations, and site infrastructure; air quality and noise; water, geology, and soils; biotic, cultural, and paleontological resources; socioeconomics; human health; normal operations and facility accidents; waste management; and transportation. This data report is prepared to assist in estimating the environmental effects associated with the construction and operation of a Deep Borehole Disposal Facility, an alternative currently included in the PEIS. The facility projects under consideration are, not site specific. This report therefore concentrates on environmental, safety, and health impacts at a generic site appropriate for siting a Deep Borehole Disposal Facility.

  8. Fissile Material Disposition Program: Deep Borehole Disposal Facility PEIS data input report for direct disposal. Direct disposal of plutonium metal/plutonium dioxide in compound metal canisters. Version 3.0

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wijesinghe, A.M.; Shaffer, R.J.

    1996-01-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is examining options for disposing of excess weapons-usable nuclear materials [principally plutonium (Pu) and highly enriched uranium (HEU)] in a form or condition that is substantially and inherently more difficult to recover and reuse in weapons production. This report is the data input report for the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). The PEIS examines the environmental, safety, and health impacts of implementing each disposition alternative on land use, facility operations, and site infrastructure; air quality and noise; water, geology, and soils; biotic, cultural, and paleontological resources; socioeconomics; human health; normal operations and facility accidents; waste management; and transportation. This data report is prepared to assist in estimating the environmental effects associated with the construction and operation of a Deep Borehole Disposal Facility, an alternative currently included in the PEIS. The facility projects under consideration are, not site specific. This report therefore concentrates on environmental, safety, and health impacts at a generic site appropriate for siting a Deep Borehole Disposal Facility

  9. Safety aspects with regard to plutonium vitrification techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gray, L.W.; Kan, T.

    1995-01-01

    Substantial inventories of excess plutonium are expected to result from dismantling US and Russian nuclear weapons. Disposition of this material should be a high priority in both countries. Various disposition options are under consideration. One option is to vitrify the plutonium with the addition of 137 Cs or high-level waste to act as a deterrent to proliferation. The primary safety problem associated with vitrification of plutonium is to avoid criticality in form fabrication and in the final repository over geologic time. Recovery should be as difficult (costly) as the recovery of plutonium from spent fuel

  10. 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

  11. Accelerator-based conversion (ABC) of weapons plutonium: Plant layout study and related design issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cowell, B.S.; Fontana, M.H.; Krakowski, R.A.; Beard, C.A.; Buksa, J.J.; Davidson, J.W.; Sailor, W.C.; Williamson, M.A.

    1995-01-01

    In preparation for and in support of a detailed R and D Plan for the Accelerator-Based Conversion (ABC) of weapons plutonium, an ABC Plant Layout Study was conducted at the level of a pre-conceptual engineering design. The plant layout is based on an adaptation of the Molten-Salt Breeder Reactor (MSBR) detailed conceptual design that was completed in the early 1070s. Although the ABC Plant Layout Study included the Accelerator Equipment as an essential element, the engineering assessment focused primarily on the Target; Primary System (blanket and all systems containing plutonium-bearing fuel salt); the Heat-Removal System (secondary-coolant-salt and supercritical-steam systems); Chemical Processing; Operation and Maintenance; Containment and Safety; and Instrumentation and Control systems. Although constrained primarily to a reflection of an accelerator-driven (subcritical) variant of MSBR system, unique features and added flexibilities of the ABC suggest improved or alternative approaches to each of the above-listed subsystems; these, along with the key technical issues in need of resolution through a detailed R ampersand D plan for ABC are described on the bases of the ''strawman'' or ''point-of-departure'' plant layout that resulted from this study

  12. 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

  13. Hanford 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. DOE-MD requested that the DOE Site Operations Offices nominate DOE sites that meet established minimum requirements that could produce MOX LAs. Six initial site combinations were proposed: (1) Argonne National Laboratory-West (ANL-W) with support from Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), (2) Hanford, (3) Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) with support from Pantex, (4) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), (5) Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR), and (6) Savannah River Site (SRS). After further analysis by the sites and DOE-MD, five site combinations were established as possible candidates for producing MOX LAs: (1) ANL-W with support from INEEL, (2) Hanford, (3) LANL, (4) LLNL, and (5) SRS. Hanford has proposed an LA MOX fuel fabrication approach that would be done entirely inside an S and S Category 1 area. An alternate approach would allow fabrication of fuel pellets and assembly of fuel rods in an S and S Category 1 facility. In all, a total of three LA MOX fuel fabrication options were identified by Hanford that could accommodate the program. In every case, only minor modification would be required to ready any of the facilities to accept the equipment necessary to accomplish the LA program

  14. Hanford 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. DOE-MD requested that the DOE Site Operations Offices nominate DOE sites that meet established minimum requirements that could produce MOX LAs. Six initial site combinations were proposed: (1) Argonne National Laboratory-West (ANL-W) with support from Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), (2) Hanford, (3) Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) with support from Pantex, (4) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), (5) Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR), and (6) Savannah River Site (SRS). After further analysis by the sites and DOE-MD, five site combinations were established as possible candidates for producing MOX LAs: (1) ANL-W with support from INEEL, (2) Hanford, (3) LANL, (4) LLNL, and (5) SRS. Hanford has proposed an LA MOX fuel fabrication approach that would be done entirely inside an S and S Category 1 area. An alternate approach would allow fabrication of fuel pellets and assembly of fuel rods in an S and S Category 1 facility. In all, a total of three LA MOX fuel fabrication options were identified by Hanford that could accommodate the program. In every case, only minor modification would be required to ready any of the facilities to accept the equipment necessary to accomplish the LA program.

  15. Stabilization and immobilization of military plutonium: A non-proliferation perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leventhal, P. [Nuclear Control Institute, Washington, DC (United States)

    1996-05-01

    The Nuclear Control Institute welcomes this DOE-sponsored technical workshop on stabilization and immobilization of weapons plutonium (W Pu) because of the significant contribution it can make toward the ultimate non-proliferation objective of eliminating weapons-usable nuclear material, plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU), from world commerce. The risk of theft or diversion of these materials warrants concern, as only a few kilograms in the hands of terrorists or threshold states would give them the capability to build nuclear weapons. Military plutonium disposition questions cannot be addressed in isolation from civilian plutonium issues. The National Academy of Sciences has urged that {open_quotes}further steps should be taken to reduce the proliferation risks posed by all of the world`s plutonium stocks, military and civilian, separated and unseparated...{close_quotes}. This report discusses vitrification and a mixed oxide fuels option, and the effects of disposition choices on civilian plutonium fuel cycles.

  16. 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

  17. Disposition of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) and Pu from nuclear weapons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Neff, T.L.

    1992-01-01

    Last year, as the Soviet Union began to crumble and the Bush-Gorbachev talks had advanced to consider the dismantling of actual warheads instead of mere delivery systems, Dr. Thomas L. Neff, a senior member of MIT's Center for International Studies, tinkered with the notion that one day soon the US could be buying Russian uranium from scrapped nuclear arms. He also considered the costly business of dismantlement and set to work on an ingenious proposal. The basic idea was simply to purchase the HEU from Russia using funds derived from savings in the US Department of Energy's enrichment enterprise. The proposal, now part of an umbrella agreement between the US and Russia announced in early September, promises large strategic benefits for the US in terms of both financing dismantlement (to the tune of $100 million annually), as well as political oversight for the operation itself. In the words of Dr. Neff, who made briefings to both governments on the proposal, open-quotes It's a budget-neutral, win-win solution.close quotes What follows is an illustrated, step-by-step analysis of the proposal, as well as a reprint of Dr. Neff's paper, Disposition of HEU and Pu from Nuclear Weapons, as presented to the Uranium Institute's annual symposium last month

  18. Future role of plutonium technology in society

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Christensen, D.C.; Matthews, R.B.; Trapp, T.J.

    1995-01-01

    Until the fall of the Berlin Wall, there was a very clear programmatic use of plutonium: supporting the nuclear deterrent. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, bilateral agreements concerning the cessation of nuclear testing and the dismantlement of large portions of the nuclear weapon stockpiles by the United States and the states of the former Soviet Union have resulted in new requirements concerning the management and disposition of nuclear materials. This report describes current issues pertaining to the requirements for plutonium management

  19. OFFGAS GENERATION FROM THE DISPOSITION OF SCRAP PLUTONIUM BY VITRIFICATION SIMULANT TESTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zamecnik, J; Patricia Toole, P; David Best, D; Timothy Jones, T; Donald02 Miller, D; Whitney Thomas, W; Vickie Williams, V

    2008-01-01

    The Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management is supporting R and D for the conceptual design of the Plutonium Disposition Project at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, SC to reduce the attractiveness of plutonium scrap by fabricating a durable plutonium oxide glass form and immobilizing this form within the high-level waste glass prepared in the Defense Waste Processing Facility. A glass formulation was developed that is capable of incorporating large amounts of actinides as well as accommodating many impurities that may be associated with impure Pu feed streams. The basis for the glass formulation was derived from commercial glasses that had high lanthanide loadings. A development effort led to a Lanthanide BoroSilicate (LaBS) glass that accommodated significant quantities of actinides, tolerated impurities associated with the actinide feed streams and could be processed using established melter technologies. A Cylindrical Induction Melter (CIM) was used for vitrification of the Pu LaBS glass. Induction melting for the immobilization of americium and curium (Am/Cm) in a glass matrix was first demonstrated in 1997. The induction melting system was developed to vitrify a non-radioactive Am/Cm simulant combined with a glass frit. Most of the development of the melter itself was completed as part of that work. This same melter system used for Am/Cm was used for the current work. The CIM system used consisted of a 5 inch (12.7 cm) diameter inductively heated platinum-rhodium (Pt-Rh) containment vessel with a control system and offgas characterization. Scrap plutonium can contain numerous impurities including significant amounts of chlorides, fluorides, sodium, potassium, lead, gallium, chromium, and nickel. Smaller amounts of additional elements can also be present. The amount of chlorides present is unusually high for a melter feed. In commercial applications there is no reason to have chloride at such high concentrations. Because the melter operates at

  20. SRS 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. DOE-MD requested that the DOE Site Operations Offices nominate DOE sites that meet established minimum requirements that could produce MOX LAs. Six initial site combinations were proposed: (1) Argonne National Laboratory-West (ANL-W) with support from Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), (2) Hanford, (3) Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) with support from Pantex, (4) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), (5) Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR), and (6) Savannah River Site(SRS). After further analysis by the sites and DOE-MD, five site combinations were established as possible candidates for producing MOX LAs: (1) ANL-W with support from INEEL, (2) Hanford, (3) LANL, (4) LLNL, and (5) SRS. SRS has proposed an LA MOX fuel fabrication approach that would be done entirely inside an S and S Category 1 area. An alternate approach would allow fabrication of fuel pellets and assembly of fuel rods in an S and S Category 2 or 3 facility with storage of bulk PuO 2 and assembly, storage, and shipping of fuel bundles in an S and S Category 1 facility. The total Category 1 approach, which is the recommended option, would be done in the 221-H Canyon Building. A facility that was never in service will be removed from one area, and a hardened wall will be constructed in another area to accommodate execution of the LA fuel fabrication. The non-Category 1 approach would require removal of process equipment in the FB-Line metal production and packaging glove boxes, which requires work in a contamination area. The Immobilization Hot Demonstration Program

  1. SRS 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. DOE-MD requested that the DOE Site Operations Offices nominate DOE sites that meet established minimum requirements that could produce MOX LAs. Six initial site combinations were proposed: (1) Argonne National Laboratory-West (ANL-W) with support from Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), (2) Hanford, (3) Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) with support from Pantex, (4) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), (5) Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR), and (6) Savannah River Site(SRS). After further analysis by the sites and DOE-MD, five site combinations were established as possible candidates for producing MOX LAs: (1) ANL-W with support from INEEL, (2) Hanford, (3) LANL, (4) LLNL, and (5) SRS. SRS has proposed an LA MOX fuel fabrication approach that would be done entirely inside an S and S Category 1 area. An alternate approach would allow fabrication of fuel pellets and assembly of fuel rods in an S and S Category 2 or 3 facility with storage of bulk PuO{sub 2} and assembly, storage, and shipping of fuel bundles in an S and S Category 1 facility. The total Category 1 approach, which is the recommended option, would be done in the 221-H Canyon Building. A facility that was never in service will be removed from one area, and a hardened wall will be constructed in another area to accommodate execution of the LA fuel fabrication. The non-Category 1 approach would require removal of process equipment in the FB-Line metal production and packaging glove boxes, which requires work in a contamination area. The Immobilization Hot Demonstration Program

  2. Fissile material disposition program final immobilization form assessment and recommendation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cochran, S.G.; Dunlop, W.H.; Edmunds, T.A.; MacLean, L.M.; Gould, T.H.

    1997-01-01

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), in its role as the lead laboratory for the development of plutonium immobilization technologies for the Department of Energy's Office of Fissile Materials Disposition (MD), has been requested by MD to recommend an immobilization technology for the disposition of surplus weapons- usable plutonium. The recommendation and supporting documentation was requested to be provided by September 1, 1997. This report addresses the choice between glass and ceramic technologies for immobilizing plutonium using the can-in-canister approach. Its purpose is to provide a comparative evaluation of the two candidate technologies and to recommend a form based on technical considerations

  3. Far-Field Accumulation of Fissile Material From Waste Packages Containing Plutonium Disposition Waste Form

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    J.P. Nicot

    2000-01-01

    The objective of this calculation is to estimate the quantity of fissile material that could accumulate in fractures in the rock beneath plutonium-ceramic (Pu-ceramic) and Mixed-Oxide (MOX) waste packages (WPs) as they degrade in the potential monitored geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. This calculation is to feed another calculation (Ref. 31) computing the probability of criticality in the systems described in Section 6 and then ultimately to a more general report on the impact of plutonium on the performance of the proposed repository (Ref. 32), both developed concurrently to this work. This calculation is done in accordance with the development plan TDP-DDC-MD-000001 (Ref. 9), item 5. The original document described in item 5 has been split into two documents: this calculation and Ref. 4. The scope of the calculation is limited to only very low flow rates because they lead to the most conservative cases for Pu accumulation and more generally are consistent with the way the effluent from the WP (called source term in this calculation) was calculated (Ref. 4). Ref. 4 (''In-Drift Accumulation of Fissile Material from WPs Containing Plutonium Disposition Waste Forms'') details the evolution through time (breach time is initial time) of the chemical composition of the solution inside the WP as degradation of the fuel and other materials proceed. It is the chemical solution used as a source term in this calculation. Ref. 4 takes that same source term and reacts it with the invert; this calculation reacts it with the rock. In addition to reactions with the rock minerals (that release Si and Ca), the basic mechanisms for actinide precipitation are dilution and mixing with resident water as explained in Section 2.1.4. No other potential mechanism such as flow through a reducing zone is investigated in this calculation. No attempt was made to use the effluent water from the bottom of the invert instead of using directly the effluent water from the WP. This

  4. Far-Field Accumulation of Fissile Material From Waste Packages Containing Plutonium Disposition Waste Form

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J.P. Nicot

    2000-09-29

    The objective of this calculation is to estimate the quantity of fissile material that could accumulate in fractures in the rock beneath plutonium-ceramic (Pu-ceramic) and Mixed-Oxide (MOX) waste packages (WPs) as they degrade in the potential monitored geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. This calculation is to feed another calculation (Ref. 31) computing the probability of criticality in the systems described in Section 6 and then ultimately to a more general report on the impact of plutonium on the performance of the proposed repository (Ref. 32), both developed concurrently to this work. This calculation is done in accordance with the development plan TDP-DDC-MD-000001 (Ref. 9), item 5. The original document described in item 5 has been split into two documents: this calculation and Ref. 4. The scope of the calculation is limited to only very low flow rates because they lead to the most conservative cases for Pu accumulation and more generally are consistent with the way the effluent from the WP (called source term in this calculation) was calculated (Ref. 4). Ref. 4 (''In-Drift Accumulation of Fissile Material from WPs Containing Plutonium Disposition Waste Forms'') details the evolution through time (breach time is initial time) of the chemical composition of the solution inside the WP as degradation of the fuel and other materials proceed. It is the chemical solution used as a source term in this calculation. Ref. 4 takes that same source term and reacts it with the invert; this calculation reacts it with the rock. In addition to reactions with the rock minerals (that release Si and Ca), the basic mechanisms for actinide precipitation are dilution and mixing with resident water as explained in Section 2.1.4. No other potential mechanism such as flow through a reducing zone is investigated in this calculation. No attempt was made to use the effluent water from the bottom of the invert instead of using directly the effluent water from the

  5. 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

  6. Discussions on JNC roles and issues on management and disposition of surplus plutonium from the dismantlement of nuclear warhead

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2000-04-01

    Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute (JNC) and Russian Federation are now promoting the collaborative project to use the fast breeder reactor of BN-600 for the Russian surplus plutonium under the framework of the bilateral agreement on peaceful use of atomic energy. Based upon this background, JNC organized a study group to survey the world aspect on surplus plutonium resulting in START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty). The study group, including technical experts and also experts on international affairs, made a report after their survey and gave wide range discussion on various issues. The surplus plutonium of Russian Federation was estimated to be 102 - 136 tones. There were shortages of back end technologies in Russian infrastructures for dismantling, reprocessing and disposition of the surplus plutonium. A supporting leadership of USA to Russian Federation met some difficulties due to the strategic gap between both countries. One of the examples is the temporal evolution of USA attitude toward the CANDU (thermal power reactors of Canadian design characterized by heavy water moderator, pressure tube construction, and on-power refuelling) option to use surplus plutonium as MOX (Mixed OXide) fuels. Additional supports from the G8 (Group of eight) countries except USA and Russian Federation came up to their expectation. For examples, the joint group of French, German and Russian is promoting DEMOX (Demonstration of MOX fuel) project but is on the way to discussion depending on various thoughts about mutual benefits. Many issues remained in joint project with CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), such as safeguard, nonproliferation, energy supply and demand, and environmental impacts. In addition, public opinions will give some impacts to policy makers, especially in USA. This report had analyzed many viewpoints for technical and political issues on surplus plutonium in the world, and pointed out consequences, merits and demerits after possible many

  7. 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

  8. Russian-American strategy for stabilization and immobilization of excess Russian weapons origin plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jardine, L.J.; Borisov, G.B.

    1998-01-01

    In the US, impure Pu-containing materials such as residues and scrapes are in storage, in known quantities, and in materials of various compositions with known Pu contents. However, in Russia, there are no substantial quantities of accumulated impure Pu-containing materials awaiting processing either for disposition or for transuranic (TRU) geologic disposal as there are in the Us. during the Cold War, the Russian approach to Pu processing for weapons production was different from that of the US. All impure Pu- containing materials were routinely reprocessed, and the residual Pu was recovered and purified for reuse until residual Pu levels of less than 200 mg/kg (less than 200 ppm) in any discharged solid process waste streams were reached. Wastes containing less than 200 ppm Pu were routinely discharged for burial in cement waste forms. Russia is studying changing from this practice of recovery of impure Pu for reuse to immobilizing future impure Pu-containing materials into solids at higher concentrations of Pu than 200 ppm for eventual geologic disposal

  9. Potential role of ABC-assisted repositories in U.S. plutonium and high-level waste disposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berwald, D.; Favale, A.; Myers, T. [Grumman Aerospace Corporation, Bethpage, NY (United States)] [and others

    1995-10-01

    This paper characterizes the issues involving deep geologic disposal of LWR spent fuel rods, then presents results of an investigation to quantify the potential role of Accelerator-Based Conversion (ABC) in an integrated national nuclear materials and high level waste disposition strategy. The investigation used the deep geological repository envisioned for Yucca Mt., Nevada as a baseline and considered complementary roles for integrated ABC transmutation systems. The results indicate that although a U.S. geologic waste repository will continue to be required, waste partitioning and accelerator transmutation of plutonium, the minor actinides, and selected long-lived fission products can result in the following substantial benefits: plutonium burndown to near zero levels, a dramatic reduction of the long term hazard associated with geologic repositories, an ability to place several-fold more high level nuclear waste in a single repository, electricity sales to compensate for capital and operating costs.

  10. Proliferation resistance criteria for fissile material disposition issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rutherford, D.A.; Fearey, B.L.; Markin, J.T.; Close, D.A.; Tolk, K.M.; Mangan, D.L.; Moore, L.

    1995-01-01

    The 1994 National Acdaemy of Sciences study ''Management and Disposition of Excess Weapons Plutonium'' defined options for reducing the national and international proliferation risks of materials declared excess to the nuclear weapons program. This paper proposes criteria for assessing the proliferation resistance of these options as well defining the ''Standards'' from the report. The criteria are general, encompassing all stages of the disposition process from storage through intermediate processing to final disposition including the facilities, processing technologies and materials, the level of safeguards for these materials, and the national/subnational threat to the materials

  11. Alternative technical summary report for immobilized disposition in deep boreholes: Immobilized disposal of plutonium in coated ceramic pellets in grout without canisters, Version 4.0. Fissile materials disposition program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wijesinghe, A.M.

    1996-08-23

    This paper summarizes and compares the immobilized and direct borehole disposition alternatives previously presented in the alternative technical summary. The important design concepts, facility features and operational procedures are first briefly described. This is followed by a discussion of the issues that affect the evaluation of each alternative against the programmatic assessment criteria that have been established for selecting the preferred alternatives for plutonium disposition.

  12. Alternative technical summary report for immobilized disposition in deep boreholes: Immobilized disposal of plutonium in coated ceramic pellets in grout without canisters, Version 4.0. Fissile materials disposition program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wijesinghe, A.M.

    1996-01-01

    This paper summarizes and compares the immobilized and direct borehole disposition alternatives previously presented in the alternative technical summary. The important design concepts, facility features and operational procedures are first briefly described. This is followed by a discussion of the issues that affect the evaluation of each alternative against the programmatic assessment criteria that have been established for selecting the preferred alternatives for plutonium disposition

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Characteristics of plutonium and americium contamination at the former U.K. atomic weapons test ranges at Maralinga and Emu

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burns, P.A.; Cooper, M.B.; Lokan, K.H.; Wilks, M.J.; Williams, G.A.

