Analysis of the October 5, 1979 Lithium Spill and Fire in the Lithium Processing Test Loop

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Description

On October 5, 1979, the Lithium Processing Test Loop (LPTL) developed a lithium leak in the electromagnetic (EM) pump channel, which damaged the pump, its surrounding support structure, and the underlying floor pan. A thorough analysis of the causes and consequences of the pump failure was conducted by personnel from CEN and several other ANL divisions. Metallurgical analyses of the elliptical pump channel and adjacent piping revealed that there was a significant buildup of iron-rich crystallites and other solid material in the region of the current-carrying bus bars (region of high magnetic field), which may have resulted in a flow ... continued below

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vi, 82 p. : ill., charts, tables

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Maroni, V. A. December 1981.

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  • Main Title: Analysis of the October 5, 1979 Lithium Spill and Fire in the Lithium Processing Test Loop
  • Added Title: ANL (Series)
  • Added Title: Argonne National Laboratory Report ANL-81-25
  • Series Title: Argonne National Laboratory Reports

Description

On October 5, 1979, the Lithium Processing Test Loop (LPTL) developed a lithium leak in the electromagnetic (EM) pump channel, which damaged the pump, its surrounding support structure, and the underlying floor pan. A thorough analysis of the causes and consequences of the pump failure was conducted by personnel from CEN and several other ANL divisions. Metallurgical analyses of the elliptical pump channel and adjacent piping revealed that there was a significant buildup of iron-rich crystallites and other solid material in the region of the current-carrying bus bars (region of high magnetic field), which may have resulted in a flow restriction that contributed to the deterioration of the channel walls. The location of the failure was in a region of high residual stress (due to cold work produced during channel fabrication); this failure is typical of other cold work/stress-related failures encountered in components operated in forced-circulation lithium loops. Another important result was the isolation of crystals of a compound characterized as Li/sub x/CrN/sub y/. Compounds of this type are believed to be responsible for much of the Fe, Cr, and Ni mass transfer encountered in lithium loops constructed of stainless steel. The importance of nitrogen in the mass-transfer mechanism has long been suspected, but the existence of stable ternary Li-M-N compounds (M = Fe, Cr, Ni) had not previously been verified.

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vi, 82 p. : ill., charts, tables

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  • December 1981

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  • Aug. 4, 2015, 8:33 a.m.

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Maroni, V. A. Analysis of the October 5, 1979 Lithium Spill and Fire in the Lithium Processing Test Loop, report, December 1981; Argonne, Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283498/: accessed October 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.