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Sample records for plutonium isotopes

  1. Measurement of Plutonium Isotopic Composition - MGA

    SciTech Connect

    Vo, Duc Ta

    2015-08-21

    In this module, we will use the Canberra InSpector-2000 Multichannel Analyzer with a high-purity germanium detector (HPGe) and the MGA isotopic anlysis software to assay a variety of plutonium samples. The module provides an understanding of the MGA method, its attributes and limitations. You will assess the system performance by measuring a range of materials similar to those you may assay in your work. During the final verification exercise, the results from MGA will be combined with the 240Pueff results from neutron coincidence or multiplicity counters so that measurements of the plutonium mass can be compared with the operator-declared (certified) values.

  2. AMS of the Minor Plutonium Isotopes

    PubMed Central

    Steier, P.; Hrnecek, E.; Priller, A.; Quinto, F.; Srncik, M.; Wallner, A.; Wallner, G.; Winkler, S.

    2013-01-01

    VERA, the Vienna Environmental Research Accelerator, is especially equipped for the measurement of actinides, and performs a growing number of measurements on environmental samples. While AMS is not the optimum method for each particular plutonium isotope, the possibility to measure 239Pu, 240Pu, 241Pu, 242Pu and 244Pu on the same AMS sputter target is a great simplification. We have obtained a first result on the global fallout value of 244Pu/239Pu = (5.7 ± 1.0) × 10−5 based on soil samples from Salzburg prefecture, Austria. Furthermore, we suggest using the 242Pu/240Pu ratio as an estimate of the initial 241Pu/239Pu ratio, which allows dating of the time of irradiation based solely on Pu isotopes. We have checked the validity of this estimate using literature data, simulations, and environmental samples from soil from the Salzburg prefecture (Austria), from the shut down Garigliano Nuclear Power Plant (Sessa Aurunca, Italy) and from the Irish Sea near the Sellafield nuclear facility. The maximum deviation of the estimated dates from the expected ages is 6 years, while relative dating of material from the same source seems to be possible with a precision of less than 2 years. Additional information carried by the minor plutonium isotopes may allow further improvements of the precision of the method. PMID:23565016

  3. Plutonium Isotopic Gamma-Ray Analysis

    1992-01-08

    The MGA8 (Multiple Group Analysis) program determines the relative abundances of plutonium and other actinide isotopes in different materials. The program analyzes spectra taken of such samples using a 4096-channel germanium (Ge) gamma-ray spectrometer. The code can be run in a one or two detector mode. The first spectrum, which is required and must be taken at a gain of 0.075 Kev/channel with a high resolution planar detector, contains the 0-300 Kev energy region. Themore » second spectrum, which is optional, must be taken at a gain of 0.25 Kev/channel; it becomes important when analyzing high burnup samples (concentration of Pu241 greater than one percent). Isotopic analysis precisions of one percent or better can be obtained, and no calibrations are required. The system also measures the abundances of U235, U238, Np237, and Am241. A special calibration option is available to perform a one-time peak-shape characterization when first using a new detector system.« less

  4. Isotopic Measurements: Interpretation and Implications of Plutonium Data

    SciTech Connect

    Luksic, Andrzej T.; Collins, Brian A.; Friese, Judah I.; Schwantes, Jon M.; Starner, Jason R.; Wacker, John F.

    2010-08-11

    One of the fundamental activities within the field of nuclear forensics is the laboratory analysis of nuclear material; one aspect is providing the isotopic composition of the material under investigation. For both plutonium and uranium, this includes a unique suite of isotopes that, individually and collectively (i.e. an isotopic vector), will help characterize these materials, and potentially provide insight into their mode of production, intended utilization, and processing history. A full understanding of how this information is used provides the basis for defining the need for these measurements and helps determine the precision and accuracy requirements for those measurements. This paper provides an overview of this process as it applies to plutonium, discussing how reactor design and operating parameters can impact the resultant plutonium vector, thereby giving us the ability to infer those reactor traits based on isotopic measurements.

  5. Guide to plutonium isotopic measurements using gamma-ray spectrometry

    SciTech Connect

    Lemming, J.F.; Rakel, D.A.

    1982-08-26

    Purpose of this guide is to assist those responsible for plutonium isotopic measurements in the application of gamma-ray spectrometry. Objectives are to promote an understanding of the measurement process, including its limitations and applicability, by reviewing the general features of a plutonium spectrum and identifying the quantities which must be extracted from the data; to introduce state-of-the-art analysis techniques by reviewing four isotopic analysis packages and identifying their differences; to establish the basis for measurement control and assurance by discussing means of authenticating the performance of a measurement system; and to prepare for some specific problems encountered in plutonium isotopic analyses by providing solutions from the practical experiences of several laboratories. 29 references, 12 figures, 17 tables.

  6. Anthropogenic plutonium-244 in the environment: Insights into plutonium's longest-lived isotope.

    PubMed

    Armstrong, Christopher R; Brant, Heather A; Nuessle, Patterson R; Hall, Gregory; Cadieux, James R

    2016-01-01

    Owing to the rich history of heavy element production in the unique high flux reactors that operated at the Savannah River Site, USA (SRS) decades ago, trace quantities of plutonium with highly unique isotopic characteristics still persist today in the SRS terrestrial environment. Development of an effective sampling, processing, and analysis strategy enables detailed monitoring of the SRS environment, revealing plutonium isotopic compositions, e.g., (244)Pu, that reflect the unique legacy of plutonium production at SRS. This work describes the first long-term investigation of anthropogenic (244)Pu occurrence in the environment. Environmental samples, consisting of collected foot borne debris, were taken at SRS over an eleven year period, from 2003 to 2014. Separation and purification of trace plutonium was carried out followed by three stage thermal ionization mass spectrometry (3STIMS) measurements for plutonium isotopic content and isotopic ratios. Significant (244)Pu was measured in all of the years sampled with the highest amount observed in 2003. The (244)Pu content, in femtograms (fg = 10(-15) g) per gram, ranged from 0.31 fg/g to 44 fg/g in years 2006 and 2003 respectively. In all years, the (244)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratios were significantly higher than global fallout, ranging from 0.003 to 0.698 in years 2014 and 2003 respectively. PMID:26898531

  7. Anthropogenic plutonium-244 in the environment: Insights into plutonium's longest-lived isotope.

    PubMed

    Armstrong, Christopher R; Brant, Heather A; Nuessle, Patterson R; Hall, Gregory; Cadieux, James R

    2016-01-01

    Owing to the rich history of heavy element production in the unique high flux reactors that operated at the Savannah River Site, USA (SRS) decades ago, trace quantities of plutonium with highly unique isotopic characteristics still persist today in the SRS terrestrial environment. Development of an effective sampling, processing, and analysis strategy enables detailed monitoring of the SRS environment, revealing plutonium isotopic compositions, e.g., (244)Pu, that reflect the unique legacy of plutonium production at SRS. This work describes the first long-term investigation of anthropogenic (244)Pu occurrence in the environment. Environmental samples, consisting of collected foot borne debris, were taken at SRS over an eleven year period, from 2003 to 2014. Separation and purification of trace plutonium was carried out followed by three stage thermal ionization mass spectrometry (3STIMS) measurements for plutonium isotopic content and isotopic ratios. Significant (244)Pu was measured in all of the years sampled with the highest amount observed in 2003. The (244)Pu content, in femtograms (fg = 10(-15) g) per gram, ranged from 0.31 fg/g to 44 fg/g in years 2006 and 2003 respectively. In all years, the (244)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratios were significantly higher than global fallout, ranging from 0.003 to 0.698 in years 2014 and 2003 respectively.

  8. Plutonium isotope ratio variations in North America

    SciTech Connect

    Steiner, Robert E; La Mont, Stephen P; Eisele, William F; Fresquez, Philip R; Mc Naughton, Michael; Whicker, Jeffrey J

    2010-12-14

    Historically, approximately 12,000 TBq of plutonium was distributed throughout the global biosphere by thermo nuclear weapons testing. The resultant global plutonium fallout is a complex mixture whose {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu atom ratio is a function of the design and yield of the devices tested. The average {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu atom ratio in global fallout is 0.176 + 014. However, the {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu atom ratio at any location may differ significantly from 0.176. Plutonium has also been released by discharges and accidents associated with the commercial and weapons related nuclear industries. At many locations contributions from this plutonium significantly alters the {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu atom ratios from those observed in global fallout. We have measured the {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu atom ratios in environmental samples collected from many locations in North America. This presentation will summarize the analytical results from these measurements. Special emphasis will be placed on interpretation of the significance of the {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu atom ratios measured in environmental samples collected in the Arctic and in the western portions of the United States.

  9. Determination of plutonium isotopic composition by gamma-ray spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Sampson, T.E.; Hsue, S.T.; Parker, J.L.; Johnson, S.S.; Bowersox, D.F.

    1981-01-01

    We discuss the general approach, computerized data analysis methods, and results of measurements used to determine the isotopic composition of plutonium by gamma-ray spectroscopy. The simple techniques are designed to be applicable to samples of arbitrary size, geometry, age, chemical, and isotopic composition. The combination of the gamma spectroscopic measurement of isotopic composition coupled with calorimetric measurement of total sample power is shown to give a totally nondestructive determination of sample plutonium mass with a precision of 0.6% for 1000-g samples of PuO/sub 2/ with 12% /sup 240/Pu content. The precision of isotopic measurements depends upon many factors, including sample size, sample geometry, and isotopic content. Typical ranges are found to be /sup 238/Pu, 1 to 10%; /sup 239/Pu, 0.1 to 0.5%; /sup 240/Pu, 2 to 5%; /sup 241/Pu, 0.3 to 0.7%; /sup 242/Pu (determined by isotopic correlation); and /sup 241/Am, 0.2 to 10%.

  10. Plutonium isotopic determination from gamma-ray spectra

    SciTech Connect

    Skourikhine, A.N.; Strittmatter, R.B.; Zardecki, A.

    1998-12-31

    The use of low- and medium-resolution room-temperature detectors for the nondestructive assay of nuclear materials has widespread applications to the safeguarding of nuclear materials. The challenge to using these detectors is the inherent difficulty of the spectral analysis to determine the amount of specific nuclear materials in the measured samples. This is especially true for extracting plutonium isotopic content from low- and medium-resolution spectral lines that are not well resolved. In this paper, neural networks trained by stochastic and singular value decomposition algorithms are applied to retrieve the plutonium isotopic content from a simulated NaI spectra. The simulated sample consists of isotopes {sup 238}Pu, {sup 239}Pu, {sup 240}Pu, {sup 241}Pu, {sup 242}Pu, and {sup 241}Am. It is demonstrated that the neutral network optimized by singular value decomposition (SVD) and stochastic training algorithms is capable of estimating plutonium content consistently resulting in an average error much smaller than the error previously reported.

  11. A study on determination of potentially hazardous plutonium isotopes in environmental samples.

    PubMed

    Strumińska-Parulska, Dagmara I

    2013-01-01

    Due to the lack of stable plutonium isotopes, and the high mobility as well as long half-life, plutonium is considered one of the most important radioelement in safety assessment of environmental radioactivity and nuclear waste management. A number of analytical methods have been developed over the past decades for determination of plutonium in environmental samples. The article discusses different analytical techniques and presents the results of plutonium isotopes determination by alpha spectrometry and accelerator mass spectrometry in environmental samples. The concentrations of plutonium isotopes in analyzed samples indicates its measurement is of great importance for environmental and safety assessment, especially in contaminated areas.

  12. Full Range MGA Plutonium Isotopic Analysis using Single Ge Detector

    SciTech Connect

    Buckley, W.M.; Wang, T.F.; Friensehner, A.; Kreek, S.A.; Lanier, R.G.; Parker, W.E.; Ruhter, W.; Twomey, T.; Martinez, D.; Keyser, R.; Sangsingkeow, P.

    2000-06-26

    The Gamma-Ray multi-group analysis code MGA developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been widely used in the area of gamma-ray non-destructive plutonium assay. This plutonium isotopic analysis code de-convolutes the complicated, 100-keV x-ray and gamma-ray region to obtain the ratio of Pu isotopes. Calibration of the detector efficiency is not required, but is determined intrinsically from the measured spectra. The code can either analyze low-energy gamma-ray spectrum taken using a high-resolution HPGe detector for energies below 300 keV, or analyze the low-energy spectrum combined with a high-energy spectrum (up to 1 MeV) in the two-detector analysis mode. In the latter case, the use of two detectors has been mandated by the conflicting requirements: excellent resolution at low energies (characteristic of small planar detectors) with good high-energy efficiency (characteristic of coaxial detectors). Usually, a high-energy spectrum taken using a coaxial Ge detector will not provide sufficient energy resolution for 100-keV plutonium isotopic analysis, while the small planar used at low energies has inadequate high-energy efficiency. An optimized-geometry ORTEC HPGe detector has been developed which combines good energy resolution at 100 keV combined with acceptable high-energy ({approx} 1 MeV) efficiency in a single detector. It has been used to gather spectra of both low- and high-energy regions of plutonium spectra simultaneously, for analysis by MGA in the two-detector mode. Five Pu gamma-ray calibration standard sources were used in this study of this special detector.

  13. Plutonium isotopes as tracers for ocean processes: a review.

    PubMed

    Lindahl, Patric; Lee, Sang-Han; Worsfold, Paul; Keith-Roach, Miranda

    2010-03-01

    Since the first nuclear weapons tests in the 1940s, pulsed inputs of plutonium isotopes have served as excellent tracers for understanding sources, pathways, dynamics and the fate of pollutants and particles in the marine environment. Due to the well-defined spatial and temporal inputs of Pu, the long half-lives of (240)Pu and (239)Pu and its unique chemical properties, Pu is a potential tracer for various physical and biogeochemical ocean processes, including circulation, sedimentation and biological productivity, and hence a means of assessing the impacts of global climate change. Due to the source dependency of the Pu isotopic signature, plutonium isotopes are beginning to be exploited as tools for the evaluation and improvement of regional and global ocean models that will enhance understanding of past and future changes in the oceans. This paper addresses the major sources of Pu and the physical and biogeochemical behaviour in the marine environment. Finally, the use of Pu isotopes as tracers for various oceanic processes (e.g. water mass transport, particle export, and sedimentation) is considered. PMID:19773079

  14. Development of isotope dilution gamma-ray spectrometry for plutonium analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Li, T.K.; Parker, J.L. ); Kuno, Y.; Sato, S.; Kurosawa, A.; Akiyama, T. )

    1991-01-01

    We are studying the feasibility of determining the plutonium concentration and isotopic distribution of highly radioactive, spent-fuel dissolver solutions by employing high-resolution gamma-ray spectrometry. The study involves gamma-ray plutonium isotopic analysis for both dissolver and spiked dissolver solution samples, after plutonium is eluted through an ion-exchange column and absorbed in a small resin bead bag. The spike is well characterized, dry plutonium containing {approximately}98% of {sup 239}Pu. By using measured isotopic information, the concentration of elemental plutonium in the dissolver solution can be determined. Both the plutonium concentration and the isotopic composition of the dissolver solution obtained from this study agree well with values obtained by traditional isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS). Because it is rapid, easy to operate and maintain, and costs less, this new technique could be an alternative method to IDMS for input accountability and verification measurements in reprocessing plants. 7 refs., 4 figs., 4 tabs.

  15. Isotopic ratio correlation for the isotopic composition analysis of plutonium in Am-Pu mixed samples having high americium content.

    PubMed

    Patra, Sabyasachi; Agarwal, Chhavi; Chaudhury, Sanhita; Newton Nathaniel, T; Gathibandhe, M; Goswami, A

    2013-08-01

    Interference of high amount of americium in the plutonium isotopic composition analysis has been studied by simulating gamma-ray spectra for Am-Pu samples over a wide composition range (5-97% (241)Am) for both power and research reactor grade plutonium. An alternate way for isotopic composition analysis has been proposed by correlating the isotopic ratios available in our old database with the experimentally obtained (241)Pu/(239)Pu isotopic ratio. The proposed method has been validated using simulated spectra of known isotopic compositions.

  16. Impact of environmental curium on plutonium migration and isotopic signatures.

    PubMed

    Kurosaki, Hiromu; Kaplan, Daniel I; Clark, Sue B

    2014-12-01

    Plutonium (Pu), americium (Am), and curium (Cm) activities were measured in sediments from a former radioactive waste disposal basin located on the Savannah River Site, South Carolina, and in subsurface aquifer sediments collected downgradient from the basin. In situ Kd values (Pu concentration ratio of sediment/groundwater) derived from this field data and previously reported groundwater concentration data compared well to laboratory Kd values reported in the literature. Pu isotopic signatures confirmed multiple sources of Pu contamination. The ratio of (240)Pu/(239)Pu was appreciably lower for sediment samples compared to the associated groundwater. This isotopic ratio difference may be explained by the following: (1) (240)Pu produced by decay of (244)Cm may exist predominantly in high oxidation states (Pu(V)O2(+) and Pu(VI)O2(2+)) compared to Pu derived from the disposed waste effluents, and (2) oxidized forms of Pu sorb less to sediments than reduced forms of Pu. Isotope-specific Kd values calculated from measured Pu activities in the sediments and groundwater indicated that (240)Pu, which is derived primarily from the decay of (244)Cm, had a value of 10 ± 2 mL g(-1), whereas (239)Pu originating from the waste effluents discharged at the site had a value of 101 ± 8 mL g(-1). One possible explanation for the isotope-specific sorption behavior is that (240)Pu likely existed in the weaker sorbing oxidation states, +5 or +6, than (239)Pu, which likely existed in the +3 or +4 oxidation states. Consequently, remediation strategies for radioactively contaminated systems must consider not only the discharged contaminants but also their decay products. In this case, mitigation of Cm as well as Pu will be required to completely address Pu migration from the source term. PMID:25350948

  17. Impact of environmental curium on plutonium migration and isotopic signatures.

    PubMed

    Kurosaki, Hiromu; Kaplan, Daniel I; Clark, Sue B

    2014-12-01

    Plutonium (Pu), americium (Am), and curium (Cm) activities were measured in sediments from a former radioactive waste disposal basin located on the Savannah River Site, South Carolina, and in subsurface aquifer sediments collected downgradient from the basin. In situ Kd values (Pu concentration ratio of sediment/groundwater) derived from this field data and previously reported groundwater concentration data compared well to laboratory Kd values reported in the literature. Pu isotopic signatures confirmed multiple sources of Pu contamination. The ratio of (240)Pu/(239)Pu was appreciably lower for sediment samples compared to the associated groundwater. This isotopic ratio difference may be explained by the following: (1) (240)Pu produced by decay of (244)Cm may exist predominantly in high oxidation states (Pu(V)O2(+) and Pu(VI)O2(2+)) compared to Pu derived from the disposed waste effluents, and (2) oxidized forms of Pu sorb less to sediments than reduced forms of Pu. Isotope-specific Kd values calculated from measured Pu activities in the sediments and groundwater indicated that (240)Pu, which is derived primarily from the decay of (244)Cm, had a value of 10 ± 2 mL g(-1), whereas (239)Pu originating from the waste effluents discharged at the site had a value of 101 ± 8 mL g(-1). One possible explanation for the isotope-specific sorption behavior is that (240)Pu likely existed in the weaker sorbing oxidation states, +5 or +6, than (239)Pu, which likely existed in the +3 or +4 oxidation states. Consequently, remediation strategies for radioactively contaminated systems must consider not only the discharged contaminants but also their decay products. In this case, mitigation of Cm as well as Pu will be required to completely address Pu migration from the source term.

  18. Implications of Plutonium isotopic separation on closed fuel cycles and repository design

    SciTech Connect

    Forsberg, C.

    2013-07-01

    Advances in laser enrichment may enable relatively low-cost plutonium isotopic separation. This would have large impacts on LWR closed fuel cycles and waste management. If Pu-240 is removed before recycling plutonium as mixed oxide (MOX) fuel, it would dramatically reduce the buildup of higher plutonium isotopes, Americium, and Curium. Pu-240 is a fertile material and thus can be replaced by U-238. Eliminating the higher plutonium isotopes in MOX fuel increases the Doppler feedback, simplifies reactor control, and allows infinite recycle of MOX plutonium in LWRs. Eliminating fertile Pu-240 and Pu-242 reduces the plutonium content in MOX fuel and simplifies fabrication. Reducing production of Pu-241 reduces production of Am-241 - the primary heat generator in spent nuclear fuels after several decades. Reducing heat generating Am-241 would reduce repository cost and waste toxicity. Avoiding Am- 241 avoids its decay product Np-237, a nuclide that partly controls long-term oxidizing repository performance. Most of these benefits also apply to LWR plutonium recycled into fast reactors. There are benefits for plutonium isotopic separation in fast reactor fuel cycles (particularly removal of Pu-242) but the benefits are less. (author)

  19. RAPID FUSION METHOD FOR DETERMINATION OF PLUTONIUM ISOTOPES IN LARGE RICE SAMPLES

    SciTech Connect

    Maxwell, S.

    2013-03-01

    A new rapid fusion method for the determination of plutonium in large rice samples has been developed at the Savannah River National Laboratory (Aiken, SC, USA) that can be used to determine very low levels of plutonium isotopes in rice. The recent accident at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in March, 2011 reinforces the need to have rapid, reliable radiochemical analyses for radionuclides in environmental and food samples. Public concern regarding foods, particularly foods such as rice in Japan, highlights the need for analytical techniques that will allow very large sample aliquots of rice to be used for analysis so that very low levels of plutonium isotopes may be detected. The new method to determine plutonium isotopes in large rice samples utilizes a furnace ashing step, a rapid sodium hydroxide fusion method, a lanthanum fluoride matrix removal step, and a column separation process with TEVA Resin cartridges. The method can be applied to rice sample aliquots as large as 5 kg. Plutonium isotopes can be determined using alpha spectrometry or inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The method showed high chemical recoveries and effective removal of interferences. The rapid fusion technique is a rugged sample digestion method that ensures that any refractory plutonium particles are effectively digested. The MDA for a 5 kg rice sample using alpha spectrometry is 7E-5 mBq g{sup -1}. The method can easily be adapted for use by ICP-MS to allow detection of plutonium isotopic ratios.

  20. Isotope ratio analysis of individual sub-micrometer plutonium particles with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Esaka, Fumitaka; Magara, Masaaki; Suzuki, Daisuke; Miyamoto, Yutaka; Lee, Chi-Gyu; Kimura, Takaumi

    2010-12-15

    Information on plutonium isotope ratios in individual particles is of great importance for nuclear safeguards, nuclear forensics and so on. Although secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) is successfully utilized for the analysis of individual uranium particles, the isobaric interference of americium-241 to plutonium-241 makes difficult to obtain accurate isotope ratios in individual plutonium particles. In the present work, an analytical technique by a combination of chemical separation and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is developed and applied to isotope ratio analysis of individual sub-micrometer plutonium particles. The ICP-MS results for individual plutonium particles prepared from a standard reference material (NBL SRM-947) indicate that the use of a desolvation system for sample introduction improves the precision of isotope ratios. In addition, the accuracy of the (241)Pu/(239)Pu isotope ratio is much improved, owing to the chemical separation of plutonium and americium. In conclusion, the performance of the proposed ICP-MS technique is sufficient for the analysis of individual plutonium particles. PMID:21111176

  1. Isotope ratio analysis of individual sub-micrometer plutonium particles with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Esaka, Fumitaka; Magara, Masaaki; Suzuki, Daisuke; Miyamoto, Yutaka; Lee, Chi-Gyu; Kimura, Takaumi

    2010-12-15

    Information on plutonium isotope ratios in individual particles is of great importance for nuclear safeguards, nuclear forensics and so on. Although secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) is successfully utilized for the analysis of individual uranium particles, the isobaric interference of americium-241 to plutonium-241 makes difficult to obtain accurate isotope ratios in individual plutonium particles. In the present work, an analytical technique by a combination of chemical separation and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is developed and applied to isotope ratio analysis of individual sub-micrometer plutonium particles. The ICP-MS results for individual plutonium particles prepared from a standard reference material (NBL SRM-947) indicate that the use of a desolvation system for sample introduction improves the precision of isotope ratios. In addition, the accuracy of the (241)Pu/(239)Pu isotope ratio is much improved, owing to the chemical separation of plutonium and americium. In conclusion, the performance of the proposed ICP-MS technique is sufficient for the analysis of individual plutonium particles.

  2. Determination of plutonium isotopes in seawater reference materials using isotope-dilution ICP-MS.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Jian; Yamada, Masatoshi

    2012-09-01

    We analyzed the activities of (239)Pu, (240)Pu, (239+240)Pu, (241)Pu, the ratio of number of atoms (atom ratio) for (240)Pu/(239)Pu, and the activity ratio of (241)Pu/(239+240)Pu in seawater reference materials, IAEA-443 and IAEA-381, using a highly sensitive isotope dilution sector field inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry method. With a mean chemical yield of 65% determined with (242)Pu as a tracer, we found that the experimentally established values in IAEA-443 for (239)Pu, (240)Pu, (241)Pu and (239+240)Pu activities are almost the same as those in IAEA-381. Regarding the (239+240)Pu activity, we provided the most precise and accurate result among the twelve laboratories, which participated in the interlaboratory comparison. In addition, for the (240)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratio, our results for IAEA-381 (0.2315±0.0008) and IAEA-443 (0.2325±0.0008) are in good agreement with the IAEA information value (0.229±0.006), but have much smaller uncertainty. Since the new seawater reference material, IAEA-443, is commercially available, it can be used not only for method validation for seawater plutonium isotope ratio and activity analysis, but also for more general use as a plutonium isotope standard for mass discrimination correction for other environmental samples.

  3. Determination of plutonium content in high burnup pressurized water reactor fuel samples and its use for isotope correlations for isotopic composition of plutonium.

    PubMed

    Joe, Kihsoo; Jeon, Young-Shin; Han, Sun-Ho; Lee, Chang-Heon; Ha, Yeong-Keong; Song, Kyuseok

    2012-06-01

    The content of plutonium isotopes in high burnup pressurized water reactor fuel samples was examined using both alpha spectrometry and mass spectrometry after anion exchange separation. The measured values were compared with results calculated by the ORIGEN-2 code. On average, the ratios (m/c) of the measured values (m) over the calculated values (c) were 1.22±0.16 for (238)Pu, 1.02±0.14 for (239)Pu, 1.08±0.06 for (240)Pu, 1.06±0.16 for (241)Pu, and 1.13±0.08 for (242)Pu. Using the Pu data obtained in this work, correlations were derived between the alpha activity ratios of (238)Pu/((239)Pu+(240)Pu), the alpha specific activities of Pu, and the atom % abundances of the Pu isotopes. Using these correlations, the atom % abundances of the plutonium isotopes in the target samples were calculated. These calculated results agreed within a range from 2 to 8% of the experimentally derived values according to the isotopes of plutonium.

