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Title: Analysis of pressurization of plutonium oxide storage vials during a postulated fire

The documented safety analysis for the Savannah River Site evaluates the consequences of a postulated 1000 °C fire in a glovebox. The radiological dose consequences for a pressurized release of plutonium oxide powder during such a fire depend on the maximum pressure that is attained inside the oxide storage vial. To enable evaluation of the dose consequences, pressure transients and venting flow rates have been calculated for exposure of the storage vial to the fire. A standard B vial with a capacity of approximately 8 cc was selected for analysis. The analysis compares the pressurization rate from heating and evaporation of moisture adsorbed onto the plutonium oxide contents of the vial with the pressure loss due to venting of gas through the threaded connection between the vial cap and body. Tabulated results from the analysis include maximum pressures, maximum venting velocities, and cumulative vial volumes vented during the first 10 minutes of the fire transient. Results are obtained for various amounts of oxide in the vial, various amounts of adsorbed moisture, different vial orientations, and different surface fire exposures.
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Conference: ASME 2015 Pressure Vessels and Piping Division Conference
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United States