Design of a californium source-driven measurement system for accountability of material recovered from the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment charcoal bed

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The Molten Salt Reactor Experiment Facility (MSRE) operated from 1965 to 1969. The fuel was a molten salt that flowed through the reactor core which consisted of uranium tetrafluoride with molten lithium and beryllium salt used as the coolant. In 1968 the fuel was switched from {sup 235}U to {sup 233}U. The Molten Salt Reactor Experiment was canceled in 1969 at which time approximately 4800 kg of salt was transferred to the fuel drain tanks. There was about 36.3 kg of uranium, 675 grams of plutonium and various fission products present in the fuel salt. The salt was allowed to ... continued below

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17 p.

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Bentzinger, D.L.; Perez, R.B.; Mattingly, J.K.; Valentine, T.E. & Mihalczo, J.T. May 1, 1998.

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The Molten Salt Reactor Experiment Facility (MSRE) operated from 1965 to 1969. The fuel was a molten salt that flowed through the reactor core which consisted of uranium tetrafluoride with molten lithium and beryllium salt used as the coolant. In 1968 the fuel was switched from {sup 235}U to {sup 233}U. The Molten Salt Reactor Experiment was canceled in 1969 at which time approximately 4800 kg of salt was transferred to the fuel drain tanks. There was about 36.3 kg of uranium, 675 grams of plutonium and various fission products present in the fuel salt. The salt was allowed to solidify in the fuel drain tanks. The salt was heated on a yearly basis to recombine the fluorine gas with the uranium salt mixture. In March 1994, a gas sample was taken from the off gas system that indicated {sup 233}U had migrated from the fuel drain tank system to the off gas system. It was found that approximately 2.6 kg of uranium had migrated to the Auxiliary Charcoal Bed (ACB). The ACB is located in the concrete-lined charcoal bed cell which is below ground level located outside the MSRE building. Therefore, there was a concern for the potential of a nuclear criticality accident, although water would have to leak into the chamber for a criticality accident to occur. Unstable carbon/fluorine compounds were also formed when the fluorine reacted with the charcoal in the charcoal bed. The purpose of the proposed measurement system was to perform an accountability measurement to determine the fissile mass of {sup 233}U in the primary vessel. The contents of the primary containment assembly will then be transferred to three smaller containers for long term storage. Calculations were performed using MCNP-DSP to determine the configuration of the measurement system. The information obtained from the time signatures can then be compared to the measurement data to determine the amount of {sup 233}U present in the primary containment assembly.

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17 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE98005583

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  • Annual meeting of the American Nuclear Society, Nashville, TN (United States), 7-12 Jun 1998

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  • Other: DE98005583
  • Report No.: ORNL/CP--98159
  • Report No.: CONF-980606--
  • Grant Number: AC05-96OR22464
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 672051
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc707655

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  • May 1, 1998

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  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • Jan. 19, 2016, 12:39 p.m.

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Bentzinger, D.L.; Perez, R.B.; Mattingly, J.K.; Valentine, T.E. & Mihalczo, J.T. Design of a californium source-driven measurement system for accountability of material recovered from the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment charcoal bed, article, May 1, 1998; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc707655/: accessed October 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.