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Sustaining knowledge in the neutron generator community and benchmarking study.

Description: In 2004, the Responsive Neutron Generator Product Deployment department embarked upon a partnership with the Systems Engineering and Analysis knowledge management (KM) team to develop knowledge management systems for the neutron generator (NG) community. This partnership continues today. The most recent challenge was to improve the current KM system (KMS) development approach by identifying a process that will allow staff members to capture knowledge as they learn it. This 'as-you-go' approach will lead to a sustainable KM process for the NG community. This paper presents a historical overview of NG KMSs, as well as research conducted to move toward sustainable KM.
Date: March 1, 2008
Creator: Barrentine, Tameka C.; Kennedy, Bryan C.; Saba, Anthony W.; Turgeon, Jennifer L.; Schneider, Julia Teresa; Stubblefield, William Anthony et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chem-prep PZT 95/5 for neutron generator applicatios : powder preparation characterization utilizing design of experiments.

Description: Niobium doped PZT 95/5 (lead zirconate-lead titanate) is the material used in voltage bars for all ferroelectric neutron generator power supplies. In June of 1999, the transfer and scale-up of the Sandia Process from Department 1846 to Department 14192 was initiated. The laboratory-scale process of 1.6 kg has been successfully scaled to a production batch quantity of 10 kg. This report documents efforts to characterize and optimize the production-scale process utilizing Design of Experiments methodology. Of the 34 factors identified in the powder preparation sub-process, 11 were initially selected for the screening design. Additional experiments and safety analysis subsequently reduced the screening design to six factors. Three of the six factors (Milling Time, Media Size, and Pyrolysis Air Flow) were identified as statistically significant for one or more responses and were further investigated through a full factorial interaction design. Analysis of the interaction design resulted in developing models for Powder Bulk Density, Powder Tap Density, and +20 Mesh Fraction. Subsequent batches validated the models. The initial baseline powder preparation conditions were modified, resulting in improved powder yield by significantly reducing the +20 mesh waste fraction. Response variation analysis indicated additional investigation of the powder preparation sub-process steps was necessary to identify and reduce the sources of variation to further optimize the process.
Date: July 1, 2003
Creator: Lockwood, Steven John; Rodman-Gonzales, Emily Diane; Voigt, James A. & Moore, Diana Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Restart of the chemical preparation process for the fabrication of ZnO varistors for ferroelectric neutron generator power supplies.

Description: To date, all varistors used in ferroelectric neutron generators have been supplied from a single, proprietary source, General Electric Corporate Research and Development (GE CR&D). To protect against the vulnerability of a single source, Sandia initiated a program in the early 1980's to develop a second source for this material. A chemical preparation process for making homogeneous, high purity ZnO-based varistor powder was generated, scaled to production quantities, and transferred to external suppliers. In 1992, the chem-prep varistor program was suspended when it appeared there was sufficient inventory of GE CR&D material to supply ferroelectric neutron generator production for many years. In 1999, neutron generator production schedules increased substantially, resulting in a predicted exhaustion of the existing supply of varistor material within five years. The chem-prep program was restarted in January, 2000. The goals of the program were to (1) duplicate the chem-prep powder synthesis process that had been qualified for WR production, (2) demonstrate sintered billets from the chem-prep powder met requirements, (3) develop a process for rod fabrication and demonstrate that all component specifications could be met, and (4) optimize the process from powder synthesis through component fabrication for full-scale production. The first three of these goals have been met and are discussed in this report. A facility for the fabrication of production quantities of chem-prep powder has been established. All batches since the restart have met compositional requirements, but differences in sintering behavior between the original process and the restarted process were noted. Investigation into the equipment, precipitant stoichiometry, and powder processing procedures were not able to resolve the discrepancies. It was determined that the restarted process, which incorporated Na doping for electrical stability (a process that was not introduced until the end of the initial program and had not been investigated for processing effects), was responsible ...
Date: March 1, 2005
Creator: Lockwood, Steven John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Report of tritide study at the Responsive Neutron Generator Product Deployment Center.

Description: This report documents a study of sample counting results for wipes from routine surface area monitoring conducted at the Responsive Neutron Generator Product Deployment Center (RNGPDC) at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). The study was initiated in November 2006, with two samples suspected of containing erbium tritide, after some samples were found to exhibit higher tritium counting rates upon recount at a later time. The main goal of the study was to determine whether the current practice of analyzing tritium wipe samples once, within a few days of sample collection, is adequate to accurately quantify the amount of tritium on the sample when tritides may be present. Recommendations are made toward routine recounting of vials suspected of containing particulate forms of tritium.
Date: November 1, 2008
Creator: Burkhart, Robert & Coffey, Jaime
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Materials-based process tolerances for neutron generator encapsulation.

