Chemical Processing Department Monthly Report: July 1957 Page: 4 of 107
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CHEMICAL PROCSSING DEPARTENT
MONTHY RPORT q ! I
JULY, 195 Win E ETIN
The separations plants operated according to established schedules; however,
the charging of low exposure uranium reduced plutonium output to 95% of the
official forecast. The lower exposure uranium was charged in order to provide
optimum feed conditions for the start-up of the new continuous Task I facilities
in the 234-5 Building. On July 4 a general low level fallout of fission
products occurred from the Purex plant stack. The fallout was promptly de-
tected and personnel protection and decontamination measures were initiated.
Cause of the fallout has not been firmly established.
Although the shipping schedule for UO3 was exceeded, the production of U03
was 92% of the official forecast as a result of numerous equipment problems
encountered in the operation of the continuous calciners. The gas-fired
calciners were returned to service during the month.
At the request of the Atomic Energy Commission, the technical and economic
feasibility was evaluated for the recovery of plutonium from the underground
stored wastes. It was concluded that the recovery of the plutonium in the
stored wastes is probably technologically feasible but prohibitively expensive.
There appears to be little incentive, therefore, to undertake the required
development and construction programs, since the predicted recovery costs of
about $160 per gram would exceed the value of the plutonium recovered.
Completion of the Purex plant prototype plutonium concentration continuous
ion exchange equipment was delayed beyond the target date of August 1, 1957,
by a complete work stoppage of Minor Construction pipefitters for the entire
month of July. Other craft work is essentially complete.
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Hanford Atomic Products Operation. Chemical Processing Department. Chemical Processing Department Monthly Report: July 1957, report, August 22, 1957; Richland, Washington. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1312193/m1/4/: accessed April 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.