SNAP-III--Thermoelectric Generator Radiological Safety Analysis Page: 5 of 31
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A radiological safety analysis is presented for the SNAP-III thermo-
electric generator. Since the fuel of the device is Polonium-210, a toxic
radioisotope, certain safety measures have been designed into the device
and its shipping container to prevent a release of the contaminant into
any environment during normal operation or a catastrophic accident.
Once containment is assured, the direct radiation problem is considered.
It has been shown that the direct radiation from the thermal source is
kept within tolerance limits by surrounding materials and spatial and
It must be emphasized that this device should not be deliberately
abused or mishandled since this would serve to increase the probability
of accident. The device has been evaluated with respect to internal
forces such as heat and helium pressure and external forces such as
impact and chemical attack. The mechanical, thermal and chemical in-
tegrity of the thermoelectric generator is shown to be quite reliable.
The basic physical, chemical, thermal, atomic and nuclear charac-
teristics of Polonium-210 have been presented. Potential internal and
external radiation hazards have been set forth.
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Dix, G. P.; Dobry, T. J., Jr. & Guinn, P. SNAP-III--Thermoelectric Generator Radiological Safety Analysis, report, February 1, 1959; Baltimore, Maryland. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1019914/m1/5/: accessed March 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.