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Title: Surplus plutonium immobilization feed materials requirements and blending strategy

Abstract

The Excess Fissile Materials Disposition Program`s Record of Decision (ROD) published in January 1997 by DOE/MD describes three potential pathways for the disposition of excess fissile materials: burning as MOX fuel rods, and two can-in-canister immobilization candidates: glass and ceramics. In addition, the ROD introduced processing schedules for MD disposition program. Prior to the ROD, the only acceptance specification that AMD had for incoming materials was DOE- STD-3013. However, STD-3013 is a specification aimed at maintaining safety for long term storage (approximately 100 years) and was never intended to act as an acceptance specification. An effort has begun to examine all of the technical issues associated with the processing and transfer of materials from EM to MD. Since that time, several related initiatives have begun to deal with the many issues, including the EM Material Stewardship program, the latest EM-66 sponsored trade studies, and a new storage standard. A draft of feed material requirements for the ceramic Immobilization Facility that will be used for the disposition of surplus plutonium has been developed for discussion. It established impurity limits for feed materials to the immobilization process, identifies impurities in feed materials that may have an adverse effect on the immobilization process,more » and indicates how these materials can be further processed and blended at the Immobilization Facility to ensure manufacture of an acceptable product.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
653602
Report Number(s):
UCRL-JC-129966; CONF-980307-
ON: DE98057750; BR: GA0102070
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Waste management `98, Tucson, AZ (United States), 1-5 Mar 1998; Other Information: PBD: 13 Feb 1998
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
05 NUCLEAR FUELS; FISSILE MATERIALS; PLUTONIUM; GLASS; CONTAINERS; RADIOACTIVE WASTE STORAGE; VITRIFICATION; CERAMICS; MIXING

Citation Formats

Ebbinghaus, B., Edmunds, T., Gray, L., Riley, D., and Rising, T.L. Surplus plutonium immobilization feed materials requirements and blending strategy. United States: N. p., 1998. Web.
Ebbinghaus, B., Edmunds, T., Gray, L., Riley, D., & Rising, T.L. Surplus plutonium immobilization feed materials requirements and blending strategy. United States.
Ebbinghaus, B., Edmunds, T., Gray, L., Riley, D., and Rising, T.L. 1998. "Surplus plutonium immobilization feed materials requirements and blending strategy". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/653602.
@article{osti_653602,
title = {Surplus plutonium immobilization feed materials requirements and blending strategy},
author = {Ebbinghaus, B. and Edmunds, T. and Gray, L. and Riley, D. and Rising, T.L.},
abstractNote = {The Excess Fissile Materials Disposition Program`s Record of Decision (ROD) published in January 1997 by DOE/MD describes three potential pathways for the disposition of excess fissile materials: burning as MOX fuel rods, and two can-in-canister immobilization candidates: glass and ceramics. In addition, the ROD introduced processing schedules for MD disposition program. Prior to the ROD, the only acceptance specification that AMD had for incoming materials was DOE- STD-3013. However, STD-3013 is a specification aimed at maintaining safety for long term storage (approximately 100 years) and was never intended to act as an acceptance specification. An effort has begun to examine all of the technical issues associated with the processing and transfer of materials from EM to MD. Since that time, several related initiatives have begun to deal with the many issues, including the EM Material Stewardship program, the latest EM-66 sponsored trade studies, and a new storage standard. A draft of feed material requirements for the ceramic Immobilization Facility that will be used for the disposition of surplus plutonium has been developed for discussion. It established impurity limits for feed materials to the immobilization process, identifies impurities in feed materials that may have an adverse effect on the immobilization process, and indicates how these materials can be further processed and blended at the Immobilization Facility to ensure manufacture of an acceptable product.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1998,
month = 2
}

