National Library of Energy BETA

Sample records for weapons grade plutonium

  1. Weapons-grade plutonium dispositioning. Volume 2: Comparison of plutonium disposition options

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Brownson, D.A.; Hanson, D.J.; Blackman, H.S.

    1993-06-01

    The Secretary of Energy requested the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on International Security and Arms Control to evaluate disposition options for weapons-grade plutonium. The Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) offered to assist the NAS in this evaluation by investigating the technical aspects of the disposition options and their capability for achieving plutonium annihilation levels greater than 90%. This report was prepared for the NAS to document the gathered information and results from the requested option evaluations. Evaluations were performed for 12 plutonium disposition options involving five reactor and one accelerator-based systems. Each option was evaluated in four technical areas: (1) fuel status, (2) reactor or accelerator-based system status, (3) waste-processing status, and (4) waste disposal status. Based on these evaluations, each concept was rated on its operational capability and time to deployment. A third rating category of option costs could not be performed because of the unavailability of adequate information from the concept sponsors. The four options achieving the highest rating, in alphabetical order, are the Advanced Light Water Reactor with plutonium-based ternary fuel, the Advanced Liquid Metal Reactor with plutonium-based fuel, the Advanced Liquid Metal Reactor with uranium-plutonium-based fuel, and the Modular High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor with plutonium-based fuel. Of these four options, the Advanced Light Water Reactor and the Modular High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor do not propose reprocessing of their irradiated fuel. Time constraints and lack of detailed information did not allow for any further ratings among these four options. The INEL recommends these four options be investigated further to determine the optimum reactor design for plutonium disposition.

  2. Neutronics and safety characteristics of a 100% MOX fueled PWR using weapons grade plutonium

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Biswas, D.; Rathbun, R.; Lee, Si Young; Rosenthal, P.

    1993-12-31

    Preliminary neutronics and safety studies, pertaining to the feasibility of using 100% weapons grade mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel in an advanced PWR Westinghouse design are presented in this paper. The preliminary results include information on boron concentration, power distribution, reactivity coefficients and xenon and control rode worth for the initial and the equilibrium cycle. Important safety issues related to rod ejection and steam line break accidents and shutdown margin requirements are also discussed. No significant change from the commercial design is needed to denature weapons-grade plutonium under the current safety and licensing criteria.

  3. Cooperative Studies in the Utilization and Storage of Excess Weapons-Grade Plutonium

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Bolyatko, V. V.

    1998-01-29

    This technical report is a tangible and verifiable deliverable associated with the Nuclear Group subproject “Cooperative Studies in the Utilization and Storage of Excess Weapons-grade Plutonium.” This report is an assessment ofthe work performed by the Russian party from 1 October 1995 through 30 September 1996 regarding milestones defined in the contract between the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI) and the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES). In these interactions, TEES serves as agent of the Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium (ANRCP) in the capacity oflead institution for the Nuclear Group of the ANRCP. The official Statement ofWork dated 8 April 1996 enumerates specific milestones and deliverables. In its present form, this report is an edited version ofthe translation submitted to TEES by MEPhI on 7 October 1996. The principal investigators for this subproject are Dr. Paul Nelson of TEES and Dr. Victor Bolyatko of the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute.

  4. Why is weapons grade plutonium more hazardous to work with than highly enriched uranium?

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Cournoyer, Michael E.; Costigan, Stephen A.; Schake, Bradley S.

    2015-08-01

    Highly Enriched Uranium and Weapons grade plutonium have assumed positions of dominant importance among the actinide elements because of their successful uses as explosive ingredients in nuclear weapons and the place they hold as key materials in the development of industrial use of nuclear power. While most chemists are familiar with the practical interest concerning HEU and WG Pu, fewer know the subtleties among their hazards. In this study, a primer is provided regarding the hazards associated with working with HEU and WG Pu metals and oxides. The care that must be taken to safely handle these materials is emphasized and the extent of the hazards is described. The controls needed to work with HEU and WG Pu metals and oxides are differentiated. Given the choice, one would rather work with HEU metal and oxides than WG Pu metal and oxides.

  5. Why is weapons grade plutonium more hazardous to work with than highly enriched uranium?

    DOE Public Access Gateway for Energy & Science Beta (PAGES Beta)

    Cournoyer, Michael E.; Costigan, Stephen A.; Schake, Bradley S.

    2015-07-01

    Highly Enriched Uranium and Weapons grade plutonium have assumed positions of dominant importance among the actinide elements because of their successful uses as explosive ingredients in nuclear weapons and the place they hold as key materials in the development of industrial use of nuclear power. While most chemists are familiar with the practical interest concerning HEU and WG Pu, fewer know the subtleties among their hazards. In this study, a primer is provided regarding the hazards associated with working with HEU and WG Pu metals and oxides. The care that must be taken to safely handle these materials is emphasizedmore » and the extent of the hazards is described. The controls needed to work with HEU and WG Pu metals and oxides are differentiated. Given the choice, one would rather work with HEU metal and oxides than WG Pu metal and oxides.« less

  6. Weapons-grade plutonium dispositioning. Volume 4. Plutonium dispositioning in light water reactors

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Sterbentz, J.W.; Olsen, C.S.; Sinha, U.P.

    1993-06-01

    This study is in response to a request by the Reactor Panel Subcommittee of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on International Security and Arms Control (CISAC) to evaluate the feasibility of using plutonium fuels (without uranium) for disposal in existing conventional or advanced light water reactor (LWR) designs and in low temperature/pressure LWR designs that might be developed for plutonium disposal. Three plutonium-based fuel forms (oxides, aluminum metallics, and carbides) are evaluated for neutronic performance, fabrication technology, and material and compatibility issues. For the carbides, only the fabrication technologies are addressed. Viable plutonium oxide fuels for conventional or advanced LWRs include plutonium-zirconium-calcium oxide (PuO{sub 2}-ZrO{sub 2}-CaO) with the addition of thorium oxide (ThO{sub 2}) or a burnable poison such as erbium oxide (Er{sub 2}O{sub 3}) or europium oxide (Eu{sub 2}O{sub 3}) to achieve acceptable neutronic performance. Thorium will breed fissile uranium that may be unacceptable from a proliferation standpoint. Fabrication of uranium and mixed uranium-plutonium oxide fuels is well established; however, fabrication of plutonium-based oxide fuels will require further development. Viable aluminum-plutonium metallic fuels for a low temperature/pressure LWR include plutonium aluminide in an aluminum matrix (PuAl{sub 4}-Al) with the addition of a burnable poison such as erbium (Er) or europium (Eu). Fabrication of low-enriched plutonium in aluminum-plutonium metallic fuel rods was initially established 30 years ago and will require development to recapture and adapt the technology to meet current environmental and safety regulations. Fabrication of high-enriched uranium plate fuel by the picture-frame process is a well established process, but the use of plutonium would require the process to be upgraded in the United States to conform with current regulations and minimize the waste streams.

  7. Utilization of non-weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium with breeding of the {sup 233}U isotope in the VVER reactors using thorium and heavy water

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Marshalkin, V. E. Povyshev, V. M.

    2015-12-15

    A method for joint utilization of non-weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium in the thorium–uranium—plutonium oxide fuel of a water-moderated reactor with a varying water composition (D{sub 2}O, H{sub 2}O) is proposed. The method is characterized by efficient breeding of the {sup 233}U isotope and safe reactor operation and is comparatively simple to implement.

  8. DOE plutonium disposition study: Analysis of existing ABB-CE Light Water Reactors for the disposition of weapons-grade plutonium. Final report

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Not Available

    1994-06-01

    Core reactivity and basic fuel management calculations were conducted on the selected reactors (with emphasis on the System 80 units as being the most desirable choice). Methods used were identical to those reported in the Evolutionary Reactor Report. From these calculations, the basic mission capability was assessed. The selected reactors were studied for modification, such as the addition of control rod nozzles to increase rod worth, and internals and control system modifications that might also be needed. Other system modifications studied included the use of enriched boric acid as soluble poison, and examination of the fuel pool capacities. The basic geometry and mechanical characteristics, materials and fabrication techniques of the fuel assemblies for the selected existing reactors are the same as for System 80+. There will be some differences in plutonium loading, according to the ability of the reactors to load MOX fuel. These differences are not expected to affect licensability or EPA requirements. Therefore, the fuel technology and fuel qualification sections provided in the Evolutionary Reactor Report apply to the existing reactors. An additional factor, in that the existing reactor availability presupposes the use of that reactor for the irradiation of Lead Test Assemblies, is discussed. The reactor operating and facility licenses for the operating plants were reviewed. Licensing strategies for each selected reactor were identified. The spent fuel pool for the selected reactors (Palo Verde) was reviewed for capacity and upgrade requirements. Reactor waste streams were identified and assessed in comparison to uranium fuel operations. Cost assessments and schedules for converting to plutonium disposition were estimated for some of the major modification items. Economic factors (incremental costs associated with using weapons plutonium) were listed and where possible under the scope of work, estimates were made.

  9. The Complete Burning of Weapons Grade Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium with (Laser Inertial Fusion-Fission Energy) LIFE Engine

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Farmer, J C; Diaz de la Rubia, T; Moses, E

    2008-12-23

    The National Ignition Facility (NIF) project, a laser-based Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) experiment designed to achieve thermonuclear fusion ignition and burn in the laboratory, is under construction at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and will be completed in April of 2009. Experiments designed to accomplish the NIF's goal will commence in late FY2010 utilizing laser energies of 1 to 1.3 MJ. Fusion yields of the order of 10 to 20 MJ are expected soon thereafter. Laser initiated fusion-fission (LIFE) engines have now been designed to produce nuclear power from natural or depleted uranium without isotopic enrichment, and from spent nuclear fuel from light water reactors without chemical separation into weapons-attractive actinide streams. A point-source of high-energy neutrons produced by laser-generated, thermonuclear fusion within a target is used to achieve ultra-deep burn-up of the fertile or fissile fuel in a sub-critical fission blanket. Fertile fuels including depleted uranium (DU), natural uranium (NatU), spent nuclear fuel (SNF), and thorium (Th) can be used. Fissile fuels such as low-enrichment uranium (LEU), excess weapons plutonium (WG-Pu), and excess highly-enriched uranium (HEU) may be used as well. Based upon preliminary analyses, it is believed that LIFE could help meet worldwide electricity needs in a safe and sustainable manner, while drastically shrinking the nation's and world's stockpile of spent nuclear fuel and excess weapons materials. LIFE takes advantage of the significant advances in laser-based inertial confinement fusion that are taking place at the NIF at LLNL where it is expected that thermonuclear ignition will be achieved in the 2010-2011 timeframe. Starting from as little as 300 to 500 MW of fusion power, a single LIFE engine will be able to generate 2000 to 3000 MWt in steady state for periods of years to decades, depending on the nuclear fuel and engine configuration. Because the fission blanket in a fusion

  10. Neutronic evaluation of a non-fertile fuel for the disposition of weapons-grade plutonium in a boiling water reactor

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Sterbentz, J.W.

    1994-10-01

    A new non-fertile, weapons-grade plutonium oxide fuel concept is developed and evaluated for deep burn applications in a boiling water reactor environment using the General Electric 8x8 Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) fuel assembly dimensions and pitch. Detailed infinite lattice fuel burnup results and neutronic performance characteristics are given and although preliminary in nature, clearly demonstrate the fuel`s potential as an effective means to expedite the disposition of plutonium in existing light water reactors. The new non-fertile fuel concept is an all oxide composition containing plutonia, zirconia, calcia, and erbia having the following design weight percentages: 8.3; 80.4; 9.7; and 1.6. This fuel composition in an infinite fuel lattice operating at linear heat generation rates of 6.0 or 12.0 kW/ft per rod can remain critical for up to 1,200 and 600 Effective Full Power Days (EFPD), respectively, and achieve a burnup of 7.45 {times} 10{sup 20} f/cc. These burnups correspond to a 71--73% total plutonium isotope destruction and a 91--94% destruction of the {sup 239}Pu isotope for the 0--40% moderator steam void condition. Total plutonium destruction greater than 73% is possible with a fuel management scheme that allows subcritical fuel assemblies to be driven by adjacent high reactivity assemblies. The fuel exhibits very favorable neutron characteristics from beginning-of-life (BOL) to end-of-life (EOL). Prompt fuel Doppler coefficient of reactivity are negative, with values ranging between {minus}0.4 to {minus}2.0 pcm/K over the temperature range of 900 to 2,200 K. The ABWR fuel lattice remains in an undermoderated condition for both hot operational and cold startup conditions over the entire fuel burnup lifetime.

  11. TRACKING SURPLUS PLUTONIUM FROM WEAPONS TO DISPOSITION

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Allender, J.; Beams, J.; Sanders, K.; Myers, L.

    2013-07-16

    Supporting nuclear nonproliferation and global security principles, beginning in 1994 the United States has withdrawn more than 50 metric tons (MT) of government-controlled plutonium from potential use in nuclear weapons. The Department of Energy (DOE), including the National Nuclear Security Administration, established protocols for the tracking of this "excess" and "surplus" plutonium, and for reconciling the current storage and utilization of the plutonium to show that its management is consistent with the withdrawal policies. Programs are underway to ensure the safe and secure disposition of the materials that formed a major part of the weapons stockpile during the Cold War, and growing quantities have been disposed as waste, after which they are not included in traditional nuclear material control and accountability (NMC&A) data systems. A combination of resources is used to perform the reconciliations that form the basis for annual reporting to DOE, to U.S. Department of State, and to international partners including the International Atomic Energy Agency.

  12. U.S. and Russia Reaffirm Commitment to Disposing of Weapon-Grade...

    Energy Savers [EERE]

    U.S. and Russia Reaffirm Commitment to Disposing of Weapon-Grade Plutonium July 13, 2006 - 3:05pm Addthis WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman and Sergey ...

  13. Excess Weapons Plutonium Disposition: Plutonium Packaging, Storage and Transportation and Waste Treatment, Storage and Disposal Activities

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Jardine, L J; Borisov, G B

    2004-07-21

    A fifth annual Excess Weapons Plutonium Disposition meeting organized by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) was held February 16-18, 2004, at the State Education Center (SEC), 4 Aerodromnya Drive, St. Petersburg, Russia. The meeting discussed Excess Weapons Plutonium Disposition topics for which LLNL has the US Technical Lead Organization responsibilities. The technical areas discussed included Radioactive Waste Treatment, Storage, and Disposal, Plutonium Oxide and Plutonium Metal Packaging, Storage and Transportation and Spent Fuel Packaging, Storage and Transportation. The meeting was conducted with a conference format using technical presentations of papers with simultaneous translation into English and Russian. There were 46 Russian attendees from 14 different Russian organizations and six non-Russian attendees, four from the US and two from France. Forty technical presentations were made. The meeting agenda is given in Appendix B and the attendance list is in Appendix C.

  14. Source terms for plutonium aerosolization from nuclear weapon accidents

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Stephens, D.R.

    1995-07-01

    The source term literature was reviewed to estimate aerosolized and respirable release fractions for accidents involving plutonium in high-explosive (HE) detonation and in fuel fires. For HE detonation, all estimates are based on the total amount of Pu. For fuel fires, all estimates are based on the amount of Pu oxidized. I based my estimates for HE detonation primarily upon the results from the Roller Coaster experiment. For hydrocarbon fuel fire oxidation of plutonium, I based lower bound values on laboratory experiments which represent accident scenarios with very little turbulence and updraft of a fire. Expected values for aerosolization were obtained from the Vixen A field tests, which represent a realistic case for modest turbulence and updraft, and for respirable fractions from some laboratory experiments involving large samples of Pu. Upper bound estimates for credible accidents are based on experiments involving combustion of molten plutonium droplets. In May of 1991 the DOE Pilot Safety Study Program established a group of experts to estimate the fractions of plutonium which would be aerosolized and respirable for certain nuclear weapon accident scenarios.

  15. A HOST PHASE FOR THE DISPOSAL OF WEAPONS PLUTONIUM

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    WERNER LUTZE; K. B. HELEAN; W. L. GONG - UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO RODNEY C. EWING - UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

    1999-01-01

    Research was conducted into the possible use of zircon (ZrSiO{sub 4}) as a host phase for storage or disposal of excess weapons plutonium. Zircon is one of the most chemically durable minerals. Its structure can accommodate a variety of elements, including plutonium and uranium. Natural zircon contains uranium and thorium together in different quantities, usually in the range of less than one weight percent up to several weight percent. Zircon occurs in nature as a crystalline or a partially to fully metamict mineral, depending on age and actinide element concentration, i.e., on radiation damage. These zircon samples have been studied extensively and the results are documented in the literature in terms of radiation damage to the crystal structure and related property changes, e.g., density, hardness, loss of uranium and lead, etc. Thus, a unique suite of natural analogues are available to describe the effect of decay of {sup 239}Pu on zircon's structure and how zircon's physical and chemical properties will be affected over very long periods of time. Actually, the oldest zircon samples known are over 3 billion years old. This period covers the time for decay of {sup 239}Pu (half-life 24,300 yr.) and most of its daughter {sup 235}U (half-life 700 million yr.). Because of its chemical durability, even under extreme geological conditions, zircon is the most widely used mineral for geochronological dating (7,000 publications). It is the oldest dated mineral on earth and in the universe. Zircon has already been doped with about 10 weight percent of plutonium. Pure PuSiO{sub 4} has also been synthesized and has the same crystal structure as zircon. However, use of zircon as a storage medium or waste form for plutonium requires further materials characterization. Experiments can either be conducted in laboratories where plutonium can be handled or plutonium can be simulated by other elements, and experiments can be done under less restricted conditions. The authors

  16. Disposition of excess weapon plutonium in deep boreholes - site selection handbook

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Heiken, G.; Woldegabriel, G.; Morley, R.; Plannerer, H.; Rowley, J.

    1996-09-01

    One of the options for disposing of excess weapons plutonium is to place it near the base of deep boreholes in stable crystalline rocks. The technology needed to begin designing this means of disposition already exists, and there are many attractive sites available within the conterminous United States. There are even more potential sites for this option within Russia. The successful design of a borehole system must address two criteria: (1) how to dispose of 50 metric tons of weapons plutonium while making it inaccessible for unauthorized retrieval, and (2) how to prevent contamination of the accessible biosphere, defined here as the Earth`s surface and usable groundwaters.

  17. Plutonium radiation surrogate

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Frank, Michael I.

    2010-02-02

    A self-contained source of gamma-ray and neutron radiation suitable for use as a radiation surrogate for weapons-grade plutonium is described. The source generates a radiation spectrum similar to that of weapons-grade plutonium at 5% energy resolution between 59 and 2614 keV, but contains no special nuclear material and emits little .alpha.-particle radiation. The weapons-grade plutonium radiation surrogate also emits neutrons having fluxes commensurate with the gamma-radiation intensities employed.

  18. History of the US weapons-usable plutonium disposition program leading to DOE`s record of decision

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Spellman, D.J.; Thomas, J.F.; Bugos, R.G.

    1997-04-01

    This report highlights important events and studies concerning surplus weapons-usable plutonium disposition in the United States. Included are major events that led to the creation of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fissile Materials Disposition in 1994 and to that DOE office issuing the January 1997 Record of Decision for the Storage and Disposition of Weapons-Useable Fissile Materials Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. Emphasis has been given to reactor-based plutonium disposition alternatives.

  19. Five minutes past midnight: The clear and present danger of nuclear weapons grade fissile materials

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Roberts, G.B.

    1996-02-01

    Growing stockpiles of nuclear weapons grade fissile materials (plutonium and highly enriched uranium) are a `clear and present danger` to international security. Much of this material is uncontrolled and unsecured in the former Soviet Union (FSU). Access to these materials is the primary technical barrier to a nuclear weapons capability since the technology know-how for a bomb making is available in the world scientific community. Strategies to convince proliferators to give up their nuclear ambitions are problematic since those ambitions are a party of largest regional security. There is no national material control and accounting in Russia. No one knows exactly how much fissile materials they have, and if any is missing. A bankrupt atomic energy industry, unpaid employees and little or no security has created a climate in which more and more fissile materials will likely be sold in black markets or diverted to clandestine nuclear weapons programs or transnational terrorist groups. Control over these materials will ultimately rely on the continuous and simultaneous exercise of several measures. While there is little one can do now to stop a determined proliferator, over time international consensus and a strengthened non-proliferation regime will convince proliferators that the costs outweigh the gains.

  20. High-value use of weapons-plutonium by burning in molten salt accelerator-driven subcritical systems or reactors

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Bowman, C.D.; Venneri, F.

    1993-11-01

    The application of thermal-spectrum molten-salt reactors and accelerator-driven subcritical systems to the destruction of weapons-return plutonium is considered from the perspective of deriving the maximum societal benefit. The enhancement of electric power production from burning the fertile fuel {sup 232}Th with the plutonium is evaluated. Also the enhancement of destruction of the accumulated waste from commercial nuclear reactors is considered using the neutron-rich weapons plutonium. Most cases examined include the concurrent transmutation of the long-lived actinide and fission product waste ({sup 99}Tc, {sup 129}I, {sup 135}Cs, {sup 126}Sn and {sup 79}Se).

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Ludwig, S.B.; Pope, R.B.; Shappert, L.B.; Michelhaugh, R.D.; Chae, S.M.

    1998-11-01

    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.

  2. Utilization of non-weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched...

    Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI)

    the VVER reactors using thorium and heavy water Citation Details In-Document Search Title: ... the VVER reactors using thorium and heavy water A method for joint utilization of ...

  3. Analysis of Surplus Weapons-Grade Plutonium Disposition Options...

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    The NNSA intends to work with the contractor on a plan for placing the project in cold standby during FY 2015, and we are continuing our ongoing discussions with Congress as they ...

  4. Matching Controls to Declining Risks at the Hanford Site's Plutonium Finishing Plant

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)

    RICHLAND, Wash. – Imagine cutting a hole in the side of a nuclear facility that once produced weapons-grade plutonium to safely remove debris.

  5. The U.S.-Russian joint studies on using power reactors to disposition surplus weapon plutonium as spent fuel

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Chebeskov, A.; Kalashnikov, A.; Bevard, B.; Moses, D.; Pavlovichev, A.

    1997-09-01

    In 1996, the US and the Russian Federation completed an initial joint study of the candidate options for the disposition of surplus weapons plutonium in both countries. The options included long term storage, immobilization of the plutonium in glass or ceramic for geologic disposal, and the conversion of weapons plutonium to spent fuel in power reactors. For the latter option, the US is only considering the use of existing light water reactors (LWRs) with no new reactor construction for plutonium disposition, or the use of Canadian deuterium uranium (CANDU) heavy water reactors. While Russia advocates building new reactors, the cost is high, and the continuing joint study of the Russian options is considering only the use of existing VVER-1000 LWRs in Russia and possibly Ukraine, the existing BN-60O fast neutron reactor at the Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant in Russia, or the use of the Canadian CANDU reactors. Six of the seven existing VVER-1000 reactors in Russia and the eleven VVER-1000 reactors in Ukraine are all of recent vintage and can be converted to use partial MOX cores. These existing VVER-1000 reactors are capable of converting almost 300 kg of surplus weapons plutonium to spent fuel each year with minimum nuclear power plant modifications. Higher core loads may be achievable in future years.

  6. NNSA Eliminates 100 Metric Tons Of Weapons-Grade Nuclear Material |

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    National Nuclear Security Administration | (NNSA) Eliminates 100 Metric Tons Of Weapons-Grade Nuclear Material August 25, 2008 WASHINGTON, D.C. -Today the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced that it successfully eliminated 100 metric tons of U.S. highly enriched uranium (HEU), enough for thousands of nuclear weapons. For the last decade, the U.S. HEU disposition program has eliminated surplus HEU from the nuclear weapons program by downblending

  7. Accelerator-based conversion (ABC) of weapons plutonium: Plant layout study and related design issues

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Cowell, B.S.; Fontana, M.H.; Krakowski, R.A.; Beard, C.A.; Buksa, J.J.; Davidson, J.W.; Sailor, W.C.; Williamson, M.A.

