Zone refining of plutonium metal

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The purpose of this study was to investigate zone refining techniques for the purification of plutonium metal. The redistribution of 10 impurity elements from zone melting was examined. Four tantalum boats were loaded with plutonium impurity alloy, placed in a vacuum furnace, heated to 700{degrees}C, and held at temperature for one hour. Ten passes were made with each boat. Metallographic and chemical analyses performed on the plutonium rods showed that, after 10 passes, moderate movement of certain elements were achieved. Molten zone speeds of 1 or 2 inches per hour had no effect on impurity element movement. Likewise, the application ... continued below

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16 p.

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Creator: Unknown. May 1, 1997.

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Description

The purpose of this study was to investigate zone refining techniques for the purification of plutonium metal. The redistribution of 10 impurity elements from zone melting was examined. Four tantalum boats were loaded with plutonium impurity alloy, placed in a vacuum furnace, heated to 700{degrees}C, and held at temperature for one hour. Ten passes were made with each boat. Metallographic and chemical analyses performed on the plutonium rods showed that, after 10 passes, moderate movement of certain elements were achieved. Molten zone speeds of 1 or 2 inches per hour had no effect on impurity element movement. Likewise, the application of constant or variable power had no effect on impurity movement. The study implies that development of a zone refining process to purify plutonium is feasible. Development of a process will be hampered by two factors: (1) the effect on impurity element redistribution of the oxide layer formed on the exposed surface of the material is not understood, and (2) the tantalum container material is not inert in the presence of plutonium. Cold boat studies are planned, with higher temperature and vacuum levels, to determine the effect on these factors. 5 refs., 1 tab., 5 figs.

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16 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE97005010

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  • 4. international conference on methods and applications of radioanalytical chemistry, Kona, HI (United States), 6-11 Apr 1997

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  • Other: DE97005010
  • Report No.: LA-UR--97-844
  • Report No.: CONF-970424--5
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 475649
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc676860

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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.

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.

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  • May 1, 1997

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  • July 25, 2015, 2:21 a.m.

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  • Feb. 29, 2016, 8:21 p.m.

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Zone refining of plutonium metal, article, May 1, 1997; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc676860/: accessed June 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.