Description: Variations in the neutron generator encapsulation process can affect functionality. However, instead of following the historical path in which the effects of process variations are assessed directly through functional tests, this study examines how material properties key to generator functionality correlate with process variations. The results of this type of investigation will be applicable to all generators and can provide insight on the most profitable paths to process and material improvements. Surprisingly, the results at this point imply that the process is quite robust, and many of the current process tolerances are perhaps overly restrictive. The good news lies in the fact that our current process ensures reproducible material properties. The bad new lies in the fact that it would be difficult to solve functional problems by changes in the process.
Date: October 1, 2007
Creator: Berry, Ryan S.; Adolf, Douglas Brian & Stavig, Mark Edwin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Summary of Sandia research on metal tritides : FY 2007.

Description: Sandia National Laboratories has cradle to grave responsibility for all neutron generators in the US nuclear weapons stockpile. As such, much research effort is exerted to develop a comprehensive understanding of all the major components of a neutron generator. One of the key components is the tritium containing target. The target is a thin metal tritide film. Sandia's research into metal tritides began in the early 1960's with a collaboration with the Denver Research Institute (DRI) and continues to this day with a major in house research effort. This document is an attempt to briefly summarize what is known about the aging of erbium tritide and to review the major publications conducted at Sandia in FY 07. First, a review of our knowledge of helium in erbium tritide will be presented. Second, executive summaries of the six major SAND reports regarding neutron tube targets published in FY07 by Department 2735, the Applied Science and Technology Maturation Department, and research partners are presented.
Date: May 1, 2008
Creator: Browning, James Frederick (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN); Kammler, Daniel R.; Snow, Clark Sheldon; Ferrizz, Robert Matthew; Rodriguez, Mark Andrew; Wixom, Ryan R. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Prompt gamma activation analysis (PGAA) and short-lived neutron activation analysis (NAA) applied to the characterization of legacy materials

Description: Without quality historical records that provide the composition of legacy materials, the elemental and/or chemical characterization of such materials requires a manual analytical strategy that may expose the analyst to unknown toxicological hazards. In addition, much of the existing legacy inventory also incorporates radioactivity, and, although radiological composition may be determined by various nuclear-analytical methods, most importantly, gamma-spectroscopy, current methods of chemical characterization still require direct sample manipulation, thereby presenting special problems with broad implications for both the analyst and the environment. Alternately, prompt gamma activation analysis (PGAA) provides a'single-shot' in-situ, non-destructive method that provides a complete assay of all major entrained elemental constituents.1-3. Additionally, neutron activation analysis (NAA) using short-lived activation products complements PGAA and is especially useful when NAA activation surpasses the PGAA in elemental sensitivity.
Date: February 13, 2008
Creator: Firestone, Richard B; English, G.A.; Firestone, R.B.; Perry, D.L.; Reijonen, J.P.; Leung, Ka-Ngo et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Analyses of Oxyanion Materials by Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis

Description: Prompt gamma activation analysis (PGAA) has been used to analyze metal ion oxyanion materials that have multiple applications, including medicine, materials, catalysts, and electronics. The significance for the need for accurate, highly sensitive analyses for the materials is discussed in the context of quality control of end products containing the parent element in each material. Applications of the analytical data for input to models and theoretical calculations related to the electronic and other properties of the materials are discussed.
Date: March 24, 2008
Creator: Firestone, Richard B.; Perry, D. L.; English, G. A.; Firestone, R. B.; Leung, K.-N.; Garabedian, G. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sustaining knowledge in the neutron generator community and benchmarking study. Phase II.

