Document Details

RaLa Production - 1954
Rupp, A F [ORNL, Carbide and Carbon Chemicals Co., Oak Ridge]; Witkowski, E J [ORNL, Carbide and Carbon Chemicals Co., Oak RIdge]
Document Location:
DOE INFORMATION CENTER 1 Way, Oak Ridge, TN 37831; Eva Butler; Phone: 865-241-4780; Toll-Free: 800-382-6938, Option 6; FAX: 865-574-3521; Email:
Document Categories:
Health, Safety and Environment\Worker Health and Safety; Science and Technology\Instruments and Equipment; Specific Material\Uranium
Document Type:
Publication Date:
1955 Apr 29
Declassification Date:
1957 Aug 08
Declassification Status:
Document Pages:
Accession Number:
Document Number(s):
Originating Research Org.:
Carbide and Carbon Chemicals Corporation
OpenNet Entry Date:
1998 Jun 16
This report concerns the RaLa production for 1954. Approximately 88,000 curies of RaLa product was produced in three runs and shipped in four batches. The process yields continued to be low in 1954; the total product shipped represented only 53.4 percent of the total starting material (excluding decay). Five steps in the process which accounted for practically all the known losses were: dissolver heels; metathesis filtration; extractor and filter rinse; fuming nitric acid filtration; and product evaporator rinse. The equipment was operated far above its designed capacity in every run. This condition led to the most serious accidental release of activity ever experienced in the history of the process, which made it necessary to abandon a run and to shut down the building for decontamination for a period of 11 weeks. RaLa operation has been hampered by the frequent plugging of the process filters during the filtration of lead-barium sulfate precipitate out of UNH and the filtration of lead-barium carbonate slurry after metathesis. Run #54 was completely lost in November 1953 as a result of this difficulty. Therefore, it was decided to re-examine certain parts of the process. An investigation was made of the coating removal procedure and filter aid. An experimental RaLa run was made without the use of a filter aid in the filtration of UNH, and the filtration rates, as a whole, were the fastest and most consistent ever experienced. The production run which followed was the biggest and most successful run to date. The Nerofil filter aid was tested in the filtration of a batch of UNH left over from the production run, and the metatheses and extraction filtrations were comparable to those in the experimental run and production run No. 55. Because of the success of the production run, which can be at least partially attributed to the elimination of filter aid in the filtration of UNH, a decision was made to follow the same procedure in all future runs. In the event that filtration without the use of a filter aid becomes difficult, Nerofil will be tried in place of the Celite 545 previously used. Figures are included.

<< Return to Search Results