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Application of proposed mutual reciprocal inspection measurement techniques to a weapon component

Description: The shape-measurement technique proposed by Russian scientists for mutual reciprocal inspections (MRI) of plutonium from dismantled nuclear weapons has been applied to a US weapon component. Measurement procedures are described. Results of the measurements are {open_quotes}self-normalized{close_quotes} to remove any classified information and further renormalized to results of previous joint US/Russian measurements of an unclassified plutonium piece. Data are presented in tabular and graphical form, conforming to the method of presentation recommended by Russian experts during the previous measurements.
Date: April 1, 1997
Creator: Johnson, M.W.; Frankle, C.M. & Gosnell, T.B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

ABC Technology Development Program

Description: The Accelerator-Based Conversion (ABC) facility will be designed to accomplish the following mission: `Provide a weapon`s grade plutonium disposition capability in a safe, economical, and environmentally sound manner on a prudent schedule for [50] tons of weapon`s grade plutonium to be disposed on in [20] years.` This mission is supported by four major objectives: provide a reliable plutonium disposition capability within the next [15] years; provide a level of safety and of safety assurance that meets or exceeds that afforded to the public by modern commercial nuclear power plants; meet or exceed all applicable federal, state, and local regulations or standards for environmental compliance; manage the program in a cost effective manner. The ABC Technology Development Program defines the technology development activities that are required to accomplish this mission. The technology development tasks are related to the following topics: blanket system; vessel systems; reactivity control systems; heat transport system components; energy conversion systems; shutdown heat transport systems components; auxiliary systems; technology demonstrations - large scale experiments.
Date: October 14, 1994
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reactivity of high plutonium-containing glasses for the immobilization of surplus fissile materials

Description: Experiments have been performed on glasses doped with 2 and 7 wt % plutonium to evaluate factors that may be important in the performance of these high-Pu-loaded glasses for repository storage. The high Pu loadings result from the need to dispose of excess Pu from weapons dismantling. The glasses were reacted in water vapor to simulate aging that may occur under unsaturated storage conditions prior to contact with liquid water. They were also reacted with liquid water under standard static leach test conditions. The results were compared with similar tests of a reference glass (202 glass) containing only 0.01 wt % Pu. In vapor hydration testing to date, at 2 wt % loading, the Pu was incorporated into the glass without phase separation, and reaction in water vapor proceeded at a rate comparable with that of the 202 glass. At wt % loading, a Pu phase separated and was not uniformly incorporated into the glass. The vapor reaction of this glass proceeded at a more rapid rate. This phase separation was manifested in the static leach tests, where colloidal phases of Pu-rich material remained suspended in solution, thereby increasing the absolute Pu release when compared to the 202 glass.
Date: June 1, 1995
Creator: Bates, J.K.; Hoh, J.C.; Emery, J.W.; Buck, E.C.; Fortner, J.A.; Wolf, S.F. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Plutonium management for the future

Description: Managment of excess nuclear materials from US weapons dismantlement has been the subject of numerous intellectual discussions during the past 5 years. Although there has been some objective recommendations, there is still much controversy surrounding the procsses that could lead to a national decision on Pu management. Two immediate needs are to secure the inventories of all Pu in safe configurations and to develop strategies for reducing proliferation risks. Specific suggestions discussed here are to (a) accept the deterrence value of Pu, (b) reappraise its potential as an energy resource, (c) recognize limitations to influence the future of Pu use world-wide, (d) isolate recoverable weapons-grade Pu and store it in stable configurations under international safeguards, and (e) manage Pu in spent fuels so that the valuable resources are not lost to a future generation.
Date: May 1, 1996
Creator: Pillay, K.K.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nuclear fuels technologies Fiscal year 1997 research and development test plan

