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Airborne Release of Particles in Overheating Incidents Involving Plutonium Metal and Compounds

Conference:

Abstract

Ever-increasing utilization of nuclear fuels will result in wide-scale plutonium recovery processing, reconstitution of fuels, transportation, and extensive handling of this material. A variety of circumstances resulting in overheating and fires involving plutonium may occur, releasing airborne particles. This work describes the observations from a study in which the airborne release of plutonium and its compounds was measured during an exposure of the material of interest containing plutonium to temperatures which may result from fires. Aerosol released from small cylinders of metallic plutonium ignited in air at temperatures from 410 to 650 Degree-Sign C ranged from 3 x 10{sup -6} to 5 x 10{sup -5} wt%. Particles smaller than 15{mu}m in diameter represented as much as 0.03% of the total released. Large plutonium pieces weighing from 456 to 1770 g were ignited and allowed to oxidize completely in air with a velocity of around 500 cm/sec. Release rates of from 0.0045 to 0.032 wt% per hour were found. The median mass diameter of airborne material was 4 {mu}m. Quenching the oxidation with magnesium oxide sand reduced the release to 2.9 X 10{sup -4} wt% per hour. Many experiments were carried out in which plutonium compounds as powders were heated at  More>>
Authors:
Schwendiman, L. C.; Mishima, J.; Radasch, C. A. [1] 
  1. Battelle Memorial Institute, Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Dec 15, 1968
Product Type:
Conference
Report Number:
IAEA-SM-110/24
Resource Relation:
Conference: Symposium on Operating and Developmental Experience in the Treatment of Airborne Radioactive Wastes, New York, NY (United States), 26-30 Aug 1968; Other Information: 3 refs., 9 tabs.; Related Information: In: Treatment of Airborne Radioactive Wastes. Proceedings of a Symposium on Operating and Developmental Experience in the Treatment of Airborne Radioactive Wastes| 835 p.
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; AEROSOLS; EVAPORATION; MAGNESIUM OXIDES; NUCLEAR FUELS; PARTICULATES; PLUTONIUM; PLUTONIUM NITRATES; POWDERS
OSTI ID:
22100693
Research Organizations:
International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (Austria); United States Atomic Energy Commission, Germantown, MD (United States); Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States)
Country of Origin:
IAEA
Language:
English
Contract Number:
Contract AT(45-1)-1830
Other Identifying Numbers:
Other: ISSN 0074-1884; TRN: XA13M0361058741
Submitting Site:
INIS
Size:
page(s) 117-131
Announcement Date:
Jun 06, 2013

Conference:

Citation Formats

Schwendiman, L. C., Mishima, J., and Radasch, C. A. Airborne Release of Particles in Overheating Incidents Involving Plutonium Metal and Compounds. IAEA: N. p., 1968. Web.
Schwendiman, L. C., Mishima, J., & Radasch, C. A. Airborne Release of Particles in Overheating Incidents Involving Plutonium Metal and Compounds. IAEA.
Schwendiman, L. C., Mishima, J., and Radasch, C. A. 1968. "Airborne Release of Particles in Overheating Incidents Involving Plutonium Metal and Compounds." IAEA.
@misc{etde_22100693,
title = {Airborne Release of Particles in Overheating Incidents Involving Plutonium Metal and Compounds}
author = {Schwendiman, L. C., Mishima, J., and Radasch, C. A.}
abstractNote = {Ever-increasing utilization of nuclear fuels will result in wide-scale plutonium recovery processing, reconstitution of fuels, transportation, and extensive handling of this material. A variety of circumstances resulting in overheating and fires involving plutonium may occur, releasing airborne particles. This work describes the observations from a study in which the airborne release of plutonium and its compounds was measured during an exposure of the material of interest containing plutonium to temperatures which may result from fires. Aerosol released from small cylinders of metallic plutonium ignited in air at temperatures from 410 to 650 Degree-Sign C ranged from 3 x 10{sup -6} to 5 x 10{sup -5} wt%. Particles smaller than 15{mu}m in diameter represented as much as 0.03% of the total released. Large plutonium pieces weighing from 456 to 1770 g were ignited and allowed to oxidize completely in air with a velocity of around 500 cm/sec. Release rates of from 0.0045 to 0.032 wt% per hour were found. The median mass diameter of airborne material was 4 {mu}m. Quenching the oxidation with magnesium oxide sand reduced the release to 2.9 X 10{sup -4} wt% per hour. Many experiments were carried out in which plutonium compounds as powders were heated at temperatures ranging from 700 to 1000 Degree-Sign C with several air flows. Release rates ranged from 5 x 10{sup -8} to 0.9 wt% per hour, depending upon the compound and the conditions imposed. The airborne release from boiling solutions of plutonium nitrate were roughly related to energy of boiling, and ranged from 4 x 10{sup -4} to 2 x 10{sup -1} % for the evaporation of 90% of the solution. The fraction airborne when combustibles contaminated with plutonium are burned is under study. The data reported can be used in assessing the consequences of off-standard situations involving plutonium and its compounds in fires. (author)}
place = {IAEA}
year = {1968}
month = {Dec}
}