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Title: Compact reaction cell for homogenizing and down-blanding highly enriched uranium metal

The invention is a specialized reaction cell for converting uranium metal to uranium oxide. In a preferred form, the reaction cell comprises a reaction chamber with increasing diameter along its length (e.g. a cylindrical chamber having a diameter of about 2 inches in a lower portion and having a diameter of from about 4 to about 12 inches in an upper portion). Such dimensions are important to achieve the necessary conversion while at the same time affording criticality control and transportability of the cell and product. The reaction chamber further comprises an upper port and a lower port, the lower port allowing for the entry of reactant gasses into the reaction chamber, the upper port allowing for the exit of gasses from the reaction chamber. A diffuser plate is attached to the lower port of the reaction chamber and serves to shape the flow of gas into the reaction chamber. The reaction cell further comprises means for introducing gasses into the reaction chamber and a heating means capable of heating the contents of the reaction chamber. The present invention also relates to a method for converting uranium metal to uranium oxide in the reaction cell of the present invention. Themore » invention is useful for down-blending highly enriched uranium metal by the simultaneous conversion of highly enriched uranium metal and natural or depleted uranium metal to uranium oxide within the reaction cell.« less
Inventors:
 [1];  [2];  [2]
  1. (Oakland, CA)
  2. (Livermore, CA)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
869859
Assignee:
United States of America as represented by United States (Washington, DC) LLNL
Patent Number(s):
US 5411722
Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
compact; reaction; cell; homogenizing; down-blanding; highly; enriched; uranium; metal; specialized; converting; oxide; preferred; form; comprises; chamber; increasing; diameter; length; cylindrical; inches; portion; 12; upper; dimensions; achieve; conversion; time; affording; criticality; control; transportability; product; allowing; entry; reactant; gasses; exit; diffuser; plate; attached; serves; shape; flow; gas; means; introducing; heating; capable; contents; relates; method; useful; down-blending; simultaneous; natural; depleted; diffuser plate; uranium oxide; heating means; enriched uranium; depleted uranium; cell comprises; reaction chamber; upper portion; reactant gas; uranium metal; preferred form; comprises means; reaction cell; converting uranium; cylindrical chamber; criticality control; means capable; highly enrich; /423/

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