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Title: Design Studies for the Optimization of 238Pu Production in NpO2 Targets Irradiated at the High Flux Isotope Reactor

Abstract

Efforts to reestablish a domestic 238Pu production capability in support of National Aeronautics and Space Administration mission objectives are ongoing throughout the U.S. Department of Energy complex. The Plutonium-238 Supply Project (PSP) was initiated in response to a report published by the National Research Council in 2011 stating that “without a restart of 238Pu production, it will be impossible for the United States, or any other country, to conduct certain important types of planetary missions after this decade.” The PSP is targeting a sustained, constant production rate of 1.5 kg/year of heat source PuO2 for several years. Design and optimization studies of 237Np-bearing targets are underway at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). It is anticipated that targets will be irradiated in ORNL’s High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at Idaho National Laboratory. A variety of target materials, containments, arrangements, and irradiation histories have been analyzed, and the results indicate that a sufficient quantity of 238Pu can be produced in HFIR and ATR to fulfill the PSP’s constant production rate target. This paper focuses on the design and optimization of new target configurations containing pellets that are (1) ~93% of the theoretical density of NpO2,more » (2) loaded into pins of cladding materials that can be handled as solid waste following postirradiation 238Pu recovery operations, (3) irradiated in various vertical experiment facility (VXF) locations in the HFIR permanent beryllium reflector, and (4) rotated within and/or moved to another VXF location following each HFIR operational cycle to maximize 238Pu production and minimize peak heat generation rates.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1649564
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nuclear Technology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 206; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5450
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis - formerly American Nuclear Society (ANS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
07 ISOTOPE AND RADIATION SOURCES

Citation Formats

Daily, Charles, and McDuffee, Joel. Design Studies for the Optimization of 238Pu Production in NpO2 Targets Irradiated at the High Flux Isotope Reactor. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. https://doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2019.1674594.
Daily, Charles, & McDuffee, Joel. Design Studies for the Optimization of 238Pu Production in NpO2 Targets Irradiated at the High Flux Isotope Reactor. United States. https://doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2019.1674594
Daily, Charles, and McDuffee, Joel. Fri . "Design Studies for the Optimization of 238Pu Production in NpO2 Targets Irradiated at the High Flux Isotope Reactor". United States. https://doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2019.1674594. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1649564.
@article{osti_1649564,
title = {Design Studies for the Optimization of 238Pu Production in NpO2 Targets Irradiated at the High Flux Isotope Reactor},
author = {Daily, Charles and McDuffee, Joel},
abstractNote = {Efforts to reestablish a domestic 238Pu production capability in support of National Aeronautics and Space Administration mission objectives are ongoing throughout the U.S. Department of Energy complex. The Plutonium-238 Supply Project (PSP) was initiated in response to a report published by the National Research Council in 2011 stating that “without a restart of 238Pu production, it will be impossible for the United States, or any other country, to conduct certain important types of planetary missions after this decade.” The PSP is targeting a sustained, constant production rate of 1.5 kg/year of heat source PuO2 for several years. Design and optimization studies of 237Np-bearing targets are underway at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). It is anticipated that targets will be irradiated in ORNL’s High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at Idaho National Laboratory. A variety of target materials, containments, arrangements, and irradiation histories have been analyzed, and the results indicate that a sufficient quantity of 238Pu can be produced in HFIR and ATR to fulfill the PSP’s constant production rate target. This paper focuses on the design and optimization of new target configurations containing pellets that are (1) ~93% of the theoretical density of NpO2, (2) loaded into pins of cladding materials that can be handled as solid waste following postirradiation 238Pu recovery operations, (3) irradiated in various vertical experiment facility (VXF) locations in the HFIR permanent beryllium reflector, and (4) rotated within and/or moved to another VXF location following each HFIR operational cycle to maximize 238Pu production and minimize peak heat generation rates.},
doi = {10.1080/00295450.2019.1674594},
journal = {Nuclear Technology},
number = 8,
volume = 206,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {11}
}

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