  4. Anthropogenic plutonium-244 in the environment: Insights into plutonium’s longest-lived isotope

    PubMed Central

    Armstrong, Christopher R.; Brant, Heather A.; Nuessle, Patterson R.; Hall, Gregory; Cadieux, James R.

    2016-01-01

    Owing to the rich history of heavy element production in the unique high flux reactors that operated at the Savannah River Site, USA (SRS) decades ago, trace quantities of plutonium with highly unique isotopic characteristics still persist today in the SRS terrestrial environment. Development of an effective sampling, processing, and analysis strategy enables detailed monitoring of the SRS environment, revealing plutonium isotopic compositions, e.g., 244Pu, that reflect the unique legacy of plutonium production at SRS. This work describes the first long-term investigation of anthropogenic 244Pu occurrence in the environment. Environmental samples, consisting of collected foot borne debris, were taken at SRS over an eleven year period, from 2003 to 2014. Separation and purification of trace plutonium was carried out followed by three stage thermal ionization mass spectrometry (3STIMS) measurements for plutonium isotopic content and isotopic ratios. Significant 244Pu was measured in all of the years sampled with the highest amount observed in 2003. The 244Pu content, in femtograms (fg = 10−15 g) per gram, ranged from 0.31 fg/g to 44 fg/g in years 2006 and 2003 respectively. In all years, the 244Pu/239Pu atom ratios were significantly higher than global fallout, ranging from 0.003 to 0.698 in years 2014 and 2003 respectively. PMID:26898531

  5. Anthropogenic plutonium-244 in the environment: Insights into plutonium’s longest-lived isotope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armstrong, Christopher R.; Brant, Heather A.; Nuessle, Patterson R.; Hall, Gregory; Cadieux, James R.

    2016-02-01

    Owing to the rich history of heavy element production in the unique high flux reactors that operated at the Savannah River Site, USA (SRS) decades ago, trace quantities of plutonium with highly unique isotopic characteristics still persist today in the SRS terrestrial environment. Development of an effective sampling, processing, and analysis strategy enables detailed monitoring of the SRS environment, revealing plutonium isotopic compositions, e.g., 244Pu, that reflect the unique legacy of plutonium production at SRS. This work describes the first long-term investigation of anthropogenic 244Pu occurrence in the environment. Environmental samples, consisting of collected foot borne debris, were taken at SRS over an eleven year period, from 2003 to 2014. Separation and purification of trace plutonium was carried out followed by three stage thermal ionization mass spectrometry (3STIMS) measurements for plutonium isotopic content and isotopic ratios. Significant 244Pu was measured in all of the years sampled with the highest amount observed in 2003. The 244Pu content, in femtograms (fg = 10-15 g) per gram, ranged from 0.31 fg/g to 44 fg/g in years 2006 and 2003 respectively. In all years, the 244Pu/239Pu atom ratios were significantly higher than global fallout, ranging from 0.003 to 0.698 in years 2014 and 2003 respectively.

  6. Static, Mixed-Array Total Evaporation for Improved Quantitation of Plutonium Minor Isotopes in Small Samples.

    PubMed

    Stanley, F E; Byerly, Benjamin L; Thomas, Mariam R; Spencer, Khalil J

    2016-06-01

    Actinide isotope measurements are a critical signature capability in the modern nuclear forensics "toolbox", especially when interrogating anthropogenic constituents in real-world scenarios. Unfortunately, established methodologies, such as traditional total evaporation via thermal ionization mass spectrometry, struggle to confidently measure low abundance isotope ratios (<10(-6)) within already limited quantities of sample. Herein, we investigate the application of static, mixed array total evaporation techniques as a straightforward means of improving plutonium minor isotope measurements, which have been resistant to enhancement in recent years because of elevated radiologic concerns. Results are presented for small sample (~20 ng) applications involving a well-known plutonium isotope reference material, CRM-126a, and compared with traditional total evaporation methods. Graphical Abstract ᅟ. PMID:27032649

  7. Static, Mixed-Array Total Evaporation for Improved Quantitation of Plutonium Minor Isotopes in Small Samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanley, F. E.; Byerly, Benjamin L.; Thomas, Mariam R.; Spencer, Khalil J.

    2016-06-01

    Actinide isotope measurements are a critical signature capability in the modern nuclear forensics "toolbox", especially when interrogating anthropogenic constituents in real-world scenarios. Unfortunately, established methodologies, such as traditional total evaporation via thermal ionization mass spectrometry, struggle to confidently measure low abundance isotope ratios (<10-6) within already limited quantities of sample. Herein, we investigate the application of static, mixed array total evaporation techniques as a straightforward means of improving plutonium minor isotope measurements, which have been resistant to enhancement in recent years because of elevated radiologic concerns. Results are presented for small sample (~20 ng) applications involving a well-known plutonium isotope reference material, CRM-126a, and compared with traditional total evaporation methods.

  8. Static, Mixed-Array Total Evaporation for Improved Quantitation of Plutonium Minor Isotopes in Small Samples.

    PubMed

    Stanley, F E; Byerly, Benjamin L; Thomas, Mariam R; Spencer, Khalil J

    2016-06-01

    Actinide isotope measurements are a critical signature capability in the modern nuclear forensics "toolbox", especially when interrogating anthropogenic constituents in real-world scenarios. Unfortunately, established methodologies, such as traditional total evaporation via thermal ionization mass spectrometry, struggle to confidently measure low abundance isotope ratios (<10(-6)) within already limited quantities of sample. Herein, we investigate the application of static, mixed array total evaporation techniques as a straightforward means of improving plutonium minor isotope measurements, which have been resistant to enhancement in recent years because of elevated radiologic concerns. Results are presented for small sample (~20 ng) applications involving a well-known plutonium isotope reference material, CRM-126a, and compared with traditional total evaporation methods. Graphical Abstract ᅟ.

  9. Plutonium isotopic analysis system for plutonium samples enriched in sup 238 Pu in EP 60/61 containers

    SciTech Connect

    Ruhter, W.D.

    1990-06-01

    This user's manual is addressed to the Savannah River Site personnel (routine operators and supervisors) who perform measurements with the Pu-238 isotopic analysis system. Each chapter begins with a table of contents that lists the section title, illustrations, and tabular data presented in that chapter. The first chapter in this manual is an introduction to the system. Chapter 2 lists required settings for the system's commercial nuclear instrument modules. System operating procedures are given in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 contains routine and supervisorial operator interactions. Chapter 5 describes the system's short- and long-printout output formats. Chapter 6 gives instructions for changing system parameters. Error messages are listed and described Chapter 7. Chapter 8 contains a reference article on measuring relative plutonium isotopics in plutonium samples enriched in Pu-238. All commercial items mentioned in this manual are assumed to be functioning correctly for the purposes of system operation. Users are referred to individual equipment manufacturers' manuals for details of operation, trouble-shooting, and maintenance of this commercial equipment.

  10. Detection of plutonium isotopes at lowest quantities using in-source resonance ionization mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Raeder, S; Hakimi, A; Stöbener, N; Trautmann, N; Wendt, K

    2012-11-01

    The in-source resonance ionization mass spectrometry technique was applied for quantification of ultratrace amounts of plutonium isotopes as a proof of principle study. In addition to an overall detection limit of 10(4) to 10(5) atoms, this method enables the unambiguous identification and individual quantification of the plutonium isotopes (238)Pu and (241)Pu which are of relevance for dating of radiogenic samples. Due to the element-selective ionization process, these isotopes can be measured even under a high surplus of isobaric contaminations from (238)U or (241)Am, which considerably simplifies chemical preparation. The technique was developed, tested, and characterized on a variety of synthetic and calibration samples and is presently applied to analyze environmental samples.

  11. Plutonium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, David L.; Hecker, Siegfried S.; Jarvinen, Gordon D.; Neu, Mary P.

    The element plutonium occupies a unique place in the history of chemistry, physics, technology, and international relations. After the initial discovery based on submicrogram amounts, it is now generated by transmutation of uranium in nuclear reactors on a large scale, and has been separated in ton quantities in large industrial facilities. The intense interest in plutonium resulted fromthe dual-use scenario of domestic power production and nuclear weapons - drawing energy from an atomic nucleus that can produce a factor of millions in energy output relative to chemical energy sources. Indeed, within 5 years of its original synthesis, the primary use of plutonium was for the release of nuclear energy in weapons of unprecedented power, and it seemed that the new element might lead the human race to the brink of self-annihilation. Instead, it has forced the human race to govern itself without resorting to nuclear war over the past 60 years. Plutonium evokes the entire gamut of human emotions, from good to evil, from hope to despair, from the salvation of humanity to its utter destruction. There is no other element in the periodic table that has had such a profound impact on the consciousness of mankind.

  12. The plutonium isotopic composition of marine biota on Enewetak Atoll: a preliminary assessment.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Terry F; Martinelli, Roger E; Kehl, Steven R; McAninch, Jeffrey E

    2008-10-01

    We have determined the level and distribution of gamma-emitting radionuclides, plutonium activity concentrations, and 240Pu/239Pu atom ratios in tissue samples of giant clam (Tridacna gigas and Hippopus hippopus), a top snail (Trochus nilaticas) and sea cucumber (Holothuria atra) collected from different locations around Enewetak Atoll. The plutonium isotopic measurements were performed using ultra-high sensitivity accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Elevated levels of plutonium were observed in the stomachs (includes the stomach lining) of Tridacna clam (0.62 to 2.98 Bq kg(-1), wet wt.), in the soft parts (edible portion) of top snails (0.25 to 1.7 Bq kg(-1)), wet wt.) and, to a lesser extent, in sea cucumber (0.015 to 0.22 Bq kg(-1), wet wt.) relative to muscle tissue concentrations in clam (0.006 to 0.021 Bq kg(-1), wet wt.) and in comparison with previous measurements of plutonium in fish. These data and information provide a basis for re-evaluating the relative significance of dietary intakes of plutonium from marine foods on Enewetak Atoll and, perhaps most importantly, demonstrate that discrete 240Pu239Pu isotope signatures might well provide a useful investigative tool to monitor source-term attribution and consequences on Enewetak Atoll. One potential application of immediate interest is to monitor and assess the health and ecological impacts of leakage of plutonium (as well as other radionuclides) from a low-level radioactive waste repository on Runit Island relative to background levels of fallout contamination in Enewetak Atoll lagoon.

  13. Static, mixed-array total evaporation for improved quantitation of plutonium minor isotopes in small samples

    DOE PAGES

    Stanley, F. E.; Byerly, Benjamin L.; Thomas, Mariam R.; Spencer, Khalil J.

    2016-03-31

    Actinide isotope measurements are a critical signature capability in the modern nuclear forensics “toolbox”, especially when interrogating anthropogenic constituents in real-world scenarios. Unfortunately, established methodologies, such as traditional total evaporation via thermal ionization mass spectrometry, struggle to confidently measure low abundance isotope ratios (<10-6) within already limited quantities of sample. Herein, we investigate the application of static, mixed array total evaporation techniques as a straightforward means of improving plutonium minor isotope measurements, which have been resistant to enhancement in recent years because of elevated radiologic concerns. Furthermore, results are presented for small sample (~20 ng) applications involving a well-known plutoniummore » isotope reference material, CRM-126a, and compared with traditional total evaporation methods.« less

  14. Separation Of Uranium And Plutonium Isotopes For Measurement By Multi Collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Martinelli, R E; Hamilton, T F; Williams, R W; Kehl, S R

    2009-03-29

    Uranium (U) and plutonium (Pu) isotopes in coral soils, contaminated by nuclear weapons testing in the northern Marshall Islands, were isolated by ion-exchange chromatography and analyzed by mass spectrometry. The soil samples were spiked with {sup 233}U and {sup 242}Pu tracers, dissolved in minerals acids, and U and Pu isotopes isolated and purified on commercially available ion-exchange columns. The ion-exchange technique employed a TEVA{reg_sign} column coupled to a UTEVA{reg_sign} column. U and Pu isotope fractions were then further isolated using separate elution schemes, and the purified fractions containing U and Pu isotopes analyzed sequentially using multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MCICP-MS). High precision measurements of {sup 234}U/{sup 235}U, {sup 238}U/{sup 235}U, {sup 236}U/{sup 235}U, and {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu in soil samples were attained using the described methodology and instrumentation, and provide a basis for conducting more detailed assessments of the behavior and transfer of uranium and plutonium in the environment.

  15. Heterogeneous sodium fast reactor designed for transmuting minor actinide waste isotopes into plutonium fuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bays, Samuel Eugene

    2008-10-01

    In the past several years there has been a renewed interest in sodium fast reactor (SFR) technology for the purpose of destroying transuranic waste (TRU) produced by light water reactors (LWR). The utility of SFRs as waste burners is due to the fact that higher neutron energies allow all of the actinides, including the minor actinides (MA), to contribute to fission. It is well understood that many of the design issues of LWR spent nuclear fuel (SNF) disposal in a geologic repository are linked to MAs. Because the probability of fission for essentially all the "non-fissile" MAs is nearly zero at low neutron energies, these isotopes act as a neutron capture sink in most thermal reactor systems. Furthermore, because most of the isotopes produced by these capture reactions are also non-fissile, they too are neutron sinks in most thermal reactor systems. Conversely, with high neutron energies, the MAs can produce neutrons by fast fission. Additionally, capture reactions transmute the MAs into mostly plutonium isotopes, which can fission more readily at any energy. The transmutation of non-fissile into fissile atoms is the premise of the plutonium breeder reactor. In a breeder reactor, not only does the non-fissile "fertile" U-238 atom contribute fast fission neutrons, but also transmutes into fissile Pu-239. The fissile value of the plutonium produced by MA transmutation can only be realized in fast neutron spectra. This is due to the fact that the predominate isotope produced by MA transmutation, Pu-238, is itself not fissile. However, the Pu-238 fission cross section is significantly larger than the original transmutation parent, predominately: Np-237 and Am-241, in the fast energy range. Also, Pu-238's fission cross section and fission-to-capture ratio is almost as high as that of fissile Pu-239 in the fast neutron spectrum. It is also important to note that a neutron absorption in Pu-238, that does not cause fission, will instead produce fissile Pu-239. Given this

  16. Gamma radiation characteristics of plutonium dioxide fuel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gingo, P. J.

    1969-01-01

    Investigation of plutonium dioxide as an isotopic fuel for Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators yielded the isotopic composition of production-grade plutonium dioxide fuel, sources of gamma radiation produced by plutonium isotopes, and the gamma flux at the surface.

  17. Plutonium isotopes in the terrestrial environment at the Savannah River Site, USA: a long-term study.

    PubMed

    Armstrong, Christopher R; Nuessle, Patterson R; Brant, Heather A; Hall, Gregory; Halverson, Justin E; Cadieux, James R

    2015-02-01

    This work presents the findings of a long-term plutonium (Pu) study at Savannah River Site (SRS) conducted between 2003 and 2013. Terrestrial environmental samples were obtained at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) in the A-Area. Plutonium content and isotopic abundances were measured over this time period by α particle and thermal ionization mass spectrometry (3STIMS). We detail the complete process of the sample collection, radiochemical separation, and measurement procedure specifically targeted to trace plutonium in bulk environmental samples. Total plutonium activities were determined to be not significantly above atmospheric global fallout. However, the (238)Pu/(239+240)Pu activity ratios attributed to SRS are substantially different than fallout due to past (238)Pu production on the site. The (240)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratios are reasonably consistent from year to year and are lower than fallout indicating an admixture of weapons-grade material, while the (242)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratios are higher than fallout values, again due to actinide production activities. Overall, the plutonium signatures obtained in this study reflect a distinctive mixture of weapons-grade, heat source, and higher burn-up plutonium with fallout material. This study provides a unique opportunity for developing and demonstrating a blue print for long-term low-level monitoring of trace plutonium in the environment.

  18. Tracing the dispersion of contaminated sediment with plutonium isotope measurements in coastal catchments of Fukushima Prefecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evrard, Olivier; Pointurier, Fabien; Onda, Yuichi; Chartin, Caroline; Hubert, Amélie; Lepage, Hugo; Pottin, Anne-Claire; Lefèvre, Irène; Bonté, Philippe; Laceby, J. Patrick; Ayrault, Sophie

    2015-04-01

    The Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident led to important releases of radionuclides into the environment, and trace levels of plutonium (Pu) were detected in northeastern Japan. However, measurement of Pu isotopic atom and activity ratios is required to differentiate between the contributions of global nuclear test fallout and FDNPP emissions. In this study, we measured Pu isotopic ratios in recently deposited sediments along rivers draining the most contaminated part of the inland radioactive plume. To this end, we carried out a thorough chemical purification and concentration of Pu from sediment samples (5 g dry material) and precise isotopic measurements using a double-focusing sector field ICP-MS. Results showed that the entire range of measured Pu isotopes (i.e., 239Pu, 240Pu, 241Pu, and 242Pu) were detected in all samples, although in extremely low concentrations. The 241Pu/239Pu atom ratios measured in sediment deposits (0.0017-0.0884) were significantly higher than the corresponding values attributed to the global fallout (0.00113±0.00008 on average in the Northern Hemisphere between 31°-71°N). The results indicated the presence of Pu from FDNPP, in slight excess compared to the Pu background from global fallout, representing up to ca. 60% of Pu in the analyzed samples. These results demonstrate that this radionuclide has been transported relatively long distances (45 km) from FDNPP and deposited in rivers representing a potential source of Pu to the ocean.

  19. Novel insights into Fukushima nuclear accident from isotopic evidence of plutonium spread along coastal rivers.

    PubMed

    Evrard, Olivier; Pointurier, Fabien; Onda, Yuichi; Chartin, Caroline; Hubert, Amélie; Lepage, Hugo; Pottin, Anne-Claire; Lefèvre, Irène; Bonté, Philippe; Laceby, J Patrick; Ayrault, Sophie

    2014-08-19

    The Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident led to important releases of radionuclides into the environment, and trace levels of plutonium (Pu) were detected in northeastern Japan. However, measurements of Pu isotopic atom and activity ratios are required to differentiate between the contributions of global nuclear test fallout and FDNPP emissions. In this study, we used a double-focusing sector field ICP-MS to measure Pu atom and activity ratios in recently deposited sediment along rivers draining the most contaminated part of the inland radioactive plume. Results showed that plutonium isotopes (i.e., (239)Pu, (240)Pu, (241)Pu, and (242)Pu) were detected in all samples, although in extremely low concentrations. The (241)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratios measured in sediment deposits (0.0017-0.0884) were significantly higher than the corresponding values attributed to the global fallout (0.00113 ± 0.00008 on average for the Northern Hemisphere between 31°-71° N: Kelley, J. M.; Bond, L. A.; Beasley, T. M. Global distribution of Pu isotopes and (237)Np. Sci. Total. Env. 1999, 237/238, 483-500). The results indicated the presence of Pu from FDNPP, in slight excess compared to the Pu background from global fallout that represented up to ca. 60% of Pu in the analyzed samples. These results demonstrate that this radionuclide has been transported relatively long distances (∼45 km) from FDNPP and been deposited in rivers representing a potential source of Pu to the ocean. In future, the high (241)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratio of the Fukushima accident sourced-Pu should be measured to quantify the supply of continental-originating material from Fukushima Prefecture to the Pacific Ocean.

  20. Examination of the effect of alpha radiolysis on plutonium(V) sorption to quartz using multiple plutonium isotopes.

    PubMed

    Hixon, Amy E; Arai, Yuji; Powell, Brian A

    2013-08-01

    The objective of this research was to determine if radiolysis at the mineral surface was a plausible mechanism for surface-mediated reduction of plutonium. Batch sorption experiments were used to monitor the amount of plutonium sorbed to high-purity quartz as a function of time, pH, and total alpha radioactivity. Three systems were prepared using both (238)Pu and (242)Pu in order to increase the total alpha radioactivity of the mineral suspensions while maintaining a constant plutonium concentration. The fraction of sorbed plutonium increased with increasing time and pH regardless of the total alpha radioactivity of the system. Increasing the total alpha radioactivity of the solution had a negligible effect on the sorption rate. This indicated that surface-mediated reduction of Pu(V) in these systems was not due to radiolysis. Additionally, literature values for the Pu(V) disproportionation rate constant did not describe the experimental results. Therefore, Pu(V) disproportionation was also not a main driver for surface-mediated reduction of plutonium. Batch desorption experiments and X-ray absorption near edge structure spectroscopy were used to show that Pu(IV) was the dominant oxidation state of sorbed plutonium. Thus, it appears that the observed surface-mediated reduction of Pu(V) in the presence of high-purity quartz was based on the thermodynamic favorability of a Pu(IV) surface complex.

  1. Plutonium Isotopes in the Terrestrial Environment at the Savannah River Site, USA. A Long-Term Study

    DOE PAGES

    Armstrong, Christopher R.; Nuessle, Patterson R.; Brant, Heather A.; Hall, Gregory; Halverson, Justin E.; Cadieux, James R.

    2015-01-16

    This work presents the findings of a long term plutonium study at Savannah River Site (SRS) conducted between 2003 and 2013. Terrestrial environmental samples were obtained at Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) in A-area. Plutonium content and isotopic abundances were measured over this time period by alpha spectrometry and three stage thermal ionization mass spectrometry (3STIMS). Here we detail the complete sample collection, radiochemical separation, and measurement procedure specifically targeted to trace plutonium in bulk environmental samples. Total plutonium activities were determined to be not significantly above atmospheric global fallout. However, the 238Pu/239+240Pu activity ratios attributed to SRS are abovemore » atmospheric global fallout ranges. The 240Pu/239Pu atom ratios are reasonably consistent from year to year and are lower than fallout, while the 242Pu/239Pu atom ratios are higher than fallout values. Overall, the plutonium signatures obtained in this study reflect a mixture of weapons-grade, higher burn-up, and fallout material. This study provides a blue print for long term low level monitoring of plutonium in the environment.« less

  2. Plutonium Isotopes in the Terrestrial Environment at the Savannah River Site, USA. A Long-Term Study

    SciTech Connect

    Armstrong, Christopher R.; Nuessle, Patterson R.; Brant, Heather A.; Hall, Gregory; Halverson, Justin E.; Cadieux, James R.

    2015-01-16

    This work presents the findings of a long term plutonium study at Savannah River Site (SRS) conducted between 2003 and 2013. Terrestrial environmental samples were obtained at Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) in A-area. Plutonium content and isotopic abundances were measured over this time period by alpha spectrometry and three stage thermal ionization mass spectrometry (3STIMS). Here we detail the complete sample collection, radiochemical separation, and measurement procedure specifically targeted to trace plutonium in bulk environmental samples. Total plutonium activities were determined to be not significantly above atmospheric global fallout. However, the 238Pu/239+240Pu activity ratios attributed to SRS are above atmospheric global fallout ranges. The 240Pu/239Pu atom ratios are reasonably consistent from year to year and are lower than fallout, while the 242Pu/239Pu atom ratios are higher than fallout values. Overall, the plutonium signatures obtained in this study reflect a mixture of weapons-grade, higher burn-up, and fallout material. This study provides a blue print for long term low level monitoring of plutonium in the environment.

  3. Plutonium isotopes in the atmosphere of Central Europe: Isotopic composition and time evolution vs. circulation factors.

    PubMed

    Kierepko, Renata; Mietelski, Jerzy W; Ustrnul, Zbigniew; Anczkiewicz, Robert; Wershofen, Herbert; Holgye, Zoltan; Kapała, Jacek; Isajenko, Krzysztof

    2016-11-01

    This paper reports evidence of Pu isotopes in the lower part of the troposphere of Central Europe. The data were obtained based on atmospheric aerosol fraction samples collected from four places in three countries (participating in the informal European network known as the Ring of Five (Ro5)) forming a cell with a surface area of about 200,000km(2). We compared our original data sets from Krakow (Poland, 1990-2007) and Bialystok (Poland, 1991-2007) with the results from two other locations, Prague (Czech Republic; 1997-2004) and Braunschweig (Germany; 1990-2003) to find time evolution of the Pu isotopes. The levels of the activity concentration for (238)Pu and for ((239+240))Pu were estimated to be a few and some tens of nBqm(-3), respectively. However, we also noted some results were much higher (even about 70 times higher) than the average concentration of (238)Pu in the atmosphere. The achieved complex data sets were used to test a new approach to the problem of solving mixing isotopic traces from various sources (here up to three) in one sample. Results of our model, supported by mesoscale atmospheric circulation parameters, suggest that Pu from nuclear weapon accidents or tests and nuclear burnt-up fuel are present in the air.

  4. Plutonium isotopes in the atmosphere of Central Europe: Isotopic composition and time evolution vs. circulation factors.

    PubMed

    Kierepko, Renata; Mietelski, Jerzy W; Ustrnul, Zbigniew; Anczkiewicz, Robert; Wershofen, Herbert; Holgye, Zoltan; Kapała, Jacek; Isajenko, Krzysztof

    2016-11-01

    This paper reports evidence of Pu isotopes in the lower part of the troposphere of Central Europe. The data were obtained based on atmospheric aerosol fraction samples collected from four places in three countries (participating in the informal European network known as the Ring of Five (Ro5)) forming a cell with a surface area of about 200,000km(2). We compared our original data sets from Krakow (Poland, 1990-2007) and Bialystok (Poland, 1991-2007) with the results from two other locations, Prague (Czech Republic; 1997-2004) and Braunschweig (Germany; 1990-2003) to find time evolution of the Pu isotopes. The levels of the activity concentration for (238)Pu and for ((239+240))Pu were estimated to be a few and some tens of nBqm(-3), respectively. However, we also noted some results were much higher (even about 70 times higher) than the average concentration of (238)Pu in the atmosphere. The achieved complex data sets were used to test a new approach to the problem of solving mixing isotopic traces from various sources (here up to three) in one sample. Results of our model, supported by mesoscale atmospheric circulation parameters, suggest that Pu from nuclear weapon accidents or tests and nuclear burnt-up fuel are present in the air. PMID:27450248

  5. Utilization of non-weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium with breeding of the 233U isotope in the VVER reactors using thorium and heavy water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshalkin, V. E.; Povyshev, V. M.

    2015-12-01

    A method for joint utilization of non-weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium in the thorium-uranium—plutonium oxide fuel of a water-moderated reactor with a varying water composition (D2O, H2O) is proposed. The method is characterized by efficient breeding of the 233U isotope and safe reactor operation and is comparatively simple to implement.

  6. Preparation of a multi-isotope plutonium AMS standard and preliminary results of a first inter-lab comparison

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dittmann, B.-A.; Dunai, T. J.; Dewald, A.; Heinze, S.; Feuerstein, C.; Strub, E.; Fifield, L. K.; Froehlich, M. B.; Tims, S. G.; Wallner, A.; Christl, M.