    1995-01-01

    Physico-chemical studies on environmental plutonium are described, which provide data integral to an assessment of dose for the inhalation of artificial actinides by Australian Aborigines living a semi-traditional lifestyle at Maralinga and Emu, sites of U.K. atomic weapons tests between 1953 and 1963. The most significant area, from a radiological perspective, is the area contaminated by plutonium in a series of ''one point'' safety trials in which large quantities of plutonium were dispersed explosively at a location known as Taranaki. The activity distribution of plutonium and americium with particle size is quite different from the mass distribution, as a considerably higher proportion of the activity is contained in the finer (inhalable) fraction than of the mass. Except in areas which were disturbed through ploughing during a cleanup in 1967, most the activity remains in the top 1 cm of the surface. Much of the activity is in particulate form, even at distances > 20 km from the firing sites, and discrete particles have been located even at distances beyond 100 km. Data are presented which permit the assessment of annual committed doses through the inhalation pathway, for Aborigines living a semi-traditional lifestyle in the areas affected by the Taranaki firings in particular. (author)

  16. The AIDA-MOX 1 program: Results of the French-Russian study on peaceful use of plutonium from dismantled Russian Nuclear weapons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yegorov, N.N.; Kudriavtsev, E.; Poplavsky, V.; Polyakov, A.; Ouin, X.; Camarcat, N.; Sicard, B.; Bernard, H.

    1997-01-01

    The Intergovernmental Agreement signed on November 12, 1992, between the governments of France and the Russian Federation instituted cooperation between the two countries for the safe elimination of the excess Russian nuclear weapons. France has allocated 400 million francs to this program, covering transportation and dismantling of nuclear weapons, interim storage and subsequent commercial use of the nuclear materials from the dismantled weapons, nuclear materials accountancy and safeguards, and scientific research. The concept of loading commercial Russian reactors with fuel fabricated from the plutonium recovered from dismantled nuclear weapons of the former Soviet Union is gaining widespread acceptance, and is at the heart of the French-Russian AIDA/MOX project

  17. 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.

  18. LLNL Site plan for a MOX fuel lead assembly mission in support of surplus plutonium disposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bronson, M.C.

    1997-10-01

    The principal facilities that LLNL would use to support a MOX Fuel Lead Assembly Mission are Building 332 and Building 334. Both of these buildings are within the security boundary known as the LLNL Superblock. Building 332 is the LLNL Plutonium Facility. As an operational plutonium facility, it has all the infrastructure and support services required for plutonium operations. The LLNL Plutonium Facility routinely handles kilogram quantities of plutonium and uranium. Currently, the building is limited to a plutonium inventory of 700 kilograms and a uranium inventory of 300 kilograms. Process rooms (excluding the vaults) are limited to an inventory of 20 kilograms per room. Ongoing operations include: receiving SSTS, material receipt, storage, metal machining and casting, welding, metal-to-oxide conversion, purification, molten salt operations, chlorination, oxide calcination, cold pressing and sintering, vitrification, encapsulation, chemical analysis, metallography and microprobe analysis, waste material processing, material accountability measurements, packaging, and material shipping. Building 334 is the Hardened Engineering Test Building. This building supports environmental and radiation measurements on encapsulated plutonium and uranium components. Other existing facilities that would be used to support a MOX Fuel Lead Assembly Mission include Building 335 for hardware receiving and storage and TRU and LLW waste storage and shipping facilities, and Building 331 or Building 241 for storage of depleted uranium.

  19. LLNL Site plan for a MOX fuel lead assembly mission in support of surplus plutonium disposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bronson, M.C.

    1997-01-01

    The principal facilities that LLNL would use to support a MOX Fuel Lead Assembly Mission are Building 332 and Building 334. Both of these buildings are within the security boundary known as the LLNL Superblock. Building 332 is the LLNL Plutonium Facility. As an operational plutonium facility, it has all the infrastructure and support services required for plutonium operations. The LLNL Plutonium Facility routinely handles kilogram quantities of plutonium and uranium. Currently, the building is limited to a plutonium inventory of 700 kilograms and a uranium inventory of 300 kilograms. Process rooms (excluding the vaults) are limited to an inventory of 20 kilograms per room. Ongoing operations include: receiving SSTS, material receipt, storage, metal machining and casting, welding, metal-to-oxide conversion, purification, molten salt operations, chlorination, oxide calcination, cold pressing and sintering, vitrification, encapsulation, chemical analysis, metallography and microprobe analysis, waste material processing, material accountability measurements, packaging, and material shipping. Building 334 is the Hardened Engineering Test Building. This building supports environmental and radiation measurements on encapsulated plutonium and uranium components. Other existing facilities that would be used to support a MOX Fuel Lead Assembly Mission include Building 335 for hardware receiving and storage and TRU and LLW waste storage and shipping facilities, and Building 331 or Building 241 for storage of depleted uranium

  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. 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

  3. Disposition of excess fissile materials in deep boreholes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Halsey, W.G.; Danker, W.; Morley, R.

    1995-09-01

    As a result of recent changes throughout the world, a substantial inventory of excess separated plutonium is expected to result from dismantlement of US nuclear weapons. The safe and secure management and eventual disposition of this plutonium, and of a similar inventory in Russia, is a high priority. A variety of options (both interim and permanent) are under consideration to manage this material. The permanent solutions can be categorized into two broad groups: direct disposal and utilization. Plutonium utilization options have in common the generation of high-level radioactive waste which will be disposed of in a mined geologic disposal system to be developed for spent reactor fuel and defense high level waste. Other final disposition forms, such as plutonium metal, plutonium oxide and plutonium immobilized without high-level radiation sources may be better suited to placement in a custom facility. This paper discusses a leading candidate for such a facility; deep (several kilometer) borehole disposition. The deep borehole disposition concept involves placing excess plutonium deep into old stable rock formations with little free water present. The safety argument centers around ancient groundwater indicating lack of migration, and thus no expected communication with the accessible environment until the plutonium has decayed

  4. Nuclear weapon relevant materials and preventive arms control. Uranium-free fuels for plutonium elimination and spallation neutron sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liebert, Wolfgang; Englert, Matthias; Pistner, Christoph

    2009-01-01

    Today, the most significant barrier against the access to nuclear weapons is to take hold on sufficient amounts of nuclear weapon-relevant nuclear materials. It is mainly a matter of fissionable materials (like highly enriched uranium and plutonium) but also of fusionable tritium. These can be used as reactor fuel in civil nuclear programmes but also in nuclear weapon programmes. To stop or to hinder nuclear proliferation, in consequence, there is not only a need to analyse open or covered political objectives and intentions. In the long term, it might be more decisive to analyse the intrinsic civil-military ambivalence of nuclear materials and technologies, which are suitable for sensitive material production. A farsighted strategy to avoid proliferation dangers should take much more account to technical capabilities as it is done in the political debate on nuclear non-proliferation so far. If a technical option is at a state's disposal, it is extremely difficult and lengthy to revert that again. The dangers, which one has to react to, are stemming from already existing stocks of nuclear weapon-relevant materials - in the military as well as in the civil realm - and from existing or future technologies, which are suitable for the production of such materials (cf. info 1 and 2). Therefore, the overall approach of this research project is to strive for a drastic reduction of the access to nuclear weapon-relevant material and its production capabilities. Thus, on one hand the nuclear proliferation by state actors could be answered more effectively, on the other hand by that approach a decisive barrier against the access on nuclear weapons by sub-national groups and terrorists could also be erected. For this purpose, safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other measures of physical accountancy will remain indispensable elements of arms control. However, one has to consider that the goal of nuclear non-proliferation could not be achieved and

  5. Highly enriched uranium (HEU) storage and disposition program plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arms, W.M.; Everitt, D.A.; O'Dell, C.L.

    1995-01-01

    Recent changes in international relations and other changes in national priorities have profoundly affected the management of weapons-usable fissile materials within the United States (US). The nuclear weapon stockpile reductions agreed to by the US and Russia have reduced the national security requirements for these fissile materials. National policies outlined by the US President seek to prevent the accumulation of nuclear weapon stockpiles of plutonium (Pu) and HEU, and to ensure that these materials are subjected to the highest standards of safety, security and international accountability. The purpose of the Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) Storage and Disposition Program Plan is to define and establish a planned approach for storage of all HEU and disposition of surplus HEU in support of the US Department of Energy (DOE) Fissile Material Disposition Program. Elements Of this Plan, which are specific to HEU storage and disposition, include program requirements, roles and responsibilities, program activities (action plans), milestone schedules, and deliverables

  6. 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

  7. Reactive spark plasma synthesis of CaZrTi2O7 zirconolite ceramics for plutonium disposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Shi-Kuan; Stennett, Martin C.; Corkhill, Claire L.; Hyatt, Neil C.

    2018-03-01

    Near single phase zirconolite ceramics, prototypically CaZrTi2O7, were fabricated by reactive spark plasma sintering (RSPS), from commercially available CaTiO3, ZrO2 and TiO2 reagents, after processing at 1200 °C for only 1 h. Ceramics were of theoretical density and formed with a controlled mean grain size of 1.9 ± 0.6 μm. The reducing conditions of RSPS afforded the presence of paramagnetic Ti3+, as demonstrated by EPR spectroscopy. Overall, this study demonstrates the potential for RSPS to be a disruptive technology for disposition of surplus separated plutonium stockpiles in ceramic wasteforms, given its inherent advantage of near net shape products and rapid throughput.

  8. Evaluation of existing United States' facilities for use as a mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication facility for plutonium disposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beard, C.A.; Buksa, J.J.; Chidester, K.; Eaton, S.L.; Motley, F.E.; Siebe, D.A.

    1995-01-01

    A number of existing US facilities were evaluated for use as a mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility for plutonium disposition. These facilities include the Fuels Material Examination Facility (FMEF) at Hanford, the Washington Power Supply Unit 1 (WNP-1) facility at Hanford, the Barnwell Nuclear Fuel Plant (BNFP) at Barnwell, SC, the Fuel Processing Facility (FPF) at Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL), the Device Assembly Facility (DAF) at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), and the P-reactor at the Savannah River Site (SRS). The study consisted of evaluating each facility in terms of available process space, available building support systems (i.e., HVAC, security systems, existing process equipment, etc.), available regional infrastructure (i.e., emergency response teams, protective force teams, available transportation routes, etc.), and ability to integrate the MOX fabrication process into the facility in an operationally-sound manner that requires a minimum amount of structural modifications

  9. Plutonium research and related activities at the Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartley, R.S.; Beard, C.A.; Barnes, D.L.

    1998-01-01

    With the end of the Cold War, the US and Russia are reducing their nuclear weapons stockpiles. What to do with the materials from thousands of excess nuclear weapons is an important international challenge. How to handle the remaining US stockpile to ensure safe storage and reliability, in light of the aging support infrastructure, is an important national challenge. To help address these challenges and related issues, the Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium is working on behalf of the State of Texas with the US Department of Energy (DOE). The center directs three major programs that address the key aspects of the plutonium management issue: (1) the Communications, Education, Training and Community Involvement Program, which focuses on informing the public about plutonium and providing technical education at all levels; (2) the Environmental, Safety, and Health (ES and H) Program, which investigates the key ES and H impacts of activities related to the DOE weapons complex in Texas; and (3) the Nuclear and Other Materials Program, which is aimed at minimizing safety and proliferation risks by helping to develop and advocate safe stewardship, storage, and disposition of nuclear weapons materials. This paper provides an overview of the center's nuclear activities described in four broad categories of international activities, materials safety, plutonium storage, and plutonium disposition

  10. New glass material oxidation and dissolution system facility: Direct conversion of surplus fissile materials, spent nuclear fuel, and other material to high-level-waste glass. Storage and disposition of weapons-usable fissile materials programmatic environmental impact statement data report: Predecisional draft

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Forsberg, C.W.; Elam, K.R.; Reich, W.J.

    1995-01-01

    With the end of the Cold War, countries have excess plutonium and other materials from the reductions in inventories of nuclear weapons. It has been recommended that these surplus fissile materials (SFMs) be processed so that they are no more accessible than plutonium in spent nuclear fuel (SNF). This SNF standard, if adopted worldwide, would prevent rapid recovery of SFMs for the manufacture of nuclear weapons. This report provides for the PEIS the necessary input data on a new method for the disposition of SFMs: the simultaneous conversion of SFMs, SNF, and other highly radioactive materials into high-level-waste (HLW) glass. The SFMs include plutonium, neptunium, americium, and 233 U. The primary SFM is plutonium. The preferred SNF is degraded SNF, which may require processing before it can be accepted by a geological repository for disposal. The primary form of this SNF is Hanford-N SNF with preirradiation uranium enrichments between 0.95 and 1.08%. The final product is a plutonium, low-enriched-uranium, HLW, borosilicate glass for disposition in a geological repository. The proposed conversion process is the Glass Material Oxidation and Dissolution System (GMODS), which is a new process. The initial analysis of the GMODS process indicates that a MODS facility for this application would be similar in size and environmental impact to the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) at the Savannah River Site. Because of this, the detailed information available on DWPF was used as the basis for much of the GMODS input into the SFMs PEIS

  11. Method of immobilizing weapons plutonium to provide a durable, disposable waste product

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, Rodney C.; Lutze, Werner; Weber, William J.

    1996-01-01

    A method of atomic scale fixation and immobilization of plutonium to provide a durable waste product. Plutonium is provided in the form of either PuO.sub.2 or Pu(NO.sub.3).sub.4 and is mixed with and SiO.sub.2. The resulting mixture is cold pressed and then heated under pressure to form (Zr,Pu)SiO.sub.4 as the waste product.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Using the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) to dispose of excess weapons plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hannum, W.H.; Wade, D.C.

    1997-01-01

    Plutonium is a man-made radioactive element with a long half-life. The only way to dispose of plutonium permanently is by causing it to fission. The fission process is efficient only in a fast neutron spectrum, and multiple recycle with a minimal loss is required to approach complete destruction. To be consistent with nonproliferation objectives, the process should be compatible with rigorous safeguards, and should not involve handling separated plutonium; The Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) meets all of these requirements. In addition, several near-term denaturing options are available that are fully compatible with complete destruction. When coupled with electrical generation, ample revenues would be available to cover all handling, operating and safeguards costs, with a substantial residual net return on the investment. (author)

  15. Strategies for the disposition of high explosives resulting from dismantlement of nuclear weapons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pruneda, C.; Humphrey, J.

    1993-03-01

    Many thousands of pounds of high quality main-charge explosives will result as surplus from the dismantlement of returns from the US nuclear weapons stockpile. The method most often employed for dealing with this surplus explosive is destruction by open burning. However, open burning as a means of treating excess explosives is losing favor because of environmental concerns associated with such an uncontrolled thermal destruction process. Thus, alternative processes for treatment of excess explosives from weapon dismantlement is discussed. These alternatives include: reformulation, crystalline component recovery, chemical conversion of the crystalline component to higher value products which may have civilian or military applications and, when necessary, treatment as waste in an environmentally benign fashion

  16. 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)

  17. Plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-09-01

    The subject is discussed under the headings: creation (fuel cycle, Pu formed in thermal reactors); properties; Pu in fast reactors; fast reactor experience; radioactivity; handling; Pu and weapons. (U.K.)

  18. Sets of Reports and Articles Regarding Cement Wastes Forms Containing Alpha Emitters that are Potentially Useful for Development of Russian Federation Waste Treatment Processes for Solidification of Weapons Plutonium MOX Fuel Fabrication Wastes for

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jardine, L J

    2003-01-01

    This is a set of nine reports and articles that were kindly provided by Dr. Christine A. Langton from the Savannah River Site (SRS) to L. J. Jardine LLNL in June 2003. The reports discuss cement waste forms and primarily focus on gas generation in cement waste forms from alpha particle decays. However other items such as various cement compositions, cement product performance test results and some cement process parameters are also included. This set of documents was put into this Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) releasable report for the sole purpose to provide a set of documents to Russian technical experts now beginning to study cement waste treatment processes for wastes from an excess weapons plutonium MOX fuel fabrication facility. The intent is to provide these reports for use at a US RF Experts Technical Meeting on: the Management of Wastes from MOX Fuel Fabrication Facilities, in Moscow July 9-11, 2003. The Russian experts should find these reports to be very useful for their technical and economic feasibility studies and the supporting R and D activities required to develop acceptable waste treatment processes for use in Russia as part of the ongoing Joint US RF Plutonium Disposition Activities

  19. Managing plutonium in Britain. Current options[Mixed oxide nuclear fuels; Nuclear weapons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1998-09-01

    This is the report of a two day meeting to discuss issues arising from the reprocessing of plutonium and production of mixed oxide nuclear fuels in Britain. It was held at Charney Manor, near Oxford, on June 25 and 26, 1998, and was attended by 35 participants, including government officials, scientists, policy analysts, representatives of interested NGO's, journalists, a Member of Parliament, and visiting representatives from the US and Irish governments. The topic of managing plutonium has been a consistent thread within ORG's work, and was the subject of one of our previous reports, CDR 12. This particular seminar arose out of discussions earlier in the year between Dr. Frank Barnaby and the Rt. Hon. Michael Meacher MP, Minister for the Environment. With important decisions about the management of plutonium in Britain pending, ORG undertook to hold a seminar at which all aspects of the subject could be aired. A number of on-going events formed the background to this initiative. The first was British Nuclear Fuels' [BNFL] application to the Environment Agency to commission a mixed oxide fuel [MOX] plant at Sellafield. The second was BNFL's application to vary radioactive discharge limits at Sellafield. Thirdly, a House of Lords Select Committee was in process of taking evidence, on the disposal of radioactive waste. Fourthly, the Royal Society, in a recent report entitled Management of Separated Plutonium, recommended that 'the Government should commission a comprehensive review... of the options for the management of plutonium'. Four formal presentations were made to the meeting, on the subjects of Britain's plutonium policy, commercial prospects for plutonium use, problems of plutonium accountancy, and the danger of nuclear terrorism, by experts from outside the nuclear industry. It was hoped that the industry's viewpoint would also be heard, and BNFL were invited to present a paper, but declined on the grounds that they

  20. Assessment of the technical viability of reactor options for plutonium disposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Primm, R.T. III.

    1996-01-01

    Various reactor concepts for the disposition of surplus Pu have been proposed by reactor vendors; not all have attained the same level of technical viability. Studies were performed to differentiate between reactor concepts by devising a quantitative index for technical viability. For a quantitative assessment, three issues required resolution: the definition of a technical maturity scale, the treatment of ''subjective'' factors which cannot be easily represented in a quantitative format, and the protocol for producing a single technical viability figure-of-merit for each alternative. Alternatives involving the use of foreign facilities were found to be the most technically viable

  1. 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

  2. Design-Only Conceptual Design Report: Plutonium Immobilization Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    DiSabatino, A.; Loftus, D.

    1999-01-01

    This design-only conceptual design report was prepared to support a funding request by the Department of Energy Office of Fissile Materials Disposition for engineering and design of the Plutonium Immobilization Plant, which will be used to immobilize up to 50 tonnes of surplus plutonium. The siting for the Plutonium Immobilization Plant will be determined pursuant to the site-specific Surplus Plutonium Disposition Environmental Impact Statement in a Plutonium Deposition Record of Decision in early 1999. This document reflects a new facility using the preferred technology (ceramic immobilization using the can-in-canister approach) and the preferred site (at Savannah River). The Plutonium Immobilization Plant accepts plutonium from pit conversion and from non-pit sources and, through a ceramic immobilization process, converts the plutonium into mineral-like forms that are subsequently encapsulated within a large canister of high-level waste glass. The final immobilized product must make the plutonium as inherently unattractive and inaccessible for use in nuclear weapons as the plutonium in spent fuel from commercial reactors and must be suitable for geologic disposal. Plutonium immobilization at the Savannah River Site uses: (1) A new building, the Plutonium Immobilization Plant, which will convert non-pit surplus plutonium to an oxide form suitable for the immobilization process, immobilize plutonium in a titanate-based ceramic form, place cans of the plutonium-ceramic forms into magazines, and load the magazines into a canister; (2) The existing Defense Waste Processing Facility for the pouring of high-level waste glass into the canisters; and (3) The Actinide Packaging and Storage Facility to receive and store feed materials. The Plutonium Immobilization Plant uses existing Savannah River Site infra-structure for analytical laboratory services, waste handling, fire protection, training, and other support utilities and services. The Plutonium Immobilization Plant

  3. Safeguarding nuclear weapon: Usable materials in Russia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cochran, T.

    1998-01-01

    Both the United States and Russia are retaining as strategic reserves more plutonium and HEU for potential reuse as weapons, than is legitimately needed. Both have engaged in discussions and have programs in various stages of development to dispose of excess plutonium and HEU. These fissile material disposition programs will take decades to complete. In the interim there will be, as there is now, hundreds of tons of separated weapon-usable fissile material stored in tens of thousands of transportable canisters, each containing from a few to several tons of kgs of weapon-usable fissile material. This material must be secured against theft and unauthorized use. To have high confidence that the material is secure, one must establish criteria against which the adequacy of the protective systems can be judged. For example, one finds such criteria in US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) regulations for the protection of special nuclear materials

  4. 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

  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. Options for the disposition of current inventory of Rocky Flats Plant residues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chang, Lychin.

    1994-01-01

    With the end of the Cold War, much concern has been directed towards the accumulation of special nuclear material resulting from the dismantlement of a large number of nuclear weapons. This concern has opened up a debate over the final disposition of the large inventory of weapons-capable plutonium. Technologies for the conversion of plutonium into acceptable forms will need to be assessed and evaluated. Candidate strategies for interim and final disposition include a variety of immobilization techniques (vitrification in glass, ceramic, or metal), conversion to reactor fuel, or direct discard as waste. The selected disposition strategy will be chosen based upon a range of decision metric such as expected conversion costs, equipment requirements, and waste generation. To this end, a systems analysis approach is necessary for the evaluation and comparison of the different disposition strategies. Current data on inventory of plutonium, such as that at the Rocky Flats Plant (RFP), may be useful for the evaluation and selection of candidate disposition technologies. A preliminary analysis of the residues of scrap at Rocky Flats was performed to establish a foundation for comparison of candidate strategies. About 3 metric tons of plutonium and 270 metric tons of other wastes remain in the inventory at Rocky Flats. Estimates on the equipment, facility, manpower, and cost requirements to process this inventory over a proposed 10-year cleanup campaign will provide a benchmark for comparison and assessment of proposed disposition technologies

  7. Options for the disposition of current inventory of Rocky Flats Plant residues. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chang, L.

    1994-01-01

    With the end of the Cold War, much concern has been directed towards the accumulation of special nuclear material resulting from the dismantlement of a large number of nuclear weapons. This concern has opened up a debate over the final disposition of the large inventory of weapons-capable plutonium. Technologies for the conversion of plutonium into acceptable forms will need to be assessed and evaluated. Candidate strategies for interim and final disposition include a variety of immobilization techniques (vitrification in glass, ceramic, or metal), conversion to reactor fuel, or direct discard as waste. The selected disposition strategy will be chosen based upon a range of decision metrics such as expected conversion costs, equipment requirements, and waste generation. To this end, a systems analysis approach is necessary for the evaluation and comparison of the different disposition strategies. Current data on inventory of plutonium, such as that at the Rocky Flats Plant (RFP), may be useful for the evaluation and selection of candidate disposition technologies. A preliminary analysis of the residues of scrap at Rocky Flats was performed to establish a foundation for comparison of candidate strategies. About 3 metric tons of plutonium and 270 metric tons of other wastes remain in the inventory at Rocky Flats. Estimates on the equipment, facility, manpower, and cost requirements to process this inventory over a proposed 10-year cleanup campaign will provide a benchmark for comparison and assessment of proposed disposition technologies

  8. Plutonium, power, and politics: international arrangements for the disposition of spent nuclear fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rochlin, G.I.

