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Deep borehole disposition of surplus fissile materials-The site selection process

Description: One option for disposing of excess weapons plutonium is to place it near the base of deep boreholes in stable crystalline rocks. The technology exists to immediately begin the design of this means of disposition and there are many attractive sites available within the conterminous US. The borehole system utilizes mainly natural barriers to preven migration of Pu and U to the Earth`s surface. Careful site selection ensures favorable geologic conditions that provide natural long-lived migration barriers; they include deep, extremely stable rock formations, strongly reducing brines that exhibit increasing salinity with depth, and most importantly, demonstrated isolation or non-communication of deep fluids with the biosphere for millions of years. This isolation is the most important characteristic, with the other conditions mainly being those that will enhance the potential of locating and maintaining the isolated zones. Candidate sites will probably be located on the craton in very old Precambrian crystalline rocks, most likely the center of a granitic pluton. The sites will be located in tectonically stable areas with no recent volcanic or seismic activity, and situated away from tectonic features that might become active in the near geologic future.
Date: May 1, 1996
Creator: Heiken, G.; WoldeGabriel, G.; Morley, R. & Plannerer, H
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DNFSB recommendation 94-1 Hanford site integrated stabilization management plan

Description: In May 1994, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) issued DNFSB Recommendation 94-1 (Conway 1994), which identified concerns related to US Department of Energy (DOE) management of legacy fissile materials remaining from past defense production activities. The DNFSB expressed concern about the existing storage conditions for these materials and the slow pace at which the conditions were being remediated. The DNFSB also expressed its belief that additional delays in stabilizing these fissile materials would be accompanied by further deterioration of safety and unnecessary increased risks to workers and the public. In February 1995, DOE issued the DNFSB Recommendation 94-1 Implementation Plan (O`Leary 1995) to address the concerns identified in DNFSB Recommendation 94-1. The Implementation Plan (IP) identifies several DOE commitments to achieve safe interim storage for the legacy fissile materials, and constitutes DOE`s baseline DNFSB Recommendation 94-1 Integrated Program Plan (IPP). The IPP describes the actions DOE plans to implement within the DOE complex to convert its excess fissile materials to forms or conditions suitable for safe interim storage. The IPP was subsequently supplemented with an Integrated Facilities Plan and a Research and Development Plan, which further develop complex-wide research and development and long-range facility requirements and plans. The additions to the baseline IPP were developed based on a systems engineering approach that integrated facilities and capabilities at the various DOE sites and focused on attaining safe interim storage with minimum safety risks and environmental impacts. Each affected DOE site has developed a Site Integrated Stabilization Management Plan (SISMP) to identify individual site plans to implement the DNFSB Recommendation 94-1 IPP. The SISMPs were developed based on the objectives, requirements, and commitments identified in the DNFSB Recommendation 94-1 IP. The SISMPs also supported formulation of the initial versions of the Integrated Facilities Plan and the Research and Development Plan. ...
Date: May 7, 1997
Creator: McCormack, R.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Virtual nuclear weapons

Description: The term virtual nuclear weapons proliferation and arsenals, as opposed to actual weapons and arsenals, has entered in recent years the American lexicon of nuclear strategy, arms control, and nonproliferation. While the term seems to have an intuitive appeal, largely due to its cyberspace imagery, its current use is still vague and loose. The author believes, however, that if the term is clearly delineated, it might offer a promising approach to conceptualizing certain current problems of proliferation. The first use is in a reference to an old problem that has resurfaced recently: the problem of growing availability of weapon-usable nuclear materials in civilian nuclear programs along with materials made `excess` to defense needs by current arms reduction and dismantlement. It is argued that the availability of these vast materials, either by declared nuclear-weapon states or by technologically advanced nonweapon states, makes it possible for those states to rapidly assemble and deploy nuclear weapons. The second use has quite a different set of connotations. It is derived conceptually from the imagery of computer-generated reality. In this use, one thinks of virtual proliferation and arsenals not in terms of the physical hardware required to make the bomb but rather in terms of the knowledge/experience required to design, assemble, and deploy the arsenal. Virtual weapons are a physics reality and cannot be ignored in a world where knowledge, experience, materials, and other requirements to make nuclear weapons are widespread, and where dramatic army reductions and, in some cases, disarmament are realities. These concepts are useful in defining a continuum of virtual capabilities, ranging from those at the low end that derive from general technology diffusion and the existence of nuclear energy programs to those at the high end that involve conscious decisions to develop or maintain militarily significant nuclear-weapon capabilities.
Date: August 1, 1997
Creator: Pilat, J.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The first 50 years: A review of the Department of Energy domestic safeguards and security program

