Polycube oxidation and factors affecting the concentrations of gaseous products

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The polycubes stored at the Hanford Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) have been identified in a Vulnerability Assessment as material that requires a stabilization process in support of the Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board Recommendation 94-1. The baseline plan involves a pyrolysis process to separate out the plutonium and uranium oxides before the remaining material is packaged for interim storage, in accordance with the Record of Decision (ROD), issued June 25, 1996, for the Plutonium Finishing Plant Stabilization Final Environmental Impact Statement, DOE/EIS-0244-F. The polycubes were manufactured at Hanford in the 1960s for use in criticality studies to determine the hydrogen-to-fissile ... continued below

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Medium: P; Size: 69 pages

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Abrefah, J; MacFarlan, PJ & Sell, RL May 4, 2000.

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Description

The polycubes stored at the Hanford Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) have been identified in a Vulnerability Assessment as material that requires a stabilization process in support of the Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board Recommendation 94-1. The baseline plan involves a pyrolysis process to separate out the plutonium and uranium oxides before the remaining material is packaged for interim storage, in accordance with the Record of Decision (ROD), issued June 25, 1996, for the Plutonium Finishing Plant Stabilization Final Environmental Impact Statement, DOE/EIS-0244-F. The polycubes were manufactured at Hanford in the 1960s for use in criticality studies to determine the hydrogen-to-fissile atom ratios for neutron moderation. A mixture of plutonium and/or uranium oxides and a polystyrene (vinyl benzene) matrix, cast into the shape of cubes, the polycubes simulated solutions containing high concentrations of fissile materials. The polycubes varied in size, typically 1/2 x 2 x 2 in. up to 2 x 2 x 2 in., and were sealed with a coating of aluminum paint and/or tape (PVC or Shurtape). The estimated 1,600 polycubes (calculated 179,165 grams net weight) stored at PFP were packed in vented food cans with five to eight cubes per can to accommodate gas generation by radiolysis. Some polycube containers are suspected to contain loose material as well, left over from the forming process. With a fairly high {sup 240}Pu content, polycubes present a challenge for handling, as a result of the 7 to 8 R contact dose rate. Significant hazards linked to unstabilized polycubes are associated with the polystyrene matrix, which generates hydrogen gas due to radiolysis. In addition, some cans of polycubes may contain fines. Because of insufficient data, hazards associated with the fines have not been assessed.

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Medium: P; Size: 69 pages

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE00754519

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  • Other Information: Supercedes report DE00754519; PBD: 4 May 2000

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  • Report No.: PNNL-13166
  • Grant Number: AC06-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/754519 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 754519
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc708544

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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 4, 2000

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • April 6, 2016, 6:29 p.m.

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Abrefah, J; MacFarlan, PJ & Sell, RL. Polycube oxidation and factors affecting the concentrations of gaseous products, report, May 4, 2000; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc708544/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.