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Zirconium Pilot Plant Research and Development Progress Report
The following progress report was compiled by the research and development division of the zirconium pilot plant. This report discusses two iodination and deposition runs that were completed as of August 20, 1951, as well as the third iodination run that uses a vaporizer condenser that condenses approximately 40 pounds of zirconium iodide.
Reaction of Hydrogen With Uranium
Report discussing reaction of hydrogen with uranium in a range of temperatures and pressures. Experimental materials, methods and results are included.
Ceramic Investigations of UO₂
This report covers the progress made on an intensive program to develop and evaluate UO2 as a possible fuel element for the PWR.
Neutron-Flux Measurements in a Concentric-Cylinder Fuel Element
The following report presents neutron-flux measurements made with a concentric-cylinder element (Mark II) and includes axial, radial, and peripheral flux distributions.
Annealing of crystal distortion in irradiated graphite
From introduction: "As part of the program for improvement of graphite, the structural characteristics of graphite have been studied to determine the relation between physical and structural changes during irradiation."
Electroplated Metals on Uranium
The following report follows the studies of electroplating on uranium and concurrent metallurgical clodding.
Electroplates on Thorium
Abstract: "The protection of thorium in hot water was studied. Copper electrocladding on thorium offers promising protection against hot water. The corrosion of thorium in 95 C water was reduced appreciably by a thorium phosphate film. The results of this abbreviated investigation offer a basis for the development of a method of protecting thorium at elevated temperatures in corrosive media."
Dissolution of Aluminum-Canned Thorium
The following report studies the dissolution of aluminum-canned thorium, providing results that suggest a dissolution cycle that permits the separation of the canned-slug components.
Electrodeposition of Aluminum on Uranium
Abstract: "Aluminum electroplating was studied in a search for new methods of cladding uranium fuel elements. Uranium electroclad with 12 mils of aluminum over a 0.5-mil (or nickel plus copper) electroplate resisted corrosion for more than 100 hr in boiling water. This quality of protection was effected by hot pressing the electroclad uranium with 5.1 tons per sq in. for 5 min at 950 F. The electroclad uranium with hot-pressed samples paralleled those of later experiments with hot-pressed wrought aluminum claddings on uranium. In both cases, the uranium was electroplated with thin (0.5 mil) layers of metals to prevent aluminum-uranium diffusion, to aid bonding, and to assist in corrosion protection. This aluminum electroplating study helped to define the importance of the intermediate coating between the aluminum and the uranium, the effect of good bonds between the various layers, and the effects of hot pressing in protecting uranium with an aluminum cladding."
Electroplated Metals on Uranium for Aluminum Cladding
Abstract: "Aluminum-clad nickel-plated uranium is corrosion resistant in boiling water. Samples with intentional defects in the aluminum-nickel clodding layers, after testing for more than 300 hr. showed no sign of rapid failure. The study of electroplated metals on uranium for aluminum cladding has defined the effects of several processing variables on the corrosion resistance. The quality of the uranium and the quality of the aluminum-nickel bond were important. Heat treatment and vacuum outgassing of the nickel-plated uranium prior to aluminum cladding were beneficial, and minimizing the amount of air present in the hot-press assembly was desirable. Variation in the steps for electroplating on uranium did not affect the corrosion resistance of aluminum-clad uranium."
Uranium recovery from a low-grade Katanga sulfide concentrate : topical report
A report which describes a variety of methods for processing a low-grade sulfide concentrate from the Congo. This concentrate consists primarily of sulfides of cobalt, nickel, and iron, plus about 10 percent uranium, present principally as uraninite.
The thermal and electrical conductivities of zirconium and its alloys
A report which intends to present an empirical formula, based on available experimental data, to correlate the thermal and electrical conductiviities of sirconium and sirconium alloys.
Carbide Coatings on Graphite
From abstract: "A Method has been developed for the uniform coating of graphite tubes with carbides of niobium, tantalum, and zirconium by thermal composition of their respective halide vapors."
Effect of Ceramic or Metal Additives in High-UO₂ Bodies
The following report focuses on research made to determine whether the service performance of UO₂ fuel-elements cores for the PWR can be improved by certain ceramic or metal additions.
The Preparation of Large-diameter Zirconium Crystal Bar by the De Boer Process
This report discusses the production of large-diameter zirconium crystal bars in a 16 inch diameter, Hastelloy B, de Boer unit in order to increase production efficiency.