Description: This report documents the second phase of work under the Sustainable Knowledge Management (SKM) project for the Neutron Generator organization at Sandia National Laboratories. Previous work under this project is documented in SAND2008-1777, Sustaining Knowledge in the Neutron Generator Community and Benchmarking Study. Knowledge management (KM) systems are necessary to preserve critical knowledge within organizations. A successful KM program should focus on people and the process for sharing, capturing, and applying knowledge. The Neutron Generator organization is developing KM systems to ensure knowledge is not lost. A benchmarking study involving site visits to outside industry plus additional resource research was conducted during this phase of the SKM project. The findings presented in this report are recommendations for making an SKM program successful. The recommendations are activities that promote sharing, capturing, and applying knowledge. The benchmarking effort, including the site visits to Toyota and Halliburton, provided valuable information on how the SEA KM team could incorporate a KM solution for not just the neutron generators (NG) community but the entire laboratory. The laboratory needs a KM program that allows members of the workforce to access, share, analyze, manage, and apply knowledge. KM activities, such as communities of practice (COP) and sharing best practices, provide a solution towards creating an enabling environment for KM. As more and more people leave organizations through retirement and job transfer, the need to preserve knowledge is essential. Creating an environment for the effective use of knowledge is vital to achieving the laboratory's mission.
Date: August 1, 2010
Creator: Huff, Tameka B.; Stubblefield, William Anthony; Cole, Benjamin Holland, II & Baldonado, Esther
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chem-Prep PZT 95/5 for neutron generator applications : development of laboratory-scale powder processing operations.

Description: Chemical synthesis methods are being developed as a future source of PZT 95/5 powder for neutron generator voltage bar applications. Laboratory-scale powder processes were established to produce PZT billets from these powders. The interactions between calcining temperature, sintering temperature, and pore former content were studied to identify the conditions necessary to produce PZT billets of the desired density and grain size. Several binder systems and pressing aids were evaluated for producing uniform sintered billets with low open porosity. The development of these processes supported the powder synthesis efforts and enabled comparisons between different chem-prep routes.
Date: December 1, 2003
Creator: Montoya, Ted V.; Moore, Roger Howard & Spindle, Thomas Lewis Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Simulated NMIS Imaging Data for an Unknown Object

Description: This report presents simulated Nuclear Materials Identification System (NMIS) imaging data for an unclassified object, whose characteristics are initially unknown to the reader. This data will be used to test various analysis capabilities and was created with a simple deterministic ray-tracing algorithm. NMIS is a time-dependent coincidence counting system that is used to characterize both fissile and non-fissile materials undergoing nondestructive assay. NMIS characterizes materials by interrogating them with neutrons, either from an associated-particle deuterium-tritium (DT) neutron generator, which produces a time and directionally tagged monoenergetic beam of 14.1 MeV neutrons, or a time-tagged spontaneous fission source in an ionization chamber.
Date: April 1, 2012
Creator: Walker, Mark E & Mihalczo, John T
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

Ion sources for sealed neutron tubes

Description: Fast and thermal neutron activation analysis with sealed neutron generators has been used to detect oil (oil logging), hazardous waste, fissile material, explosives, and contraband (drugs). Sealed neutron generators, used in the above applications, must be small and portable, have good electrical efficiency and long life. The ion sources used in the sealed neutron tubes require high gas utilization efficiencies or low pressure operation with high ionization efficiencies. In this paper, the authors compare a number of gas ion sources that can be used in sealed neutron tubes. The characteristics of the most popular ion source, the axial Penning discharge will be discussed as part of the zetatron neutron generator. Other sources to be discussed include the SAMIS source and RF ion source.
Date: November 1, 1996
Creator: Burns, E.J.T. & Bischoff, G.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chem-Prep PZT 95/5 for Neutron Generator Applications: Powder Fractionation Study of Production-Scale Powders

Description: The Materials Chemistry Department 1846 has developed a lab-scale chem-prep process for the synthesis of PNZT 95/5, referred to as the ''SP'' process (Sandia Process). This process (TSP) has been successfully transferred to and scaled-up by Department 14192 (Ceramics and Glass Department), producing the larger quantities of PZT powder required to meet the future supply needs of Sandia for neutron generator production. The particle size distributions of TSP powders routinely have been found to contain a large particle size fraction that was absent in development (SP) powders. This SAND report documents experimental studies focused on characterizing these particles and assessing their potential impact on material performance. To characterize these larger particles, fractionation of several TSP powders was performed. The ''large particle size fractions'' obtained were characterized by particle size analysis, SEM, and ICP analysis and incorporated into compacts and sintered. Large particles were found to be very similar in structure and composition as the bulk of the powder. Studies showed that the large-size fractions of the powders behave similarly to the non-fractionated powder with respect to the types of microstructural features once sintered. Powders were also compared that were prepared using different post-synthesis processing (i.e. differences in precipitate drying). Results showed that these powders contained different amounts and sizes of porous inclusions when sintered. How this affects the functional performance of the PZT 95/5 material is the subject of future investigations.
Date: June 1, 2003
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaluation of a non-cyanide gold plating process for switch tubes