    1979-01-01

    In this study, Gene Rochlin, physicist and social scientist, explores the technical, political, and institutional aspects of international nuclear export and fuel-cycle policies. He categorizes existing proposals and suggests ways to develop new ones that better promote both national and international goals. Dr. Rochlin argues neither for nor against the future use of nuclear power or plutonium fuels. Rather, he addresses the question of how international arrangements could be reached that might jointly satisfy the objectives of the several key nations, yet not be too difficult to negotiate. He concludes that a major fault has been the tendency to improvise arrangements for specific technical or industrial operations. As a result, overall social and political goals have become the bargaining points for compromise. Yet, attempts to simultaneously resolve all problems are unlikely to prove fruitful. Dr. Rochlin suggests instead the formation of institutions organized around more-limited social, political, and technical objectives - even at the expense of excluding some nations, or omitting some aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle. Only by so doing, he argues, can immediate agreements be reached that preserve the potential for more-comprehensive future arrangements without sacrificing industrial, environmental, or nonproliferation goals

  9. Technical considerations and policy requirements for plutonium management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Christensen, D.C.; Dinehart, S.M.; Yarbro, S.L.

    1995-01-01

    The goals for plutonium management have changed dramatically over the past few years. Today, the challenge is focused on isolating plutonium from the environment and preparing it for permanent disposition. In parallel, the requirements for managing plutonium are rapidly changing. For example, there is a significant increase in public awareness on how facilities operate, increased attention to environmental safety and health (ES and H) concerns, greater interest in minimizing waste, more emphasis on protecting material from theft, providing materials for international inspection, and a resurgence of interest in using plutonium as an energy source. Of highest concern, in the immediate future, is protecting plutonium from theft or diversion, while the national policy on disposition is debated. These expanded requirements are causing a broadening of responsibilities within the Department of Energy (DOE) to include at least seven organizations. An unavoidable consequence is the divergence in approach and short-term goals for managing similar materials within each organization. The technology base does exist, properly, safely, and cost effectively to extract plutonium from excess weapons, residues, waste, and contaminated equipment and facilities, and to properly stabilize it. Extracting the plutonium enables it to be easily inventoried, packaged, and managed to minimize the risk of theft and diversion. Discarding excess plutonium does not sufficiently reduce the risk of diversion, and as a result, long-term containment of plutonium from the environment may not be able to be proven to the satisfaction of the public

  10. Technical considerations and policy requirements for plutonium management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Christensen, D.C.; Dinehart, S.M.; Yarbro, S.L.

    1996-01-01

    The goals for plutonium management have changed dramatically over the past few years. Today, the challenge is focused on isolating plutonium from the environment and preparing it for permanent disposition. In parallel, the requirements for managing plutonium are rapidly changing. For example, there is a significant increase in public awareness on how facilities operate, increased attention to environmental safety and health (ES and H) concerns, greater interest in minimizing waste, more emphasis on protecting material from theft, providing materials for international inspection, and a resurgence of interest in using plutonium as an energy source. Of highest concern, in the immediate future, is protecting plutonium from theft or diversion, while the national policy on disposition is debated. These expanded requirements are causing a broadening of responsibilities within the Department of Energy (DOE) to include at least seven organizations. An unavoidable consequence is the divergence in approach and short-term goals for managing similar materials within each organization. The technology base does exist, properly, safely, and cost effectively to extract plutonium from excess weapons, residues, waste, and contaminated equipment and facilities, and to properly stabilize it. Extracting the plutonium enables it to be easily inventoried, packaged, and managed to minimize the risk of theft and diversion. Discarding excess plutonium does not sufficient reduce the risk of diversion, and as a result, long-term containment of plutonium from the environment may not be able to be proven to the satisfaction of the public

  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. 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

  13. 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

  14. Integrated development and testing plan for the plutonium immobilization project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kan, T.

    1998-01-01

    This integrated plan for the DOE Office of Fissile Materials Disposition (MD) describes the technology development and major project activities necessary to support the deployment of the immobilization approach for disposition of surplus weapons-usable plutonium. The plan describes details of the development and testing (D and T) tasks needed to provide technical data for design and operation of a plutonium immobilization plant based on the ceramic can-in-canister technology (''Immobilization Fissile Material Disposition Program Final Immobilization Form Assessment and Recommendation'', UCRL-ID-128705, October 3, 1997). The plan also presents tasks for characterization and performance testing of the immobilization form to support a repository licensing application and to develop the basis for repository acceptance of the plutonium form. Essential elements of the plant project (design, construction, facility activation, etc.) are described, but not developed in detail, to indicate how the D and T results tie into the overall plant project. Given the importance of repository acceptance, specific activities to be conducted by the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (RW) to incorporate the plutonium form in the repository licensing application are provided in this document, together with a summary of how immobilization D and T activities provide input to the license activity. The ultimate goal of the Immobilization Project is to develop, construct, and operate facilities that will immobilize from about 18 to 50 tonnes (MT) of U.S. surplus weapons usable plutonium materials in a manner that meets the ''spent fuel'' standard (Fissile Materials Storage and Disposition Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement Record of Decision, ''Storage and Disposition Final PEIS'', issued January 14, 1997, 62 Federal Register 3014) and is acceptable for disposal in a geologic repository. In the can-in-canister technology, this is accomplished by encapsulating the

  15. Using existing European MOX fabrication plants for the disposal of plutonium from dismantled Russian warheads

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schaper, A.

    1995-01-01

    One of the disposition options for excess weapons plutonium which is favored by the study of the American National Academy of Sciences is the fabrication and use as fuel, without reprocessing, in existing or modified nuclear reactors. An important criterion for reducing the proliferation risks is minimizing the time during which the plutonium is stored in forms readily usable for nuclear weapons. The study recommends to either modify an almost completed facility for experimental fast reactors or to construct a new fuel fabrication capability. The estimated time for siting, building, and licensing is a decade or more

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. A Program to Stabilize Nuclear Materials as Managed by the Plutonium Focus Area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kenley, B.; Scott, B.; Seidel, B.; Knecht, D.; Southworth, F.; Osborne, K.; Chipman, N.; Creque, T.

    1999-01-01

    This paper describes the program to stabilize nuclear materials, consistent with the Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management (EM) plan, Accelerating Cleanup: Paths to Closure. The program is managed by the Plutonium Stabilization and Disposition Focus Area, which defines and manages technology development programs to stabilize nuclear materials and assure their subsequent safe storage and final disposition. The scope of the Plutonium Stabilization and Disposition Focus Area (PFA) activities includes non-weapons plutonium materials, special isotopes, and other fissile materials. The PFA provides solutions to site-specific and complex wide technology issues associated with plutonium remediation, stabilization, and preparation for disposition. Our paper describes an important programmatic function of the Department of Energy nuclear materials stabilization program, including the tie-in of policy to research needs and funding for the nuclear materials disposition area. The PFA uses a rigorous systems engineering determination of technology needs and gaps, under the guidance of a Technical Advisory Panel, consisting of complex-wide experts. The Research and Development planning provides an example for other waste areas and should be of interest to Research and Development managers. The materials disposition maps developed by the PFA and described in this paper provide an evaluation of research needs, data gaps and subsequent guidance for the development of technologies for nuclear materials disposition. This paper also addresses the PFA prioritization methodology and its ability to forecast actual time to implementation

  19. R ampersand D plan for immobilization technologies: fissile materials disposition program. Revision 1.0

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shaw, H.F.; Armantrout, G.A.

    1996-09-01

    In the aftermath of the Cold War, the US and Russia have agreed to large reductions in nuclear weapons. To aid in the selection of long- term fissile material management options, the Department of Energy's Fissile Materials Disposition Program (FMDP) is conducting studies of options for the storage and disposition of surplus plutonium (Pu). One set of alternatives for disposition involve immobilization. The immobilization alternatives provide for fixing surplus fissile materials in a host matrix in order to create a solid disposal form that is nuclear criticality-safe, proliferation-resistant and environmentally acceptable for long-term storage or disposal

  20. The contribution of civilian industry to military Pu disposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Montalembert, J.A. de

    2000-01-01

    Weapon-grade plutonium must be disposed of in a safe and secure manner. Disposition programs should start as soon as possible and be properly monitored to achieve disarmament and non-proliferation objectives. Finally, for obvious economic and environmental reasons, such programs should make use, as much as possible, of proven processes and technology as well as of available equipment and existing sites. The more advanced - and readily available - solution is the fabrication of plutonium into MOX fuel and its irradiation existing Light Water Reactors. This solution also has the obvious advantage of burning some of the plutonium (30 to 40 %) and degrading the remaining portion of it, while generating electricity. In the longer term, the burning of plutonium new types of dedicated reactors, like High Temperature Reactor or Fast Neutron Reactor, can be envisaged, but the time and costs associated with deploying such reactors and their fuel cycle must be taken to account. (authors)

  1. 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

  2. Long-range tropospheric transport of uranium and plutonium weapons fallout from Semipalatinsk nuclear test site to Norway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendel, Cato Christian; Fifield, L Keith; Oughton, Deborah H; Lind, Ole Christian; Skipperud, Lindis; Bartnicki, Jerzy; Tims, Stephen G; Høibråten, Steinar; Salbu, Brit

    2013-09-01

    A combination of state-of-the-art isotopic fingerprinting techniques and atmospheric transport modelling using real-time historical meteorological data has been used to demonstrate direct tropospheric transport of radioactive debris from specific nuclear detonations at the Semipalatinsk test site in Kazakhstan to Norway via large areas of Europe. A selection of archived air filters collected at ground level at 9 stations in Norway during the most intensive atmospheric nuclear weapon testing periods (1957-1958 and 1961-1962) has been screened for radioactive particles and analysed with respect to the concentrations and atom ratios of plutonium (Pu) and uranium (U) using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Digital autoradiography screening demonstrated the presence of radioactive particles in the filters. Concentrations of (236)U (0.17-23nBqm(-3)) and (239+240)Pu (1.3-782μBqm(-3)) as well as the atom ratios (240)Pu/(239)Pu (0.0517-0.237) and (236)U/(239)Pu (0.0188-0.7) varied widely indicating several different sources. Filter samples from autumn and winter tended to have lower atom ratios than those sampled in spring and summer, and this likely reflects a tropospheric influence in months with little stratospheric fallout. Very high (236)U, (239+240)Pu and gross beta activity concentrations as well as low (240)Pu/(239)Pu (0.0517-0.077), (241)Pu/(239)Pu (0.00025-0.00062) and (236)U/(239)Pu (0.0188-0.046) atom ratios, characteristic of close-in and tropospheric fallout, were observed in filters collected at all stations in Nov 1962, 7-12days after three low-yield detonations at Semipalatinsk (Kazakhstan). Atmospheric transport modelling (NOAA HYSPLIT_4) using real-time meteorological data confirmed that long range transport of radionuclides, and possibly radioactive particles, from Semipalatinsk to Norway during this period was plausible. The present work shows that direct tropospheric transport of fallout from atmospheric nuclear detonations periodically may have

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Disposition of Uranium -233 (sup 233U) in Plutonium Metal and Oxide at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Freiboth, Cameron J.; Gibbs, Frank E.

    2000-01-01

    This report documents the position that the concentration of Uranium-233 ( 233 U) in plutonium metal and oxide currently stored at the DOE Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS) is well below the maximum permissible stabilization, packaging, shipping and storage limits. The 233 U stabilization, packaging and storage limit is 0.5 weight percent (wt%), which is also the shipping limit maximum. These two plutonium products (metal and oxide) are scheduled for processing through the Building 371 Plutonium Stabilization and Packaging System (PuSPS). This justification is supported by written technical reports, personnel interviews, and nuclear material inventories, as compiled in the ''History of Uranium-233 ( 233 U) Processing at the Rocky Flats Plant In Support of the RFETS Acceptable Knowledge Program'' RS-090-056, April 1, 1999. Relevant data from this report is summarized for application to the PuSPS metal and oxide processing campaigns

  8. The role of accelerator-based systems for optimal elimination of plutonium to minimize global proliferation risks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liebert, W.; Glaser, A.; Pistner, C.

    1997-01-01

    The new proliferation dangers associated with plutonium coming out of the dismantlement of nuclear warheads and the fact that nearly all mixtures of plutonium isotopes are weapon-usable highlight the need for a sustainable disposition option. This paper gives an overview on existing military as well as civilian plutonium stocks worldwide and estimates their future development. An assessment of pros and cons of disposition options discussed so far shows that only the capability of an accelerator-based system to eliminate the plutonium virtually completely makes it attractive from the non-proliferator's point of view. We propose a set of criteria to guide the development of an appropriate system. Special attention is directed on overall proliferation resistance and safety aspects without being compromised by power generation. 17 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab

  9. Utilization of excess weapon plutonium: scientific and technological aspects of the conversion of military capacities for civilian use and sustainable development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winkelmann, H.-P.

    1996-01-01

    The scientific and technological aspects of the conversion of military capacities for civilian use and sustainable development concerning the utilisation of excess weapon plutonium consist of the following main issues: The new understanding of 'security'; industrial restructuring for sustainable development; human resources issues; cleaning up of the world legacy; developing timely alternate use plans for military facilities. The issues and problems of nuclear disarmament management are linked to sustainable development and are related to safe and environmentally sound management of radioactive wastes, meaning also safe transport, storage and disposal with a view to protect human health and the environment. Special emphasis is laid on the international and regional cooperation as the main basis for action

  10. A open-quotes Newclose quotes regime for nuclear weapons and materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sutcliffe, W.G.

    1994-01-01

    In this paper, I discuss the principal ideas that I covered in my presentation on December 8, 1993, at the Future of Foreign Nuclear Materials Symposium held by the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. I was asked to discuss issues related to military inventories of plutonium, and I took this opportunity to describe a possible declaratory regime that could encompass military as well as civilian inventories of plutonium. The open-quote newclose quotes in the title does not imply that the regime discussed here is an original idea. Rather, the regime will be open-quotes new,close quotes when it is adopted. The regime proposed here and in other works is one in which all stocks of nuclear weapons and materials are declared. Originally, declarations were proposed as a traditional arms control measure. Here, declarations are proposed to support the prevention of misuse of nuclear weapons and materials, including support for the nonproliferation regime. In the following, I discuss: (1) Worldwide inventories of nuclear weapons and materials, including the fact that military plutonium must be viewed as part of that worldwide inventory. (2) Life cycles of nuclear weapons and materials, including the various stages from the creation of nuclear materials for weapons through deployment and retirement of weapons to the final disposition of the materials. (3) Mechanisms for making declarations. (4) Risks and benefits to be derived from declarations. (5) Possibilities for supporting evidence or verification

  11. 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

  12. 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)

  13. Disposition of surplus fissile materials via immobilization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gray, L.W.; Kan, T.; Sutcliffe, W.G.; McKibben, J.M.; Danker, W.

    1995-01-01

    In the Cold War aftermath, the US and Russia have agreed to large reductions in nuclear weapons. To aid in the selection of long-term management options, the USDOE has undertaken a multifaceted study to select options for storage and disposition of surplus plutonium (Pu). One disposition alternative being considered is immobilization. Immobilization is a process in which surplus Pu would be embedded in a suitable material to produce an appropriate form for ultimate disposal. To arrive at an appropriate form, we first reviewed published information on HLW immobilization technologies to identify forms to be prescreened. Surviving forms were screened using multi-attribute utility analysis to determine promising technologies for Pu immobilization. We further evaluated the most promising immobilization families to identify and seek solutions for chemical, chemical engineering, environmental, safety, and health problems; these problems remain to be solved before we can make technical decisions about the viability of using the forms for long-term disposition of Pu. All data, analyses, and reports are being provided to the DOE Office of Fissile Materials Disposition to support the Record of Decision that is anticipated in Summer of 1996

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Interim storage of dismantled nuclear weapon components at the U.S. Department of Energy Pantex Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guidice, S.J.; Inlow, R.O.

    1995-01-01

    Following the events of 1989 and the subsequent cessation of production of new nuclear weapons by the US, the mission of the Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Weapons Complex has shifted from production to dismantlement of retired weapons. The sole site in the US for accomplishing the dismantlement mission is the DOE Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas. Pending a national decision on the ultimate storage and disposition of nuclear components form the dismantled weapons, the storage magazines within the Pantex Plant are serving as the interim storage site for pits--the weapon plutonium-bearing component. The DOE has stipulated that Pantex will provide storage for up to 12,000 pits pending a Record of Decision on a comprehensive site-wide Environmental Impact Statement in November 1996

  17. 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)

  18. Remote material handling in the Plutonium Immobilization Project. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brault, J.R.

    2000-01-01

    With the downsizing of the US and Russian nuclear stockpiles, large quantities of weapons-usable plutonium in the US are being declared excess and will be disposed of by the Department of Energy Fissile Materials Disposition Program. To implement this program, DOE has selected the Savannah River Site (SRS) for the construction and operation of three new facilities: pit disassembly and conversion; mixed oxide fuel fabrication; and plutonium immobilization. The Plutonium Immobilization Project (PIP) will immobilize a portion of the excess plutonium in a hybrid ceramic and glass form containing high level waste for eventual disposal in a geologic repository. The PIP is divided into three distinct operating areas: Plutonium Conversion, First Stage Immobilization, and Second Stage Immobilization. Processing technology for the PIP is being developed jointly by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Westinghouse Savannah River Company. This paper will discuss development of the automated unpacking and sorting operations in the conversion area, and the automated puck and tray handling operations in the first stage immobilization area. Due to the high radiation levels and toxicity of the materials to be disposed of, the PIP will utilize automated equipment in a contained (glovebox) facility. Most operations involving plutonium-bearing materials will be performed remotely, separating personnel from the radiation source. Source term materials will be removed from the operations during maintenance. Maintenance will then be performed hands on within the containment using glove ports

  19. 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.)

  20. Development of the plutonium oxide vitrification system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marshall, K.M.; Marra, J.C.; Coughlin, J.T.; Calloway, T.B.; Schumacher, R.F.; Zamecnik, J.R.; Pareizs, J.M.

    1998-01-01

    Repository disposal of plutonium in a suitable, immobilized form is being considered as one option for the disposition of surplus weapons-usable plutonium. Accelerated development efforts were completed in 1997 on two potential immobilization forms to facilitate downselection to one form for continued development. The two forms studied were a crystalline ceramic based on Synroc technology and a lanthanide borosilicate (LaBS) glass. As part of the glass development program, melter design activities and component testing were completed to demonstrate the feasibility of using glass as an immobilization medium. A prototypical melter was designed and built in 1997. The melter vessel and drain tube were constructed of a Pt/Rh alloy. Separate induction systems were used to heat the vessel and drain tube. A Pt/Rh stirrer was incorporated into the design to facilitate homogenization of the melt. Integrated powder feeding and off-gas systems completed the overall design. Concurrent with the design efforts, testing was conducted using a plutonium surrogate LaBS composition in an existing (near-scale) melter to demonstrate the feasibility of processing the LaBS glass on a production scale. Additionally, the drain tube configuration was successfully tested using a plutonium surrogate LaBS glass

  1. 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.)

  2. 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

  3. The Trilateral Initiative: IAEA Verification of Weapon-Origin Plutonium in the Russian Federation and the United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shea, T.E.

    2015-01-01

    One year following the indefinite extension of the NPT, the IAEA, the United States and the Russian Federation entered into a cooperative effort aimed at creating a verification system under which the IAEA could accept and monitor nuclear warheads or nuclear warhead components in relation to the Article VI commitments of both States. Over a six year period, through 98 trilateral events, substantial progress was made on verification arrangements and technologies that could enable the IAEA to carry out such a mission, without gaining access to design or manufacturing secrets associated with nuclear weapons. Substantial progress was made on defining the approaches at lead facilities in the two States. The Board of Governors was looking forward to having the Agency undertake such a mission, and the 2000 NPT Review Conference called for the completion and implementation of the Trilateral Initiative. Then elections changed the leadership in both States and the incoming Administrations decided to end the effort, call it a success, and walk away. This presentation will summarize the creation, history, accomplishments, unresolved issues, consider the legacy and suggest four steps that might now be taken. (author)

  4. Reconversion of nuclear weapons

    CERN Document Server

    Kapitza, Sergei P

    1992-01-01

    The nuclear predicament or nuclear option. Synopsis of three lectures : 1- The physical basis of nuclear technology. Physics of fission. Chain reaction in reactors and weapons. Fission fragments. Separration of isotopes. Radiochemistry.2- Nuclear reactors with slow and fast neutrons. Power, size, fuel and waste. Plutonium production. Dose rate, shielding and health hazard. The lessons of Chernobyl3- Nuclear weapons. Types, energy, blast and fallout. Fusion and hydrogen bombs. What to do with nuclear weapons when you cannot use them? Testing. Nonmilittary use. Can we get rid of the nuclear weapon? Nuclear proliferation. Is there a nuclear future?

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Non-proliferation, safeguards, and security for the fissile materials disposition program immobilization alternatives

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duggan, R.A.; Jaeger, C.D.; Tolk, K.M. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Moore, L.R. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States)

    1996-05-01

    The Department of Energy is analyzing long-term storage and disposition alternatives for surplus weapons-usable fissile materials. A number of different disposition alternatives are being considered. These include facilities for storage, conversion and stabilization of fissile materials, immobilization in glass or ceramic material, fabrication of fissile material into mixed oxide (MOX) fuel for reactors, use of reactor based technologies to convert material into spent fuel, and disposal of fissile material using geologic alternatives. This paper will focus on how the objectives of reducing security and proliferation risks are being considered, and the possible facility impacts. Some of the areas discussed in this paper include: (1) domestic and international safeguards requirements, (2) non-proliferation criteria and measures, (3) the threats, and (4) potential proliferation, safeguards, and security issues and impacts on the facilities. Issues applicable to all of the possible disposition alternatives will be discussed in this paper. However, particular attention is given to the plutonium immobilization alternatives.

  8. Immobilization as a route to surplus fissile materials disposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gray, L.W.; Kan, T.