    1995-04-01

    In preparation for and in support of a detailed R and D Plan for the Accelerator-Based Conversion (ABC) of weapons plutonium, an ABC Plant Layout Study was conducted at the level of a pre-conceptual engineering design. The plant layout is based on an adaptation of the Molten-Salt Breeder Reactor (MSBR) detailed conceptual design that was completed in the early 1070s. Although the ABC Plant Layout Study included the Accelerator Equipment as an essential element, the engineering assessment focused primarily on the Target; Primary System (blanket and all systems containing plutonium-bearing fuel salt); the Heat-Removal System (secondary-coolant-salt and supercritical-steam systems); Chemical Processing; Operation and Maintenance; Containment and Safety; and Instrumentation and Control systems. Although constrained primarily to a reflection of an accelerator-driven (subcritical) variant of MSBR system, unique features and added flexibilities of the ABC suggest improved or alternative approaches to each of the above-listed subsystems; these, along with the key technical issues in need of resolution through a detailed R&D plan for ABC are described on the bases of the ``strawman`` or ``point-of-departure`` plant layout that resulted from this study.

  8. Weapons-Grade MOX Fuel Burnup Characteristics in Advanced Test Reactor Irradiation

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    G. S. Chang

    2006-07-01

    Mixed oxide (MOX) test capsules prepared with weapons-derived plutonium have been irradiated to a burnup of 50 GWd/t. The MOX fuel was fabricated at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) by a master-mix process and has been irradiated in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). Previous withdrawals of the same fuel have occurred at 9, 21, 30, 40, and 50 GWd/t. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) manages this test series for the Department of Energy’s Fissile Materials Disposition Program (FMDP). A UNIX BASH (Bourne Again SHell) script CMO has been written and validated at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to couple the Monte Carlo transport code MCNP with the depletion and buildup code ORIGEN-2 (CMO). The new Monte Carlo burnup analysis methodology in this paper consists of MCNP coupling through CMO with ORIGEN-2(MCWO). MCWO is a fully automated tool that links the Monte Carlo transport code MCNP with the radioactive decay and burnup code ORIGEN-2. The fuel burnup analyses presented in this study were performed using MCWO. MCWO analysis yields time-dependent and neutron-spectrum-dependent minor actinide and Pu concentrations for the ATR small I-irradiation test position. The purpose of this report is to validate both the Weapons-Grade Mixed Oxide (WG-MOX) test assembly model and the new fuel burnup analysis methodology by comparing the computed results against the neutron monitor measurements and the irradiated WG-MOX post irradiation examination (PIE) data.

  9. Plutonium Disposition Program | National Nuclear Security Administration |

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    (NNSA) Plutonium Disposition Program June 26, 2013 SUPPORTING NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION Weapon-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) are the critical ingredients for making a nuclear weapon. With the end of the Cold War, hundreds of tons of these materials were determined to be surplus to U.S. and Russian defense needs. Denying access to plutonium and HEU is the best way to prevent nuclear proliferation to rogue states and terrorist organizations. The most certain method to

  10. Method of immobilizing weapons plutonium to provide a durable, disposable waste product

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Ewing, Rodney C.; Lutze, Werner; Weber, William J.

    1996-01-01

    A method of atomic scale fixation and immobilization of plutonium to provide a durable waste product. Plutonium is provided in the form of either PuO.sub.2 or Pu(NO.sub.3).sub.4 and is mixed with and SiO.sub.2. The resulting mixture is cold pressed and then heated under pressure to form (Zr,Pu)SiO.sub.4 as the waste product.

  11. Preliminary study on weapon grade uranium utilization in molten salt reactor miniFUJI

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Aji, Indarta Kuncoro; Waris, A.

    2014-09-30

    Preliminary study on weapon grade uranium utilization in 25MWth and 50MWth of miniFUJI MSR (molten salt reactor) has been carried out. In this study, a very high enriched uranium that we called weapon grade uranium has been employed in UF{sub 4} composition. The {sup 235}U enrichment is 90 - 95 %. The results show that the 25MWth miniFUJI MSR can get its criticality condition for 1.56 %, 1.76%, and 1.96% of UF{sub 4} with {sup 235}U enrichment of at least 93%, 90%, and 90%, respectively. In contrast, the 50 MWth miniFUJI reactor can be critical for 1.96% of UF{sub 4} with {sup 235}U enrichment of at smallest amount 95%. The neutron spectra are almost similar for each power output.

  12. Management of super-grade plutonium in spent nuclear fuel

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    McFarlane, H. F.; Benedict, R. W.

    2000-03-20

    This paper examines the security and safeguards implications of potential management options for DOE's sodium-bonded blanket fuel from the EBR-II and the Fermi-1 fast reactors. The EBR-II fuel appears to be unsuitable for the packaging alternative because of DOE's current safeguards requirements for plutonium. Emerging DOE requirements, National Academy of Sciences recommendations, draft waste acceptance requirements for Yucca Mountain and IAEA requirements for similar fuel also emphasize the importance of safeguards in spent fuel management. Electrometallurgical treatment would be acceptable for both fuel types. Meeting the known requirements for safeguards and security could potentially add more than $200M in cost to the packaging option for the EBR-II fuel.

  13. Review of Excess Weapons Plutonium Disposition LLNL Contract Work in Russia-(English)

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Jardine, L; Borisov, G B

    2002-07-11

    This third meeting of the recently completed and ongoing Russian plutonium immobilization contract work was held at the State Education Center (SEC) in St. Petersburg on January 14-18, 2002. The meeting agenda is reprinted here as Appendix A and the attendance list as Appendix B. The meeting had 58 Russian participants from 21 Russian organizations, including the industrial sites (Mayak, Krasonayarsk-26, Tomsk), scientific institutes (VNIINM, KRI, VNIPIPT, RIAR), design organizations (VNIPIET and GSPI), universities (Nyzhny Novgorod, Urals Technical), Russian Academy of Sciences (Institute of Physical Chemistry or IPhCh, Institute of Ore-Deposit Geology, Petrography, Mineralogy, and Geochemistry or IGEM), Radon-Moscow, S&TC Podol'osk, Kharkov-Ukraine, GAN-SEC-NRS and SNIIChM, the RF Ministry of Atomic Energy (Minatom) and Gosatomnadzor (GAN). This volume, published by LLNL, documents this third annual meeting. Forty-nine technical papers were presented by the Russian participants, and nearly all of these have been collected in this Proceedings. The two objectives for the meeting were to: (1) Bring together the Russian organizations, experts, and managers performing this contract work into one place for four days to review and discuss their work amongst each other. (2) Publish a meeting summary and proceedings of all the excellent Russian plutonium immobilization and other plutonium disposition contract work in one document so that the wide extent of the Russian immobilization activities are documented, referencable and available for others to use, as were the Proceedings of the two previous meetings. Attendees gave talks describing their LLNL contract work and submitted written papers documenting their contract work (in English and Russian), in both hard copy and on computer disks. Simultaneous translation into Russian and English was used for presentations made at the State Region Educational Center (SEC).

  14. Plutonium 239 Equivalency Calculations

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Wen, J

    2011-05-31

    This document provides the basis for converting actual weapons grade plutonium mass to a plutonium equivalency (PuE) mass of Plutonium 239. The conversion can be accomplished by performing calculations utilizing either: (1) Isotopic conversions factors (CF{sub isotope}), or (2) 30-year-old weapons grade conversion factor (CF{sub 30 yr}) Both of these methods are provided in this document. Material mass and isotopic data are needed to calculate PuE using the isotopic conversion factors, which will provide the actual PuE value at the time of calculation. PuE is the summation of the isotopic masses times their associated isotopic conversion factors for plutonium 239. Isotopic conversion factors are calculated by a normalized equation, relative to Plutonium 239, of specific activity (SA) and cumulated dose inhalation affects based on 50-yr committed effective dose equivalent (CEDE). The isotopic conversion factors for converting weapons grade plutonium to PuE are provided in Table-1. The unit for specific activity (SA) is curies per gram (Ci/g) and the isotopic SA values come from reference [1]. The cumulated dose inhalation effect values in units of rem/Ci are based on 50-yr committed effective dose equivalent (CEDE). A person irradiated by gamma radiation outside the body will receive a dose only during the period of irradiation. However, following an intake by inhalation, some radionuclides persist in the body and irradiate the various tissues for many years. There are three groups CEDE data representing lengths of time of 0.5 (D), 50 (W) and 500 (Y) days, which are in reference [2]. The CEDE values in the (W) group demonstrates the highest dose equivalent value; therefore they are used for the calculation.

  15. Nuclear disarmament, disposal of military plutonium and international security problems

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Slipchenko, V.S.; Rybatchenkov, V.

    1995-12-31

    One of the major issues of the current debate deals with the question: what does real nuclear disarmament actually involve? It becomes more and more obvious for many experts that it can no longer be limited to the reduction or elimination of delivery vehicles alone, but must necessarily cove the warheads and the fissile materials recovered from them, which should totally or partially be committed to peaceful use and placed under appropriate international safeguards, thus precluding their re-use for as weapons. There are various options as to how to solve the problems of disposal of fissile materials released from weapons. The optimal choice can only be made on the basis of a thorough study. This study should treat the disposal of weapon-grade plutonium and weapon-grade uranium as separate problems. The possible options for plutonium disposition currently discussed are as follows: (a) Storage in a form or under conditions not suitable for use in the production of new types of nuclear weapons. This option seems to be most natural and inevitable at the first phase, subject to determination of storage period, volume, and technology. Besides, the requirements of the international nuclear weapons nonproliferation regime could be met easily. Safe, secure, and controlled temporary storage may provide an appropriate solution of disposal of weapon-grade plutonium in the near future. (b) Energy utilization (conversion) of weapon-grade plutonium. The most efficient option of utilization of plutonium appears to be for nuclear power generation. This option does not exclude storage, but considers it as a temporary phase, which can, however, be a prolonged one: its length is determined by the political decisions made and possibilities existing to transfer plutonium for processing.

  16. PLUTONIUM FINISHING PLANT (PFP) SUB-GRADE EE/CA EVALUATION OF ALTERNATIVES A NEW MODEL

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    HOPKINS, A.M.

    2007-06-08

    An engineering evaluation/cost analysis (EE/CA) was performed at the Hanford Site's Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP). The purpose of the EVCA was to identify the sub-grade items to be evaluated; determine the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) hazardous substances through process history and available data; evaluate these hazards; and as necessary, identify the available alternatives to reduce the risk associated with the contaminants. The sub-grade EWCA considered four alternatives for an interim removal action: (1) No Action; (2) Surveillance and Maintenance (S&M); (3) Stabilize and Leave in Place (Stabilization); and (4) Remove, Treat and Dispose (RTD). Each alternative was evaluated against the CERCLA criteria for effectiveness, implementability, and cost.

  17. NNSA Eliminates 100 Metric Tons Of Weapons-Grade Nuclear Material...

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    secure and less expensive nuclear weapons complex. ... sale of LEU for safe use in power and research reactors around the world. ... NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, ...

  18. DOE Will Dispose of 34 Metric Tons of Plutonium by Turning it into Fuel for

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    Civilian Reactors | National Nuclear Security Administration | (NNSA) Will Dispose of 34 Metric Tons of Plutonium by Turning it into Fuel for Civilian Reactors DOE Will Dispose of 34 Metric Tons of Plutonium by Turning it into Fuel for Civi Washington, DC Secretary Abraham announced that DOE will dispose of 34 metric tons of surplus weapons grade plutonium by turning the material into mixed oxide fuel (MOX) for use in nuclear reactors. The decision follows an exhaustive Administration review

  19. Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR) [SEC 1 THRU 11

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    ULLAH, M K

    2001-02-26

    The Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) is located on the US Department of Energy (DOE) Hanford Site in south central Washington State. The DOE Richland Operations (DOE-RL) Project Hanford Management Contract (PHMC) is with Fluor Hanford Inc. (FH). Westinghouse Safety Management Systems (WSMS) provides management support to the PFP facility. Since 1991, the mission of the PFP has changed from plutonium material processing to preparation for decontamination and decommissioning (D and D). The PFP is in transition between its previous mission and the proposed D and D mission. The objective of the transition is to place the facility into a stable state for long-term storage of plutonium materials before final disposition of the facility. Accordingly, this update of the Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR) reflects the current status of the buildings, equipment, and operations during this transition. The primary product of the PFP was plutonium metal in the form of 2.2-kg, cylindrical ingots called buttoms. Plutonium nitrate was one of several chemical compounds containing plutonium that were produced as an intermediate processing product. Plutonium recovery was performed at the Plutonium Reclamation Facility (PRF) and plutonium conversion (from a nitrate form to a metal form) was performed at the Remote Mechanical C (RMC) Line as the primary processes. Plutonium oxide was also produced at the Remote Mechanical A (RMA) Line. Plutonium processed at the PFP contained both weapons-grade and fuels-grade plutonium materials. The capability existed to process both weapons-grade and fuels-grade material through the PRF and only weapons-grade material through the RMC Line although fuels-grade material was processed through the line before 1984. Amounts of these materials exist in storage throughout the facility in various residual forms left from previous years of operations.

  20. Comparative repository performance of plutonium forms - initial...

    Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI)

    Title: Comparative repository performance of plutonium forms - initial studies The disposition of excess weapons plutonium may result in high-level radioactive waste streams ...

  1. Plutonium Pits | National Nuclear Security Administration

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    Pits Plutonium pits are a critical core component of a nuclear weapon. To ensure the reliability, safety, and security of nuclear weapons without underground nuclear testing;...

  2. DOE plutonium disposition study: Pu consumption in ALWRs. Volume 2, Final report

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Not Available

    1993-05-15

    The Department of Energy (DOE) has contracted with Asea Brown Boveri-Combustion Engineering (ABB-CE) to provide information on the capability of ABB-CE`s System 80 + Advanced Light Water Reactor (ALWR) to transform, through reactor burnup, 100 metric tonnes (MT) of weapons grade plutonium (Pu) into a form which is not readily useable in weapons. This information is being developed as part of DOE`s Plutonium Disposition Study, initiated by DOE in response to Congressional action. This document Volume 2, provides a discussion of: Plutonium Fuel Cycle; Technology Needs; Regulatory Considerations; Cost and Schedule Estimates; and Deployment Strategy.

  3. The United States Plutonium Balance, 1944 - 2009

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    2012-06-01

    This report updates the report -Plutonium: The first 50 years- which was released by the U.S.Department of Energy (DOE) in 1996. The topic of both reports is plutonium, sometimes referred to as Pu-239, which is capable of sustaining a nuclear chain reaction and is used in nuclear weapons and for nuclear power production. This report updates 1994 data through 2009. The four most significant changes since 1994 include: (a) the completion of cleanup activities at the Rocky Flats Plant in 2005; (b) material consolidation and disposition activities, especially shipments from Hanford to the Savannah River Site; (c) the 2007 declaration of an additional 9.0 MT of weapons grade plutonium to be surplus to defense needs in the coming decades; and (d) the opening of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico in 1999.

  4. ESTIMATING IMPURITIES IN SURPLUS PLUTONIUM FOR DISPOSITION

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Allender, J.; Moore, E.

    2013-07-17

    The United States holds at least 61.5 metric tons (MT) of plutonium that is permanently excess to use in nuclear weapons programs, including 47.2 MT of weapons-grade plutonium. Surplus inventories will be stored safely by the Department of Energy (DOE) and then transferred to facilities that will prepare the plutonium for permanent disposition. The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) operates a Feed Characterization program for the Office of Fissile Materials Disposition of the National Nuclear Security Administration and the DOE Office of Environmental Management. Many of the items that require disposition are only partially characterized, and SRNL uses a variety of techniques to predict the isotopic and chemical properties that are important for processing through the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility and alternative disposition paths. Recent advances in laboratory tools, including Prompt Gamma Analysis and Peroxide Fusion treatment, provide data on the existing inventories that will enable disposition without additional, costly sampling and destructive analysis.

  5. Nonproliferation and arms control assessment of weapons-usable fissile material storage and excess plutonium disposition alternatives

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1997-01-01

    This report has been prepared by the Department of Energy`s Office of Arms Control and Nonproliferation (DOE-NN) with support from the Office of Fissile Materials Disposition (DOE-MD). Its purpose is to analyze the nonproliferation and arms reduction implications of the alternatives for storage of plutonium and HEU, and disposition of excess plutonium, to aid policymakers and the public in making final decisions. While this assessment describes the benefits and risks associated with each option, it does not attempt to rank order the options or choose which ones are best. It does, however, identify steps which could maximize the benefits and mitigate any vulnerabilities of the various alternatives under consideration.

  6. AN APPROACH TO CHARACTERIZING & EVALUATING ALTERNATIVES FOR THE DECOMMISSIONING OF SUB-GRADE STRUCTURES AT THE PLUTONIUM FINISHING PLANT (PFP)

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    HOPKINS, A.M.; KLOS, D.B.

    2007-01-25

    In 2002, the Richland Operations Office (RL) of the US Department of Energy (DOE), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) developed milestones for transitioning the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) facility to a clean slab-on-grade configuration. These milestones required developing an engineering evaluation/cost analysis (EF/CA) for the facility's sub-grade structures and installations as part of a series of evaluations intended to provide for the transition of the facility to a clean slab-on-grade configuration. In addition to supporting decisions for interim actions, the analyses of sub-grade structures and installations performed through this EE/CA will contribute to the remedial investigation feasibility study(ies) and subsequently to the final records of decision for the relevant operable units responsible for site closure in the 200 West Area of the Hanford Site.

  7. Chemical, mass spectrometric, spectrochemical, nuclear, and radiochemical analysis of nuclear-grade plutonium nitrate solutions

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Not Available

    1981-01-01

    These analytical procedures are designed to show whether a given material meets the purchaser's specifications as to plutonium content, effective fissile content, and impurity content. The following procedures are described in detail: plutonium by controlled-potential coulometry; plutonium by amperometric titration with iron(II); free acid by titration in an oxalate solution; free acid by iodate precipitation-potentiometric titration method; uranium by Arsenazo I spectrophotometric method; thorium by thorin spectrophotometric method; iron by 1,10-phenanthroline spectrophotometric method; chloride by thiocyanate spectrophotometric method; fluoride by distillation-spectrophotometric method; sulfate by barium sulfate turbidimetric method; isotopic composition by mass spectrometry; americium-241 by extraction and gamma counting; americium-241 by gamma counting; gamma-emitting fission products, uranium, and thorium by gamma-ray spectroscopy; rare earths by copper spark spectrochemical method; tungsten, niobium (columbium), and tantalum by spectrochemical method; simple preparation by spectrographic analysis for general impurities. (JMT)

  8. PFP Commercial Grade Food Pack Cans for Plutonium Handling and Storage Critical Characteristics

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    BONADIE, E.P.

    2000-10-26

    This document specifies the critical characteristics for containers procured for Plutonium Finishing Plant's (PFP's) Vault Operations system as required by HNF-PRO-268 and HNF-PRO-1819. These are the minimum specifications that the equipment must meet in order to perform its safety function.

  9. Excess plutonium disposition using ALWR technology

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Phillips, A.; Buckner, M.R.; Radder, J.A.; Angelos, J.G.; Inhaber, H.

    1993-02-01

    The Office of Nuclear Energy of the Department of Energy chartered the Plutonium Disposition Task Force in August 1992. The Task Force was created to assess the range of practicable means of disposition of excess weapons-grade plutonium. Within the Task Force, working groups were formed to consider: (1) storage, (2) disposal,and(3) fission options for this disposition,and a separate group to evaluate nonproliferation concerns of each of the alternatives. As a member of the Fission Working Group, the Savannah River Technology Center acted as a sponsor for light water reactor (LWR) technology. The information contained in this report details the submittal that was made to the Fission Working Group of the technical assessment of LWR technology for plutonium disposition. The following aspects were considered: (1) proliferation issues, (2) technical feasibility, (3) technical availability, (4) economics, (5) regulatory issues, and (6) political acceptance.

  10. DOE Plutonium Disposition Study: Pu consumption in ALWRs. Volume 1, Final report

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Not Available

    1993-05-15

    The Department of Energy (DOE) has contracted with Asea Brown Boveri-Combustion Engineering (ABB-CE) to provide information on the capability of ABB-CE`s System 80 + Advanced Light Water Reactor (ALWR) to transform, through reactor burnup, 100 metric tonnes (MT) of weapons grade plutonium (Pu) into a form which is not readily useable in weapons. This information is being developed as part of DOE`s Plutonium Disposition Study, initiated by DOE in response to Congressional action. This document, Volume 1, presents a technical description of the various elements of the System 80 + Standard Plant Design upon which the Plutonium Disposition Study was based. The System 80 + Standard Design is fully developed and directly suited to meeting the mission objectives for plutonium disposal. The bass U0{sub 2} plant design is discussed here.

  11. The effect of the composition of plutonium loaded on the reactivity change and the isotopic composition of fuel produced in a fast reactor

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Blandinskiy, V. Yu.

    2014-12-15

    This paper presents the results of a numerical investigation into burnup and breeding of nuclides in metallic fuel consisting of a mixture of plutonium and depleted uranium in a fast reactor with sodium coolant. The feasibility of using plutonium contained in spent nuclear fuel from domestic thermal reactors and weapons-grade plutonium is discussed. It is shown that the largest production of secondary fuel and the least change in the reactivity over the reactor lifetime can be achieved when employing plutonium contained in spent nuclear fuel from a reactor of the RBMK-1000 type.

  12. PFP Commercial Grade Food Pack Cans for Plutonium Handling and Storage Critical Characteristics

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    BONADIE, E.P.

    2000-08-22

    This screening addresses the critical characteristics for food industry type cans and containers used for handling and storage of special nuclear materials at the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP). HNF-5460, Revision 0 specified a minimum tin plate of 0.50 Ib./base box. Since the food pack cans currently used and that have been tested have a listed tin plate of 0.20 lbs. per base box, Revision 1 reduced the tin plate to {ge} 0.20 Ib./base box (i.e., No. 20 tinned commercial steel or heavier). This revision lists Critical Characteristics for two (2) large filtered containers, and associated shielding over-packs. These new containers are called ''Nuclear Material Containers'' (NMCs). They are supplied in various sizes, which can be nested, one inside another. The PFP will use NMCs with volumes up to 8-quarts as needed to over-pack largely bulged containers.