Zirconium Research and Development : Progress Report
From introduction: "This is the ninth monthly report, BMI-514, under Contract No. AT(30-1)-771 on "Zirconium Research and Development". The report covers the work period from September 15, 1950, to October 15, 1950. Work is continuing on the preparation of large-diameter zirconium crystal bars in the 16-inch-diameter de Boer unit. Crystal bars up to 1-5/16 inches in diameter and 8 feet long have been prepared in this unit."
Final Report on Purification of Thorium Nitrate by Solvent Extraction With Tributyl Phosphate: 2. Mixer-Settler Pilot Plant Investigations
From abstract: "This report describes the construction and operation of a mixer-settler pilot plant for the purification of mantle-grade thorium nitrate. The liquid-liquid extraction process utilized 30% tributyl phosphate - 70% 'Solvesso-100' as the organic solvent and nitric acid as the salting agent. Continuous steady-state operation of the equipment was demonstrated, with very good recovery of thorium."
Estimated Manufacturing Costs for the Recovery of Thorium and Uranium from Monazite Sand
Abstract: "Costs have been estimated for the production of uranium and pure thorium from monasite concentrates by a process involving (1) reaction of monasite with caustic soda, (2) dissolution of the hydrous oxides in hydrochloric acid, (3) separation from the bulk of the rare earths by hydroxide precipitation of thorium and uranium, and (4) purification by solvent extraction."
Final Report on Recovery of Thorium and Uranium From Monazite Sand : Volume 1
Report describing a method for recovery of high yields of thorium and uranium from monazite sand concentrates. Monazite is decomposed into hydrous metal oxides, which are dissolved in an acid. The solution is then separated into a precipitate, which seperates from thorium and uranium. An alternate separation method is evaluated.
Final Report on Recovery of Thorium and Uranium From Monazite Sands, Volume 2
From abstract: "Details are presented on the processing of monazite sand and on separating the rare earths from thorium and uranium. Solvent-extraction and ion-exchange techniques for purifying thorium and uranium are described."
A study of the dip coating of uranium sheet with aluminum-silicon alloy
A report which covers an investigation of techniques for producing hot-dip Al-Si coatings on uranium sheet. Also, the study is concerned with the effects of time and temperature of dipping on the intermetallic zone and its ductility.
Corrosion in 650 F Degassed Water of Uranium-Molybdenum Alloys Containing Impurity Additions
From introduction: "At the request of WAPD, a study has been made of the effect of minor compositional variables on the corrosion behavior of uranium-molybdenum alloys in 650 F degassed water."
Topical report on spectrophotometric determination of small amounts of uranium in phosphate rock, shales and similar materials
A report which provides procedures for sample decomposition and the determination of small amounts of uranium in the phosphate rocks and shales. Also, the cupferron and ether-extraction methods are discussed.
The Determination of Rare Earths in Thorium
Abstract: "A quantitative method for the determination of individual rare earths in thorium down to a level of 0.05 ppm, is described. The procedure consists of a chromatographic cellulose-columns separation followed by a solution-type spectrographic determination. Values are given for the recovery of a number of rare earths using this combined procedure."
Hazards Summary Report for the Battelle Research Reactor
From summary: "This report was prepared for the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards for their review and consideration of the potential hazards concerning the Battelle Memorial Institute Research Reactor."
Temperature distributions in a reactor fuel plate
A report about a method for fabricating 30-in long stainless steel UO2 fuel sheet and the properties of the fabricated sheet were investigated.
Temperature distributions in a reactor fuel plate
Report detailing local heat-transfer coefficients as they relate to temperature distribution in reactor fuel plates.
Characterization of Inclusion in Dingot Uranium
Abstract: The nonmetallic inclusions in both as-reduced and fabricated dingot uranium have been studied for comparison with those in ingot uranium. Special attention was paid to the hydride for the purpose of determining the amount and distribution in the various types of uranium. The types and distribution of other inclusions were also studied. It was found that the dingot uranium was of a higher quality than ingot uranium and was comparable to as-reduced derby uranium on the basis of over-all inclusion count. The hydrogen content in dingot uranium, however, was found to be appreciably higher than in either ingot or derby uranium.
The Properties and Heat Treatment of Zirconium-Uranium Alloys
From Abstract: "The heat treatment and mechanical properties of four zirconium alloys...were investigated. Tensile, hardness, Jominy end-quench, and metallographic data constitute the basis for much of the report. Other data reported include the results of high-temperature creep, tensile, hardness, cold rolling, thermal-cycling, and dynamic-modulus tests." A connection is made between the behavior of these four alloys and more alloys in the zirconium-uranium system.
