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Title: Polycube oxidation and factors affecting the concentrations of gaseous products

Abstract

The polycubes stored at the Hanford Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) have been identified in a Vulnerability Assessment as material that requires a stabilization process in support of the Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board Recommendation 94-1. The baseline plan involves a pyrolysis process to separate out the plutonium and uranium oxides before the remaining material is packaged for interim storage, in accordance with the Record of Decision (ROD), issued June 25, 1996, for the Plutonium Finishing Plant Stabilization Final Environmental Impact Statement, DOE/EIS-0244-F. The polycubes were manufactured at Hanford in the 1960s for use in criticality studies to determine the hydrogen-to-fissile atom ratios for neutron moderation. A mixture of plutonium and/or uranium oxides and a polystyrene (vinyl benzene) matrix, cast into the shape of cubes, the polycubes simulated solutions containing high concentrations of fissile materials. The polycubes varied in size, typically 1/2 x 2 x 2 in. up to 2 x 2 x 2 in., and were sealed with a coating of aluminum paint and/or tape (PVC or Shurtape). The estimated 1,600 polycubes (calculated 179,165 grams net weight) stored at PFP were packed in vented food cans with five to eight cubes per can to accommodate gas generation by radiolysis. Somemore » polycube containers are suspected to contain loose material as well, left over from the forming process. With a fairly high {sup 240}Pu content, polycubes present a challenge for handling, as a result of the 7 to 8 R contact dose rate. Significant hazards linked to unstabilized polycubes are associated with the polystyrene matrix, which generates hydrogen gas due to radiolysis. In addition, some cans of polycubes may contain fines. Because of insufficient data, hazards associated with the fines have not been assessed.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab., Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
754519
Report Number(s):
PNNL-13166
R&D Project: 40199; 820201000; TRN: US0301386
DOE Contract Number:  
AC06-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: Supercedes report DE00754519; PBD: 4 May 2000; PBD: 4 May 2000
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; ALUMINIUM; COATINGS; CONTAINERS; DOSE RATES; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS; FISSILE MATERIALS; OXIDATION; PLUTONIUM; POLYSTYRENE; PYROLYSIS; STABILIZATION; URANIUM OXIDES; WASTE STORAGE

Citation Formats

J Abrefah, PJ MacFarlan, and RL Sell. Polycube oxidation and factors affecting the concentrations of gaseous products. United States: N. p., 2000. Web. doi:10.2172/754519.
J Abrefah, PJ MacFarlan, & RL Sell. Polycube oxidation and factors affecting the concentrations of gaseous products. United States. doi:10.2172/754519.
J Abrefah, PJ MacFarlan, and RL Sell. Thu . "Polycube oxidation and factors affecting the concentrations of gaseous products". United States. doi:10.2172/754519. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/754519.
@article{osti_754519,
title = {Polycube oxidation and factors affecting the concentrations of gaseous products},
author = {J Abrefah and PJ MacFarlan and RL Sell},
abstractNote = {The polycubes stored at the Hanford Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) have been identified in a Vulnerability Assessment as material that requires a stabilization process in support of the Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board Recommendation 94-1. The baseline plan involves a pyrolysis process to separate out the plutonium and uranium oxides before the remaining material is packaged for interim storage, in accordance with the Record of Decision (ROD), issued June 25, 1996, for the Plutonium Finishing Plant Stabilization Final Environmental Impact Statement, DOE/EIS-0244-F. The polycubes were manufactured at Hanford in the 1960s for use in criticality studies to determine the hydrogen-to-fissile atom ratios for neutron moderation. A mixture of plutonium and/or uranium oxides and a polystyrene (vinyl benzene) matrix, cast into the shape of cubes, the polycubes simulated solutions containing high concentrations of fissile materials. The polycubes varied in size, typically 1/2 x 2 x 2 in. up to 2 x 2 x 2 in., and were sealed with a coating of aluminum paint and/or tape (PVC or Shurtape). The estimated 1,600 polycubes (calculated 179,165 grams net weight) stored at PFP were packed in vented food cans with five to eight cubes per can to accommodate gas generation by radiolysis. Some polycube containers are suspected to contain loose material as well, left over from the forming process. With a fairly high {sup 240}Pu content, polycubes present a challenge for handling, as a result of the 7 to 8 R contact dose rate. Significant hazards linked to unstabilized polycubes are associated with the polystyrene matrix, which generates hydrogen gas due to radiolysis. In addition, some cans of polycubes may contain fines. Because of insufficient data, hazards associated with the fines have not been assessed.},
doi = {10.2172/754519},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2000},
month = {5}
}