Source terms for plutonium aerosolization from nuclear weapon accidents

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The source term literature was reviewed to estimate aerosolized and respirable release fractions for accidents involving plutonium in high-explosive (HE) detonation and in fuel fires. For HE detonation, all estimates are based on the total amount of Pu. For fuel fires, all estimates are based on the amount of Pu oxidized. I based my estimates for HE detonation primarily upon the results from the Roller Coaster experiment. For hydrocarbon fuel fire oxidation of plutonium, I based lower bound values on laboratory experiments which represent accident scenarios with very little turbulence and updraft of a fire. Expected values for aerosolization were ... continued below

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12 p.

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Stephens, D.R. July 1, 1995.

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Description

The source term literature was reviewed to estimate aerosolized and respirable release fractions for accidents involving plutonium in high-explosive (HE) detonation and in fuel fires. For HE detonation, all estimates are based on the total amount of Pu. For fuel fires, all estimates are based on the amount of Pu oxidized. I based my estimates for HE detonation primarily upon the results from the Roller Coaster experiment. For hydrocarbon fuel fire oxidation of plutonium, I based lower bound values on laboratory experiments which represent accident scenarios with very little turbulence and updraft of a fire. Expected values for aerosolization were obtained from the Vixen A field tests, which represent a realistic case for modest turbulence and updraft, and for respirable fractions from some laboratory experiments involving large samples of Pu. Upper bound estimates for credible accidents are based on experiments involving combustion of molten plutonium droplets. In May of 1991 the DOE Pilot Safety Study Program established a group of experts to estimate the fractions of plutonium which would be aerosolized and respirable for certain nuclear weapon accident scenarios.

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12 p.

Notes

OSTI as DE96000358

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  • Other Information: PBD: Jul 1995

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  • Other: DE96000358
  • Report No.: UCRL-ID--119303
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/109677 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 109677
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc624693

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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  • July 1, 1995

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  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • Feb. 23, 2016, 12:19 p.m.

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Stephens, D.R. Source terms for plutonium aerosolization from nuclear weapon accidents, report, July 1, 1995; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc624693/: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.