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Title: Potential hydrogen and oxygen partial pressures in legacy plutonium oxide packages at Oak Ridge

An approach to estimate the maximum hydrogen and oxygen partial pressures within sealed containers is described and applied to a set of packages containing high-purity plutonium dioxide. The approach uses experimentally determined maximum hydrogen and oxygen partial pressures and scales the experimentally determined pressures to the relevant packaged material properties. The important material properties are the specific wattage and specific surface area (SSA). Important results from the experimental determination of maximum partial pressures are (1) the ratio of hydrogen to oxygen is stoichiometric, and (2) the maximum pressures increase with increasing initial rates of production. The material properties that influence the rates are the material specific wattage and the SSA. The unusual properties of these materials, high specific wattage and high SSA, result in higher predicted maximum pressures than typical plutonium dioxide in storage. The pressures are well within the deflagration range for mixtures of hydrogen and oxygen.
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1136463
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-14-25037
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 38 RADIATION CHEMISTRY, RADIOCHEMISTRY, AND NUCLEAR CHEMISTRY PLUTONIUM DIOXIDE RADIOLYSIS