Thoria target element failures

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The thoria program at Hanford was initiated in response to an order placed by the Atomic Energy Commission for the production of uranium-233 from the irradiation of thorium or thorium oxide (thoria). The initial orders called for approximately 130 kg U-233 and subsequent orders have since increased this figure. This report provides a brief history of the thoria program, an analysis of the thoria target element failures which occurred during the irradiation phase, and the significant changes in the fabrication methods and inspection criteria and techniques which were made in response to the large number of failures that occurred in … continued below

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32 p.

Creation Information

Bowles, K. C. & Schmidt, J. P. April 15, 1966.

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  • Douglas United Nuclear, Inc.
    Publisher Info: Douglas United Nuclear, Inc., Richland, WA (United States)
    Place of Publication: Richland, Washington

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Description

The thoria program at Hanford was initiated in response to an order placed by the Atomic Energy Commission for the production of uranium-233 from the irradiation of thorium or thorium oxide (thoria). The initial orders called for approximately 130 kg U-233 and subsequent orders have since increased this figure. This report provides a brief history of the thoria program, an analysis of the thoria target element failures which occurred during the irradiation phase, and the significant changes in the fabrication methods and inspection criteria and techniques which were made in response to the large number of failures that occurred in the early stages of the program. The thoria program has sustained 25 thoria target element failures. Eighteen of these failures are believed to have been caused as a result of water entry through fabrication defects in the closure weld. Two of the failures were attributable to water entry through the cladding as a result of charging machine damage, and the remaining five failures were caused by water entry in some undetermined manner. The majority of thoria element failures occurred in the early stages of the program. Upon determining the cause of failure, Production Fuels Section initiated programs to upgrade the quality of the closure weld on thoria elements. Process improvements resulted in the thoria element failure rate being reduced by about a factor of ten from 0.035 percent (approximately twice the failure rate for uranium fuel elements) to 0.0041 percent. The current performance of thoria target elements is very satisfactory. No future problems are foreseen that in any way should prevent the fulfillment of thoria program goals, In the event of further requests for high purity U-233, the equipment and knowledge exist with which these orders may be filled with a minimum of effort.

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32 p.

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OSTI; NTIS; GPO Dep.

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  • Other Information: PBD: 15 Apr 1966

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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Creation Date

  • April 15, 1966

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 3, 2018, 11:47 a.m.

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  • Dec. 3, 2018, 4:08 p.m.

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Bowles, K. C. & Schmidt, J. P. Thoria target element failures, report, April 15, 1966; Richland, Washington. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1317869/: accessed July 29, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.

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