    2015-10-01

    The motivation of this work is to establish a new multi-isotope plutonium standard for isotopic ratio measurements with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS), since stocks of existing solutions are declining. To this end, certified reference materials (CRMs) of each of the individual isotopes 239Pu, 240Pu, 242Pu and 244Pu were obtained from JRC IRMM (Joint Research Center Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements). These certified reference materials (IRMM-081a, IRMM-083, IRMM-043 and IRMM-042a) were diluted with nitric acid and mixed to obtain a stock standard solution with an isotopic ratio of approximately 1.0:1.0:1.0:0.1 (239Pu:240Pu:242Pu:244Pu). From this stock solution, samples were prepared for measurement of the plutonium isotopic composition by AMS. These samples have been measured in a round-robin exercise between the AMS facilities at CologneAMS, at the ANU Canberra and ETH Zurich to verify the isotopic ratio and to demonstrate the reproducibility of the measurements. The results show good agreement both between the different AMS measurements and with the gravimetrically determined nominal ratios.

  7. Plutonium isotopic analysis system for plutonium samples enriched in sup 238 Pu in EP 60/61 and fuel-clad containers

    SciTech Connect

    Ruhter, W.D.

    1991-07-01

    This user's manual is addressed to the Hanford Site personnel (routine operators and supervisors) who perform measurements with the Pu-238 isotopic analysis system. Each chapter begins with a table of contents that lists the section titles, illustrations, and tabular data presented in that chapter. The first chapter in this manual is an introduction to the system. Chapter 2 lists required settings for the system's commercial nuclear instrument modules. System operating procedures are given in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 contains routine and supervisorial operator interactions. Chapter 5 describes the system's short- and long-printout output formats. Chapter 6 gives instructions for changing system parameters. Error messages are listed and described in Chapter 7. Chapter 8 contains reference articles on measuring relative plutonium isotopics in solid samples.

  8. Ultra-Low Level Plutonium Isotopes in the NIST SRM 4355A (Peruvian Soil-1)

    SciTech Connect

    Inn, Kenneth G.; LaRosa, Jerome; Nour, Svetlana; Brooks, George; LaMont, Steve; Steiner, Rob; Williams, Ross; Patton, Brad; Bostick, Debra A.; Eiden, Gregory C.; Petersen, Steven L.; Douglas, Matthew; Beals, Donna; Cadieux, James; Hall, Greg; Goldberg, Steve; Vogt, Stephan

    2009-05-31

    For more than 20 years, countries and their agencies which monitor discharge sites and storage facilities have relied on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Standard Reference Material (SRM) 4355 Peruvian Soil reference material. Its low fallout contamination makes it an ideal soil blank for measurements associated with terrestrial pathway to man studies. Presently, SRM 4355 is out of stock, and a new batch of the Peruvian soil is currently under development as future NIST SRM 4355A. Both environmental radioanalytical laboratories and mass spectrometry communities will benefit from this SRM. The former must assess their laboratory contamination and measurement detection limits by measurement of blank sample material. The Peruvian Soil is so low in anthropogenic radionuclides that it is a suitable virtual blank. On the other hand, mass spectrometric laboratories have high sensitivity instruments that are capable of quantitative isotopic measurements at low plutonium levels of the SRM 4355 (first Peruvian Soil SRM) that provided the mass spectrometric community with the calibration, quality control, and testing material needed for methods development, and legal defensibility. The quantification of the ultra-low plutonium content in the SRM 4355A was a considerable challenge for the mass spectrometric laboratories. Careful blank control and correction, isobaric interferences, instrument stability, peak assessment, and detection assessment were necessary. Furthermore, a systematic statistical evaluation of the measurement results and considerable discussions with the mass spectroscopy metrologists were needed to derive the certified values and uncertainties. SRM 4355A will provide the mass spectrometric community with the quality control and testing material needed for higher sensitivity methods development, and legal defensibility.

  9. Direct isotope ratio analysis of individual uranium-plutonium mixed particles with various U/Pu ratios by thermal ionization mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Daisuke; Esaka, Fumitaka; Miyamoto, Yutaka; Magara, Masaaki

    2015-02-01

    Uranium and plutonium isotope ratios in individual uranium-plutonium (U-Pu) mixed particles with various U/Pu atomic ratios were analyzed without prior chemical separation by thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS). Prior to measurement, micron-sized particles with U/Pu ratios of 1, 5, 10, 18, and 70 were produced from uranium and plutonium certified reference materials. In the TIMS analysis, the peaks of americium, plutonium, and uranium ion signals were successfully separated by continuously increasing the evaporation filament current. Consequently, the uranium and plutonium isotope ratios, except the (238)Pu/(239)Pu ratio, were successfully determined for the particles at all U/Pu ratios. This indicates that TIMS direct analysis allows for the measurement of individual U-Pu mixed particles without prior chemical separation. PMID:25479434

  10. Direct isotope ratio analysis of individual uranium-plutonium mixed particles with various U/Pu ratios by thermal ionization mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Daisuke; Esaka, Fumitaka; Miyamoto, Yutaka; Magara, Masaaki

    2015-02-01

    Uranium and plutonium isotope ratios in individual uranium-plutonium (U-Pu) mixed particles with various U/Pu atomic ratios were analyzed without prior chemical separation by thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS). Prior to measurement, micron-sized particles with U/Pu ratios of 1, 5, 10, 18, and 70 were produced from uranium and plutonium certified reference materials. In the TIMS analysis, the peaks of americium, plutonium, and uranium ion signals were successfully separated by continuously increasing the evaporation filament current. Consequently, the uranium and plutonium isotope ratios, except the (238)Pu/(239)Pu ratio, were successfully determined for the particles at all U/Pu ratios. This indicates that TIMS direct analysis allows for the measurement of individual U-Pu mixed particles without prior chemical separation.

  11. Measurement of plutonium isotopes, 239Pu and 240Pu, in air-filter samples from Seville (2001-2002)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chamizo, E.; García-León, M.; Enamorado, S. M.; Jiménez-Ramos, M. C.; Wacker, L.

    2010-05-01

    Since the last nuclear atmospheric test carried out by the People Republic of China in 1980 and since the Chernobyl accident in 1986, the plutonium hasn't been directly released into the atmosphere. However, nowadays, it is still present in the troposphere. This is due to plutonium-bearing soil particles physical resuspension processes. In this work, we study for the first time the temporal variation of plutonium isotopes, 239Pu and 240Pu, baseline concentrations on a monthly basis in surface air from Seville (Spain), and their correlation with some tracers of mineral dust, during 2001 and 2002. The Pu analyses were performed by low-energy Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS). The 239Pu plus 240Pu ( 239+240Pu) activity levels achieved maximums during the summer period, characterized by the absence of rains, and minimums during the rainy seasons, laying in the range 1-20 nBq m -3. The 240Pu/ 239Pu two-year average atomic ratio was 0.18 ± 0.03, in agreement with the fallout plutonium. A good correlation with Pu and Al and Ti levels is observed. They are crustal components usually used as tracers of African dust over European countries. The hypothesis of the influence of the Saharan dust intrusions is supported as well through the study of Total Ozone Mass Spectrometer (TOMS) daily images.

  12. Optimized Chemical Separation and Measurement by TE TIMS Using Carburized Filaments for Uranium Isotope Ratio Measurements Applied to Plutonium Chronometry.

    PubMed

    Sturm, Monika; Richter, Stephan; Aregbe, Yetunde; Wellum, Roger; Prohaska, Thomas

    2016-06-21

    An optimized method is described for U/Pu separation and subsequent measurement of the amount contents of uranium isotopes by total evaporation (TE) TIMS with a double filament setup combined with filament carburization for age determination of plutonium samples. The use of carburized filaments improved the signal behavior for total evaporation TIMS measurements of uranium. Elevated uranium ion formation by passive heating during rhenium signal optimization at the start of the total evaporation measurement procedure was found to be a result from byproducts of the separation procedure deposited on the filament. This was avoided using carburized filaments. Hence, loss of sample before the actual TE data acquisition was prevented, and automated measurement sequences could be accomplished. Furthermore, separation of residual plutonium in the separated uranium fraction was achieved directly on the filament by use of the carburized filaments. Although the analytical approach was originally tailored to achieve reliable results only for the (238)Pu/(234)U, (239)Pu/(235)U, and (240)Pu/(236)U chronometers, the optimization of the procedure additionally allowed the use of the (242)Pu/(238)U isotope amount ratio as a highly sensitive indicator for residual uranium present in the sample, which is not of radiogenic origin. The sample preparation method described in this article has been successfully applied for the age determination of CRM NBS 947 and other sulfate and oxide plutonium samples. PMID:27240571

  13. Optimized Chemical Separation and Measurement by TE TIMS Using Carburized Filaments for Uranium Isotope Ratio Measurements Applied to Plutonium Chronometry.

    PubMed

    Sturm, Monika; Richter, Stephan; Aregbe, Yetunde; Wellum, Roger; Prohaska, Thomas

    2016-06-21

    An optimized method is described for U/Pu separation and subsequent measurement of the amount contents of uranium isotopes by total evaporation (TE) TIMS with a double filament setup combined with filament carburization for age determination of plutonium samples. The use of carburized filaments improved the signal behavior for total evaporation TIMS measurements of uranium. Elevated uranium ion formation by passive heating during rhenium signal optimization at the start of the total evaporation measurement procedure was found to be a result from byproducts of the separation procedure deposited on the filament. This was avoided using carburized filaments. Hence, loss of sample before the actual TE data acquisition was prevented, and automated measurement sequences could be accomplished. Furthermore, separation of residual plutonium in the separated uranium fraction was achieved directly on the filament by use of the carburized filaments. Although the analytical approach was originally tailored to achieve reliable results only for the (238)Pu/(234)U, (239)Pu/(235)U, and (240)Pu/(236)U chronometers, the optimization of the procedure additionally allowed the use of the (242)Pu/(238)U isotope amount ratio as a highly sensitive indicator for residual uranium present in the sample, which is not of radiogenic origin. The sample preparation method described in this article has been successfully applied for the age determination of CRM NBS 947 and other sulfate and oxide plutonium samples.

  14. Using radiosilver and plutonium isotopes to trace the dispersion of contaminated sediment in Fukushima coastal catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evrard, O.; Ayrault, S.; Pointurier, F.; Onda, Y.; Laceby, J. P.; Lepage, H.; Chartin, C.; Cirella, M.; Pottin, A. C.; Hubert, A.; Lefèvre, I.

    2015-12-01

    The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP) accident in March 2011 resulted in a 3000-km² radioactive pollution plume consisting predominantly of radiocesium (137Cs and 134Cs). This plume is drained by several rivers to the Pacific Ocean after flowing through less contaminated, but densely inhabited coastal plains. As the redistribution of radionuclide contaminated sediment could expose the local population to higher radiation rates, novel fingerprinting methods were developed to trace the downstream dispersion of contaminated sediment. First, the heterogeneous deposition of metastable silver-110 (110mAg) across these coastal catchments was used to investigate sediment migration. In particular, the 110mAg/137Cs activity ratio was measured in soils and river sediment demonstrating the occurrence of a seasonal cycle of soil erosion during typhoons and spring snowmelt in 2011 and 2012. However, due to the rapid decay of 110mAg (half-life of 250 days), alternative methods were required to continue tracking sediment from 2013 onwards. One promising method includes the analyses of plutonium isotopes to further understand sediment migration in the Fukushima region. For example, 241Pu/239Pu atom ratios measured in sediment collected in Fukushima coastal rivers shortly after the accident were shown to be significantly higher (0.0017 - 0.0884) than corresponding values attributed to the global fallout (0.00113 ± 0.00008). Additional analyses were conducted on sediment sampled in 2013 and 2014 after the start of decontamination works. These analyses show that the 241Pu/239Pu atom ratios decreased towards the global fallout values in rivers draining decontaminated paddy fields, demonstrating the effectiveness of remediation works.

  15. Utilization of non-weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium with breeding of the {sup 233}U isotope in the VVER reactors using thorium and heavy water

    SciTech Connect

    Marshalkin, V. E. Povyshev, V. M.

    2015-12-15

    A method for joint utilization of non-weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium in the thorium–uranium—plutonium oxide fuel of a water-moderated reactor with a varying water composition (D{sub 2}O, H{sub 2}O) is proposed. The method is characterized by efficient breeding of the {sup 233}U isotope and safe reactor operation and is comparatively simple to implement.

  16. Some neutron and gamma radiation characteristics of plutonium cermet fuel for isotopic power sources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neff, R. A.; Anderson, M. E.; Campbell, A. R.; Haas, F. X.

    1972-01-01

    Gamma and neutron measurements on various types of plutonium sources are presented in order to show the effects of O-17, O-18 F-19, Pu-236, age of the fuel, and size of the source on the gamma and neutron spectra. Analysis of the radiation measurements shows that fluorine is the main contributor to the neutron yields from present plutonium-molybdenum cermet fuel, while both fluorine and Pu-236 daughters contribute significantly to the gamma ray intensities.

  17. Advances in low level uranium and plutonium isotope mass spectrometry using multiple ion counting and filament carburization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richter, S.; Jakopic, R.; Kuehn, H.; Alonso, A.; Aregbe, Y.

    2008-12-01

    After upgrading IRMM's mass spectrometric capabilities for certification measurements for uranium and plutonium using large sample sizes during the previous years, in 2006-2007 we focused on necessary improvements in the area of low-level isotopic analyses for uranium and plutonium. This project was driven firstly by the need for reliable verification measurements for the Nuclear Signatures Measurement Evaluation Programme (NUSIMEP) samples at IRMM, secondly by the need for verification measurements on single uranium oxide reference particles and thirdly by the request from the IAEA's Safeguards Analytical Laboratory (SAL) to provide assistance for this type of analyses through the EC support programme. Improving low-level isotope mass spectrometry for uranium and plutonium at IRMM consisted of three steps. First a new thermal ionization mass spectrometer was acquired in order to have an instrument which can be used for peak-jumping measurements in ion counting mode, and which can be subsequently upgraded with a "Multiple Ion Counting" (MIC) system. This detector system allows the simultaneous detection of up to seven small ion beams with currents of 10-19 - 10-14 Ampere in ion counting mode, corresponding to count rates of 1-60.000 counts per second. As a result of test measurements with the MIC system it turned out that static measurements using the MIC system with a sample-versus-standard type external calibration can be associated with uncertainties even higher than in peak-jumping mode. The second step of improvement to tackle this situation was to implement the principle of "multi-dynamic" measurements for both uranium and plutonium measurements. This "multi- dynamic" measurement procedure provides an internal calibration of the MIC system and therefore circumvents the need for complicated inter-calibration routines. As a third step, a filament carburization procedure was implemented by which the ionization efficiencies for uranium and plutonium were improved

  18. Use of plutonium isotope activity ratios in dating recent sediments. [/sup 238/Pu//sup 239/Pu + /sup 240/Pu

    SciTech Connect

    Beasley, T. M.

    1982-01-01

    The majority of plutonium presently in the biosphere has come from the testing of nuclear devices. In the early 1950s, the Pu-238/239+240 activity ratio of fallout debris was > 0.04; in the more extensive test series of 1961 to 1962, the Pu-238/239+240 activity ratios were quite consistent at 0.02 to 0.03 and maximum fallout delivery occurred in mid-1963. A significant perturbation in Pu isotope activity ratios occurred in mid-1966 with the deposition of Pu-238 from the SNAP-9A reentry and burn-up. Recently deposited sediments have recorded these events and where accumulation rates are rapid (> 1 cm/y), changes in Pu isotope activity ratios can be used as a geochronological tool.

  19. Plutonium isotopic analysis system for plutonium samples enriched in sup 238 Pu in EP 60/61 containers

    SciTech Connect

    Ruhter, W.D.; DeWitt, K.W.; Pederson, K.B.; Watkins, J.A.

    1990-06-01

    This hardware manual is addressed to Savannah River Site supervisors and to authorized mechanical and electrical maintenance and service personnel. Each chapter begins with a table of contents that lists the section titles, illustrations, and tabular data presented in that chapter. The first chapter in this manual is an introduction to the Pu-238 isotopic analysis system. Chapter 2 lists major components of the system and includes electronic block and wiring diagrams. Commercial nuclear instrument modules and their required settings are described in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 contains service and preventive maintenance procedures, as well as a troubleshooting log. In Chapter 5 is a list of spare parts and all relevant mechanical drawings for the system. Chapter 6 contains reference articles. All commercial items mentioned in this manual are assumed to be functioning correctly for the purposes of system operation. Users are referred to individual equipment manufacturers' manuals for details of operation, troubleshooting, and maintenance of this commercial equipment. 31 figs., 1 tab.

  20. Studies of Plutonium-238 Production at the High Flux Isotope Reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Lastres, Oscar; Chandler, David; Jarrell, Joshua J; Maldonado, G. Ivan

    2011-01-01

    The High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is a versatile 85 MW{sub th}, pressurized, light water-cooled and -moderated research reactor. The core consists of two fuel elements, an inner fuel element (IFE) and an outer fuel element (OFE), each constructed of involute fuel plates containing high-enriched-uranium (HEU) fuel ({approx}93 wt% {sup 235}U/U) in the form of U{sub 3}O{sub 8} in an Al matrix and encapsulated in Al-6061 clad. An over-moderated flux trap is located in the center of the core, a large beryllium reflector is located on the outside of the core, and two control elements (CE) are located between the fuel and the reflector. The flux trap and reflector house numerous experimental facilities which are used for isotope production, material irradiation, and cold/thermal neutron scattering. Over the past five decades, the US Department of Energy (DOE) and its agencies have been producing radioisotope power systems used by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for unmanned, long-term space exploration missions. Plutonium-238 is used to power Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG) because it has a very long half-life (t{sub 1/2} {approx} 89 yr.) and it generates about 0.5 watts/gram when it decays via alpha emission. Due to the recent shortage and uncertainty of future production, the DOE has proposed a plan to the US Congress to produce {sup 238}Pu by irradiating {sup 237}Np as early as in fiscal year 2011. An annual production rate of 1.5 to 2.0 kg of {sup 238}Pu is expected to satisfy these needs and could be produced in existing national nuclear facilities like HFIR and the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). Reactors at the Savannah River Site were used in the past for {sup 238}Pu production but were shut down after the last production in 1988. The nation's {sup 237}Np inventory is currently stored at INL. A plan for producing {sup 238}Pu at US research reactor

  1. Determination of plutonium isotopes (238Pu, 239Pu, 240Pu, 241Pu) in environmental samples using radiochemical separation combined with radiometric and mass spectrometric measurements.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yihong; Qiao, Jixin; Hou, Xiaolin; Pan, Shaoming; Roos, Per

    2014-02-01

    This paper reports an analytical method for the determination of plutonium isotopes ((238)Pu, (239)Pu, (240)Pu, (241)Pu) in environmental samples using anion exchange chromatography in combination with extraction chromatography for chemical separation of Pu. Both radiometric methods (liquid scintillation counting and alpha spectrometry) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) were applied for the measurement of plutonium isotopes. The decontamination factors for uranium were significantly improved up to 7.5 × 10(5) for 20 g soil compared to the level reported in the literature, this is critical for the measurement of plutonium isotopes using mass spectrometric technique. Although the chemical yield of Pu in the entire procedure is about 55%, the analytical results of IAEA soil 6 and IAEA-367 in this work are in a good agreement with the values reported in the literature or reference values, revealing that the developed method for plutonium determination in environmental samples is reliable. The measurement results of (239+240)Pu by alpha spectrometry agreed very well with the sum of (239)Pu and (240)Pu measured by ICP-MS. ICP-MS can not only measure (239)Pu and (240)Pu separately but also (241)Pu. However, it is impossible to measure (238)Pu using ICP-MS in environmental samples even a decontamination factor as high as 10(6) for uranium was obtained by chemical separation. PMID:24401459

  2. Determination of plutonium isotopes (238Pu, 239Pu, 240Pu, 241Pu) in environmental samples using radiochemical separation combined with radiometric and mass spectrometric measurements.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yihong; Qiao, Jixin; Hou, Xiaolin; Pan, Shaoming; Roos, Per

    2014-02-01

    This paper reports an analytical method for the determination of plutonium isotopes ((238)Pu, (239)Pu, (240)Pu, (241)Pu) in environmental samples using anion exchange chromatography in combination with extraction chromatography for chemical separation of Pu. Both radiometric methods (liquid scintillation counting and alpha spectrometry) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) were applied for the measurement of plutonium isotopes. The decontamination factors for uranium were significantly improved up to 7.5 × 10(5) for 20 g soil compared to the level reported in the literature, this is critical for the measurement of plutonium isotopes using mass spectrometric technique. Although the chemical yield of Pu in the entire procedure is about 55%, the analytical results of IAEA soil 6 and IAEA-367 in this work are in a good agreement with the values reported in the literature or reference values, revealing that the developed method for plutonium determination in environmental samples is reliable. The measurement results of (239+240)Pu by alpha spectrometry agreed very well with the sum of (239)Pu and (240)Pu measured by ICP-MS. ICP-MS can not only measure (239)Pu and (240)Pu separately but also (241)Pu. However, it is impossible to measure (238)Pu using ICP-MS in environmental samples even a decontamination factor as high as 10(6) for uranium was obtained by chemical separation.

  3. Improved precision and accuracy in quantifying plutonium isotope ratios by RIMS

    DOE PAGES

    Isselhardt, B. H.; Savina, M. R.; Kucher, A.; Gates, S. D.; Knight, K. B.; Hutcheon, I. D.

    2015-09-01

    Resonance ionization mass spectrometry (RIMS) holds the promise of rapid, isobar-free quantification of actinide isotope ratios in as-received materials (i.e. not chemically purified). Recent progress in achieving this potential using two Pu test materials is presented. RIMS measurements were conducted multiple times over a period of two months on two different Pu solutions deposited on metal surfaces. Measurements were bracketed with a Pu isotopic standard, and yielded absolute accuracies of the measured 240Pu/239Pu ratios of 0.7% and 0.58%, with precisions (95% confidence intervals) of 1.49% and 0.91%. In conclusion, the minor isotope 238Pu was also quantified despite the presence ofmore » a significant quantity of 238U in the samples.« less

  4. Improved precision and accuracy in quantifying plutonium isotope ratios by RIMS

    SciTech Connect

    Isselhardt, B. H.; Savina, M. R.; Kucher, A.; Gates, S. D.; Knight, K. B.; Hutcheon, I. D.

    2015-09-01

    Resonance ionization mass spectrometry (RIMS) holds the promise of rapid, isobar-free quantification of actinide isotope ratios in as-received materials (i.e. not chemically purified). Recent progress in achieving this potential using two Pu test materials is presented. RIMS measurements were conducted multiple times over a period of two months on two different Pu solutions deposited on metal surfaces. Measurements were bracketed with a Pu isotopic standard, and yielded absolute accuracies of the measured 240Pu/239Pu ratios of 0.7% and 0.58%, with precisions (95% confidence intervals) of 1.49% and 0.91%. In conclusion, the minor isotope 238Pu was also quantified despite the presence of a significant quantity of 238U in the samples.

  5. MGA: A gamma-ray spectrum analysis code for determining plutonium isotopic abundances. Volume 3, FORTRAN listing of the GA code

    SciTech Connect

    Gunnink, R

    1991-09-01

    Nondestructive measurements of x-ray and gamma-ray emissions can be used to determine the abundances of various actinides in a sample. Volume 1 of this report describes the methods and algorithms we have developed to determine the relative isotopic abundances of actinides in a sample, by analyzing gamma-ray spectra obtained using germanium detector systems. Volume 2 is a guide to using the MGA (Multiple Group Analysis) computer program we have written to perform plutonium isotopic analyses. This report contains a listing of the FORTRAN instructions of the code.

  6. Combined application of alpha-track and fission-track techniques for detection of plutonium particles in environmental samples prior to isotopic measurement using thermo-ionization mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Lee, Chi-Gyu; Suzuki, Daisuke; Esaka, Fumitaka; Magara, Masaaki; Kimura, Takaumi

    2011-07-15

    The fission track technique is a sensitive detection method for particles which contain radio-nuclides like (235)U or (239)Pu. However, when the sample is a mixture of plutonium and uranium, discrimination between uranium particles and plutonium particles is difficult using this technique. In this study, we developed a method for detecting plutonium particles in a sample mixture of plutonium and uranium particles using alpha track and fission track techniques. The specific radioactivity (Bq/g) for alpha decay of plutonium is several orders of magnitude higher than that of uranium, indicating that the formation of the alpha track due to alpha decay of uranium can be disregarded under suitable conditions. While alpha tracks in addition to fission tracks were detected in a plutonium particle, only fission tracks were detected in a uranium particle, thereby making the alpha tracks an indicator for detecting particles containing plutonium. In addition, it was confirmed that there is a linear relationship between the numbers of alpha tracks produced by plutonium particles made of plutonium certified standard material and the ion intensities of the various plutonium isotopes measured by thermo-ionization mass spectrometry. Using this correlation, the accuracy in isotope ratios, signal intensity and measurement errors is presumable from the number of alpha tracks prior to the isotope ratio measurements by thermal ionization mass spectrometry. It is expected that this method will become an effective tool for plutonium particle analysis. The particles used in this study had sizes between 0.3 and 2.0 μm.

  7. PC/FRAM: Algorithms for the gamma-ray spectrometry measurement of plutonium isotopic composition

    SciTech Connect

    Kelley, T.A.; Sampson, T.E.; DeLapp, D.

    1995-10-01

    The Safeguards Program at Los Alamos National Laboratory has developed versatile software for the isotopic analysis of SNM in a sample. The FRAM code has been used routinely at LANL for years. Its capability has now been greatly expanded, and it has been given a graphical user interface. Some of the details on the internal workings of the code are given in this paper.

  8. Plutonium Story

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    Seaborg, G. T.

    1981-09-01

    The first nuclear synthesis and identification (i.e., the discovery) of the synthetic transuranium element plutonium (isotope /sup 238/Pu) and the demonstration of its fissionability with slow neutrons (isotope /sup 239/Pu) took place at the University of California, Berkeley, through the use of the 60-inch and 37-inch cyclotrons, in late 1940 and early 1941. This led to the development of industrial scale methods in secret work centered at the University of Chicago's Metallurgical Laboratory and the application of these methods to industrial scale production, at manufacturing plants in Tennessee and Washington, during the World War II years 1942 to 1945. The chemical properties of plutonium, needed to devise the procedures for its industrial scale production, were studied by tracer and ultramicrochemical methods during this period on an extraordinarily urgent basis. This work, and subsequent investigations on a worldwide basis, have made the properties of plutonium very well known. Its well studied electronic structure and chemical properties give it a very interesting position in the actinide series of inner transition elements.