Description: This document details the research and development (R&D) activities that will be conducted in fiscal year 1997 (FY97) by the Nuclear Fuels Technologies project team for the Department of Energy Office of Fissile Materials Disposition. This work is a continuation and extension of experimental activities that have been conducted in support of the disposition program with regard to using weapons-plutonium in the fabrication of mixed-oxide (MOX) nuclear fuel for reactor-based disposition. The purpose of this work is to identify and if possible, resolve, technical issues associated with applying the large experience base (existing mainly in Europe) of making MOX fuel with recycled reactor-grade plutonium to the fabrication of MOX using weapons-grade plutonium. Therefore, the projects are designed to fill one or more of three needs: (1) To provide potential fabricators a technical basis upon which to evaluate the uncertainties and technical risks associated with MOX fabrication using weapons-plutonium; (2) To provide the fabricator ultimately selected for the disposition mission with a technical basis upon which to build, thereby reducing the amount of development and time required for implementation of the MOX disposition option; and (3) To identify to DOE technical issues that it is unlikely the fabricator will address (e.g., gallium removal), and to resolve these issues or provide a clear path forward for doing so. Because of the volatile nature of the disposition program, all work described within this plan is intended to be completed this fiscal year with its culmination being one of two goals: (1) a summary of the technical results sufficient to hand over to commercial MOX fabricators for their use in planning activities; or (2) an estimate with regard to cost and schedule for follow-on activities to completely resolve the issue as well as sufficient technical supporting information in order for DOE to make well-informed ...
Date: January 30, 1997
Creator: Beard, C.A.; Blair, H.T.; Buksa, J.J. & Butt, D.P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Process logic flow diagram write up for the Advanced Recovery and Integrated Extraction System (ARIES) facility

Description: The Department of Energy Office of Fissile Materials Disposition (DOE-MD) is planning a facility to disassemble pits and convert the plutonium in the pits into a form suitable for international inspection. The facility, called the Advanced Recovery and Integrated Extraction System (ARIES) Facility, must handle much of the 38.2 metric tons of plutonium declared excess to national security needs in ten years of operation. A process logic flow diagram for the ARIES Facility is presented here. This flow diagram is based on and supported by a library of fact sheets on topics that impact the design of the facility. Developing the flow diagram raised issues that significantly impact the design of the facility. These issues are discussed later in this document, and for some issues, discussed in greater detail in the appropriate fact sheets. The flow diagram is designed to show requirements that dictate the need for space and/or equipment. In physically designing the facility, the same space or equipment may be used to meet several requirements. The flow diagram merely shows the activities that need to occur to meet requirements for the facility. The flow diagram is not associated with any DOE site. The requirements shown on the flow diagram may be met by an existing facilities at a given site. The flow diagram and this write up do not contain a great deal of detail on how each step in the diagram is performed. At this stage of design, the flow diagram merely identifies the need for the activity. Examples for some of the activities are given in the appropriate fact sheet. How the steps are performed becomes more defined as the design of the facility progresses.
Date: May 1, 1997
Creator: Zygmunt, S.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of a fresh MOX fuel transport package for disposition of weapons plutonium

Description: The US Department of Energy announced its Record of Decision on January 14, 1997, to embark on a dual-track approach for disposition of surplus weapons-usable plutonium using immobilization in glass or ceramics and burning plutonium as mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel in reactors. In support of the MOX fuel alternative, Oak Ridge National Laboratory initiated development of conceptual designs for a new package for transporting fresh (unirradiated) MOX fuel assemblies between the MOX fabrication facility and existing commercial light-water reactors in the US. This paper summarizes progress made in development of new MOX transport package conceptual designs. The development effort has included documentation of programmatic and technical requirements for the new package and development and analysis of conceptual designs that satisfy these requirements.
Date: November 1, 1998
Creator: Ludwig, S.B.; Pope, R.B.; Shappert, L.B.; Michelhaugh, R.D. & Chae, S.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A suggested approach to applying IAEA safeguards to plutonium in weapons components