    1995-01-01

    In the aftermath of the Cold War, the US and Russia have agreed to large reductions in nuclear weapons. To aid in the selection of long-term management options, DOE has undertaken a multifaceted study to select options for storage and disposition of plutonium (Pu) in keeping with the national policy that Pu must be subjected to the highest standards of safety, security, and accountability. One alternative being considered is immobilization. To arrive at a suitable immobilization form, the authors first reviewed published information on high-level waste (HLW) immobilization technologies in order to identify 72 possible Pu immobilization forms to be prescreened. Surviving forms were screened using multiattribute analysis to determine the most promising technologies. Promising immobilization families were further evaluated to identify chemical, engineering, environmental, safety, and health problems that remain to be solved prior to making technical decisions as to the viability of using the form for long-term disposition of plutonium. All data, analyses, and reports are being provided to the DOE Fissile Materials Disposition Project Office to support the Record of Decision that is anticipated in the fourth quarter of FY96

  9. 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

  10. Preconceptual design for separation of plutonium and gallium by ion exchange

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    DeMuth, S.F.

    1997-01-01

    The disposition of plutonium from decommissioned nuclear weapons, by incorporation into commercial UO 2 -based nuclear reactor fuel, is a viable means to reduce the potential for theft of excess plutonium. This fuel, which would be a combination of plutonium oxide and uranium oxide, is referred to as a mixed oxide (MOX). Following power generation in commercial reactors with this fuel, the remaining plutonium would become mixed with highly radioactive fission products in a spent fuel assembly. The radioactivity, complex chemical composition, and large size of this spent fuel assembly, would make theft difficult with elaborate chemical processing required for plutonium recovery. In fabricating the MOX fuel, it is important to maintain current commercial fuel purity specifications. While impurities from the weapons plutonium may or may not have a detrimental affect on the fuel fabrication or fuel/cladding performance, certifying the effect as insignificant could be more costly than purification. Two primary concerns have been raised with regard to the gallium impurity: (1) gallium vaporization during fuel sintering may adversely affect the MOX fuel fabrication process, and (2) gallium vaporization during reactor operation may adversely affect the fuel cladding performance. Consequently, processes for the separation of plutonium from gallium are currently being developed and/or designed. In particular, two separation processes are being considered: (1) a developmental, potentially lower cost and lower waste, thermal vaporization process following PuO 2 powder preparation, and (2) an off-the-shelf, potentially higher cost and higher waste, aqueous-based ion exchange (IX) process. While it is planned to use the thermal vaporization process should its development prove successful, IX has been recommended as a backup process. This report presents a preconceptual design with material balances for separation of plutonium from gallium by IX

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  19. 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.)

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Destruction of plutonium using non-uranium fuels in pressurized water reactor peripheral assemblies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chodak, P. III

    1996-05-01

    This thesis examines and confirms the feasibility of using non-uranium fuel in a pressurized water reactor (PWR) radial blanket to eliminate plutonium of both weapons and civilian origin. In the equilibrium cycle, the periphery of the PWR is loaded with alternating fresh and once burned non-uranium fuel assemblies, with the interior of the core comprised of conventional three batch UO 2 assemblies. Plutonium throughput is such that there is no net plutonium production: production in the interior is offset by destruction in the periphery. Using this approach a 50 MT WGPu inventory could be eliminated in approximately 400 reactor years of operation. Assuming all other existing constraints were removed, the 72 operating US PWRs could disposition 50 MT of WGPu in 5.6 years. Use of a low fissile loading plutonium-erbium inert-oxide-matrix composition in the peripheral assemblies essentially destroys 100% of the 239 Pu and ≥90% total Pu over two 18 month fuel cycles. Core radial power peaking, reactivity vs EFPD profiles and core average reactivity coefficients were found to be comparable to standard PWR values. Hence, minimal impact on reload licensing is anticipated. Examination of potential candidate fuel matrices based on the existing experience base and thermo-physical properties resulted in the recommendation of three inert fuel matrix compositions for further study: zirconia, alumina and TRISO particle fuels. Objective metrics for quantifying the inherent proliferation resistance of plutonium host waste and fuel forms are proposed and were applied to compare the proposed spent WGPu non-uranium fuel to spent WGPu MOX fuels and WGPu borosilicate glass logs. The elimination disposition option spent non-uranium fuel product was found to present significantly greater barriers to proliferation than other plutonium disposal products

  4. Destruction of plutonium using non-uranium fuels in pressurized water reactor peripheral assemblies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chodak, III, Paul [Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)

    1996-05-01

    This thesis examines and confirms the feasibility of using non-uranium fuel in a pressurized water reactor (PWR) radial blanket to eliminate plutonium of both weapons and civilian origin. In the equilibrium cycle, the periphery of the PWR is loaded with alternating fresh and once burned non-uranium fuel assemblies, with the interior of the core comprised of conventional three batch UO2 assemblies. Plutonium throughput is such that there is no net plutonium production: production in the interior is offset by destruction in the periphery. Using this approach a 50 MT WGPu inventory could be eliminated in approximately 400 reactor years of operation. Assuming all other existing constraints were removed, the 72 operating US PWRs could disposition 50 MT of WGPu in 5.6 years. Use of a low fissile loading plutonium-erbium inert-oxide-matrix composition in the peripheral assemblies essentially destroys 100% of the 239Pu and ≥90% {sub total}Pu over two 18 month fuel cycles. Core radial power peaking, reactivity vs EFPD profiles and core average reactivity coefficients were found to be comparable to standard PWR values. Hence, minimal impact on reload licensing is anticipated. Examination of potential candidate fuel matrices based on the existing experience base and thermo-physical properties resulted in the recommendation of three inert fuel matrix compositions for further study: zirconia, alumina and TRISO particle fuels. Objective metrics for quantifying the inherent proliferation resistance of plutonium host waste and fuel forms are proposed and were applied to compare the proposed spent WGPu non-uranium fuel to spent WGPu MOX fuels and WGPu borosilicate glass logs. The elimination disposition option spent non-uranium fuel product was found to present significantly greater barriers to proliferation than other plutonium disposal products.

  5. Direct vitrification of plutonium-containing materials (PCM`s) with the glass material oxidation and dissolution system (GMODS)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Forsberg, C.W. Beahm, E.C.; Parker, G.W.; Rudolph, J.C.; Haas, P.A.; Malling, G.F.; Elam, K.; Ott, L.

    1995-10-30

    The end of the cold war has resulted in excess PCMs from nuclear weapons and associated production facilities. Consequently, the US government has undertaken studies to determine how best to manage and dispose of this excess material. The issues include (a) ensurance of domestic health, environment, and safety in handling, storage, and disposition, (b) international arms control agreements with Russia and other countries, and (c) economics. One major set of options is to convert the PCMs into glass for storage or disposal. The chemically inert characteristics of glasses make them a desirable chemical form for storage or disposal of radioactive materials. A glass may contain only plutonium, or it may contain plutonium along with other radioactive materials and nonradioactive materials. GMODS is a new process for the direct conversion of PCMs (i.e., plutonium metal, scrap, and residues) to glass. The plutonium content of these materials varies from a fraction of a percent to pure plutonium. GMODS has the capability to also convert other metals, ceramics, and amorphous solids to glass, destroy organics, and convert chloride-containing materials into a low-chloride glass and a secondary clean chloride salt strewn. This report is the initial study of GMODS for vitrification of PCMs as input to ongoing studies of plutonium management options. Several tasks were completed: initial analysis of process thermodynamics, initial flowsheet analysis, identification of equipment options, proof-of-principle experiments, and identification of uncertainties.

  6. Nuclear weapons complex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rezendes, V.S.

    1991-03-01

    In this book, GAO characterizes DOE's January 1991 Nuclear Weapons Complex Reconfiguration Study as a starting point for reaching agreement on solutions to many of the complex's safety and environmental problems. Key decisions still need to be made about the size of the complex, where to relocate plutonium operations, what technologies to use for new tritium production, and what to do with excess plutonium. The total cost for reconfiguring and modernizing the complex is still uncertain, and some management issues remain unresolved. Congress faces a difficult task in making test decisions given the conflicting demands for scarce resources in a time of growing budget deficits and war in the Persian Gulf

  7. 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

  8. Disposal of fissionable material from dismantled nuclear weapons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taylor, J.J.

    1991-01-01

    The reduction in tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union has improved the prospects for nuclear disarmament, making it more likely that significant numbers of nuclear warheads will be dismantled by the United States and USSR in the foreseeable future. Thus, the question becomes more urgent as to the disposition of the weapons materials, highly enriched uranium and plutonium. It is timely, therefore, to develop specific plans for such disposal. The overall process for disposal of weapons materials by the burnup option involves the following steps: (1) removing the weapons material from the warheads, (2) converting the material to a fuel form suitable for power reactors, (3) burning it up as a power reactor fuel, and (4) removing the spent fuel and placing it in a permanent repository. This paper examines these four steps with the purpose of answering the following questions. What facilities would be appropriate for the disposal process? Do they need to be dedicated facilities, or could industrial facilities be used? What is the present projection of the economics of the burnup process, both the capital investment and the operating costs? How does one assure that fissionable materials will not be diverted to military use during the disposal process? Is the spent fuel remaining from the burnup process proliferation resistant? Would the disposal of spent fuel add an additional burden to the spent fuel permanent repository? The suggested answers are those of the author and do not represent a position by the Electric Power Research Institute

  9. 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

  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. Dispositional logic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Balleur, J. C.

    1988-01-01

    The applicability of conventional mathematical analysis (based on the combination of two-valued logic and probability theory) to problems in which human judgment, perception, or emotions play significant roles is considered theoretically. It is shown that dispositional logic, a branch of fuzzy logic, has particular relevance to the common-sense reasoning typical of human decision-making. The concepts of dispositionality and usuality are defined analytically, and a dispositional conjunctive rule and dispositional modus ponens are derived.

  12. Metal plutonium conversion to components of nuclear reactor fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Subbotin, V.G.; Panov, A.V.; Mashirev, V.P.

    2000-01-01

    Capabilities of different technologies for plutonium conversion to the fuel components of nuclear reactors are studied. Advantages and shortcomings of aqueous and nonaqueous methods of plutonium treatment are shown. Proposals to combine and coordinate efforts of world scientific and technological community in solving problems concerning plutonium of energetic and weapon origin treatment were put forward. (authors)

  13. Metal plutonium conversion to components of nuclear reactor fuel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Subbotin, V.G.; Panov, A.V. [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

    Capabilities of different technologies for plutonium conversion to the fuel components of nuclear reactors are studied. Advantages and shortcomings of aqueous and nonaqueous methods of plutonium treatment are shown. Proposals to combine and coordinate efforts of world scientific and technological community in solving problems concerning plutonium of energetic and weapon origin treatment were put forward. (authors)

  14. The distribution and history of nuclear weapons related contamination in sediments from the Ob River, Siberia as determined by isotopic ratios of plutonium and neptunium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kenna, T.C.; Sayles, F.L.

    2002-01-01

    Isotopic ratios of Pu and Np measured in sediment cores from 5 locations in the Ob River drainage basin show clear evidence of input from sources other than global fallout (non-fallout sources). Historical contaminant records obtained by combining isotopic ratio information with chronological information indicate that non-fallout inputs are from several sources that have varied significantly over the past 50 years. Unique isotopic signatures observed in sediments from tributaries that drain areas containing known or suspected sources of non-fallout contamination are used to identify the source of materials in sediments collected at downstream locations. These data can lead to a better understanding of the transport behavior, fate, and relative importance of particle reactive, weapons related contaminants originating from the nuclear facilities Mayak, Tomsk-7, and Semipalitinsk, which lie within the drainage basin. From our work to date, we draw the following conclusions: (1) Persistent non-fallout contamination is observed in the Ob River above its confluence with the Irtysh River, indicating contamination from the Tomsk-7 facility. (2) Non-fallout contamination in the Tobol River above its confluence with the Irtysh River indicates contamination from the Mayak facility. (3) Non-fallout contamination in the Irtysh River above its confluence with the Tobol River indicates contamination from the Semipalitinsk weapons test site. (4) The occurrence of isotopic ratios in Ob Delta sediments that are similar to those observed in source tributaries suggests that contamination from at least two sources has been transported along the length of the river system. (5) Global fallout, a result of high-yield atmospheric weapons tests conducted by the FSU and USA primarily, is the dominant source of Pu and Np to the region; however, there have been brief periods when inputs from non-fallout sources exceeded those from global fallout

  15. Proliferation resistance criteria for fissile material disposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Close, D.A.; Fearey, B.L.; Markin, J.T.; Rutherford, D.A.; Duggan, R.A.; Jaeger, C.D.; Mangan, D.L.; Moya, R.W.; Moore, L.R.; Strait, R.S.

    1995-04-01

    The 1994 National Academy of Sciences study open-quotes Management and Disposition of Excess Weapons Plutoniumclose quotes defined options for reducing the national and international proliferation risks of materials declared excess to the nuclear weapons program. This report proposes criteria for assessing the proliferation resistance of these options. The criteria are general, encompassing all stages of the disposition process from storage through intermediate processing to final disposition including the facilities, processing technologies and materials, the level of safeguards for these materials, and the national/subnational threat to the materials

  16. 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)

  17. Interim Storage of Plutonium in Existing Facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woodsmall, T.D.

    1999-01-01

    'In this era of nuclear weapons disarmament and nonproliferation treaties, among many problems being faced by the Department of Energy is the safe disposal of plutonium. There is a large stockpile of plutonium at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Center and it remains politically and environmentally strategic to relocate the inventory closer to a processing facility. Savannah River Site has been chosen as the final storage location, and the Actinide Packaging and Storage Facility (APSF) is currently under construction for this purpose. With the ability of APSF to receive Rocky Flats material an estimated ten years away, DOE has decided to use the existing reactor building in K-Area of SRS as temporary storage to accelerate the removal of plutonium from Rocky Flats. There are enormous cost savings to the government that serve as incentive to start this removal as soon as possible, and the KAMS project is scheduled to receive the first shipment of plutonium in January 2000. The reactor building in K-Area was chosen for its hardened structure and upgraded seismic qualification, both resulting from an effort to restart the reactor in 1991. The KAMS project has faced unique challenges from Authorization Basis and Safety Analysis perspectives. Although modifying a reactor building from a production facility to a storage shelter is not technically difficult, the nature of plutonium has caused design and safety analysis engineers to make certain that the design of systems, structures and components included will protect the public, SRS workers, and the environment. A basic overview of the KAMS project follows. Plutonium will be measured and loaded into DOT Type-B shipping packages at Rocky Flats. The packages are 35-gallon stainless steel drums with multiple internal containment boundaries. DOE transportation vehicles will be used to ship the drums to the KAMS facility at SRS. They will then be unloaded, stacked and stored in specific locations throughout the

  18. 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.)

  19. Economic assumptions for evaluating reactor-related options for managing plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rothwell, G.

    1996-01-01

    This paper discusses the economic assumptions in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences' report, Management and Disposition of Excess Weapons Plutonium: Reactor-Related Options (1995). It reviews the Net Present Value approach for discounting and comparing the costs and benefits of reactor-related options. It argues that because risks associated with the returns to plutonium management are unlikely to be constant over time, it is preferable to use a real risk-free rate to discount cash flows and explicitly describe the probability distributions for costs and benefits, allowing decision makers to determine the risk premium of each option. As a baseline for comparison, it assumes that one economic benefit of changing the current plutonium management system is a reduction in on-going Surveillance and Maintenance (S and M) costs. This reduction in the present value of S and M costs can be compared with the discounted costs of each option. These costs include direct construction costs, indirect costs, operating costs minus revenues, and decontamination and decommissioning expenses. The paper also discusses how to conduct an uncertainty analysis. It finishes by summarizing conclusions and recommendations and discusses how these recommendations might apply to the evaluation of Russian plutonium management options. (author)

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Fissile material disposition program: Screening of alternate immobilization candidates for disposition of surplus fissile materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gray, L.W.

    1996-01-01

    With the end of the Cold War, the world faces for the first time the need to dismantle vast numbers of ''excess'' nuclear weapons and dispose of the fissile materials they contain, together with fissile residues in the weapons production complex left over from the production of these weapons. If recently agreed US and Russian reductions are fully implemented, tens of thousands of nuclear weapons, containing a hundred tons or more of plutonium and hundreds of tonnes* of highly enriched uranium (HEU), will no longer be needed worldwide for military purposes. These two materials are the essential ingredients of nuclear weapons, and limits on access to them are the primary technical barrier to prospective proliferants who might desire to acquire a nuclear weapons capability. Theoretically, several kilograms of plutonium, or several times that amount of HEU, is sufficient to make a nuclear explosive device. Therefore, these materials will continue to be a potential threat to humanity for as long as they exist

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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)

  7. SLIGHTLY IRRADIATED FUEL (SIF) INTERIM DISPOSITION PROJECT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Norton, S.H.

    2010-01-01

    CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company (CH2M HILL PRC) is proud to submit the Slightly Irradiated Fuel (SIF) Interim Disposition Project for consideration by the Project Management Institute as Project of the Year for 2010. The SIF Project was a set of six interrelated sub-projects that delivered unique stand-alone outcomes, which, when integrated, provided a comprehensive and compliant system for storing high risk special nuclear materials. The scope of the six sub-projects included the design, construction, testing, and turnover of the facilities and equipment, which would provide safe, secure, and compliant Special Nuclear Material (SNM) storage capabilities for the SIF material. The project encompassed a broad range of activities, including the following: Five buildings/structures removed, relocated, or built; Two buildings renovated; Structural barriers, fencing, and heavy gates installed; New roadways and parking lots built; Multiple detection and assessment systems installed; New and expanded communication systems developed; Multimedia recording devices added; and A new control room to monitor all materials and systems built. Project challenges were numerous and included the following: An aggressive 17-month schedule to support the high-profile Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) decommissioning; Company/contractor changeovers that affected each and every project team member; Project requirements that continually evolved during design and construction due to the performance- and outcome-based nature ofthe security objectives; and Restrictions imposed on all communications due to the sensitive nature of the projects In spite of the significant challenges, the project was delivered on schedule and $2 million under budget, which became a special source of pride that bonded the team. For years, the SIF had been stored at the central Hanford PFP. Because of the weapons-grade piutonium produced and stored there, the PFP had some of the tightest security on the Hanford

  8. SLIGHTLY IRRADIATED FUEL (SIF) INTERIM DISPOSITION PROJECT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NORTON SH

    2010-02-23

    CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company (CH2M HILL PRC) is proud to submit the Slightly Irradiated Fuel (SIF) Interim Disposition Project for consideration by the Project Management Institute as Project of the Year for 2010. The SIF Project was a set of six interrelated sub-projects that delivered unique stand-alone outcomes, which, when integrated, provided a comprehensive and compliant system for storing high risk special nuclear materials. The scope of the six sub-projects included the design, construction, testing, and turnover of the facilities and equipment, which would provide safe, secure, and compliant Special Nuclear Material (SNM) storage capabilities for the SIF material. The project encompassed a broad range of activities, including the following: Five buildings/structures removed, relocated, or built; Two buildings renovated; Structural barriers, fencing, and heavy gates installed; New roadways and parking lots built; Multiple detection and assessment systems installed; New and expanded communication systems developed; Multimedia recording devices added; and A new control room to monitor all materials and systems built. Project challenges were numerous and included the following: An aggressive 17-month schedule to support the high-profile Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) decommissioning; Company/contractor changeovers that affected each and every project team member; Project requirements that continually evolved during design and construction due to the performance- and outcome-based nature ofthe security objectives; and Restrictions imposed on all communications due to the sensitive nature of the projects In spite of the significant challenges, the project was delivered on schedule and $2 million under budget, which became a special source of pride that bonded the team. For years, the SIF had been stored at the central Hanford PFP. Because of the weapons-grade piutonium produced and stored there, the PFP had some of the tightest security on the Hanford

  9. Foucaults Dispositive

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raffnsøe, Sverre; Gudmand-Høyer, Marius T.; Thaning, Morten Sørensen

    2016-01-01

    While Foucault’s work has had a crucial impact on organizational research, the analytical potential of the dispositive has not been sufficiently developed. The purpose of this article is to reconstruct the notion of the dispositive as a key conception in Foucault’s thought, particularly in his...

  10. Representing dispositions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Röhl Johannes

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Dispositions and tendencies feature significantly in the biomedical domain and therefore in representations of knowledge of that domain. They are not only important for specific applications like an infectious disease ontology, but also as part of a general strategy for modelling knowledge about molecular interactions. But the task of representing dispositions in some formal ontological systems is fraught with several problems, which are partly due to the fact that Description Logics can only deal well with binary relations. The paper will discuss some of the results of the philosophical debate about dispositions, in order to see whether the formal relations needed to represent dispositions can be broken down to binary relations. Finally, we will discuss problems arising from the possibility of the absence of realizations, of multi-track or multi-trigger dispositions and offer suggestions on how to deal with them.

  11. 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

  12. Nuclear weapons complex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peach, J.D.

    1991-02-01

    In this paper, GAO provides its views on DOE's January 1991 Nuclear Weapons Complex Reconfiguration Study. GAO believes that DOE's new reconfiguration study provides a starting point for reaching agreement on solutions to many of the complex's problems. Key decisions still need to be made about the size of the complex, where to relocate plutonium operations, what technologies should be used for new tritium production, and what to do with excess plutonium. The total cost for reconfiguring and modernizing is still uncertain and some management issues remain unresolved. Congress faces a difficult task in making these decisions given the conflicting demands for scare resources in a time of growing budget deficits and war in the Persian Gulf

  13. Radiation effects in glass waste forms for high-level waste and plutonium disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weber, W.J.; Ewing, R.C.

    1997-01-01

    A key challenge in the permanent disposal of high-level waste (HLW), plutonium residues/scraps, and excess weapons plutonium in glass waste forms is the development of predictive models of long-term performance that are based on a sound scientific understanding of relevant phenomena. Radiation effects from β-decay and α-decay can impact the performance of glasses for HLW and Pu disposition through the interactions of the α-particles, β-particles, recoil nuclei, and γ-rays with the atoms in the glass. Recently, a scientific panel convened under the auspices of the DOE Council on Materials Science to assess the current state of understanding, identify important scientific issues, and recommend directions for research in the area of radiation effects in glasses for HLW and Pu disposition. The overall finding of the panel was that there is a critical lack of systematic understanding on radiation effects in glasses at the atomic, microscopic, and macroscopic levels. The current state of understanding on radiation effects in glass waste forms and critical scientific issues are presented

  14. Equipping a glovebox for waste form testing and characterization of plutonium bearing materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noy, M.; Johnson, S.G.; Moschetti, T.L.