Description: World War II not only brought the United States rapidly into the nuclear age, but it also brought a new term, {open_quotes}safeguards.{close_quotes} By that time, physical security was an already established activity that dealt with the protection of possessions such as property, vehicles, and other valuables. A secret nuclear project under a stadium at the University of Chicago would add a new dimension to physical security. Similarly, a community known only by its post office box at a location 27 miles from Santa Fe, New Mexico (PO Box 1663) would initiate new programs to protect information and technology while their programs changed the science and warfare around the world. The Manhattan Project and what was to become the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (now Los Alamos National Laboratory) would extend the applications of physical security and, soon to be implemented, safeguards to produce important technical advances for the protection, accounting, control, and nonproliferation of fissile nuclear materials. Security for nuclear materials and weapons information began as a foremost consideration with the start of the nuclear programs in the early 1940s. In the 1960s, the Atoms for Peace Program promoted the peaceful use of nuclear energy and made the US a supplier of nuclear materials and peaceful-use nuclear technology to other states. This program also changed the focus on nuclear materials from that of worldwide control to inspection by an independent agency, the proposed International Atomic Energy Agency. At this same time the nuclear weapons states increased from three to five. Other nations worked to obtain a nuclear weapons capability, resulting in increasing concerns about nuclear proliferation.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Desmond, W.J.; Zack, N.R. & Tape, J.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Recent developments in fissile material exemptions for shipping packages

Description: This paper discusses the regulatory exemptions for shipping packages that contain limited amounts of fissile material and concerns that have arisen over the adequacy of these regulations. The results of an ongoing review of these exemptions by the various regulatory agencies will be presented in the session.
Date: October 15, 1996
Creator: Sheaffer, M. K.; Liu, Y. Y.; Wangler, M. E.; Keeton, S. C. & Fischer, L. E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A method for managing the storage of fissile materials using criticality indices

Description: This paper describes a method for criticality control at fissile material storage facilities. The method involves the use criticiality indices for storage canisters. The logic, methodology, and results for selected canisters are presented. A concept for an interactive computer program using the method is also introduced. The computer program can be used in real time (using precalulated data) to select a Criticality Index (CI) for a container when it is delivered to or packaged at a site. Criticality safety is assured by controlling the sum of the CIs at each storage location below a defined Emit value when containers are moved.
Date: July 1, 1995
Creator: Philbin, J.S. & Harms, G.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Restart Plan for the Prototype Vertical Denitration Calciner [SD Coversheet has Incorrect Document Number]

Description: Testing activities on the Prototype Vertical Denitration Calciner at PFP were suspended in January 1997 due to the hold on fissile material handling in the facility. The Restart Plan will govern the transition of the test program from the completion of the activity based startup review; through equipment checkout and surrogate material runs; to resumption of the testing program and transition to unrestricted testing.
Date: July 26, 1999
Creator: SUTTER, C.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Restart plan for the prototype vertical denitration calciner

Description: Testing activities on the Prototype Vertical Denitration Calciner at PFP were suspended in January 1997 due to the hold on fissile material handling in the facility. The Restart Plan will govern the transition of the test program from the completion of the activity based startup review; through equipment checkout and surrogate material runs; to resumption of the testing program and transition to unrestricted testing.
Date: September 1, 1999
Creator: SUTTER, C.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Criticality safety basics, a study guide