Description: It is the announced policy of the United States to make fissile material removed from its nuclear weapons stockpile subject to the US-IAEA voluntary safeguards agreement. Much of this material is plutonium in the form of pits. The application of traditional IAEA safeguards would reveal Restricted Data to unauthorized persons which is prohibited by US law and international treaties. Prior to the availability of a facility for the conversion of the plutonium in the pits to a non-sensitive form this obvious long-term solution to the problem is foreclosed. An alternative near-term approach to applying IAEA safeguards while preserving the necessary degree of confidentiality is required. This paper identifies such an approach. It presents in detail the form of the US declaration; the safeguards objectives which are met; inspection techniques which are utilized and the conclusion which the IAEA could reach concerning the contents of each item and the aggregate of all items. The approach would reveal the number of containers and the aggregate mass of plutonium in a set of n containers presented to the IAEA for verification while protecting data of the isotopic composition and plutonium mass of individual components. The suggested approach provides for traceability from the time the containers are sealed until the conversion of the plutonium to a non-sensitive form.
Date: August 1, 1998
Creator: Lu, M.S. & Allentuck, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Disposition of excess highly enriched uranium status and update

Description: This paper presents the status of the US DOE program charged with the disposition of excess highly enriched uranium (HEU). Approximately 174 metric tonnes of HEU, with varying assays above 20 percent, has been declared excess from US nuclear weapons. A progress report on the identification and characterization of specific batches of excess HEU is provided, and plans for processing it into commercial nuclear fuel or low-level radioactive waste are described. The resultant quantities of low enriched fuel material expected from processing are given, as well as the estimated schedule for introducing the material into the commercial reactor fuel market. 2 figs., 3 tabs.
Date: September 1, 1997
Creator: Williams, C.K. III & Arbital, J.G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Disposition of uranium-233

Description: The US is developing a strategy for the disposition of surplus weapons-usable uranium-233 ({sup 233}U). The strategy (1) identifies the requirements for the disposition of surplus {sup 233}U; (2) identifies potential disposition options, including key issues to be resolved with each option; and (3) defines a road map that identifies future key decisions and actions. The disposition of weapons-usable fissile materials is part of a US international arms-control program for reduction of the number of nuclear weapons and the quantities of nuclear-weapons-usable materials worldwide. The disposition options ultimately lead to waste forms requiring some type of geological disposal. Major options are described herein.
Date: October 16, 1997
Creator: Tousley, D.R.; Forsberg, C.W. & Krichinsky, A.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Design-only conceptual design report for pit disassembly and conversion facility. Rev 0

Description: This design-only conceptual design report (DOCDR) was prepared to support a funding request by the Department of Energy (DOE)-Office of Fissile Material Disposition (OFMD) for engineering design of the Pit Disassembly and Conversion Facility (PDCF) Project No. 99-D-141. The PDCF will be used to disassemble the nation`s inventory of surplus nuclear weapons pits and convert the plutonium recovered from those pits into a form suitable for storage, international inspection, and final disposition. The PDCF is a complex consisting of a hardened building that will contain the plutonium processes in a safe and secure manner, and conventional buildings and structures that will house support personnel, systems, and equipment. The PDCF uses the Advanced Recovery and Integrated Extraction System (ARIES), a low waste, modular pyroprocessing system to convert pits to plutonium oxide. The PDCF project consists of engineering and design, and construction of the buildings and structures, and engineering and design, procurement, installation, testing and start-up of equipment to disassemble pits and convert plutonium in pits to oxide form. The facility is planned to operate for 10 years, averaging 3.5 metric tons (3.86 tons) of plutonium metal per year. On conclusion of operations, the PDCF will be decontaminated and decommissioned.
Date: December 12, 1997
Creator: Zygmunt, S.; Christensen, L. & Richardson, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S.-Russian experts NATO collaborative research grant exchange visit meeting on excess Pu ceramics formulations and characterizations

Description: This document contains the agenda and meeting notes. Topics of discussion included US Pu disposition ceramics activities, Russian experience and proposals in Pu ceramics, and development of possible Russian ceramic proposals or collaborations.
Date: November 24, 1998
Creator: Jardine, L.J., LLNL
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Plutonium-bearing materials feed report for the DOE Fissile Materials Disposition Program alternatives

