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ORNL isotopic power fuels quarterly report for period ending December 31, 1973

Description: Heat soak periods were completed on the remaining 49 couples of the compatibility matrix which was put on test in May 1973. Examination of the 18 couples which were taken off test in August 1973 was completed. The planned short-term ceramic compatibiliiy matrix exposures were completed, and optical microscope examinations were done. Experiments were started to develop fabrication techniques for preparation of an 11-couple compatibility matrix scheduled for FY 1974. The design of this matrix was finalized, and component procurement was started. Free energy calculations were made for the reactions of Cm/sub 2/O/sub 3/ fuel with Haynes 188, Ta-10% W, and TZM alloys and with beryllium. Measurements of the helium release characteristics of hot-pressed / sup 244 Cm/sub 2/O/sub 3/ were started at 500, 650, and 800 deg C. A vapor pressu re determination was run on curium metal in the temperature range from 900 to 1800 deg C. Vapor pressure measurements of/sup 244/Cm/sub 2/O/sub 3/ in the range from 1200 to 1600 deg C were begun these will continue next quarter. Examinations by x-ray diffraction were made on materials resulting from exposures of/sup 244/Cm/sub 2/O/sub 3/ to flowing seawater, boiling scawater, and dry air as well as on/sup 244/Cm/sub 2/O/sub 3/ sam ples taken at various stages in the fuel forming process. The equipment which will be used for emissivity measurements was improved and checked with nonradioactive samples. Observations of two 25-W//sup 244/Cm/sub 2/O/sub 3/ pellets stored in argon ond one 25-W/sup 244/Cm/sub 2/O/sub 3/ pellet stored in dry air continued. A /sup 244/Cm/sub 2/O/ sub 3/ pellet was leac hed with boiling distilled water and the rate of/sup 244/ Cm loss measured. Calculational studies of /sup 244/Cm yields and isotopic abundances from various types of reactor operations were continued. A study of the potentinl fur criticality problems in/sup ...
Date: February 1, 1974
Creator: Lamb, E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Soil burial of radioisotopic fuel capsules

Description: From thirteenth international conference on thermal conductivity; Lake Ozark, Missouri, USA (5 Nov 1973). The safe burial in soil of a radioisotope heat source is an extremely complex problem, influenced by many parameters, including soil particle size, moisture content, weathering, density, inhomogeneities such as rocks and vegetation, soil disturbance upon impact, soil composition, and location on the earth. Precise descriptions of an accidental burial environment are in general impractical, if not impossible. Use of available analytical solutions simply to bracket a problem is less desirable than an analysis which treats directly the problem at hand. However, in the light of the difficulty in predicting accurately the post-impact environment, these approximate, bounding, relatively easy expressions provide a reasonable means for the design and/or safety evaluation of radioisotopic fuel capsules. More elaborate treatments probably would add little to the confidence in the results. (auth)
Date: April 30, 1974
Creator: McCulloch, W.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department