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Initial Evaluation of Processing Methods for an Epsilon Metal Waste Form

Description: During irradiation of nuclear fuel in a reactor, the five metals, Mo, Pd, Rh, Ru, and Tc, migrate to the fuel grain boundaries and form small metal particles of an alloy known as epsilon metal ({var_epsilon}-metal). When the fuel is dissolved in a reprocessing plant, these metal particles remain behind with a residue - the undissolved solids (UDS). Some of these same metals that comprise this alloy that have not formed the alloy are dissolved into the aqueous stream. These metals limit the waste loading for a borosilicate glass that is being developed for the reprocessing wastes. Epsilon metal is being developed as a waste form for the noble metals from a number of waste streams in the aqueous reprocessing of used nuclear fuel (UNF) - (1) the {var_epsilon}-metal from the UDS, (2) soluble Tc (ion-exchanged), and (3) soluble noble metals (TRUEX raffinate). Separate immobilization of these metals has benefits other than allowing an increase in the glass waste loading. These materials are quite resistant to dissolution (corrosion) as evidenced by the fact that they survive the chemically aggressive conditions in the fuel dissolver. Remnants of {var_epsilon}-metal particles have survived in the geologically natural reactors found in Gabon, Africa, indicating that they have sufficient durability to survive for {approx} 2.5 billion years in a reducing geologic environment. Additionally, the {var_epsilon}-metal can be made without additives and incorporate sufficient foreign material (oxides) that are also present in the UDS. Although {var_epsilon}-metal is found in fuel and Gabon as small particles ({approx}10 {micro}m in diameter) and has survived intact, an ideal waste form is one in which the surface area is minimized. Therefore, the main effort in developing {var_epsilon}-metal as a waste form is to develop a process to consolidate the particles into a monolith. Individually, these metals have high melting points ...
Date: June 11, 2012
Creator: Crum, Jarrod V.; Strachan, Denis M. & Zumhoff, Mac R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: Thermal damage was applied to LX-17 at 190 C for several hours. The damaged LX-17 samples, after cooled down to room temperature, were characterized for their material properties (density, porosity, permeability, moduli), safety, and performance. Weight losses upon thermal exposure were insignificant (< 0.1% wt.). The damaged LX-17 samples expanded, resulting in a bulk density reduction of 4.3%. Subsequent detonation measurements (cylinder tests) were conducted on the thermally-damaged LX-17 samples. The results showed that the fractions of damaged LX-17 reacted were slightly lower than those of pristine LX-17. The thermally damaged LX-17 had a detonation velocity of 7.315 mm/{micro}s, lower than that (7.638 mm/{micro}s) of pristine LX-17. Detonation energy density for the damaged LX-17 was 5.08 kJ/cm{sup 3}, about 9.0% lower than the detonation energy density of 5.50 kJ/cm{sup 3} for the pristine LX-17. The break-out curves showed reaction zone lengths for pristine LX-17 and damaged LX-17 were similar but the damaged samples had ragged detonation fronts.
Date: July 11, 2007
Creator: Hsu, P C
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Summary Statistics for Fun Dough Data Acquired at LLNL

Description: Using x-ray computerized tomography (CT), we have characterized the x-ray linear attenuation coefficients (LAC) of a Play Dough{trademark}-like product, Fun Dough{trademark}, designated as PD. Table 1 gives the first-order statistics for each of four CT measurements, estimated with a Gaussian kernel density estimator (KDE) analysis. The mean values of the LAC range from a high of about 2100 LMHU{sub D} at 100kVp to a low of about 1100 LMHU{sub D} at 300kVp. The standard deviation of each measurement is around 1% of the mean. The entropy covers the range from 3.9 to 4.6. Ordinarily, we would model the LAC of the material and compare the modeled values to the measured values. In this case, however, we did not have the composition of the material and therefore did not model the LAC. Using a method recently proposed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), we estimate the value of the effective atomic number, Z{sub eff}, to be near 8.5. LLNL prepared about 50mL of the Fun Dough{trademark} in a polypropylene vial and firmly compressed it immediately prior to the x-ray measurements. Still, layers can plainly be seen in the reconstructed images, indicating that the bulk density of the material in the container is affected by voids and bubbles. We used the computer program IMGREC to reconstruct the CT images. The values of the key parameters used in the data capture and image reconstruction are given in this report. Additional details may be found in the experimental SOP and a separate document. To characterize the statistical distribution of LAC values in each CT image, we first isolated an 80% central-core segment of volume elements ('voxels') lying completely within the specimen, away from the walls of the polypropylene vial. All of the voxels within this central core, including those comprised of voids and inclusions, ...
Date: March 11, 2010
Creator: Kallman, J S; Morales, K E; Whipple, R E; Huber, R D; Brown, W D; Smith, J A et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Accelerated alpha radiation damage in a ceramic waste form, interim results