Description: This report has identified all plutonium currently excess to DOE Defense Programs under current planning assumptions. A number of material categories win clearly fan within the scope of the MD (Materials Disposition) program, but the fate of the other categories are unknown at the present time. MD planning requires that estimates be made of those materials likely to be considered for disposition actions so that bounding cases for the PEIS (Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement) can be determined and so that processing which may be required can be identified in considering the various alternatives. A systematic analysis of the various alternatives in reachmg the preferred alternative requires an understanding of the possible range of values which may be taken by the various categories of feed materials. One table identifies the current total inventories excess to Defense Program planning needs and represents the bounding total of Pu which may become part of the MD disposition effort for all materials, except site return weapons. The other categories, principally irradiated fuel, rich scrap, and lean scrap, are discussed. Another table summarizes the ranges and expected quantities of Pu which could become the responsibility of the MD program. These values are to be used for assessing the impact of the various alternatives and for scaling operations to assess PEIS impact. Determination of the actual materials to be included in the disposition program will be done later.
Date: April 6, 1995
Creator: Brough, W.G. & Boerigter, S.T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Analysis and cleaning of dirty W48 pits

Description: This presentation will summarize the results of an investigation of a dirty W48 pit and the subsequent development of a process for cleaning this class of pits in preparation for long-term storage. The residues of the dirty pit were analyzed for chemical identification and evidence of species known to promote corrosion of the metal cladding. The cleaning process was developed to reduce the potential for future corrosion during long-term storage.
Date: April 1, 1996
Creator: LeMay, J.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A new paradigm to establish the safety basis for nuclear explosives operations

Description: The U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) has recognized that safety assurance requires a balance of institutional and engineering approaches as part of an ongoing safety process. This recognition formed the basis for a new approach to nuclear explosive safety with a focus on the inherent value of the examination process, as opposed to an absolute justification of the nuclear explosive operation against some preddined acceptance criteria. This new approach to safety is reflected in recent DOE Orders and Standards in that there is no requirement that quantitative risk assessment or risk quantification be used in meeting requirements. Furthermore, there is no requirement to compare hazard and accident analysis results against numerical acceptance criteria. This paper discusses the evolution of the DOE nuclear explosive safety orders and compares those with facility safety requirements. The DOE nuclear explosive safety process is examined, and an example application is discussed with emphasis on identification of safety measures and controls.
Date: September 13, 1998
Creator: Fischer, Stewart R., Clement, Steven, Stack, Desmond W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Advanced Recovery and Integrated Extraction System (ARIES): The United State's demonstration line for pit disassembly and conversion

Description: The Advanced Recovery and Integrated Extraction System (ARIES) is a pit disassembly and conversion demonstration line at Los Alamos National Laboratory's plutonium facility. Pits are the core of a nuclear weapon that contains fissile material. With the end of the cold war, the United States began a program to dispose of the fissile material contained in surplus nuclear weapons. In January of 1997, the Department of Energy's Office of Fissile Material Disposition issued a Record of Decision (ROD) on the disposition of surplus plutonium. This decision contained a hybrid option for disposition of the plutonium, immobilization and mixed oxide fuel. ARIES is the cornerstone of the United States plutonium disposition program that supplies the pit demonstration plutonium feed material for either of these disposition pathways. Additionally, information from this demonstration is being used to design the United States Pit Disassembly and Conversion Facility. AH of the ARIES technologies were recently developed and incorporate waste minimization. The technologies include pit bisection, hydride/dehydride, metal to oxide conversion process, packaging, and nondestructive assay (NDA). The current schedule for the ARIES integrated Demonstration will begin in the Spring of 1998. The ARIES project involves a number of DOE sites including Los Alamos National Laboratory as the lead laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Sandia National Laboratories. Moreover, the ARIES team is heavily involved in working with Russia in their pit disassembly and conversion activities.
Date: March 1, 1998
Creator: Nelson, Timothy O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Restoration Strategic Plan. Remediating the nuclear weapons complex