Conference:
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  • The Department of Energy (DOE) has declared approximately 38.2 tonnes of weapons-grade plutonium to be excess to the needs of national security, 14.3 tonnes of fuel- and reactor-grade plutonium excess to DOE needs, and anticipates an additional 7 tonnes to be declared excess to national security needs. Of this 59.5 tonnes, DOE anticipates that {approximately} 7.5 tonnes will be dispositioned as spent fuel at the Geologic Repository and {approximately} 2 tonnes will be declared below the safeguards termination limit and be discard3ed as TRU waste at WIPP. The remaining 50 tonnes of excess plutonium exists in many forms and locationsmore » around the country, and is under the control of several DOE offices. In addition to the plutonium, the feed stock also contains about 17 tonnes of depleted uranium, about 600 kg of highly enriched uranium, and many kilograms of neptunium and thorium and about 8 to 10 tonnes of tramp impurities. The Materials Disposition Program (MD) will be received materials packaged by these other Programs to disposition in a manor that meets the spent fuel standard. To minimize the cost of characterization of the feedstock and to minimize purification processes, a blending strategy will be followed. The levelization of the impurities, the plutonium isotopics, and the actinide impurities will also provide some benefits in the area of proliferation resistance. The overall strategy will be outlined and the benefits of following a blending instead of a purification program will be discussed.« less
  • Experiments have been performed on glasses doped with 2 and 7 wt % plutonium to evaluate factors that may be important in the performance of these high-Pu-loaded glasses for repository storage. The high Pu loadings result from the need to dispose of excess Pu from weapons dismantling. The glasses were reacted in water vapor to simulate aging that may occur under unsaturated storage conditions prior to contact with liquid water. They were also reacted with liquid water under standard static leach test conditions. The results were compared with similar tests of a reference glass (202 glass) containing only 0.01 wtmore » % Pu. In vapor hydration testing to date, at 2 wt % loading, the Pu was incorporated into the glass without phase separation, and reaction in water vapor proceeded at a rate comparable with that of the 202 glass. At wt % loading, a Pu phase separated and was not uniformly incorporated into the glass. The vapor reaction of this glass proceeded at a more rapid rate. This phase separation was manifested in the static leach tests, where colloidal phases of Pu-rich material remained suspended in solution, thereby increasing the absolute Pu release when compared to the 202 glass.« less
  • Plutonium from dismantled weapons is being evaluated for geological disposal. While a final waste form has not been chosen, borosilicate glass will be one of the waste forms to be evaluated. The reactivity of the reference blend glass containing the standard amount of Pu ({approximately}0.01 wt %) to be produced by the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) is compared to that of glasses made from the same nominal frit composition but doped with 2 and 7 wt % Pu, and also equal mole percentages of Gd{sub 2}O{sub 3}. The Gd is added to act as a neutron poison to addressmore » criticality concerns. The four different glasses have been reacted using the PCT-B method with a SA/V of 20,000 m{sup {minus}1} and the Argonne Vapor Hydration Test (VHT) method. Both test methods accelerate the reaction of the glass. PCT-B is used to determine the reactivity of the glass by analyzing the solution and reacted test components, while the VHT is used to evaluate the long-term reactivity of the glass and the distribution of Pu to secondary phases that will control the long-term reaction of the glass. The results of the tests with high levels of Pu are compared to those with the nominal levels to be produced in the standard DWPF glass.« less
  • Hanford tank waste will be separated into high-level and low-level portions; each portion will then be vitrified (other waste forms are also being considered for low-level waste) to produce a stable glass form for disposal. Because of the wide variability in the tank waste compositions, blending is being considered as a way to reduce the number of distinct compositions that must be vitrified and to minimize the resultant volume of vitrified waste. Three years of computational glass formulation and blending studies have demonstrated that blending of the high-level waste before vitrification can reduce the volume of high-level waste glass requiredmore » by as much as 50 percent. This level of reduction would be obtained if all the high-level waste were blended together (Total Blend) prior to vitrification, requiring the retrieval and pretreatment of all tank waste before high-level vitrification was started. This paper will present an overall processing strategy that should be able to match the blending performance of the Total Blend and be more logistically feasible. The strategy includes retrieving, pretreating, blending and vitrifying Hanford tank waste. This strategy utilizes blending both before and after pretreatment. Similar wastes are blended before pretreatment, so as not to dilute species targeted for removal. The high-level portions of these pretreated early blends are then selectively blended to produce a small number of high-level vitrification feed streams.« less
  • The U.S. Department of Energy is pursuing the development of an immobilization technology for the disposition of excess plutonium.