Criticality safety when using gadolinium as a neutronic poison with plutonium

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Description

The authors have discovered that under special circumstances it is possible to have a criticality accident which can release tons of high explosive energy equivalent. We report a computer calculational, experiment which illustrates this point so that the circumstances which might lead to such an accident can be avoided. Our computer calculation gives the energy release in a criticality event involving a water solution of plutonium where (1) gadolinium has been used as a neutron poison and (2) the mass is then allowed to go slightly super-critical at room temperature. The reactivity has a strong positive temperature coefficient in this ... continued below

Physical Description

29 p.

Creation Information

Condit, R.H. & Pettibone, J.S. September 1, 1995.

Context

This report is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 12 times . More information about this report can be viewed below.

Who

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this report or its content.

Sponsor

Publisher

Provided By

UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Serving as both a federal and a state depository library, the UNT Libraries Government Documents Department maintains millions of items in a variety of formats. The department is a member of the FDLP Content Partnerships Program and an Affiliated Archive of the National Archives.

Contact Us

What

Descriptive information to help identify this report. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Digital Library.

Description

The authors have discovered that under special circumstances it is possible to have a criticality accident which can release tons of high explosive energy equivalent. We report a computer calculational, experiment which illustrates this point so that the circumstances which might lead to such an accident can be avoided. Our computer calculation gives the energy release in a criticality event involving a water solution of plutonium where (1) gadolinium has been used as a neutron poison and (2) the mass is then allowed to go slightly super-critical at room temperature. The reactivity has a strong positive temperature coefficient in this system. The result is that the self-heating from a small amount of fissioning of the plutonium in the delayed supercriticality regime raises the temperature to the prompt criticality regime and an explosive release of energy becomes possible. In this computer experiment the release is 19 tonnes (metric tons) of high explosive equivalent for a two-cubic meter sphere of water containing 50 grams of plutonium per liter. Our concern is confined to gadolinium in moderating solutions and does not relate to any other known neutronic poison, because gadolinium is the only isotope having the special absorption characteristics that make possible this type of energy release.

Physical Description

29 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE96001889

Source

  • Other Information: PBD: Sep 1995

Language

Item Type

Identifier

Unique identifying numbers for this report in the Digital Library or other systems.

  • Other: DE96001889
  • Report No.: UCRL-ID--121962
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/123185 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 123185
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc619247

Collections

This report is part of the following collection of related materials.

Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

What responsibilities do I have when using this report?

When

Dates and time periods associated with this report.

Creation Date

  • September 1, 1995

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Feb. 23, 2016, 1:23 p.m.

Usage Statistics

When was this report last used?

Yesterday: 0
Past 30 days: 0
Total Uses: 12

Interact With This Report

Here are some suggestions for what to do next.

Start Reading

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

International Image Interoperability Framework

IIF Logo

We support the IIIF Presentation API

Condit, R.H. & Pettibone, J.S. Criticality safety when using gadolinium as a neutronic poison with plutonium, report, September 1, 1995; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc619247/: accessed December 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.