Description: With the end of the cold war, the US has a reduced need for nuclear weapons production. In response, the Department of Energy has redirected resources from weapons production to weapons dismantlement and environmental remediation. To this end, in November 1989, the US Department of Energy (DOE) established the Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management (renamed the Office of Environmental Management in 1994). It was created to bring under a central authority the management of radioactive and hazardous wastes at DOE sites and inactive or shut down facilities. The Environmental Restoration Program, a major component of DOE`s Environmental Management Program, is responsible for the remediation and management of contaminated environmental media (e.g., soil, groundwater, sediments) and the decommissioning of facilities and structures at 130 sites in over 30 states and territories.
Date: August 1, 1995
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Technical summary: Feasibility study of conductivity monitoring for leak detection in double-walled plutonium containers

Description: Currently, the storage container for the pit from a dismantled warhead is a sealed outer container, or drum, within which the pit is suspended. Since the pit itself is a sealed, stainless steel container for the plutonium, the inner plus the outer containers constitute the {open_quotes}double-walled{close_quotes} configuration for plutonium storage. If either inner or outer wall of the container fails, the fill-gas between the pit and drum walls will contain species that will modify the physical properties of that gas. The work summarized here reports the initial feasibility study for an innovative approach for monitoring for leakages both for radioactive materials from the pit and for the intrusion of outside into the drum by monitoring the electrical conductivity of the fill-gas. For the gas present in a drum containing a pit, alphas from decays of plutonium are stopped by the primary container wall of the pit itself unless pit leakage occurs. If plutonium leaks from the pit and enters the fill-gas (either noble gas or air) of the outer container, each of the alpha particles due to the decay of plutonium will create about 10{sup 5} electron-ion pairs along its track. If the fill gas is a noble gas, these electrons will diffuse in the gas as free electrons.
Date: November 1, 1997
Creator: Lu, J. X. & Marlow, W. H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A feasibility study for the storage of plutonium pits in non-partitioned warehouse facilities

Description: It is projected that up to 20,000 plutonium pits will be stored at Pantex for up to 50 years. The proposed storage system has to meet longevity, safety and cost requirements. Thermal, mechanical, chemical, nuclear criticality and safety performance characteristics of any proposed plutonium container design need to be formally analyzed. Plutonium generates thermal energy as it decays. The generated thermal energy may cause excessive rise of temperature. For safety and other considerations, it is important that the plutonium temperature remains relatively constant and no hot spots develop. Plutonium containers should not be disassembled for routine monitoring and there are various reasons for the need to monitor the plutonium non-obtrusively. Therefore, accurate predictions of the temperature distribution within the storage container based upon external monitoring within the storage facility needs to be developed. A heat transfer analysis of the storage container is required. The heat transfer analysis, however, requires the knowledge of the temperature and velocity of the air circulating around the containers in order to determine the heat transferred to the air from the containers by convection. Therefore, a complete flow field analysis is required prior to performing the conduction analysis of each pit. The objective of this research is, therefore, to develop and validate a numerical model to predict the temperature distribution within the plutonium storage container as a function of the ambient air temperature within the warehouse.
Date: February 1, 1999
Creator: James, D.; Parameswaran, S. & Nagendran, S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Crashworthiness of the AT-400A shipping container

Description: Shipping containers used for transporting radioactive material must be certified using federal regulations. These regulations require the container be tested or evaluated in severe mechanical and thermal environments which represent hypothetical accident scenarios. The containers are certified if the inner container remains leaktight. This paper presents results from finite element simulations of the accidents which include subjecting the AT-400A (for Pu from dismantled nuclear weapons) to a 30-foot (9 m) drop onto an unyielding target and crushing the container with an 1100 lb (500 kg) steel plate dropped from 30 feet. The nonlinear PRONTO3D finite element results were validated using test results. The simulations of the various impacts and crushes identified trends and worst-case orientations. They also showed that there is a significant margin of safety based on the failure of the containment vessel.
Date: May 1, 1996
Creator: Gruda, J.D. & York, A.R. II
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department