Description: Switch tubes are used in nuclear weapon firing sets and are required to be reliable and impervious to gas permeation for many years. To accomplish this, a gold plated coating of approximately 25 microns is required over all metal surfaces on the tube exterior. The gold has historically been plated using gold cyanide plating chemistry. In this work we proposed to replace the cyanide plating bath with an environmentally friendlier sulfite gold plating bath. Low and high pH sulfite plating chemistries were investigated as possible replacements for the cyanide gold plating chemistry. The low pH plating chemistry demonstrated a gold plated coating which met the high purity, grain size, and hardness requirements for switch tubes. The high pH chemistry was rejected primarily because the hardness of the gold plated coatings was too high and exceeded switch tube coating requirements. A problem with nodule formation on the gold plated surface using the low pH chemistry had to be resolved during this evaluation. The nodule formation was postulated to be produced by generation of SO{sub 2} in the low pH bath causing gold to be precipitated out when the sulfite concentration falls below a minimum level. The problem was resolved by maintaining a higher sulfite concentration and providing an active filtration system during plating. In this initial study, there were no major obstacles found when using a sulfite gold bath for switch tube plating, however, further work is needed on bath control and bath life before adopting it as the primary plating chemistry.
Date: January 1, 1996
Creator: Norwood, D.P. & Martinez, F.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final rapid reactivation project environmental assessment

Description: The US Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the Rapid Reactivation Project at Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico. The EA analyzes the potential effects of a proposal to increase production of neutron generators from the current capability of 600 units per year up to 2,000 units per year. The project would use existing buildings and infrastructure to the maximum extent possible to meet the additional production needs. The increased production levels would necessitate modifications and additions involving a total area of approximately 26,290 gross square feet at Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico, Technical Area 1. Additional production equipment would be procured and installed. The no-action alternative would be to continue production activities at the current capability of 600 units per year. The EA analyzes effects on health, safety, and air quality, resulting from construction and operation and associated cumulative effects. A detailed description of the proposed action and its environmental consequences is presented in the EA.
Date: February 10, 1999
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sandia National Laboratories/New Mexico Facilities and Safety Information Document [NOTE: Volume 1, Chapters 6 through 10]

Description: Operations at the Neutron Generator Facility include fabrication of war reserve neutron generators and prototype switch tubes. Neutron generators initiate nuclear fission in a nuclear weapon by providing a flux of neutrons at the proper time. The mission of the Neutron Generator Facility is to support U.S. nuclear deterrent capabilities by fabricating war reserves of the following: Neutron generators (external initiators for nuclear weapons); Neutron tubes; and Prototype switch tubes (expanded scenario only).
Date: September 1, 1999
Creator: March, F.; Guerrero, J.V.; Johns, W.H.; Schetnan, R.; Bayliss, L.S.; Kuzio, K.A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Advanced Production Planning Models

Description: >This report describes the innovative modeling approach developed as a result of a 3-year Laboratory Directed Research and Development project. The overall goal of this project was to provide an effective suite of solvers for advanced production planning at facilities in the nuclear weapons complex (NWC). We focused our development activities on problems related to operations at the DOE's Pantex Plant. These types of scheduling problems appear in many contexts other than Pantex--both within the NWC (e.g., Neutron Generators) and in other commercial manufacturing settings. We successfully developed an innovative and effective solution strategy for these types of problems. We have tested this approach on actual data from Pantex, and from Org. 14000 (Neutron Generator production). This report focuses on the mathematical representation of the modeling approach and presents three representative studies using Pantex data. Results associated with the Neutron Generator facility will be published in a subsequent SAND report. The approach to task-based scheduling described here represents a significant addition to the literature for large-scale, realistic scheduling problems in a variety of production settings.
Date: December 1, 2000
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Characterization of the Precision Laser Beam Welding Process for the MC4368A Neutron Generator

Description: The design of experiments (DOEx) approach was used to characterize the Precision Laser Beam Welding Process with respect to four processing factors: Angle of Attack, Volts, Pulse Length, and Focus. The experiment was performed with Lap Joints, Nickel-Wire Joints, and Kovar-Wire Joints. The laser welding process and these types of welds are used in the manufacture of MC4368A Neutron Generators. For each weld type an individual optimal condition and operating window was identified. The widths of the operating windows that were identified by experimentation indicate that the laser weld process is very robust. This is highly desirable because it means that the quality of the resulting welds is not sensitive to the exact values of the processing factors within the operating windows. Statistical process control techniques can be used to ensure that the processing factors stay well within the operating window.
Date: September 1, 2001
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Isotope identification as a part of the decommissioning of San Diego State University`s Texas Nuclear neutron generator

