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Development of weld closure stations for plutonium long-term storage containers

Description: Weld closure stations for plutonium long-term storage containers have been designed, fabricated, and tested for the Advanced Recovery and Integrated Extraction System (ARIES) at the TA-55 Plutonium Facility of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. ARIES is a processing system used for the dismantlement of the plutonium pits from nuclear weapons. ARIES prepares the extracted-plutonium in a form which is compatible with long-term storage and disposition options and meets international inspection requirements. The processed plutonium is delivered to the canning module of the ARIES line, where it is packaged in a stainless steel container. This container is then packaged in a secondary container for long-term storage. Each of the containers is hermetically sealed with a full penetration weld closure that meets the requirements of the ASME Section IX Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. Welding is performed with a gas tungsten arc process in an inert atmosphere of helium. The encapsulated helium in the nested containers allows for leak testing the weld closure and container. The storage package was designed to meet packaging requirements of DOE Standard 3013-96 for long-term storage of plutonium metal and oxides. Development of the process parameters, weld fixture, weld qualification, and the welding chambers is discussed in this paper.
Date: December 31, 1998
Creator: Fernandez, R.; Martinez, D.A.; Martinez, H.E.; Nelson, T.O.; Ortega, R.E.; Rofer, C.K. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department