  9. Plutonium story

    SciTech Connect

    Seaborg, G T

    1981-09-01

    The first nuclear synthesis and identification (i.e., the discovery) of the synthetic transuranium element plutonium (isotope /sup 238/Pu) and the demonstration of its fissionability with slow neutrons (isotope /sup 239/Pu) took place at the University of California, Berkeley, through the use of the 60-inch and 37-inch cyclotrons, in late 1940 and early 1941. This led to the development of industrial scale methods in secret work centered at the University of Chicago's Metallurgical Laboratory and the application of these methods to industrial scale production, at manufacturing plants in Tennessee and Washington, during the World War II years 1942 to 1945. The chemical properties of plutonium, needed to devise the procedures for its industrial scale production, were studied by tracer and ultramicrochemical methods during this period on an extraordinarily urgent basis. This work, and subsequent investigations on a worldwide basis, have made the properties of plutonium very well known. Its well studied electronic structure and chemical properties give it a very interesting position in the actinide series of inner transition elements.

  10. Extraction Chromatographic Methods in the Sample Preparation Sequence for Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometric Analysis of Plutonium Isotopes

    SciTech Connect

    Grate, Jay W.; O'Hara, Matthew J.; Farawila, Anne F.; Douglas, Matthew; Haney, Morgan M.; Peterson, Steve L.; Maiti, Tapas C.; Aardahl, Christopher L.

    2011-10-17

    A sample preparation sequence for actinide isotopic analysis by TIMS is described that includes column-based extraction chromatography as the first separation step, followed by anion exchange column separations. The sequence is designed to include a wet ashing step after the extraction chromatography to prevent any leached extractant or oxalic acid eluent reagents from interfering with subsequent separations, source preparation, or TIMS ionization. TEVA-resin and DGA-resin materials, containing extractants that consist only of C, N, O, and H atoms, were investigated for isolation of plutonium. Radiotracer level studies confirmed expected high yields from column-based separation procedures. Femtogram-level studies were carried out with TIMS detection, using multiple isotopic spikes through the separation sequence. Pu recoveries were 87% and 86% for TEVA- and DGA-resins separations respectively. The Pu recoveries from 400 {mu}L anion-exchange column separations were 89% and 93% for trial sequences incorporating TEVA and DGA-resin. Thus, a prior extraction chromatography step in the sequence did not interfere with the subsequent anion exchange separation when a simple wet ash step was carried out in between these column separations. The average measurement efficiency, for Pu, encompassing the chemical separation recoveries and the TIMS ionization efficiency, was 2.73 {+-} 0.77% (2-sigma) for the DGA-resin trials and 2.67 {+-} 0.54% for the TEVA-resin trials, compared to 3.41% and 2.37% (average 2.89%) for two spikes in the experimental set. These compare with an average measurement efficiency of 2.78 {+-} 1.70%, n = 33 from process benchmark analyses using Pu spikes processed through a sequence of oxalate precipitation, wet ash, iron hydroxide precipitation, and anion exchange column separations. We conclude that extraction chromatography can be a viable separation procedure as part of a multistep sequence for TIMS sample preparation.

  11. The effect of isotope on the dosimetry of inhaled plutonium oxide

    SciTech Connect

    Guilmette, R.A., Griffith, W.C.; Hickman, A.W.

    1991-12-31

    Results of experimental studies in which animals inhaled {sup 238}PuO{sub 2} or {sup 239}PuO{sub 2} aerosols have shown that the biokinetics and associated radiation dose patterns for these two isotopes differ significantly due to differences in in-vivo solubility caused by the 260-fold difference in specific activity between {sup 238}PuO{sub 2} and {sup 239}PuO{sub 2}. We have adapted a biokinetics and dosimetry model derived from results of the ITRI dog studies to humans and have calculated dose commitments and annual limits on intake (ALI) for both Pu isotopes. Our results show that the ALI calculated in this study is one-third that for class Y {sup 238}Pu from ICRP 30, and one-half or equal to that for class Y {sup 239}Pu, depending on how activity in the thoracic lymph nodes is treated dosimetrically.

  12. Isotopic evidence of plutonium release into the environment from the Fukushima DNPP accident

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Jian; Tagami, Keiko; Watanabe, Yoshito; Uchida, Shigeo; Aono, Tatsuo; Ishii, Nobuyoshi; Yoshida, Satoshi; Kubota, Yoshihisa; Fuma, Shoichi; Ihara, Sadao

    2012-01-01

    The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (DNPP) accident caused massive releases of radioactivity into the environment. The released highly volatile fission products, such as 129mTe, 131I, 134Cs, 136Cs and 137Cs were found to be widely distributed in Fukushima and its adjacent prefectures in eastern Japan. However, the release of non-volatile actinides, in particular, Pu isotopes remains uncertain almost one year after the accident. Here we report the isotopic evidence for the release of Pu into the atmosphere and deposition on the ground in northwest and south of the Fukushima DNPP in the 20–30 km zones. The high activity ratio of 241Pu/239+240Pu (> 100) from the Fukushima DNPP accident highlights the need for long-term 241Pu dose assessment, and the ingrowth of 241Am. The results are important for the estimation of reactor damage and have significant implication in the strategy of decontamination. PMID:22403743

  13. Characterisation of the plutonium isotopic composition of a sediment core from Palomares, Spain, by low-energy AMS and alpha-spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chamizo, E.; Jiménez-Ramos, M. C.; Enamorado, S. M.; García-León, M.; García-Tenorio, R.; Mas, J. L.; Masqué, P.; Merino, J.; Sanchez-Cabeza, J. A.

    2010-04-01

    The measurement of plutonium isotopes, 239Pu and 240Pu, at 670 kV on the compact accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) system at the Centro Nacional de Aceleradores (CNA) in Seville, Spain, is now a reality. In this work, we present first Pu AMS results for environmental samples: a sediment core collected in a submarine canyon in the Mediterranean coast of the Spanish region of Palomares, affected by a nuclear accident in 1966. From the study of the 240Pu/ 239Pu atomic ratio profile, showing on average levels lower than 11%, we confirm that the weapon-grade plutonium released on land during the accident, with a characteristic 240Pu/ 239Pu atomic ratio of 5.8%, has found its way into the marine environment. A two-plutonium sources mixture model (Palomares and fallout) is used to elucidate the percentage of the plutonium coming from the accident. As a validation exercise of the Pu AMS measuring technique and in order to obtain the 238Pu/ (239+240)Pu activity ratios, samples were also studied by alpha-spectrometry (AS). The obtained AS 239+240Pu activity concentration results fit in with the AMS ones in a wide dynamic range, thus validating the AMS technique.

  14. Possible differences in biological availability of isotopes of plutonium: Report of a workshop

    SciTech Connect

    Kercher, J.R.; Gallegos, G.M.

    1993-09-01

    This paper presents the results of a workshop conducted on the apparent different bioavailability of isotopes {sup 238}Pu and {sup 239}Pu. There is a substantial body of evidence that {sup 238}Pu as commonly found in the environment is more biologically available than {sup 239}Pu. Studies of the Trinity Site, Nevada Test Site from nonnuclear and nuclear events, Rocky Flats, Enewetak and Bikini, and the arctic tundra support this conclusion and indicate that the bioavailability of {sup 238}Pu is more than an order of magnitude greater than that of {sup 239}Pu. Plant and soil studies from controlled environments and from Savannah River indicate no isotopic difference in availability of Pu to plants; whereas studies at the Trinity Site do suggest a difference. While it is possible that these observations can be explained by problems in the experimental procedure and analytical techniques, this possibility is remote given the ubiquitous nature of the observations. Studies of solubility of Pu in the stomach contents of cattle grazing at the Nevada Test Site and from fish from Bikini Atoll both found that {sup 238}Pu was more soluble than {sup 239}Pu. Studies of the Los Alamos effluent stream indicate that as particle size decreases, the content of {sup 238}Pu relative to {sup 239}Pu increases.

  15. Discrimination of source reactor type by multivariate statistical analysis of uranium and plutonium isotopic concentrations in unknown irradiated nuclear fuel material.

    PubMed

    Robel, Martin; Kristo, Michael J

    2008-11-01

    The problem of identifying the provenance of unknown nuclear material in the environment by multivariate statistical analysis of its uranium and/or plutonium isotopic composition is considered. Such material can be introduced into the environment as a result of nuclear accidents, inadvertent processing losses, illegal dumping of waste, or deliberate trafficking in nuclear materials. Various combinations of reactor type and fuel composition were analyzed using Principal Components Analysis (PCA) and Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis (PLSDA) of the concentrations of nine U and Pu isotopes in fuel as a function of burnup. Real-world variation in the concentrations of (234)U and (236)U in the fresh (unirradiated) fuel was incorporated. The U and Pu were also analyzed separately, with results that suggest that, even after reprocessing or environmental fractionation, Pu isotopes can be used to determine both the source reactor type and the initial fuel composition with good discrimination.

  16. Anomalous plutonium isotopic ratios in sediments of Lake Qinghai from the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Fengchang; Zheng, Jian; Liao, Haiqing; Yamada, Masatoshi; Wan, Guojiang

    2011-11-01

    The vertical profiles of (239+240)Pu and (137)Cs activities and (240)Pu/(239)Pu isotopic ratios are determined for three sediment cores of Lake Qinghai from the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China, and compared with those in sediments of another three lakes (Lakes Bosten, Sugan, and Shuangta), the only existing ones closest to Lop Nor area, China's nuclear weapons test site in the northwestern part of the country. The mean inventory of 47.7 ± 18.7 MBq km(-2) for (239+240)Pu activity in Lake Qinghai is comparable to the average value of global fallout expected at the same latitude, yet the mean inventory of 1112.0 ± 78.0 MBq km(-2) for (137)Cs is slightly lower than that of global fallout. Anomalously low (240)Pu/(239)Pu isotopic ratios (0.038-0.125) were found in the 3-6.5 cm deep sediment layers, indicating the trace Pu input from early nuclear weapons research activities at Atomic City in the lake's watershed during the 1950-60s. Model calculation indicated that the Pu input accounted for approximately 5-16% of the total Pu inventory. The observation of low (240)Pu/(239)Pu ratio in the deep sediment layer provided a new time marker for recent sediment dating in the lake and around the area. The results are of great significance to the further understanding of sources, records, and environmental impacts of global and regional nuclear activities in the environment and provide important chronological information for further studies on the water eutrophication process and climatic change, and reconstruction of pollution history of organic contaminants and heavy metals in the watershed of Lake Qinghai. PMID:21950768

  17. Plutonium 239 Equivalency Calculations

    SciTech Connect

    Wen, J

    2011-05-31

    This document provides the basis for converting actual weapons grade plutonium mass to a plutonium equivalency (PuE) mass of Plutonium 239. The conversion can be accomplished by performing calculations utilizing either: (1) Isotopic conversions factors (CF{sub isotope}), or (2) 30-year-old weapons grade conversion factor (CF{sub 30 yr}) Both of these methods are provided in this document. Material mass and isotopic data are needed to calculate PuE using the isotopic conversion factors, which will provide the actual PuE value at the time of calculation. PuE is the summation of the isotopic masses times their associated isotopic conversion factors for plutonium 239. Isotopic conversion factors are calculated by a normalized equation, relative to Plutonium 239, of specific activity (SA) and cumulated dose inhalation affects based on 50-yr committed effective dose equivalent (CEDE). The isotopic conversion factors for converting weapons grade plutonium to PuE are provided in Table-1. The unit for specific activity (SA) is curies per gram (Ci/g) and the isotopic SA values come from reference [1]. The cumulated dose inhalation effect values in units of rem/Ci are based on 50-yr committed effective dose equivalent (CEDE). A person irradiated by gamma radiation outside the body will receive a dose only during the period of irradiation. However, following an intake by inhalation, some radionuclides persist in the body and irradiate the various tissues for many years. There are three groups CEDE data representing lengths of time of 0.5 (D), 50 (W) and 500 (Y) days, which are in reference [2]. The CEDE values in the (W) group demonstrates the highest dose equivalent value; therefore they are used for the calculation.

  18. Extraction chromatographic methods in the sample preparation sequence for thermal ionization mass spectrometric analysis of plutonium isotopes.

    PubMed

    Grate, Jay W; O'Hara, Matthew J; Farawila, Anne F; Douglas, Matthew; Haney, Morgan M; Petersen, Steven L; Maiti, Tapas C; Aardahl, Christopher L

    2011-12-01

    A sample preparation sequence for actinide isotopic analysis by thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) is described that includes column-based extraction chromatography as the first separation step, followed by anion-exchange column separations. The sequence is designed to include a wet ashing step after the extraction chromatography to prevent any leached extractant or oxalic acid eluent reagents from interfering with subsequent separations, source preparation, or TIMS ionization. TEVA resin and DGA resin materials, containing extractants that consist only of C, N, O, and H atoms, were investigated for isolation of plutonium. Radiotracer level studies confirmed expected high yields from column-based separation procedures. Femtogram-level studies were carried out with TIMS detection, using multiple monoisotopic spikes applied sequentially throughout the separation sequence. Pu recoveries were 87% and 86% for TEVA and DGA resin separations, respectively. The Pu recoveries from 400 μL anion-exchange column separation sequences were 89% and 93% for trial sequences incorporating TEVA and DGA resin. Thus, a prior extraction chromatography step in the sequence did not interfere with the subsequent anion-exchange separation when a simple wet ash step was carried out in between these column separations. The average measurement efficiency for Pu, encompassing the chemical separation recoveries and the TIMS ionization efficiency, was 2.73% ± 0.77% (2σ) for the DGA resin trials and 2.67% ± 0.54% for the TEVA resin trials, compared to 3.41% and 2.37% (average 2.89%) for two control trials. These compare with an average measurement efficiency of 2.78% ± 1.70%, n = 33 from process benchmark analyses using Pu spikes processed through a sequence of oxalate precipitation, wet ash, iron hydroxide precipitation, and anion-exchange column separations. We conclude that extraction chromatography can be a viable separation procedure as part of a multistep sequence for TIMS

  19. Extraction chromatographic methods in the sample preparation sequence for thermal ionization mass spectrometric analysis of plutonium isotopes.

    PubMed

    Grate, Jay W; O'Hara, Matthew J; Farawila, Anne F; Douglas, Matthew; Haney, Morgan M; Petersen, Steven L; Maiti, Tapas C; Aardahl, Christopher L

    2011-12-01

    A sample preparation sequence for actinide isotopic analysis by thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) is described that includes column-based extraction chromatography as the first separation step, followed by anion-exchange column separations. The sequence is designed to include a wet ashing step after the extraction chromatography to prevent any leached extractant or oxalic acid eluent reagents from interfering with subsequent separations, source preparation, or TIMS ionization. TEVA resin and DGA resin materials, containing extractants that consist only of C, N, O, and H atoms, were investigated for isolation of plutonium. Radiotracer level studies confirmed expected high yields from column-based separation procedures. Femtogram-level studies were carried out with TIMS detection, using multiple monoisotopic spikes applied sequentially throughout the separation sequence. Pu recoveries were 87% and 86% for TEVA and DGA resin separations, respectively. The Pu recoveries from 400 μL anion-exchange column separation sequences were 89% and 93% for trial sequences incorporating TEVA and DGA resin. Thus, a prior extraction chromatography step in the sequence did not interfere with the subsequent anion-exchange separation when a simple wet ash step was carried out in between these column separations. The average measurement efficiency for Pu, encompassing the chemical separation recoveries and the TIMS ionization efficiency, was 2.73% ± 0.77% (2σ) for the DGA resin trials and 2.67% ± 0.54% for the TEVA resin trials, compared to 3.41% and 2.37% (average 2.89%) for two control trials. These compare with an average measurement efficiency of 2.78% ± 1.70%, n = 33 from process benchmark analyses using Pu spikes processed through a sequence of oxalate precipitation, wet ash, iron hydroxide precipitation, and anion-exchange column separations. We conclude that extraction chromatography can be a viable separation procedure as part of a multistep sequence for TIMS

  20. In-gas-cell laser ionization studies of plutonium isotopes at IGISOL

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohjalainen, I.; Moore, I. D.; Kron, T.; Raeder, S.; Sonnenschein, V.; Tomita, H.; Trautmann, N.; Voss, A.; Wendt, K.

    2016-06-01

    In-gas-cell resonance laser ionization has been performed on long-lived isotopes of Pu at the IGISOL facility, Jyväskylä. This initiates a new programme of research towards high-resolution optical spectroscopy of heavy actinide elements which can be produced in sufficient quantities at research reactors and transported to facilities elsewhere. In this work a new gas cell has been constructed for fast extraction of laser-ionized elements. Samples of 238-240,242Pu and 244Pu have been evaporated from Ta filaments, laser ionized, mass separated and delivered to the collinear laser spectroscopy station. Here we report on the performance of the gas cell through studies of the mass spectra obtained in helium and argon, before and after the radiofrequency quadrupole cooler-buncher. This provides valuable insight into the gas phase chemistry exhibited by Pu, which has been additionally supported by measurements of ion time profiles. The resulting monoatomic yields are sufficient for collinear laser spectroscopy. A gamma-ray spectroscopic analysis of the Pu samples shows a good agreement with the assay provided by the Mainz Nuclear Chemistry department.

  1. Determination of total content and isotopic compositions of plutonium and uranium in environmental samples for safeguards purposes by ICP-QMS.

    PubMed

    Godoy, Maria Luiza Duarte Pinto; Godoy, José Marcus; Roldão, Luiz Alfredo; Tauhata, Luiz

    2009-08-01

    The aim of this work was to determine the concentrations and isotopic compositions of plutonium and uranium in environmental samples for safeguards purposes. An analytical method was developed with a plutonium and uranium separation procedure based on extraction chromatography (using 2mL TEVA and UTEVA columns) and detection with a quadrupole ICP-MS applying an ultra-sonic nebulizer coupled with a membrane desolvation system. Starting from blank swipes, the background equivalent concentration (BEC) was 8fg for (239)Pu and 1ng (238)U. The method was successfully applied to certified reference materials as well as to round robin samples obtained in the framework of the inter-laboratory exercise program, promoted by the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC), together with the US Department of Energy (USDOE). After the introduction of an additional ion-exchange separation step, the methodology was applied to the IAEA-384 sediment reference sample with precise and accurate total plutonium and uranium, (240)Pu/(239)Pu, (241)Pu/(239)Pu, (234)U/(238)U and (235)U/(238)U atomic ratio results. PMID:19500890

  2. Rapid determination of (237)Np and plutonium isotopes in urine by inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry and alpha spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Maxwell, Sherrod L; Culligan, Brian K; Jones, Vernon D; Nichols, Sheldon T; Noyes, Gary W; Bernard, Maureen A

    2011-08-01

    A new rapid separation method was developed for the measurement of plutonium and neptunium in urine samples by inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and/or alpha spectrometry with enhanced uranium removal. This method allows separation and preconcentration of plutonium and neptunium in urine samples using stacked extraction chromatography cartridges and vacuum box flow rates to facilitate rapid separations. There is an increasing need to develop faster analytical methods for emergency response samples. There is also enormous benefit to having rapid bioassay methods in the event that a nuclear worker has an uptake (puncture wound, etc.) to assess the magnitude of the uptake and guide efforts to mitigate dose (e.g., tissue excision and chelation therapy). This new method focuses only on the rapid separation of plutonium and neptunium with enhanced removal of uranium. For ICP-MS, purified solutions must have low salt content and low concentration of uranium due to spectral interference of (238)U(1)H(+) on m/z 239. Uranium removal using this method is enhanced by loading plutonium and neptunium initially onto TEVA resin, then moving plutonium to DGA resin where additional purification from uranium is performed with a decontamination factor of almost 1×10(5). If UTEVA resin is added to the separation scheme, a decontamination factor of ~3 × 10(6) can be achieved. PMID:21709507

  3. Rapid determination of (237)Np and plutonium isotopes in urine by inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry and alpha spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Maxwell, Sherrod L; Culligan, Brian K; Jones, Vernon D; Nichols, Sheldon T; Noyes, Gary W; Bernard, Maureen A

    2011-08-01

    A new rapid separation method was developed for the measurement of plutonium and neptunium in urine samples by inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and/or alpha spectrometry with enhanced uranium removal. This method allows separation and preconcentration of plutonium and neptunium in urine samples using stacked extraction chromatography cartridges and vacuum box flow rates to facilitate rapid separations. There is an increasing need to develop faster analytical methods for emergency response samples. There is also enormous benefit to having rapid bioassay methods in the event that a nuclear worker has an uptake (puncture wound, etc.) to assess the magnitude of the uptake and guide efforts to mitigate dose (e.g., tissue excision and chelation therapy). This new method focuses only on the rapid separation of plutonium and neptunium with enhanced removal of uranium. For ICP-MS, purified solutions must have low salt content and low concentration of uranium due to spectral interference of (238)U(1)H(+) on m/z 239. Uranium removal using this method is enhanced by loading plutonium and neptunium initially onto TEVA resin, then moving plutonium to DGA resin where additional purification from uranium is performed with a decontamination factor of almost 1×10(5). If UTEVA resin is added to the separation scheme, a decontamination factor of ~3 × 10(6) can be achieved.

  4. Isotopic and elemental composition of plutonium/americium oxides influence pulmonary and extra-pulmonary distribution after inhalation in rats.

    PubMed

    Van der Meeren, A; Grémy, O

    2010-09-01

    The biodistribution of plutonium and americium has been studied in a rat model after inhalation of two PuO(2) powders in lungs and extra-pulmonary organs from 3 d to 3 mo. The main difference between the two powders was the content of americium (approximately 46% and 4.5% of total alpha activity). The PuO(2) with a higher proportion of americium shows an accelerated transfer of activity from lungs to blood as compared to PuO(2) with the lower americium content, illustrated by increased urinary excretion and higher bone and liver actinide retention. The total alpha activity measured reflects mostly the americium biological behavior. The activity contained in epithelial lining fluid, recovered in the acellular phase of broncho-alveolar lavages, mainly contains americium, whereas plutonium remains trapped in macrophages. Epithelial lining fluid could represent a transitional pulmonary compartment prior to translocation of actinides to the blood and subsequent deposition in extra-pulmonary retention organs. In addition, differential behaviors of plutonium and americium are also observed between the PuO(2) powders with a higher dissolution rate for both plutonium and americium being obtained for the PuO(2) with the highest americium content. Our results indicate that the biological behavior of plutonium and americium after translocation into blood differ two-fold: (1) for the two actinides for the same PuO(2) aerosol, and (2) for the same actinide from the two different aerosols. These results highlight the importance of considering the specific behavior of each contaminant after accidental pulmonary intake when assessing extra-pulmonary deposits from the level of activity excreted in urine or for therapeutic strategy decisions.

  5. High-Precision Plutonium Isotopic Compositions Measured on Los Alamos National Laboratory’s General’s Tanks Samples: Bearing on Model Ages, Reactor Modelling, and Sources of Material. Further Discussion of Chronometry

    SciTech Connect

    Spencer, Khalil J.; Rim, Jung Ho; Porterfield, Donivan R.; Roback, Robert Clifford; Boukhalfa, Hakim; Stanley, Floyd E.

    2015-06-29

    In this study, we re-analyzed late-1940’s, Manhattan Project era Plutonium-rich sludge samples recovered from the ''General’s Tanks'' located within the nation’s oldest Plutonium processing facility, Technical Area 21. These samples were initially characterized by lower accuracy, and lower precision mass spectrometric techniques. We report here information that was previously not discernable: the two tanks contain isotopically distinct Pu not only for the major (i.e., 240Pu, 239Pu) but trace (238Pu ,241Pu, 242Pu) isotopes. Revised isotopics slightly changed the calculated 241Am-241Pu model ages and interpretations.

  6. Determination of plutonium isotopes in freshwater lake sediments by sector-field ICP-MS after separation using ion-exchange chromatography.

    PubMed

    Liao, Haiqing; Zheng, Jian; Wu, Fengchang; Yamada, Masatoshi; Tan, Mingguang; Chen, Jianmin

    2008-08-01

    The determination of Pu isotopes in lake sediments is important for many studies, such as Pu pollution source identification, sediment mixing estimation, erosion evaluation and establishment of deposition chronology in lakes. In this paper, a simple analytical method using sector field inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) combined with two-stage chromatographic separation and purification of Pu was developed based on the optimization and adaptation of the previously published method for marine samples with an emphasis on the study of the elimination of interferences for the analysis of freshwater lake sediments. A strong base anion-exchange resin (AG MP-1M) was used to purify Pu isotopes with concentrated HBr as the final eluent for Pu elution. The chemical yields were ca. 64% and the decontamination factor for U was ca. 10(5). The developed method was validated using a freshwater lake sediment reference material (SRM-4354) and a marine sediment reference material (IAEA-368), and applied to the determination of Pu isotopes in sediment samples of Lake Poyang, East China. For the analysis of certified reference materials, both 239+240Pu activity of 31.6 mBq g(-1) and 240Pu/239Pu atom ratio of 0.033 for IAEA-368 were comparable to the certified value and/or literature values. As for SRM-4354, 239+240Pu activity of 3.90 mBq g(-1) agreed well with the certified value. However, the mean 240Pu/239Pu atom ratio of 0.144 was lower than those reported by other laboratories. This difference suggested that this material may be isotopically inhomogeneous. 240Pu/239Pu atom ratios of Poyang Lake sediment samples ranged from 0.185 to 0.192 with a mean value of 0.187+/-0.004, indicating that plutonium pollution originated from global fallout. PMID:18276148

  7. Plutonium controversy

    SciTech Connect

    Richmond, C.R.

    1980-01-01

    The toxicity of plutonium is discussed, particularly in relation to controversies surrounding the setting of radiation protection standards. The sources, amounts of, and exposure pathways of plutonium are given and the public risk estimated. (ACR)

  8. Spatially resolved analysis of plutonium isotopic signatures in environmental particle samples by laser ablation-MC-ICP-MS.

