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Title: Final Report: Part 1. In-Place Filter Testing Instrument for Nuclear Material Containers. Part 2. Canister Filter Test Standards for Aerosol Capture Rates.

A portable instrument has been developed to assess the functionality of filter sand o-rings on nuclear material storage canisters, without requiring removal of the canister lid. Additionally, a set of fifteen filter standards were procured for verifying aerosol leakage and pressure drop measurements in the Los Alamos Filter Test System. The US Department of Energy uses several thousand canisters for storing nuclear material in different chemical and physical forms. Specialized filters are installed into canister lids to allow gases to escape, and to maintain an internal ambient pressure while containing radioactive contaminants. Diagnosing the condition of container filters and canister integrity is important to ensure worker and public safety and for determining the handling requirements of legacy apparatus. This report describes the In-Place-Filter-Tester, the Instrument Development Plan and the Instrument Operating Method that were developed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory to determine the “as found” condition of unopened storage canisters. The Instrument Operating Method provides instructions for future evaluations of as-found canisters packaged with nuclear material. Customized stainless steel canister interfaces were developed for pressure-port access and to apply a suction clamping force for the interface. These are compatible with selected Hagan-style and SAVY-4000 storage canisters that were purchasedmore » from NFT (Nuclear Filter Technology, Golden, CO). Two instruments were developed for this effort: an initial Los Alamos POC (Proof-of-Concept) unit and the final Los Alamos IPFT system. The Los Alamos POC was used to create the Instrument Development Plan: (1) to determine the air flow and pressure characteristics associated with canister filter clogging, and (2) to test simulated configurations that mimicked canister leakage paths. The canister leakage scenarios included quantifying: (A) air leakage due to foreign material (i.e. dust and hair) fouling of o-rings, (B) leakage through simulated cracks in o-rings, and (C) air leakage due to inadequately tightened canister lids. The Los Alamos POC instrument determined pertinent air flow and pressure quantities, and this knowledge was used to specify a customized Isaac® (Z axis, Salt Lake City, UT) leak test module. The final Los Alamos IPFT (incorporating the Isaac® leak test module) was used to repeat the tests in the Instrument Development Plan (with simulated filter clogging tests and canister leak pathway tests). The Los Alamos IPFT instrument is capable of determining filter clogging and leak rate conditions, without requiring removal of the container lid. The IPFT measures pressure decay rate from 1.7E-03 in WC/sec to 1.7E-01 in WC/sec. On the same unit scale, helium leak testing of canisters has a range from 5.7E-07 in WC/sec to 1.9E-03 in WC/sec. For a 5-quart storage canister, the IPFT measures equivalent leak flow rates from 0.03 to 3.0 cc/sec. The IPFT does not provide the same sensitivity as helium leak testing, but is able to gauge the assembled condition of as-found and in-situ canisters.« less
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  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States