What is plutonium stabilization, and what is safe storage of plutonium?

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Description

The end of the cold war has resulted in the shutdown of nuclear weapons production and the start of dismantlement of significant numbers of nuclear weapons. This, in turn, is creating an inventory of plutonium requiring interim and long-term storage. A key question is, ``What is required for safe, multidecade, plutonium storage?`` The requirements for storage, in turn, define what is needed to stabilize the plutonium from its current condition into a form acceptable for interim and long-term storage. Storage requirements determine if research is required to (1) define required technical conditions for interim and long-term storage and (2) develop ... continued below

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41 p.

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Forsberg, C.W. June 29, 1995.

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Description

The end of the cold war has resulted in the shutdown of nuclear weapons production and the start of dismantlement of significant numbers of nuclear weapons. This, in turn, is creating an inventory of plutonium requiring interim and long-term storage. A key question is, ``What is required for safe, multidecade, plutonium storage?`` The requirements for storage, in turn, define what is needed to stabilize the plutonium from its current condition into a form acceptable for interim and long-term storage. Storage requirements determine if research is required to (1) define required technical conditions for interim and long-term storage and (2) develop or improve current stabilization technologies. Storage requirements depend upon technical, policy, and economic factors. The technical issues are complicated by several factors. Plutonium in aerosol form is highly hazardous. Plutonium in water is hazardous. The plutonium inventory is in multiple chemical forms--some of which are chemically reactive. Also, some of the existing storage forms are clearly unsuitable for storage periods over a few years. Gas generation by plutonium compounds complicates storage: (1) all plutonium slowly decays creating gaseous helium and (2) the radiation from plutonium decay can initiate many chemical reactions-some of which generate significant quantities of gases. Gas generation can pressurize sealed storage packages. Last nuclear criticality must be avoided.

Physical Description

41 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE96000835

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  • Other Information: PBD: 29 Jun 1995

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  • Other: DE96000835
  • Report No.: ORNL/M--4322
  • Grant Number: AC05-84OR21400
  • DOI: 10.2172/114031 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 114031
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc622050

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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Creation Date

  • June 29, 1995

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • Jan. 21, 2016, 1:48 p.m.

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Forsberg, C.W. What is plutonium stabilization, and what is safe storage of plutonium?, report, June 29, 1995; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc622050/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.