  13. Plutonium Pits | National Nuclear Security Administration | (NNSA)

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    Plutonium Pits Plutonium pits are a critical core component of a nuclear weapon. To ensure the reliability, safety, and security of nuclear weapons without underground nuclear testing; weapons go through a surveillance process, where they are regularly taken apart, examined, and tests run on their components. Most of the weapons are reassembled and returned to the stockpile; however, some of the inspections are so thorough that the pit and other components are destroyed during evaluation. In

  14. CHARACTERIZATION OF SURPLUS PLUTONIUM FOR DISPOSITION OPTIONS

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Allender, J; Edwin Moore, E; Scott Davies, S

    2008-07-15

    The United States (U.S.) has identified 61.5 metric tons (MT) of plutonium that is permanently excess to use in nuclear weapons programs, including 47.2 MT of weapons-grade plutonium. Except for materials that remain in use for programs outside of national defense, including programs for nuclear-energy development, the surplus inventories will be stored safely by the Department of Energy (DOE) and then transferred to facilities that will prepare the plutonium for permanent disposition. Some items will be disposed as transuranic waste, low-level waste, or spent fuel. The remaining surplus plutonium will be managed through: (1) the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility (FFF), to be constructed at the Savannah River Site (SRS), where the plutonium will be converted to fuel that will be irradiated in civilian power reactors and later disposed to a high-level waste (HLW) repository as spent fuel; (2) the SRS H-Area facilities, by dissolving and transfer to HLW systems, also for disposal to the repository; or (3) alternative immobilization techniques that would provide durable and secure disposal. From the beginning of the U.S. program for surplus plutonium disposition, DOE has sponsored research to characterize the surplus materials and to judge their suitability for planned disposition options. Because many of the items are stored without extensive analyses of their current chemical content, the characterization involves three interacting components: laboratory sample analysis, if available; non-destructive assay data; and rigorous evaluation of records for the processing history for items and inventory groups. This information is collected from subject-matter experts at inventory sites and from materials stabilization and surveillance programs, in cooperation with the design agencies for the disposition facilities. This report describes the operation and status of the characterization program.

  15. Characterizing Surplus US Plutonium for Disposition - 13199

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Allender, Jeffrey S.; Moore, Edwin N.

    2013-07-01

    The United States (US) has identified 61.5 metric tons (MT) of plutonium that is permanently excess to use in nuclear weapons programs, including 47.2 MT of weapons-grade plutonium. Surplus inventories will be stored safely by the Department of Energy (DOE) and then transferred to facilities that will prepare the plutonium for permanent disposition. The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) operates a Feed Characterization program for the Office of Fissile Materials Disposition (OFMD) of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the DOE Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM). SRNL manages a broad program of item tracking through process history, laboratory analysis, and non-destructive assay. A combination of analytical techniques allows SRNL to predict the isotopic and chemical properties that qualify materials for disposition through the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF). The research also defines properties that are important for other disposition paths, including disposal to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) as transuranic waste (TRUW) or to high-level waste (HLW) systems. (authors)

  16. Characterizing surplus US plutonium for disposition

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Allender, Jeffrey S.; Moore, Edwin N.

    2013-02-26

    The United States (US) has identified 61.5 metric tons (MT) of plutonium that is permanently excess to use in nuclear weapons programs, including 47.2 MT of weapons-grade plutonium. Surplus inventories will be stored safely by the Department of Energy (DOE) and then transferred to facilities that will prepare the plutonium for permanent disposition. The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) operates a Feed Characterization program for the Office of Fissile Materials Disposition (OFMD) of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the DOE Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM). SRNL manages a broad program of item tracking through process history, laboratory analysis, and non-destructive assay. A combination of analytical techniques allows SRNL to predict the isotopic and chemical properties that qualify materials for disposition through the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF). The research also defines properties that are important for other disposition paths, including disposal to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) as transuranic waste (TRUW) or to high-level waste (HLW) systems.

  17. Sets of Reports and Articles Regarding Cement Wastes Forms Containing Alpha Emitters that are Potentially Useful for Development of Russian Federation Waste Treatment Processes for Solidification of Weapons Plutonium MOX Fuel Fabrication Wastes for

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Jardine, L J

    2003-06-12

    This is a set of nine reports and articles that were kindly provided by Dr. Christine A. Langton from the Savannah River Site (SRS) to L. J. Jardine LLNL in June 2003. The reports discuss cement waste forms and primarily focus on gas generation in cement waste forms from alpha particle decays. However other items such as various cement compositions, cement product performance test results and some cement process parameters are also included. This set of documents was put into this Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) releasable report for the sole purpose to provide a set of documents to Russian technical experts now beginning to study cement waste treatment processes for wastes from an excess weapons plutonium MOX fuel fabrication facility. The intent is to provide these reports for use at a US RF Experts Technical Meeting on: the Management of Wastes from MOX Fuel Fabrication Facilities, in Moscow July 9-11, 2003. The Russian experts should find these reports to be very useful for their technical and economic feasibility studies and the supporting R&D activities required to develop acceptable waste treatment processes for use in Russia as part of the ongoing Joint US RF Plutonium Disposition Activities.

  18. Plutonium Vulnerability Management Plan

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1995-03-01

    This Plutonium Vulnerability Management Plan describes the Department of Energy`s response to the vulnerabilities identified in the Plutonium Working Group Report which are a result of the cessation of nuclear weapons production. The responses contained in this document are only part of an overall, coordinated approach designed to enable the Department to accelerate conversion of all nuclear materials, including plutonium, to forms suitable for safe, interim storage. The overall actions being taken are discussed in detail in the Department`s Implementation Plan in response to the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) Recommendation 94-1. This is included as Attachment B.

  19. Survey of Worldwide Light Water Reactor Experience with Mixed Uranium-Plutonium Oxide Fuel

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Cowell, B.S.; Fisher, S.E.

    1999-02-01

    The US and the Former Soviet Union (FSU) have recently declared quantities of weapons materials, including weapons-grade (WG) plutonium, excess to strategic requirements. One of the leading candidates for the disposition of excess WG plutonium is irradiation in light water reactors (LWRs) as mixed uranium-plutonium oxide (MOX) fuel. A description of the MOX fuel fabrication techniques in worldwide use is presented. A comprehensive examination of the domestic MOX experience in US reactors obtained during the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s is also presented. This experience is described by manufacturer and is also categorized by the reactor facility that irradiated the MOX fuel. A limited summary of the international experience with MOX fuels is also presented. A review of MOX fuel and its performance is conducted in view of the special considerations associated with the disposition of WG plutonium. Based on the available information, it appears that adoption of foreign commercial MOX technology from one of the successful MOX fuel vendors will minimize the technical risks to the overall mission. The conclusion is made that the existing MOX fuel experience base suggests that disposition of excess weapons plutonium through irradiation in LWRs is a technically attractive option.

  20. weapon dismantlement | National Nuclear Security Administration

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    weapon dismantlement

  1. Decay Heat Calculations for PWR and BWR Assemblies Fueled with Uranium and Plutonium Mixed Oxide Fuel using SCALE

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Ade, Brian J; Gauld, Ian C

    2011-10-01

    In currently operating commercial nuclear power plants (NPP), there are two main types of nuclear fuel, low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel, and mixed-oxide uranium-plutonium (MOX) fuel. The LEU fuel is made of pure uranium dioxide (UO{sub 2} or UOX) and has been the fuel of choice in commercial light water reactors (LWRs) for a number of years. Naturally occurring uranium contains a mixture of different uranium isotopes, primarily, {sup 235}U and {sup 238}U. {sup 235}U is a fissile isotope, and will readily undergo a fission reaction upon interaction with a thermal neutron. {sup 235}U has an isotopic concentration of 0.71% in naturally occurring uranium. For most reactors to maintain a fission chain reaction, the natural isotopic concentration of {sup 235}U must be increased (enriched) to a level greater than 0.71%. Modern nuclear reactor fuel assemblies contain a number of fuel pins potentially having different {sup 235}U enrichments varying from {approx}2.0% to {approx}5% enriched in {sup 235}U. Currently in the United States (US), all commercial nuclear power plants use UO{sub 2} fuel. In the rest of the world, UO{sub 2} fuel is still commonly used, but MOX fuel is also used in a number of reactors. MOX fuel contains a mixture of both UO{sub 2} and PuO{sub 2}. Because the plutonium provides the fissile content of the fuel, the uranium used in MOX is either natural or depleted uranium. PuO{sub 2} is added to effectively replace the fissile content of {sup 235}U so that the level of fissile content is sufficiently high to maintain the chain reaction in an LWR. Both reactor-grade and weapons-grade plutonium contains a number of fissile and non-fissile plutonium isotopes, with the fraction of fissile and non-fissile plutonium isotopes being dependent on the source of the plutonium. While only RG plutonium is currently used in MOX, there is the possibility that WG plutonium from dismantled weapons will be used to make MOX for use in US reactors. Reactor-grade plutonium

  2. Consolidation of Surplus Plutonium at Savannah River Site | Department of

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    Energy Waste Management » Nuclear Materials & Waste » Consolidation of Surplus Plutonium at Savannah River Site Consolidation of Surplus Plutonium at Savannah River Site In April 2002, DOE decided to consolidate surplus, non-pit, weapons-usable plutonium that had been stored at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site in long-term storage at the Savannah River Site. DOE Amends Record of Decision for Plutonium Consolidation A Supplement Analysis on Plutonium Consolidation at

  3. Surplus Plutonium Disposition Supplemental Environmental Impact...

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    To reduce the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) ... by converting such plutonium into proliferation-resistant forms that can never again ...

  4. Supplement Analysis Plutonium Consolidation

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    229-SA-4 SUPPLEMENT ANALYSIS STORAGE OF SURPLUS PLUTONIUM MATERIALS AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE In April 2002, DOE decided to immediately consolidate long-term storage at the Savannah River Site (SRS) of surplus, non-pit weapons-usable plutonium then stored at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS) (DOE, 2002a). That 2002 decision did not affect an earlier DOE decision made in the January 21, 1997, Record of Decision (ROD, DOE, 1997) for the Storage and

  5. Plutonium disposition via immobilization in ceramic or glass

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Gray, L.W.; Kan, T.; Shaw, H.F.; Armantrout, A.

    1997-03-05

    The management of surplus weapons plutonium is an important and urgent task with profound environmental, national, and international security implications. In the aftermath of the Cold War, Presidential Policy Directive 13, and various analyses by renown scientific, technical, and international policy organizations have brought about a focused effort within the Department of Energy to identify and implement paths for the long term disposition of surplus weapons- usable plutonium. The central goal of this effort is to render surplus weapons plutonium as inaccessible and unattractive for reuse in nuclear weapons as the much larger and growing stock of plutonium contained in spent fuel from civilian reactors. One disposition option being considered for surplus plutonium is immobilization, in which the plutonium would be incorporated into a glass or ceramic material that would ultimately be entombed permanently in a geologic repository for high-level waste.

  6. Nuclear Weapons Journal

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    Nuclear Weapons Journal Nuclear Weapons Journal The Nuclear Weapons Journal ceased publication after Issue 2, 2009. Below are Nuclear Weapons Journal archived issues. Issue 2, 2009 ...

  7. Plutonium Consolidation Amended ROD

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    Amended Record of Decision: Storage of Surplus Plutonium Materials at the Savannah River Site AGENCY: Department of Energy ACTION: Amended Record of Decision SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is amending the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Storage and Disposition of Weapons-Usable Fissile Materials Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DOE/EIS-0229, 1996; Storage and Disposition PEIS). Specifically, DOE has decided to take the actions necessary to transfer approximately 2,511

  8. DOE Amends Record of Decision for Plutonium Consolidation | Department of

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    Energy DOE Amends Record of Decision for Plutonium Consolidation DOE Amends Record of Decision for Plutonium Consolidation DOE amended the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Storage and Disposition of Weapons-Usable Fissile Materials Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. Specifically, DOE decided to take the actions necessary to transfer approximately 2,511 additional 3013-compliant packages containing surplus non-pit weapons-usable plutonium metals and oxides to the Savannah River Site

  9. President Truman Increases Production of Uranium and Plutonium | National

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    Nuclear Security Administration | (NNSA) Increases Production of Uranium and Plutonium President Truman Increases Production of Uranium and Plutonium Washington, DC President Truman approves a $1.4 billion expansion of Atomic Energy Commission facilities to produce uranium and plutonium for nuclear weapons

  10. Plutonium Consumption Program, CANDU Reactor Project final report

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Not Available

    1994-07-31

    DOE is investigating methods for long term dispositioning of weapons grade plutonium. One such method would be to utilize the plutonium in Mixed OXide (MOX) fuel assemblies in existing CANDU reactors. CANDU (Canadian Deuterium Uranium) reactors are designed, licensed, built, and supported by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), and currently use natural uranium oxide as fuel. The MOX spent fuel assemblies removed from the reactor would be similar to the spent fuel currently produced using natural uranium fuel, thus rendering the plutonium as unattractive as that in the stockpiles of commercial spent fuel. This report presents the results of a study sponsored by the DOE for dispositioning the plutonium using CANDU technology. Ontario Hydro`s Bruce A was used as reference. The fuel design study defined the optimum parameters to disposition 50 tons of Pu in 25 years (or 100 tons). Two alternate fuel designs were studied. Safeguards, security, environment, safety, health, economics, etc. were considered. Options for complete destruction of the Pu were also studied briefly; CANDU has a superior ability for this. Alternative deployment options were explored and the potential impact on Pu dispositioning in the former Soviet Union was studied. An integrated system can be ready to begin Pu consumption in 4 years, with no changes required to the reactors other than for safe, secure storage of new fuel.

  11. Screening study for evaluation of the potential for system 80+ to consume excess plutonium - Volume 1. Final report

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Not Available

    1994-04-30

    As part of the U.S. effort to evaluate technologies offering solutions for the safe disposal or utilization of surplus nuclear materials, the fiscal year 1993 Energy and Water Appropriations legislation provided the Department of Energy (DOE) the necessary funds to conduct multi-phased studies to determine the technical feasibility of using reactor technologies for the triple mission of burning weapons grade plutonium, producing tritium for the existing smaller weapons stockpile, and generating commercial electricity. DOE limited the studies to five advanced reactor designs. Among the technologies selected is the ABB-Combustion Engineering (ABB-CE) System 80+. The DOE study, currently in Phase ID, is proceeding with a more detailed evaluation of the design`s capability for plutonium disposition.

  12. Screening study for evaluation of the potential for system 80+ to consume excess plutonium - Volume 2. Final report

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Not Available

    1994-04-30

    As part of the U.S. effort to evaluate technologies offering solutions for the safe disposal or utilization of surplus nuclear materials, the fiscal year 1993 Energy and Water Appropriations legislation provided the Department of Energy (DOE) the necessary funds to conduct multi-phased studies to determine the technical feasibility of using reactor technologies for the triple mission of burning weapons grade plutonium, producing tritium for the existing smaller weapons stockpile, and generating commercial electricity. DOE limited the studies to five advanced reactor designs. Among the technologies selected is the ABB-Combustion Engineering (ABB-CE) System 80+. The DOE study, currently in Phase ID, is proceeding with a more detailed evaluation of the design`s capability for plutonium disposition.

  13. Canada and the United States Cooperate to Shut Down One of the Last Weapons-Grade Plutonium Production Reactors in Russia

    Broader source: Energy.gov [DOE]

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew and United States Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to...

  14. The United States Plutonium Balance, 1944 - 2009

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    Rocky Flats Site 1995 Rocky Flats Site 2005 Rocky Flats Site 1995 The United States Plutonium Balance, 1944 - 2009 An update of Plutonium: The First 50 Years, DOE/DP-0137, February 1996 June 2012 ii Preface This report updates Plutonium: The first 50 years which was released by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in 1996. The topic of both reports is plutonium, sometimes referred to as Pu-239, which is capable of sustaining a nuclear chain reaction and is used in nuclear weapons and for nuclear

  15. Plutonium Detection with Straw Neutron Detectors

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Mukhopadhyay, Sanjoy; Maurer, Richard; Guss, Paul

    2014-03-27

    A kilogram of weapons grade plutonium gives off about 56,000 neutrons per second of which 55,000 neutrons come from spontaneous fission of 240Pu (~6% by weight of the total plutonium). Actually, all even numbered isotopes (238Pu, 240Pu, and 242Pu) produce copious spontaneous fission neutrons. These neutrons induce fission in the surrounding fissile 239Pu with an approximate multiplication of a factor of ~1.9. This multiplication depends on the shape of the fissile materials and the surrounding material. These neutrons (typically of energy 2 MeV and air scattering mean free path >100 meters) can be detected 100 meters away from the source by vehicle-portable neutron detectors. [1] In our current studies on neutron detection techniques, without using 3He gas proportional counters, we designed and developed a portable high-efficiency neutron multiplicity counter using 10B-coated thin tubes called straws. The detector was designed to perform like commercially available fission meters (manufactured by Ortec Corp.) except instead of using 3He gas as a neutron conversion material, we used a thin coating of 10B.

  16. Plutonium Isotopes in the Terrestrial Environment at the Savannah River Site, USA. A Long-Term Study

    DOE Public Access Gateway for Energy & Science Beta (PAGES Beta)

    Armstrong, Christopher R.; Nuessle, Patterson R.; Brant, Heather A.; Hall, Gregory; Halverson, Justin E.; Cadieux, James R.

    2015-01-16

    This work presents the findings of a long term plutonium study at Savannah River Site (SRS) conducted between 2003 and 2013. Terrestrial environmental samples were obtained at Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) in A-area. Plutonium content and isotopic abundances were measured over this time period by alpha spectrometry and three stage thermal ionization mass spectrometry (3STIMS). Here we detail the complete sample collection, radiochemical separation, and measurement procedure specifically targeted to trace plutonium in bulk environmental samples. Total plutonium activities were determined to be not significantly above atmospheric global fallout. However, the 238Pu/239+240Pu activity ratios attributed to SRS are abovemore » atmospheric global fallout ranges. The 240Pu/239Pu atom ratios are reasonably consistent from year to year and are lower than fallout, while the 242Pu/239Pu atom ratios are higher than fallout values. Overall, the plutonium signatures obtained in this study reflect a mixture of weapons-grade, higher burn-up, and fallout material. This study provides a blue print for long term low level monitoring of plutonium in the environment.« less

  17. Siegfried S. Hecker, Plutonium, and Nonproliferation

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    Siegfried S. Hecker, Plutonium and Nuclear Nonproliferation Resources with Additional Information * Awards Siegfried S. Hecker Photo Credit: Courtesy of Los Alamos National Laboratory LeRoy Sanchez On September 17, 2009, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu named Siegfried S. Hecker as a winner of the Enrico Fermi Award 'in recognition for his contributions to plutonium metallurgy, his broad scientific leadership and for his energetic and continuing efforts to reduce the danger of nuclear weapons

  18. Introduction to Pits and Weapons Systems (U)

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Kautz, D.

    2012-07-02

    A Nuclear Explosive Package includes the Primary, Secondary, Radiation Case and related components. This is the part of the weapon that produces nuclear yield and it converts mechanical energy into nuclear energy. The pit is composed of materials that allow mechanical energy to be converted to electromagnetic energy. Fabrication processes used are typical of any metal fabrication facility: casting, forming, machining and welding. Some of the materials used in pits include: Plutonium, Uranium, Stainless Steel, Beryllium, Titanium, and Aluminum. Gloveboxes are used for three reasons: (1) Protect workers and public from easily transported, finely divided plutonium oxides - (a) Plutonium is very reactive and produces very fine particulate oxides, (b) While not the 'Most dangerous material in the world' of Manhattan Project lore, plutonium is hazardous to health of workers if not properly controlled; (2) Protect plutonium from reactive materials - (a) Plutonium is extremely reactive at ambient conditions with several components found in air: oxygen, water, hydrogen, (b) As with most reactive metals, reactions with these materials may be violent and difficult to control, (c) As with most fabricated metal products, corrosion may significantly affect the mechanical, chemical, and physical properties of the product; and (3) Provide shielding from radioactive decay products: {alpha}, {gamma}, and {eta} are commonly associated with plutonium decay, as well as highly radioactive materials such as {sup 241}Am and {sup 238}Pu.

  19. Bret Knapp to head combined Weapons Engineering, Weapons Physics...

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    Weapons Engineering, Weapons Physics Directorates Bret Knapp to head combined Weapons Engineering, Weapons Physics Directorates at Los Alamos National Laboratory New leadership...

  20. Department of Energy Announces Decision to Consolidate Surplus Plutonium in

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    South Carolina | Department of Energy Decision to Consolidate Surplus Plutonium in South Carolina Department of Energy Announces Decision to Consolidate Surplus Plutonium in South Carolina September 5, 2007 - 3:16pm Addthis WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced its decision to consolidate surplus, non-pit plutonium at its Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina, greatly reducing storage costs and significantly enhancing security across the nation's weapons

  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory to work on nuclear design, plutonium

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    research and development, and supercomputing Lab to work on nuclear design, plutonium research Los Alamos National Laboratory to work on nuclear design, plutonium research and development, and supercomputing LANL selected as preferred alternative site for plutonium research, development, and limited manufacturing, along with nuclear weapons design and engineering, and supercomputing. December 18, 2007 Los Alamos National Laboratory sits on top of a once-remote mesa in northern New Mexico

  2. Sandia's Nuclear Weapons Mission

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    Nuclear Weapons Mission Ensuring that the nation's stockpile is safe, secure and effective, and that it meets military requirements America's Nuclear Weapons Systems Engineering ...

  3. PLUTONIUM METAL: OXIDATION CONSIDERATIONS AND APPROACH

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Estochen, E.

    2013-03-20

    Plutonium is arguably the most unique of all metals when considered in the combined context of metallurgical, chemical, and nuclear behavior. Much of the research in understanding behavior and characteristics of plutonium materials has its genesis in work associated with nuclear weapons systems. However, with the advent of applications in fuel materials, the focus in plutonium science has been more towards nuclear fuel applications, as well as long term storage and disposition. The focus of discussion included herein is related to preparing plutonium materials to meet goals consistent with non-proliferation. More specifically, the emphasis is on the treatment of legacy plutonium, in primarily metallic form, and safe handling, packaging, and transport to meet non-proliferation goals of safe/secure storage. Elevated temperature oxidation of plutonium metal is the treatment of choice, due to extensive experiential data related to the method, as the oxide form of plutonium is one of only a few compounds that is relatively simple to produce, and stable over a large temperature range. Despite the simplicity of the steps required to oxidize plutonium metal, it is important to understand the behavior of plutonium to ensure that oxidation is conducted in a safe and effective manner. It is important to understand the effect of changes in environmental variables on the oxidation characteristics of plutonium. The primary purpose of this report is to present a brief summary of information related to plutonium metal attributes, behavior, methods for conversion to oxide, and the ancillary considerations related to processing and facility safety. The information provided is based on data available in the public domain and from experience in oxidation of such materials at various facilities in the United States. The report is provided as a general reference for implementation of a simple and safe plutonium metal oxidation technique.

  4. SHIELDING AND DETECTOR RESPONSE CALCULATIONS PERTAINING TO CATEGORY 1 QUANTITIES OF PLUTONIUM AND HAND-HELD PLASTIC SCINTILLATORS

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Couture, A.

    2013-06-07

    Nuclear facilities sometimes use hand-held plastic scintillator detectors to detect attempts to divert special nuclear material in situations where portal monitors are impractical. MCNP calculations have been performed to determine the neutron and gamma radiation field arising from a Category I quantity of weapons-grade plutonium in various shielding configurations. The shields considered were composed of combinations of lead and high-density polyethylene such that the mass of the plutonium plus shield was 22.7 kilograms. Monte-Carlo techniques were also used to determine the detector response to each of the shielding configurations. The detector response calculations were verified using field measurements of high-, medium-, and low- energy gamma-ray sources as well as a Cf-252 neutron source.

  5. U.S. and Russia Sign Plan for Russian Plutonium Disposition | Department of

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    Energy Sign Plan for Russian Plutonium Disposition U.S. and Russia Sign Plan for Russian Plutonium Disposition November 19, 2007 - 4:31pm Addthis Will Eliminate Enough Russian Plutonium for Thousands of Nuclear Weapons WASHINGTON, DC -U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman and Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency Director Sergey Kiriyenko have signed a joint statement outlining a plan to dispose of 34 metric tons of surplus plutonium from Russia's weapons program. Under the new plan, the

  6. Nuclear weapons modernizations

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Kristensen, Hans M.

