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Title: 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

Abstract

Eighteen plutonium oxide samples originating from the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) on the Hanford Site were analyzed to provide additional data on the suitability of PFP thermally stabilized plutonium oxides and Rocky Flats oxides as alternate feedstock to the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF). Radiochemical and chemical analyses were performed on fusions, acid leaches, and water leaches of these 18 samples. The results from these destructive analyses were compared with nondestructive analyses (NDA) performed at PFP and the acceptance criteria for the alternate feedstock. The plutonium oxide materials considered as alternate feedstock at Hanford originated from several different sources including Rocky Flats oxide, scrap from the Remote Mechanical C-Line (RMC) and the Plutonium Reclamation Facility (PRF), and materials from other plutonium conversion processes at Hanford. These materials were received at PFP as metals, oxides, and solutions. All of the material considered as alternate feedstock was converted to PuO2 and thermally stabilized by heating the PuO2 powder at 950 C in an oxidizing environment. The two samples from solutions were converted to PuO2 by precipitation with Mg(OH)2. The 18 plutonium oxide samples were grouped into four categories based on their origin. The Rocky Flats oxide was divided into two categories,more » low- and high-chloride Rocky Flats oxides. The other two categories were PRF/RMC scrap oxides, which included scrap from both process lines and oxides produced from solutions. The two solution samples came from samples that were being tested at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory because all of the plutonium oxide from solutions at PFP had already been processed and placed in 3013 containers. These samples originated at the PFP and are from plutonium nitrate product and double-pass filtrate solutions after they had been thermally stabilized. The other 16 samples originated from thermal stabilization batches before canning at 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.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
15020700
Report Number(s):
PNNL-15241
NN6003030; TRN: US0504689
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; ANIONS; CATIONS; ENERGY ANALYSIS; FABRICATION; IONIZATION; MASS SPECTROSCOPY; MIXED OXIDE FUELS; OXIDES; PHOSPHORESCENCE; PLUTONIUM; PLUTONIUM NITRATES; PLUTONIUM OXIDES; STABILIZATION; URANIUM; plutonium oxide; MOX

Citation Formats

Tingey, Joel M., and Jones, Susan A. 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. United States: N. p., 2005. Web. doi:10.2172/15020700.
Tingey, Joel M., & Jones, Susan A. 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. United States. doi:10.2172/15020700.
Tingey, Joel M., and Jones, Susan A. Fri . "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". United States. doi:10.2172/15020700. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/15020700.
@article{osti_15020700,
title = {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},
author = {Tingey, Joel M. and Jones, Susan A.},
abstractNote = {Eighteen plutonium oxide samples originating from the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) on the Hanford Site were analyzed to provide additional data on the suitability of PFP thermally stabilized plutonium oxides and Rocky Flats oxides as alternate feedstock to the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF). Radiochemical and chemical analyses were performed on fusions, acid leaches, and water leaches of these 18 samples. The results from these destructive analyses were compared with nondestructive analyses (NDA) performed at PFP and the acceptance criteria for the alternate feedstock. The plutonium oxide materials considered as alternate feedstock at Hanford originated from several different sources including Rocky Flats oxide, scrap from the Remote Mechanical C-Line (RMC) and the Plutonium Reclamation Facility (PRF), and materials from other plutonium conversion processes at Hanford. These materials were received at PFP as metals, oxides, and solutions. All of the material considered as alternate feedstock was converted to PuO2 and thermally stabilized by heating the PuO2 powder at 950 C in an oxidizing environment. The two samples from solutions were converted to PuO2 by precipitation with Mg(OH)2. The 18 plutonium oxide samples were grouped into four categories based on their origin. The Rocky Flats oxide was divided into two categories, low- and high-chloride Rocky Flats oxides. The other two categories were PRF/RMC scrap oxides, which included scrap from both process lines and oxides produced from solutions. The two solution samples came from samples that were being tested at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory because all of the plutonium oxide from solutions at PFP had already been processed and placed in 3013 containers. These samples originated at the PFP and are from plutonium nitrate product and double-pass filtrate solutions after they had been thermally stabilized. The other 16 samples originated from thermal stabilization batches before canning at 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.},
doi = {10.2172/15020700},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2005},
month = {7}
}

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