Description: There are three principal facets to the Pu-238 Program which are important to Richland. First, reactor neptunium production rates can be materially enhanced by judicious fuel management plans. Second, significant improvement in production efficiency and costs can be made if the Pu-238 production step (irradiation of Np-237) were sited at Richland. Further, Richland reactors have ample capacity, without reducing power, to irradiate all neptunium from government and commercial reactor sources which has been forecasted well into the 1980`s. Third, a separate Pu-238 production process, that of irradiating Am-241 (obtained from power reactor plutonium returns), offers an attractive and competitive means to materially supplement Pu-238 from the Np-237 route. The first two of these aspects of the Pu-238 Program are being pursued actively, particularly in light of firm and predicted requirements for Pu-238. Technological development for irradiating and processing Am-241 will be carried out in the near future.
Date: June 1, 1967
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department