    2014-05-09

    This article reviews the nuclear weapons modernization programs underway in the world's nine nuclear weapons states. It concludes that despite significant reductions in overall weapons inventories since the end of the Cold War, the pace of reductions is slowing - four of the nuclear weapons states are even increasing their arsenals, and all the nuclear weapons states are busy modernizing their remaining arsenals in what appears to be a dynamic and counterproductive nuclear competition. The author questions whether perpetual modernization combined with no specific plan for the elimination of nuclear weapons is consistent with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and concludes that new limits on nuclear modernizations are needed.

  7. Estimate of the Sources of Plutonium-Containing Wastes Generated from MOX Fuel Production in Russia

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Kudinov, K. G.; Tretyakov, A. A.; Sorokin, Yu. P.; Bondin, V. V.; Manakova, L. F.; Jardine, L. J.

    2002-02-26

    In Russia, mixed oxide (MOX) fuel is produced in a pilot facility ''Paket'' at ''MAYAK'' Production Association. The Mining-Chemical Combine (MCC) has developed plans to design and build a dedicated industrial-scale plant to produce MOX fuel and fuel assemblies (FA) for VVER-1000 water reactors and the BN-600 fast-breeder reactor, which is pending an official Russian Federation (RF) site-selection decision. The design output of the plant is based on a production capacity of 2.75 tons of weapons plutonium per year to produce the resulting fuel assemblies: 1.25 tons for the BN-600 reactor FAs and the remaining 1.5 tons for VVER-1000 FAs. It is likely the quantity of BN-600 FAs will be reduced in actual practice. The process of nuclear disarmament frees a significant amount of weapons plutonium for other uses, which, if unutilized, represents a constant general threat. In France, Great Britain, Belgium, Russia, and Japan, reactor-grade plutonium is used in MOX-fuel production. Making MOX-fuel for CANDU (Canada) and pressurized water reactors (PWR) (Europe) is under consideration in Russia. If this latter production is added, as many as 5 tons of Pu per year might be processed into new FAs in Russia. Many years of work and experience are represented in the estimates of MOX fuel production wastes derived in this report. Prior engineering studies and sludge treatment investigations and comparisons have determined how best to treat Pu sludges and MOX fuel wastes. Based upon analyses of the production processes established by these efforts, we can estimate that there will be approximately 1200 kg of residual wastes subject to immobilization per MT of plutonium processed, of which approximately 6 to 7 kg is Pu in the residuals per MT of Pu processed. The wastes are various and complicated in composition. Because organic wastes constitute both the major portion of total waste and of the Pu to be immobilized, the recommended treatment of MOX-fuel production waste is

  8. CONVERSION OF PLUTONIUM TRIFLUORIDE TO PLUTONIUM TETRAFLUORIDE

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Fried, S.; Davidson, N.R.

    1957-09-10

    A large proportion of the trifluoride of plutonium can be converted, in the absence of hydrogen fluoride, to the tetrafiuoride of plutonium. This is done by heating plutonium trifluoride with oxygen at temperatures between 250 and 900 deg C. The trifiuoride of plutonium reacts with oxygen to form plutonium tetrafluoride and plutonium oxide, in a ratio of about 3 to 1. In the presence of moisture, plutonium tetrafluoride tends to hydrolyze at elevated temperatures and therefore it is desirable to have the process take place under anhydrous conditions.

  9. ANL-W MOX fuel lead assemblies data report for the surplus plutonium disposition environmental impact statement

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    O`Connor, D.G.; Fisher, S.E.; Holdaway, R.

    1997-08-01

    The purpose of this document is to support the US Department of Energy (DOE) Fissile Materials Disposition Program`s preparation of the draft surplus plutonium disposition environmental impact statement (EIS). This is one of several responses to data call requests for background information on activities associated with the operation of the lead assembly (LA) mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication facility. The DOE Office of fissile Materials Disposition (DOE-MD) has developed a dual-path strategy for disposition of surplus weapons-grade plutonium. One of the paths is to disposition surplus plutonium through irradiation of MOX fuel in commercial nuclear reactors. MOX fuel consists of plutonium and uranium oxides (PuO{sub 2} and UO{sub 2}), typically containing 95% or more UO{sub 2}. DOE-MD requested that the DOE Site Operations Offices nominate DOE sites that meet established minimum requirements that could produce MOX LAs. The paper describes the following: Site map and the LA facility; process descriptions; resource needs; employment requirements; wastes, emissions, and exposures; accident analysis; transportation; qualitative decontamination and decommissioning; post-irradiation examination; LA fuel bundle fabrication; LA EIS data report assumptions; and LA EIS data report supplement.

  10. Plutonium: The first 50 years. United States plutonium production, acquisition, and utilization from 1944 through 1994

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1996-02-01

    The report contains important newly declassified information regarding the US production, acquisition, and removals of plutonium. This new information, when combined with previously declassified data, has allowed the DOE to issue, for the first time, a truly comprehensive report on the total DOE plutonium inventory. At the December 7, 1993, Openness Press Conference, the DOE declassified the plutonium inventories at eight locations totaling 33.5 metric tons (MT). This report declassifies the remainder of the DOE plutonium inventory. Newly declassified in this report is the quantity of plutonium at the Pantex Site, near Amarillo, Texas, and in the US nuclear weapons stockpile of 66.1 MT, which, when added to the previously released inventory of 33.5 MT, yields a total plutonium inventory of 99.5 MT. This report will document the sources which built up the plutonium inventory as well as the transactions which have removed plutonium from that inventory. This report identifies four sources that add plutonium to the DOE/DoD inventory, and seven types of transactions which remove plutonium from the DOE/DoD inventory. This report also discusses the nuclear material control and accountability system which records all nuclear material transactions, compares records with inventory and calculates material balances, and analyzes differences to verify that nuclear materials are in quantities as reported. The DOE believes that this report will aid in discussions in plutonium storage, safety, and security with stakeholders as well as encourage other nations to declassify and release similar data. These data will also be available for formulating policies with respect to disposition of excess nuclear materials. The information in this report is based on the evaluation of available records. The information contained in this report may be updated or revised in the future should additional or more detailed data become available.

  11. Plutonium story

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Seaborg, G T

    1981-09-01

    The first nuclear synthesis and identification (i.e., the discovery) of the synthetic transuranium element plutonium (isotope /sup 238/Pu) and the demonstration of its fissionability with slow neutrons (isotope /sup 239/Pu) took place at the University of California, Berkeley, through the use of the 60-inch and 37-inch cyclotrons, in late 1940 and early 1941. This led to the development of industrial scale methods in secret work centered at the University of Chicago's Metallurgical Laboratory and the application of these methods to industrial scale production, at manufacturing plants in Tennessee and Washington, during the World War II years 1942 to 1945. The chemical properties of plutonium, needed to devise the procedures for its industrial scale production, were studied by tracer and ultramicrochemical methods during this period on an extraordinarily urgent basis. This work, and subsequent investigations on a worldwide basis, have made the properties of plutonium very well known. Its well studied electronic structure and chemical properties give it a very interesting position in the actinide series of inner transition elements.

  12. Plutonium Story

    DOE R&D Accomplishments [OSTI]

    Seaborg, G. T.

    1981-09-01

    The first nuclear synthesis and identification (i.e., the discovery) of the synthetic transuranium element plutonium (isotope /sup 238/Pu) and the demonstration of its fissionability with slow neutrons (isotope /sup 239/Pu) took place at the University of California, Berkeley, through the use of the 60-inch and 37-inch cyclotrons, in late 1940 and early 1941. This led to the development of industrial scale methods in secret work centered at the University of Chicago's Metallurgical Laboratory and the application of these methods to industrial scale production, at manufacturing plants in Tennessee and Washington, during the World War II years 1942 to 1945. The chemical properties of plutonium, needed to devise the procedures for its industrial scale production, were studied by tracer and ultramicrochemical methods during this period on an extraordinarily urgent basis. This work, and subsequent investigations on a worldwide basis, have made the properties of plutonium very well known. Its well studied electronic structure and chemical properties give it a very interesting position in the actinide series of inner transition elements.

  13. Reference computations of public dose and cancer risk from airborne releases of plutonium. Nuclear safety technical report

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Peterson, V.L.

    1993-12-23

    This report presents results of computations of doses and the associated health risks of postulated accidental atmospheric releases from the Rocky Flats Plant (RFP) of one gram of weapons-grade plutonium in a form that is respirable. These computations are intended to be reference computations that can be used to evaluate a variety of accident scenarios by scaling the dose and health risk results presented here according to the amount of plutonium postulated to be released, instead of repeating the computations for each scenario. The MACCS2 code has been used as the basis of these computations. The basis and capabilities of MACCS2 are summarized, the parameters used in the evaluations are discussed, and results are presented for the doses and health risks to the public, both the Maximum Offsite Individual (a maximally exposed individual at or beyond the plant boundaries) and the population within 50 miles of RFP. A number of different weather scenarios are evaluated, including constant weather conditions and observed weather for 1990, 1991, and 1992. The isotopic mix of weapons-grade plutonium will change as it ages, the {sup 241}Pu decaying into {sup 241}Am. The {sup 241}Am reaches a peak concentration after about 72 years. The doses to the bone surface, liver, and whole body will increase slightly but the dose to the lungs will decrease slightly. The overall cancer risk will show almost no change over this period. This change in cancer risk is much smaller than the year-to-year variations in cancer risk due to weather. Finally, x/Q values are also presented for other applications, such as for hazardous chemical releases. These include the x/Q values for the MOI, for a collocated worker at 100 meters downwind of an accident site, and the x/Q value integrated over the population out to 50 miles.

  14. PLUTONIUM ALLOYS

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Chynoweth, W.

    1959-06-16

    The preparation of low-melting-point plutonium alloys is described. In a MgO crucible Pu is placed on top of the lighter alloying metal (Fe, Co, or Ni) and the temperature raised to 1000 or 1200 deg C. Upon cooling, the alloy slug is broke out of the crucible. With 14 at. % Ni the m.p. is 465 deg C; with 9.5 at. % Fe the m.p. is 410 deg C; and with 12.0 at. % Co the m.p. is 405 deg C. (T.R.H.) l6262 l6263 ((((((((Abstract unscannable))))))))

  15. Identification of nuclear weapons

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Mihalczo, J.T.; King, W.T.

    1987-04-10

    A method and apparatus for non-invasively indentifying different types of nuclear weapons is disclosed. A neutron generator is placed against the weapon to generate a stream of neutrons causing fissioning within the weapon. A first detects the generation of the neutrons and produces a signal indicative thereof. A second particle detector located on the opposite side of the weapon detects the fission particles and produces signals indicative thereof. The signals are converted into a detected pattern and a computer compares the detected pattern with known patterns of weapons and indicates which known weapon has a substantially similar pattern. Either a time distribution pattern or noise analysis pattern, or both, is used. Gamma-neutron discrimination and a third particle detector for fission particles adjacent the second particle detector are preferably used. The neutrons are generated by either a decay neutron source or a pulled neutron particle accelerator.

  16. Chemical and Radiochemical Composition of Thermally Stabilized Plutonium Oxide from the Plutonium Finishing Plant Considered as Alternate Feedstock for the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Tingey, Joel M.; Jones, Susan A.

    2005-07-01

    PFP. Samples varied in appearance depending on the original source of material. Rocky Flats items were mostly dark olive green with clumps that crushed easily with a mortar and pestle. PRF/RMC items showed more variability. These items were mostly rust colored. One sample contained white particles that were difficult to crush, and another sample was a dark grey with a mixture of fines and large, hard fragments. The appearance and feel of the fragments indicated they might be an alloy. The color of the solution samples was indicative of the impurities in the sample. The double-pass filtrate solution was a brown color indicative of the iron impurities in the sample. The other solution sample was light gray in color. Radiochemical analyses, including thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS), alpha and gamma energy analysis (AEA and GEA), and kinetic phosphorescence analysis (KPA), indicate that these materials are all weapons-grade plutonium with consistent plutonium isotopics. A small amount of uranium (<0.14 wt%) is also present in these samples. The isotopic composition of the uranium varied widely but was consistent among each category of material. The primary water-soluble anions in these samples were Cl-, NO3-, SO42-, and PO43-. The only major anion observed in the Rocky Flats materials was Cl-, but the PRF/RMC samples had significant quantities of all of the primary anions observed. Prompt gamma measurements provide a representative analysis of the Cl- concentration in the bulk material. The primary anions observed in the solution samples were NO3-, and PO43-. The concentration of these anions did not exceed the mixed oxide (MOX) specification limits. Cations that exceeded the MOX specification limits included Cr, Fe, Ni, Al, Cu, and Si. All of the samples exceeded at least the 75% specification limit in one element.

  17. Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium 1999 plan

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1999-01-30

    The purpose of the Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium is to serve the Texas Panhandle, the State of Texas and the US Department of Energy by: conducting scientific and technical research; advising decision makers; and providing information on nuclear weapons materials and related environment, safety, health, and nonproliferation issues while building academic excellence in science and technology. This paper describes the electronic resource library which provides the national archives of technical, policy, historical, and educational information on plutonium. Research projects related to the following topics are described: Environmental restoration and protection; Safety and health; Waste management; Education; Training; Instrumentation development; Materials science; Plutonium processing and handling; and Storage.

  18. Weapons Program Associate Directors

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    integration we have achieved between the various components of the program," said Bret Knapp, Principal Associate Director for Weapons Programs. "They have both done an...

  19. Design-Only Conceptual Design Report: Plutonium Immobilization Plant

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    DiSabatino, A.; Loftus, D.

    1999-01-01

    This design-only conceptual design report was prepared to support a funding request by the Department of Energy Office of Fissile Materials Disposition for engineering and design of the Plutonium Immobilization Plant, which will be used to immobilize up to 50 tonnes of surplus plutonium. The siting for the Plutonium Immobilization Plant will be determined pursuant to the site-specific Surplus Plutonium Disposition Environmental Impact Statement in a Plutonium Deposition Record of Decision in early 1999. This document reflects a new facility using the preferred technology (ceramic immobilization using the can-in-canister approach) and the preferred site (at Savannah River). The Plutonium Immobilization Plant accepts plutonium from pit conversion and from non-pit sources and, through a ceramic immobilization process, converts the plutonium into mineral-like forms that are subsequently encapsulated within a large canister of high-level waste glass. The final immobilized product must make the plutonium as inherently unattractive and inaccessible for use in nuclear weapons as the plutonium in spent fuel from commercial reactors and must be suitable for geologic disposal. Plutonium immobilization at the Savannah River Site uses: (1) A new building, the Plutonium Immobilization Plant, which will convert non-pit surplus plutonium to an oxide form suitable for the immobilization process, immobilize plutonium in a titanate-based ceramic form, place cans of the plutonium-ceramic forms into magazines, and load the magazines into a canister; (2) The existing Defense Waste Processing Facility for the pouring of high-level waste glass into the canisters; and (3) The Actinide Packaging and Storage Facility to receive and store feed materials. The Plutonium Immobilization Plant uses existing Savannah River Site infra-structure for analytical laboratory services, waste handling, fire protection, training, and other support utilities and services. The Plutonium Immobilization Plant

  20. Regulatory issues for deep borehole plutonium disposition

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Halsey, W.G.

    1995-03-01

    As a result of recent changes throughout the world, a substantial inventory of excess separated plutonium is expected to result from dismantlement of US nuclear weapons. The safe and secure management and eventual disposition of this plutonium, and of a similar inventory in Russia, is a high priority. A variety of options (both interim and permanent) are under consideration to manage this material. The permanent solutions can be categorized into two broad groups: direct disposal and utilization. The deep borehole disposition concept involves placing excess plutonium deep into old stable rock formations with little free water present. Issues of concern include the regulatory, statutory and policy status of such a facility, the availability of sites with desirable characteristics and the technologies required for drilling deep holes, characterizing them, emplacing excess plutonium and sealing the holes. This white paper discusses the regulatory issues. Regulatory issues concerning construction, operation and decommissioning of the surface facility do not appear to be controversial, with existing regulations providing adequate coverage. It is in the areas of siting, licensing and long term environmental protection that current regulations may be inappropriate. This is because many current regulations are by intent or by default specific to waste forms, facilities or missions significantly different from deep borehole disposition of excess weapons usable fissile material. It is expected that custom regulations can be evolved in the context of this mission.

  1. PRODUCTION OF PLUTONIUM METAL

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Lyon, W.L.; Moore, R.H.

    1961-01-17

    A process is given for producing plutonium metal by the reduction of plutonium chloride, dissolved in alkali metal chloride plus or minus aluminum chloride, with magnesium or a magnesium-aluminum alloy at between 700 and 800 deg C and separating the plutonium or plutonium-aluminum alloy formed from the salt.

  2. Demolition Begins on Hanford's Historic Plutonium Vaults - Plutonium...

    Office of Environmental Management (EM)

    - Plutonium Finishing Plant on track to meet regulatory milestone Demolition Begins on Hanford's Historic Plutonium Vaults - Plutonium Finishing Plant on track to meet ...

  3. Mobile Pit verification system design based on passive special nuclear material verification in weapons storage facilities

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Paul, J. N.; Chin, M. R.; Sjoden, G. E.

    2013-07-01

    A mobile 'drive by' passive radiation detection system to be applied in special nuclear materials (SNM) storage facilities for validation and compliance purposes has been designed through the use of computational modeling and new radiation detection methods. This project was the result of work over a 1 year period to create optimal design specifications to include creation of 3D models using both Monte Carlo and deterministic codes to characterize the gamma and neutron leakage out each surface of SNM-bearing canisters. Results were compared and agreement was demonstrated between both models. Container leakages were then used to determine the expected reaction rates using transport theory in the detectors when placed at varying distances from the can. A 'typical' background signature was incorporated to determine the minimum signatures versus the probability of detection to evaluate moving source protocols with collimation. This established the criteria for verification of source presence and time gating at a given vehicle speed. New methods for the passive detection of SNM were employed and shown to give reliable identification of age and material for highly enriched uranium (HEU) and weapons grade plutonium (WGPu). The finalized 'Mobile Pit Verification System' (MPVS) design demonstrated that a 'drive-by' detection system, collimated and operating at nominally 2 mph, is capable of rapidly verifying each and every weapon pit stored in regularly spaced, shelved storage containers, using completely passive gamma and neutron signatures for HEU and WGPu. This system is ready for real evaluation to demonstrate passive total material accountability in storage facilities. (authors)

  4. SEPARATION OF PLUTONIUM

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Maddock, A.G.; Smith, F.

    1959-08-25

    A method is described for separating plutonium from uranium and fission products by treating a nitrate solution of fission products, uranium, and hexavalent plutonium with a relatively water-insoluble fluoride to adsorb fission products on the fluoride, treating the residual solution with a reducing agent for plutonium to reduce its valence to four and less, treating the reduced plutonium solution with a relatively insoluble fluoride to adsorb the plutonium on the fluoride, removing the solution, and subsequently treating the fluoride with its adsorbed plutonium with a concentrated aqueous solution of at least one of a group consisting of aluminum nitrate, ferric nitrate, and manganous nitrate to remove the plutonium from the fluoride.

  5. Mixed oxide fuels testing in the advanced test reactor to support plutonium disposition

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Ryskamp, J.M.; Sterbentz, J.W.; Chang, G.S.

    1995-09-01

    An intense worldwide effort is now under way to find means of reducing the stockpile of weapons-grade plutonium. One of the most attractive solutions would be to use WGPu as fuel in existing light water reactors (LWRs) in the form of mixed oxide (MOX) fuel - i.e., plutonia (PUO{sub 2}) mixed with urania (UO{sub 2}). Before U.S. reactors could be used for this purpose, their operating licenses would have to be amended. Numerous technical issues must be resolved before LWR operating licenses can be amended to allow the use of MOX fuel. These issues include the following: (1) MOX fuel fabrication process verification, (2) Whether and how to use burnable poisons to depress MOX fuel initial reactivity, which is higher than that of urania, (3) The effects of WGPu isotopic composition, (4) The feasibility of loading MOX fuel with plutonia content up to 7% by weight, (5) The effects of americium and gallium in WGPu, (6) Fission gas release from MOX fuel pellets made from WGPu, (7) Fuel/cladding gap closure, (8) The effects of power cycling and off-normal events on fuel integrity, (9) Development of radial distributions of burnup and fission products, (10) Power spiking near the interfaces of MOX and urania fuel assemblies, and (11) Fuel performance code validation. We have performed calculations to show that the use of hafnium shrouds can produce spectrum adjustments that will bring the flux spectrum in ATR test loops into a good approximation to the spectrum anticipated in a commercial LWR containing MOX fuel while allowing operation of the test fuel assemblies near their optimum values of linear heat generation rate. The ATR would be a nearly ideal test bed for developing data needed to support applications to license LWRs for operation with MOX fuel made from weapons-grade plutonium. The requirements for planning and implementing a test program in the ATR have been identified.

  6. Technical considerations and policy requirements for plutonium management

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Christensen, D.C.; Dinehart, S.M.; Yarbro, S.L.

    1995-12-31

    The goals for plutonium management have changed dramatically over the past few years. Today, the challenge is focused on isolating plutonium from the environment and preparing it for permanent disposition. In parallel, the requirements for managing plutonium are rapidly changing. For example, there is a significant increase in public awareness on how facilities operate, increased attention to environmental safety and health (ES and H) concerns, greater interest in minimizing waste, more emphasis on protecting material from theft, providing materials for international inspection, and a resurgence of interest in using plutonium as an energy source. Of highest concern, in the immediate future, is protecting plutonium from theft or diversion, while the national policy on disposition is debated. These expanded requirements are causing a broadening of responsibilities within the Department of Energy (DOE) to include at least seven organizations. An unavoidable consequence is the divergence in approach and short-term goals for managing similar materials within each organization. The technology base does exist, properly, safely, and cost effectively to extract plutonium from excess weapons, residues, waste, and contaminated equipment and facilities, and to properly stabilize it. Extracting the plutonium enables it to be easily inventoried, packaged, and managed to minimize the risk of theft and diversion. Discarding excess plutonium does not sufficiently reduce the risk of diversion, and as a result, long-term containment of plutonium from the environment may not be able to be proven to the satisfaction of the public.

  7. Geomorphology of plutonium in the Northern Rio Grande

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Graf, W.L.

    1993-03-01

    Nearly all of the plutonium in the natural environment of the Northern Rio Grande is associated with soils and sediment, and river processes account for most of the mobility of these materials. A composite regional budget for plutonium based on multi-decadal averages for sediment and plutonium movement shows that 90 percent of the plutonium moving into the system is from atmospheric fallout. The remaining 10 percent is from releases at Los Alamos. Annual variation in plutonium flux and storage exceeds 100 percent. The contribution to the plutonium budget from Los Alamos is associated with relatively coarse sediment which often behaves as bedload in the Rio Grande. Infusion of these materials into the main stream were largest in 1951, 1952, 1957, and 1968. Because of the schedule of delivery of plutonium to Los Alamos for experimentation and weapons manufacturing, the latter two years are probably the most important. Although the Los Alamos contribution to the entire plutonium budget was relatively small, in these four critical years it constituted 71--86 percent of the plutonium in bedload immediately downstream from Otowi.