Fused Salt Mixtures as Potential Liquid Fuels for Nuclear Power Reactors
From introduction: "This report summarizes the work done on a study of fused-salt systems in a search for new liquid fuels suitable for use in a nuclear power reactor."
Thermodynamic evaluation of materials in contact with fluoride fuels
A report about the corrosion tendencies of 64 metallic elements, nonmetallic elements, and carbides evaluated by means of thermodynamic methods.
Composition of vapors from boiling nitric acid solutions
From abstract: "The composition of vapors from aqueous nitric acid solutions boiling at 200 mm mercury total pressure is established for solutions containing between - and 67.5 w/o nitric acid. The volatility characteristics of low concentrations of chloride in the same concentration range of nitric acid have been measured in solutions boiling at 200 mm mercury. The effects of chloride concentration and pressure of boiling are evaluated. A spectrophotometric method of the determination of chloride in nitric acid solutions is described."
Centrifugal Casting of Aluminum-Uranium Alloys
"Centrifugal-casting techniques were investigated as a method of producing hollow cylindrical extrusion billets of aluminum-35 w/o uranium. Among the variables evaluated were melt temperature, mold and pouring-spout configurations, mold speed, and method of pouring. With the equipment employed it was found that the best castings were produced stilizing a pouring temperature of 2400 F, a heavy-walled steel cylinder rotating between 700 to 900 rpm for the mold and bottom-pouring technique employing a retractable pouring spout. Sound, nonporous billets 26 in. long and 5 in. in diameter were produced with a yield after machining of over 75 per cent of the original charge. The major losses occurred in the pouring spout-and-cup assembly. This loss is relatively unaffected by the casting length; and, therefore, coatings of greater length than 26 in. should results in even greater recoveries.
Effects of Ternary Additions on Aluminum-35 w/o Uranium Alloys
Abstract: "The effects of a number of ternary additions on the constitution, casting, and fabricating characteristics and the physical properties of aluminum-35 w/o uranium were investigated. Initial investigations were concerned with the effects of 3 w/o ternary additions on the microstructure and press-forging characteristics of the alloy. It was found that additions of this magnitude often introduced extrinsic phases in the alloy. At the 3 w/o level, additions of germanium, silicon, tin or zirconium inhibited the formation of UAl4 and thereby increased the content of the aluminum matrix in the alloy. It was also noted that these additions decreased the pressures required for extruding, and the tin addition also improved the homogeneity of cast shapes. Lead and palladium also improved the homogeneity of the cast material; however, neither of these was an effective inhibitor of UAl4 and free lead was detected in the alloy to which lead had been added at the ternary. From these studies it appears that tin and zirconium are as effective as silicon in enhancing the fabricating characteristics of aluminum-35 w/o uranium alloys, and may prove superior when evaluated on the bases of casting qualities and recycling characteristics."
The Effectiveness of Spray Cooling
Abstract: "A possible method of cooling a liquid-fuel reactor is by spraying liquid metal through the liquid fuel, and then circulating the liquid metal through a heat exchanger. To evaluate the effectiveness of this cooling method, a few simple experiments were made with mercury sprayed through water. On the basis of the results, it was concluded that this method was intrinsically a low-power-density method, which could not find application except where a low fissionable-material inventory was the dominating requirement in a low-power reactor. Even there, it is thought that a boiling homogeneous reactor might be superior. The results are reported, in spite of their probably lack of value in the reactor program, simply to make the record complete."
Progress Report for August, 1955
This report of the Battelle Memorial Institute covers information on development regarding various materials.
Hydroxides as Moderator Coolants in Power-Breeder-Reactors
The following report describes work that was udertaken to determine whether a homogeneous breeder reactor using an alkili metal hydroxide solution is capable of breeding.
Hydrogen Embrittlement of Zirconium
Abstract: "The amount of hydrogen normally present in zirconium and zirconium alloys suffices to reduce their ductility greatly in an impact test at room temperature, after slow cooling from 600 F. Quenching from 600 F or above gives high impact strength, as does removal of hydrogen by high-temperature vacuum annealing. This report discusses the evidence on hydrogen embrittlement, the diffusion, solid solubility, and equilibrium pressure of hydrogen of hydrogen in zirconium, the microstructure, and the effects of hydrogen and heat treatment on the mechanical properties of zirconium."
