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SRS history and experience with palladium diffusers. Revision 1

Description: The Savannah River Site (SRS) has processed tritium in support of national defense programs since 1955. Palladium diffusers have been used extensively for separating hydrogen isotopes from inert gases (such as argon, helium, and nitrogen). In almost forty years of service, the design of the diffuser has been steadily improving. Several diffuser designs from different manufacturers have been evaluated at SRS. The operating experience gained from these designs together with failure analyses performed on failed units have led to several recommendations for improved diffuser designs and operating methods. This experience gained at SRS and the following recommendations form the basis of this report. Even though palladium diffuser technology has proven to be reliable, SRS has examined several alternative technologies over the past several years. This report will also review some of these promising alternatives.
Date: August 11, 1995
Creator: Clark, E.A.; Dauchess, D.A.; Heung, L.K.; Rabun, R.L. & Motyka, T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tritium processing at the Savannah River Site (SRS): Present and future

Description: Tritium handling equipment and methods at the Savannah River Site Tritium Facilities have been continually improved since tritium processing operations began in 1955. Several new technologies were introduced into the Tritium Facilities in the 1980's. One of these is the use of fluidless, mechanical pumps (Normetex and Metal Bellows) to replace mercury pumps. A second is the use of metal hydride technology to store, purify, isotopically separate, pump, and compress hydrogen isotopes. Metal hydrides, such as La-Ni-Al alloys and Pd loaded on kieselguhr, offer significant flexibility and size advantages compared with conventional tritium handling technology, such as gas tanks, thermal diffusion columns, and mechanical compressors. Metal hydrides have been used in the Tritium Facilities since 1984 with the most important application of this technology being planned for the Replacement Tritium Facility, a $140 million facility scheduled for completion in 1990 and startup in 1991. 11 refs., 9 figs.
Date: January 1, 1989
Creator: Ortman, M.S.; Heung, L.K.; Nobile, A. & Rabun, R.L. III.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Study of Traces of Tritium at the World Trade Center

Description: Traces of tritiated water (HTO) were detected at the World Trade Center (WTC) ground zero after the 9/11/01 terrorist attack. A water sample from the WTC sewer, collected on 9/13/01, contained 0.164 {+-} 0.074 (2 {sigma}) nCi/L of HTO. A split water sample, collected on 9/21/01 from the basement of WTC Building 6, contained 3.53 {+-} 0.17 and 2.83 {+-} 0.15 nCi/L, respectively. These results are well below the levels of concern to human exposure. Several water and vegetation samples were analyzed from sites outside ground zero, located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Kensico and Croton Reservoirs. No HTO above the background was found in those samples. Tritium radioluminescent (RL) devices were investigated as possible sources of the traces of tritium at ground zero. It was determined that the two Boeing 767 aircraft that hit the Twin Towers contained a combined 34 Ci of tritium at the time of impact in their emergency exit signs. There is also evidence that many weapons from law enforcement were present and destroyed at WTC. Such weaponry contains by design tritium sights. The fate and removal of tritium from ground zero were investigated, taking into consideration tritium chemistry and water flow originating from the fire fighting, rain, as well as leaks from the Hudson River and broken mains. A box model was developed to describe the above scenario. The model is consistent with instantaneous oxidation of the airplane tritium in the jet-fuel explosion, deposition of a small fraction of HTO at ground zero, and water-flow controlled removal of HTO from the debris. The model also suggests that tritium from the weapons would be released and oxidized to HTO at a much slower rate in the lingering fires at ground zero.
Date: October 1, 2002
Creator: Semkow, T M; Hafner, S R; Parekh, P P; Wozniak, G J; Haines, D K; Husain, L et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department