Isotopic dilution of {sup 233}U with depleted uranium for criticality safety in processing and disposal

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The disposal of excess {sup 233}U as waste is being considered. Because {sup 233}U is a fissile material, a key requirement for processing {sup 233}U to a final waste form and disposing of it is the avoidance of nuclear criticality. For many processing and disposal options, isotopic dilution is the most feasible and preferred option to avoid nuclear criticality. Isotopic dilution is dilution of fissile {sup 233}U with nonfissile {sup 238}U. The use of isotopic dilution removes any need to control nuclear criticality in process or disposal facilities through geometry or chemical composition. Isotopic dilution allows the use of existing ... continued below

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6 p.

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Hopper, C.M.; Wright, R.Q.; Elam, K.R. & Forsberg, C.W. July 1, 1997.

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The disposal of excess {sup 233}U as waste is being considered. Because {sup 233}U is a fissile material, a key requirement for processing {sup 233}U to a final waste form and disposing of it is the avoidance of nuclear criticality. For many processing and disposal options, isotopic dilution is the most feasible and preferred option to avoid nuclear criticality. Isotopic dilution is dilution of fissile {sup 233}U with nonfissile {sup 238}U. The use of isotopic dilution removes any need to control nuclear criticality in process or disposal facilities through geometry or chemical composition. Isotopic dilution allows the use of existing waste management facilities that are not designed for significant quantities of fissile materials to be used for processing and disposing of {sup 233}U. The amount of isotopic dilution required to reduce criticality concerns to reasonable levels was determined in this study to be approximately 0.53 wt % {sup 233}U. The numerical calculations used to define this limit consisted of a homogeneous system of silicon dioxide (SiO{sub 2}), water (H{sub 2}O), {sup 233}U and depleted uranium (DU) in which the ratio of each component was varied to learn the conditions of maximum nuclear reactivity. About 188 parts of DU (0.2 wt % {sup 235}U) are required to dilute 1 part of {sup 233}U to this limit in a water-moderated system with no SiO{sub 2} present. Thus for the U.S. inventory of {sup 233}U, several hundred metric tons of DU would be required for isotopic dilution.

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6 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE97006434

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  • American Nuclear Society (ANS) topical meeting on criticality safety challenges in the next decade, Chelan, WA (United States), 7-11 Sep 1997

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  • Other: DE97006434
  • Report No.: CONF-970926--9
  • Grant Number: AC05-96OR22464
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 505729
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc689821

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  • July 1, 1997

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Aug. 14, 2015, 8:43 a.m.

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  • Jan. 22, 2016, 11:45 a.m.

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Hopper, C.M.; Wright, R.Q.; Elam, K.R. & Forsberg, C.W. Isotopic dilution of {sup 233}U with depleted uranium for criticality safety in processing and disposal, article, July 1, 1997; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689821/: accessed July 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.