    1997-01-01

    The recent decision by the Department of Energy to pursue a hybrid option for the disposition of weapons plutonium has created the need for additional facilities that can examine and characterize waste forms that contain Pu. This hybrid option consists of the placement of plutonium into stable waste forms and also into mixed oxide fuel for commercial reactors. Glass and glass-ceramic waste forms have a long history of being effective hosts for containing radionuclides, including plutonium. The types of tests necessary to characterize the performance of candidate waste forms include: static leaching experiments on both monolithic and crushed waste forms, microscopic examination, and density determination. Frequently, the respective candidate waste forms must first be produced using elevated temperatures and/or high pressures. The desired operations in the glovebox include, but are not limited to the following: (1) production of vitrified/sintered samples, (2) sampling of glass from crucibles or other vessels, (3) preparing samples for microscopic inspection and monolithic and crushed static leach tests, and (4) performing and analyzing leach tests in situ. This paper will describe the essential equipment and modifications that are necessary to successfully accomplish the goal of outfitting a glovebox for these functions

  15. What is plutonium stabilization, and what is safe storage of plutonium?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Forsberg, C.W.

    1995-01-01

    The end of the cold war has resulted in the shutdown of nuclear weapons production and the start of dismantlement of significant numbers of nuclear weapons. This, in turn, is creating an inventory of plutonium requiring interim and long-term storage. A key question is, ''What is required for safe, multidecade, plutonium storage?'' The requirements for storage, in turn, define what is needed to stabilize the plutonium from its current condition into a form acceptable for interim and long-term storage. Storage requirements determine if research is required to (1) define required technical conditions for interim and long-term storage and (2) develop or improve current stabilization technologies. Storage requirements depend upon technical, policy, and economic factors. The technical issues are complicated by several factors. Plutonium in aerosol form is highly hazardous. Plutonium in water is hazardous. The plutonium inventory is in multiple chemical forms--some of which are chemically reactive. Also, some of the existing storage forms are clearly unsuitable for storage periods over a few years. Gas generation by plutonium compounds complicates storage: (1) all plutonium slowly decays creating gaseous helium and (2) the radiation from plutonium decay can initiate many chemical reactions-some of which generate significant quantities of gases. Gas generation can pressurize sealed storage packages. Last nuclear criticality must be avoided

  16. Special Weapons

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — Supporting Navy special weapons, the division provides an array of engineering services, technical publication support services, logistics support services, safety...

  17. Nuclear weapons proliferation problem: can we lead without leadership

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stathakis, G.J.

    1977-01-01

    The immediate problem facing us with respect to proliferation and nuclear power involves reprocessing and the availability of plutonium from reprocessing plants. One solution supported by the Atomic Industrial Forum is that reprocessing centers be restricted to locations in those industrial nations already having weapons capability and that the energy of the reprocessed plutonium be returned to the user nation in the form of low enriched uranium. Thus, the plutonium would remain where it would not add to problems of proliferation

  18. 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

  19. 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)

  20. 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)

  1. 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)

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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)

  5. Nuclear power and nuclear weapon proliferation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Apold, A.

    1978-01-01

    The theme of Dr. Marshall's lecture was that it is, from the viewpoint of prevention of proliferation of nuclear weapons,preferable to use plutonium as a fuel in FBR reactors rather than store it in what, in effect, would be plutonium mines. The true threat of proliferation lies in uranium enrichment. The FBR reactor is misunderstood and the US policy is not against breeders as such. Safeguards against the misuse of plutonium by leaving a residue of radioactivity after reprocessing is quite feasible, despite certain practical problems and extra costs. Weapon proliferation is subject to political objectives and intentions. Definite proposals are, (a) a limited number of reprocessing centres, (b) an accelerated development of FBR reactors, (c) a new FBR fuel cycle, (d) stop storage of spent thermal reactor fuel, (e) reinforced safeguards. (JIW)

  6. Does nuclear power lead to nuclear weapons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prawitz, J.

    1977-01-01

    It is pointed out that 'reactor grade' plutonium usually contains about 30 % Pu240 and is unsuitable for weapons. While it is possible to obtain an explosion, it is more difficult to initiate one and its effect, which will be considerably less than with bomb grade plutonium, is difficult to predict. The critical mass will be larger and more cooling required. The proliferation problem is then discussed and the four aspects, vertical, horizontal, sub-national and revolutionary, mentioned. In connection with nuclear power it is the second and third aspects which are of interest. In discussing the possibility of terrorist groups obtaining plutonium, a study by the Swedish Defence Research Institute is quoted as estimating that 10-20 qualified specialists and several years secret preparation would be necessary to make a nuclear weapon. Other authors, e.g. Ted Taylor, have maintained that it would be much easier, but examples of 'student designs' are primitive and unlikely to detonate. Even so, it is emphasised that safeguards and physical security are necessary. Horizontal proliferation is a more real problem and the NPT and IAEA safeguards are discussed in this connection. In conclusion the question of whether the proliferation of nuclear weapons via nuclear power can be prevented cannot be answered with a clear yes or no. Certain states may use nuclear weapon potential as a bargaining factor. However the decision to acquire nuclear weapons is political and while a nuclear power industry would be of help, it would not be decisively so. (JIW)

  7. Plutonium in the ocean environment. Its distributions and behavior

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hirose, Katsumi

    2009-01-01

    Marine environments have been extensively contaminated by plutonium as a result of global fallout due to atmospheric nuclear-weapons testing. Knowledge of the levels and behavior of plutonium in marine environments is necessary to assess the radiological and ecological effects of plutonium. Such analytical techniques as radiochemical analysis, α-spectrometry, and mass spectrometry have been developed to analyze the plutonium in seawater over the past five decades. Because of complex chemical properties (e.g. high reactivity to particles), plutonium in the ocean exhibits more complicated behavior than other long-lived anthropogenic radionuclides, such as 137 Cs. In the present study. In reviewed the research history of plutonium in the ocean, including spatial and temporal changes of plutonium levels and distributions, and its oceanographic behavior. (author)

  8. 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

  9. 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)

  10. 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

  11. Plutonium in the Arctic Marine Environment — A Short Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindis Skipperud

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic plutonium has been introduced into the environment over the past 50 years as the result of the detonation of nuclear weapons and operational releases from the nuclear industry. In the Arctic environment, the main source of plutonium is from atmospheric weapons testing, which has resulted in a relatively uniform, underlying global distribution of plutonium. Previous studies of plutonium in the Kara Sea have shown that, at certain sites, other releases have given rise to enhanced local concentrations. Since different plutonium sources are characterised by distinctive plutonium-isotope ratios, evidence of a localised influence can be supported by clear perturbations in the plutonium-isotope ratio fingerprints as compared to the known ratio in global fallout. In Kara Sea sites, such perturbations have been observed as a result of underwater weapons tests at Chernaya Bay, dumped radioactive waste in Novaya Zemlya, and terrestrial runoff from the Ob and Yenisey Rivers. Measurement of the plutonium-isotope ratios offers both a means of identifying the origin of radionuclide contamination and the influence of the various nuclear installations on inputs to the Arctic, as well as a potential method for following the movement of water and sediment loads in the rivers.

  12. Plutonium in the arctic marine environment--a short review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skipperud, Lindis

    2004-06-18

    Anthropogenic plutonium has been introduced into the environment over the past 50 years as the result of the detonation of nuclear weapons and operational releases from the nuclear industry. In the Arctic environment, the main source of plutonium is from atmospheric weapons testing, which has resulted in a relatively uniform, underlying global distribution of plutonium. Previous studies of plutonium in the Kara Sea have shown that, at certain sites, other releases have given rise to enhanced local concentrations. Since different plutonium sources are characterised by distinctive plutonium-isotope ratios, evidence of a localised influence can be supported by clear perturbations in the plutonium-isotope ratio fingerprints as compared to the known ratio in global fallout. In Kara Sea sites, such perturbations have been observed as a result of underwater weapons tests at Chernaya Bay, dumped radioactive waste in Novaya Zemlya, and terrestrial runoff from the Ob and Yenisey Rivers. Measurement of the plutonium-isotope ratios offers both a means of identifying the origin of radionuclide contamination and the influence of the various nuclear installations on inputs to the Arctic, as well as a potential method for following the movement of water and sediment loads in the rivers.

  13. Long-term criticality safety concerns associated with surplus fissile material disposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choi, J.S.

    1995-01-01

    A substantial inventory of surplus fissile material would result from ongoing and planned dismantlement of US and Russian nuclear weapons. This surplus fissile material could be dispositioned by irradiation in nuclear reactors, and the resulting spent MOx fuel would be similar in radiation characteristics to regular LWR spent UO2 fuel. The surplus fissile material could also be immobilized into high-level waste forms, such as borosilicate glass, synroc, or metal-alloy matrix. The MOx spent fuel, or the immobilized waste forms, could then be directly disposed of in a geologic repository. Long-term criticality safety concerns arise because the fissile contents (i.e., Pu-239 and its decay daughter U-235) in these waste forms are higher than in LWR spent UO2 fuel. MOx spent fuel could contain 3 to 4 wt% of reactor-grade plutonium, compared to only 0.9 wt% of plutonium in LWR spent UO2 fuel. At some future time (tens of thousand of years), when the waste forms had deteriorated due to intruding groundwater, the water could mix with the long-lived fissile materials to form into a critical system. If the critical system is self-sustaining, somewhat like the natural-occurring reactor in OKLO, fission products produced could readily be available for dissolution and release out to the accessible environment, adversely affecting public health and safety. This paper will address ongoing activities to evaluate long-term criticality safety concerns associated with disposition of fissile material in a geologic setting. Issues to be addressed include the identification of a worst-case water-intrusion scenario and waste-form geometries which present the most concern for long-term criticality safety; and suggests of technical solutions for such concerns

  14. 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

  15. Antisatellite weapons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garwin, R.L.; Gottfried, K.; Hafner, D.L.

    1984-01-01

    The authors take issue with the assessment that the advent of antisatellite weapons implies that the beneficial role of satellites in arms control, confidence building, and conflict resolution has been judged less important than their ability to support actual military operations. They argue that there is still an opportunity to negotiate a militarily significant and verifiable constraint on the growth of antisatellite technology that would be in the security interest of the US and the world as a whole. They base their opinion on an assessment of the roles of the existing military satellites and their vulnerability to antisatellite weapons and the probable impact of antisatellite weapons on various kinds of crisis and conflict. 10 figures, 1 table

  16. Development of an Alternative Glass Formulation for Vitrification of Excess Plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    MARRA, JAMES

    2006-01-01

    The Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management (DOE/EM) plans to conduct the Plutonium Disposition Project at the Savannah River Site (SRS) to disposition excess weapons-usable plutonium. A plutonium glass waste form is a leading candidate for immobilization of the plutonium for subsequent disposition in a geologic repository. A reference glass composition (Lanthanide Borosilicate (La 2 O 3 -B 2 O 3 -SiO 2 (LaBS))-Frit B) was developed and testing with the LaBS Frit B composition is underway to provide data to support the Yucca Mountain License Application process. The objective of this task was to investigate alternative frit compositions and/or processing conditions that may improve the performance of the reference Frit B-LaBS glass in the repository. The current LaBS Frit B composition was used as the baseline for alternative glass formulation development efforts. A review of the literature and past high actinide concentration glass development efforts was conducted to formulate candidate compositions for testing. Glass science principles were also utilized to determine candidate frit components that may meet task objectives. Additionally, glass processing methods (e.g. slow cooling or induced heat treatment) were investigated as potential means to improve the glass durability and/or minimize fissile material and neutron absorber separation. Based on these analyses, a series of candidate surrogate glasses were fabricated and analyzed. One composition was then selected for fabrication with PuO 2 and subsequently analyzed. A phase equilibrium approach, developed from the assessment of previous high lanthanide glass formulations, was used to recommend modifications to the SRNL Frit B composition. A specific recommendation to increase Ln 2 O 3 content with concurrent reduction of Al 2 O 3 and SiO 2 content proved to be successful in improving the melting behavior and component solubility of the glass. This change moved the formulation from a

  17. Waste minimization at a plutonium processing facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pillay, K.K.S.

    1995-01-01

    As part of Los Alamos National Laboratory's (LANL) mission to reduce the nuclear danger throughout the world, the plutonium processing facility at LANL maintains expertise and skills in nuclear weapons technologies as well as leadership in all peaceful applications of plutonium technologies, including fuel fabrication for terrestrial and space reactors and heat sources and thermoelectric generators for space missions. Another near-term challenge resulted from two safety assessments performed by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board and the U.S. Department of Energy during the past two years. These assessments have necessitated the processing and stabilization of plutonium contained in tons of residues so that they can be stored safely for an indefinite period. This report describes waste streams and approaches to waste reduction of plutonium management

  18. 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.

  19. Plutonium working group report on environmental, safety and health vulnerabilities associated with the Department's plutonium storage. Volume I: Summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-11-01

    At the conclusion of the Cold War, the Department of Energy (DOE) stopped plutonium processing for nuclear weapons production. Facilities used for that purpose now hold significant quantities of plutonium in various forms. Unless properly stored and handled, plutonium can present environment, safety and health (ES ampersand H) hazards. Improperly stored plutonium poses a variety of hazards. When containers or packaging fail to fully protect plutonium metal from exposure to air, oxidation can occur and cause packaging failures and personnel contamination. Contamination can also result when plutonium solutions leak from bottles, tanks or piping. Plutonium in the form of scrap or residues generated by weapons production are often very corrosive, chemically reactive and difficult to contain. Buildings and equipment that are aging, poorly maintained or of obsolete design contribute to the overall problem. Inadvertent accumulations of plutonium of any form in sufficient quantities within facilities can result in nuclear criticality events that could emit large amounts of radiation locally. Contamination events and precursors of criticality events are causing safety and health concerns for workers at the Department's plutonium facilities. Contamination events also potentially threaten the public and the surrounding environment

  20. Weapons material and the commercial fuel cycle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Steyn, J.J.

    1993-01-01

    In 1991, the United States and the former USSR had arsenals of ∼18,000 and 27,200 nuclear weapons, respectively. Approximately 10,000 of the US and 13,000 of the former USSR weapons were in the strategic category, and the remainder were tactical weapons. The dramatic changes in the political climate between the United States and the republics of the former USSR have resulted in the signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I and II), agreements to substantially reduce nuclear weapons arsenals. Tactical weapons have already been collected in Russia, and strategic weapons are to be collected by the end of 1994. The major issues in accomplishing the treaty reductions appear to be funding, transport safety, storage capacity, and political issues between Russia and Ukraine because the latter seems to be using its weapons for political leverage on other matters. Collectively, the US and former USSR warhead stockpiles contain tremendous inventories of high-enriched uranium and weapons-grade plutonium which if converted to light water reactor fuel would equate to an enormous economic supply of natural uranium, conversion services, and enrichment separative work. The potential for this material entering the light water reactor fuel marketplace was enhanced in July 1992, when the two US industrial companies, Nuclear Fuel Services and Allied-Signal, announced that they had reached a preliminary agreement with the Russian ministry, Minatom, and the Russian Academay of Sciences to convert Russian high-enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium

  1. 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.)

  2. 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

  3. International agreements on nuclear weapons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dombey, N.

    1982-01-01

    The satellite detection of a nuclear explosion in the South Atlantic and Israel's destruction of a research reactor in Iraq make it essential to strengthen existing monitoring and enforcement programs to prevent proliferation. While there was no reliable evidence that either South Africa or Iraq was violating non-proliferation agreements, worst case scenarios can demonstrate to unfriendly countries that South Africa had diverted fuel to test a nuclear weapon and that Iraq is intending to produce weapons-grade plutonium 239. The situation can be improved by formulating better terms and conditions for internationalizing access to materials. Nuclear suppliers need to agree on terms that will assure their customers that contracts for civil programs will be honored. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which includes both nuclear suppliers and customers, could achieve stronger agreements that take into account recent technological advances that will expand enrichment and reprocessing activities. 23 references, 1 figure

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.)

  7. 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

  8. Update to the Fissile Materials Disposition program SST/SGT transportation estimation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    John Didlake

    1999-01-01

    This report is an update to ''Fissile Materials Disposition Program SST/SGT Transportation Estimation,'' SAND98-8244, June 1998. The Department of Energy Office of Fissile Materials Disposition requested this update as a basis for providing the public with an updated estimation of the number of transportation loads, load miles, and costs associated with the preferred alternative in the Surplus Plutonium Disposition Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

  9. Long-term plutonium storage: Design concepts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilkey, D.D.; Wood, W.T.; Guenther, C.D.

    1994-01-01

    An important part of the Department of Energy (DOE) Weapons Complex Reconfiguration (WCR) Program is the development of facilities for long-term storage of plutonium. The WCR design goals are to provide storage for metals, oxides, pits, and fuel-grade plutonium, including material being held as part of the Strategic Reserve and excess material. Major activities associated with plutonium storage are sorting the plutonium inventory, material handling and storage support, shipping and receiving, and surveillance of material in storage for both safety evaluations and safeguards and security. A variety of methods for plutonium storage have been used, both within the DOE weapons complex and by external organizations. This paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages of proposed storage concepts based upon functional criteria. The concepts discussed include floor wells, vertical and horizontal sleeves, warehouse storage on vertical racks, and modular storage units. Issues/factors considered in determining a preferred design include operational efficiency, maintenance and repair, environmental impact, radiation and criticality safety, safeguards and security, heat removal, waste minimization, international inspection requirements, and construction and operational costs

  10. Weapons dismantlement issues in independent Ukraine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zack, N.R.

    1995-01-01

    The American Association for the Advancement of Science sponsored a seminar during September 1993 in Kiev, Ukraine, titled, ''Toward a Nuclear-Free Future--Barriers and Problems.'' It brought together Ukrainians, Belarusians and Americans to discuss the legal, political, economic, technical, and safeguards and security dimensions of nuclear weapons dismantlement and destruction. US representatives initiated discussions on legal and treaty requirements and constraints, safeguards and security issues surrounding dismantlement, storage and disposition of nuclear materials, warhead transportation, and economic considerations. Ukrainians gave presentations on arguments for and against the Ukraine keeping nuclear weapons, the Ukrainian Parliament's nonapproval of START 1, alternative strategies for dismantling silos and launchers, and economic and security implications of nuclear weapons removal from the Ukraine. Participants from Belarus discussed proliferation and control regime issues. This paper will highlight and detail the issues, concerns and possible impacts of the Ukraine's dismantlement of its nuclear weapons

  11. 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)

  12. 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)

  13. 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).

  14. Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium quarterly technical progress report, August 1, 1997--October 31, 1997

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-12-31

    This report summarizes activities of the Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium during the quarter. The report describes the Electronic Resource Library; DOE support activities; current and future environmental health and safety programs; pollution prevention and pollution avoidance; communication, education, training, and community involvement programs; and nuclear and other material studies, including plutonium storage and disposition studies.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Plutonium contents of field crops in the southeastern US

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adriano, D.C.; Corey, J.C.; Dahlman, R.C.

    1980-01-01

    Agricultural crops were grown at the US Department of Energy Savannah River Plant (SRP) and at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) on soils at field sites containing plutonium concentrations above background levels from nuclear weapon tests. Major US grain crops were grown adjacent to a reprocessing facility at SRP, which releases low chronic levels of plutonium through an emission stack. Major vegetable crops were grown at the ORNL White Oak Creek floodplain, which received plutonium effluent wastes in 1944 from the Manhattan Project weapon development. In general, the concentration ratios of vegetative parts of crops at SRP were approximately one order of magnitude higher than those at ORNL, which indicates the influence of aerial deposition of plutonium at the SRP site

  18. Flexible weapons architecture design

    OpenAIRE

    Pyant, William C.

    2015-01-01

    Present day air-delivered weapons are of a closed architecture, with little to no ability to tailor the weapon for the individual engagement. The closed architectures require weaponeers to make the target fit the weapon instead of fitting the individual weapons to a target. The concept of a flexible weapons aims to modularize weapons design using an open architecture shell into which different modules are inserted to achieve the desired target fractional damage while reducing cost and civilia...

  19. 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

  20. Dispositional greed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seuntjens, Terri G; Zeelenberg, Marcel; van de Ven, Niels; Breugelmans, Seger M

    2015-06-01

    Greed is an important motive: it is seen as both productive (a source of ambition; the motor of the economy) and destructive (undermining social relationships; the cause of the late 2000s financial crisis). However, relatively little is known about what greed is and does. This article reports on 5 studies that develop and test the 7-item Dispositional Greed Scale (DGS). Study 1 (including 4 separate samples from 2 different countries, total N = 6092) provides evidence for the construct and discriminant validity of the DGS in terms of positive correlations with maximization, self-interest, envy, materialism, and impulsiveness, and negative correlations with self-control and life satisfaction. Study 2 (N = 290) presents further evidence for discriminant validity, finding that the DGS predicts greedy behavioral tendencies over and above materialism. Furthermore, the DGS predicts economic behavior: greedy people allocate more money to themselves in dictator games (Study 3, N = 300) and ultimatum games (Study 4, N = 603), and take more in a resource dilemma (Study 5, N = 305). These findings shed light on what greed is and does, how people differ in greed, and how greed can be measured. In addition, they show the importance of greed in economic behavior and provide directions for future studies. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  1. Flexible plutonium management with IFR technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hannum, W.H.; Lineberry, M.J.

    1993-01-01

    From the earliest days of the development of peaceful nuclear power, it has been recognized that efficient utilization of nuclear fuel resources requires a closed fuel cycle (recycle). With a closed cycle, essentially all the energy content of mined uranium can be used, whereas a once-through light water reactor (LWR) cycle uses only ∼0.5%. Since weapons programs have used the PUREX process to extract plutonium, it has further been assumed that this is the appropriate technology for closing the uranium fuel cycle. In the United States, these assumptions were put into question by concerns over commerce in separated plutonium and the threat of diversion of this material for weapons use

  2. Aerosol generation by oxidation and combustion of plutonium and its compounds: literature survey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ballereau, P.