Description: This document is a self-study and classroom guide, for criticality safety of activities with fissile materials outside nuclear reactors. This guide provides a basic overview of criticality safety and criticality accident prevention methods divided into three parts: theory, application, and history. Except for topic emphasis, theory and history information is general, while application information is specific to the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL). Information presented here should be useful to personnel who must know criticality safety basics to perform their assignments safely or to design critically safe equipment or operations. However, the guide's primary target audience is fissile material handler candidates.
Date: September 1, 1999
Creator: Putman, V. L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Dictionary for Transparency

Description: There are many terms that are used in association with the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Transparency Project associated with the Mayak Fissile Materials Storage Facility. This is a collection of proposed definitions of these terms.
Date: November 15, 2001
Creator: Kouzes, Richard T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Calculation of Critical Experiments involving U(37)O2F2 Solution

Description: Critical experiments were conducted at the Oak Ridge Critical Experiment Facility (ORCEF) to determine the critical concentration for an unreflected 69.2-cm-diameter sphere of UO{sub 2}F{sub 2}, at an enrichment of {approx}37 percent U{sup 235}, by weight. These experiments were a continuation of previous efforts to determine critical dimensions for fissile materials in simple geometry. Some of the earlier experiments in this vessel have been published as part of the OECD handbook. The reports concerning these experiments have only recently become available. Until August 2005, Refs. 2 and 3 were still classified. These documents, along with experimental logbooks and unclassified papers available on the experimental campaign and facility are being used to generate a computer model for this critical experiment.
Date: March 3, 2006
Creator: Goluoglu, K.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Methods for Attribute Measurement and Alternatives to Multiplicity Counting

Description: The Attribute Measurement System with Information Barrier (AMS/IB) specification is being developed in support of the Defense Threat Redcution Agency's (DTRA's) Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program for the Mayak Fissile Material Storage Facility. This document discusses the technologies available for attribute measurement, and advantages and disadvantages of alternatives.
Date: May 17, 2000
Creator: Kouzes, Richard T. & Geelhood, Bruce D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fast Pulsing Neutron Generators for Security Application

Description: Active neutron interrogation has been demonstrated to be an effective method of detecting shielded fissile material. A fast fall-time/fast pulsing neutron generator is needed primarily for differential die-away technique (DDA) interrogation systems. A compact neutron generator, currently being developed in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, employs an array of 0.6-mm-dia apertures (instead of one 6-mm-dia aperture) such that gating the beamlets can be done with low voltage and a small gap to achieve sub-microsecond ion beam fall time and low background neutrons. Arrays of 16 apertures (4x4) and 100 apertures (10x10) have been designed and fabricated for a beam extraction experiment. The preliminary results showed that, using a gating voltage of 1200 V and a gap distance of 1 mm, the fall time of extracted ion beam pulses is approximately 0.15 mu s at beam energies of 1000 eV.
Date: April 24, 2009
Creator: Ji, Q.; Regis, M. & Kwan, J. W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: Two new criticality modeling approaches have greatly increased the efficiency of dissolver operations in H-Canyon. The first new approach takes credit for the linear, physical distribution of the mass throughout the entire length of the fuel assembly. This distribution of mass is referred to as the linear density. Crediting the linear density of the fuel bundles results in using lower fissile concentrations, which allows higher masses to be charged to the dissolver. Also, this approach takes credit for the fact that only part of the fissile mass is wetted at a time. There are multiple assemblies stacked on top of each other in a bundle. On average, only 50-75% of the mass (the bottom two or three assemblies) is wetted at a time. This means that only 50-75% (depending on operating level) of the mass is moderated and is contributing to the reactivity of the system. The second new approach takes credit for the progression of the dissolving process. Previously, dissolving analysis looked at a snapshot in time where the same fissile material existed both in the wells and in the bulk solution at the same time. The second new approach models multiple consecutive phases that simulate the fissile material moving from a high concentration in the wells to a low concentration in the bulk solution. This approach is more realistic and allows higher fissile masses to be charged to the dissolver.
Date: August 15, 2011
Creator: Williamson, B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Assessment and recommendations for fissile-material packaging exemptions and general licenses within 10 CFR Part 71

