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Title: Mass Transport of Condensed Species in Aerodynamic Fallout Glass from a Near-Surface Nuclear Test

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Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Weisz, D G. Mass Transport of Condensed Species in Aerodynamic Fallout Glass from a Near-Surface Nuclear Test. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1289373.
Weisz, D G. Mass Transport of Condensed Species in Aerodynamic Fallout Glass from a Near-Surface Nuclear Test. United States. doi:10.2172/1289373.
Weisz, D G. Tue . "Mass Transport of Condensed Species in Aerodynamic Fallout Glass from a Near-Surface Nuclear Test". United States. doi:10.2172/1289373.
title = {Mass Transport of Condensed Species in Aerodynamic Fallout Glass from a Near-Surface Nuclear Test},
author = {Weisz, D G},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.2172/1289373},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Jul 12 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Tue Jul 12 00:00:00 EDT 2016}

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  • The /sup 89/Sr//sup 90/Sr ratio variation in rain and snow samples were studied at Fayetteville, Arkansas, between 21 September 1979, and 6 August 1981. The presence of fresh nuclear debris was detected following the 25th Chinese test of 16 October 1980. A tropospheric cycling effect was clearly indicated in the radiostrontium data following this test. While the fallout of uranium from the burn-up of the Soviet satellite Cosmos-954 was not accompanied by fission products, concentrations of /sup 89/Sr and /sup 90/Sr in rain and snow at Fayetteville, Arkansas, showed a spectacular increase during the spring months of 1981 due tomore » the 25th Chinese nuclear test explosion of 16 October 1980. Nuclear debris injected into the atmosphere by the Three-Mile-Island accident of April 1979 was not detected in rain samples collected at Fayeteville, Arkansas. This seems to indicate that the atmospheric injection of fission products from this nuclear accident was limited primarily to gaseous fission products.« less
  • It has been shown that the incorporation of lead metal into the corrosion environment reduces the leaching rate of nuclear waste glasses. The present study evaluated the effects of lead metal, oxides, alloys, glasses and soluble species on the corrosion rate of a waste glass. The inherent durability of nuclear waste glasses comes from the about due to the insoluble surface film developed during corrosion. This surface film, enriched with iron, aluminum and calcium acts as a diffusion barrier to further corrosion. Except for PbO/sub 2/, all lead species inhibited glass corrosion due to the formation of a surface filmmore » enriched in lead. No corroded glass layer was observed below the lead surface layer. Also, no glass corrosion products were found on the lead surface, except for small amounts of silicon. The transport and deposition of lead on the glass surface appears to be the key factors in preventing glass corrosion. At high glass surface area to volume ratios, the glass corroded considerably at short times since the dissolved lead source could not coat the entire glass surface rapidly enough to prevent continued corrosion. Also, experimental solution values did not agree with thermodynamics model predictions. This suggests that kinetic factors, namely diffusion barriers, are controlling the glass corrosion rate.« less
  • Atmospheric-test fallout data were used to determine admissable-dust particle-size distributions for nuclear-winter studies. The research was originally motivated by extreme differences noted in the magnitude and longevity of dust effects predicted by particle-size distributions routinely used in fallout predictions versus those used for nuclear-winter studies. Three different sets of historical data were analyzed: (1) stratospheric burden of strontium-90 and tungsten-185, 1954-1967 (92 contributing events); (2) continental US strontium-90 fallout through 1958 (75 contributing events); (3) local fallout from selected Nevada tests (16 events). The contribution of dust to possible long-term climate effects following a nuclear exchange depends strongly on themore » particle-size distribution. The distribution affects both the atmospheric residence time and optical depth. One-dimensional models of stratospheric/tropospheric fallout removal were developed and used to identify optimum particle distributions. Results indicate that particle distributions that properly predict bulk stratospheric activity transfer tend to be somewhat smaller than number size distributions used in initial nuclear winter studies. In addition, both /sup 90/Sr and /sup 185/W fallout behavior is better predicted by the log normal distribution function than the prevalent power-law hybrid function.« less
  • Aerodynamically-shaped glassy fallout is formed when vapor phase constituents from the nuclear device are incorporated into molten carriers (i.e. fallout precursor materials derived from soil or other near-field environmental debris). The effects of speciation and diffusive transport of condensing constituents are not well defined in models of fallout formation. Previously we reported observations of diffuse micrometer scale layers enriched in Na, Fe, Ca, and 235U, and depleted in Al and Ti, at the interfaces of agglomerated fallout objects. Here in this paper, we derive the timescales of uranium mass transport in such fallout as it cools from 2500 K tomore » 1500 K by applying a 1-dimensional planar diffusion model to the observed 235U/ 30Si variation at the interfaces. By modeling the thermal transport between the fireball and the carrier materials, the time of mass transport is calculated to be <0.6 s, <1 s, <2 s, and <3.5 s for fireball yields of 0.1 kt, 1 kt, 10 kt, and 100 kt respectively. Based on the calculated times of mass transport, a maximum temperature of deposition of uranium onto the carrier material of ~2200 K is inferred (1σ uncertainty of ~200 K). We also determine that the occurrence of micrometer scale layers of material enriched in relatively volatile Na-species as well as more refractory Ca-species provides evidence for an oxygen-rich fireball based on the vapor pressure of the two species under oxidizing conditions. These results represent the first application of diffusion-based modeling to derive material transport, thermal environments, and oxidation-speciation in near-surface nuclear detonation environments.« less