Nuclear Materials Characterization in the Materials and Fuels Complex Analytical Hot Cells

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As energy prices skyrocket and interest in alternative, clean energy sources builds, interest in nuclear energy has increased. This increased interest in nuclear energy has been termed the “Nuclear Renaissance”. The performance of nuclear fuels, fuels and reactor materials and waste products are becoming a more important issue as the potential for designing new nuclear reactors is more immediate. The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC) Analytical Laboratory Hot Cells (ALHC) are rising to the challenge of characterizing new reactor materials, byproducts and performance. The ALHC is a facility located near Idaho Falls, Idaho at the INL ... continued below

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Rodriquez, Michael March 1, 2009.

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As energy prices skyrocket and interest in alternative, clean energy sources builds, interest in nuclear energy has increased. This increased interest in nuclear energy has been termed the “Nuclear Renaissance”. The performance of nuclear fuels, fuels and reactor materials and waste products are becoming a more important issue as the potential for designing new nuclear reactors is more immediate. The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC) Analytical Laboratory Hot Cells (ALHC) are rising to the challenge of characterizing new reactor materials, byproducts and performance. The ALHC is a facility located near Idaho Falls, Idaho at the INL Site. It was built in 1958 as part of the former Argonne National Laboratory West Complex to support the operation of the second Experimental Breeder Reactor (EBR-II). It is part of a larger analytical laboratory structure that includes wet chemistry, instrumentation and radiochemistry laboratories. The purpose of the ALHC is to perform analytical chemistry work on highly radioactive materials. The primary work in the ALHC has traditionally been dissolution of nuclear materials so that less radioactive subsamples (aliquots) could be transferred to other sections of the laboratory for analysis. Over the last 50 years though, the capabilities within the ALHC have also become independent of other laboratory sections in a number of ways. While dissolution, digestion and subdividing samples are still a vitally important role, the ALHC has stand alone capabilities in the area of immersion density, gamma scanning and combustion gas analysis. Recent use of the ALHC for immersion density shows that extremely fine and delicate operations can be performed with the master-slave manipulators by qualified operators. Twenty milligram samples were tested for immersion density to determine the expansion of uranium dioxide after irradiation in a nuclear reactor. The data collected confirmed modeling analysis with very tight precision. The gamma scanning equipment in the ALHC has taken on a new role also as a micro-gamma scanning system and has been put into service; allowing the linear and radial counting of a spent fuel segment to determine reaction characteristics within a small section of nuclear fuel. The nitrogen, oxygen and carbon analysis allows the identification of these impurities in spent nuclear fuel and also most oxides, nitrides, carbides, C-14 and tritium.

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  • WM'09,Phoenix, AZ,03/02/2009,03/05/2009

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-09-15289
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 966154
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc933519

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • March 1, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Jan. 4, 2017, 2:26 p.m.

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Rodriquez, Michael. Nuclear Materials Characterization in the Materials and Fuels Complex Analytical Hot Cells, article, March 1, 2009; [Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc933519/: accessed January 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.