Characterization of Suspect Fuel Rod Pieces from the 105 K West Basin

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This report provides physical and radiochemical characterization results from examinations and laboratory analyses performed on {approx}0.55-inch diameter rod pieces found in the 105 K West (KW) Basin that were suspected to be from nuclear reactor fuel. The characterization results will be used to establish the technical basis for adding this material to the contents of one of the final Multi-Canister Overpacks (MCOs) that will be loaded out of the KW Basin in late FY2006 or at a later time depending on project priorities. Fifteen fuel rod pieces were found during the clean out of the KW Basin. Based on lack ... continued below

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Delegard, Calvin H.; Schmidt, Andrew J.; Pool, Karl N. & Thornton, Brenda M. July 25, 2006.

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This report provides physical and radiochemical characterization results from examinations and laboratory analyses performed on {approx}0.55-inch diameter rod pieces found in the 105 K West (KW) Basin that were suspected to be from nuclear reactor fuel. The characterization results will be used to establish the technical basis for adding this material to the contents of one of the final Multi-Canister Overpacks (MCOs) that will be loaded out of the KW Basin in late FY2006 or at a later time depending on project priorities. Fifteen fuel rod pieces were found during the clean out of the KW Basin. Based on lack of specific credentials, documentation, or obvious serial numbers, none of the items could be positively identified nor could their sources or compositions be described. Item weights and dimensions measured in the KW Basin indicated densities consistent with the suspect fuel rods containing uranium dioxide (UO2), uranium metal, or being empty. Extensive review of the Hanford Site technical literature led to the postulation that these pieces likely were irradiated test fuel prepared to support of the development of the Hanford ''New Production Reactor'', later called N Reactor. To obtain definitive data on the composition of the suspect fuel, 4 representative fuel rod pieces, with densities corresponding to oxide fuel were selected from the 15 items, and shipped from the KW Basin to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's (PNNL) Radiological Processing Laboratory (RPL; also known at the 325 Building) for examinations and characterization. The three fuel rod that were characterized appear to contain slightly irradiated UO2 fuel, originally of natural enrichment, with zirconium cladding. The uranium-235 isotopic concentrations decreased by the irradiation and become slightly lower than the natural enrichment of 0.72% to range from 0.67 to 0.71 atom%. The plutonium concentrations, ranged from about 200 to 470 grams per metric ton of uranium and ranged in Plutonium-239 concentration from about 97 to 99 atom%.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-15939
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/894475 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 894475
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc891461

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  • July 25, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 22, 2016, 10:19 p.m.

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Delegard, Calvin H.; Schmidt, Andrew J.; Pool, Karl N. & Thornton, Brenda M. Characterization of Suspect Fuel Rod Pieces from the 105 K West Basin, report, July 25, 2006; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc891461/: accessed September 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.