    PubMed

    Konegger-Kappel, Stefanie; Prohaska, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Laser ablation-multi-collector-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-MC-ICP-MS) was optimized and investigated with respect to its performance for determining spatially resolved Pu isotopic signatures within radioactive fuel particle clusters. Fuel particles had been emitted from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (ChNPP) where the 1986 accident occurred and were deposited in the surrounding soil, where weathering processes caused their transformation into radioactive clusters, so-called micro-samples. The size of the investigated micro-samples, which showed surface alpha activities below 40 mBq, ranged from about 200 to 1000 μm. Direct single static point ablations allowed to identify variations of Pu isotopic signatures not only between distinct fuel particle clusters but also within individual clusters. The resolution was limited to 100 to 120 μm as a result of the applied laser ablation spot sizes and the resolving power of the nuclear track radiography methodology that was applied for particle pre-selection. The determined (242)Pu/(239)Pu and (240)Pu/(239)Pu isotope ratios showed a variation from low to high Pu isotope ratios, ranging from 0.007(2) to 0.047(8) for (242)Pu/(239)Pu and from 0.183(13) to 0.577(40) for (240)Pu/(239)Pu. In contrast to other studies, the applied methodology allowed for the first time to display the Pu isotopic distribution in the Chernobyl fallout, which reflects the differences in the spent fuel composition over the reactor core. The measured Pu isotopic signatures are in good agreement with the expected Pu isotopic composition distribution that is typical for a RBMK-1000 reactor, indicating that the analyzed samples are originating from the ill-fated Chernobyl reactor. The average Pu isotope ratios [(240)Pu/(239)Pu = 0.388(86), (242)Pu/(239)Pu = 0.028(11)] that were calculated from all investigated samples (n = 48) correspond well to previously published results of Pu analyses in contaminated samples from

  9. Spatially resolved analysis of plutonium isotopic signatures in environmental particle samples by laser ablation-MC-ICP-MS.

    PubMed

    Konegger-Kappel, Stefanie; Prohaska, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Laser ablation-multi-collector-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-MC-ICP-MS) was optimized and investigated with respect to its performance for determining spatially resolved Pu isotopic signatures within radioactive fuel particle clusters. Fuel particles had been emitted from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (ChNPP) where the 1986 accident occurred and were deposited in the surrounding soil, where weathering processes caused their transformation into radioactive clusters, so-called micro-samples. The size of the investigated micro-samples, which showed surface alpha activities below 40 mBq, ranged from about 200 to 1000 μm. Direct single static point ablations allowed to identify variations of Pu isotopic signatures not only between distinct fuel particle clusters but also within individual clusters. The resolution was limited to 100 to 120 μm as a result of the applied laser ablation spot sizes and the resolving power of the nuclear track radiography methodology that was applied for particle pre-selection. The determined (242)Pu/(239)Pu and (240)Pu/(239)Pu isotope ratios showed a variation from low to high Pu isotope ratios, ranging from 0.007(2) to 0.047(8) for (242)Pu/(239)Pu and from 0.183(13) to 0.577(40) for (240)Pu/(239)Pu. In contrast to other studies, the applied methodology allowed for the first time to display the Pu isotopic distribution in the Chernobyl fallout, which reflects the differences in the spent fuel composition over the reactor core. The measured Pu isotopic signatures are in good agreement with the expected Pu isotopic composition distribution that is typical for a RBMK-1000 reactor, indicating that the analyzed samples are originating from the ill-fated Chernobyl reactor. The average Pu isotope ratios [(240)Pu/(239)Pu = 0.388(86), (242)Pu/(239)Pu = 0.028(11)] that were calculated from all investigated samples (n = 48) correspond well to previously published results of Pu analyses in contaminated samples from

  10. Determination of plutonium-239, thorium-232, and natural uranium isotopic concentrations in biological samples using photofission track analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parry, James Roswell

    Fission track analysis (FTA) has many uses in the scientific community including but not limited to geological dating, neutron flux mapping, and dose reconstruction. The common method of fission for FTA is through neutrons from a nuclear reactor. This dissertation investigates the use of bremsstrahlung radiation produced from an electron linear accelerator to induce fission in FTA samples. This provides a means of simultaneously measuring the amount of Pu-239, U-nat, and Th-232 in a single sample. The benefit of measuring the three isotopes simultaneously is the possible elimination of costly and time consuming chemical processing for dose reconstruction samples. Samples containing the three isotopes were irradiated in two different bremsstrahlung spectra and a neutron spectrum to determine the amount of Pu-239, U-nat, and Th-232 in the samples. The reaction rate from the calibration samples and the counted fission tracks on the samples were used in determining the concentration of each isotope in the samples. The results were accurate to within a factor of two or three, showing that the method can work to predict the concentrations of multiple isotopes in a sample. The limitations of current accelerators and detectors limits the application of this specific procedure to higher concentrations of isotopes. The method detection limits for Pu-239, U-nat, and Th-232 are 20 pCi, 1 fCi, and 0.4 flCI respectively. Analysis of extremely low concentrations of isotopes would require the use of different detectors such as quartz due to the embrittlement encountered in the Lexan at high exposures. Cracking of the Texan detectors started to appear at a fluence of about 2 x 1018 electrons from the accelerator. This may be partly due to the beam stop not being an adequate thickness. The procedure is likely limited to specialty applications for the near term. However, with the world concerns of exposure to depleted uranium, this procedure may find applications in this area since

  11. Determining Sources and Transport of Nuclear Contamination in Hudson River Sediments with Plutonium, Neptunium, and Cesium isotope ratios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kenna, T. C.; Chillrud, S. N.; Chaky, D. A.; Simpson, H. J.; McHugh, C. M.; Shuster, E. L.; Bopp, R. F.

    2004-12-01

    Different sources of radioactive contamination contain characteristic and identifiable isotopic signatures, which can be used to study sediment transport. We focus on Pu-239, Pu-240, Np-237 and Cs-137, which are strongly bound to fine grained sediments. The Hudson River drainage basin has received contamination from at least three separate sources: 1) global fallout from atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, which contributed Pu, Np and Cs; 2) contamination resulting from reactor releases at the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant (IPNPP) located on the Hudson River Estuary ˜70km north of New York Harbor, where records document releases of Cs-137; 3) contamination resulting from activities at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (KAPL) located on the Mohawk River, where incomplete records document releases of Cs-137 but no mention is made of Pu or Np. Here we report measurements of Pu isotopes, Np-237 and Cs-137 for a series of sediment cores collected from various locations within the drainage basin: 1) Mohawk River downstream of KAPL, 2) Hudson River upstream of its confluence with the Mohawk River, and 3) lower Hudson River at a location in close proximity to IPNPP. In addition, we present data from selected samples from two other lower Hudson River locations: One site located ˜30km downstream of IPNPP and another ˜30km upstream of IPNPP. By comparing the isotopic ratios Pu-240/Pu-239, Np-237/Pu-239, and Cs-137/Pu-239, measured in fluvial sediments to mean global fallout values, it is possible to identify and resolve different sources of non-fallout contamination. To date, isotopic data for sediments indicate non-fallout sources of Pu-239, Pu-240, and Cs-137; Np-237, however, appears to originate from global fallout only. Mohawk River sediments downstream of KAPL exhibit enrichments in Pu-239, Pu-240, and Cs-137 that are 7 to 20 times higher than levels expected from global fallout as indicated from Np-237. The elevated levels, non-fallout isotopic signatures

  12. Depositional behaviors of plutonium and thorium isotopes at Tsukuba and Mt. Haruna in Japan indicate the sources of atmospheric dust.

    PubMed

    Hirose, K; Igarashi, Y; Aoyama, M; Inomata, Y

    2010-02-01

    Monthly plutonium and thorium depositions at Tsukuba (28m asl) and Mt. Haruna (1370m asl) were measured during 2006 and 2007 (Jan 2006-Dec 2007 at Tsukuba, Nov 2006-Dec 2007 at Mt. Haruna). The monthly (239,240)Pu depositions ranged from 0.044 to 2.67mBq m(-2) at Tsukuba and from 0.05 to 0.9mBq m(-2) at Mt. Haruna during the measurement periods. Monthly (239,240)Pu deposition did not differ markedly between the two sites except in April 2007. Seasonal pattern of monthly (239,240)Pu depositions at both sites showed high in spring and low in summer, and typical of seasonal variations in northeastern Asia. Thorium deposition at Tsukuba was higher than that at Mt. Haruna except in May and June 2007. (230)Th/(232)Th activity ratios were used to partition deposition samples into locally and remotely derived fractions. The results revealed that a major proportion of total (239,240)Pu and Th deposits are derived from remote sources, especially in spring.

  13. The effect of the composition of plutonium loaded on the reactivity change and the isotopic composition of fuel produced in a fast reactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blandinskiy, V. Yu.

    2014-12-01

    This paper presents the results of a numerical investigation into burnup and breeding of nuclides in metallic fuel consisting of a mixture of plutonium and depleted uranium in a fast reactor with sodium coolant. The feasibility of using plutonium contained in spent nuclear fuel from domestic thermal reactors and weapons-grade plutonium is discussed. It is shown that the largest production of secondary fuel and the least change in the reactivity over the reactor lifetime can be achieved when employing plutonium contained in spent nuclear fuel from a reactor of the RBMK-1000 type.

  14. The effect of the composition of plutonium loaded on the reactivity change and the isotopic composition of fuel produced in a fast reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Blandinskiy, V. Yu.

    2014-12-15

    This paper presents the results of a numerical investigation into burnup and breeding of nuclides in metallic fuel consisting of a mixture of plutonium and depleted uranium in a fast reactor with sodium coolant. The feasibility of using plutonium contained in spent nuclear fuel from domestic thermal reactors and weapons-grade plutonium is discussed. It is shown that the largest production of secondary fuel and the least change in the reactivity over the reactor lifetime can be achieved when employing plutonium contained in spent nuclear fuel from a reactor of the RBMK-1000 type.

  15. Plutonium aging

    SciTech Connect

    Olivas, J.D.

    1999-03-01

    The author describes the plutonium aging program at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The aging of plutonium components in the US nuclear weapons stockpile has become a concern due to several events: the end of the cold war, the cessation of full scale underground nuclear testing as a result of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the closure of the Rocky Flats Plant--the site where the plutonium components were manufactured. As a result, service lifetimes for nuclear weapons have been lengthened. Dr. Olivas will present a brief primer on the metallurgy of plutonium, and will then describe the technical approach to ascertaining the long-term changes that may be attributable to self-radiation damage. Facilities and experimental techniques which are in use to study aging will be described. Some preliminary results will also be presented.

  16. Plutonium concentration and isotopic ratio in soil samples from central-eastern Japan collected around the 1970s.

    PubMed

    Yang, Guosheng; Zheng, Jian; Tagami, Keiko; Uchida, Shigeo

    2015-01-01

    Obtaining Pu background data in the environment is essential for contamination source identification and assessment of environmental impact of Pu released from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP) accident. However, no baseline information on Pu isotopes in Fukushima Prefecture has been reported. Here we analyzed 80 surface soil samples collected from the central-eastern Japan during 1969-1977 for (239+240)Pu activity concentration and (240)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratio to establish the baseline before the FDNPP accident. We found that (239+240)Pu activity concentrations ranged from 0.004 -1.46 mBq g(-1), and (240)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratios varied narrowly from 0.148 to 0.229 with a mean of 0.186 ± 0.015. We also reconstructed the surface deposition density of (241)Pu using the (241)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratio in the Japanese fallout reference material. The obtained results indicated that, for the FDNPP-accident released (241)Pu, a similar radiation impact can be estimated as was seen for the global fallout deposited (241)Pu in the last decades.

  17. Plutonium concentration and isotopic ratio in soil samples from central-eastern Japan collected around the 1970s

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Guosheng; Zheng, Jian; Tagami, Keiko; Uchida, Shigeo

    2015-04-01

    Obtaining Pu background data in the environment is essential for contamination source identification and assessment of environmental impact of Pu released from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP) accident. However, no baseline information on Pu isotopes in Fukushima Prefecture has been reported. Here we analyzed 80 surface soil samples collected from the central-eastern Japan during 1969-1977 for 239+240Pu activity concentration and 240Pu/239Pu atom ratio to establish the baseline before the FDNPP accident. We found that 239+240Pu activity concentrations ranged from 0.004 -1.46 mBq g-1, and 240Pu/239Pu atom ratios varied narrowly from 0.148 to 0.229 with a mean of 0.186 +/- 0.015. We also reconstructed the surface deposition density of 241Pu using the 241Pu/239Pu atom ratio in the Japanese fallout reference material. The obtained results indicated that, for the FDNPP-accident released 241Pu, a similar radiation impact can be estimated as was seen for the global fallout deposited 241Pu in the last decades.

  18. Plutonium concentration and isotopic ratio in soil samples from central-eastern Japan collected around the 1970s

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Jian; Tagami, Keiko; Uchida, Shigeo

    2015-01-01

    Obtaining Pu background data in the environment is essential for contamination source identification and assessment of environmental impact of Pu released from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP) accident. However, no baseline information on Pu isotopes in Fukushima Prefecture has been reported. Here we analyzed 80 surface soil samples collected from the central-eastern Japan during 1969–1977 for 239+240Pu activity concentration and 240Pu/239Pu atom ratio to establish the baseline before the FDNPP accident. We found that 239+240Pu activity concentrations ranged from 0.004 –1.46 mBq g−1, and 240Pu/239Pu atom ratios varied narrowly from 0.148 to 0.229 with a mean of 0.186 ± 0.015. We also reconstructed the surface deposition density of 241Pu using the 241Pu/239Pu atom ratio in the Japanese fallout reference material. The obtained results indicated that, for the FDNPP-accident released 241Pu, a similar radiation impact can be estimated as was seen for the global fallout deposited 241Pu in the last decades. PMID:25881009

  19. Plutonium concentration and isotopic ratio in soil samples from central-eastern Japan collected around the 1970s.

    PubMed

    Yang, Guosheng; Zheng, Jian; Tagami, Keiko; Uchida, Shigeo

    2015-01-01

    Obtaining Pu background data in the environment is essential for contamination source identification and assessment of environmental impact of Pu released from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP) accident. However, no baseline information on Pu isotopes in Fukushima Prefecture has been reported. Here we analyzed 80 surface soil samples collected from the central-eastern Japan during 1969-1977 for (239+240)Pu activity concentration and (240)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratio to establish the baseline before the FDNPP accident. We found that (239+240)Pu activity concentrations ranged from 0.004 -1.46 mBq g(-1), and (240)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratios varied narrowly from 0.148 to 0.229 with a mean of 0.186 ± 0.015. We also reconstructed the surface deposition density of (241)Pu using the (241)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratio in the Japanese fallout reference material. The obtained results indicated that, for the FDNPP-accident released (241)Pu, a similar radiation impact can be estimated as was seen for the global fallout deposited (241)Pu in the last decades. PMID:25881009

  20. Plutonium stabilization and packaging system

    SciTech Connect

    1996-05-01

    This document describes the functional design of the Plutonium Stabilization and Packaging System (Pu SPS). The objective of this system is to stabilize and package plutonium metals and oxides of greater than 50% wt, as well as other selected isotopes, in accordance with the requirements of the DOE standard for safe storage of these materials for 50 years. This system will support completion of stabilization and packaging campaigns of the inventory at a number of affected sites before the year 2002. The package will be standard for all sites and will provide a minimum of two uncontaminated, organics free confinement barriers for the packaged material.

  1. CONVERSION OF PLUTONIUM TRIFLUORIDE TO PLUTONIUM TETRAFLUORIDE

    DOEpatents

    Fried, S.; Davidson, N.R.

    1957-09-10

    A large proportion of the trifluoride of plutonium can be converted, in the absence of hydrogen fluoride, to the tetrafiuoride of plutonium. This is done by heating plutonium trifluoride with oxygen at temperatures between 250 and 900 deg C. The trifiuoride of plutonium reacts with oxygen to form plutonium tetrafluoride and plutonium oxide, in a ratio of about 3 to 1. In the presence of moisture, plutonium tetrafluoride tends to hydrolyze at elevated temperatures and therefore it is desirable to have the process take place under anhydrous conditions.

  2. PLUTONIUM ALLOYS

    DOEpatents

    Chynoweth, W.

    1959-06-16

    The preparation of low-melting-point plutonium alloys is described. In a MgO crucible Pu is placed on top of the lighter alloying metal (Fe, Co, or Ni) and the temperature raised to 1000 or 1200 deg C. Upon cooling, the alloy slug is broke out of the crucible. With 14 at. % Ni the m.p. is 465 deg C; with 9.5 at. % Fe the m.p. is 410 deg C; and with 12.0 at. % Co the m.p. is 405 deg C. (T.R.H.) l6262 l6263 ((((((((Abstract unscannable))))))))

  3. PRODUCTION OF PLUTONIUM METAL

    DOEpatents

    Lyon, W.L.; Moore, R.H.

    1961-01-17

    A process is given for producing plutonium metal by the reduction of plutonium chloride, dissolved in alkali metal chloride plus or minus aluminum chloride, with magnesium or a magnesium-aluminum alloy at between 700 and 800 deg C and separating the plutonium or plutonium-aluminum alloy formed from the salt.

  4. SEPARATION OF PLUTONIUM

    DOEpatents

    Maddock, A.G.; Smith, F.

    1959-08-25

    A method is described for separating plutonium from uranium and fission products by treating a nitrate solution of fission products, uranium, and hexavalent plutonium with a relatively water-insoluble fluoride to adsorb fission products on the fluoride, treating the residual solution with a reducing agent for plutonium to reduce its valence to four and less, treating the reduced plutonium solution with a relatively insoluble fluoride to adsorb the plutonium on the fluoride, removing the solution, and subsequently treating the fluoride with its adsorbed plutonium with a concentrated aqueous solution of at least one of a group consisting of aluminum nitrate, ferric nitrate, and manganous nitrate to remove the plutonium from the fluoride.

  5. STRIPPING PROCESS FOR PLUTONIUM

    DOEpatents

    Kolodney, M.

    1959-10-01

    A method for removing silver, nickel, cadmium, zinc, and indium coatings from plutonium objects while simultaneously rendering the plutonium object passive is described. The coated plutonium object is immersed as the anode in an electrolyte in which the plutonium is passive and the coating metal is not passive, using as a cathode a metal which does not dissolve rapidly in the electrolyte. and passing an electrical current through the electrolyte until the coating metal is removed from the plutonium body.

  6. Method for calibration of plutonium NDA

    SciTech Connect

    Lemming, J.F.; Campbell, A.R.; Rodenburg, W.W.

    1980-01-01

    Calibration materials characterized by calorimetric assay can be a practical alternative to synthetic standards for the calibration of plutonium nondestructive assay. Calorimetric assay is an effective measurement system for the characterization because: it can give an absolute assay from first principles when the isotopic composition is known, it is insensitive to most matrix effects, and its traceability to international measurement systems has been demonstrated.

  7. Release of plutonium isotopes into the environment from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident: what is known and what needs to be known.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Jian; Tagami, Keiko; Uchida, Shigeo

    2013-09-01

    The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident has caused serious contamination in the environment. The release of Pu isotopes renewed considerable public concern because they present a large risk for internal radiation exposure. In this Critical Review, we summarize and analyze published studies related to the release of Pu from the FDNPP accident based on environmental sample analyses and the ORIGEN model simulations. Our analysis emphasizes the environmental distribution of released Pu isotopes, information on Pu isotopic composition for source identification of Pu releases in the FDNPP-damaged reactors or spent fuel pools, and estimation of the amounts of Pu isotopes released from the FDNPP accident. Our analysis indicates that a trace amount of Pu isotopes (∼2 × 10(-5)% of core inventory) was released into the environment from the damaged reactors but not from the spent fuel pools located in the reactor buildings. Regarding the possible Pu contamination in the marine environment, limited studies suggest that no extra Pu input from the FDNPP accident could be detected in the western North Pacific 30 km off the Fukushima coast. Finally, we identified knowledge gaps remained on the release of Pu into the environment and recommended issues for future studies.

  8. A preliminary study for the development of reference material using oyster for determination of (137)Cs, (90)Sr and plutonium isotopes.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sang-Han; Oh, Jung-Suk; Lee, Jong-Man; Lee, Kyung-Bum; Park, Tae-Soon; Lee, Min-Kie; Kim, Seung-Hwan; Choi, Jong-Ki

    2016-03-01

    A new reference material for the determination of (137)Cs, (90)Sr and Pu isotopes ((238)Pu and (239,240)Pu) is being developed using dried oyster matrix by Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS). The oyster was collected from Tongyoung harbour, southern part of Korea and the artificial radionuclides ((137)Cs, (90)Sr, (238)Pu and (239,240)Pu) were spiked into the material. After pretreatment and processing, the material was tested for homogeneity and massic activities were determined by measuring (137)Cs, (90)Sr, (238)Pu and (239,240)Pu. The reference value and extended uncertainty for those isotopes will be reported later.

  9. PREPARATION OF PLUTONIUM TRIFLUORIDE

    DOEpatents

    Burger, L.L.; Roake, W.E.

    1961-07-11

    A process of producing plutonium trifluoride by reacting dry plutonium(IV) oxalate with chlorofluorinated methane or ethane at 400 to 450 deg C and cooling the product in the absence of oxygen is described.

  10. Plutonium Immobilization Puck Handling

    SciTech Connect

    Kriikku, E.

    1999-01-26

    The Plutonium Immobilization Project (PIP) will immobilize excess plutonium and store the plutonium in a high level waste radiation field. To accomplish these goals, the PIP will process various forms of plutonium into plutonium oxide, mix the oxide powder with ceramic precursors, press the mixture into pucks, sinter the pucks into a ceramic puck, load the pucks into metal cans, seal the cans, load the cans into magazines, and load the magazines into a Defense Waste Processing Facility (DPWF) canister. These canisters will be sent to the DWPF, an existing Savannah River Site (SRS) facility, where molten high level waste glass will be poured into the canisters encapsulating the ceramic pucks. Due to the plutonium radiation, remote equipment will perform these operations in a contained environment. The Plutonium Immobilization Project is in the early design stages and the facility will begin operation in 2005. This paper will discuss the Plutonium Immobilization puck handling conceptual design and the puck handling equipment testing.

  11. METHOD OF SEPARATING PLUTONIUM

    DOEpatents

    Brown, H.S.; Hill, O.F.

    1958-02-01

    Plutonium hexafluoride is a satisfactory fluorinating agent and may be reacted with various materials capable of forming fluorides, such as copper, iron, zinc, etc., with consequent formation of the metal fluoride and reduction of the plutonium to the form of a lower fluoride. In accordance with the present invention, it has been found that the reactivity of plutonium hexafluoride with other fluoridizable materials is so great that the process may be used as a method of separating plutonium from mixures containing plutonium hexafluoride and other vaporized fluorides even though the plutonium is present in but minute quantities. This process may be carried out by treating a mixture of fluoride vapors comprising plutonium hexafluoride and fluoride of uranium to selectively reduce the plutonium hexafluoride and convert it to a less volatile fluoride, and then recovering said less volatile fluoride from the vapor by condensation.

  12. A Note on the Reaction of Hydrogen and Plutonium

    SciTech Connect

    Noone, Bailey C

    2012-08-15

    fluorite to hexagonal. This change in crystal structure as a result of adding hydrogen is a shared characteristic with other actinide elements. Americium is isostructural with plutonium because they both form cubic dihyrides and hexagonal trihydrides. Reacting hydrogen with plutonium has the practical application of separating plutonium from other materials that don't react as well with hydrogen. When plutonium is placed in a chamber where there is very little oxygen, it can react with hydrogen without igniting. The hydrogen plutonium reaction can then be reversed, thus regaining the separated plutonium. Another application of this reaction is that it can be used to predict how plutonium reacts with other substances. Deuterium and tritium are two isotopes of hydrogen that are of interest. They are known to react likewise to hydrogen because they have similar properties. The reaction of plutonium and isotopes of hydrogen can prove to be very informative.

  13. PROCESS FOR PURIFYING PLUTONIUM

    DOEpatents

    Mastick, D.F.; Wigner, E.P.

    1958-05-01

    A method is described of separating plutonium from small amounts of uranium and other contaminants. An acidic aqueous solution of higher valent plutonium and hexavalent uranium is treated with a soluble iodide to obtain the plutonium in the plus three oxidation state while leaving the uranium in the hexavalent state, adding a soluble oxalate such as oxalic acid, and then separating the insoluble plus the plutonium trioxalate from the solution.

  14. PLUTONIUM CLEANING PROCESS

    DOEpatents

    Kolodney, M.

    1959-12-01

    A method is described for rapidly removing iron, nickel, and zinc coatings from plutonium objects while simultaneously rendering the plutonium object passive. The method consists of immersing the coated plutonium object in an aqueous acid solution containing a substantial concentration of nitrate ions, such as fuming nitric acid.

  15. PLUTONIUM-THORIUM ALLOYS

    DOEpatents

    Schonfeld, F.W.

    1959-09-15

    New plutonium-base binary alloys useful as liquid reactor fuel are described. The alloys consist of 50 to 98 at.% thorium with the remainder plutonium. The stated advantages of these alloys over unalloyed plutonium for reactor fuel use are easy fabrication, phase stability, and the accompanying advantuge of providing a means for converting Th/sup 232/ into U/sup 233/.

  16. Rapid determination of plutonium isotopes in environmental samples using sequential injection extraction chromatography and detection by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Qiao, Jixin; Hou, Xiaolin; Roos, Per; Miró, Manuel

    2009-10-01

    This article presents an automated method for the rapid determination of 239Pu and 240Pu in various environmental samples. The analytical method involves the in-line separation of Pu isotopes using extraction chromatography (TEVA) implemented in a sequential injection (SI) network followed by detection of isolated analytes with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The method has been devised for the determination of Pu isotopes at environmentally relevant concentrations, whereby it has been successfully applied to the analyses of large volumes/amounts of samples, for example, 100-200 g of soil and sediment, 20 g of seaweed, and 200 L of seawater following analyte preconcentration. The investigation of the separation capability of the assembled SI system revealed that up to 200 g of soil or sediment can be treated using a column containing about 0.70 g of TEVA resin. The analytical results of Pu isotopes in the reference materials showed good agreement with the certified or reference values at the 0.05 significance level. Chemical yields of Pu ranged from 80 to 105%, and the decontamination factors for uranium, thorium, mercury and lead were all above 10(4). The duration of the in-line extraction chromatographic run was <1.5 h, and the proposed setup was able to handle up to 20 samples (14 mL each) in a fully automated mode using a single chromatographic column. The SI manifold is thus suitable for rapid and automated determination of Pu isotopes in environmental risk assessment and emergency preparedness scenarios. PMID:19722516

  17. ESTIMATING IMPURITIES IN SURPLUS PLUTONIUM FOR DISPOSITION

    SciTech Connect

    Allender, J.; Moore, E.

    2013-07-17

    The United States holds at least 61.5 metric tons (MT) of plutonium that is permanently excess to use in nuclear weapons programs, including 47.2 MT of weapons-grade plutonium. Surplus inventories will be stored safely by the Department of Energy (DOE) and then transferred to facilities that will prepare the plutonium for permanent disposition. The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) operates a Feed Characterization program for the Office of Fissile Materials Disposition of the National Nuclear Security Administration and the DOE Office of Environmental Management. Many of the items that require disposition are only partially characterized, and SRNL uses a variety of techniques to predict the isotopic and chemical properties that are important for processing through the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility and alternative disposition paths. Recent advances in laboratory tools, including Prompt Gamma Analysis and Peroxide Fusion treatment, provide data on the existing inventories that will enable disposition without additional, costly sampling and destructive analysis.

