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NONDESTRUCTIVE EXAMINATION OF PLUTONIUM-BEARING MATERIAL CONTAINERS

Description: The first nondestructive examination (NDE) of 3013-type containers as part of the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Integrated Surveillance Program (ISP) was performed in February, 2005. Since that date 280 NDE surveillances on 255 containers have been conducted. These containers were packaged with plutonium-bearing materials at multiple DOE sites. The NDE surveillances were conducted at Hanford, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Savannah River Site (SRS). These NDEs consisted of visual inspection, mass verification, radiological surveys, prompt gamma analysis, and radiography. The primary purpose of performing NDE surveillances is to determine if there has been a significant pressure buildup inside the inner 3013 container. This is done by measuring the lid deflection of the inner 3013 container using radiography images. These lid deflection measurements are converted to pressure measurements to determine if a container has a pressure of a 100 psig or greater. Making this determination is required by Surveillance and Monitoring Plan (S&MP). All 3013 containers are designed to withstand at least 699 psig as specified by DOE-STD-3013. To date, all containers evaluated have pressures under 50 psig. In addition, the radiography is useful in evaluating the contents of the 3013 container as well as determining the condition of the walls of the inner 3013 container and the convenience containers. The radiography has shown no signs of degradation of any container, but has revealed two packaging anomalies. Quantitative pressure measurements based on lid deflections, which give more information than the 'less than or greater than 100 psig' (pass/fail) data are also available for many containers. Statistical analyses of the pass/fail data combined with analysis of the quantitative data show that it is extremely unlikely that any container in the population of 3013 containers considered in this study (e.g., containers packaged according to the DOE-STD-3013 by 2006) would exceed a pressure ...
Date: February 1, 2010
Creator: Yerger, L.; Mcclard, J.; Traver, L. & Grim, T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department