Redox Bias in Loss on Ignition Moisture Measurement for Relatively Pure Plutonium-Bearing Oxide Materials

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This paper evaluates potential analytical bias in application of the Loss on Ignition (LOI) technique for moisture measurement to relatively pure (plutonium assay of 80 wt.% or higher) oxides containing uranium that have been stabilized according to stabilization and storage standard DOE-STD-3013-2000 (STD- 3013). An immediate application is to Rocky Flats (RF) materials derived from high-grade metal hydriding separations subsequently treated by multiple calcination cycles. Specifically evaluated are weight changes due to oxidation/reduction of multivalent impurity oxides that could mask true moisture equivalent content measurement. Process knowledge and characterization of materials representing complex-wide materials to be stabilized and packaged according ... continued below

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17 pages

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Eller, P. G.; Stakebake, J. L. & Cooper, T. D. February 26, 2002.

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This paper evaluates potential analytical bias in application of the Loss on Ignition (LOI) technique for moisture measurement to relatively pure (plutonium assay of 80 wt.% or higher) oxides containing uranium that have been stabilized according to stabilization and storage standard DOE-STD-3013-2000 (STD- 3013). An immediate application is to Rocky Flats (RF) materials derived from high-grade metal hydriding separations subsequently treated by multiple calcination cycles. Specifically evaluated are weight changes due to oxidation/reduction of multivalent impurity oxides that could mask true moisture equivalent content measurement. Process knowledge and characterization of materials representing complex-wide materials to be stabilized and packaged according to STD-3013, and particularly for the immediate RF target stream, indicate that oxides of uranium, iron and gallium are the only potential multivalent constituents expected to be present above 0.5 wt.%. The evaluation show s that of these constituents, with few exceptions, only uranium oxides can be present at a sufficient level to produce weight gain biases significant with respect to the LOI stability test. In general, these formerly high-value, high-actinide content materials are reliably identifiable by process knowledge and measurement. Significant bias also requires that UO2 components remain largely unoxidized after calcination and are largely converted to U3O8 during LOI testing at only slightly higher temperatures. Based on well-established literature, it is judged unlikely that this set of conditions will be realized in practice. We conclude that it is very likely that LOI weight gain bias will be small for the immediate target RF oxide materials containing greater than 80 wt.% plutonium plus a much smaller uranium content. Recommended tests are in progress to confirm these expectations and to provide a more authoritative basis for bounding LOI oxidation/reduction biases. LOI bias evaluation is more difficult for lower purity materials and for fuel-type uranium-plutonium oxides. However, even in these cases testing may show that bias effects are manageable.

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17 pages

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  • Waste Management 2002 Symposium, Tucson, AZ (US), 02/24/2002--02/28/2002

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  • Report No.: none
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 834049
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc781683

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  • February 26, 2002

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • April 27, 2016, 2:23 p.m.

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Eller, P. G.; Stakebake, J. L. & Cooper, T. D. Redox Bias in Loss on Ignition Moisture Measurement for Relatively Pure Plutonium-Bearing Oxide Materials, article, February 26, 2002; Tucson, Arizona. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc781683/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.