  18. Automated gravimetric sample pretreatment using an industrial robot for the high-precision determination of plutonium by isotope dilution mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Surugaya, Naoki; Hiyama, Toshiaki; Watahiki, Masaru

    2008-06-01

    A robotized sample-preparation method for the determination of Pu, which is recovered by extraction reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel, by isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS) is described. The automated system uses a six-axis industrial robot, whose motility is very fast, accurate, and flexible, installed in a glove box. The automation of the weighing and dilution steps enables operator-unattended sample pretreatment for the high-precision analysis of Pu in aqueous solutions. Using the developed system, the Pu concentration in a HNO(3) medium was successfully determined using a set of subsequent mass spectrometric measurements. The relative uncertainty in determining the Pu concentration by IDMS using this system was estimated to be less than 0.1% (k = 2), which is equal to that expected of a talented analyst. The operation time required was the same as that for a skilled operator.

  19. PREPARATION OF PLUTONIUM HALIDES

    DOEpatents

    Davidson, N.R.; Katz, J.J.

    1958-11-01

    A process ls presented for the preparation of plutonium trihalides. Plutonium oxide or a compound which may be readily converted to plutonlum oxide, for example, a plutonium hydroxide or plutonlum oxalate is contacted with a suitable halogenating agent. Speciflc agents mentioned are carbon tetrachloride, carbon tetrabromide, sulfur dioxide, and phosphorus pentachloride. The reaction is carried out under superatmospberic pressure at about 300 icient laborato C.

  20. METHOD OF SEPARATING PLUTONIUM

    DOEpatents

    Heal, H.G.

    1960-02-16

    BS>A method of separating plutonium from aqueous nitrate solutions of plutonium, uranium. and high beta activity fission products is given. The pH of the aqueous solution is adjusted between 3.0 to 6.0 with ammonium acetate, ferric nitrate is added, and the solution is heated to 80 to 100 deg C to selectively form a basic ferric plutonium-carrying precipitate.

  1. PLUTONIUM-ZIRCONIUM ALLOYS

    DOEpatents

    Schonfeld, F.W.; Waber, J.T.

    1960-08-30

    A series of nuclear reactor fuel alloys consisting of from about 5 to about 50 at.% zirconium (or higher zirconium alloys such as Zircaloy), balance plutonium, and having the structural composition of a plutonium are described. Zirconium is a satisfactory diluent because it alloys readily with plutonium and has desirable nuclear properties. Additional advantages are corrosion resistance, excellent fabrication propenties, an isotropie structure, and initial softness.

  2. Analysis of 236U and plutonium isotopes, 239,240Pu, on the 1 MV AMS system at the Centro Nacional de Aceleradores, as a potential tool in oceanography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chamizo, Elena; López-Lora, Mercedes; Villa, María; Casacuberta, Núria; López-Gutiérrez, José María; Pham, Mai Khanh

    2015-10-01

    The performance of the 1 MV AMS system at the CNA (Centro Nacional de Aceleradores, Seville, Spain) for 236U and 239,240Pu measurements has been extensively investigated. A very promising 236U/238U abundance sensitivity of about 3 × 10-11 has been recently achieved, and background figures for 239Pu of about 106 atoms were reported in the past. These promising results lead to the use of conventional low energy AMS systems for the analysis of 236U and 239Pu and its further application in environmental studies. First 236U results obtained on our AMS system for marine samples (sediments and water) are presented here. Results of two new IAEA reference materials (IAEA-410 and IAEA-412, marine sediments from Pacific Ocean) are reported. The obtained 236U/239Pu atom ratios, of 0.12 and 0.022, respectively, show a dependency with the contamination source (i.e. local fallout from the US tests performed at the Bikini Atoll and general fallout). The results obtained for a third IAEA reference material (IAEA-381, seawater from the Irish Sea), are also presented. In the following, the uranium and plutonium isotopic compositions obtained on a set of 5 intercomparison seawater samples from the Arctic Ocean provided by the ETH Zürich are discussed. By comparing them with the obtained results on the 600 kV AMS facility Tandy at the ETH Zürich, we demonstrate the solidity of the CNA technique for 236U/238U determinations at, at least, 7 × 10-10 level. Finally, these results are discussed in their environmental context.

  3. PREPARATION OF PLUTONIUM

    DOEpatents

    Kolodney, M.

    1959-07-01

    Methods are presented for the electro-deposition of plutonium from fused mixtures of plutonium halides and halides of the alkali metals and alkaline earth metals. Th salts, preferably chlorides and with the plutonium prefer ably in the trivalent state, are placed in a refractory crucible such as tantalum or molybdenam and heated in a non-oxidizing atmosphere to 600 to 850 deg C, the higher temperatatures being used to obtain massive plutonium and the lower for the powder form. Electrodes of graphite or non reactive refractory metals are used, the crucible serving the cathode in one apparatus described in the patent.

  4. Continuous plutonium dissolution apparatus

    DOEpatents

    Meyer, F.G.; Tesitor, C.N.

    1974-02-26

    This invention is concerned with continuous dissolution of metals such as plutonium. A high normality acid mixture is fed into a boiler vessel, vaporized, and subsequently condensed as a low normality acid mixture. The mixture is then conveyed to a dissolution vessel and contacted with the plutonium metal to dissolve the plutonium in the dissolution vessel, reacting therewith forming plutonium nitrate. The reaction products are then conveyed to the mixing vessel and maintained soluble by the high normality acid, with separation and removal of the desired constituent. (Official Gazette)

  5. An MS-DOS-based program for analyzing plutonium gamma-ray spectra

    SciTech Connect

    Ruhter, W.D.; Buckley, W.M.

    1989-09-07

    A plutonium gamma-ray analysis system that operates on MS-DOS-based computers has been developed for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to perform in-field analysis of plutonium gamma-ray spectra for plutonium isotopics. The program titled IAEAPU consists of three separate applications: a data-transfer application for transferring spectral data from a CICERO multichannel analyzer to a binary data file, a data-analysis application to analyze plutonium gamma-ray spectra, for plutonium isotopic ratios and weight percents of total plutonium, and a data-quality assurance application to check spectral data for proper data-acquisition setup and performance. Volume 3 contains the software listings for these applications.

  6. ELECTRODEPOSITION OF PLUTONIUM

    DOEpatents

    Wolter, F.J.

    1957-09-10

    A process of electrolytically recovering plutonium from dilute aqueous solutions containing plutonium ions comprises electrolyzing the solution at a current density of about 0.44 ampere per square centimeter in the presence of an acetate-sulfate buffer while maintaining the pH of the solution at substantially 5 and using a stirred mercury cathode.

  7. PROCESS OF OXIDIZING PLUTONIUM

    DOEpatents

    Coryell, C.D.

    1959-08-25

    The oxidation of plutonium to the plus six valence state is described. The oxidation is accomplished by treating the plutonium in aqueous solution with a solution above 0.01 molar in argentic ion, above 1.1 molar in nitric acid, and above 0.02 molar in argentous ion.

  8. PLUTONIUM-CERIUM ALLOY

    DOEpatents

    Coffinberry, A.S.

    1959-01-01

    An alloy is presented for use as a reactor fuel. The binary alloy consists essentially of from about 5 to 90 atomic per cent cerium and the balance being plutonium. A complete phase diagram for the cerium--plutonium system is given.

  9. DELTA PHASE PLUTONIUM ALLOYS

    DOEpatents

    Cramer, E.M.; Ellinger, F.H.; Land. C.C.

    1960-03-22

    Delta-phase plutonium alloys were developed suitable for use as reactor fuels. The alloys consist of from 1 to 4 at.% zinc and the balance plutonium. The alloys have good neutronic, corrosion, and fabrication characteristics snd possess good dimensional characteristics throughout an operating temperature range from 300 to 490 deg C.

  10. Plutonium contamination in soils in open space and residential areas near Rocky Flats, Colorado

    SciTech Connect

    Litaor, M.I.

    1999-02-01

    Spatial analysis of the {sup 240}Pu:{sup 239}Pu isotopic ratio of 42 soil samples collected around Rocky Flats Plant near Golden, Colorado, was conducted to assess the effect of Rocky Flats Plant activity on the soil environment. Two probability maps that quantified the uncertainty of the spatial distribution of plutonium isotopic ratios were constructed using the sequential Gaussian simulation technique (sGs). Assuming a plutonium isotopic ratio range of 0.152 {+-} 0.003 to 0.169 {+-} 0.009 is characteristic to global fallout in Colorado, and a mean value of 0.155 is representative for the Rocky Flats Plant area, the main findings of the current work were (1) the areas northwest and southwest of Rocky Flats Plant exhibited a plutonium ratio {ge}0.155, this were minimally impacted by the plant activity; (2) he study area east of Rocky Flats Plant exhibited a plutonium isotopic ratio {le}0.155, which is a definitive indicator of Rocky Flats Plant-derived plutonium; and (3) inventory calculations across the study area exhibited large standard error of estimates. These errors were originated from the high variability in plutonium activity over a small sampling scale and the uncertainty in the global fallout isotopic ratio. Using the mean simulated estimates of plutonium isotopic ratio, coupled with plutonium activity measured at 11 soil pits and additional plutonium information published elsewhere, the plutonium loading on the open space and residential areas amounted to 111.2 GBq, with a standard error of estimate of 50.8 GBq.

  11. Plutonium contamination in soils in open space and residential areas near Rocky Flats, Colorado.

    PubMed

    Litaor, M I

    1999-02-01

    Spatial analysis of the 240Pu:239Pu isotopic ratio of 42 soil samples collected around Rocky Flats Plant near Golden, Colorado, was conducted to assess the effect of Rocky Flats Plant activity on the soil environment. Two probability maps that quantified the uncertainty of the spatial distribution of plutonium isotopic ratios were constructed using the sequential Gaussian simulation technique (sGs). Assuming a plutonium isotopic ratio range of 0.152+/-0.003 to 0.169+/-0.009 is characteristic to global fallout in Colorado, and a mean value of 0.155 is representative for the Rocky Flats Plant area, the main findings of the current work were (1) the areas northwest and southwest of Rocky Flats Plant exhibited a plutonium ratio > or = 0.155, thus were minimally impacted by the plant activity; (2) the study area east of Rocky Flats Plant (approximately 120 km2) exhibited a plutonium isotopic ratio < or = 0.155, which is a definitive indicator of Rocky Flats Plant-derived plutonium; and (3) inventory calculations across the study area exhibited large standard error of estimates. These errors were originated from the high variability in plutonium activity over a small sampling scale and the uncertainty in the global fallout isotopic ratio. Using the mean simulated estimates of plutonium isotopic ratio, coupled with plutonium activity measured at 11 soil pits and additional plutonium information published elsewhere, the plutonium loading on the open space and residential areas amounted to 111.2 GBq, with a standard error of estimate of 50.8 GBq. PMID:9929128

  12. Plutonium Immobilization Canister Loading

    SciTech Connect

    Hamilton, E.L.

    1999-01-26

    This disposition of excess plutonium is determined by the Surplus Plutonium Disposition Environmental Impact Statement (SPD-EIS) being prepared by the Department of Energy. The disposition method (Known as ''can in canister'') combines cans of immobilized plutonium-ceramic disks (pucks) with vitrified high-level waste produced at the SRS Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF). This is intended to deter proliferation by making the plutonium unattractive for recovery or theft. The envisioned process remotely installs cans containing plutonium-ceramic pucks into storage magazines. Magazines are then remotely loaded into the DWPF canister through the canister neck with a robotic arm and locked into a storage rack inside the canister, which holds seven magazines. Finally, the canister is processed through DWPF and filled with high-level waste glass, thereby surrounding the product cans. This paper covers magazine and rack development and canister loading concepts.

  13. Plutonium bioaccumulation in seabirds.

    PubMed

    Strumińska-Parulska, Dagmara I; Skwarzec, Bogdan; Fabisiak, Jacek

    2011-12-01

    The aim of the paper was plutonium (²³⁸Pu and ²³⁹⁺²⁴⁰Pu) determination in seabirds, permanently or temporarily living in northern Poland at the Baltic Sea coast. Together 11 marine birds species were examined: 3 species permanently residing in the southern Baltic, 4 species of wintering birds and 3 species of migrating birds. The obtained results indicated plutonium is non-uniformly distributed in organs and tissues of analyzed seabirds. The highest plutonium content was found in the digestion organs and feathers, the smallest in skin and muscles. The plutonium concentration was lower in analyzed species which feed on fish and much higher in herbivorous species. The main source of plutonium in analyzed marine birds was global atmospheric fallout.

  14. Plutonium storage criteria

    SciTech Connect

    Chung, D.; Ascanio, X.

    1996-05-01

    The Department of Energy has issued a technical standard for long-term (>50 years) storage and will soon issue a criteria document for interim (<20 years) storage of plutonium materials. The long-term technical standard, {open_quotes}Criteria for Safe Storage of Plutonium Metals and Oxides,{close_quotes} addresses the requirements for storing metals and oxides with greater than 50 wt % plutonium. It calls for a standardized package that meets both off-site transportation requirements, as well as remote handling requirements from future storage facilities. The interim criteria document, {open_quotes}Criteria for Interim Safe Storage of Plutonium-Bearing Solid Materials{close_quotes}, addresses requirements for storing materials with less than 50 wt% plutonium. The interim criteria document assumes the materials will be stored on existing sites, and existing facilities and equipment will be used for repackaging to improve the margin of safety.

  15. 31. VIEW OF A WORKER HOLDING A PLUTONIUM 'BUTTON.' PLUTONIUM, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    31. VIEW OF A WORKER HOLDING A PLUTONIUM 'BUTTON.' PLUTONIUM, A MAN-MADE SUBSTANCE, WAS RARE. SCRAPS RESULTING FROM PRODUCTION AND PLUTONIUM RECOVERED FROM RETIRED NUCLEAR WEAPONS WERE REPROCESSED INTO VALUABLE PURE-PLUTONIUM METAL (9/19/73). - Rocky Flats Plant, Bounded by Indiana Street & Routes 93, 128 & 72, Golden, Jefferson County, CO

  16. PLUTONIUM-CERIUM-COBALT AND PLUTONIUM-CERIUM-NICKEL ALLOYS

    DOEpatents

    Coffinberry, A.S.

    1959-08-25

    >New plutonium-base teroary alloys useful as liquid reactor fuels are described. The alloys consist of 10 to 20 atomic percent cobalt with the remainder plutonium and cerium in any desired proportion, with the plutonium not in excess of 88 atomic percent; or, of from 10 to 25 atomic percent nickel (or mixture of nickel and cobalt) with the remainder plutonium and cerium in any desired proportion, with the plutonium not in excess of 86 atomic percent. The stated advantages of these alloys over unalloyed plutonium for reactor fuel use are a lower melting point and a wide range of permissible plutonium dilution.

  17. Method for dissolving plutonium dioxide

    DOEpatents

    Tallent, Othar K.

    1978-01-01

    The fluoride-catalyzed, non-oxidative dissolution of plutonium dioxide in HNO.sub.3 is significantly enhanced in rate by oxidizing dissolved plutonium ions. It is believed that the oxidation of dissolved plutonium releases fluoride ions from a soluble plutonium-fluoride complex for further catalytic action.

  18. Chemical Disposition of Plutonium in Hanford Site Tank Wastes

    SciTech Connect

    Delegard, Calvin H.; Jones, Susan A.

    2015-05-07

    This report examines the chemical disposition of plutonium (Pu) in Hanford Site tank wastes, by itself and in its observed and potential interactions with the neutron absorbers aluminum (Al), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), and sodium (Na). Consideration also is given to the interactions of plutonium with uranium (U). No consideration of the disposition of uranium itself as an element with fissile isotopes is considered except tangentially with respect to its interaction as an absorber for plutonium. The report begins with a brief review of Hanford Site plutonium processes, examining the various means used to recover plutonium from irradiated fuel and from scrap, and also examines the intermediate processing of plutonium to prepare useful chemical forms. The paper provides an overview of Hanford tank defined-waste–type compositions and some calculations of the ratios of plutonium to absorber elements in these waste types and in individual waste analyses. These assessments are based on Hanford tank waste inventory data derived from separately published, expert assessments of tank disposal records, process flowsheets, and chemical/radiochemical analyses. This work also investigates the distribution and expected speciation of plutonium in tank waste solution and solid phases. For the solid phases, both pure plutonium compounds and plutonium interactions with absorber elements are considered. These assessments of plutonium chemistry are based largely on analyses of idealized or simulated tank waste or strongly alkaline systems. The very limited information available on plutonium behavior, disposition, and speciation in genuine tank waste also is discussed. The assessments show that plutonium coprecipitates strongly with chromium, iron, manganese and uranium absorbers. Plutonium’s chemical interactions with aluminum, nickel, and sodium are minimal to non-existent. Credit for neutronic interaction of plutonium with these absorbers

  19. PLUTONIUM ELECTROREFINING CELLS

    DOEpatents

    Mullins, L.J. Jr.; Leary, J.A.; Bjorklund, C.W.; Maraman, W.J.

    1963-07-16

    Electrorefining cells for obtaining 99.98% plutonium are described. The cells consist of an impure liquid plutonium anode, a molten PuCl/sub 3/-- alkali or alkaline earth metal chloanode, a molten PuCl/sub 3/-alkali or alkaline earth metal chloride electrolyte, and a nonreactive cathode, all being contained in nonreactive ceramic containers which separate anode from cathode by a short distance and define a gap for the collection of the purified liquid plutonium deposited on the cathode. Important features of these cells are the addition of stirrer blades on the anode lead and a large cathode surface to insure a low current density. (AEC)

  20. Plutonium radiation surrogate

    DOEpatents

    Frank, Michael I.

    2010-02-02

    A self-contained source of gamma-ray and neutron radiation suitable for use as a radiation surrogate for weapons-grade plutonium is described. The source generates a radiation spectrum similar to that of weapons-grade plutonium at 5% energy resolution between 59 and 2614 keV, but contains no special nuclear material and emits little .alpha.-particle radiation. The weapons-grade plutonium radiation surrogate also emits neutrons having fluxes commensurate with the gamma-radiation intensities employed.

  1. PLUTONIUM SEPARATION METHOD

    DOEpatents

    Beaufait, L.J. Jr.; Stevenson, F.R.; Rollefson, G.K.

    1958-11-18

    The recovery of plutonium ions from neutron irradiated uranium can be accomplished by bufferlng an aqueous solutlon of the irradiated materials containing tetravalent plutonium to a pH of 4 to 7, adding sufficient acetate to the solution to complex the uranyl present, adding ferric nitrate to form a colloid of ferric hydroxide, plutonlum, and associated fission products, removing and dissolving the colloid in aqueous nitric acid, oxldizlng the plutonium to the hexavalent state by adding permanganate or dichromate, treating the resultant solution with ferric nitrate to form a colloid of ferric hydroxide and associated fission products, and separating the colloid from the plutonlum left in solution.

  2. Plutonium Vulnerability Management Plan

    SciTech Connect

    1995-03-01

    This Plutonium Vulnerability Management Plan describes the Department of Energy`s response to the vulnerabilities identified in the Plutonium Working Group Report which are a result of the cessation of nuclear weapons production. The responses contained in this document are only part of an overall, coordinated approach designed to enable the Department to accelerate conversion of all nuclear materials, including plutonium, to forms suitable for safe, interim storage. The overall actions being taken are discussed in detail in the Department`s Implementation Plan in response to the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) Recommendation 94-1. This is included as Attachment B.

  3. Progress on plutonium stabilization

    SciTech Connect

    Hurt, D.

    1996-05-01

    The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board has safety oversight responsibility for most of the facilities where unstable forms of plutonium are being processed and packaged for interim storage. The Board has issued recommendations on plutonium stabilization and has has a considerable influence on DOE`s stabilization schedules and priorities. The Board has not made any recommendations on long-term plutonium disposition, although it may get more involved in the future if DOE develops plans to use defense nuclear facilities for disposition activities.

  4. Plutonium: Requiem or reprieve

    SciTech Connect

    Pillay, K.K.S.

    1996-01-01

    Many scientific discoveries have had profound effects on humanity and its future. However, the discovery of fissionable characteristics of a man-made element, plutonium, discovered in 1941 by Glenn Seaborg and associates, has probably had the greatest impact on world affairs. Although about 20 new elements have been synthesized since 1940, element 94 unarguably had the most dramatic impact when it was introduced to the world as the core of the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki. Ever since, large quantities of this element have been produced, and it has had a major role in maintaining peace during the past 50 years. in addition, the rapid spread of nuclear power technology worldwide contributed to major growth in the production of plutonium as a by-product. This article discusses the following issues related to plutonium: plutonium from Nuclear Power Generation; environmental safety and health issues; health effects; safeguards issues; extended storage; disposal options.

  5. Plutonium dissolution process

    DOEpatents

    Vest, Michael A.; Fink, Samuel D.; Karraker, David G.; Moore, Edwin N.; Holcomb, H. Perry

    1996-01-01

    A two-step process for dissolving plutonium metal, which two steps can be carried out sequentially or simultaneously. Plutonium metal is exposed to a first mixture containing approximately 1.0M-1.67M sulfamic acid and 0.0025M-0.1M fluoride, the mixture having been heated to a temperature between 45.degree. C. and 70.degree. C. The mixture will dissolve a first portion of the plutonium metal but leave a portion of the plutonium in an oxide residue. Then, a mineral acid and additional fluoride are added to dissolve the residue. Alteratively, nitric acid in a concentration between approximately 0.05M and 0.067M is added to the first mixture to dissolve the residue as it is produced. Hydrogen released during the dissolution process is diluted with nitrogen.

  6. A Graphical Examination of Uranium and Plutonium Fissility

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, B. Cameron

    2008-01-01

    The issue of why only particular isotopes of uranium and plutonium are suitable for use in nuclear weapons is analyzed with the aid of graphs and semiquantitative discussions of parameters such as excitation energies, fission barriers, reaction cross-sections, and the role of processes such as [alpha]-decay and spontaneous fission. The goal is to…

  7. METHOD OF PRODUCING PLUTONIUM TETRAFLUORIDE

    DOEpatents

    Tolley, W.B.; Smith, R.C.

    1959-12-15

    A process is presented for preparing plutonium tetrafluoride from plutonium(IV) oxalate. The oxalate is dried and decomposed at about 300 deg C to the dioxide, mixed with ammonium bifluoride, and the mixture is heated to between 50 and 150 deg C whereby ammonium plutonium fluoride is formed. The ammonium plutonium fluoride is then heated to about 300 deg C for volatilization of ammonium fluoride. Both heating steps are preferably carried out in an inert atmosphere.

  8. METHOD OF MAKING PLUTONIUM DIOXIDE

    DOEpatents

    Garner, C.S.

    1959-01-13

    A process is presented For converting both trivalent and tetravalent plutonium oxalate to substantially pure plutonium dioxide. The plutonium oxalate is carefully dried in the temperature range of 130 to300DEC by raising the temperature gnadually throughout this range. The temperature is then raised to 600 C in the period of about 0.3 of an hour and held at this level for about the same length of time to obtain the plutonium dioxide.

  9. MA Doping Analysis on Breeding Capability and Protected Plutonium Production of Large FBR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Permana, Sidik; Suzuki, Mitsutoshi; Kuno, Yusuke

    2010-06-01

    Spent fuel from LWR can be seen as long-live waste if it is not recycled or as a "new fuel" resource if it is recycled into the reactors. Uranium and plutonium have been used for "new fuel" resources from LWR spent fuel as MOX fuel type which is loaded into thermal reactor or fast reactor types. Other actinides from the spent fuel such as neptunium, americium and curium as minor actinide (MA) are considered to be loaded into the reactors for specific purposes, recently. Those purposes such as for increasing protected plutonium production and breeding capability for protected plutonium as well as in the same time those amount of MA can be reduced to a small quantity as a burner or transmutation purpose. Some investigations and scientific approaches are performed in order to increase a material "barrier" in plutonium isotope composition by increasing the even mass number of plutonium isotope such as Pu-238, Pu-240 and Pu-242 as plutonium protected composition. Higher material barrier which related to intrinsic properties of plutonium isotopes with even mass number (Pu-238, Pu-240 and Pu-242), are recognized because of their intense decay heat (DH) and high spontaneous fission neutron (SFN) rates. Those even number mass of plutonium isotope contribute to some criteria of plutonium characterization which will be adopted for present study such as IAEA, Pellaud and Kessler criteria (IAEA, 1972; Pellaud, 2002; and Kessler, 2007). The present paper intends to evaluate the breeding capability as a fuel sustainability index of the reactors and to analyze the composition of protected plutonium production of large power reactor based on the FaCT FBR as reference (Ohki, et al., 2008). Three dimensional FBR core configuration has been adopted which is based on the core optimization calculation of SRAC-CITATION code as reactor core analysis and JENDL-3.3 is adopted for nuclear data library. Some MA doping materials are loaded into the blanket regions which can be considered as

  10. Lithium metal reduction of plutonium oxide to produce plutonium metal

    DOEpatents

    Coops, Melvin S.

    1992-01-01

    A method is described for the chemical reduction of plutonium oxides to plutonium metal by the use of pure lithium metal. Lithium metal is used to reduce plutonium oxide to alpha plutonium metal (alpha-Pu). The lithium oxide by-product is reclaimed by sublimation and converted to the chloride salt, and after electrolysis, is removed as lithium metal. Zinc may be used as a solvent metal to improve thermodynamics of the reduction reaction at lower temperatures. Lithium metal reduction enables plutonium oxide reduction without the production of huge quantities of CaO--CaCl.sub.2 residues normally produced in conventional direct oxide reduction processes.

  11. Adsorption and diffusion of plutonium in soil

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, D A

    1980-01-01

    The behavior of plutonium (Pu) was studied in three soils that varied in texture, CEC, pH, organic matter content and mineralogy (Fuquay, Muscatine, Burbank). Two isotopes, /sup 238/Pu and /sup 239/Pu, were used in order to detect Pu over a range of several orders of magnitude. Unless added in a chelated form, Pu was added to the soil as a nitrate in .01 N HNO/sub 3/ to simulate the release of acidic waste on the soil and to prevent rapid Pu hydrolysis or polymerization.

  12. SULFIDE METHOD PLUTONIUM SEPARATION

    DOEpatents

    Duffield, R.B.

    1958-08-12

    A process is described for the recovery of plutonium from neutron irradiated uranium solutions. Such a solution is first treated with a soluble sullide, causing precipitation of the plutoniunn and uraniunn values present, along with those impurities which form insoluble sulfides. The precipitate is then treated with a solution of carbonate ions, which will dissolve the uranium and plutonium present while the fission product sulfides remain unaffected. After separation from the residue, this solution may then be treated by any of the usual methods, such as formation of a lanthanum fluoride precipitate, to effect separation of plutoniunn from uranium.

