NONDESTRUCTIVE EXAMINATION OF PLUTONIUM-BEARING MATERIAL CONTAINERS Page: 3 of 23
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Nondestructive Examination of Plutonium-Bearing Material Containers
Deinventory Project Lead Engineer
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
M.S. and B.S. Chemical Engineering, San Jose State University.
The first nondestructive examination (NDE) of 3013-type containers as part of the
Department of Energy's (DOE's) Integrated Surveillance Program (ISP) was performed
in February, 2005. Since that date 280 NDE surveillances on 255 containers have been
conducted. These containers were packaged with plutonium-bearing materials at multiple
DOE sites. The NDE surveillances were conducted at Hanford, Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory (LLNL), and Savannah River Site (SRS). These NDEs consisted of
visual inspection, mass verification, radiological surveys, prompt gamma analysis, and
The primary purpose of performing NDE surveillances is to determine if there has
been a significant pressure buildup inside the inner 3013 container. This is done by
measuring the lid deflection of the inner 3013 container using radiography images. These
lid deflection measurements are converted to pressure measurements to determine if a
container has a pressure of a 100 psig or greater. Making this determination is required by
Surveillance and Monitoring Plan (S&MP)2. All 3013 containers are designed to
withstand at least 699 psig as specified by DOE-STD-30133. To date, all containers
evaluated have pressures under 50 psig. In addition, the radiography is useful in
evaluating the contents of the 3013 container as well as determining the condition of the
walls of the inner 3013 container and the convenience containers. The radiography has
shown no signs of degradation of any container, but has revealed two packaging
Quantitative pressure measurements based on lid deflections, which give more
information than the "less than or greater than 100 psig" (pass/fail) data are also available
for many containers. Statistical analyses of the pass/fail data combined with analysis of
the quantitative data show that it is extremely unlikely that any container in the
population of 3013 containers considered in this study (e.g., containers packaged
according to the DOE-STD-3013 by 2006) would exceed a pressure of 100 psig. At this
time, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and LLNL continue to package
containers. Future NDE surveillances will address containers packaged after 2006 for
both sites as well as containers requested by the Materials Identification Surveillance
(MIS) working group based on knowledge gained from shelf-life study and surveillance
The first ISP NDE was performed February 27, 2005 in the F-Area Material Storage
Facility at the SRS. Since this time, 255 3013-type containers have undergone NDE at
Hanford, LLNL, and SRS. These containers were packaged at multiple DOE sites,
including Hanford, LLNL, Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS), and
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Yerger, L.; Mcclard, J.; Traver, L. & Grim, T. NONDESTRUCTIVE EXAMINATION OF PLUTONIUM-BEARING MATERIAL CONTAINERS, article, February 1, 2010; United States. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc835325/m1/3/: accessed March 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.