skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: USING POLYMERIC HYDROGEN GETTERS TO PREVENT COMBUSTIBLE ATMOSPHERES DURING INTERIM SAFE STORAGE OF PLUTONIUM OXIDE

Abstract

Nuclear Materials Management (NMM) of WSRC has recently installed the capability to perform both non-destructive and destructive examination of 3013 containers of Pu oxide in accordance with DOE-STD-3013. The containers will be opened and the oxide will be sampled for analysis. The remaining bulk oxide must then be safely stored in a non-3013-compliant configuration. Available processing equipment and controls cannot prevent the oxide from adsorbing moisture during this process. Subsequent radiolysis of moisture during storage may generate combustible quantities of gases while waiting final processing, and satisfying DOE Interim Safe Storage Criteria (ISSC) would require that storage containers be vented at impractical frequencies. With support from an independent National Laboratory, WSRC/NMM has demonstrated that a commercial hydrogen getter material will effectively prevent the accumulation of combustible gas concentrations. A project overview, including storage requirements and strategies, as well as getter technology, current test results, and anticipated future developments will be addressed.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SRS
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
908212
Report Number(s):
X-ESR-K-00005
TRN: US0703651
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC09-96SR18500
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 48th INNM Annual Meeting
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN; 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; CONFIGURATION; CONTAINERS; GASES; GETTERS; HYDROGEN; MOISTURE; NUCLEAR MATERIALS MANAGEMENT; OXIDES; PLUTONIUM OXIDES; PROCESSING; RADIOLYSIS; STORAGE

Citation Formats

Woodsmall, T. USING POLYMERIC HYDROGEN GETTERS TO PREVENT COMBUSTIBLE ATMOSPHERES DURING INTERIM SAFE STORAGE OF PLUTONIUM OXIDE. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Woodsmall, T. USING POLYMERIC HYDROGEN GETTERS TO PREVENT COMBUSTIBLE ATMOSPHERES DURING INTERIM SAFE STORAGE OF PLUTONIUM OXIDE. United States.
Woodsmall, T. Thu . "USING POLYMERIC HYDROGEN GETTERS TO PREVENT COMBUSTIBLE ATMOSPHERES DURING INTERIM SAFE STORAGE OF PLUTONIUM OXIDE". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/908212.
@article{osti_908212,
title = {USING POLYMERIC HYDROGEN GETTERS TO PREVENT COMBUSTIBLE ATMOSPHERES DURING INTERIM SAFE STORAGE OF PLUTONIUM OXIDE},
author = {Woodsmall, T},
abstractNote = {Nuclear Materials Management (NMM) of WSRC has recently installed the capability to perform both non-destructive and destructive examination of 3013 containers of Pu oxide in accordance with DOE-STD-3013. The containers will be opened and the oxide will be sampled for analysis. The remaining bulk oxide must then be safely stored in a non-3013-compliant configuration. Available processing equipment and controls cannot prevent the oxide from adsorbing moisture during this process. Subsequent radiolysis of moisture during storage may generate combustible quantities of gases while waiting final processing, and satisfying DOE Interim Safe Storage Criteria (ISSC) would require that storage containers be vented at impractical frequencies. With support from an independent National Laboratory, WSRC/NMM has demonstrated that a commercial hydrogen getter material will effectively prevent the accumulation of combustible gas concentrations. A project overview, including storage requirements and strategies, as well as getter technology, current test results, and anticipated future developments will be addressed.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu May 24 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Thu May 24 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}

Conference:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that hold this conference proceeding.

Save / Share:
  • Hydrogen getters were tested for use in storage of plutonium-bearing materials in accordance with DOE's Criteria for Interim Safe Storage of Plutonium Bearing Materials. The hydrogen getter HITOP was aged for 3 months at 70 C and tested under both recombination and hydrogenation conditions at 20 and 70 C; partially saturated and irradiated aged getter samples were also tested. The recombination reaction was found to be very fast and well above the required rate of 45 std. cc H2h. The gettering reaction, which is planned as the backup reaction in this deployment, is slower and may not meet the requirementsmore » alone. Pressure drop measurements and {sup 1}H NMR analyses support these conclusions. Although the experimental conditions do not exactly replicate the deployment conditions, the results of our conservative experiments are clear: the aged getter shows sufficient reactivity to maintain hydrogen concentrations below the flammability limit, between the minimum and maximum deployment temperatures, for three months. The flammability risk is further reduced by the removal of oxygen through the recombination reaction. Neither radiation exposure nor thermal aging sufficiently degrades the getter to be a concern. Future testing to evaluate performance for longer aging periods is in progress.« less
  • Plutonium oxide left over from the 3013 destructive surveillance process is ultimately disposed of as waste. Therefore, this material is not re-stabilized and packaged to meet the requirements of DOE-STD-3013. Instead, it is stored on an interim basis in compliance with the interim safe storage criteria issued by DOE in January 1996. One of the safe storage criteria requires actions to be taken to minimize the formation or accumulation of flammable gases inside the storage container. Personnel responsible for the safe storage of the material have chosen to use a polymer-based, ambient air compatible hydrogen 'getter' to prevent the formationmore » of hydrogen gas inside the storage container and thus prevent the formation of a flammable gas mixture. This paper briefly describes the method in which the getter performs its functions. More importantly, this paper presents the results of the testing that has been performed to characterize the bounding effects of aging and demonstrate the use of the getter for long-term storage. In addition, the favorable results of a post-storage analysis of actual getter material are presented and compared with bounding predictions. To date, bounding test results have shown that after 18 months of continuous storage and 39 months of total storage at 70C, the getter is able to both recombine gaseous hydrogen and oxygen into water when oxygen is available, and irreversibly getter (i.e., scavenge) hydrogen from the vapor space when oxygen is not available, both under a CO{sub 2} environment. Further bounding testing has been deemed unnecessary, and continued post-storage testing will be conducted on a periodic basis. The first post-storage testing of deployed getter material after two years of service revealed that it still performed like new material.« less
  • Nine plutonium production reactors located on DOE's Hanford Site are being placed into an Interim Safe Storage (ISS) period that extends to 2068. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for ISS [1] was completed in 1993 and proposed a 75-year storage period that began when the EIS was finalized. Remote electronic monitoring of the temperature and water level alarms inside the safe storage enclosure (SSE) with visual inspection inside the SSE every 5 years are the only planned operational activities during this ISS period. At the end of the ISS period, the reactor cores will be removed intact and buried inmore » a landfill on the Hanford Site. The ISS period allows for radioactive decay of isotopes, primarily Co-60 and Cs-137, to reduce the dose exposure during disposal of the reactor cores. Six of the nine reactors have been placed into ISS by having an SSE constructed around the reactor core. (authors)« less
  • 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 evaporationmore » 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.« less
  • Abstract not provided.