  8. Overview of Modeling and Simulations of Plutonium Aging

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Schwartz, A J; Wolfer, W G

    2007-04-24

    Computer-aided materials research is now an integral part of science and technology. It becomes particularly valuable when comprehensive experimental investigations and materials testing are too costly, hazardous, or of excessive duration; then, theoretical and computational studies can supplement and enhance the information gained from limited experimental data. Such is the case for improving our fundamental understanding of the properties of aging plutonium in the nuclear weapons stockpile. The question of the effects of plutonium aging on the safety, security, and reliability of the nuclear weapons stockpile emerged after the United States closed its plutonium manufacturing facility in 1989 and decided to suspend any further underground testing of nuclear weapons in 1992. To address this, the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) initiated a research program to investigate plutonium aging, i.e., the changes with time of properties of Pu-Ga alloys employed in the nuclear weapons and to develop models describing these changes sufficiently reliable to forecast them for several decades. The November 26, 2006 press release by the NNSA summarizes the conclusions of the investigation, '...there appear to be no serious or sudden changes occurring, or expected to occur, in plutonium that would affect performance of pits beyond the well-understood, gradual degradation of plutonium materials'. Furthermore, 'These studies show that the degradation of plutonium in our nuclear weapons will not affect warhead reliability for decades', then NNSA Administrator Linton Brooks said. 'It is now clear that although plutonium aging contributes, other factors control the overall life expectancy of nuclear weapons systems'. The origin of plutonium aging is the natural decay of certain plutonium isotopes. Specifically, it is the process of alpha decay in which a plutonium atom spontaneously splits into a 5 MeV alpha particle and an 85keV uranium recoil

  9. STRIPPING PROCESS FOR PLUTONIUM

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Kolodney, M.

    1959-10-01

    A method for removing silver, nickel, cadmium, zinc, and indium coatings from plutonium objects while simultaneously rendering the plutonium object passive is described. The coated plutonium object is immersed as the anode in an electrolyte in which the plutonium is passive and the coating metal is not passive, using as a cathode a metal which does not dissolve rapidly in the electrolyte. and passing an electrical current through the electrolyte until the coating metal is removed from the plutonium body.

  10. Looking inside plutonium

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    Looking inside plutonium Looking inside plutonium Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories have recently conducted plutonium experiments using Sandia's pulsed power Z Machine. April 7, 2016 Plutonium alpha phase metal samples are mirror finished 6mmx6mm squares 250 micrometers thick, sandwiched between platinum sample holders and transparent lithium-fluorite windows, and mounted in Z target copper panels. The target assemblies are made at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Plutonium alpha phase

  11. LLNL MOX fuel lead assemblies data report for the surplus plutonium disposition environmental impact statement

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    O`Connor, D.G.; Fisher, S.E.; Holdaway, R.

    1998-08-01

    The purpose of this document is to support the US Department of Energy (DOE) Fissile Materials Disposition Program`s preparation of the draft surplus plutonium disposition environmental impact statement. This is one of several responses to data call requests for background information on activities associated with the operation of the lead assembly (LA) mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication facility. The DOE Office of Fissile Materials Disposition (DOE-MD) has developed a dual-path strategy for disposition of surplus weapons-grade plutonium. One of the paths is to disposition surplus plutonium through irradiation of MOX fuel in commercial nuclear reactors. MOX fuel consists of plutonium and uranium oxides (PuO{sub 2} and UO{sub 2}), typically containing 95% or more UO{sub 2}. DOE-MD requested that the DOE Site Operations Offices nominate DOE sites that meet established minimum requirements that could produce MOX LAs. LLNL has proposed an LA MOX fuel fabrication approach that would be done entirely inside an S and S Category 1 area. This includes receipt and storage of PuO{sub 2} powder, fabrication of MOX fuel pellets, assembly of fuel rods and bundles, and shipping of the packaged fuel to a commercial reactor site. Support activities will take place within a Category 1 area. Building 332 will be used to receive and store the bulk PuO{sub 2} powder, fabricate MOX fuel pellets, and assemble fuel rods. Building 334 will be used to assemble, store, and ship fuel bundles. Only minor modifications would be required of Building 332. Uncontaminated glove boxes would need to be removed, petition walls would need to be removed, and minor modifications to the ventilation system would be required.

  12. DOE nuclear material packaging manual: storage container requirements for plutonium oxide materials

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Veirs, D Kirk

    2009-01-01

    Loss of containment of nuclear material stored in containers such as food-pack cans, paint cans, or taped slip lid cans has generated concern about packaging requirements for interim storage of nuclear materials in working facilities such as the plutonium facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). In response, DOE has recently issued DOE M 441.1 'Nuclear Material Packaging Manual' with encouragement from the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. A unique feature compared to transportation containers is the allowance of filters to vent flammable gases during storage. Defining commonly used concepts such as maximum allowable working pressure and He leak rate criteria become problematic when considering vented containers. Los Alamos has developed a set of container requirements that are in compliance with 441.1 based upon the activity of heat-source plutonium (90% Pu-238) oxide, which bounds the requirements for weapons-grade plutonium oxide. The pre and post drop-test He leak rates depend upon container size as well as the material contents. For containers that are routinely handled, ease of handling and weight are a major consideration. Relatively thin-walled containers with flat bottoms are desired yet they cannot be He leak tested at a differential pressure of one atmosphere due to the potential for plastic deformation of the flat bottom during testing. The He leak rates and He leak testing configuration for containers designed for plutonium bearing materials will be presented. The approach to meeting the other manual requirements such as corrosion and thermal degradation resistance will be addressed. The information presented can be used by other sites to evaluate if their conditions are bounded by LANL requirements when considering procurement of 441.1 compliant containers.

  13. THE DEACTIVATION DECONTAMINATION & DECOMMISSIONING OF THE PLUTONIUM FINISHING PLANT (PFP) A FORMER PLUTONIUM PROCESSING FACILITY AT DOE HANFORD SITE

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    CHARBONEAU, S.L.

    2006-02-01

    The Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) was constructed as part of the Manhattan Project during World War II. The Manhattan Project was developed to usher in the use of nuclear weapons to end the war. The primary mission of the PFP was to provide plutonium used as special nuclear material (SNM) for fabrication of nuclear devices for the war effort. Subsequent to the end of World War II, the PFP's mission expanded to support the Cold War effort through plutonium production during the nuclear arms race and later the processing of fuel grade mixed plutonium-uranium oxide to support DOE's breeder reactor program. In October 1990, at the close of the production mission for PFP, a shutdown order was prepared by the Department of Energy (DOE) in Washington, DC and issued to the Richland DOE field office. Subsequent to the shutdown order, a team from the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) analyzed the hazards at PFP associated with the continued storage of certain forms of plutonium solutions and solids. The assessment identified many discrete actions that were required to stabilize the different plutonium forms into stable form and repackage the material in high integrity containers. These actions were technically complicated and completed as part of the PFP nuclear material stabilization project between 1995 and early 2005. The completion of the stabilization project was a necessary first step in deactivating PFP. During stabilization, DOE entered into negotiations with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Washington and established milestones for the Deactivation and Decommissioning (D&D) of the PFP. The DOE and its contractor, Fluor Hanford (Fluor), have made great progress in deactivating, decontaminating and decommissioning the PFP at the Hanford Site as detailed in this paper. Background information covering the PFP D&D effort includes descriptions of negotiations with the State of Washington concerning consent-order milestones

  14. Interaction of Plutonium with Diverse Materials in Moist Air and Nitrogen-Argon Atmospheres at Room Temperature

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    John M. Haschke; Raymond J. Martinez; Robert E. Pruner II; Barbara Martinez; Thomas H. Allen

    2001-04-01

    Chemical and radiolytic interactions of weapons-grade plutonium with metallic, inorganic, and hydrogenous materials in atmospheres containing moist air-argon mixtures have been characterized at room temperature from pressure-volume-temperature and mass spectrometric measurements of the gas phase. A reaction sequence controlled by kinetics and gas-phase composition is defined by correlating observed and known reaction rates. In all cases, O{sub 2} is eliminated first by the water-catalyzed Pu + O{sub 2} reaction and H{sub 2}O is then consumed by the Pu + H{sub 2}O reaction, producing a gas mixture of N{sub 2}, argon, and H{sub 2}. Hydrogen formed by the reaction of water and concurrent radiolysis of hydrogenous materials either reacts to form PuH{sub 2} or accumulates in the system. Accumulation of H{sub 2} is correlated with the presence of hydrogenous materials in liquid and volatile forms that are readily distributed over the plutonium surface. Areal rates of radiolytic H{sub 2} generation are determined and applied in showing that modest extents of H{sub 2} production are expected for hydrogenous solids if the contact area with plutonium is limited. The unpredictable nature of complex chemical systems is demonstrated by occurrence of the chloride-catalyzed Pu + H{sub 2}O reaction in some tests and hydride-catalyzed nitriding in another.

  15. Principal Associate Director - Weapons Programs

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    Weapons Programs As Principal Associate Director for the Weapons Program, Robert Webster leads the programs to assure the safety, security, and effectiveness of the systems in the...

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Johnson, M.W.; Frankle, C.M.; Gosnell, T.B.

    1997-04-01

    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.

  17. Virtual nuclear weapons

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Pilat, J.F.

    1997-08-01

    The term virtual nuclear weapons proliferation and arsenals, as opposed to actual weapons and arsenals, has entered in recent years the American lexicon of nuclear strategy, arms control, and nonproliferation. While the term seems to have an intuitive appeal, largely due to its cyberspace imagery, its current use is still vague and loose. The author believes, however, that if the term is clearly delineated, it might offer a promising approach to conceptualizing certain current problems of proliferation. The first use is in a reference to an old problem that has resurfaced recently: the problem of growing availability of weapon-usable nuclear materials in civilian nuclear programs along with materials made `excess` to defense needs by current arms reduction and dismantlement. It is argued that the availability of these vast materials, either by declared nuclear-weapon states or by technologically advanced nonweapon states, makes it possible for those states to rapidly assemble and deploy nuclear weapons. The second use has quite a different set of connotations. It is derived conceptually from the imagery of computer-generated reality. In this use, one thinks of virtual proliferation and arsenals not in terms of the physical hardware required to make the bomb but rather in terms of the knowledge/experience required to design, assemble, and deploy the arsenal. Virtual weapons are a physics reality and cannot be ignored in a world where knowledge, experience, materials, and other requirements to make nuclear weapons are widespread, and where dramatic army reductions and, in some cases, disarmament are realities. These concepts are useful in defining a continuum of virtual capabilities, ranging from those at the low end that derive from general technology diffusion and the existence of nuclear energy programs to those at the high end that involve conscious decisions to develop or maintain militarily significant nuclear-weapon capabilities.

  18. National Security, Weapons Science

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    National Security, Weapons Science National Security, Weapons Science National security depends on science and technology. The United States relies on Los Alamos National Laboratory for the best of both. No place on Earth pursues a broader array of world-class scientific endeavors. CoMuEx» Explosives Center» Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test Facility (DARHT) The Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test Facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory is part of the DOE's stockpile stewardship

  19. LANSCE Weapons Physics

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    7 LANSCE Weapons Physics Fortune 500 companies and weapons designers alike rely on our internationally recognized nuclear physics and materials science expertise as well as our one-of-a-kind experimental tools. Contact Us Group Leader Gus Sinnis Email Deputy Group Leader Fredrik Tovesson Email Deputy Group Leader and Experimental Area Manager Charles Kelsey Email Group Office (505) 665-5390 Time Projection Chamber at LANSCE Researcher making measurements of fission cross sections on the Time

  20. METHOD OF SEPARATING PLUTONIUM

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Brown, H.S.; Hill, O.F.

    1958-02-01

    Plutonium hexafluoride is a satisfactory fluorinating agent and may be reacted with various materials capable of forming fluorides, such as copper, iron, zinc, etc., with consequent formation of the metal fluoride and reduction of the plutonium to the form of a lower fluoride. In accordance with the present invention, it has been found that the reactivity of plutonium hexafluoride with other fluoridizable materials is so great that the process may be used as a method of separating plutonium from mixures containing plutonium hexafluoride and other vaporized fluorides even though the plutonium is present in but minute quantities. This process may be carried out by treating a mixture of fluoride vapors comprising plutonium hexafluoride and fluoride of uranium to selectively reduce the plutonium hexafluoride and convert it to a less volatile fluoride, and then recovering said less volatile fluoride from the vapor by condensation.

  1. PREPARATION OF PLUTONIUM TRIFLUORIDE

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Burger, L.L.; Roake, W.E.

    1961-07-11

    A process of producing plutonium trifluoride by reacting dry plutonium(IV) oxalate with chlorofluorinated methane or ethane at 400 to 450 deg C and cooling the product in the absence of oxygen is described.

  2. PROCESS FOR PURIFYING PLUTONIUM

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Mastick, D.F.; Wigner, E.P.

    1958-05-01

    A method is described of separating plutonium from small amounts of uranium and other contaminants. An acidic aqueous solution of higher valent plutonium and hexavalent uranium is treated with a soluble iodide to obtain the plutonium in the plus three oxidation state while leaving the uranium in the hexavalent state, adding a soluble oxalate such as oxalic acid, and then separating the insoluble plus the plutonium trioxalate from the solution.

  3. PLUTONIUM-THORIUM ALLOYS

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Schonfeld, F.W.

    1959-09-15

    New plutonium-base binary alloys useful as liquid reactor fuel are described. The alloys consist of 50 to 98 at.% thorium with the remainder plutonium. The stated advantages of these alloys over unalloyed plutonium for reactor fuel use are easy fabrication, phase stability, and the accompanying advantuge of providing a means for converting Th/sup 232/ into U/sup 233/.

  4. Estimate of the Sources of Plutonium-Containing Wastes Generated from MOX Fuel Production in Russia

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Kudinov, K.G.; Tretyakov, A.A.; Sorokin, Y.P.; Bondin, V.V.; Manakova, L.F.; Jardine, L.J.

    2001-12-01

    In Russia, mixed oxide (MOX) fuel is produced in a pilot facility ''Paket'' at ''MAYAK'' Production Association. The Mining-Chemical Combine (MCC) has developed plans to design and build a dedicated industrial-scale plant to produce MOX fuel and fuel assemblies (FA) for VVER-1000 water reactors and the BN-600 fast-breeder reactor, which is pending an official Russian Federation (RF) site-selection decision. The design output of the plant is based on production capacity of 2.75 tons of weapons plutonium per year to produce the resulting fuel assemblies: 1.25 tons for the BN-600 reactor FAs and the remaining 1.5 tons for VVER-1000 FAs. It is likely the quantity of BN-600 FAs will be reduced in actual practice. The process of nuclear disarmament frees a significant amount of weapons plutonium for other uses, which, if unutilized, represents a constant general threat. In France, Great Britain, Belgium, Russia, and Japan, reactor-grade plutonium is used in MOX-fuel production. Making MOX-fuel for CANDU (Canada) and pressurized water reactors (PWR) (Europe) is under consideration Russia. If this latter production is added, as many as 5 tons of Pu per year might be processed into new FAs in Russia. Many years of work and experience are represented in the estimates of MOX fuel production wastes derived in this report. Prior engineering studies and sludge treatment investigations and comparisons have determined how best to treat Pu sludges and MOX fuel wastes. Based upon analyses of the production processes established by these efforts, we can estimate that there will be approximately 1200 kg of residual wastes subject to immobilization per MT of plutonium processed, of which approximately 6 to 7 kg is Pu in the residuals per MT of Pu processed. The wastes are various and complicated in composition. Because organic wastes constitute both the major portion of total waste and of the Pu to be immobilized, the recommended treatment of MOX-fuel production waste is incineration

  5. Study of plutonium disposition using existing GE advanced Boiling Water Reactors

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Not Available

    1994-06-01

    The end of the cold war and the resulting dismantlement of nuclear weapons has resulted in the need for the US to dispose of 50 to 100 metric tons of excess of plutonium in a safe and proliferation resistant manner. A number of studies, including the recently released National Academy of Sciences (NAS) study, have recommended conversion of plutonium into spent nuclear fuel with its high radiation barrier as the best means of providing permanent conversion and long-term diversion resistance to this material. The NAS study ``Management and Disposition of Excess Weapons Plutonium identified Light Water Reactor spent fuel as the most readily achievable and proven form for the disposition of excess weapons plutonium. The study also stressed the need for a US disposition program which would enhance the prospects for a timely reciprocal program agreement with Russia. This summary provides the key findings of a GE study where plutonium is converted into Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel and a typical 1155 MWe GE Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) is utilized to convert the plutonium to spent fuel. A companion study of the Advanced BWR has recently been submitted. The MOX core design work that was conducted for the ABWR enabled GE to apply comparable fuel design concepts and consequently achieve full MOX core loading which optimize plutonium throughput for existing BWRs.

  6. Thermal and Physical Properties of Plutonium Dioxide Produced from the Oxidation of Metal: a Data Summary

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Wayne, David M.

    2014-01-13

    The ARIES Program at the Los Alamos National Laboratory removes plutonium metal from decommissioned nuclear weapons, and converts it to plutonium dioxide in a specially-designed Direct Metal Oxidation furnace. The plutonium dioxide is analyzed for specific surface area, particle size distribution, and moisture content. The purpose of these analyses is to certify that the plutonium dioxide powder meets or exceeds the specifications of the end-user, and the specifications for the packaging and transport of nuclear materials. Analytical results from plutonium dioxide from ARIES development activities, from ARIES production activities, from muffle furnace oxidation of metal, and from metal that was oxidized over a lengthy time interval in air at room temperature, are presented. The processes studied produce plutonium dioxide powder with distinct differences in measured properties, indicating the significant influence of oxidation conditions on physical properties.

  7. US weapons secrets revealed

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Norris, R.S.; Arkin, W.M.

    1993-03-01

    Extraordinary details have only recently been revealed about the struggle over the control of early U.S. nuclear weapons and their initial deployments abroad. The information comes from a newly declassified top secret report, part of a larger study, The History of the Strategic Arms Competition, 1945-1972, commissioned by Defense Secretary James R. Schlisinger in summer 1974.

  8. PLUTONIUM-ZIRCONIUM ALLOYS

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Schonfeld, F.W.; Waber, J.T.

    1960-08-30

    A series of nuclear reactor fuel alloys consisting of from about 5 to about 50 at.% zirconium (or higher zirconium alloys such as Zircaloy), balance plutonium, and having the structural composition of a plutonium are described. Zirconium is a satisfactory diluent because it alloys readily with plutonium and has desirable nuclear properties. Additional advantages are corrosion resistance, excellent fabrication propenties, an isotropie structure, and initial softness.

  9. METHOD OF SEPARATING PLUTONIUM

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Heal, H.G.

    1960-02-16

    BS>A method of separating plutonium from aqueous nitrate solutions of plutonium, uranium. and high beta activity fission products is given. The pH of the aqueous solution is adjusted between 3.0 to 6.0 with ammonium acetate, ferric nitrate is added, and the solution is heated to 80 to 100 deg C to selectively form a basic ferric plutonium-carrying precipitate.

  10. Applying Agile MethodstoWeapon/Weapon-Related Software

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Adams, D; Armendariz, M; Blackledge, M; Campbell, F; Cloninger, M; Cox, L; Davis, J; Elliott, M; Granger, K; Hans, S; Kuhn, C; Lackner, M; Loo, P; Matthews, S; Morrell, K; Owens, C; Peercy, D; Pope, G; Quirk, R; Schilling, D; Stewart, A; Tran, A; Ward, R; Williamson, M

    2007-05-02

    This white paper provides information and guidance to the Department of Energy (DOE) sites on Agile software development methods and the impact of their application on weapon/weapon-related software development. The purpose of this white paper is to provide an overview of Agile methods, examine the accepted interpretations/uses/practices of these methodologies, and discuss the applicability of Agile methods with respect to Nuclear Weapons Complex (NWC) Technical Business Practices (TBPs). It also provides recommendations on the application of Agile methods to the development of weapon/weapon-related software.

  11. Continuous plutonium dissolution apparatus

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Meyer, F.G.; Tesitor, C.N.

    1974-02-26

    This invention is concerned with continuous dissolution of metals such as plutonium. A high normality acid mixture is fed into a boiler vessel, vaporized, and subsequently condensed as a low normality acid mixture. The mixture is then conveyed to a dissolution vessel and contacted with the plutonium metal to dissolve the plutonium in the dissolution vessel, reacting therewith forming plutonium nitrate. The reaction products are then conveyed to the mixing vessel and maintained soluble by the high normality acid, with separation and removal of the desired constituent. (Official Gazette)

  12. Method for dissolving plutonium dioxide

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Tallent, Othar K.

    1976-01-01

    A method for dissolving plutonium dioxide comprises adding silver ions to a nitric acid-hydrofluoric acid solution to significantly speed up dissolution of difficultly soluble plutonium dioxide.

  13. ELECTRODEPOSITION OF PLUTONIUM

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Wolter, F.J.

    1957-09-10

    A process of electrolytically recovering plutonium from dilute aqueous solutions containing plutonium ions comprises electrolyzing the solution at a current density of about 0.44 ampere per square centimeter in the presence of an acetate-sulfate buffer while maintaining the pH of the solution at substantially 5 and using a stirred mercury cathode.

  14. PLUTONIUM-CERIUM ALLOY

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Coffinberry, A.S.

    1959-01-01

    An alloy is presented for use as a reactor fuel. The binary alloy consists essentially of from about 5 to 90 atomic per cent cerium and the balance being plutonium. A complete phase diagram for the cerium--plutonium system is given.

  15. DELTA PHASE PLUTONIUM ALLOYS

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Cramer, E.M.; Ellinger, F.H.; Land. C.C.

    1960-03-22

    Delta-phase plutonium alloys were developed suitable for use as reactor fuels. The alloys consist of from 1 to 4 at.% zinc and the balance plutonium. The alloys have good neutronic, corrosion, and fabrication characteristics snd possess good dimensional characteristics throughout an operating temperature range from 300 to 490 deg C.

  16. Plutonium storage criteria

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Chung, D.; Ascanio, X.

    1996-05-01

    The Department of Energy has issued a technical standard for long-term (>50 years) storage and will soon issue a criteria document for interim (<20 years) storage of plutonium materials. The long-term technical standard, {open_quotes}Criteria for Safe Storage of Plutonium Metals and Oxides,{close_quotes} addresses the requirements for storing metals and oxides with greater than 50 wt % plutonium. It calls for a standardized package that meets both off-site transportation requirements, as well as remote handling requirements from future storage facilities. The interim criteria document, {open_quotes}Criteria for Interim Safe Storage of Plutonium-Bearing Solid Materials{close_quotes}, addresses requirements for storing materials with less than 50 wt% plutonium. The interim criteria document assumes the materials will be stored on existing sites, and existing facilities and equipment will be used for repackaging to improve the margin of safety.

  17. Plutonium storage phenomenology

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Szempruch, R.

    1995-12-01

    Plutonium has been produced, handled, and stored at Department of Energy (DOE) facilities since the 1940s. Many changes have occurred during the last 40 years in the sources, production demands, and end uses of plutonium. These have resulted in corresponding changes in the isotopic composition as well as the chemical and physical forms of the processed and stored plutonium. Thousands of ordinary food pack tin cans have been used successfully for many years to handle and store plutonium. Other containers have been used with equal success. This paper addressees the exceptions to this satisfactory experience. To aid in understanding the challenges of handling plutonium for storage or immobilization the lessons learned from past storage experience and the necessary countermeasures to improve storage performance are discussed.

  18. Criticality characteristics of mixtures of plutonium, silicon dioxide, Nevada tuff, and water

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Sanchez, R.; Myers, W.; Hayes, D.

    1997-01-01

    The nuclear criticality characteristics of mixtures of plutonium, silicon dioxide, and water (Part A) or plutonium, silicon dioxide, Nevada Yucca Mountain tuff, and water (Part B) have become of interest because of the appearance of recent papers on the subject. These papers postulate that if excess weapons plutonium is vitrified into a silicate log and buried underground, a self-sustaining neutron chain reaction may develop given sufficient time and interaction with the burial medium. Moreover, given specific geologic actions resulting in postulated configurations, the referenced papers state that nuclear explosions could occur with multi-kiloton yields or yields equivalent to hundreds of tons of TNT.