Description: This report provides a technical and regulatory assessment of the fissile material general licenses and fissile material exemptions within Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 71. The assessment included literature studies and calculational analyses to evaluate the technical criteria; review of current industry practice and concerns; and a detailed evaluation of the regulatory text for clarity, consistency and relevance. Recommendations for potential consideration by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff are provided. The recommendations call for a simplification and consolidation of the general licenses and a change in the technical criteria for the first fissile material exemptions.
Date: July 1, 1998
Creator: Parks, C. V.; Hopper, C. M. & Lichtenwalter, J. L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Glass material oxidation and dissolution system: Converting miscellaneous fissile materials to glass

Description: The cold war and the development of nuclear energy have resulted in significant inventories of miscellaneous fissile materials (MFMs). MFMs include (1) plutonium scrap and residue, (2) miscellaneous spent nuclear fuel (SNF), (3) certain hot cell wastes, and (4) many one-of-a-kind materials. Major concerns associated with the long-term management of these materials include: safeguards and nonproliferation issues; health, environment, and safety concerns. waste management requirements; and high storage costs. These issues can be addressed by converting the MFMs to glass for secure, long-term storage or repository disposal; however, conventional glass-making processes require oxide-like feed materials. Converting MFMs to oxide-like materials with subsequent vitrification is a complex and expensive process. A new vitrification process has been invented, the Glass Material Oxidation and Dissolution System (GMODS), which directly converts metals, ceramics, and amorphous solids to glass; oxidizes organics with the residue converted to glass; and converts chlorides to borosilicate glass and a secondary sodium chloride (NaCl) stream. Laboratory work has demonstrated the conversion of cerium (a plutonium surrogate), uranium, Zircaloy, stainless steel, multiple oxides, and other materials to glass. However, significant work is required to develop GMODS further for applications at an industrial scale. If implemented, GMODS will provide a new approach to manage these materials.
Date: March 19, 1996
Creator: Forsberg, C.W. & Ferrada, J.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nuclear criticality safety staff training and qualifications at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Description: Operations involving significant quantities of fissile material have been conducted at Los Alamos National Laboratory continuously since 1943. Until the advent of the Laboratory`s Nuclear Criticality Safety Committee (NCSC) in 1957, line management had sole responsibility for controlling criticality risks. From 1957 until 1961, the NCSC was the Laboratory body which promulgated policy guidance as well as some technical guidance for specific operations. In 1961 the Laboratory created the position of Nuclear Criticality Safety Office (in addition to the NCSC). In 1980, Laboratory management moved the Criticality Safety Officer (and one other LACEF staff member who, by that time, was also working nearly full-time on criticality safety issues) into the Health Division office. Later that same year the Criticality Safety Group, H-6 (at that time) was created within H-Division, and staffed by these two individuals. The training and education of these individuals in the art of criticality safety was almost entirely self-regulated, depending heavily on technical interactions between each other, as well as NCSC, LACEF, operations, other facility, and broader criticality safety community personnel. Although the Los Alamos criticality safety group has grown both in size and formality of operations since 1980, the basic philosophy that a criticality specialist must be developed through mentoring and self motivation remains the same. Formally, this philosophy has been captured in an internal policy, document ``Conduct of Business in the Nuclear Criticality Safety Group.`` There are no short cuts or substitutes in the development of a criticality safety specialist. A person must have a self-motivated personality, excellent communications skills, a thorough understanding of the principals of neutron physics, a safety-conscious and helpful attitude, a good perspective of real risk, as well as a detailed understanding of process operations and credible upsets.
Date: May 1, 1997
Creator: Monahan, S.P. & McLaughlin, T.P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department