    1987-09-01

    Generation of aerosols by oxidation or combustion is one of the greatest risks due to plutonium. A review is made of the most interesting documents available on this topic. Following a brief study of plutonium oxydation conditions, characteristics of aerosols generated by accidents of fires involving metallic Pu and some of its compounds are assessed. Nuclear weapons are not included in this review [fr

  3. International and institutional aspects of reprocessing and plutonium management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1978-09-01

    Various institutional alternatives applicable to reprocessing, plutonium management and recycle are considered, not as a definitive analysis but rather as a basis for identifying the institutional approaches and measures which the Working Group might wish to examine more thoroughly. Seven alternatives arrangements for reprocessing are presented. These range from suspending the operation of existing reprocessing plants through placing national facilities under safeguards to limiting reprocessing to a few large facilities subject to plutonium management, multinational or international control. Finally, the comprehensive alternative of an International Nuclear Fuel Authority with worldwide responsibility for reprocessing and plutonium management is considered. Plutonium management alternatives to complement the reprocessing options, are then outlined. These include national discretion on the separation and disposition of plutonium under safeguards, an agreed Code of Practice for plutonium management at national facilities and the international storage of plutonium. The advantages and disadvantages of the alternative are discussed tentatively. It is recognised that the alternatives are presented in a simplified form and that their elements can be combined or separated in many ways. Although strengthening the institutions relating to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy is imperative and can contribute to non-proliferation, such arrangements might open other proliferation risks through the spread of sensitive materials, facilities and technology. While there are risks with any fuel cycle, where plutonium in quantity is separated these risks are of a high order. Although these can be mitigated, they will have to be set against the energy and economic case for reprocessing and alternatives other than plutonium considered

  4. Plutonium dioxide dissolution in glass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vienna, J.D.; Alexander, D.L.; Li, Hong [and others

    1996-09-01

    In the aftermath of the Cold War, the U.S. Department of Energy`s (DOE) Office of Fissile Materials Disposition (OFMD) is charged with providing technical support for evaluation of disposition options for excess fissile materials manufactured for the nation`s defense. One option being considered for the disposition of excess plutonium (Pu) is immobilization by vitrification. The vitrification option entails immobilizing Pu in a host glass and waste package that are criticality-safe (immune to nuclear criticality), proliferation-resistant, and environmentally acceptable for long-term storage or disposal. To prove the technical and economic feasibility of candidate vitrification options it is necessary to demonstrate that PuO{sub 2} feedstock can be dissolved in glass in sufficient quantity. The OFMD immobilization program has set a Pu solubility goal of 10 wt% in glass. The life cycle cost of the vitrification options are strongly influenced by the rate at which PUO{sub 2} dissolves in glass. The total number of process lines needed for vitrification of 50 t of Pu in 10 years is directly dependent upon the time required for Pu dissolution in glass. The objective of this joint Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) - Savannah River Technology Center (SRTC) study was to demonstrate a high Pu solubility in glass and to identify on a rough scale the time required for Pu dissolution in the glass. This study was conducted using a lanthanide borosilicate (LaBS) glass composition designed at the SRTC for the vitrification of actinides.

  5. Plutonium dioxide dissolution in glass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vienna, J.D.; Alexander, D.L.; Li, Hong

    1996-09-01

    In the aftermath of the Cold War, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Fissile Materials Disposition (OFMD) is charged with providing technical support for evaluation of disposition options for excess fissile materials manufactured for the nation's defense. One option being considered for the disposition of excess plutonium (Pu) is immobilization by vitrification. The vitrification option entails immobilizing Pu in a host glass and waste package that are criticality-safe (immune to nuclear criticality), proliferation-resistant, and environmentally acceptable for long-term storage or disposal. To prove the technical and economic feasibility of candidate vitrification options it is necessary to demonstrate that PuO 2 feedstock can be dissolved in glass in sufficient quantity. The OFMD immobilization program has set a Pu solubility goal of 10 wt% in glass. The life cycle cost of the vitrification options are strongly influenced by the rate at which PUO 2 dissolves in glass. The total number of process lines needed for vitrification of 50 t of Pu in 10 years is directly dependent upon the time required for Pu dissolution in glass. The objective of this joint Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) - Savannah River Technology Center (SRTC) study was to demonstrate a high Pu solubility in glass and to identify on a rough scale the time required for Pu dissolution in the glass. This study was conducted using a lanthanide borosilicate (LaBS) glass composition designed at the SRTC for the vitrification of actinides

  6. Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium 1999 plan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1999-01-30

    The purpose of the Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium is to serve the Texas Panhandle, the State of Texas and the US Department of Energy by: conducting scientific and technical research; advising decision makers; and providing information on nuclear weapons materials and related environment, safety, health, and nonproliferation issues while building academic excellence in science and technology. This paper describes the electronic resource library which provides the national archives of technical, policy, historical, and educational information on plutonium. Research projects related to the following topics are described: Environmental restoration and protection; Safety and health; Waste management; Education; Training; Instrumentation development; Materials science; Plutonium processing and handling; and Storage.

  7. Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium 1999 plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1999-01-01

    The purpose of the Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium is to serve the Texas Panhandle, the State of Texas and the US Department of Energy by: conducting scientific and technical research; advising decision makers; and providing information on nuclear weapons materials and related environment, safety, health, and nonproliferation issues while building academic excellence in science and technology. This paper describes the electronic resource library which provides the national archives of technical, policy, historical, and educational information on plutonium. Research projects related to the following topics are described: Environmental restoration and protection; Safety and health; Waste management; Education; Training; Instrumentation development; Materials science; Plutonium processing and handling; and Storage

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Plutonium Finishing Plant transition project function analysis report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lund, D.P.

    1995-09-01

    The document contains the functions, function definitions, function interfaces, function interface definitions, Input Computer Automated Manufacturing Definition (IDEFO) diagrams, and function hierarchy charts that describe what needs to be performed to deactivate PFP and to continue safe storage, treatment and disposition of Plutonium and High Enriched Uranium

  12. Japan`s civil use of foreign military plutonium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suzuki, A. [Tokyo Univ. (Japan). Dept. of Quantum Engineering and Systems Sciences

    1995-12-31

    This paper is intended to propose one of the MOX options of international cooperation for safer and more secured management of excess military plutonium. The proposal was made with special reference to the Japanese public`s view. Owing to the domestic plutonium shortage anticipated soon after the 200 in Japan, some specific reactors will be available to get rid of foreign excess weapon plutonium. According to the Japan AEC`s new long-term programme, the shortage will be approximately 0.5 tonne of plutonium per annum, which is a sort of the least amount that Japan can buy from a certain external source. With international requests for a more positive Japanese contribution, however, the amount of Japanese purchase would be increased. It follows from the preliminary estimate shown in this paper that roughly 2 tonnes of plutonium can be burned annually in the reactors without any major modifications concerning safe reactor operation. (author) 10 refs.

  13. 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

  14. 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)

  15. 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

  16. Storage and disposition of weapons usable fissile materials (FMD) PEIS: Blending of U-233 to <12% or <5% enrichment at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. Data report, Draft: Version 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shaber, E.L.

    1995-08-01

    Uranium-233 (U-233), a uranium isotope, is a fissionable material capable of fueling nuclear reactors or being utilized in the manufacturing of nuclear weapons. As such, it is controlled as a special nuclear material. The Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) currently store the Department of Energy's (DOE's) supply of unirradiated U-233 fuel materials. Irradiated U-233 is covered by the national spent nuclear fuel (SNF) program and is not in the scope of this report. The U-233 stored at ORNL is relatively pure uranium oxide in the form of powder or monolithic solids. This material is currently stored in stainless steel canisters of variable lengths measuring about 3 inches in diameter. The ORNL material enrichment varies with some material containing considerable amounts of U-235. The INEL material is fuel from the Light Water Breeder Reactor (LWBR) Program and consists of enriched uranium and thorium oxides in zircaloy cladding. The DOE inventory of U-233 contains trace quantities of U-232, and daughter products from the decay of U-232 and U-233, resulting in increased radioactivity over time. These increased levels of radioactivity generally result in the need for special handling considerations

  17. Storage and disposition of weapons usable fissile materials (FMD) PEIS: Blending of U-233 to {lt}12% or {lt}5% enrichment at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. Data report, Draft: Version 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shaber, E.L.

    1995-08-01

    Uranium-233 (U-233), a uranium isotope, is a fissionable material capable of fueling nuclear reactors or being utilized in the manufacturing of nuclear weapons. As such, it is controlled as a special nuclear material. The Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) currently store the Department of Energy`s (DOE`s) supply of unirradiated U-233 fuel materials. Irradiated U-233 is covered by the national spent nuclear fuel (SNF) program and is not in the scope of this report. The U-233 stored at ORNL is relatively pure uranium oxide in the form of powder or monolithic solids. This material is currently stored in stainless steel canisters of variable lengths measuring about 3 inches in diameter. The ORNL material enrichment varies with some material containing considerable amounts of U-235. The INEL material is fuel from the Light Water Breeder Reactor (LWBR) Program and consists of enriched uranium and thorium oxides in zircaloy cladding. The DOE inventory of U-233 contains trace quantities of U-232, and daughter products from the decay of U-232 and U-233, resulting in increased radioactivity over time. These increased levels of radioactivity generally result in the need for special handling considerations.

  18. Geomorphology of plutonium in the Northern Rio Grande

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Graf, W.L. [Arizona Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States). Dept., of Geography

    1993-03-01

    Nearly all of the plutonium in the natural environment of the Northern Rio Grande is associated with soils and sediment, and river processes account for most of the mobility of these materials. A composite regional budget for plutonium based on multi-decadal averages for sediment and plutonium movement shows that 90 percent of the plutonium moving into the system is from atmospheric fallout. The remaining 10 percent is from releases at Los Alamos. Annual variation in plutonium flux and storage exceeds 100 percent. The contribution to the plutonium budget from Los Alamos is associated with relatively coarse sediment which often behaves as bedload in the Rio Grande. Infusion of these materials into the main stream were largest in 1951, 1952, 1957, and 1968. Because of the schedule of delivery of plutonium to Los Alamos for experimentation and weapons manufacturing, the latter two years are probably the most important. Although the Los Alamos contribution to the entire plutonium budget was relatively small, in these four critical years it constituted 71--86 percent of the plutonium in bedload immediately downstream from Otowi.

  19. Geomorphology of plutonium in the Northern Rio Grande

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Graf, W.L.

    1993-03-01

    Nearly all of the plutonium in the natural environment of the Northern Rio Grande is associated with soils and sediment, and river processes account for most of the mobility of these materials. A composite regional budget for plutonium based on multi-decadal averages for sediment and plutonium movement shows that 90 percent of the plutonium moving into the system is from atmospheric fallout. The remaining 10 percent is from releases at Los Alamos. Annual variation in plutonium flux and storage exceeds 100 percent. The contribution to the plutonium budget from Los Alamos is associated with relatively coarse sediment which often behaves as bedload in the Rio Grande. Infusion of these materials into the main stream were largest in 1951, 1952, 1957, and 1968. Because of the schedule of delivery of plutonium to Los Alamos for experimentation and weapons manufacturing, the latter two years are probably the most important. Although the Los Alamos contribution to the entire plutonium budget was relatively small, in these four critical years it constituted 71--86 percent of the plutonium in bedload immediately downstream from Otowi

  20. Selected papers for global `95 concerning plutonium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sutcliffe, W.G. [ed.

    1996-06-14

    This report contains selected papers from the Global `95 Conference ``Evaluation of Emerging Nuclear Fuel Cycle Systems,`` held in Versailles, Sept. 11-14, 1995. The 11 papers in Part I are from ``Benefits and Risks of Reprocessing`` sessions. The 7 papers in Part II are some of the more interesting poster papers that relate to the use of Pu for power generation. Finally, the 3 papers are on the topic of management and disposition of Pu from retired nuclear weapons.

  1. Selected papers for global '95 concerning plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sutcliffe, W.G.

    1996-01-01

    This report contains selected papers from the Global '95 Conference ''Evaluation of Emerging Nuclear Fuel Cycle Systems,'' held in Versailles, Sept. 11-14, 1995. The 11 papers in Part I are from ''Benefits and Risks of Reprocessing'' sessions. The 7 papers in Part II are some of the more interesting poster papers that relate to the use of Pu for power generation. Finally, the 3 papers are on the topic of management and disposition of Pu from retired nuclear weapons

  2. The Dispositions Improvement Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, Robin D.; Lindquist, Cynthia; Altemueller, Lisa

    2011-01-01

    Globally, teacher dispositions along with knowledge and skills continue to be the focal point of teacher education programs. Teachers influence children's development and therefore dispositions are a universal concern. For the past 20 years in the United States, teacher education programs have assessed dispositions. We, however, must now also use…

  3. Safeguardability of the vitrification option for disposal of plutonium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pillay, K.K.S. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)

    1996-05-01

    Safeguardability of the vitrification option for plutonium disposition is rather complex and there is no experience base in either domestic or international safeguards for this approach. In the present treaty regime between the US and the states of the former Soviet Union, bilaterial verifications are considered more likely with potential for a third-party verification of safeguards. There are serious technological limitations to applying conventional bulk handling facility safeguards techniques to achieve independent verification of plutonium in borosilicate glass. If vitrification is the final disposition option chosen, maintaining continuity of knowledge of plutonium in glass matrices, especially those containing boron and those spike with high-level wastes or {sup 137}Cs, is beyond the capability of present-day safeguards technologies and nondestructive assay techniques. The alternative to quantitative measurement of fissile content is to maintain continuity of knowledge through a combination of containment and surveillance, which is not the international norm for bulk handling facilities.

  4. 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

  5. Estimating plutonium production fron long-lived radionuclides in permanent structural components of production reactor cores

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fetter, S.

    1992-01-01

    This paper reports that the United States and the Soviet Union face critical decisions about the future of plutonium production for nuclear weapons. Both countries could eliminate the economic burden of rebuilding their production complexes by agreeing to ban the production of plutonium for weapons. Such an agreement could also provide important national-security benefits by reinforcing the Non-Proliferation Treaty and by diminishing the ability of both nations to break out of nuclear-arms reduction agreements at a later time - especially if the plutonium in the warheads eliminated by the arms reduction agreements is put under safeguards. A production cutoff would be verifiable

  6. 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)

  7. Flexible weapons architecture design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyant, William C., III

    Present day air-delivered weapons are of a closed architecture, with little to no ability to tailor the weapon for the individual engagement. The closed architectures require weaponeers to make the target fit the weapon instead of fitting the individual weapons to a target. The concept of a flexible weapons aims to modularize weapons design using an open architecture shell into which different modules are inserted to achieve the desired target fractional damage while reducing cost and civilian casualties. This thesis shows that the architecture design factors of damage mechanism, fusing, weapons weight, guidance, and propulsion are significant in enhancing weapon performance objectives, and would benefit from modularization. Additionally, this thesis constructs an algorithm that can be used to design a weapon set for a particular target class based on these modular components.

  8. Deep borehole disposition of surplus fissile materials-The site selection process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heiken, G.; WoldeGabriel, G.; Morley, R.; Plannerer, H.

    1996-01-01

    One option for disposing of excess weapons plutonium is to place it near the base of deep boreholes in stable crystalline rocks. The technology exists to immediately begin the design of this means of disposition and there are many attractive sites available within the conterminous US. The borehole system utilizes mainly natural barriers to preven migration of Pu and U to the Earth's surface. Careful site selection ensures favorable geologic conditions that provide natural long-lived migration barriers; they include deep, extremely stable rock formations, strongly reducing brines that exhibit increasing salinity with depth, and most importantly, demonstrated isolation or non-communication of deep fluids with the biosphere for millions of years. This isolation is the most important characteristic, with the other conditions mainly being those that will enhance the potential of locating and maintaining the isolated zones. Candidate sites will probably be located on the craton in very old Precambrian crystalline rocks, most likely the center of a granitic pluton. The sites will be located in tectonically stable areas with no recent volcanic or seismic activity, and situated away from tectonic features that might become active in the near geologic future

  9. 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.

  10. Non-proliferation issues for the disposition of fissile materials using reactor alternatives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaeger, C.D.; Duggan, R.A.; Tolk, K.M.

    1996-01-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) is analyzing long-term storage on options for excess weapons-usable fissile materials. A number of the disposition alternatives are being considered which involve the use of reactors. The various reactor alternatives are all very similar and include front-end processes that could convert plutonium to a usable form for fuel fabrication, a MOX fuel fab facility, reactors to bum the MOX fuel and ultimate disposal of spent fuel in some geologic repository. They include existing, partially completed, advanced or evolutionary light water reactors and Canadian deuterium uranium (CANDU) reactors. In addition to the differences in the type of reactors, other variants on these alternatives are being evaluated to include the location and number of the reactors, the location of the mixed oxide (MOX) fabrication facility, the ownership of the facilities (private or government) and the colocation and/or separation of these facilities. All of these alternatives and their variants must be evaluated with respect to non-proliferation resistance. Both domestic and international safeguards support are being provided to DOE's Fissile Materials Disposition Program (FMDP) and includes such areas as physical protection, nuclear materials accountability and material containment and surveillance. This paper will focus on how the non-proliferation objective of reducing security risks and strengthening arms reduction will be accomplished and what some of the nonproliferation issues are for the reactor alternatives. Proliferation risk has been defined in terms of material form, physical environment, and the level of security and safeguards that is applied to the material. Metrics have been developed for each of these factors. The reactor alternatives will be evaluated with respect to these proliferation risk factors at each of the unit process locations in the alternative

  11. Non-proliferation issues for the disposition of fissile materials using reactor alternatives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaeger, C.D.; Duggan, R.A.; Tolk, K.M.

    1996-01-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) is analyzing long-term storage imposition options for excess weapons-usable fissile materials. A number of the disposition alternatives are being considered which involve the use of reactors. The various reactor alternatives are all very similar and include front-end processes that could convert plutonium to a usable form for fuel fabrication, a MOX fuel fab facility, reactors to burn the MOX fuel and ultimate disposal of spent fuel in some geologic repository. They include existing, partially completed, advanced or evolutionary light water reactors and Canadian deuterium uranium (CANDU) reactors. In addition to the differences in the type of reactors, other variants on these alternatives are being evaluated to include the location and number of the reactors, the location of the mixed oxide (MOX) fabrication facility, the ownership of the facilities (private or government) and the colocation and/or separation of these facilities. All of these alternatives and their variants must be evaluated with respect to non-proliferation resistance. Both domestic and international safeguards support are being provided to DOE's Fissile Materials Disposition Program (FMDP) and includes such areas as physical protection, nuclear materials accountability and material containment and surveillance. This paper will focus on how the non-proliferation objective of reducing security risks and strengthening arms reduction will be accomplished and what some of the non-proliferation issues are for the reactor alternatives. Proliferation risk has been defined in terms of material form, physical environment, and the level of security and safeguards that is applied to the material. Metrics have been developed for each of these factors. The reactor alternatives will be evaluated with respect to these proliferation risk factors at each of the unit process locations in the alternative

  12. 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

  13. Non proliferation of nuclear weapons?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Le Guelte, Georges

    2015-10-01

    After having evoked the behaviour of nuclear countries regarding the development of nuclear weapons and uranium procurement, or nuclear programmes after the Second World War until nowadays, the author presents the non proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a construction at the service of super-powers. He comments and discusses the role of the IAEA control system and its evolutions: a control limited to declared installations, an export control with the spectre of plutonium, a control system thwarted by some technological innovations, information systems coming in, and an additional protocol related to the application of guarantees. He comments the evolution of the context from a bipolar world to a world without pole which raises the issue of how to have commitments respected: description of the role and practice of non proliferation during the Cold War, after the Cold War, and in a world without governance

  14. AWRE: Atomic Weapons Research Establishment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1983-01-01

    This reviews the work of AWRE at Aldermaston and Foulness. The main programme is nuclear and is concerned with the design and development of warheads for strategic and tactical nuclear weapons for the British nuclear deterrent, including those for the Royal Navy's missile carrying submarine fleet. The work is described grouped as design physics, development and materials. Services to these groups and to the whole establishment are provided by Engineering, Safety and Administration. The work ranges from long-term fundamental research, the development of technology, design, prototype development to the environmental testing of engineered products. In materials research the emphasis is on plutonium, uranium and beryllium, on high explosives and a wide range of inorganic and organic materials. The physics of the earth's crust is studied to aid detection of underground nuclear explosions. Reactor research facilities include the two reactors, Herald and Viper. (U.K.)

  15. 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

  16. In search of plutonium: A nonproliferation journey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hecker, Siegfried

    2010-02-01

    In February 1992, I landed in the formerly secret city of Sarov, the Russian Los Alamos, followed a few days later by a visit to Snezhinsk, their Livermore. The briefings we received of the Russian nuclear weapons program and tours of their plutonium, reactor, explosives, and laser facilities were mind boggling considering the Soviet Union was dissolved only two months earlier. This visit began a 17-year, 41 journey relationship with the Russian nuclear complex dedicated to working with them in partnership to protect and safeguard their weapons and fissile materials, while addressing the plight of their scientists and engineers. In the process, we solved a forty-year disagreement about the plutonium-gallium phase diagram and began a series of fundamental plutonium science workshops that are now in their tenth year. At the Yonbyon reprocessing facility in January 2004, my North Korean hosts had hoped to convince me that they have a nuclear deterrent. When I expressed skepticism, they asked if I wanted to see their ``product.'' I asked if they meant the plutonium; they replied, ``Well, yes.'' Thus, I wound up holding 200 grams of North Korean plutonium (in a sealed glass jar) to make sure it was heavy and warm. So began the first of my six journeys to North Korea to provide technical input to the continuing North Korean nuclear puzzle. In Trombay and Kalpakkam a few years later I visited the Indian nuclear research centers to try to understand how India's ambitious plans for nuclear power expansion can be accomplished safely and securely. I will describe these and other attempts to deal with the nonproliferation legacy of the cold war and the new challenges ahead. )

  17. 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...

  18. 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)

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Dismantlement and destruction of chemical, nuclear and conventional weapons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schulte, N.T.

    1997-01-01

    The safe destruction and dismantling of chemical, nuclear and conventional weapons is of fundamental importance to the security of all countries represented in this volume. Expertise in the field is not confined to one country or organisation: all can benefit from each other. There is an ever present danger of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction: approximately two dozen countries have ongoing programmes to develop or acquire such weapons, and many are also gaining the capability to build air-surface delivery systems. But much can be done to prevent proliferation by reducing leakage of materials and know-how and by solving the problems of the destruction of surplus weapons systems, which has now come to be a key issue. In 13 sessions of the workshop attention was paid to (1) Dismantlement and Destruction of Chemical, Nuclear and Conventional Weapons; (2) Status of Implementation of Arms Control Treaties and Voluntary Commitments; (3) National Perspectives on Cooperation in Disarmament; (4) Stocktaking of National and Bilateral Disposal/Destruction Programmes: Chemical Weapons; (5) Stocktaking of National and Bilateral Disposal/Destruction Programmes: Nuclear Weapons; (6) Stocktaking of National and Bilateral Disposal/Destruction Programmes: Conventional Weapons. Session; (7) Experience with Currently Employed Chemical Destruction Technologies; (8) Alternative Chemical Destruction Technologies; (9) Deactivation, Dismantlement and Destruction of Delivery Systems and Infrastructure for Nuclear Weapons; (10) Storage, Safeguarding and Disposition of Fissile Materials; (11) Technologies for Conversion and Civil Use of Demilitarized Materials; (12) International Organizations; and (13) Environmental Challenges Posed by Chemical and Nuclear Disarmament

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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)

  8. 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)

  9. Plutonium focus area. Technology summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-09-01

    The Assistant Secretary for the Office of Environmental Management (EM) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) chartered the Plutonium Focus Area (PFA) in October 1995. The PFA open-quotes...provides for peer and technical reviews of research and development in plutonium stabilization activities...close quotes In addition, the PFA identifies and develops relevant research and technology. The purpose of this document is to focus attention on the requirements used to develop research and technology for stabilization, storage, and preparation for disposition of nuclear materials. The PFA Technology Summary presents the approach the PFA uses to identify, recommend, and review research. It lists research requirements, research being conducted, and gaps where research is needed. It also summarizes research performed by the PFA in the traditional research summary format. This document encourages researchers and commercial enterprises to do business with PFA by submitting research proposals or open-quotes white papers.close quotes In addition, it suggests ways to increase the likelihood that PFA will recommend proposed research to the Nuclear Materials Stabilization Task Group (NMSTG) of DOE

  10. 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.