  19. Los Alamos DP West Plutonium Facility decontamination project, 1978-1981

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Garde, R.; Cox, E.J.; Valentine, A.M.

    1982-09-01

    The DP West Plutonium Facility operated by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico was decontaminated between April 1978 and April 1981. The facility was constructed in 1944 to 1945 to produce plutonium metal and fabricate parts for nuclear weapons. It was continually used as a plutonium processing and research facility until mid-1978. Decontamination operations included dismantling and removing gloveboxes and conveyor tunnels; removing process systems, utilities, and exhaust ducts; and decontaminating all remaining surfaces. This report describes glovebox and conveyor tunnel separations, decontamination techniques, health and safety considerations, waste management procedures, and costs of the operation.

  20. LANL Produces First Plutonium Pit in 14 Years | National Nuclear Security

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    Administration | (NNSA) Produces First Plutonium Pit in 14 Years LANL Produces First Plutonium Pit in 14 Years Los Alamos, NM NNSA's Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) announced that it has successfully made the first nuclear weapons "pit" in 14 years that meets specifications for use in the U.S. stockpile. The plutonium pit, called Qual-1 because it was built with and fully met qualified processes, is for the W88 warhead, which is carried on the Trident II D5 Submarine-Launched

  1. THE CREATIVE APPLICATION OF SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY & WORK FORCE INNOVATIONS TO THE D&D OF PLUTONIUM FINISHING PLANT (PFP) AT THE HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    CHARBONEAU, S.L.

    2006-02-01

    The Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) consists of a number of process and support buildings for handling plutonium. Building construction began in the late 1940's to meet national priorities and became operational in 1950 producing refined plutonium salts and metal for the United States nuclear weapons program. The primary mission of the PFP was to provide plutonium used as special nuclear material for fabrication into a nuclear device for the war effort. Subsequent to the end of World War II, the PFP's mission expanded to support the Cold War effort through plutonium production during the nuclear arms race. PFP has now completed its mission and is fully engaged in deactivation, decontamination and decommissioning (D&D). At this time the PFP buildings are planned to be reduced to ground level (slab-on-grade) and the site remediated to satisfy national, Department of Energy (DOE) and Washington state requirements. The D&D of a highly contaminated plutonium processing facility presents a plethora of challenges. PFP personnel approached the D&D mission with a can-do attitude. They went into D&D knowing they were facing a lot of challenges and unknowns. There were concerns about the configuration control associated with drawings of these old process facilities. There were unknowns regarding the location of electrical lines and process piping containing chemical residues such as strong acids and caustics. The gloveboxes were highly contaminated with plutonium and chemical residues. Most of the glovebox windows were opaque with splashed process chemicals that coated the windows or etched them, reducing visibility to near zero. Visibility into the glovebox was a serious worker concern. Additionally, all the gloves in the gloveboxes were degraded and unusable. Replacing gloves in gloveboxes was necessary to even begin glovebox cleanout. The sheer volume of breathing air needed was also an issue. These and other challenges and PFP's approach to overcome these challengers are

  2. Method for dissolving plutonium dioxide

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Tallent, Othar K.

    1978-01-01

    The fluoride-catalyzed, non-oxidative dissolution of plutonium dioxide in HNO.sub.3 is significantly enhanced in rate by oxidizing dissolved plutonium ions. It is believed that the oxidation of dissolved plutonium releases fluoride ions from a soluble plutonium-fluoride complex for further catalytic action.

  3. Recovery of Plutonium from Refractory Residues Using a Sodium Peroxide Pretreatment Process

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Rudisill, T.S.

    2003-10-23

    The recycle of plutonium from refractory residues is a necessary activity for the nuclear weapon production complex. Traditionally, high-fired plutonium oxide (PuO2) was leached from the residue matrix using a nitric acid/fluoride dissolving flowsheet. The recovery operations were time consuming and often required multiple contacts with fresh dissolving solution to reduce the plutonium concentration to levels where residual solids could be discarded. Due to these drawbacks, the development of an efficient process for the recovery of plutonium from refractory materials is desirable. To address this need, a pretreatment process was developed. The development program utilized a series of small-scale experiments to optimize processing conditions for the fusion process and demonstrate the plutonium recovery efficiency using ceramic materials developed as potential long-term storage forms for PuO2 and an incinerator ash from the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (Rocky Flats) as te st materials.

  4. PLUTONIUM SEPARATION METHOD

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Beaufait, L.J. Jr.; Stevenson, F.R.; Rollefson, G.K.

    1958-11-18

    The recovery of plutonium ions from neutron irradiated uranium can be accomplished by bufferlng an aqueous solutlon of the irradiated materials containing tetravalent plutonium to a pH of 4 to 7, adding sufficient acetate to the solution to complex the uranyl present, adding ferric nitrate to form a colloid of ferric hydroxide, plutonlum, and associated fission products, removing and dissolving the colloid in aqueous nitric acid, oxldizlng the plutonium to the hexavalent state by adding permanganate or dichromate, treating the resultant solution with ferric nitrate to form a colloid of ferric hydroxide and associated fission products, and separating the colloid from the plutonlum left in solution.

  5. Manhattan Project: F Reactor Plutonium Production Complex

    Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI)

    F REACTOR PLUTONIUM PRODUCTION COMPLEX Hanford Engineer Works, 1945 Resources > Photo Gallery Plutonium production area, Hanford, ca. 1945 The F Reactor plutonium production ...

  6. Nuclear Weapons Mission at Sandia

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    2015-03-12

    Take a rare “tour” of Sandia National Laboratories’ nuclear weapons work and see the strong, multidisciplinary relationship between all of Sandia’s missions and capabilities.

  7. Weapons Program Associate Directors named

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    integration we have achieved between the various components of the program," said Bret Knapp, Principal Associate Director for Weapons Programs. "They have both done an...

  8. Plutonium dissolution process

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Vest, Michael A.; Fink, Samuel D.; Karraker, David G.; Moore, Edwin N.; Holcomb, H. Perry

    1996-01-01

    A two-step process for dissolving plutonium metal, which two steps can be carried out sequentially or simultaneously. Plutonium metal is exposed to a first mixture containing approximately 1.0M-1.67M sulfamic acid and 0.0025M-0.1M fluoride, the mixture having been heated to a temperature between 45.degree. C. and 70.degree. C. The mixture will dissolve a first portion of the plutonium metal but leave a portion of the plutonium in an oxide residue. Then, a mineral acid and additional fluoride are added to dissolve the residue. Alteratively, nitric acid in a concentration between approximately 0.05M and 0.067M is added to the first mixture to dissolve the residue as it is produced. Hydrogen released during the dissolution process is diluted with nitrogen.

  9. Measurements of plutonium

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Larsen, R.P. )

    1989-11-01

    Based on reviews of the early and recent literature concerning comparative measurements of plutonium, sources of measurement error are discussed. This paper focuses on those related to mass spectrometric isotope dilution.

  10. PIA - Weapons Data Control Systems | Department of Energy

    Office of Environmental Management (EM)

    Weapons Data Control Systems PIA - Weapons Data Control Systems PIA - Weapons Data Control Systems PIA PIA - Weapons Data Control Systems (465.55 KB) More Documents & Publications ...

  11. Plutonium Processing Plant Deactivated | National Nuclear Security

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    Administration | (NNSA) Plutonium Processing Plant Deactivated Plutonium Processing Plant Deactivated Hanford, WA The Plutonium Uranium Extraction Facility (PUREX), the largest of the Nation's Cold War plutonium processing plants, is deactivated a year ahead of schedule

  12. Interim storage of dismantled nuclear weapon components at the U.S. Department of Energy Pantex Plant

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Guidice, S.J.; Inlow, R.O.

    1995-12-31

    Following the events of 1989 and the subsequent cessation of production of new nuclear weapons by the US, the mission of the Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Weapons Complex has shifted from production to dismantlement of retired weapons. The sole site in the US for accomplishing the dismantlement mission is the DOE Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas. Pending a national decision on the ultimate storage and disposition of nuclear components form the dismantled weapons, the storage magazines within the Pantex Plant are serving as the interim storage site for pits--the weapon plutonium-bearing component. The DOE has stipulated that Pantex will provide storage for up to 12,000 pits pending a Record of Decision on a comprehensive site-wide Environmental Impact Statement in November 1996.

  13. PLUTONIUM METALLOGRAPHY AT LOS ALAMOS

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    PEREYRA, RAMIRO A.; LOVATO, DARRYL

    2007-01-08

    From early days of the Manhattan program to today, scientists and engineers have continued to investigate the metallurgical properties of plutonium (Pu). Although issues like aging was not a concern to the early pioneers, today the reliability of our aging stockpile is of major focus. And as the country moves toward a new generation of weapons similar problems that the early pioneers faced such as compatibility, homogeneity and malleability have come to the forefront. And metallography will continue to be a principle tool for the resolution of old and new issues. Standard metallographic techniques are used for the preparation of plutonium samples. The samples are first cut with a slow speed idamond saw. After mounting in Epon 815 epoxy resin, the samples are ground through 600 grit silicon carbide paper. PF 5070 (a Freon substitute) is used as a coolant, lubricant, and solvent for most operations. Rough mechanical polished is done with 9-{mu} diamond using a nap less cloth, for example nylon or cotton. Final polish is done with 1-{mu} diamond on a nappy cloth such as sylvet. Ethyl alcohol is then used ultrasonically to clean the samples before electro polishing. The sample is then electro-polished and etched in an electrolyte containing 10% nitric acid, and 90% dimethyleneformalmide. Ethyl alcohol is used as a final cleaning agent. Although standard metallographic preparation techniques are used, there are several reasons why metallography of Pu is difficult and challenging. Firstly, because of the health hazards associated with its radioactive properties, sample preparation is conducted in glove boxes. Figure 1 shows the metallography line, in an R and D facility. Since they are designed to be negative in pressure to the laboratory, cross-contamination of abrasives is a major problem. In addition, because of safety concerns and waste issues, there is a limit to the amount of solvent that can be used. Secondly, Pu will readily hydride or oxidize when in contact

  14. Performance of Thorium-Based Mixed Oxide Fuels for the Consumption of Plutonium and Minor Actinides in Current and Advanced Reactors

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Weaver, Kevan Dean; Herring, James Stephen

    2002-06-01

    A renewed interest in thorium-based fuels has arisen lately based on the need for proliferation resistance, longer fuel cycles, higher burnup and improved wasteform characteristics. Recent studies have been directed toward homogeneously mixed, heterogeneously mixed, and seed-and-blanket thorium-uranium fuel cycles that rely on "in situ" use of the bred-in U-233. However, due to the higher initial enrichment required to achieve acceptable burnups, these fuels are encountering economic constraints. Thorium can nevertheless play a large role in the nuclear fuel cycle; particularly in the reduction of plutonium. While uranium-based mixedoxide (MOX) fuel will decrease the amount of plutonium, the reduction is limited due to the breeding of more plutonium (and higher actinides) from the U-238. Here we present calculational results and a comparison of the potential burnup of a thorium-based and uranium-based mixed oxide fuel in a light water reactor (LWR). Although the uranium-based fuels outperformed the thorium-based fuels in achievable burnup, a depletion comparison of the initially charged plutonium (both reactor and weapons grade) showed that the thorium-based fuels outperformed the uranium-based fuels by more that a factor of 2; where more than 70% of the total plutonium in the thorium-based fuel is consumed during the cycle. This is significant considering that the achievable burnup of the thorium-based fuels were 1.4 to 4.6 times less than the uranium-based fuels. Furthermore, use of a thorium-based fuel could also be used as a strategy for reducing the amount of long-lived nuclides (including the minor actinides), and thus the radiotoxicity in spent nuclear fuel. Although the breeding of U-233 is a concern, the presence of U-232 and its daughter products can aid in making this fuel self-protecting, and/or enough U-238 can be added to denature the fissile uranium. From these calculations, it appears that thorium-based fuel for plutonium incineration is superior as

  15. Interim Storage of Plutonium in Existing Facilities

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Woodsmall, T.D.

    1999-05-10

    'In this era of nuclear weapons disarmament and nonproliferation treaties, among many problems being faced by the Department of Energy is the safe disposal of plutonium. There is a large stockpile of plutonium at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Center and it remains politically and environmentally strategic to relocate the inventory closer to a processing facility. Savannah River Site has been chosen as the final storage location, and the Actinide Packaging and Storage Facility (APSF) is currently under construction for this purpose. With the ability of APSF to receive Rocky Flats material an estimated ten years away, DOE has decided to use the existing reactor building in K-Area of SRS as temporary storage to accelerate the removal of plutonium from Rocky Flats. There are enormous cost savings to the government that serve as incentive to start this removal as soon as possible, and the KAMS project is scheduled to receive the first shipment of plutonium in January 2000. The reactor building in K-Area was chosen for its hardened structure and upgraded seismic qualification, both resulting from an effort to restart the reactor in 1991. The KAMS project has faced unique challenges from Authorization Basis and Safety Analysis perspectives. Although modifying a reactor building from a production facility to a storage shelter is not technically difficult, the nature of plutonium has caused design and safety analysis engineers to make certain that the design of systems, structures and components included will protect the public, SRS workers, and the environment. A basic overview of the KAMS project follows. Plutonium will be measured and loaded into DOT Type-B shipping packages at Rocky Flats. The packages are 35-gallon stainless steel drums with multiple internal containment boundaries. DOE transportation vehicles will be used to ship the drums to the KAMS facility at SRS. They will then be unloaded, stacked and stored in specific locations throughout the

  16. History and stabilization of the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) complex, Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Gerber, M.S., Fluor Daniel Hanford

    1997-02-18

    The 231-Z Isolation Building or Plutonium Metallurgy Building is located in the Hanford Site`s 200 West Area, approximately 300 yards north of the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) (234-5 Building). When the Hanford Engineer Works (HEW) built it in 1944 to contain the final step for processing plutonium, it was called the Isolation Building. At that time, HEW used a bismuth phosphate radiochemical separations process to make `AT solution,` which was then dried and shipped to Los Alamos, New Mexico. (AT solution is a code name used during World War II for the final HEW product.) The process was carried out first in T Plant and the 224-T Bulk Reduction Building and B Plant and the 224-B Bulk Reduction Building. The 224-T and -B processes produced a concentrated plutonium nitrate stream, which then was sent in 8-gallon batches to the 231-Z Building for final purification. In the 231-Z Building, the plutonium nitrate solution underwent peroxide `strikes` (additions of hydrogen peroxide to further separate the plutonium from its carrier solutions), to form the AT solution. The AT solution was dried and shipped to the Los Alamos Site, where it was made into metallic plutonium and then into weapons hemispheres.` The 231-Z Building began `hot` operations (operations using radioactive materials) with regular runs of plutonium nitrate on January 16, 1945.

  17. Weapons assessment efficiencies through use of nondestructive...

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    Weapons assessment efficiencies through use of nondestructive laser gas sampling Weapons assessment efficiencies through use of nondestructive laser gas sampling Nondestructive ...

  18. Dry sample storage system for an analytical laboratory supporting plutonium processing

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Treibs, H.A.; Hartenstein, S.D.; Griebenow, B.L.; Wade, M.A.

    1990-07-25

    The Special Isotope Separation (SIS) plant is designed to provide removal of undesirable isotopes in fuel grade plutonium by the atomic vapor laser isotope separation (AVLIS) process. The AVLIS process involves evaporation of plutonium metal, and passage of an intense beam of light from a laser through the plutonium vapor. The laser beam consists of several discrete wavelengths, tuned to the precise wavelength required to ionize the undesired isotopes. These ions are attracted to charged plates, leaving the bulk of the plutonium vapor enriched in the desired isotopes to be collected on a cold plate. Major portions of the process consist of pyrochemical processes, including direct reduction of the plutonium oxide feed material with calcium metal, and aqueous processes for purification of plutonium in residues. The analytical laboratory for the plant is called the Material and Process Control Laboratory (MPCL), and provides for the analysis of solid and liquid process samples.

  19. Study of plutonium disposition using the GE Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR)

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1994-04-30

    The end of the cold war and the resulting dismantlement of nuclear weapons has resulted in the need for the U.S. to disposition 50 to 100 metric tons of excess of plutonium in parallel with a similar program in Russia. A number of studies, including the recently released National Academy of Sciences (NAS) study, have recommended conversion of plutonium into spent nuclear fuel with its high radiation barrier as the best means of providing long-term diversion resistance to this material. The NAS study {open_quotes}Management and Disposition of Excess Weapons Plutonium{close_quotes} identified light water reactor spent fuel as the most readily achievable and proven form for the disposition of excess weapons plutonium. The study also stressed the need for a U.S. disposition program which would enhance the prospects for a timely reciprocal program agreement with Russia. This summary provides the key findings of a GE study where plutonium is converted into Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel and a 1350 MWe GE Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) is utilized to convert the plutonium to spent fuel. The ABWR represents the integration of over 30 years of experience gained worldwide in the design, construction and operation of BWRs. It incorporates advanced features to enhance reliability and safety, minimize waste and reduce worker exposure. For example, the core is never uncovered nor is any operator action required for 72 hours after any design basis accident. Phase 1 of this study was documented in a GE report dated May 13, 1993. DOE`s Phase 1 evaluations cited the ABWR as a proven technical approach for the disposition of plutonium. This Phase 2 study addresses specific areas which the DOE authorized as appropriate for more in-depth evaluations. A separate report addresses the findings relative to the use of existing BWRs to achieve the same goal.

  20. METHOD OF MAKING PLUTONIUM DIOXIDE

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Garner, C.S.

    1959-01-13

    A process is presented For converting both trivalent and tetravalent plutonium oxalate to substantially pure plutonium dioxide. The plutonium oxalate is carefully dried in the temperature range of 130 to300DEC by raising the temperature gnadually throughout this range. The temperature is then raised to 600 C in the period of about 0.3 of an hour and held at this level for about the same length of time to obtain the plutonium dioxide.

  1. METHOD OF PRODUCING PLUTONIUM TETRAFLUORIDE

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Tolley, W.B.; Smith, R.C.

    1959-12-15

    A process is presented for preparing plutonium tetrafluoride from plutonium(IV) oxalate. The oxalate is dried and decomposed at about 300 deg C to the dioxide, mixed with ammonium bifluoride, and the mixture is heated to between 50 and 150 deg C whereby ammonium plutonium fluoride is formed. The ammonium plutonium fluoride is then heated to about 300 deg C for volatilization of ammonium fluoride. Both heating steps are preferably carried out in an inert atmosphere.

  2. Lithium metal reduction of plutonium oxide to produce plutonium metal

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Coops, Melvin S.

    1992-01-01

    A method is described for the chemical reduction of plutonium oxides to plutonium metal by the use of pure lithium metal. Lithium metal is used to reduce plutonium oxide to alpha plutonium metal (alpha-Pu). The lithium oxide by-product is reclaimed by sublimation and converted to the chloride salt, and after electrolysis, is removed as lithium metal. Zinc may be used as a solvent metal to improve thermodynamics of the reduction reaction at lower temperatures. Lithium metal reduction enables plutonium oxide reduction without the production of huge quantities of CaO--CaCl.sub.2 residues normally produced in conventional direct oxide reduction processes.

  3. SULFIDE METHOD PLUTONIUM SEPARATION

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Duffield, R.B.

    1958-08-12

    A process is described for the recovery of plutonium from neutron irradiated uranium solutions. Such a solution is first treated with a soluble sullide, causing precipitation of the plutoniunn and uraniunn values present, along with those impurities which form insoluble sulfides. The precipitate is then treated with a solution of carbonate ions, which will dissolve the uranium and plutonium present while the fission product sulfides remain unaffected. After separation from the residue, this solution may then be treated by any of the usual methods, such as formation of a lanthanum fluoride precipitate, to effect separation of plutoniunn from uranium.

  4. Risk in the Weapons Stockpile

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Noone, Bailey C

    2012-08-14

    When it comes to the nuclear weapons stockpile, risk must be as low as possible. Design and care to keep the stockpile healthy involves all aspects of risk management. Design diversity is a method that helps to mitigate risk.

  5. Modeling of the performance of weapons MOX fuel in light water reactors

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Alvis, J.; Bellanger, P.; Medvedev, P.G.; Peddicord, K.L.; Gellene, G.I.

    1999-05-01

    Both the Russian Federation and the US are pursing mixed uranium-plutonium oxide (MOX) fuel in light water reactors (LWRs) for the disposition of excess plutonium from disassembled nuclear warheads. Fuel performance models are used which describe the behavior of MOX fuel during irradiation under typical power reactor conditions. The objective of this project is to perform the analysis of the thermal, mechanical, and chemical behavior of weapons MOX fuel pins under LWR conditions. If fuel performance analysis indicates potential questions, it then becomes imperative to assess the fuel pin design and the proposed operating strategies to reduce the probability of clad failure and the associated release of radioactive fission products into the primary coolant system. Applying the updated code to anticipated fuel and reactor designs, which would be used for weapons MOX fuel in the US, and analyzing the performance of the WWER-100 fuel for Russian weapons plutonium disposition are addressed in this report. The COMETHE code was found to do an excellent job in predicting fuel central temperatures. Also, despite minor predicted differences in thermo-mechanical behavior of MOX and UO{sub 2} fuels, the preliminary estimate indicated that, during normal reactor operations, these deviations remained within limits foreseen by fuel pin design.

  6. Atomic spectrum of plutonium

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Blaise, J.; Fred, M.; Gutmacher, R.G.

    1984-08-01

    This report contains plutonium wavelengths, energy level classifications, and other spectroscopic data accumulated over the past twenty years at Laboratoire Aime Cotton (LAC) Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The primary purpose was term analysis: deriving the energy levels in terms of quantum numbers and electron configurations, and evaluating the Slater-Condon and other parameters from the levels.

  7. PROGRESS IN REDUCING THE NUCLEAR THREAT: UNITED STATES PLUTONIUM CONSOLIDATION AND DISPOSITION

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Allender, J.; Koenig, R.; Davies, S.

    2009-06-01

    Following the end of the Cold War, the United States identified 61.5 metric tons (MT) of plutonium and larger quantities of enriched uranium that are permanently excess to use in nuclear weapons programs. The Department of Energy (DOE) also began shutting down, stabilizing, and removing inventories from production facilities that were no longer needed to support weapons programs and non-weapons activities. The storage of 'Category I' nuclear materials at Rocky Flats, Sandia National Laboratories, and several smaller sites has been terminated to reduce costs and safeguards risks. De-inventory continues at the Hanford site and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Consolidation of inventories works in concert with the permanent disposition of excess inventories, including several tonnes of plutonium that have already been disposed to waste repositories and the preparation for transfers to the planned Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility (for the bulk of the excess plutonium) and alternative disposition methods for material that cannot be used readily in the MOX fuel cycle. This report describes status of plutonium consolidation and disposition activities and their impacts on continuing operations, particularly at the Savannah River Site.

  8. Plutonium Finishing Plant. Interim plutonium stabilization engineering study

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Sevigny, G.J.; Gallucci, R.H.; Garrett, S.M.K.; Geeting, J.G.H.; Goheen, R.S.; Molton, P.M.; Templeton, K.J.; Villegas, A.J.; Nass, R.

    1995-08-01

    This report provides the results of an engineering study that evaluated the available technologies for stabilizing the plutonium stored at the Plutonium Finishing Plant located at the hanford Site in southeastern Washington. Further processing of the plutonium may be required to prepare the plutonium for interim (<50 years) storage. Specifically this document provides the current plutonium inventory and characterization, the initial screening process, and the process descriptions and flowsheets of the technologies that passed the initial screening. The conclusions and recommendations also are provided. The information contained in this report will be used to assist in the preparation of the environmental impact statement and to help decision makers determine which is the preferred technology to process the plutonium for interim storage.