Description: The Department of Physics at San Diego State University has maintained a Neutron Generator facility in room P-32C since the mid 1960`s. This facility has provided students and faculty with a resource for the study of neutron interactions with matter, such as activation analysis, flux determinations, cross section determinations and shielding studies. The model 9500 was built by Texas Nuclear Research in the early 1960`s, and could be used for either photon or neutron generation, depending on the source ions introduced into the accelerator`s plasma bottle and the target material. In February of 1988, the Texas Nuclear Research neutron generator was replaced by a unit manufactured by Kaman Sciences Corporation. The Texas Nuclear unit was then removed and stored for later disassembly and disposal. In the summer of 1993, the neutron generator was disassembled into three large sections consisting of the titanium-tritide target, the oil diffusion pump and the corona shield/accelerator tube assembly. The target was packaged and stored in room P-33A and the other 2 assemblies were wrapped in plastic for storage. In June of 1995 the neutron generator was further disassembled to enable storage in 55 gallon drums and thoroughly surveyed for loose surface contamination. Openings on the disassembled hardware components were closed off using either duct tape or bolted stainless steel flanges to prevent the possible spread of contamination. Significant levels of removable surface contamination could be found on system internal and some external surfaces, up to five hundred thousand disintegrations per minute. Initial analysis of the removable contamination using aluminum absorbers and a Geiger-Meuller tube indicated beta particle or possibly photon emitters with an energy of approximately 180 keV. This apparent radiation energy conflicted with what one would be expected to find, given knowledge of the source material and the possible neutron activated products that would ...
Date: July 1, 1997
Creator: Taylor, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Wastes characterization using APSTNG technology

Description: The associated-particle sealed-tube neutron generator (APSTNG) interrogates the inspected object with 14-MeV neutrons from d-t reaction and detects the alpha-particle associated with each neutron inside a cone encompassing the region of interest. Gamma-ray spectra from resulting neutron reactions inside the inspected volume identify fissionable materials and many nuclides. Flight times from detection times of the gamma rays and alpha particles separate the prompt and delayed gamma-ray spectra and can yield coarse tomographic images from a single orientation. The high-energy neutrons and gamma rays penetrate large objects and dense materials. The gamma-ray detector and neutron generator can be on the same side of the interrogated objects, so walls and other confined areas can be inspected as well as sealed containers. No collimators or radiation shielding are needed. The neutron generator is simple and small. Commercial electronics are used. A complete system could be transported in a van. Laboratory and limited field tests indicate APSTNG could be useful in analyzing radioactive waste in drums, walls, soils, and processing systems, particularly for unknown or heterogeneous configurations that may attenuate radiation. Toxic chemicals could be identified in mixed waste, and the ability to detect pockets of water may address criticality concerns.
Date: March 1996
Creator: Rhodes, E. A. & Dickerman, C. E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Solution Synthesis and Processing of PZT Materials for Neutron Generator Applications

Description: A new solution synthesis route has been developed for the preparation of lead-based ferroelectric materials (patent filed). The process produces controlled stoichiometry precursor powders by non-aqueous precipitation. For a given ferroelectric material to be prepared, a metal acetate/alkoxide solution containing constituent metal species in the appropriate ratio is mixed with an oxalic acid/n-propanol precipitant solution. An oxalate coprecipitate is instantly fonned upon mixing that quantitatively removes the metals from solution. Most of the process development was focused on the synthesis and processing of niobium-substituted lead zirconate titanate with a Zr-to-Ti ratio of 95:5 (PNZT 95/5) that has an application in neutron generator power supplies. The process was scaled to produce 1.6 kg of the PNZT 95/5 powder using either a sen-ii-batch or a continuous precipitation scheme. Several of the PNZT 95/5 powder lots were processed into ceramic slug form. The slugs in turn were processed into components and characterized. The physical properties and electrical performance (including explosive functional testing of the components met the requirements set for the neutron generator application. Also, it has been demonstrated that the process is highly reproducible with respect to the properties of the powders it produces and the properties of the ceramics prepared from its powders. The work described in this report was funded by Sandia's Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program.
Date: December 1, 1998
Creator: Anderson, M.A.; Ewsuk, K.G.; Montoya, T.V.; Moore, R.H.; Sipola, D.L.; Tuttle, B.A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department