Decontaminating the DOE-STD-3013 Inner Container to Meet 10-CFR-835 Appendix D Requirements

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The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has published a standard that specifies the criteria for preparation and packaging of plutonium metals and oxides for safe long-term storage (DOE-STD-3013-96). This standard is followed for the packaging of materials resulting from the disassembly of nuclear weapons at Los Alamos National Laboratory under the Advanced Retirement and Integrated Extraction System (ARIES) project. Declassified plutonium metal or oxide material from the ARES project is packaged into doubly contained and welded type 304L stainless steel containers that comply with the DOE standard. The 3013-96 standard describes requirements for maximum contamination limits on the outer ... continued below

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12 pages

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Martinez, H.E.; Nelson, T.O.; Rivera, Y.M.; Wedman, D.E. & Weisbrod, K.R. March 3, 1999.

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The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has published a standard that specifies the criteria for preparation and packaging of plutonium metals and oxides for safe long-term storage (DOE-STD-3013-96). This standard is followed for the packaging of materials resulting from the disassembly of nuclear weapons at Los Alamos National Laboratory under the Advanced Retirement and Integrated Extraction System (ARIES) project. Declassified plutonium metal or oxide material from the ARES project is packaged into doubly contained and welded type 304L stainless steel containers that comply with the DOE standard. The 3013-96 standard describes requirements for maximum contamination limits on the outer surface of the sealed inner container. These limits are 500 dpm per 100 cm2 for direct measurements and 20 dpm per 100 cm2 for removable contamination. For containers filled, welded, and handled inside a highly contaminated glovebox line, these limits are difficult to obtain. Simple handling within the line is demonstrated to contaminate surfaces from 10,000 to 10,000,000 dpm alpha per 100 cm2. To routinely achieve contamination levels below the maximum contamination levels specified by the 3013-96 standard within a processing operation, a decontamination step must be included. In the ARIES line, this decontamination step is an electrolytic process that produces a controlled uniform etch of the container surfaces. Decontamination of the 3013-96 compliant ARIES inner container is well demonstrated. Within 30 to 50 minutes electrolysis time, tixed contamination is reduced to hundreds of dpm generally occurring only at electrode contact points and welds. Removable contamination is routinely brought to non-detectable levels. The total process time for the cycle (includes electrolysis, rinse, and dry stages) is on the order of 1.5 to 2 hours per container. The ARIES inner container decontamination system highly automated and consists of a plumbing loop, electronic controls and process monitors, and a decontamination chamber or "fixture". The tixture is situated like an air lock between a contaminated and an uncontaminated section of a processing glovebox. The welded and leak tested container is placed into the fixture through a door on the contaminated side and the electrolysis process is run, including rinse and dry cycles. The container is then removed through a second door into the uncontaminated side where it is monitored for surface alpha contamination, leak checked, and reweighed.

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12 pages

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  • Waste Management '99 Symposia, Tucson, AZ, 2/28-3/4/99

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  • Other: DE00007413
  • Report No.: LA-UR-99-934
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 7413
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc710016

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  • March 3, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • May 6, 2016, 9:39 p.m.

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Martinez, H.E.; Nelson, T.O.; Rivera, Y.M.; Wedman, D.E. & Weisbrod, K.R. Decontaminating the DOE-STD-3013 Inner Container to Meet 10-CFR-835 Appendix D Requirements, article, March 3, 1999; Los Alamos, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc710016/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.