  9. Waste minimization and the goal of an environmentally benign plutonium processing facility: A strategic plan

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Pillay, K.K.S.

    1994-02-01

    To maintain capabilities in nuclear weapons technologies, the Department of Energy (DOE) has to maintain a plutonium processing facility that meets all the current and emerging standards of environmental regulations. A strategic goal to transform the Plutonium Processing Facility at Los Alamos into an environmentally benign operation is identified. A variety of technologies and systems necessary to meet this goal are identified. Two initiatives now in early stages of implementation are described in some detail. A highly motivated and trained work force and a systems approach to waste minimization and pollution prevention are necessary to maintain technical capabilities, to comply with regulations, and to meet the strategic goal.

  10. Uncrackable code for nuclear weapons

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Hart, Mark

    2014-11-20

    Mark Hart, a scientist and engineer in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) Defense Technologies Division, has developed a new approach for ensuring nuclear weapons and their components can't fall prey to unauthorized use. The beauty of his approach: Let the weapon protect itself. "Using the random process of nuclear radioactive decay is the gold standard of random number generators," said Mark Hart. "You’d have a better chance of winning both Mega Millions and Powerball on the same day than getting control of IUC-protected components."

  11. PLUTONIUM-URANIUM ALLOY

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Coffinberry, A.S.; Schonfeld, F.W.

    1959-09-01

    Pu-U-Fe and Pu-U-Co alloys suitable for use as fuel elements tn fast breeder reactors are described. The advantages of these alloys are ease of fabrication without microcracks, good corrosion restatance, and good resistance to radiation damage. These advantages are secured by limitation of the zeta phase of plutonium in favor of a tetragonal crystal structure of the U/sub 6/Mn type.

  12. MOLDS FOR CASTING PLUTONIUM

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Anderson, J.W.; Miley, F.; Pritchard, W.C.

    1962-02-27

    A coated mold for casting plutonium comprises a mold base portion of a material which remains solid and stable at temperatures as high as the pouring temperature of the metal to be cast and having a thin coating of the order of 0.005 inch thick on the interior thereof. The coating is composed of finely divided calcium fluoride having a particle size of about 149 microns. (AEC)

  13. Plutonium | National Nuclear Security Administration

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    Plutonium NNSA Announces Arrival of Plutonium and Uranium from Japan's Fast Critical Assembly at Savannah River Site and Y-12 National Security Complex WASHINGTON (June 6, 2016) - A shipment of plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA)'s Fast Critical Assembly (FCA) reactor arrived safely at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Savannah River Site near Aiken, S.C., and Y-12 National Security... NNSA research makes scientific impact, literally Inside the 40-mm

  14. Manufacturing of Plutonium Tensile Specimens

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Knapp, Cameron M

    2012-08-01

    Details workflow conducted to manufacture high density alpha Plutonium tensile specimens to support Los Alamos National Laboratory's science campaigns. Introduces topics including the metallurgical challenge of Plutonium and the use of high performance super-computing to drive design. Addresses the utilization of Abaqus finite element analysis, programmable computer numerical controlled (CNC) machining, as well as glove box ergonomics and safety in order to design a process that will yield high quality Plutonium tensile specimens.

  15. Plutonium recovery from organic materials

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Deaton, R.L.; Silver, G.L.

    1973-12-11

    A method is described for removing plutonium or the like from organic material wherein the organic material is leached with a solution containing a strong reducing agent such as titanium (III) (Ti/sup +3None)/, chromium (II) (Cr/ sup +2/), vanadium (II) (V/sup +2/) ions, or ferrous ethylenediaminetetraacetate (EDTA), the leaching yielding a plutonium-containing solution that is further processed to recover plutonium. The leach solution may also contain citrate or tartrate ion. (Official Gazette)

  16. What is Plutonium? - Fact Sheet

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    key role in today's technology. It will safely, effectively, and permanently dispose of trash contaminated with traces of plutonium and other transuranic isotopes that have no...

  17. Clinton Extends Moratorium on Nuclear Weapons Testing | National...

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    Clinton Extends Moratorium on Nuclear Weapons Testing Clinton Extends Moratorium on Nuclear Weapons Testing Washington, DC President Clinton extends the nuclear weapons testing ...

  18. Control of Nuclear Weapon Data

    Broader source: Directives, Delegations, and Requirements [Office of Management (MA)]

    2011-07-21

    The directive establishes the policy, process and procedures for control of nuclear weapon data to ensure that dissemination of the information is restricted to individuals with appropriate clearances, approved authorization and valid need-to-know in keeping with the Atomic Energy Act (as amended) stipulation of ensuring common defense and security. Supersedes DOE O 5610.2.

  19. Environmental Assessment for Gap Material Plutonium - Transport...

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    with transporting plutonium from foreign nations to the United States, storing the plutonium at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina, and processing it for disposition. ...

  20. EIS-0283: Surplus Plutonium Disposition Environmental Impact...

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    10, 2008 EIS-0283: Amended Record of Decision Surplus Plutonium Disposition: Waste Solidification Building November 26, 2008 EIS-0283-SA-02: Supplement Analysis Surplus Plutonium...

  1. Plutonium-238 Production Chemical Processing Evaluations (Conference...

    Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI)

    Conference: Plutonium-238 Production Chemical Processing Evaluations Citation Details In-Document Search Title: Plutonium-238 Production Chemical Processing Evaluations Authors: ...

  2. The gas centrifuge and nuclear weapons proliferation

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Wood, Houston G.; Glaser, Alexander; Kemp, R. Scott

    2014-05-09

    Uranium enrichment by centrifugation is the basis for the quick and efficient production of nuclear fuel-or nuclear weapons.

  3. Uranium Weapons Components Successfully Dismantled | National Nuclear

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    Security Administration | (NNSA) Uranium Weapons Components Successfully Dismantled Uranium Weapons Components Successfully Dismantled Oak Ridge, TN Continuing its efforts to reduce the size of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, the National Nuclear Security Administration announced that uranium components from two major nuclear weapons systems formerly deployed on U.S. Air Force missiles and aircraft have been dismantled at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, TN. Y-12 workers

  4. New Gas Gun Helping Scientists Better Understand Plutonium Behavior

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Hazi, A

    2005-09-20

    One of the most daunting scientific and engineering challenges today is ensuring the safety and reliability of the nation's nuclear arsenal. To effectively meet that challenge, scientists need better data showing how plutonium, a key component of nuclear warheads, behaves under extreme pressures and temperatures. On July 8, 2003, Lawrence Livermore researchers performed the inaugural experiment of a 30-meter-long, two-stage gas gun designed to obtain those data. The results from a continuing stream of successful experiments on the gas gun are strengthening scientists' ability to ensure that the nation's nuclear stockpile is safe and reliable. The JASPER (Joint Actinide Shock Physics Experimental Research) Facility at the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Nevada Test Site (NTS) is home to the two-stage gas gun. In the gun's first test, an unqualified success, Livermore scientists fired a projectile weighing 28.6 grams and traveling about 5.21 kilometers per second when it impacted an extremely small (about 30-gram) plutonium target. This experiment marked the culmination of years of effort in facility construction, gun installation, system integration, design reviews, and federal authorizations required to bring the experimental facility online. Ongoing experiments have drawn enthusiastic praise from throughout DOE, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and the scientific community. NNSA Administrator Linton Brooks said, ''Our national laboratories now have at their disposal a valuable asset that enhances our due diligence to certify the nuclear weapons stockpile in the absence of underground nuclear weapons testing.''

  5. Options for converting excess plutonium to feed for the MOX fuel fabrication facility

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Watts, Joe A; Smith, Paul H; Psaras, John D; Jarvinen, Gordon D; Costa, David A; Joyce, Jr., Edward L

    2009-01-01

    The storage and safekeeping of excess plutonium in the United States represents a multibillion-dollar lifecycle cost to the taxpayers and poses challenges to National Security and Nuclear Non-Proliferation. Los Alamos National Laboratory is considering options for converting some portion of the 13 metric tons of excess plutonium that was previously destined for long-term waste disposition into feed for the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF). This approach could reduce storage costs and security ri sks, and produce fuel for nuclear energy at the same time. Over the course of 30 years of weapons related plutonium production, Los Alamos has developed a number of flow sheets aimed at separation and purification of plutonium. Flow sheets for converting metal to oxide and for removing chloride and fluoride from plutonium residues have been developed and withstood the test oftime. This presentation will address some potential options for utilizing processes and infrastructure developed by Defense Programs to transform a large variety of highly impure plutonium into feedstock for the MFFF.

  6. SUPPORTING SAFE STORAGE OF PLUTONIUM-BEARING MATERIALS THROUGH SCIENCE, ENGINEERING AND SURVEILLANCE

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Dunn, K.; Chandler, G.; Gardner, C.; Louthan, M.; Mcclard, J.

    2009-11-10

    Reductions in the size of the U. S. nuclear weapons arsenal resulted in the need to store large quantities of plutonium-bearing metals and oxides for prolonged periods of time. To assure that the excess plutonium from the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) sites was stored in a safe and environmentally friendly manner the plutonium-bearing materials are stabilized and packaged according to well developed criteria published as a DOE Standard. The packaged materials are stored in secure facilities and regular surveillance activities are conducted to assure continuing package integrity. The stabilization, packaging, storage and surveillance requirements were developed through extensive science and engineering activities including those related to: plutonium-environment interactions and container pressurization, corrosion and stress corrosion cracking, plutonium-container material interactions, loss of sealing capability and changes in heat transfer characteristics. This paper summarizes some of those activities and outlines ongoing science and engineering programs that assure continued safe and secure storage of the plutonium-bearing metals and oxides.

  7. Development of weld closure stations for plutonium long-term storage containers

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Fernandez, R.; Martinez, D.A.; Martinez, H.E.; Nelson, T.O.; Ortega, R.E.; Rofer, C.K.; Romero, W.; Stewart, J.; Trujillo, V.L.

    1998-12-31

    Weld closure stations for plutonium long-term storage containers have been designed, fabricated, and tested for the Advanced Recovery and Integrated Extraction System (ARIES) at the TA-55 Plutonium Facility of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. ARIES is a processing system used for the dismantlement of the plutonium pits from nuclear weapons. ARIES prepares the extracted-plutonium in a form which is compatible with long-term storage and disposition options and meets international inspection requirements. The processed plutonium is delivered to the canning module of the ARIES line, where it is packaged in a stainless steel container. This container is then packaged in a secondary container for long-term storage. Each of the containers is hermetically sealed with a full penetration weld closure that meets the requirements of the ASME Section IX Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. Welding is performed with a gas tungsten arc process in an inert atmosphere of helium. The encapsulated helium in the nested containers allows for leak testing the weld closure and container. The storage package was designed to meet packaging requirements of DOE Standard 3013-96 for long-term storage of plutonium metal and oxides. Development of the process parameters, weld fixture, weld qualification, and the welding chambers is discussed in this paper.

  8. Photochemical preparation of plutonium pentafluoride

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Rabideau, Sherman W.; Campbell, George M.

    1987-01-01

    The novel compound plutonium pentafluoride may be prepared by the photodissociation of gaseous plutonium hexafluoride. It is a white solid of low vapor pressure, which consists predominantly of a face-centered cubic structure with a.sub.o =4.2709.+-.0.0005 .ANG..

  9. PREPARATION OF HALIDES OF PLUTONIUM

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Garner, C.S.; Johns, I.B.

    1958-09-01

    A dry chemical method is described for preparing plutonium halides, which consists in contacting plutonyl nitrate with dry gaseous HCl or HF at an elevated temperature. The addition to the reaction gas of a small quantity of an oxidizing gas or a reducing gas will cause formation of the tetra- or tri-halide of plutonium as desired.

  10. PLUTONIUM-CERIUM-COPPER ALLOYS

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Coffinberry, A.S.

    1959-05-12

    A low melting point plutonium alloy useful as fuel is a homogeneous liquid metal fueled nuclear reactor is described. Vessels of tungsten or tantalum are useful to contain the alloy which consists essentially of from 10 to 30 atomic per cent copper and the balance plutonium and cerium. with the plutontum not in excess of 50 atomic per cent.

  11. PLUTONIUM-URANIUM-TITANIUM ALLOYS

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Coffinberry, A.S.

    1959-07-28

    A plutonium-uranium alloy suitable for use as the fuel element in a fast breeder reactor is described. The alloy contains from 15 to 60 at.% titanium with the remainder uranium and plutonium in a specific ratio, thereby limiting the undesirable zeta phase and rendering the alloy relatively resistant to corrosion and giving it the essential characteristic of good mechanical workability.

  12. SEPARATION OF PLUTONIUM FROM URANIUM

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Feder, H.M.; Nuttall, R.L.

    1959-12-15

    A process is described for extracting plutonium from powdered neutron- irradiated urarium metal by contacting the latter, while maintaining it in the solid form, with molten magnesium which takes up the plutonium and separating the molten magnesium from the solid uranium.

  13. METHOD OF REDUCING PLUTONIUM COMPOUNDS

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Johns, I.B.

    1958-06-01

    A method is described for reducing plutonium compounds in aqueous solution from a higher to a lower valence state. This reduction of valence is achieved by treating the aqueous solution of higher valence plutonium compounds with hydrogen in contact with an activated platinum catalyst.

  14. SOLVENT EXTRACTION PROCESS FOR PLUTONIUM

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Anderson, H.H.; Asprey, L.B.

    1960-02-01

    A process of separating plutonium in at least the tetravalent state from fission products contained in an aqueous acidic solution by extraction with alkyl phosphate is reported. The plutonium can then be back-extracted from the organic phase by contact with an aqueous solution of sulfuric, phosphoric, or oxalic acid as a complexing agent.

  15. Guide of good practices for occupational radiological protection in plutonium facilities

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1998-06-01

    This Technical Standard (TS) does not contain any new requirements. Its purpose is to provide guides to good practice, update existing reference material, and discuss practical lessons learned relevant to the safe handling of plutonium. the technical rationale is given to allow US Department of Energy (DOE) health physicists to adapt the recommendations to similar situations throughout the DOE complex. Generally, DOE contractor health physicists will be responsible to implement radiation protection activities at DOE facilities and DOE health physicists will be responsible for oversight of those activities. This guidance is meant to be useful for both efforts. This TS replaces PNL-6534, Health Physics Manual of Good Practices for Plutonium Facilities, by providing more complete and current information and by emphasizing the situations that are typical of DOE`s current plutonium operations; safe storage, decontamination, and decommissioning (environmental restoration); and weapons disassembly.

  16. weapons | National Nuclear Security Administration

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    weapons NNSA Reaches Important Milestone with B61-12 Life Extension Program WASHINGTON - The Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) announced that they recently formally authorized the production engineering phase of its B61-12 warhead life extension program (LEP). This important milestone comes after four years of work in... DOD/DOE NNSA Joint Munitions Program: 30 years of collaborative innovation As part of NNSA's commitment to protecting and preserving the

  17. Nuclear Weapons Complex reconfiguration study

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Not Available

    1991-01-01

    Shortly after assuming duties as Secretary of Energy, I reviewed the Nuclear Weapons Complex Modernization Report'' submitted to the Congress in January 1989 as required by the National Defense Authorization Act of 1988 and 1989. My review showed that several of the report's assumptions needed to be re-evaluated. During this eighteen-month review, dramatic world changes forced further reassessments of the future Nuclear Weapons Complex. These changes are reflected in the new report. The new report presents a plan to achieve a reconfigured complex, called Complex-21. Complex-21 would be smaller, less diverse, and less expensive to operated than the Complex of today. Complex-21 would be able to safely and reliability support nuclear deterrent stockpile objectives set forth by the President and funded by the Congress. It would be consistent with realities of the emerging international security environment and flexible enough to accommodate the likely range of deterrent contingencies. In addition, Complex-21 would be constructed and operated to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and orders. Achieving Complex-21 will require significant resources. This report provides and organized approach toward selecting the most appropriate configuration for Complex-21, satisfying environmental requirements, and minimizing costs. The alternative -- to continue to use piecemeal fixes to run an antiquated complex -- will be more expensive and provide a less reliable Nuclear Weapons Complex. As a consequence, implementation of the Complex-21 plan is considered necessary to ensure continued viability of our nuclear deterrent.

  18. Progress Continues at Plutonium Finishing Plant | Department of Energy

    Office of Environmental Management (EM)

    at Plutonium Finishing Plant Progress Continues at Plutonium Finishing Plant August 15, 2016 - 12:20pm Addthis Progress Continues at Plutonium Finishing Plant Progress Continues at Plutonium Finishing Plant Progress Continues at Plutonium Finishing Plant Progress Continues at Plutonium Finishing Plant Progress Continues at Plutonium Finishing Plant Progress Continues at Plutonium Finishing Plant RICHLAND, Wash. - With demolition of the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) on the Hanford Site rapidly

  19. Microdistribution and Long-Term Retention of 239Pu (NO3)4 in the Respiratory Tracts of an Acutely Exposed Plutonium Worker and Experimental Beagle Dogs

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Nielsen, Christopher E.; Wilson, Dulaney A.; Brooks, Antone L.; McCord, Stacey; Dagle, Gerald E.; James, Anthony C.; Tolmachev, Sergei Y.; Thrall, Brian D.; Morgan, William F.

    2012-11-01

    The long-term retention of inhaled soluble forms of plutonium raises concerns as to the potential health effects in persons working in nuclear energy or the nuclear weapons program. The distributions of long-term retained inhaled plutonium-nitrate [239Pu (NO3)4] deposited in the lungs of an accidentally exposed nuclear worker (Human Case 0269) and in the lungs of experimentally exposed beagle dogs with varying initial lung depositions were determined via autoradiographs of selected histological lung, lymph node, trachea, and nasal turbinate tissue sections. These studies showed that both the human and dogs had a non-uniform distribution of plutonium throughout the lung tissue. Fibrotic scar tissue effectively encapsulated a portion of the plutonium and prevented its clearance from the body or translocation to other tissues and diminished dose to organ parenchyma. Alpha radiation activity from deposited plutonium in Human Case 0269 was observed primarily along the sub-pleural regions while no alpha activity was seen in the tracheobronchial lymph nodes of this individual. However, relatively high activity levels in the tracheobronchial lymph nodes of the beagles indicated the lymphatic system was effective in clearing deposited plutonium from the lung tissues. In both the human case and beagle dogs, the appearance of retained plutonium within the respiratory tract was inconsistent with current biokinetic models of clearance for soluble forms of plutonium. Bound plutonium can have a marked effect on the dose to the lungs and subsequent radiation exposure has the potential increase in cancer risk.

  20. SOLVENT EXTRACTION PROCESS FOR PLUTONIUM

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Seaborg, G.T.

    1959-04-14

    The separation of plutonium from aqueous inorganic acid solutions by the use of a water immiscible organic extractant liquid is described. The plutonium must be in the oxidized state, and the solvents covered by the patent include nitromethane, nitroethane, nitropropane, and nitrobenzene. The use of a salting out agents such as ammonium nitrate in the case of an aqueous nitric acid solution is advantageous. After contacting the aqueous solution with the organic extractant, the resulting extract and raffinate phases are separated. The plutonium may be recovered by any suitable method.

  1. The United States Plutonium Balance, 1944-2009 | National Nuclear...

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    Pits The United States Plutonium Balance, 1944-2009 The United States Plutonium Balance, 1944-2009 The United States has released an inventory of its plutonium balances...

  2. Anthropogenic plutonium-244 in the environment: Insights into...

    Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI)

    Anthropogenic plutonium-244 in the environment: Insights into plutonium's longest-lived isotope Citation Details In-Document Search Title: Anthropogenic plutonium-244 in the ...

  3. Opportunities for mixed oxide fuel testing in the advanced test reactor to support plutonium disposition

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Terry, W.K.; Ryskamp, J.M.; Sterbentz, J.W.

    1995-08-01

    Numerous technical issues must be resolved before LWR operating licenses can be amended to allow the use of MOX fuel. These issues include the following: (1) MOX fuel fabrication process verification; (2) Whether and how to use burnable poisons to depress MOX fuel initial reactivity, which is higher than that of urania; (3) The effects of WGPu isotopic composition; (4) The feasibility of loading MOX fuel with plutonia content up to 7% by weight; (5) The effects of americium and gallium in WGPu; (6) Fission gas release from MOX fuel pellets made from WGPu; (7) Fuel/cladding gap closure; (8) The effects of power cycling and off-normal events on fuel integrity; (9) Development of radial distributions of burnup and fission products; (10) Power spiking near the interfaces of MOX and urania fuel assemblies; and (11) Fuel performance code validation. The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory possesses many advantages for performing tests to resolve most of the issues identified above. We have performed calculations to show that the use of hafnium shrouds can produce spectrum adjustments that will bring the flux spectrum in ATR test loops into a good approximation to the spectrum anticipated in a commercial LWR containing MOX fuel while allowing operation of the test fuel assemblies near their optimum values of linear heat generation rate. The ATR would be a nearly ideal test bed for developing data needed to support applications to license LWRs for operation with MOX fuel made from weapons-grade plutonium. The requirements for planning and implementing a test program in the ATR have been identified. The facilities at Argonne National Laboratory-West can meet all potential needs for pre- and post-irradiation examination that might arise in a MOX fuel qualification program.

  4. weapons

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    thanks to the vision and determination of its proponents and the significant investment in the necessary tools, facilities, and people. The men and women employed by the...

  5. Historical Exposures to Chemicals at the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant: A Pilot Retrospective Exposure Assessment

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Janeen Denise Robertson

    1999-02-01

    In a mortality study of white males who had worked at the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant between 1952 and 1979, an increased number of deaths from benign and unspecified intracranial neoplasms was found. A case-control study nested within this cohort investigated the hypothesis that an association existed between brain tumor death and exposure to either internally deposited plutonium or external ionizing radiation. There was no statistically significant association found between estimated radiation exposure from internally deposited plutonium and the development of brain tumors. Exposure by job or work area showed no significant difference between the cohort and the control groups. An update of the study found elevated risk estimates for (1) all lymphopoietic neoplasms, and (2) all causes of death in employees with body burdens greater than or equal to two nanocuries of plutonium. There was an excess of brain tumors for the entire cohort. Similar cohort studies conducted on worker populations from other plutonium handling facilities have not yet shown any elevated risks for brain tumors. Historically, the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant used large quantities of chemicals in their production operations. The use of solvents, particularly carbon tetrachloride, was unique to Rocky Flats. No investigation of the possible confounding effects of chemical exposures was done in the initial studies. The objectives of the present study are to (1) investigate the history of chemical use at the Rocky Flats facility; (2) locate and analyze chemical monitoring information in order to assess employee exposure to the chemicals that were used in the highest volume; and (3) determine the feasibility of establishing a chemical exposure assessment model that could be used in future epidemiology studies.

  6. Plutonium Finishing Plant - Hanford Site

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    ... At an event to commemorate the removal of the plutonium, for the first time ever, some members of the public were given the chance to see the once top-secret vaults where the ...