  11. Nuclear weapons modernizations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kristensen, Hans M. [Federation of American Scientists, Washington, DC (United States)

    2014-05-09

    This article reviews the nuclear weapons modernization programs underway in the world's nine nuclear weapons states. It concludes that despite significant reductions in overall weapons inventories since the end of the Cold War, the pace of reductions is slowing - four of the nuclear weapons states are even increasing their arsenals, and all the nuclear weapons states are busy modernizing their remaining arsenals in what appears to be a dynamic and counterproductive nuclear competition. The author questions whether perpetual modernization combined with no specific plan for the elimination of nuclear weapons is consistent with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and concludes that new limits on nuclear modernizations are needed.

  12. Unallocated Off-Specification Highly Enriched Uranium: Recommendations for Disposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bridges, D. N.; Boeke, S. G.; Tousley, D. R.; Bickford, W.; Goergen, C.; Williams, W.; Hassler, M.; Nelson, T.; Keck, R.; Arbital, J.

    2002-02-27

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has made significant progress with regard to disposition planning for 174 metric tons (MTU) of surplus Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU). Approximately 55 MTU of this 174 MTU are ''offspec'' HEU. (''Off-spec'' signifies that the isotopic or chemical content of the material does not meet the American Society for Testing and Materials standards for commercial nuclear reactor fuel.) Approximately 33 of the 55 MTU have been allocated to off-spec commercial reactor fuel per an Interagency Agreement between DOE and the Tennessee Valley Authority (1). To determine disposition plans for the remaining {approx}22 MTU, the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Office of Fissile Materials Disposition (OFMD) and the DOE Office of Environmental Management (EM) co-sponsored this technical study. This paper represents a synopsis of the formal technical report (NNSA/NN-0014). The {approx} 22 MTU of off-spec HEU inventory in this study were divided into two main groupings: one grouping with plutonium (Pu) contamination and one grouping without plutonium. This study identified and evaluated 26 potential paths for the disposition of this HEU using proven decision analysis tools. This selection process resulted in recommended and alternative disposition paths for each group of HEU. The evaluation and selection of these paths considered criteria such as technical maturity, programmatic issues, cost, schedule, and environment, safety and health compliance. The primary recommendations from the analysis are comprised of 7 different disposition paths. The study recommendations will serve as a technical basis for subsequent programmatic decisions as disposition of this HEU moves into the implementation phase.

  13. Future Remains: Industrial Heritage at the Hanford Plutonium Works

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freer, Brian

    This dissertation argues that U.S. environmental and historic preservation regulations, industrial heritage projects, history, and art only provide partial frameworks for successfully transmitting an informed story into the long range future about nuclear technology and its related environmental legacy. This argument is important because plutonium from nuclear weapons production is toxic to humans in very small amounts, threatens environmental health, has a half-life of 24, 110 years and because the industrial heritage project at Hanford is the first time an entire U.S. Department of Energy weapons production site has been designated a U.S. Historic District. This research is situated within anthropological interest in industrial heritage studies, environmental anthropology, applied visual anthropology, as well as wider discourses on nuclear studies. However, none of these disciplines is really designed or intended to be a completely satisfactory frame of reference for addressing this perplexing challenge of documenting and conveying an informed story about nuclear technology and its related environmental legacy into the long range future. Others have thought about this question and have made important contributions toward a potential solution. Examples here include: future generations movements concerning intergenerational equity as evidenced in scholarship, law, and amongst Native American groups; Nez Perce and Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation responses to the Hanford End State Vision and Hanford's Canyon Disposition Initiative; as well as the findings of organizational scholars on the advantages realized by organizations that have a long term future perspective. While these ideas inform the main line inquiry of this dissertation, the principal approach put forth by the researcher of how to convey an informed story about nuclear technology and waste into the long range future is implementation of the proposed Future Remains clause, as

  14. Characterization of plutonium-containing materials and storage canisters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mason, R.E.

    1997-01-01

    Throughout the weapons complex, plutonium materials are stored in various containers. Some plutonium has been stored for 20 yr or more. The physical and chemical properties of the plutonium material and the containers that hold it are often not well characterized. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) 3013 standard sets criteria to which stored material must conform. The 3013 standard regulates materials that hold 50% or greater plutonium, and the other 50% is not specified and is usually unknown. The Materials Identification and Surveillance project is tasked to characterize representative materials and begin to characterize the other 50% and to show that materials can be brought into 3013 criteria conformance through thermal treatments

  15. 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

  16. Chemical Weapons Convention

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    1997-01-01

    On April 29, 1997, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling, and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction, known as the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC...

  17. The weapons effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin, Arlin James; Bushman, Brad J

    2018-02-01

    In some societies, weapons are plentiful and highly visible. This review examines recent trends in research on the weapons effect, which is the finding that the mere presence of weapons can prime people to behave aggressively. The General Aggression Model provides a theoretical framework to explain why the weapons effect occurs. This model postulates that exposure to weapons increases aggressive thoughts and hostile appraisals, thus explaining why weapons facilitate aggressive behavior. Data from meta-analytic reviews are consistent with the General Aggression Model. These findings have important practical as well as theoretical implications. They suggest that the link between weapons and aggression is very strong in semantic memory, and that merely seeing a weapon can make people more aggressive. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. The weapons effect

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benjamin, Arlin James; Bushman, Brad J.

    In some societies, weapons are plentiful and highly visible. This review examines recent trends in research on the weapons effect, which is the finding that the mere presence of weapons can prime people to behave aggressively. The General Aggression Model provides a theoretical framework to explain

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Fissile materials from nuclear arms reductions: A question of disposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sutcliffe, W.G.

    1991-01-01

    This Session, 35T-2, of the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) was held on February 18, 1991. The papers presented during this session covered a variety of issues and technologies concerning the disposition of the highly enriched uranium and plutonium salvaged from retired nuclear warheads. However, circumstances, including the amount of time available for the session, imposed limitations on the number and breadth of these papers. A comprehensive study of this topic should include a broader range of papers. This session included a paper on molten salt reactors designed to use highly enriched uranium or plutonium as fuel. Other options for the disposal of plutonium, such as transmutation using accelerators and underground vitrification using nuclear explosions, were not discussed during this session, but need to be considered. Individual papers are indexed separately

  3. Statement to Conference for a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World, 12 October 2011, Astana, Kazakhstan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amano, Y.

    2011-01-01

    all nuclear weapons. There were four elements to that commitment. First, IAEA can play a role in nuclear disarmament through verification - for example, helping to build confidence by verifying independently that nuclear materials from dismantled weapons will not be used again for military purposes. Last year, the Agency was asked by the Russian Federation and the United States to independently verify implementation of their agreement on the disposition of plutonium no longer required for defence purposes. IAEA experts have been working with both countries on a draft agreement and good progress has been made. It will represent a unique example of transparency in this field. Second, IAEA will support the creation of new Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and help to implement them. These already cover vast regions of the world, including Central Asia. Next month, I will host a forum in Vienna on the relevance of the experience of existing nuclear-weapon-free zones for the establishment of such a zone in the Middle East. Third, IAEA's safeguards inspectors will continue to work around the globe to check that nuclear materials from civilian nuclear programmes are not diverted to nuclear weapons. Fourth, IAEA security experts will redouble efforts to work with countries to help prevent nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorist groups. The nuclear threat does not only exist at the level of nation states. As a human being, as Director General of the IAEA - and not least as a citizen of the only country ever to experience the unspeakable horror of nuclear bombs - I believe with all my heart and soul that these horrific weapons must be eliminated. Achieving that goal will require continued global efforts to increase awareness and understanding of the vital importance of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. I am confident that your Conference will make an important contribution to that goal and wish you every success in your deliberations. Thank you. (IAEA)

  4. The mysterious world of plutonium metallurgy: Past and future

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hecker, S.S.; Hammel, E.F.

    1998-01-01

    The first atomic bomb detonated at the Trinity Site in New Mexico on July 16, 1945, used plutonium, a man-made element discovered < 5 yr earlier. The story of how Manhattan Project scientists and engineers tackled the mysteries of this element and fabricated it into the first atomic bomb is one of the most fascinating in the history of metallurgy and materials. The authors are currently trying to generate renewed interest in plutonium metallurgy because of the challenge posed by President Clinton, i.e., to keep the nuclear stockpile of weapons safe and reliable without nuclear testing. The stockpile stewardship challenge requires either a lifetime extension of the plutonium components or a remanufacture--neither of which can be verified by testing. In turn, this requires that one achieve a better fundamental understanding of plutonium. Of special interest is the effect of self-irradiation on the properties and on the long-term stability of plutonium and its alloys. Additional challenges arise from long-term concerns about disposing of plutonium and dealing with its environmental legacy. It is imperative to interest the next generation of students in these plutonium challenges

  5. Technical considerations in decisions on plutonium use

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Till, C.E.

    1980-01-01

    Present-day reactors use uranium inefficiently. Really substantial increases in efficiency of uranium utilization require reprocessing. Reprocessing activities give rise to concern about their possible use in fission weapons acquisition. The basic properties of nuclides severely limit both the number of alternative ways that fuel utilization can be improved and the amount of the improvement that is possible from any of the alternatives. By far the greatest improvement comes from plutonium use in a fast reactor. The properties that allow this are peculiar to plutonium. There are basically only two fuel cycles that can be considered as alternatives to the plutonium-238/uranium fuel cycle. One is a uranium-233/thorium fuel cycle, a cycle that is very similar in requirements, including reprocessing, to the plutonium-238/uranium cycle. The other is continuation and refinement of the current once-through cycle. A small number of technical measures to increase proliferation-resistance have been proposed. Improvements of an institutional nature are of two types. The first are improvements in international safeguards - most importantly, nuclear materials accountancy - essentially strengthening or augmenting current IAEA procedures. The second involves agreements between nations to limit distribution of sensitive technologies and to multinationalize or internationalize sensitive elements of the fuel cycle

  6. 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.

  7. A performance indicator for reduction in vulnerability through stabilization of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marchese, A.R.; Neogy, P.; Azarm, M.A.

    1997-01-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is currently storing several metric tons of plutonium in various forms in a variety of facilities throughout the DOE complex. Since the cessation of weapons production in 1990, many of these facilities with plutonium in storage have not operated. Since the shutdown was regarded as temporary, little attempt was made at that time to empty the process lines of plutonium, or to place the plutonium in containers or packages that would provide safe storage for extended periods of time. As a result, the packages and containers providing interim storage are vulnerable to failure through leakage, rupture and other modes, and pose potential hazards to facility workers, the public and the environment. Here, an approach to measuring and tracking the reduction in vulnerabilities resulting from stabilizing and repackaging plutonium is developed and presented. The approach utilizes results obtained by the DOE Working Group on the vulnerabilities associated with plutonium storage

  8. Nuclear power and atomic weapons. Chapter 7

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1978-01-01

    Following a brief historical introduction the concept of proliferation, vertical horizontal and subnational, is presented, and its relationship to nuclear power discussed. The risk of nuclear weapon proliferation, based on political decision, motivation and costs, is related to access to enriched uranium, plutonium and uranium 233. The possibilities for diversion and theft from nuclear facilities are discussed. International measures to prevent proliferation, the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)and the IAEA safeguards system, are described and discussed. Measures which may be enacted against countries which break the NPT are discussed. Restrictions on international nuclear trude, both multilateral and unilateral, are also discussed, especially those at present, or shortly to be, enforced by USA, Canada and Australia. The International Nuclear Feel Cycle Evaluation (INFCE) is briefly presented. The physical protection of nuclear materials is also discussed. Finally the basc principles of nuclear weapons are briefly presented. (JIW)

  9. Nuclear power and atomic weapons. Chapter 7

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1978-01-01

    Following a brief historical introduction the concept of proliferation, vertical and horizontal and subnational, is presented, and its relationship to nuclear power discussed. The risk of nuclear weapon proliferation, based on political decision motivation and costs, is related to access to enriched uranium, plutonium and uranium 233. The possibilities for diversion and theft from nuclear facilities are discussed. International measures to prevent proliferation, the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the IAEA safeguards system, are described and discussed. Measures which may be enacted against countries which break the NPT are discussed. Restrictions on international nuclear trade, both multilateral and unilateral, are also discussed, especially those at present, or shortly to be, enforced by USA, Canada and Australia. The International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Evaluation (INFCE) is briefly presented. The physical protection of nuclear materials is also discussed. Finally the basic principles of nuclear weapons are briefly presented. (JIW)

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.)

  13. 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.

  14. 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)

  15. What is a Dispositive?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raffnsøe, Sverre; Gudmand-Høyer, Marius T.; Thaning, Morten Sørensen

    perspective – indeed it forms a lesser known intermediary between these. Foucault’s dispositional analysis articulates a history of connected social technologies that we have constructed to relate to each other. Expounding these points, the article distinguishes various dispositional prototypes and develops...... key ‘socio-ontological’ implications of the analy-sis. Reinstating the proper analytical status of the dispositive contributes to the reception of the important notion; the interpretation of Foucault’s entire oeuvre; and a resourceful approach to the study of contemporary societal problems....

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.)

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  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. Identification of nuclear weapons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mihalczo, J.T.; King, W.T.

    1987-04-10

    A method and apparatus for non-invasively indentifying different types of nuclear weapons is disclosed. A neutron generator is placed against the weapon to generate a stream of neutrons causing fissioning within the weapon. A first detects the generation of the neutrons and produces a signal indicative thereof. A second particle detector located on the opposite side of the weapon detects the fission particles and produces signals indicative thereof. The signals are converted into a detected pattern and a computer compares the detected pattern with known patterns of weapons and indicates which known weapon has a substantially similar pattern. Either a time distribution pattern or noise analysis pattern, or both, is used. Gamma-neutron discrimination and a third particle detector for fission particles adjacent the second particle detector are preferably used. The neutrons are generated by either a decay neutron source or a pulled neutron particle accelerator.

  3. Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-02-21

    of their nonstrategic nuclear weapons and eliminate many of them. These 1991 announcements, coming after the abortive coup in Moscow in July 1991...of these weapons. The abortive coup in Moscow in August 1991 had also caused alarms about the strength of central control over nuclear weapons...assure other allies of the U.S. commitment to their security, but these assurances do not necessarily include legally binding commitments to retaliate

  4. Chemical and biological weapons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harris, E.D.

    1991-01-01

    This paper discusses the prospects of the multilateral negotiations aimed at achieving a complete and total ban on chemical weapons the Chemical Weapons convention (CWC). The control of the proliferation of chemical weapons is no longer just on East-West issue; it is also an issue of concern in Third World Countries, and in some of the wealthier middle eastern nations, such as Kuwait

  5. Hitlers' bomb. The secret story of Germanys' nuclear weapon tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karlsch, R.

    2005-01-01

    This book reveals a sensation: Under supervision of the SS German scientists tested 1944/45 nuclear bombs on Ruegen and in Thuringia. During this period several hundred prisoners of war and prisoners died. Besides proofs for nuclear weapon testing the author also found a draft for a patent on plutonium bombs and discovered the first functioning German atom reactor in the environs of Berlin. (GL) [de

  6. Plutonium Focus Area research and development plan. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-11-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) committed to a research and development program to support the technology needs for converting and stabilizing its nuclear materials for safe storage. The R and D Plan addresses five of the six material categories from the 94-1 Implementation Plan: plutonium (Pu) solutions, plutonium metals and oxides, plutonium residues, highly enriched uranium, and special isotopes. R and D efforts related to spent nuclear fuel (SNF) stabilization were specifically excluded from this plan. This updated plan has narrowed the focus to more effectively target specific problem areas by incorporating results form trade studies. Specifically, the trade studies involved salt; ash; sand, slag, and crucible (SS and C); combustibles; and scrub alloy. The plan anticipates possible disposition paths for nuclear materials and identifies resulting research requirements. These requirements may change as disposition paths become more certain. Thus, this plan represents a snapshot of the current progress and will continue to be updated on a regular basis. The paper discusses progress in safeguards and security, plutonium stabilization, special isotopes stabilization, highly-enriched uranium stabilization--MSRE remediation project, storage technologies, engineered systems, core technology, and proposed DOE/Russian technology exchange projects.

  7. Plutonium Focus Area research and development plan. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-11-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) committed to a research and development program to support the technology needs for converting and stabilizing its nuclear materials for safe storage. The R and D Plan addresses five of the six material categories from the 94-1 Implementation Plan: plutonium (Pu) solutions, plutonium metals and oxides, plutonium residues, highly enriched uranium, and special isotopes. R and D efforts related to spent nuclear fuel (SNF) stabilization were specifically excluded from this plan. This updated plan has narrowed the focus to more effectively target specific problem areas by incorporating results form trade studies. Specifically, the trade studies involved salt; ash; sand, slag, and crucible (SS and C); combustibles; and scrub alloy. The plan anticipates possible disposition paths for nuclear materials and identifies resulting research requirements. These requirements may change as disposition paths become more certain. Thus, this plan represents a snapshot of the current progress and will continue to be updated on a regular basis. The paper discusses progress in safeguards and security, plutonium stabilization, special isotopes stabilization, highly-enriched uranium stabilization--MSRE remediation project, storage technologies, engineered systems, core technology, and proposed DOE/Russian technology exchange projects

  8. Security with nuclear weapons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karp, R.C.

    1991-01-01

    Recent improvements in East-West relations and the process of dramatic political change in Europe may result in unprecedented opportunities to reduce the global arsenal of nuclear weapons. Despite these welcome developments, the prospects for effectively controlling the spread of nuclear capability in the Third World have remained much less encouraging. The possibility of large reductions in nuclear weapons poses fundamental questions about their purpose. Why have some states chosen to acquire nuclear weapons? How and why have these decisions been maintained over time? Why have some states elected to approach, but not cross, the nuclear threshold? This book examines the commonalities and differences in political approaches to nuclear weapons both within and between three groups of states: nuclear, non-nuclear and threshold. The chapters explore the evolution of thinking about nuclear weapons and the role these weapons play in national security planning, and question the official security rationales offered by the nuclear weapon states for the maintenance of nuclear capabilities. For the non-nuclear weapon states, the book presents an analysis of alternative ways of assuring security and foreign policy effectiveness. For the threshold states, it examines the regional contexts within which these states maintain their threshold status. This book transcends traditional East-West approaches to analysis of nuclear issues by giving equal prominence to the issues of nuclear proliferation and non-nuclearism. The book also provides a comprehensive analysis of how current approaches to nuclear weapons have evolved both within and among the groups of countries under study

  9. 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

  10. 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.)

  11. Plutonium immobilization in glass and ceramics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knecht, D.A.; Murphy, W.M.

    1996-01-01

    The Materials Research Society Nineteenth Annual Symposium on the Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management was held in Boston on November 27 to December 1, 1995. Over 150 papers were presented at the Symposium dealing with all aspects of nuclear waste management and disposal. Fourteen oral sessions and on poster session included a Plenary session on surplus plutonium dispositioning and waste forms. The proceedings, to be published in April, 1996, will provide a highly respected, referred compilation of the state of scientific development in the field of nuclear waste management. This paper provides a brief overview of the selected Symposium papers that are applicable to plutonium immobilization and plutonium waste form performance. Waste forms that were described at the Symposium cover most of the candidate Pu immobilization options under consideration, including borosilicate glass with a melting temperature of 1150 degrees C, a higher temperature (1450 degrees C) lanthanide glass, single phase ceramics, multi-phase ceramics, and multi-phase crystal-glass composites (glass-ceramics or slags). These Symposium papers selected for this overview provide the current status of the technology in these areas and give references to the relevant literature

  12. Plutonium immobilization in glass and ceramics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Knecht, D.A. [Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies, Idaho Falls (United States); Murphy, W.M. [Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX (United States)

    1996-05-01

    The Materials Research Society Nineteenth Annual Symposium on the Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management was held in Boston on November 27 to December 1, 1995. Over 150 papers were presented at the Symposium dealing with all aspects of nuclear waste management and disposal. Fourteen oral sessions and on poster session included a Plenary session on surplus plutonium dispositioning and waste forms. The proceedings, to be published in April, 1996, will provide a highly respected, referred compilation of the state of scientific development in the field of nuclear waste management. This paper provides a brief overview of the selected Symposium papers that are applicable to plutonium immobilization and plutonium waste form performance. Waste forms that were described at the Symposium cover most of the candidate Pu immobilization options under consideration, including borosilicate glass with a melting temperature of 1150 {degrees}C, a higher temperature (1450 {degrees}C) lanthanide glass, single phase ceramics, multi-phase ceramics, and multi-phase crystal-glass composites (glass-ceramics or slags). These Symposium papers selected for this overview provide the current status of the technology in these areas and give references to the relevant literature.

