Design improvements for gloveboxes used [in] {sup 238}PuO{sub 2} process operations

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{sup 238}PuO{sub 2} process operations are housed in a complex of 76 gloveboxes and introductory hoods connected by means of an overhead trolley housed in a tunnel. Because a significant number of the gloveboxes used for {sup 238}PuO{sub 2} processing were installed before the original startup of the facility in 1978, they have been in service for nearly 20 years. During a recent heat source production campaign, numerous contamination releases in the {sup 238}PuO{sub 2} processing area were traced to degraded elastomer gaskets used for glovebox connections, and attachment of feed-throughs, service panels, and windows. Evaluation of the degraded gaskets ... continued below

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6 p.

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George, T.G. September 1, 1997.

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  • George, T.G. Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States). Nuclear Materials Technology Div.

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{sup 238}PuO{sub 2} process operations are housed in a complex of 76 gloveboxes and introductory hoods connected by means of an overhead trolley housed in a tunnel. Because a significant number of the gloveboxes used for {sup 238}PuO{sub 2} processing were installed before the original startup of the facility in 1978, they have been in service for nearly 20 years. During a recent heat source production campaign, numerous contamination releases in the {sup 238}PuO{sub 2} processing area were traced to degraded elastomer gaskets used for glovebox connections, and attachment of feed-throughs, service panels, and windows. Evaluation of the degraded gaskets revealed that a combination of radiolytic degradation related to the high specific activity of {sup 238}Pu, and extended service at high altitude in a low (to extremely low) humidity environment had resulted in accelerated gasket aging. However, it was also apparent that gasket design was the most important factor in actual contamination release. All of the contamination releases that were traced to degraded gaskets occurred in variations of a design that used a spline to expand an elastomeric gasket into the space between a connecting flange, window, or service panel, and a glovebox opening. No contamination releases were traced to the gasket design that employed bolted clamps to compress the gasket between a connecting flange, window, or panel, and the exterior surface of a glovebox opening. As a result of these findings, the Actinide Ceramics group at LANL (NMT-9) has initiated a routine replacement and upgrade program to replace aging gloveboxes. All of the new gloveboxes will utilize the preferred gasket design, which is expected to reduce the number and frequency of contamination releases.

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6 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE97008758

Source

  • American Glovebox Society conference, Lakewood, CO (United States), 21-24 Jul 1997

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  • Other: DE97008758
  • Report No.: LA-UR--97-2063
  • Report No.: CONF-970791--3
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 527425
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc694979

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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.

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  • September 1, 1997

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  • Aug. 14, 2015, 8:43 a.m.

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  • Feb. 25, 2016, 2:30 p.m.

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George, T.G. Design improvements for gloveboxes used [in] {sup 238}PuO{sub 2} process operations, article, September 1, 1997; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc694979/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.