  13. Characterizing Surplus US Plutonium for Disposition - 13199

    SciTech Connect

    Allender, Jeffrey S.; Moore, Edwin N.

    2013-07-01

    The United States (US) has identified 61.5 metric tons (MT) of plutonium that is permanently excess to use in nuclear weapons programs, including 47.2 MT of weapons-grade plutonium. Surplus inventories will be stored safely by the Department of Energy (DOE) and then transferred to facilities that will prepare the plutonium for permanent disposition. The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) operates a Feed Characterization program for the Office of Fissile Materials Disposition (OFMD) of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the DOE Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM). SRNL manages a broad program of item tracking through process history, laboratory analysis, and non-destructive assay. A combination of analytical techniques allows SRNL to predict the isotopic and chemical properties that qualify materials for disposition through the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF). The research also defines properties that are important for other disposition paths, including disposal to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) as transuranic waste (TRUW) or to high-level waste (HLW) systems. (authors)

  14. Characterizing surplus US plutonium for disposition

    SciTech Connect

    Allender, Jeffrey S.; Moore, Edwin N.

    2013-02-26

    The United States (US) has identified 61.5 metric tons (MT) of plutonium that is permanently excess to use in nuclear weapons programs, including 47.2 MT of weapons-grade plutonium. Surplus inventories will be stored safely by the Department of Energy (DOE) and then transferred to facilities that will prepare the plutonium for permanent disposition. The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) operates a Feed Characterization program for the Office of Fissile Materials Disposition (OFMD) of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the DOE Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM). SRNL manages a broad program of item tracking through process history, laboratory analysis, and non-destructive assay. A combination of analytical techniques allows SRNL to predict the isotopic and chemical properties that qualify materials for disposition through the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF). The research also defines properties that are important for other disposition paths, including disposal to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) as transuranic waste (TRUW) or to high-level waste (HLW) systems.

  15. Plutonium: An introduction

    SciTech Connect

    Condit, R.H.

    1993-10-01

    This report is a summary of the history and properties of plutonium. It presents information on the atoms, comparing chemical and nuclear properties. It looks at the history of the atom, including its discovery and production methods. It summarizes the metallurgy and chemistry of the element. It also describes means of detecting and measuring the presence and quantity of the element.

  16. Photochemical isotope separation

    DOEpatents

    Robinson, C. Paul; Jensen, Reed J.; Cotter, Theodore P.; Greiner, Norman R.; Boyer, Keith

    1987-01-01

    A process for separating isotopes by selective excitation of isotopic species of a volatile compound by tuned laser light. A highly cooled gas of the volatile compound is produced in which the isotopic shift is sharpened and defined. Before substantial condensation occurs, the cooled gas is irradiated with laser light precisely tuned to a desired wavelength to selectively excite a particular isotopic species in the cooled gas. The laser light may impart sufficient energy to the excited species to cause it to undergo photochemical reaction or even to photoionize. Alternatively, a two-photon irradiation may be applied to the cooled gas to induce photochemical reaction or photoionization. The process is particularly applicable to the separation of isotopes of uranium and plutonium.

  17. Photochemical isotope separation

    DOEpatents

    Robinson, C.P.; Jensen, R.J.; Cotter, T.P.; Greiner, N.R.; Boyer, K.

    1987-04-28

    A process is described for separating isotopes by selective excitation of isotopic species of a volatile compound by tuned laser light. A highly cooled gas of the volatile compound is produced in which the isotopic shift is sharpened and defined. Before substantial condensation occurs, the cooled gas is irradiated with laser light precisely tuned to a desired wavelength to selectively excite a particular isotopic species in the cooled gas. The laser light may impart sufficient energy to the excited species to cause it to undergo photochemical reaction or even to photoionize. Alternatively, a two-photon irradiation may be applied to the cooled gas to induce photochemical reaction or photoionization. The process is particularly applicable to the separation of isotopes of uranium and plutonium. 8 figs.

  18. Probing phonons in plutonium

    SciTech Connect

    Farber, D; Chiang, T; Krisch, M; Occelli, F; Schwartz, A; Wall, M; Xu, R; Boro, C

    2003-12-17

    Plutonium (Pu) is well known to have complex and unique physico-chemical properties [1]. Notably, the pure metal exhibits six solid-state phase transformations with large volume expansions and contractions along the way to the liquid state: {alpha} {yields} {beta} {yields} {gamma} {yields} {delta} {yields} {delta}' {yields} {var_epsilon} {yields} liquid. Unalloyed Pu melts at a relatively low temperature {approx}640 C to yield a higher density liquid than that of the solid from which it melts. Detailed understanding of the properties of plutonium and plutonium-based alloys is critical for the safe handling, utilization, and long-term storage of these important, but highly toxic materials. However, both technical and safety issues have made experimental observations extremely difficult. Phonon dispersion curves (PDCs) are key experimental data to the understanding of the basic properties of Pu materials such as: force constants, sound velocities, elastic constants, thermodynamics, phase stability, electron-phonon coupling, structural relaxation, etc. However, phonon dispersion curves (PDCs) in plutonium (Pu) and its alloys have defied measurement for the past few decades since the discovery of this element in 1941. This is due to a combination of the high thermal-neutron absorption cross section of plutonium and the inability to grow the large single crystals (with dimensions of a few millimeters) necessary for inelastic neutron scattering. Theoretical simulations of the Pu PDC continue to be hampered by the lack of suitable inter-atomic potentials. Thus, until recently the PDCs for Pu and its alloys have remained unknown experimentally and theoretically. The experimental limitations have recently been overcome by using a tightly focused undulator x-ray micro-beam scattered from single-grain domains in polycrystalline specimens. This experimental approach has been applied successfully to map the complete PDCs of an fcc {delta}-Pu-Ga alloy using the high resolution

  19. A probabilistic risk assessment of the LLNL Plutonium Facility`s evaluation basis fire operational accident. Revision 1

    SciTech Connect

    Brumburgh, G. P.

    1995-02-27

    The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) Plutonium Facility conducts numerous programmatic activities involving plutonium to include device fabrication, development of improved and/or unique fabrication techniques, metallurgy research, and laser isotope separation. A Safety Analysis Report (SAR) for the building 332 Plutonium Facility was completed in July 1994 to address operational safety and acceptable risk to employees, the public, government property, and the environmental. This paper outlines the PRA analysis of the Evaluation Basis Fire (EBF) operational accident. The EBF postulates the worst-case programmatic impact event for the Plutonium Facility.

  20. SELECTION OF SURPLUS PLUTONIUM MATERIALS FOR DISPOSITION TO WIPP

    SciTech Connect

    Allender, J.; Mcclard, J.; Christopher, J.

    2012-06-08

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is preparing a Surplus Plutonium Disposition (SPD) Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). Included in the evaluation are up to 6 metric tons (MT) of plutonium in the form of impure oxides and metals for which a disposition plan has not been decided, among options that include preparation as feed for the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility; disposing to high-level waste through the Savannah River Site (SRS) HB Line and H Canyon; can-in-canister disposal using the SRS Defense Waste Processing Facility; and preparation for disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). DOE and SRS have identified at least 0.5 MT of plutonium that, because of high levels of chemical and isotopic impurities, is impractical for disposition by methods other than the WIPP pathway. Characteristics of these items and the disposition strategy are discussed.

  1. Plutonium Finishing Plant. Interim plutonium stabilization engineering study

    SciTech Connect

    Sevigny, G.J.; Gallucci, R.H.; Garrett, S.M.K.; Geeting, J.G.H.; Goheen, R.S.; Molton, P.M.; Templeton, K.J.; Villegas, A.J.; Nass, R.

    1995-08-01

    This report provides the results of an engineering study that evaluated the available technologies for stabilizing the plutonium stored at the Plutonium Finishing Plant located at the hanford Site in southeastern Washington. Further processing of the plutonium may be required to prepare the plutonium for interim (<50 years) storage. Specifically this document provides the current plutonium inventory and characterization, the initial screening process, and the process descriptions and flowsheets of the technologies that passed the initial screening. The conclusions and recommendations also are provided. The information contained in this report will be used to assist in the preparation of the environmental impact statement and to help decision makers determine which is the preferred technology to process the plutonium for interim storage.

  2. Sources of plutonium in the atmosphere and stratosphere-troposphere mixing.

    PubMed

    Hirose, Katsumi; Povinec, Pavel P

    2015-01-01

    Plutonium isotopes have primarily been injected to the stratosphere by the atmospheric nuclear weapon tests and the burn-up of the SNAP-9A satellite. Here we show by using published data that the stratospheric plutonium exponentially decreased with apparent residence time of 1.5 ± 0.5 years, and that the temporal variations of plutonium in surface air followed the stratospheric trends until the early 1980s. In the 2000s, plutonium and its isotope ratios in the atmosphere varied dynamically, and sporadic high concentrations of (239,240)Pu reported for the lower stratospheric and upper tropospheric aerosols may be due to environmental events such as the global dust outbreaks and biomass burning. PMID:26508010

  3. Sources of plutonium in the atmosphere and stratosphere-troposphere mixing

    PubMed Central

    Hirose, Katsumi; Povinec, Pavel P.

    2015-01-01

    Plutonium isotopes have primarily been injected to the stratosphere by the atmospheric nuclear weapon tests and the burn-up of the SNAP-9A satellite. Here we show by using published data that the stratospheric plutonium exponentially decreased with apparent residence time of 1.5 ± 0.5 years, and that the temporal variations of plutonium in surface air followed the stratospheric trends until the early 1980s. In the 2000s, plutonium and its isotope ratios in the atmosphere varied dynamically, and sporadic high concentrations of 239,240Pu reported for the lower stratospheric and upper tropospheric aerosols may be due to environmental events such as the global dust outbreaks and biomass burning. PMID:26508010

  4. Sources of plutonium in the atmosphere and stratosphere-troposphere mixing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirose, Katsumi; Povinec, Pavel P.

    2015-10-01

    Plutonium isotopes have primarily been injected to the stratosphere by the atmospheric nuclear weapon tests and the burn-up of the SNAP-9A satellite. Here we show by using published data that the stratospheric plutonium exponentially decreased with apparent residence time of 1.5 ± 0.5 years, and that the temporal variations of plutonium in surface air followed the stratospheric trends until the early 1980s. In the 2000s, plutonium and its isotope ratios in the atmosphere varied dynamically, and sporadic high concentrations of 239,240Pu reported for the lower stratospheric and upper tropospheric aerosols may be due to environmental events such as the global dust outbreaks and biomass burning.

  5. 4. VIEW OF PLUTONIUM CANISTER ON CHAINVEYOR. SCRAP PLUTONIUM WAS ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    4. VIEW OF PLUTONIUM CANISTER ON CHAINVEYOR. SCRAP PLUTONIUM WAS COLLECTED INTO CANS AT INDIVIDUAL WORKSTATIONS. THE CANS WERE TRANSFERRED VIA THE CHAIN CONVEYOR TO A WORKSTATION IN MODULE C WHERE THE MATERIAL WAS COMPRESSED INTO BRIQUETTES FOR LATER USE. (6/20/93) - Rocky Flats Plant, Plutonium Manufacturing Facility, North-central section of Plant, just south of Building 776/777, Golden, Jefferson County, CO

  6. Surprising Coordination for Plutonium in the First Plutonium (III) Borate

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Shuao; Alekseev, Evgeny V.; Depmeier, Wulf; Albrecht-Schmitt, Thomas E.

    2011-02-22

    The first plutonium(III) borate, Pu2[B12O18(OH)4Br2(H2O)3]·0.5H2O, has been prepared by reacting plutonium(III) with molten boric acid under strictly anaerobic conditions. This compound contains a three-dimensional polyborate network with triangular holes that house the plutonium(III) sites. The plutonium sites in this compound are 9- and 10-coordinate and display atypical geometries.

  7. Final Report on Isotope Ratio Techniques for Light Water Reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Gerlach, David C.; Gesh, Christopher J.; Hurley, David E.; Mitchell, Mark R.; Meriwether, George H.; Reid, Bruce D.

    2009-07-01

    The Isotope Ratio Method (IRM) is a technique for estimating the energy or plutonium production in a fission reactor by measuring isotope ratios in non-fuel reactor components. The isotope ratios in these components can then be directly related to the cumulative energy production with standard reactor modeling methods.

  8. MOLDS FOR CASTING PLUTONIUM

    DOEpatents

    Anderson, J.W.; Miley, F.; Pritchard, W.C.

    1962-02-27

    A coated mold for casting plutonium comprises a mold base portion of a material which remains solid and stable at temperatures as high as the pouring temperature of the metal to be cast and having a thin coating of the order of 0.005 inch thick on the interior thereof. The coating is composed of finely divided calcium fluoride having a particle size of about 149 microns. (AEC)

  9. PLUTONIUM-URANIUM ALLOY

    DOEpatents

    Coffinberry, A.S.; Schonfeld, F.W.

    1959-09-01

    Pu-U-Fe and Pu-U-Co alloys suitable for use as fuel elements tn fast breeder reactors are described. The advantages of these alloys are ease of fabrication without microcracks, good corrosion restatance, and good resistance to radiation damage. These advantages are secured by limitation of the zeta phase of plutonium in favor of a tetragonal crystal structure of the U/sub 6/Mn type.

  10. Plutonium Focus Area research and development plan. Revision 1

    SciTech Connect

    1996-11-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) committed to a research and development program to support the technology needs for converting and stabilizing its nuclear materials for safe storage. The R and D Plan addresses five of the six material categories from the 94-1 Implementation Plan: plutonium (Pu) solutions, plutonium metals and oxides, plutonium residues, highly enriched uranium, and special isotopes. R and D efforts related to spent nuclear fuel (SNF) stabilization were specifically excluded from this plan. This updated plan has narrowed the focus to more effectively target specific problem areas by incorporating results form trade studies. Specifically, the trade studies involved salt; ash; sand, slag, and crucible (SS and C); combustibles; and scrub alloy. The plan anticipates possible disposition paths for nuclear materials and identifies resulting research requirements. These requirements may change as disposition paths become more certain. Thus, this plan represents a snapshot of the current progress and will continue to be updated on a regular basis. The paper discusses progress in safeguards and security, plutonium stabilization, special isotopes stabilization, highly-enriched uranium stabilization--MSRE remediation project, storage technologies, engineered systems, core technology, and proposed DOE/Russian technology exchange projects.

  11. MASS MEASUREMENT UNCERTAINTY FOR PLUTONIUM ALIQUOTS ASSAYED BY CONTROLLED-POTENTIAL COULOMETRY

    SciTech Connect

    Holland, M.; Cordaro, J.

    2009-03-18

    Minimizing plutonium measurement uncertainty is essential to nuclear material control and international safeguards. In 2005, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published ISO 12183 'Controlled-potential coulometric assay of plutonium', 2nd edition. ISO 12183:2005 recommends a target of {+-}0.01% for the mass of original sample in the aliquot because it is a critical assay variable. Mass measurements in radiological containment were evaluated and uncertainties estimated. The uncertainty estimate for the mass measurement also includes uncertainty in correcting for buoyancy effects from air acting as a fluid and from decreased pressure of heated air from the specific heat of the plutonium isotopes.

  12. Fractionation of plutonium in environmental and bio-shielding concrete samples using dynamic sequential extraction.

    PubMed

    Qiao, Jixin; Hou, Xiaolin

    2010-03-01

    Fractionation of plutonium isotopes ((238)Pu, (239,240)Pu) in environmental samples (i.e. soil and sediment) and bio-shielding concrete from decommissioning of nuclear reactor were carried out by dynamic sequential extraction using an on-line sequential injection (SI) system combined with a specially designed extraction column. Plutonium in the fractions from the sequential extraction was separated by ion exchange chromatography and measured using alpha spectrometry. The analytical results show a higher mobility of plutonium in bio-shielding concrete, which means attention should be paid to the treatment and disposal of nuclear waste from decommissioning. PMID:20004047

  13. The blending strategy for the plutonium immobilization program

    SciTech Connect

    Ebbinghaus, B B; Edmunds, T A; Gentry, S; Gray, L W; Riley, D C; Spingarn, J; VanKonynenburg, R A

    1999-02-12

    The Department of Energy (DOE) has declared approximately 38.2 tonnes of weapons-grade plutonium to be excess to the needs of national security, 14.3 tonnes of fuel- and reactor-grade plutonium excess to DOE needs, and anticipates an additional 7 tonnes to be declared excess to national security needs. Of this 59.5 tonnes, DOE anticipates that {approximately} 7.5 tonnes will be dispositioned as spent fuel at the Geologic Repository and {approximately} 2 tonnes will be declared below the safeguards termination limit and be discard3ed as TRU waste at WIPP. The remaining 50 tonnes of excess plutonium exists in many forms and locations around the country, and is under the control of several DOE offices. In addition to the plutonium, the feed stock also contains about 17 tonnes of depleted uranium, about 600 kg of highly enriched uranium, and many kilograms of neptunium and thorium and about 8 to 10 tonnes of tramp impurities. The Materials Disposition Program (MD) will be received materials packaged by these other Programs to disposition in a manor that meets the spent fuel standard. To minimize the cost of characterization of the feedstock and to minimize purification processes, a blending strategy will be followed. The levelization of the impurities, the plutonium isotopics, and the actinide impurities will also provide some benefits in the area of proliferation resistance. The overall strategy will be outlined and the benefits of following a blending instead of a purification program will be discussed.

  14. Mechanics of plutonium metal aerosolization

    SciTech Connect

    Alvis, J.M.

    1996-06-01

    Reliable estimates of hazards posed by a plutonium release are contingent on the availability of technical data to define the source term for aerosolization of plutonium oxide particles and the resulting size distribution. The release of aerosols from the oxidation of plutonium metal depends partly on the forces acting on the particles while they remain attached to the bulk material and partly on the ability of the airstream around the metal ingot to transport the particles when they detach. The forces that attach or detach the plutonium oxide particles can be described as binding of the particle to the metal or oxide layer around it and expansion and contraction stresses and external vibration. Experimental data forms the basis for defining size distributions and release fractions for plutonium oxide. The relevance of the data must be evaluated in the light of the chemical and physical properties of plutonium metal, plutonium oxide, and intermediate Plutonium compounds. The effects of temperature on reaction kinetics must also be understood when evaluating experimental data. Size distribution functions are remarkably similar for products of all Pu+gas reactions. The distributions are all bimodal. Marked differences are seen in the sizes of large particles depending on reaction temperature and reaction rate. However, the size distributions of small particles are very similar. The bimodal distribution of small particles vanishes as the sizes of the large particles decrease to the point of equal dimensions with the small particles. This is the situation realized for the fine plutonium oxide powder produced by air oxidation at room temperature. This report addresses important factors for defining the formation of an aerosol from the oxidation of plutonium metal. These factors are oxidation kinetics of plutonium metal and plutonium hydride, the particle distribution of products formed by the reactions, and the kinetics of processes limiting entrainment of particles.

  15. Plutonium recovery from organic materials

    DOEpatents

    Deaton, R.L.; Silver, G.L.

    1973-12-11

    A method is described for removing plutonium or the like from organic material wherein the organic material is leached with a solution containing a strong reducing agent such as titanium (III) (Ti/sup +3None)/, chromium (II) (Cr/ sup +2/), vanadium (II) (V/sup +2/) ions, or ferrous ethylenediaminetetraacetate (EDTA), the leaching yielding a plutonium-containing solution that is further processed to recover plutonium. The leach solution may also contain citrate or tartrate ion. (Official Gazette)

  16. PROCESS OF PRODUCING SHAPED PLUTONIUM

    DOEpatents

    Anicetti, R.J.

    1959-08-11

    A process is presented for producing and casting high purity plutonium metal in one step from plutonium tetrafluoride. The process comprises heating a mixture of the plutonium tetrafluoride with calcium while the mixture is in contact with and defined as to shape by a material obtained by firing a mixture consisting of calcium oxide and from 2 to 10% by its weight of calcium fluoride at from 1260 to 1370 deg C.

  17. Manufacturing of Plutonium Tensile Specimens

    SciTech Connect

    Knapp, Cameron M

    2012-08-01

    Details workflow conducted to manufacture high density alpha Plutonium tensile specimens to support Los Alamos National Laboratory's science campaigns. Introduces topics including the metallurgical challenge of Plutonium and the use of high performance super-computing to drive design. Addresses the utilization of Abaqus finite element analysis, programmable computer numerical controlled (CNC) machining, as well as glove box ergonomics and safety in order to design a process that will yield high quality Plutonium tensile specimens.

  18. Low-Level Plutonium Bioassay Measurements at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Hamilton, T; Brown, T; Hickman, D; Marchetti, A; Williams, R; Kehl, S

    2007-06-18

    Plutonium-239 ({sup 239}Pu) and plutonium-240 ({sup 240}Pu) are important alpha emitting radionuclides contained in radioactive debris from nuclear weapons testing. {sup 239}Pu and {sup 240}Pu are long-lived radionuclides with half-lives of 24,400 years and 6580 years, respectively. Concerns over human exposure to plutonium stem from knowledge about the persistence of plutonium isotopes in the environment and the high relative effectiveness of alpha-radiation to cause potential harm to cells once incorporated into the human body. In vitro bioassay tests have been developed to assess uptakes of plutonium based on measured urinary excretion patterns and modeled metabolic behaviors of the absorbed radionuclides. Systemic plutonium absorbed by the deep lung or from the gastrointestinal tract after ingestion is either excreted or distributed to other organs, primarily to the liver and skeleton, where it is retained for biological half-times of around 20 and 50 years, respectively. Dose assessment and atoll rehabilitation programs in the Marshall Islands have historically given special consideration to residual concentrations of plutonium in the environment even though the predicted dose from inhalation and/or ingestion of plutonium accounts for less than 5% of the annual effective dose from exposure to fallout contamination. Scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have developed a state-of-the-art bioassay test to assess urinary excretion rates of plutonium from Marshallese populations. This new heavy-isotope measurement system is based on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS). The AMS system at LLNL far exceeds the standard measurement requirements established under the latest United States Department of Energy (DOE) regulation, 10CFR 835, for occupational monitoring of plutonium, and offers several advantages over classical as well as competing new technologies for low-level detection and measurement of plutonium isotopes. The United States

  19. Plutonium worker dosimetry.

    PubMed

    Birchall, Alan; Puncher, M; Harrison, J; Riddell, A; Bailey, M R; Khokryakov, V; Romanov, S

    2010-05-01

    Epidemiological studies of the relationship between risk and internal exposure to plutonium are clearly reliant on the dose estimates used. The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) is currently reviewing the latest scientific information available on biokinetic models and dosimetry, and it is likely that a number of changes to the existing models will be recommended. The effect of certain changes, particularly to the ICRP model of the respiratory tract, has been investigated for inhaled forms of (239)Pu and uncertainties have also been assessed. Notable effects of possible changes to respiratory tract model assumptions are (1) a reduction in the absorbed dose to target cells in the airways, if changes under consideration are made to the slow clearing fraction and (2) a doubling of absorbed dose to the alveolar region for insoluble forms, if evidence of longer retention times is taken into account. An important factor influencing doses for moderately soluble forms of (239)Pu is the extent of binding of dissolved plutonium to lung tissues and assumptions regarding the extent of binding in the airways. Uncertainty analyses have been performed with prior distributions chosen for application in epidemiological studies. The resulting distributions for dose per unit intake were lognormal with geometric standard deviations of 2.3 and 2.6 for nitrates and oxides, respectively. The wide ranges were due largely to consideration of results for a range of experimental data for the solubility of different forms of nitrate and oxides. The medians of these distributions were a factor of three times higher than calculated using current default ICRP parameter values. For nitrates, this was due to the assumption of a bound fraction, and for oxides due mainly to the assumption of slower alveolar clearance. This study highlights areas where more research is needed to reduce biokinetic uncertainties, including more accurate determination of particle transport rates

  20. System design document for the plutonium stabilization and packaging system

    SciTech Connect

    1996-05-08

    The objective of this system is to stabilize and package plutonium metals and oxides of greater than 50% wt, as well as other selected isotopes, in accordance with the requirements for DOE standards for safe storage of these materials for 50 years. This document describes the highest level design information and user characteristics from an operational perspective. It provides guidance for developing procurement and installation specifications, interface requirements, and test plans.

  1. Measurement of plutonium in spent nuclear fuel by self-induced x-ray fluorescence

    SciTech Connect

    Hoover, Andrew S; Rudy, Cliff R; Tobin, Steve J; Charlton, William S; Stafford, A; Strohmeyer, D; Saavadra, S

    2009-01-01

    Direct measurement of the plutonium content in spent nuclear fuel is a challenging problem in non-destructive assay. The very high gamma-ray flux from fission product isotopes overwhelms the weaker gamma-ray emissions from plutonium and uranium, making passive gamma-ray measurements impossible. However, the intense fission product radiation is effective at exciting plutonium and uranium atoms, resulting in subsequent fluorescence X-ray emission. K-shell X-rays in the 100 keV energy range can escape the fuel and cladding, providing a direct signal from uranium and plutonium that can be measured with a standard germanium detector. The measured plutonium to uranium elemental ratio can be used to compute the plutonium content of the fuel. The technique can potentially provide a passive, non-destructive assay tool for determining plutonium content in spent fuel. In this paper, we discuss recent non-destructive measurements of plutonium X-ray fluorescence (XRF) signatures from pressurized water reactor spent fuel rods. We also discuss how emerging new technologies, like very high energy resolution microcalorimeter detectors, might be applied to XRF measurements.

  2. METHOD FOR OBTAINING PLUTONIUM METAL AND ALLOYS OF PLUTONIUM FROM PLUTONIUM TRICHLORIDE

    DOEpatents

    Reavis, J.G.; Leary, J.A.; Maraman, W.J.

    1962-11-13

    A process is given for both reducing plutonium trichloride to plutonium metal using cerium as the reductant and simultaneously alloying such plutonium metal with an excess of cerium or cerium and cobalt sufficient to yield the desired nuclear reactor fuel composition. The process is conducted at a temperature from about 550 to 775 deg C, at atmospheric pressure, without the use of booster reactants, and a substantial decontamination is effected in the product alloy of any rare earths which may be associated with the source of the plutonium. (AEC)

  3. Photochemical preparation of plutonium pentafluoride

    DOEpatents

    Rabideau, Sherman W.; Campbell, George M.

    1987-01-01

    The novel compound plutonium pentafluoride may be prepared by the photodissociation of gaseous plutonium hexafluoride. It is a white solid of low vapor pressure, which consists predominantly of a face-centered cubic structure with a.sub.o =4.2709.+-.0.0005 .ANG..

  4. SOLVENT EXTRACTION PROCESS FOR PLUTONIUM

    DOEpatents

    Anderson, H.H.; Asprey, L.B.