  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. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Nuclear weapons research in Sweden. The co-operation between civilian and military research, 1947 - 1972

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jonter, Thomas

    2002-05-01

    The Swedish nuclear weapons research began as early as 1945, shortly after the first atomic bombs fell over Japan. The assignment to look into the new weapon of mass destruction went to the Swedish National Defence Research Establishment (FOA). Admittedly, the main aim of the research initiated at that time was to find out how Sweden could best protect itself against a nuclear weapon attack. However, from the outset FOA was interested in investigating the possibilities of manufacturing what was then called an atomic bomb. A co-operation between FOA and AB Atomenergi (AE), which was created in 1947 in order to be responsible for the industrial development of civilian nuclear energy, was initiated. AE made several technical investigations within this co-operation regarding choice of reactors and preconditions for a production of weapons-grade plutonium. The first purpose of this report is therefore to investigate how this co-operation emerged and what consequences it had for the project to produce basic information for the Swedish manufacture of nuclear weapons. In general terms, the finding of this report is that FOA was responsible for the overall nuclear weapons research. For this reason, FOA was in charge of the construction of the nuclear device and the studies of its effects. Additionally, AE should deliver basic information of a possible production of weapons-grade plutonium and investigate the possibilities of a production or a procurement of inspection-free heavy water (i.e. without inspections by the supplying country). AE should also build a reprocessing plant and manufacture fuel elements to be used in the reactors for a production of weapons-grade plutonium. Furthermore, it is important to emphasise that both FOA and AE conducted plutonium research. The reason why FOA conducted this research was that the plutonium had to be in metallic form in order to be used in a nuclear weapons device. Therefore, FOA carried out research with the purpose of producing

  20. Nuclear weapons research in Sweden. The co-operation between civilian and military research, 1947 - 1972

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jonter, Thomas [Uppsala Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of History

    2002-05-01

    The Swedish nuclear weapons research began as early as 1945, shortly after the first atomic bombs fell over Japan. The assignment to look into the new weapon of mass destruction went to the Swedish National Defence Research Establishment (FOA). Admittedly, the main aim of the research initiated at that time was to find out how Sweden could best protect itself against a nuclear weapon attack. However, from the outset FOA was interested in investigating the possibilities of manufacturing what was then called an atomic bomb. A co-operation between FOA and AB Atomenergi (AE), which was created in 1947 in order to be responsible for the industrial development of civilian nuclear energy, was initiated. AE made several technical investigations within this co-operation regarding choice of reactors and preconditions for a production of weapons-grade plutonium. The first purpose of this report is therefore to investigate how this co-operation emerged and what consequences it had for the project to produce basic information for the Swedish manufacture of nuclear weapons. In general terms, the finding of this report is that FOA was responsible for the overall nuclear weapons research. For this reason, FOA was in charge of the construction of the nuclear device and the studies of its effects. Additionally, AE should deliver basic information of a possible production of weapons-grade plutonium and investigate the possibilities of a production or a procurement of inspection-free heavy water (i.e. without inspections by the supplying country). AE should also build a reprocessing plant and manufacture fuel elements to be used in the reactors for a production of weapons-grade plutonium. Furthermore, it is important to emphasise that both FOA and AE conducted plutonium research. The reason why FOA conducted this research was that the plutonium had to be in metallic form in order to be used in a nuclear weapons device. Therefore, FOA carried out research with the purpose of producing

  1. Fissile material disposition and proliferation risk

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dreicer, J.S.; Rutherford, D.A. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States). NIS Div.

    1996-05-01

    The proliferation risk of a facility is dependent on the material attractiveness, level of safeguards, and physical protection applied to the material in conjunction with an assessment of the impact of the socioeconomic circumstances and threat environment. Proliferation risk is a complementary extension of proliferation resistance. The authors believe a better determination of nuclear material proliferation can be achieved by establishing the proliferation risk for facilities that contain nuclear material. Developing a method that incorporates the socioeconomic circumstances and threat environment inherent to each country enables a global proliferation assessment. In order to effectively reduce the nuclear danger, a broadly based set of criteria is needed that provides the capability to relatively assess a wide range of disposition options/facilities in different countries and still ensure a global decrease in proliferation risk for plutonium.

  2. Fissile material disposition and proliferation risk

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dreicer, J.S.; Rutherford, D.A.

    1996-01-01

    The proliferation risk of a facility is dependent on the material attractiveness, level of safeguards, and physical protection applied to the material in conjunction with an assessment of the impact of the socioeconomic circumstances and threat environment. Proliferation risk is a complementary extension of proliferation resistance. The authors believe a better determination of nuclear material proliferation can be achieved by establishing the proliferation risk for facilities that contain nuclear material. Developing a method that incorporates the socioeconomic circumstances and threat environment inherent to each country enables a global proliferation assessment. In order to effectively reduce the nuclear danger, a broadly based set of criteria is needed that provides the capability to relatively assess a wide range of disposition options/facilities in different countries and still ensure a global decrease in proliferation risk for plutonium

  3. 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)

  4. 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)

  5. 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

  6. Criticality characteristics of mixtures of plutonium, silicon dioxide, Nevada tuff, and water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanchez, R.; Myers, W.; Hayes, D.

    1997-01-01

    The nuclear criticality characteristics of mixtures of plutonium, silicon dioxide, and water (Part A) or plutonium, silicon dioxide, Nevada Yucca Mountain tuff, and water (Part B) have become of interest because of the appearance of recent papers on the subject. These papers postulate that if excess weapons plutonium is vitrified into a silicate log and buried underground, a self-sustaining neutron chain reaction may develop given sufficient time and interaction with the burial medium. Moreover, given specific geologic actions resulting in postulated configurations, the referenced papers state that nuclear explosions could occur with multi-kiloton yields or yields equivalent to hundreds of tons of TNT

  7. Airborne plutonium transported during southwesterly winds near the Hanford Prosser Barricade

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sehmel, G.A.

    1980-01-01

    Airborne plutonium could result from resuspension of nuclear-weapons-testing stratospheric fallout deposition. To determine this possible resuspension at the Hanford site, two field experiments between April 12 to june 29, 1976 and August 12, 1976 to January 11, 1977 were conducted near the Prosser Barricade in the Hanford area about 19 to 22 km southeast (140 0 to 160 0 ) of the fuel-processing areas. The primary objective of these experimentss was to determine if stratospheric fallout resuspension was reflected by airborne plutonium concentrations increasing with increasing wind speed. A secondary objective was to confirm the source of the airborne plutonium by determining the plutonium-240 isotopic content or the plutonium-240/plutonium-239-mass ratio. Stratospheric fallout can be identified by the ratio of 240 Pu to other plutonium isotopes in surface soils. Plutonium was transported during southwesterly winds during the two study periods at the Prosser Barricade. Airborne 239 240 Pu concentrations varied as powers of wind speed (U):U -0 2 to U 7 8 . The airborne solids content ranged from 6 x 10 -8 to 1.7 x 10 -6 μCi/g. The 240 Pu isotopic content ranged from 5.6 to 8.1 atom percent and the 240 Pu/ 239 Pu mass ratio ranged from 0.065 to 0.089. The estimated fraction of stratospheric fallout plutonium in these samples was less than 0.24. The remaining airborne plutonium was probably of Hanford origin. Airborne plutonium probably represents resuspension of plutonium from undetermined sites by mechanisms and events not clear at present. An increasing airborne plutonium concentration with increasing wind speed might be expected for an upwind resuspension source(s). However, the geographical source(s) location was not investigated in this study

  8. National Plutonium Workers' Study: considerations and preliminary results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Acquavella, J.F.; Wilkinson, G.S.

    1983-03-01

    The National Plutonium Workers' Study developed from the clinical follow-up of workers with body burdens in excess of 10 nCi. The importance of plutonium to energy and weapons development and the uncertainty about its biological effects motivated the formation of an epidemiologic study of more than 125,000 workers at six Department of Energy facilities. This report reviews recent results from The National Plutonium Workers' Study, including an analysis of cancer mortality among workers at the Rocky Flats Plant and a study of malignant melanoma among employees at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The problems inherent in large-scale epidemiologic studies, as well as the future directions for the study, are discussed

  9. Phase composition of murataite ceramics for excess weapons plutonium immobilization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sobolev, I.A.; Stefanovsky, S.V.; Myasoedov, B.F.; Kullako, Y.M.; Yudintsev, S.V.

    2000-01-01

    Among the host phases for actinides immobilization, murataite (cubic, space group Fm3m) with the general formula A 4 B 2 C 7 O 22-x (A=Ca, Mn, Na, Ln, An; B=Mn, Ti, Zr, An IV ; C=Ti, Al, Fe; 0< x<1.5) is a promising matrix due to high isomorphic capacity and low leaching of actinides. One feature of murataite actinide zoning is an order-of-magnitude difference in concentration between the core and the rim. [1,2] Investigation of murataite ceramics in detail has shown occurrence of several murataite varieties with three-, five-, and eight-fold fluorite unit cells. [1-3] The goal of the present step of work is to study an effect of waste elements on phase composition of murataite ceramic and isomorphic capacity of waste elements

  10. 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)

  11. Vitrification of plutonium at Rocky Flats the argument for a pilot plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moore, L. [Rocky Mountain Peace Center, Boulder, CO (United States)

    1996-05-01

    Current plans for stabilizing and storing the plutonium at Rocky Flats Plant fail to put the material in a form suitable for disposition and resistant to proliferation. Vitrification should be considered as an alternate technology. The vitrification should begin with a small-scale pilot plant.

  12. A perspective on the proliferation risks of plutonium mines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lyman, E.S. [Nuclear Control Institute, Washington, DC (United States)

    1996-05-01

    The program of geologic disposal of spent fuel and other plutonium-containing materials is increasingly becoming the target of criticism by individuals who argue that in the future, repositories may become low-cost sources of fissile material for nuclear weapons. This paper attempts to outline a consistent framework for analyzing the proliferation risks of these so-called {open_quotes}plutonium mines{close_quotes} and putting them into perspective. First, it is emphasized that the attractiveness of plutonium in a repository as a source of weapons material depends on its accessibility relative to other sources of fissile material. Then, the notion of a {open_quotes}material production standard{close_quotes} (MPS) is proposed: namely, that the proliferation risks posed by geologic disposal will be acceptable if one can demonstrate, under a number of reasonable scenarios, that the recovery of plutonium from a repository is likely to be as difficult as new production of fissile material. A preliminary analysis suggests that the range of circumstances under which current mined repository concepts would fail to meet this standard is fairly narrow. Nevertheless, a broad application of the MPS may impose severe restrictions on repository design. In this context, the relationship of repository design parameters to easy of recovery is discussed.

  13. A perspective on the proliferation risks of plutonium mines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lyman, E.S.

    1996-01-01

    The program of geologic disposal of spent fuel and other plutonium-containing materials is increasingly becoming the target of criticism by individuals who argue that in the future, repositories may become low-cost sources of fissile material for nuclear weapons. This paper attempts to outline a consistent framework for analyzing the proliferation risks of these so-called open-quotes plutonium minesclose quotes and putting them into perspective. First, it is emphasized that the attractiveness of plutonium in a repository as a source of weapons material depends on its accessibility relative to other sources of fissile material. Then, the notion of a open-quotes material production standardclose quotes (MPS) is proposed: namely, that the proliferation risks posed by geologic disposal will be acceptable if one can demonstrate, under a number of reasonable scenarios, that the recovery of plutonium from a repository is likely to be as difficult as new production of fissile material. A preliminary analysis suggests that the range of circumstances under which current mined repository concepts would fail to meet this standard is fairly narrow. Nevertheless, a broad application of the MPS may impose severe restrictions on repository design. In this context, the relationship of repository design parameters to easy of recovery is discussed

  14. 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.

  15. 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.)

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Low enrichment of uranium in the light of the nuclear weapon problem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barstad, G.

    1979-09-01

    A difficult problem in the immediate future will be to direct civil nuclear technology in such a way that the ability to produce nuclear weapons by additional countries is prevented. There are two main problems. First, enrichment plants can be used to produce high enriched uranium, which can be used in nuclear weapons, as well as low enriched reactor fuel. Second, plutonium produced during reactor operation can be used as nuclear weapon material, as well as for nuclear fuel. The problem discussed here is particularly the development of an enrichment process which is economic for low enriched reactor fuel, but which may not easily be adapted to produce high enriched uranium. (JIW)

  20. Nuclear weapons free zones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stahl, K.

    1990-01-01

    The article analyses the concept and problems of the two nuclear weapons free zones in Latin America and in the South Pacific established by the Treaty of Tlatelolco and the Treaty of Rarotonga. So far the nuclear weapons states except China have refused to sign the additional protocols of the Treaties or have signed them only with considerable provisos. Therefore they don't fully recognize the nuclear weapons free status of those zones, or they don't recognize it at all. Both Treaties contain no provisions to regulate the transit of nuclear weapons through the zones. This allows de facto the stationing of nuclear weapons in the military bases of the US which are located within the nuclear weapons free zone of Latin America. The Treaty of Tlatelolco contains also the right of the states, party to the Treaty, to explode nuclear devices for peaceful purposes. Since peaceful and military nuclear explosions cannot be distinguished technically, this right could also undermine the nuclear weapons free status of the region. Important nuclear threshold countries like Argentina and Brazil have furthermore refrained from putting the Treaty into force. (orig.) [de

  1. 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

  2. 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)

  3. 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.)

  4. Measuring Teacher Dispositions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Delar K.; Stoloff, David L.

    2007-01-01

    Teacher quality has become a top priority of our national agenda. There is empirical evidence that suggests that teacher inputs have impact on student outcomes. It is also believed that teacher dispositions are as crucial for student achievement as a teacher's pedagogical and content knowledge/skills. The National Council for Accreditation of…

  5. 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

  6. 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)

  7. Global strike hypersonic weapons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Mark J.

    2017-11-01

    Beginning in the 1940's, the United States has pursued the development of hypersonic technologies, enabling atmospheric flight in excess of five times the speed of sound. Hypersonic flight has application to a range of military and civilian applications, including commercial transport, space access, and various weapons and sensing platforms. A number of flight tests of hypersonic vehicles have been conducted by countries around the world, including the United States, Russia, and China, that could lead the way to future hypersonic global strike weapon systems. These weapons would be especially effective at penetrating conventional defenses, and could pose a significant risk to national security.

  8. Nuclear weapons complex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rezendes, V.S.

    1992-04-01

    In addition to long-standing safety and environmental problems plaguing the nuclear weapons complex, this paper reports that the Department of Energy (DOE) faces a major new challenge-how to reconfigure the weapons complex to meet the nation's defense needs in the 21st century. Key decisions still need to be made about the size of the complex; where, if necessary, to relocate various operations; what technologies to use for new tritium production; and what to do with excess weapons-grade material. The choices confronting DOE and Congress are difficult given the conflicting demands for limited resources

  9. Conversion of plutonium scrap and residue to boroilicate glass using the GMODS process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Forsberg, C.W.; Beahm, E.C.; Parker, G.W.; Rudolph, J.; Elam, K.R.; Ferrada, J.J.

    1995-01-01

    Plutonium scrap and residue represent major national and international concerns because (1) significant environmental, safety, and health (ES ampersand H) problems have been identified with their storage; (2) all plutonium recovered from the black market in Europe has been from this category; (3) storage costs are high; and (4) safeguards are difficult. It is proposed to address these problems by conversion of plutonium scrap and residue to a CRACHIP (CRiticality, Aerosol, and CHemically Inert Plutonium) glass using the Glass Material Oxidation and Dissolution System (GMODS). CRACHIP refers to a set of requirements for plutonium storage forms that minimize ES ampersand H concerns. The concept is several decades old. Conversion of plutonium from complex chemical mixtures and variable geometries into a certified, qualified, homogeneous CRACHIP glass creates a stable chemical form that minimizes ES ampersand H risks, simplifies safeguards and security, provides an easy-to-store form, decreases storage costs, and allows for future disposition options. GMODS is a new process to directly convert metals, ceramics, and amorphous solids to glass; oxidize organics with the residue converted to glass; and convert chlorides to borosilicate glass and a secondary sodium chloride stream. Laboratory work has demonstrated the conversion of cerium (a plutonium surrogate), uranium (a plutonium surrogate), Zircaloy, stainless steel, and other materials to glass. GMODS is an enabling technology that creates new options. Conventional glassmaking processes require conversion of feeds to oxide-like forms before final conversion to glass. Such chemical conversion and separation processes are often complex and expensive

  10. Materials control and accountability challenges associated with plutonium inventories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crawford, D.W.

    1996-01-01

    There are currently many initiatives underway within the Department of Energy (DOE) to safely and securely manage large plutonium inventories arising from weapons dismantlement, changing missions and facility operations. Plutonium inventory information is increasingly accessible to the public as a result of the secretary of energy's openness initiative. As a result, knowledge of these inventories and levels to which the department has accounted for and controlled these inventories, will be under increased scrutiny from a variety of interest groups. The quality of this accountability data and what this data means will greatly influence the public's perception of how the US is protecting its plutonium inventories. In addition, the department's safeguards program provides an essential basis for the application of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards that, in addition to possibly other international control regimes, will be in place over a large portion of these future inventories. The capability and functionality of the department's nuclear safeguards program will be important contributors to the success of US programs for the responsible stewardship of these vast plutonium inventories. This paper discusses some of the challenges, in terms of specific issues relating to one part of the department's safeguards program--materials control and accountability (MC and A)--to meet the growing domestic and international requirements and expectations associated with these plutonium inventories

  11. Materials control and accountability challenges associated with plutonium inventories

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crawford, D.W. [USDOE Office of Safeguards and Security, Washington, DC (United States)

    1996-07-01

    There are currently many initiatives underway within the Department of Energy (DOE) to safely and securely manage large plutonium inventories arising from weapons dismantlement, changing missions and facility operations. Plutonium inventory information is increasingly accessible to the public as a result of the secretary of energy`s openness initiative. As a result, knowledge of these inventories and levels to which the department has accounted for and controlled these inventories, will be under increased scrutiny from a variety of interest groups. The quality of this accountability data and what this data means will greatly influence the public`s perception of how the US is protecting its plutonium inventories. In addition, the department`s safeguards program provides an essential basis for the application of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards that, in addition to possibly other international control regimes, will be in place over a large portion of these future inventories. The capability and functionality of the department`s nuclear safeguards program will be important contributors to the success of US programs for the responsible stewardship of these vast plutonium inventories. This paper discusses some of the challenges, in terms of specific issues relating to one part of the department`s safeguards program--materials control and accountability (MC and A)--to meet the growing domestic and international requirements and expectations associated with these plutonium inventories.

  12. Alternatives for the disposition of PUREX organic solution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nelson, D.W.

    1995-01-01

    This Supporting Document submits options and recommendations for final management of Tank 40 Plutonium-Uranium Extraction (PUREX) Plant organic solution per Tri-Party Agreement Milestorm Number M-80-00-T03. Hanford is deactivating the PUREX Plant for the US DOE. One the key element of this Deactivation is disposition of approximately 81,300 liters (21,500 gallons) of slightly radioactively contaminated organic solution to reduce risk to the environment, reduce cost of long-term storage, and assure regulatory compliance. An announcement in the Commerce Business Daily (CBD) on October 14, 1994 has resulted in the submission of proposals from two facilities capabLe of receiving and thermally destroying the solution. Total decomposition by thermal destruction is the recommended option for the disposition of the PUREX organic solution and WHC is evaluating the proposals from the two facilities

  13. Virtual nuclear weapons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pilat, J.F.

    1997-08-01

    The term virtual nuclear weapons proliferation and arsenals, as opposed to actual weapons and arsenals, has entered in recent years the American lexicon of nuclear strategy, arms control, and nonproliferation. While the term seems to have an intuitive appeal, largely due to its cyberspace imagery, its current use is still vague and loose. The author believes, however, that if the term is clearly delineated, it might offer a promising approach to conceptualizing certain current problems of proliferation. The first use is in a reference to an old problem that has resurfaced recently: the problem of growing availability of weapon-usable nuclear materials in civilian nuclear programs along with materials made `excess` to defense needs by current arms reduction and dismantlement. It is argued that the availability of these vast materials, either by declared nuclear-weapon states or by technologically advanced nonweapon states, makes it possible for those states to rapidly assemble and deploy nuclear weapons. The second use has quite a different set of connotations. It is derived conceptually from the imagery of computer-generated reality. In this use, one thinks of virtual proliferation and arsenals not in terms of the physical hardware required to make the bomb but rather in terms of the knowledge/experience required to design, assemble, and deploy the arsenal. Virtual weapons are a physics reality and cannot be ignored in a world where knowledge, experience, materials, and other requirements to make nuclear weapons are widespread, and where dramatic army reductions and, in some cases, disarmament are realities. These concepts are useful in defining a continuum of virtual capabilities, ranging from those at the low end that derive from general technology diffusion and the existence of nuclear energy programs to those at the high end that involve conscious decisions to develop or maintain militarily significant nuclear-weapon capabilities.

  14. Amarillo National Resource Center for plutonium. Work plan progress report, November 1, 1995--January 31, 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cluff, D. [Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock, TX (United States)

    1996-04-01

    The Center operates under a cooperative agreement between DOE and the State of Texas and is directed and administered by an education consortium. Its programs include developing peaceful uses for the materials removed from dismantled weapons, studying effects of nuclear materials on environment and public health, remedying contaminated soils and water, studying storage, disposition, and transport of Pu, HE, and other hazardous materials removed from weapons, providing research and counsel to US in carrying out weapons reductions in cooperation with Russia, and conducting a variety of education and training programs.

  15. Defining Weapons of Mass Destruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Cyprus, Liberia, Malta, Marshall Islands , Mongolia, Panama, and St. Vin- cent and the Grenadines, according to a State Department summary available...1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, and the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention. As such, NBC weapons represent a group of weapons that the...Development, Produc- tion and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction contains two references to WMD

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. The characterization and testing of candidate immobilization forms for the disposal of plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bakel, A. J.; Buck, E. C.; Chamberlain, D. B.; Ebbinghaus, B. B.; Fortner, J. A.; Marra, J. C.; Mcgrail, B. P.; Mertz, C. J.; Peeler, D. K.; Shaw, H. F.; Strachan, D. M.; Van Konynenburg, R. A.; Vienna, J. D.; Wolf, S. F.

    1997-01-01

    Candidate immobilization forms for the disposal of surplus weapons-useable are being tested and characterized. The goal of the testing program was to provide sufficient data that, by August 1997, an informed selection of a single immobilization form could be made so that the form development and production R and D could be more narrowly focused. Two forms have been under consideration for the past two years: glass and ceramic. In August, 1997, the Department of Energy (DOE) selected ceramic for plutonium disposition, halting further work on the glass material. In this paper, we will briefly describe these two waste forms, then describe our characterization techniques and testing methods. The analytical methods used to characterize altered and unaltered samples are the same. A full suite of microscopic techniques is used. Techniques used include optical, scanning electron, and transmission electron microscopies. For both candidate immobilization forms, the analyses are used to characterize the material for the presence of crystalline phases and amorphous material. Crystalline materials, either in the untested immobilization form or in the alteration products from testing, are characterized with respect to morphology, crystal structure, and composition. The goal of these analyses is to provide data on critical issues such as Pu and neutron absorber volubility in the immobilization form, thermal stability, potential separation of absorber and Pu, and the long-term behavior of the materials. Results from these analyses will be discussed in the presentation. Testing methods include MCC-1 tests, product consistency tests (methods A and B), unsaturated ''drip'' tests, vapor hydration tests, single-pass flow-through tests, and pressurized unsaturated flow tests. Both candidate immobilization forms have very low dissolution rates; examples of typical test results will be reported

  19. 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)

  20. 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.