Segregation in Arc-Melted Uranium-Niobium Alloys
Report discussing a study aimed at pinpointing the cause of banding segregation in arc-melted uranium-niobium alloys and suggesting possible methods for eliminating banding.
Further Studies with the GCRE Critical-Assembly
This report follows ciritical-assembly studies on: the effect on reactivity caused by changes in axial reflector materials; the effect on reactivity and the power perturbation caused by fast safety control-blade guides; the effect of changes in fuel-element material composition; the effect of changes in fuel-elements spacing designed to produce uniform radial power-generation rates.
GCRE Critical-Assembly Studies
This report follows critical-assembly studies made to provide engineering and physics data to aid in developing the Gas Cooled Reactor Experiments.
Beta-Counting Methods Applied to the Determination of Uranium in Low-Grade Ores
The following report covers investigations on the application of the beta counter as an analytical tool for use in experiments on the extraction and concentration of uranium from low-grade (.005-.02 % uranium) shale and phosphate rock ores.
The Properties and Heat Treatment of Uranium-Titanium Alloys
This report discusses mechanical properties and heat treatment of some uranium-titanium alloys. These alloys were tested for use as fuel-element material.
Zirconium Pilot Plant Research and Development Progress Report
The following report studies the effect of flow rates and deposition pressure on the zirconium deposition in the zirconium pilot plant with the use of a Hilco oil purifier for the vacuum pumps that permitted studies to continue through the month.
Examination of Factors Affecting the Quality of Vacuum Induction-Melted Uranium
The following report examines primarily water and air factors that affect the quality of vacuum induction-melted uranium, yet follows experiments with other factors such as graphite and zirconium crucibles under dry and wet conditions, usage of hydrogen, oxygen, CO and other subject admitted to determine pressure-time relationships and residual gas compositions, as well as a study of water-gas reaction within the furnace.
Examination of Factors Affecting the Quality of Vacuum Induction-Melted Uranium
The following report examines primarily water and air factors that affect the quality of vacuum induction-melted uranium, yet follows experiments with other factors such as graphite and zirconium crucibles under dry and wet conditions, usage of hydrogen, oxygen, CO and other subject admitted to determine pressure-time relationships and residual gas compositions, as well as a study of water-gas reaction within the furnace.
A Recirculating Supercritical Water Loop
From abstract: "A recirculating high-pressure stainless steel loop was developed for the study of heat transfer from small-bore tubes to supercritical water. It was found that under certain conditions, hot spots developed on the test section. The conditions leading to the formation of hot spots were investigated; the results of several runs are tabulated here."
A Recirculating Supercritical Water Loop
From Abstract: "A recirculating high-pressure stainless steel loop was developed for the study of heat transfer from small-bore tubes to supercritical water. It was found that under certain conditions, hot spots developed on the test section. The conditions leading to the formation of hot spots were investigated; the results of several runs are tabulated here."
Evaluation of Methods of Brazing Aluminum Spacing Fins to Flat-Plate Aluminum-Clad Fuel Elements
Abstract: "Four brazing methods and one other joining process were evaluated for the joining of aluminum spacer fins to flat-plate aluminum-clad fuel elements. None of these methods appear completely suitable for use in a mass-production operation. Furnace brazing and salt-bath brazing were most promising. However, the mechanical problems involved in the application of either process deter their recommendation. Resistance brazing and torch-brazing were proven impractical. The great difference in mass between the two pieces being joined prevents the use of either the resistance or torch method. Pressure bonding is not applicable because of the excessive deformation of parts being joined."
Determination of Rare Earths in Refined Uranium : Topical Report
Abstract: "Rare-earth analyses were performed on several samples of refined uranium oxide and nitrate, using a modified cellulose column procedure. Rare earths were not detectable in samples of 0.03 shotgun of less. Detection limits were from 0.0005 to 0.015 ppm. Negligible quantities of low-cross-section rare earths were found in less pure uranium samples, obtained during start-up operations of the pilot plant at the Feed Materials Production Center, primarily those rare earths of greater than average abundance in nature. No correlation was found between rare-earth content and shotgun values. Rare earths do not appear to be contributing significantly to the neutron absorption of refined uranium. A modified cellulose column procedure, which includes a preconcentration solvent-extraction step, is described. Radioactive tracer tests indicating rare-earth recoveries by the method of >98 per cent are reported."