Description: Interim results are presented on the alpha-decay damage study of a {sup 238}Pu-loaded ceramic waste form (CWF). The waste form was developed to immobilize fission products and transuranic species accumulated from the electrometallurgical treatment of spent nuclear fuel. To evaluate the effects of {alpha}-decay damage on the waste form the {sup 238}Pu-loaded material was analyzed by (1) x-ray diffraction (XRD), (2) microstructure characterization by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with energy and wavelength dispersive spectroscopy (EDS/WDS) and electron diffraction, (3) bulk density measurements and (4) waste form durability, performed by the product consistency test (PCT). While the predominate phase of plutonium in the CWF, PuO{sub 2}, shows the expected unit cell expansion due to {alpha}-decay damage, currently no significant change has occurred to the macro- or microstructure of the material. The major phase of the waste form is sodalite and contains very little Pu, although the exact amount is unknown. Interestingly, measurement of the sodalite phase unit cell is also showing very slight expansion; again, presumably from {alpha}-decay damage.
Date: November 11, 1999
Creator: Frank, S. M.; Johnson, S. G.; Moschetti, T. L.; O'Holleran, T. P.; Sinkler, W.; Esh, D. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Enhancing the soil organic matter pool through biomass incorporation.

Description: A study was installed in the Upper Coastal Plain of South Carolina, USA, that sought to examine the impact of incorporating downed slash materials into subsoil layers on soil chemical and physical properties as compared with the effect of slash materials left on the soil surface. Baseline levels of slash were estimated by establishing transects within harvested stands and estimating the quantity of down wood and stumps. An equivalent quantity of biomass and two times the baseline levels were incorporated into subsurface soil layers by a CMI RS 500B reclaimer/stabilizer. Two sites were examined which differed in soil textural composition: sandy vs. clay. Site differences had no impact on machine productivity and machine costs were estimated at $US 521 ha-1 and $US 633 ha-1 on the ''sandy'' and ''clay'' sites, respectively. The feasibility of the CM1 for biomass incorporation is low due to high unit area costs but increased machine productivity would reduce costs and improve its potential. Biomass incorporation improved carbon and nutrient content of each site, especially on the sandy site. Slash levels had an impact on nutrient content but the differences were not statistically significant. For the sandy site, improvements in soil physical properties were evident in response to incorporation and machine planting operations. Bulk density and soil strength were reduced in response to biomass incorporation and tillage to levels that would not limit root production. The differences in soil physical response between incorporated treatments were minimal and not statistically significant.
Date: June 11, 2003
Creator: Sanchez, Felipe, G.; Carter, Emily, A. & Klepac, John, F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geologic Investigation of a Potential Site for a Next-Generation Reactor Neutrino Oscillation Experiment -- Diablo Canyon, San Luis Obispo County, CA

Description: This report provides information on the geology and selected physical and mechanical properties of surface rocks collected at Diablo Canyon, San Luis Obispo County, California as part of the design and engineering studies towards a future reactor neutrino oscillation experiment. The main objective of this neutrino project is to study the process of neutrino flavor transformation or neutrino oscillation by measuring neutrinos produced in the fission reactions of a nuclear power plant. Diablo Canyon was selected as a candidate site because it allows the detectors to be situated underground in a tunnel close to the source of neutrinos (i.e., at a distance of several hundred meters from the nuclear power plant) while having suitable topography for shielding against cosmic rays. The detectors have to be located underground to minimize the cosmic ray-related background noise that can mimic the signal of reactor neutrino interactions in the detector. Three Pliocene-Miocene marine sedimentary units dominate the geology of Diablo Canyon: the Pismo Formation, the Monterey Formation, and the Obispo Formation. The area is tectonically active, located east of the active Hosgri Fault and in the southern limb of the northwest trending Pismo Syncline. Most of the potential tunnel for the neutrino detector lies within the Obispo Formation. Review of previous geologic studies, observations from a field visit, and selected physical and mechanical properties of rock samples collected from the site provided baseline geological information used in developing a preliminary estimate for tunneling construction cost. Gamma-ray spectrometric results indicate low levels of radioactivity for uranium, thorium, and potassium. Grain density, bulk density, and porosity values for these rock samples range from 2.37 to 2.86 g/cc, 1.41 to 2.57 g/cc, and 1.94 to 68.5 percent respectively. Point load, unconfined compressive strength, and ultrasonic velocity tests were conducted to determine rock mechanical and acoustic properties. The ...
Date: June 11, 2004
Creator: Onishi, Celia Tiemi; Dobson, Patrick; Nakagawa, Seiji; Glaser, Steven & Galic, Dom
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geothermal alteration of sediments in the Salton Sea scientific drill hole: Petrophysical properties and mass changes during alteration: Final report

Description: This report has been divided into two sections. The first deals with the results of the petrophysical measurements, and the second concentrates on the distribution of alteration minerals and textures, and on a series of calculations of geochemical changes that occurred during alteration. 32 refs., 23 figs., 10 tabs.
Date: December 11, 1987
Creator: McDowell, S.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department