  7. Vitrified magnesia dissolution and its impact on plutonium residue processing

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Keith W. Fife; Jennifer L. Alwin; Coleman A. Smith; Michael D. Mayne; David A. Rockstraw

    2000-03-01

    Aqueous chloride operations at the Los Alamos Plutonium Facility cannot directly dispose of acidic waste solutions because of compatibility problems with existing disposal lines. Consequently, all hydrochloric acid must be neutralized and filtered prior to exiting the facility. From a waste minimization standpoint, the use of spent magnesia pyrochemical crucibles as the acid neutralization agent is attractive since this process would take a stream destined for transuranic waste and use it as a reagent in routine plutonium residue processing. Since Los Alamos National Laboratory has several years of experience using magnesium hydroxide as a neutralizing agent for waste acid from plutonium processing activities, the use of spent magnesia pyrochemical crucibles appeared to be an attractive extension of this activity. In order to be competitive with magnesium hydroxide, however, size reduction of crucible shards had to be performed effectively within the constraints of glovebox operations, and acid neutralization time using crucible shards had to be comparable to neutralization times observed when using reagent-grade magnesium hydroxide. The study utilized non-plutonium-contaminated crucibles for equipment evaluation and selection and used nonradioactive acid solutions for completing the neutralization experiments. This paper discusses experience in defining appropriate size reduction equipment and presents results from using the magnesia crucibles for hydrochloric acid neutralization, a logical precursor to introduction into glovebox enclosures.

  8. nuclear weapons | National Nuclear Security Administration

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    weapons DOE, NNSA leaders open summit on the physical security of nuclear weapons Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, NNSA Principal Deputy Administrator Madelyn Creedon, and numerous speakers from throughout the Nuclear Security Enterprise spoke at the 2016 Nuclear Weapons Physical Security Collaboration Summit earlier this month at Joint Base Andrews in... Y-12 National Security Complex Completes W69 Dismantlement The man who trains everyone on the bombs Mark Meyer, training

  9. Weapons Dismantlement and Disposition NNSS Capabilities

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Pat Arnold

    2011-12-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has tasked the WDD working group to disposition the large inventory of legacy classified weapon components scattered across the complex.

  10. President Truman Orders Development of Thermonuclear Weapon ...

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    Photo Gallery Jobs Apply for Our Jobs Our Jobs Working at NNSA Blog Home About Us Our History NNSA Timeline President Truman Orders Development of Thermonuclear Weapon...

  11. FAQS Reference Guide – Weapon Quality Assurance

    Broader source: Energy.gov [DOE]

    This reference guide addresses the competency statements in the August 2008 edition of DOE-STD-1025-2008, Weapon Quality Assurance Functional Area Qualification Standard.

  12. Nuclear Explosive and Weapon Surety Program

    Broader source: Directives, Delegations, and Requirements [Office of Management (MA)]

    2014-08-05

    The Order defines the Nuclear Explosive and Weapon Surety (NEWS) Program, which was established to prevent unintended/unauthorized detonation and deliberate unauthorized use of nuclear explosives.

  13. Characterization of plutonium-bearing wastes by chemical analysis and analytical electron microscopy

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Behrens, R.G.; Buck, E.C.; Dietz, N.L.; Bates, J.K.; Van Deventer, E.; Chaiko, D.J.

    1995-09-01

    This report summarizes the results of characterization studies of plutonium-bearing wastes produced at the US Department of Energy weapons production facilities. Several different solid wastes were characterized, including incinerator ash and ash heels from Rocky Flats Plant and Los Alamos National Laboratory; sand, stag, and crucible waste from Hanford; and LECO crucibles from the Savannah River Site. These materials were characterized by chemical analysis and analytical electron microscopy. The results showed the presence of discrete PuO{sub 2}PuO{sub 2{minus}x}, and Pu{sub 4}O{sub 7} phases, of about 1{mu}m or less in size, in all of the samples examined. In addition, a number of amorphous phases were present that contained plutonium. In all the ash and ash heel samples examined, plutonium phases were found that were completely surrounded by silicate matrices. Consequently, to achieve optimum plutonium recovery in any chemical extraction process, extraction would have to be coupled with ultrafine grinding to average particle sizes of less than 1 {mu}m to liberate the plutonium from the surrounding inert matrix.

  14. Facts about the Plutonium Record of Decision | National Nuclear Security

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    Administration | (NNSA) Facts about the Plutonium Record of Decision Facts about the Plutonium Record of Decision

  15. METATHESIS OF PLUTONIUM CARRIER LANTHANUM FLUORIDE PRECIPITATE WITH AN ALKALI

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Duffield, R.B.

    1960-04-01

    A plutonium fluoride precipitate is converted to plutonium hydroxide by digesting the precipitate with an aqueous alkali metal hydroxide solution.

  16. Plutonium focus area

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1996-08-01

    To ensure research and development programs focus on the most pressing environmental restoration and waste management problems at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Environmental Management (EM) established a working group in August 1993 to implement a new approach to research and technology development. As part of this new approach, EM developed a management structure and principles that led to the creation of specific Focus Areas. These organizations were designed to focus the scientific and technical talent throughout DOE and the national scientific community on the major environmental restoration and waste management problems facing DOE. The Focus Area approach provides the framework for intersite cooperation and leveraging of resources on common problems. After the original establishment of five major Focus Areas within the Office of Technology Development (EM-50, now called the Office of Science and Technology), the Nuclear Materials Stabilization Task Group (EM-66) followed the structure already in place in EM-50 and chartered the Plutonium Focus Area (PFA). The following information outlines the scope and mission of the EM, EM-60, and EM-66 organizations as related to the PFA organizational structure.

  17. In situ remediation of plutonium from glovebox exhaust ducts at the Department of Energy`s Rocky Flats Plant

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Dugdale, J.S.; Humiston, T.J.; Omer, G.E.

    1993-10-01

    Plutonium and other miscellaneous hold-up materials have been accumulating in the glovebox exhaust ducts at the Rocky Flats Plant over the 40 years of weapons production at the site. The Duct Remediation Project was undertaken to assess the safety impacts of this material, and to remove it from the ductwork. The project necessitated the development of specialized tools, equipment and methods to remediate the material from continuously operating ventilation systems. Special engineered access locations were also required to provide access to the ductwork, and to ensure that safety and system operability were not degraded as a result of the remediation efforts. Operations personnel underwent significant training and development, and became an important asset to the success of the project. In total, the project succeeded in removing over 40 kilograms of plutonium-bearing material from one of the major weapons production buildings at the plant.

  18. Selecting a plutonium vitrification process

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Jouan, A. [Centre d`Etudes de la Vallee du Rhone, Bagnols sur Ceze (France)

    1996-05-01

    Vitrification of plutonium is one means of mitigating its potential danger. This option is technically feasible, even if it is not the solution advocated in France. Two situations are possible, depending on whether or not the glass matrix also contains fission products; concentrations of up to 15% should be achievable for plutonium alone, whereas the upper limit is 3% in the presence of fission products. The French continuous vitrification process appears to be particularly suitable for plutonium vitrification: its capacity is compatible with the required throughout, and the compact dimensions of the process equipment prevent a criticality hazard. Preprocessing of plutonium metal, to convert it to PuO{sub 2} or to a nitric acid solution, may prove advantageous or even necessary depending on whether a dry or wet process is adopted. The process may involve a single step (vitrification of Pu or PuO{sub 2} mixed with glass frit) or may include a prior calcination step - notably if the plutonium is to be incorporated into a fission product glass. It is important to weigh the advantages and drawbacks of all the possible options in terms of feasibility, safety and cost-effectiveness.

  19. PROCESS OF SEPARATING PLUTONIUM FROM URANIUM

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Brown, H.S.; Hill, O.F.

    1958-09-01

    A process is presented for recovering plutonium values from aqueous solutions. It comprises forming a uranous hydroxide precipitate in such a plutonium bearing solution, at a pH of at least 5. The plutonium values are precipitated with and carried by the uranium hydroxide. The carrier precipitate is then redissolved in acid solution and the pH is adjusted to about 2.5, causing precipitation of the uranous hydroxide but leaving the still soluble plutonium values in solution.

  20. TA-55: LANL Plutonium-Processing Facilities

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    Facilities » TA-55: LANL Plutonium-Processing Facilities TA-55: LANL Plutonium-Processing Facilities TA-55 supports a wide range of national security programs that involve stockpile stewardship, plutonium processing, nuclear materials stabilization, materials disposition, nuclear forensics, nuclear counter-terrorism, and nuclear energy. ...the only fully operational, full capability plutonium facility in the nation. National Security At the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), virtually all

  1. Security and Use Control of Nuclear Explosives and Nuclear Weapons...

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    O 452.4C, Security and Use Control of Nuclear Explosives and Nuclear Weapons by LtCol Karl Basham Functional areas: Nuclear Explosives, Nuclear Weapons, Security, Safety, Weapon...

  2. Clinton Extends Moratorium on Nuclear Weapons Testing | National Nuclear

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    Security Administration | (NNSA) Clinton Extends Moratorium on Nuclear Weapons Testing Clinton Extends Moratorium on Nuclear Weapons Testing Washington, DC President Clinton extends the nuclear weapons testing moratorium for at least 15 months

  3. Eisenhower Halts Nuclear Weapons Testing | National Nuclear Security

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    Administration | (NNSA) Eisenhower Halts Nuclear Weapons Testing Eisenhower Halts Nuclear Weapons Testing Washington, DC President Eisenhower announces a moratorium on nuclear weapons testing to begin on October 31, 1958

  4. President Truman Orders Development of Thermonuclear Weapon | National

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    Nuclear Security Administration | (NNSA) Orders Development of Thermonuclear Weapon President Truman Orders Development of Thermonuclear Weapon Washington, DC President Truman instructs the Atomic Energy Commission to expedite development of a thermonuclear weapon

  5. Direct vitrification of plutonium-containing materials (PCM`s) with the glass material oxidation and dissolution system (GMODS)

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Forsberg, C.W. Beahm, E.C.; Parker, G.W.; Rudolph, J.C.; Haas, P.A.; Malling, G.F.; Elam, K.; Ott, L.

    1995-10-30

    The end of the cold war has resulted in excess PCMs from nuclear weapons and associated production facilities. Consequently, the US government has undertaken studies to determine how best to manage and dispose of this excess material. The issues include (a) ensurance of domestic health, environment, and safety in handling, storage, and disposition, (b) international arms control agreements with Russia and other countries, and (c) economics. One major set of options is to convert the PCMs into glass for storage or disposal. The chemically inert characteristics of glasses make them a desirable chemical form for storage or disposal of radioactive materials. A glass may contain only plutonium, or it may contain plutonium along with other radioactive materials and nonradioactive materials. GMODS is a new process for the direct conversion of PCMs (i.e., plutonium metal, scrap, and residues) to glass. The plutonium content of these materials varies from a fraction of a percent to pure plutonium. GMODS has the capability to also convert other metals, ceramics, and amorphous solids to glass, destroy organics, and convert chloride-containing materials into a low-chloride glass and a secondary clean chloride salt strewn. This report is the initial study of GMODS for vitrification of PCMs as input to ongoing studies of plutonium management options. Several tasks were completed: initial analysis of process thermodynamics, initial flowsheet analysis, identification of equipment options, proof-of-principle experiments, and identification of uncertainties.

  6. Plutonium Oxide Process Capability Work Plan

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Meier, David E.; Tingey, Joel M.

    2014-02-28

    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has been tasked to develop a Pilot-scale Plutonium-oxide Processing Unit (P3U) providing a flexible capability to produce 200g (Pu basis) samples of plutonium oxide using different chemical processes for use in identifying and validating nuclear forensics signatures associated with plutonium production. Materials produced can also be used as exercise and reference materials.

  7. Plutonium stabilization and packaging system

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1996-05-01

    This document describes the functional design of the Plutonium Stabilization and Packaging System (Pu SPS). The objective of this system is to stabilize and package plutonium metals and oxides of greater than 50% wt, as well as other selected isotopes, in accordance with the requirements of the DOE standard for safe storage of these materials for 50 years. This system will support completion of stabilization and packaging campaigns of the inventory at a number of affected sites before the year 2002. The package will be standard for all sites and will provide a minimum of two uncontaminated, organics free confinement barriers for the packaged material.

  8. Linking Legacies: Connecting the Cold War Nuclear Weapons Production...

    Office of Environmental Management (EM)

    Linking Legacies: Connecting the Cold War Nuclear Weapons Production Processes to Their Environmental Consequences Linking Legacies: Connecting the Cold War Nuclear Weapons ...

  9. Enforcement Guidance Supplement 01-01: Nuclear Weapon Program...

    Energy Savers [EERE]

    of 10 CFR Part 830 to nuclear weapon programs and several related enforcement issues. Enforcement Guidance Supplement 01-01: Nuclear Weapon Program Enforcement Issues (111.05

  10. Laboratory's role in Cold War nuclear weapons testing program...

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    70th anniversary lecture Laboratory's role in Cold War nuclear weapons testing program focus of next 70th anniversary lecture Lab's role in the development of nuclear weapons ...

  11. Enforcement Guidance Supplement 01-01: Nuclear Weapon Program...

    Energy Savers [EERE]

    of 10 CFR Part 830 to nuclear weapon programs and several related enforcement issues. Enforcement Guidance Supplement 01-01: Nuclear Weapon Program Enforcement Issues (55.31

  12. Nuclear Weapons Dismantlement Rate Up 146 Percent | National...

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    Nuclear Weapons Dismantlement Rate Up 146 Percent October 01, 2007 WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The United States significantly increased its rate of dismantled nuclear weapons during ...

  13. Nuclear Weapons Testing Resumes | National Nuclear Security Administration

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    | (NNSA) Weapons Testing Resumes Nuclear Weapons Testing Resumes Washington, DC The Soviet Union breaks the nuclear test moratorium and the United States resumes testing

  14. Toward a nuclear weapons free world?

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Maaranen, S.A.

    1996-09-01

    Doubts about the wisdom of relying on nuclear weapons are as old as nuclear weapons themselves. But despite this questioning, nuclear weapons came to be seen as the indispensable element of American (indeed Western) security during the Cold War. By the 1970s and 1980s, however, discontent was growing about the intense US-Soviet nuclear arms competition, as it failed to provide any enduring improvement in security; rather, it was seen as creating ever greater risks and dangers. Arms control negotiations and limitations, adopted as a means to regulate the technical competition, may also have relieved some of the political pressures and dangers. But the balance of terror, and the fears of it, continued. The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) under President Reagan was a very different approach to escaping from the precarious protection of nuclear weapons, in that it sought a way to continue to defend the US and the West, but without the catastrophic risks of mutual deterrence. As such, SDI connoted unhappiness with the precarious nuclear balance and, for many, with nuclear weapons in general. The disappearance of the Warsaw Pact, the disintegration of the Soviet Union, and the sudden end of the Cold War seemed to offer a unique opportunity to fashion a new, more peaceful world order that might allow for fading away of nuclear weapons. Scholars have foreseen two different paths to a nuclear free world. The first is a fundamental improvement in the relationships between states such that nuclear weapons are no longer needed. The second path is through technological development, e.g., missile defenses which could provide effective protection against nuclear attacks. The paper discusses nuclear weapon policy in the US, views of other nuclear states, the future of nuclear weapons, and issues in a less-nuclear world.

  15. Plutonium metal exchange program : current status and statistical analysis

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Tandon, L.; Eglin, J. L.; Michalak, S. E.; Picard, R. R.; Temer, D. J.

    2004-01-01

    The Rocky Flats Plutonium (Pu) Metal Sample Exchange program was conducted to insure the quality and intercomparability of measurements such as Pu assay, Pu isotopics, and impurity analyses. The Rocky Flats program was discontinued in 1989 after more than 30 years. In 2001, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) reestablished the Pu Metal Exchange program. In addition to the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston, six Department of Energy (DOE) facilities Argonne East, Argonne West, Livermore, Los Alamos, New Brunswick Laboratory, and Savannah River are currently participating in the program. Plutonium metal samples are prepared and distributed to the sites for destructive measurements to determine elemental concentration, isotopic abundance, and both metallic and nonmetallic impurity levels. The program provides independent verification of analytical measurement capabilies for each participating facility and allows problems in analytical methods to be identified. The current status of the program will be discussed with emphasis on the unique statistical analysis and modeling of the data developed for the program. The discussion includes the definition of the consensus values for each analyte (in the presence and absence of anomalous values and/or censored values), and interesting features of the data and the results.

  16. Method of separating thorium from plutonium

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Clifton, David G.; Blum, Thomas W.

    1984-01-01

    A method of chemically separating plutonium from thorium. Plutonium and thorium to be separated are dissolved in an aqueous feed solution, preferably as the nitrate salts. The feed solution is acidified and sodium nitrite is added to the solution to adjust the valence of the plutonium to the +4 state. A chloride salt, preferably sodium chloride, is then added to the solution to induce formation of an anionic plutonium chloride complex. The anionic plutonium chloride complex and the thorium in solution are then separated by ion exchange on a strong base anion exchange column.

  17. Method of separating thorium from plutonium

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Clifton, D.G.; Blum, T.W.

    1984-07-10

    A method is described for chemically separating plutonium from thorium. Plutonium and thorium to be separated are dissolved in an aqueous feed solution, preferably as the nitrate salts. The feed solution is acidified and sodium nitrite is added to the solution to adjust the valence of the plutonium to the +4 state. A chloride salt, preferably sodium chloride, is then added to the solution to induce formation of an anionic plutonium chloride complex. The anionic plutonium chloride complex and the thorium in solution are then separated by ion exchange on a strong base anion exchange column.

  18. Method of separating thorium from plutonium

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Clifton, D.G.; Blum, T.W.

    A method of chemically separating plutonium from thorium is claimed. Plutonium and thorium to be separated are dissolved in an aqueous feed solution, preferably as the nitrate salts. The feed solution is acidified and sodium nitrite is added to the solution to adjust the valence of the plutonium to the +4 state. A chloride salt, preferably sodium chloride, is then added to the solution to induce formation of an anionic plutonium chloride complex. The anionic plutonium chloride complex and the thorium in solution are then separated by ion exchange on a strong base anion exchange column.

  19. Plutonium inventory characterization technical evaluation report

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Wittman, G.R., Westinghouse Hanford

    1996-07-10

    This is a technical report on the data, gathered to date, under WHC- SD-CP-TP-086, Rev. 1, on the integrity of the food pack cans currently being used to store plutonium or plutonium compounds at the Plutonium Finishing Plant. Workplan PFP-96-VO-009, `Inspection of Special Nuclear Material Using X-ray`, was used to gather data on material and containment conditions using real time radiography. Some of those images are included herein. A matrix found in the `Plutonium Inventory Characterization Implementation Plan` was used to categorize different plutonium items based upon the type of material being stored and the life expectancy of the containers.

  20. Plutonium inventories for stabilization and stabilized materials

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Williams, A.K.

    1996-05-01

    The objective of the breakout session was to identify characteristics of materials containing plutonium, the need to stabilize these materials for storage, and plans to accomplish the stabilization activities. All current stabilization activities are driven by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board Recommendation 94-1 (May 26, 1994) and by the recently completed Plutonium ES&H Vulnerability Assessment (DOE-EH-0415). The Implementation Plan for accomplishing stabilization of plutonium-bearing residues in response to the Recommendation and the Assessment was published by DOE on February 28, 1995. This Implementation Plan (IP) commits to stabilizing problem materials within 3 years, and stabilizing all other materials within 8 years. The IP identifies approximately 20 metric tons of plutonium requiring stabilization and/or repackaging. A further breakdown shows this material to consist of 8.5 metric tons of plutonium metal and alloys, 5.5 metric tons of plutonium as oxide, and 6 metric tons of plutonium as residues. Stabilization of the metal and oxide categories containing greater than 50 weight percent plutonium is covered by DOE Standard {open_quotes}Criteria for Safe Storage of Plutonium Metals and Oxides{close_quotes} December, 1994 (DOE-STD-3013-94). This standard establishes criteria for safe storage of stabilized plutonium metals and oxides for up to 50 years. Each of the DOE sites and contractors with large plutonium inventories has either started or is preparing to start stabilization activities to meet these criteria.

  1. Table of Contents

    Energy Savers [EERE]

    ... The facility will remove impurities from surplus weapons-grade plutonium and mix it with depleted uranium oxide to form fuel pellets for commercial nuclear power reactors. MOX ...

  2. Audit Report: IG-0659 | Department of Energy

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    Stabilization, by definition, includes activities such as repackaging materials stored in vulnerable containers, processing non-weapons-grade plutonium and direct discard of ...

  3. Strong Support for MOX Continues

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    When completed, the MOX facility will convert weapons- grade plutonium to nuclear reactor fuel assemblies. These assemblies will then be used as fuel in commercial nuclear power ...

  4. Uranium Weapons Components Successfully Dismantled | National...

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    components from two major nuclear weapons systems formerly deployed on U.S. Air Force missiles and aircraft have been dismantled at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, ...

  5. AEC and control of nuclear weapons

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    control of nuclear weapons The Atomic Energy Commission took control of the atomic energy project known originally as the Manhattan Project on January 1, 1947. This shift from the ...

  6. Weapons dismantlement issues in independent Ukraine

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Zack, N.R. . Safeguards Systems Group); Kirk, E.J. )

    1995-02-01

    The American Association for the Advancement of Science sponsored a seminar during September 1993 in Kiev, Ukraine, titled, Toward a Nuclear-Free Future--Barriers and Problems.'' It brought together Ukrainians, Belarusians and Americans to discuss the legal, political, economic, technical, and safeguards and security dimensions of nuclear weapons dismantlement and destruction. US representatives initiated discussions on legal and treaty requirements and constraints, safeguards and security issues surrounding dismantlement, storage and disposition of nuclear materials, warhead transportation, and economic considerations. Ukrainians gave presentations on arguments for and against the Ukraine keeping nuclear weapons, the Ukrainian Parliament's nonapproval of START 1, alternative strategies for dismantling silos and launchers, and economic and security implications of nuclear weapons removal from the Ukraine. Participants from Belarus discussed proliferation and control regime issues. This paper will highlight and detail the issues, concerns and possible impacts of the Ukraine's dismantlement of its nuclear weapons.

  7. Weapons | National Nuclear Security Administration | (NNSA)

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

    Weapons The New START Treaty, which was signed in 2010, between the United States and Russian Federation will cap the strategic deployed nuclear arsenals of each country at 1,550 warheads, a nearly 75% reduction compared with the first START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), which expired in 2009. New START follows a series of similar treaties between the United States and Russia all with the goal of reducing nuclear weapons in both countries and, ultimately, lowering the global nuclear

  8. U.S. Removes Nine Metric Tons of Plutonium From Nuclear Weapons...

    Energy Savers [EERE]

    ... Read more information about the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Media contact(s): Megan Barnett, (202) 586-4940 Julianne Smith, (202) 586-7371 Addthis Related ...

  9. Measurements of plutonium, 237Np, and 137Cs in the BCR 482 lichen reference material

    DOE Public Access Gateway for Energy & Science Beta (PAGES Beta)

    Lavelle, Kevin B.; Miller, Jeffrey L.; Hanson, Susan K.; Connick, William B.; Spitz, Henry B.; Glover, Samuel E.; Oldham, Warren J.

    2015-10-01

    Select anthropogenic radionuclides were measured in lichen reference material, BCR 482. This material was originally collected in Axalp, Switzerland in 1991 and is composed of the epiphytic lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea. Samples from three separate bottles of BCR 482 were analyzed for uranium, neptunium, and plutonium isotopes by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and analyzed for cesium-137 by gamma-ray spectrometry. The isotopic composition of the radionuclides measured in BCR 482 suggests contributions from both global fallout resulting from historical nuclear weapons testing and more volatile materials released following the Chernobyl accident.

  10. Sandia National Laboratories: National Security Missions: Nuclear Weapons

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    Programs Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Stewardship Ensuring the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile is safe, secure, and reliable. About Nuclear Weapons Since 1949, Sandia's scientists and engineers have conducted breakthrough research in weaponization. About Safety & Security Safe and secure nuclear weapons are of paramount importance in a changing global threat environment. Safety and Security Science & Technology Sandia provides the science and engineering to help maintain and certify the