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Graphite burnout, interim report on IP-25-A (PT-105-532-E)

Description: Graphite reacts with such gases as CO{sub 2}, O{sub 2}, or water vapor to form gaseous oxides of carbon. In the case of CO{sub 2}-graphite interaction, the reaction rate is not significant until about 550 C. Water oxidizes graphite, very roughly, three times faster than CO{sub 2}. Air will oxidize graphite appreciably at temperatures below 500 C. Graphite removal from Hanford reactors is very important, since graphite is used both as a structural support and a moderator for neutrons. Griggs has shown that small graphite samples oxidized to 10 per cent weight loss had only about one-half their original compression strength. Hence, the longevity of the reactors depends to a great extent on maintaining a low graphite oxidation rate. A means of monitoring the extent of graphite loss, i. e., the burnout rate, is necessary to establish future reactor operational standards. Presently, weighed samples of reactor grade graphite are placed along the length of an empty process channel in each reactor. Thus, a sample is exposed to the reactor`s ambient conditions of power level, moderator temperature, and gas composition. This program was initiated in the vicinity of June, 1953 by Woodley. This report presents data on graphite burnout obtained from in-reactor experiments authorized under IP-25-A (PT-105-532-E) from August, 1957 to January, 1960. Burnout rates are obtained by a direct measurement of the weight loss of control graphite samples exposed to the reactor atmosphere.
Date: March 15, 1960
Creator: Ryan, B.A. & Halas, D.R. de
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department