Criticality Safety Study of UF<sub>6</sub>and UO<sub>2</sub>F<sub>2</sub>in 8-in. Inner Diameter Piping

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The purpose of this report is to provide an evaluation of the criticality safety aspects of using up to 8-in.-inner-diameter (ID) piping as part of a system to monitor the {sup 235}U enrichment in uranium hexafluoride (UF{sub 6}) gas both before and after an enrichment down-blending operation. The evaluated operation does not include the blending stage but includes only the monitors and the piping directly associated with the monitors, which are in a separate room from the blending operation. There are active controls in place to limit the enrichment of the blended UF{sub 6} to a maximum of 5 weight ... continued below

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Elam, K.R. October 7, 2003.

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Description

The purpose of this report is to provide an evaluation of the criticality safety aspects of using up to 8-in.-inner-diameter (ID) piping as part of a system to monitor the {sup 235}U enrichment in uranium hexafluoride (UF{sub 6}) gas both before and after an enrichment down-blending operation. The evaluated operation does not include the blending stage but includes only the monitors and the piping directly associated with the monitors, which are in a separate room from the blending operation. There are active controls in place to limit the enrichment of the blended UF{sub 6} to a maximum of 5 weight percent (wt%) {sup 235}U. Under normal operating conditions of temperature and pressure, the UF{sub 6} will stay in the gas phase and criticality will not be credible. The two accidents of concern are solidification of the UF{sub 6} along with some hydrofluoric acid (HF) and water or moisture ingress, which would cause the UF{sub 6} gas to react and form a hydrated uranyl fluoride (UO{sub 2}F{sub 2}) solid or solution. Of these two types of accidents, the addition of water and formation of UO{sub 2}F{sub 2} is the most reactive scenario and thus limits related to UO{sub 2}F{sub 2} will bound the limits related to UF{sub 6}. Two types of systems are included in the monitoring process. The first measures the enrichment of the approximately 90 wt% enriched UF{sub 6} before it is blended. This system uses a maximum 4-in.-(10.16-cm-) ID pipe, which is smaller than the 13.7-cm-cylinder-diameter subcritical limit for UO{sub 2}F{sub 2} solution of any enrichment as given in Table 1 of American National Standard ANSI/ANS-8.1.1 Therefore, this system poses no criticality concerns for either accident scenario. The second type of system includes two enrichment monitors for lower-enriched UF{sub 6}. One monitors the approximately 1.5 wt% enriched UF{sub 6} entering the blending process, and the second monitors the approximately 5 wt% enriched UF{sub 6} coming out of the blending process. Both use a maximum 8-in.-(20.32-cm-) ID piping, where the length of the larger ID piping is approximately 9.5 m. This diameter of piping is below the 26.6-cm-cylinder-diameter subcritical limit for 5 wt% enriched UO{sub 2}F{sub 2} solutions as given in Table 6 of ANSI/ANS-8.1. Therefore, for up to 5 wt% enriched UF{sub 6}, this piping does not present a criticality concern for either accident scenario. Calculations were performed to determine the enrichment level at which criticality could become a concern in these 8-in.-ID piping sections. Both unreflected and fully water-reflected conditions were considered.

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2003/239
  • Grant Number: DE-AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/885633 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 885633
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc875826

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  • October 7, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Dec. 6, 2016, 8:01 p.m.

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Elam, K.R. Criticality Safety Study of UF<sub>6</sub>and UO<sub>2</sub>F<sub>2</sub>in 8-in. Inner Diameter Piping, report, October 7, 2003; [Tennessee]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc875826/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.