    1960-02-01

    A process of separating plutonium in at least the tetravalent state from fission products contained in an aqueous acidic solution by extraction with alkyl phosphate is reported. The plutonium can then be back-extracted from the organic phase by contact with an aqueous solution of sulfuric, phosphoric, or oxalic acid as a complexing agent.

  5. PLUTONIUM-CERIUM-COPPER ALLOYS

    DOEpatents

    Coffinberry, A.S.

    1959-05-12

    A low melting point plutonium alloy useful as fuel is a homogeneous liquid metal fueled nuclear reactor is described. Vessels of tungsten or tantalum are useful to contain the alloy which consists essentially of from 10 to 30 atomic per cent copper and the balance plutonium and cerium. with the plutontum not in excess of 50 atomic per cent.

  6. SEPARATION OF PLUTONIUM FROM URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Feder, H.M.; Nuttall, R.L.

    1959-12-15

    A process is described for extracting plutonium from powdered neutron- irradiated urarium metal by contacting the latter, while maintaining it in the solid form, with molten magnesium which takes up the plutonium and separating the molten magnesium from the solid uranium.

  7. PREPARATION OF HALIDES OF PLUTONIUM

    DOEpatents

    Garner, C.S.; Johns, I.B.

    1958-09-01

    A dry chemical method is described for preparing plutonium halides, which consists in contacting plutonyl nitrate with dry gaseous HCl or HF at an elevated temperature. The addition to the reaction gas of a small quantity of an oxidizing gas or a reducing gas will cause formation of the tetra- or tri-halide of plutonium as desired.

  8. PLUTONIUM-URANIUM-TITANIUM ALLOYS

    DOEpatents

    Coffinberry, A.S.

    1959-07-28

    A plutonium-uranium alloy suitable for use as the fuel element in a fast breeder reactor is described. The alloy contains from 15 to 60 at.% titanium with the remainder uranium and plutonium in a specific ratio, thereby limiting the undesirable zeta phase and rendering the alloy relatively resistant to corrosion and giving it the essential characteristic of good mechanical workability.

  9. METHOD OF REDUCING PLUTONIUM COMPOUNDS

    DOEpatents

    Johns, I.B.

    1958-06-01

    A method is described for reducing plutonium compounds in aqueous solution from a higher to a lower valence state. This reduction of valence is achieved by treating the aqueous solution of higher valence plutonium compounds with hydrogen in contact with an activated platinum catalyst.

  10. Plutonium Detection with Straw Neutron Detectors

    SciTech Connect

    Mukhopadhyay, Sanjoy; Maurer, Richard; Guss, Paul

    2014-03-27

    A kilogram of weapons grade plutonium gives off about 56,000 neutrons per second of which 55,000 neutrons come from spontaneous fission of 240Pu (~6% by weight of the total plutonium). Actually, all even numbered isotopes (238Pu, 240Pu, and 242Pu) produce copious spontaneous fission neutrons. These neutrons induce fission in the surrounding fissile 239Pu with an approximate multiplication of a factor of ~1.9. This multiplication depends on the shape of the fissile materials and the surrounding material. These neutrons (typically of energy 2 MeV and air scattering mean free path >100 meters) can be detected 100 meters away from the source by vehicle-portable neutron detectors. [1] In our current studies on neutron detection techniques, without using 3He gas proportional counters, we designed and developed a portable high-efficiency neutron multiplicity counter using 10B-coated thin tubes called straws. The detector was designed to perform like commercially available fission meters (manufactured by Ortec Corp.) except instead of using 3He gas as a neutron conversion material, we used a thin coating of 10B.

  11. Tags to Track Illicit Uranium and Plutonium

    SciTech Connect

    Haire, M. Jonathan; Forsberg, Charles W.

    2007-07-01

    With the expansion of nuclear power, it is essential to avoid nuclear materials from falling into the hands of rogue nations, terrorists, and other opportunists. This paper examines the idea of detection and attribution tags for nuclear materials. For a detection tag, it is proposed to add small amounts [about one part per billion (ppb)] of {sup 232}U to enriched uranium to brighten its radioactive signature. Enriched uranium would then be as detectable as plutonium and thus increase the likelihood of intercepting illicit enriched uranium. The use of rare earth oxide elements is proposed as a new type of 'attribution' tag for uranium and thorium from mills, uranium and plutonium fuels, and other nuclear materials. Rare earth oxides are chosen because they are chemically compatible with the fuel cycle, can survive high-temperature processing operations in fuel fabrication, and can be chosen to have minimal neutronic impact within the nuclear reactor core. The mixture of rare earths and/or rare earth isotopes provides a unique 'bar code' for each tag. If illicit nuclear materials are recovered, the attribution tag can identify the source and lot of nuclear material, and thus help police reduce the possible number of suspects in the diversion of nuclear materials based on who had access. (authors)

  12. The use of carbohydrazide for plutonium concentration stripping in separator with inert packing

    SciTech Connect

    Dvoeglazov, K.; Volk, V.; Zverev, D.; Veselov, S.; Krivitskiy, Y.; Alekseenko, S.; Alekseenko, V.

    2013-07-01

    For the purpose of removing plutonium from uranium- plutonium extract it is proposed to employ concentration stripping process with the use of separator and a new reducing reagent: Carbohydrazide CO(N{sub 2}H{sub 3}){sub 2}. Using plutonium stripping from solution simulating the composition of extract of spent nuclear fuel from VVER-1000 reactor (without γ-emitting isotopes), with O: A ratio of = 28, a product solution was obtained containing 17.8 g/l of plutonium, 29.2 g/l of uranium and more than 1 g/l of technetium. The experiment on real spent fuel from VVER-1000 with burn-up of more than 50 GW*d/t of uranium after 17 year exposure, performed in the shielded box of FSUE 'MCP', confirmed the effectiveness and feasibility of the proposed process. Through concentration stripping (O:A = 20), a plutonium product solution was obtained with a part of uranium with the following composition: [U] = 150 g/l; [Pu] = 23,5 g/l; [Np] = 1,7 g/l, [Tc] = 1.5 g/l; gamma exposure rate - 0,022 mR/s*l. Direct extraction of plutonium in this operation was 95.3%, the rest of plutonium is refluxing to the preceding stage of the extraction cycle. A process flow diagram with organization of plutonium recycling is proposed, allowing for its complete removal into a single stream. Carbohydrazide is an effective reducing agent of plutonium (IV), ensuring the stability of uranium-plutonium separation process. (authors)

  13. Solubility of Plutonium (IV) Oxalate During Americium/Curium Pretreatment

    SciTech Connect

    Rudisill, T.S.

    1999-08-11

    Approximately 15,000 L of solution containing isotopes of americium and curium (Am/Cm) will undergo stabilization by vitrification at the Savannah River Site (SRS). Prior to vitrification, an in-tank pretreatment will be used to remove metal impurities from the solution using an oxalate precipitation process. Material balance calculations for this process, based on solubility data in pure nitric acid, predict approximately 80 percent of the plutonium in the solution will be lost to waste. Due to the uncertainty associated with the plutonium losses during processing, solubility experiments were performed to measure the recovery of plutonium during pretreatment and a subsequent precipitation process to prepare a slurry feed for a batch melter. A good estimate of the plutonium content of the glass is required for planning the shipment of the vitrified Am/Cm product to Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).The plutonium solubility in the oxalate precipitation supernate during pretreatment was 10 mg/mL at 35 degrees C. In two subsequent washes with a 0.25M oxalic acid/0.5M nitric acid solution, the solubility dropped to less than 5 mg/mL. During the precipitation and washing steps, lanthanide fission products in the solution were mostly insoluble. Uranium, and alkali, alkaline earth, and transition metal impurities were soluble as expected. An elemental material balance for plutonium showed that greater than 94 percent of the plutonium was recovered in the dissolved precipitate. The recovery of the lanthanide elements was generally 94 percent or higher except for the more soluble lanthanum. The recovery of soluble metal impurities from the precipitate slurry ranged from 15 to 22 percent. Theoretically, 16 percent of the soluble oxalates should have been present in the dissolved slurry based on the dilution effects and volumes of supernate and wash solutions removed. A trace level material balance showed greater than 97 percent recovery of americium-241 (from the beta dec

  14. Aging phenomenon in metallic plutonium

    SciTech Connect

    Stevens, M.F.; Martz, J.C.

    1998-12-31

    Today, as with weapons science issues, the monitoring of plutonium aging becomes an important issue for surveillance. The reasons for this are many-fold. First, and perhaps most important, plutonium is radioactive, primarily through the process of alpha decay. This process has many consequences. One pragmatic one is that the alpha particles ejected near the surface can be used with an ionization gauge-type detector to assess the presence of fine plutonium particulates, allowing plutonium handlers and facilities to detect the presence of contamination in virtual real time. But this alpha decay has other consequences for weapon integrity which are not well known. The same surface alpha particles which allow it`s detection, can also cause a variety of problems with materials which may be found in contact with plutonium over extended time periods. However, when this alpha emission occurs within the bulk of the plutonium metal, it is essentially trapped. Within the metal atom lattice, it acquires valence electrons and becomes a helium atom. At the same time that these helium atoms accumulate within the lattice, atomic displacements and damage to the plutonium lattice occurs due to collisions with the energetic uranium and alpha particles. At the current time, the authors have insufficient data to either assess or postulate how or when such defect structures may cause a deleterious change in the plutonium or effect other indirect changes. The Laboratory is currently initiating a variety of enhanced surveillance technologies to asses such effects. Results of these studies to understand aging phenomena in plutonium will be reviewed.

  15. Probing phonons in plutonium

    SciTech Connect

    Wong, Joe; Krisch, M.; Farber, D.; Occelli, F.; Schwartz, A.; Chiang, T.C.; Wall, M.; Boro, C.; Xu, Ruqing

    2010-11-16

    Plutonium (Pu) is well known to have complex and unique physico-chemical properties. Notably, the pure metal exhibits six solid-state phase transformations with large volume expansions and contractions along the way to the liquid state: {alpha} {yields} {beta} {yields} {gamma} {yields} {delta} {yields} {delta}{prime} {yields} {var_epsilon} {yields} liquid. Unalloyed Pu melts at a relatively low temperature {approx}640 C to yield a higher density liquid than that of the solid from which it melts, (Figure 1). Detailed understanding of the properties of plutonium and plutonium-based alloys is critical for the safe handling, utilization, and long-term storage of these important, but highly toxic materials. However, both technical and and safety issues have made experimental observations extremely difficult. Phonon dispersion curves (PDCs) are key experimenta l data to the understanding of the basic properties of Pu materials such as: force constants, sound velocities, elastic constants, thermodynamics, phase stability, electron-phonon coupling, structural relaxation, etc. However, phonon dispersion curves (PDCs) in plutonium (Pu) and its alloys have defied measurement for the past few decades since the discovery of this element in 1941. This is due to a combination of the high thermal-neutron absorption cross section of plutonium and the inability to grow the large single crystals (with dimensions of a few millimeters) necessary for inelastic neutron scattering. Theoretical simulations of the Pu PDC continue to be hampered by the lack of suitable inter -atomic potentials. Thus, until recently the PDCs for Pu and its alloys have remained unknown experimentally and theoretically. The experimental limitations have recently been overcome by using a tightly focused undulator x-ray micro-beam scattered from single -grain domains in polycrystalline specimens. This experimental approach has been applied successfully to map the complete PDCs of an fcc d-Pu-Ga alloy using the

  16. Low temperature oxidation of plutonium

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, Art J.; Roussel, Paul

    2013-05-15

    The initial oxidation of gallium stabilized {delta}-plutonium metal at 193 K has been followed using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. On exposure to Langmuir quantities of oxygen, plutonium rapidly forms a trivalent oxide followed by a tetravalent plutonium oxide. The growth modes of both oxides have been determined. Warming the sample in vacuum, the tetravalent oxide reduces to the trivalent oxide. The kinetics of this reduction reaction have followed and the activation energy has been determined to be 38.8 kJ mol{sup -1}.

  17. SOLVENT EXTRACTION PROCESS FOR PLUTONIUM

    DOEpatents

    Seaborg, G.T.

    1959-04-14

    The separation of plutonium from aqueous inorganic acid solutions by the use of a water immiscible organic extractant liquid is described. The plutonium must be in the oxidized state, and the solvents covered by the patent include nitromethane, nitroethane, nitropropane, and nitrobenzene. The use of a salting out agents such as ammonium nitrate in the case of an aqueous nitric acid solution is advantageous. After contacting the aqueous solution with the organic extractant, the resulting extract and raffinate phases are separated. The plutonium may be recovered by any suitable method.

  18. PLUTONIUM-HYDROGEN REACTION PRODUCT, METHOD OF PREPARING SAME AND PLUTONIUM POWDER THEREFROM

    DOEpatents

    Fried, S.; Baumbach, H.L.

    1959-12-01

    A process is described for forming plutonlum hydride powder by reacting hydrogen with massive plutonium metal at room temperature and the product obtained. The plutonium hydride powder can be converted to plutonium powder by heating to above 200 deg C.

  19. Plutonium release from Fukushima Daiichi fosters the need for more detailed investigations.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Stephanie; Walther, Clemens; Bister, Stefan; Schauer, Viktoria; Christl, Marcus; Synal, Hans-Arno; Shozugawa, Katsumi; Steinhauser, Georg

    2013-01-01

    The contamination of Japan after the Fukushima accident has been investigated mainly for volatile fission products, but only sparsely for actinides such as plutonium. Only small releases of actinides were estimated in Fukushima. Plutonium is still omnipresent in the environment from previous atmospheric nuclear weapons tests. We investigated soil and plants sampled at different hot spots in Japan, searching for reactor-borne plutonium using its isotopic ratio ²⁴⁰Pu/²³⁹Pu. By using accelerator mass spectrometry, we clearly demonstrated the release of Pu from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant: While most samples contained only the radionuclide signature of fallout plutonium, there is at least one vegetation sample whose isotope ratio (0.381 ± 0.046) evidences that the Pu originates from a nuclear reactor (²³⁹⁺²⁴⁰Pu activity concentration 0.49 Bq/kg). Plutonium content and isotope ratios differ considerably even for very close sampling locations, e.g. the soil and the plants growing on it. This strong localization indicates a particulate Pu release, which is of high radiological risk if incorporated. PMID:24136192

  20. Plutonium release from Fukushima Daiichi fosters the need for more detailed investigations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Stephanie; Walther, Clemens; Bister, Stefan; Schauer, Viktoria; Christl, Marcus; Synal, Hans-Arno; Shozugawa, Katsumi; Steinhauser, Georg

    2013-10-01

    The contamination of Japan after the Fukushima accident has been investigated mainly for volatile fission products, but only sparsely for actinides such as plutonium. Only small releases of actinides were estimated in Fukushima. Plutonium is still omnipresent in the environment from previous atmospheric nuclear weapons tests. We investigated soil and plants sampled at different hot spots in Japan, searching for reactor-borne plutonium using its isotopic ratio 240Pu/239Pu. By using accelerator mass spectrometry, we clearly demonstrated the release of Pu from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant: While most samples contained only the radionuclide signature of fallout plutonium, there is at least one vegetation sample whose isotope ratio (0.381 +/- 0.046) evidences that the Pu originates from a nuclear reactor (239+240Pu activity concentration 0.49 Bq/kg). Plutonium content and isotope ratios differ considerably even for very close sampling locations, e.g. the soil and the plants growing on it. This strong localization indicates a particulate Pu release, which is of high radiological risk if incorporated.

  1. Plutonium release from Fukushima Daiichi fosters the need for more detailed investigations

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Stephanie; Walther, Clemens; Bister, Stefan; Schauer, Viktoria; Christl, Marcus; Synal, Hans-Arno; Shozugawa, Katsumi; Steinhauser, Georg

    2013-01-01

    The contamination of Japan after the Fukushima accident has been investigated mainly for volatile fission products, but only sparsely for actinides such as plutonium. Only small releases of actinides were estimated in Fukushima. Plutonium is still omnipresent in the environment from previous atmospheric nuclear weapons tests. We investigated soil and plants sampled at different hot spots in Japan, searching for reactor-borne plutonium using its isotopic ratio 240Pu/239Pu. By using accelerator mass spectrometry, we clearly demonstrated the release of Pu from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant: While most samples contained only the radionuclide signature of fallout plutonium, there is at least one vegetation sample whose isotope ratio (0.381 ± 0.046) evidences that the Pu originates from a nuclear reactor (239+240Pu activity concentration 0.49 Bq/kg). Plutonium content and isotope ratios differ considerably even for very close sampling locations, e.g. the soil and the plants growing on it. This strong localization indicates a particulate Pu release, which is of high radiological risk if incorporated. PMID:24136192

  2. Plutonium release from Fukushima Daiichi fosters the need for more detailed investigations.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Stephanie; Walther, Clemens; Bister, Stefan; Schauer, Viktoria; Christl, Marcus; Synal, Hans-Arno; Shozugawa, Katsumi; Steinhauser, Georg

    2013-10-18

    The contamination of Japan after the Fukushima accident has been investigated mainly for volatile fission products, but only sparsely for actinides such as plutonium. Only small releases of actinides were estimated in Fukushima. Plutonium is still omnipresent in the environment from previous atmospheric nuclear weapons tests. We investigated soil and plants sampled at different hot spots in Japan, searching for reactor-borne plutonium using its isotopic ratio ²⁴⁰Pu/²³⁹Pu. By using accelerator mass spectrometry, we clearly demonstrated the release of Pu from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant: While most samples contained only the radionuclide signature of fallout plutonium, there is at least one vegetation sample whose isotope ratio (0.381 ± 0.046) evidences that the Pu originates from a nuclear reactor (²³⁹⁺²⁴⁰Pu activity concentration 0.49 Bq/kg). Plutonium content and isotope ratios differ considerably even for very close sampling locations, e.g. the soil and the plants growing on it. This strong localization indicates a particulate Pu release, which is of high radiological risk if incorporated.

  3. Age determination of single plutonium particles after chemical separation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shinonaga, T.; Donohue, D.; Ciurapinski, A.; Klose, D.

    2009-01-01

    Age determination of single plutonium particles was demonstrated using five particles of the standard reference material, NBS 947 (Plutonium Isotopic Standard. National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C. 20234, August 19, 1982, currently distributed as NBL CRM-137) and the radioactive decay of 241Pu into 241Am. The elemental ratio of Am/Pu in Pu particles found on a carbon planchet was measured by wavelength dispersive X-ray spectrometry (WDX) coupled to a scanning electron microscope (SEM). After the WDX measurement, each plutonium particle, with an average size of a few μm, was picked up and relocated to a silicon wafer inside the SEM chamber using a micromanipulator. The silicon wafer was then transferred to a quartz tube for dissolution in an acid solution prior to chemical separation. After the Pu was chemically separated from Am and U, the isotopic ratios of Pu ( 240Pu/ 239Pu, 241Pu/ 239Pu and 242Pu/ 239Pu) were measured with a thermal ionization mass spectrometer (TIMS) for the calculation of Pu age. The age of particles determined in this study was in good agreement with the expected age (35.9 a) of NBS 947 within the measurement uncertainty.

  4. TERNARY ALLOY-CONTAINING PLUTONIUM

    DOEpatents

    Waber, J.T.

    1960-02-23

    Ternary alloys of uranium and plutonium containing as the third element either molybdenum or zirconium are reported. Such alloys are particularly useful as reactor fuels in fast breeder reactors. The alloy contains from 2 to 25 at.% of molybdenum or zirconium, the balance being a combination of uranium and plutonium in the ratio of from 1 to 9 atoms of uranlum for each atom of plutonium. These alloys are prepared by melting the constituent elements, treating them at an elevated temperature for homogenization, and cooling them to room temperature, the rate of cooling varying with the oomposition and the desired phase structure. The preferred embodiment contains 12 to 25 at.% of molybdenum and is treated by quenching to obtain a body centered cubic crystal structure. The most important advantage of these alloys over prior binary alloys of both plutonium and uranium is the lack of cracking during casting and their ready machinability.

  5. METHOD OF PREPARING PLUTONIUM TETRAFLUORIDE

    DOEpatents

    Beede, R.L.; Hopkins, H.H. Jr.

    1959-11-17

    C rystalline plutonium tetrafluoride is precipitated from aqueous up to 1.6 N mineral acid solutions of a plutorium (IV) salt with fluosilicic acid anions, preferably at room temperature. Hydrogen fluoride naay be added after precipitation to convert any plutonium fluosilicate to the tetrafluoride and any silica to fluosilicic acid. This process results in a purer product, especially as to iron and aluminum, than does the precipitation by the addition of hydrogen fluoride.

  6. Isotope separation by laser means

    DOEpatents

    Robinson, C. Paul; Jensen, Reed J.; Cotter, Theodore P.; Greiner, Norman R.; Boyer, Keith

    1982-06-15

    A process for separating isotopes by selective excitation of isotopic species of a volatile compound by tuned laser light. A highly cooled gas of the volatile compound is produced in which the isotopic shift is sharpened and defined. Before substantial condensation occurs, the cooled gas is irradiated with laser light precisely tuned to a desired wavelength to selectively excite a particular isotopic species in the cooled gas. The laser light may impart sufficient energy to the excited species to cause it to undergo photochemical reaction or even to photoionize. Alternatively, a two-photon irradiation may be applied to the cooled gas to induce photochemical reaction or photoionization. The process is particularly applicable to the separation of isotopes of uranium and plutonium.

  7. Plutonium measurements near background levels

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-01-01

    The Rocky Flats Plant (RFP) is part of a nationwide nuclear weapons research, development, and production complex administered by the United States Department of Energy (DOE). Low-levels of environmental Plutonium occurs in and about RFP as a result of plant operations. Plutonium is a key element in remediation investigations and surface water discharge limits. Most of the plutonium analyses at RFP measure concentrations at or near background levels. Measurements often show little, if any, plutonium in the media being sampled, except at known contamination sites. Many plutonium results are less than the calculated minimum detectable-level (MDL). (MDL is an a priori estimate of the activity concentration that can be practically achieved under a specified set of typical measurement conditions.) This paper investigates the relationship between plutonium concentrations and the counting uncertainty when measurements are near background, and suggests why the MDL should not be used as a criteria for limiting data. Issues with defining site background and determining attainment of standards are presented.

  8. Plutonium measurements near background levels

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-08-01

    The Rocky Flats Plant (RFP) is part of a nationwide nuclear weapons research, development, and production complex administered by the United States Department of Energy (DOE). Low-levels of environmental Plutonium occurs in and about RFP as a result of plant operations. Plutonium is a key element in remediation investigations and surface water discharge limits. Most of the plutonium analyses at RFP measure concentrations at or near background levels. Measurements often show little, if any, plutonium in the media being sampled, except at known contamination sites. Many plutonium results are less than the calculated minimum detectable-level (MDL). (MDL is an a priori estimate of the activity concentration that can be practically achieved under a specified set of typical measurement conditions.) This paper investigates the relationship between plutonium concentrations and the counting uncertainty when measurements are near background, and suggests why the MDL should not be used as a criteria for limiting data. Issues with defining site background and determining attainment of standards are presented.

  9. The Dynamic Movement of Plutonium in an Underground Nuclear Test with Implications for the Contamination of Groundwater

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, D K; Williams, R W

    2003-03-25

    The recent discovery of the migration of plutonium in groundwater away from underground nuclear tests at the Nevada Test Site has spawned considerable interest in the mechanisms by which plutonium may be released to the environment by a nuclear test. A suite of solid debris samples was collected during drilling through an expended test cavity and the overlying collapse chimney. Uranium and plutonium were analyzed for isotope ratios and concentration using high precision magnetic sector inductively coupled mass spectrometry. The data unequivocally shows that plutonium may be dispersed throughout the cavity and chimney environment at the time of the detonation. The {sup 239}Pu/{sup 240}Pu ratios are also fractionated relative to initial plutonium isotope ratio for the test device. Fractionation is the result of the volatilization of uranium and production of {sup 239}Pu by the reaction {sup 238}U (n,{gamma}). We conclude that for the test under consideration plutonium was deposited outside of the confines of the cavity by dynamic processes in early-time and it is this plutonium that is most likely first transferred to the groundwater regime.

  10. Simultaneous determination of radiocesium ((135)Cs, (137)Cs) and plutonium ((239)Pu, (240)Pu) isotopes in river suspended particles by ICP-MS/MS and SF-ICP-MS.

    PubMed

    Cao, Liguo; Zheng, Jian; Tsukada, Hirofumi; Pan, Shaoming; Wang, Zhongtang; Tagami, Keiko; Uchida, Shigeo

    2016-10-01

    Due to radioisotope releases in the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident, long-term monitoring of radiocesium ((135)Cs and (137)Cs) and Pu isotopes ((239)Pu and (240)Pu) in river suspended particles is necessary to study the transport and fate of these long-lived radioisotopes in the land-ocean system. However, it is expensive and technically difficult to collect samples of suspended particles from river and ocean. Thus, simultaneous determination of multi-radionuclides remains as a challenging topic. In this study, for the first time, we report an analytical method for simultaneous determination of radiocesium and Pu isotopes in suspended particles with small sample size (1-2g). Radiocesium and Pu were sequentially pre-concentrated using ammonium molybdophosphate and ferric hydroxide co-precipitation, respectively. After the two-stage ion-exchange chromatography separation from the matrix elements, radiocesium and Pu isotopes were finally determined by ICP-MS/MS and SF-ICP-MS, respectively. The interfering elements of U ((238)U(1)H(+) and (238)U(2)H(+) for (239)Pu and (240)Pu, respectively) and Ba ((135)Ba(+) and (137)Ba(+) for (135)Cs and (137)Cs, respectively) were sufficiently removed with the decontamination factors of 1-8×10(6) and 1×10(4), respectively, with the developed method. Soil reference materials were utilized for method validation, and the obtained (135)Cs/(137)Cs and (240)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratios, and (239+240)Pu activities showed a good agreement with the certified/information values. In addition, the developed method was applied to analyze radiocesium and Pu in the suspended particles of land water samples collected from Fukushima Prefecture after the FDNPP accident. The (135)Cs/(137)Cs atom ratios (0.329-0.391) and (137)Cs activities (23.4-152Bq/g) suggested radiocesium contamination of the suspended particles mainly originated from the accident-released radioactive contaminates, while similar Pu contamination of suspended

  11. Simultaneous determination of radiocesium ((135)Cs, (137)Cs) and plutonium ((239)Pu, (240)Pu) isotopes in river suspended particles by ICP-MS/MS and SF-ICP-MS.

    PubMed

    Cao, Liguo; Zheng, Jian; Tsukada, Hirofumi; Pan, Shaoming; Wang, Zhongtang; Tagami, Keiko; Uchida, Shigeo

    2016-10-01

    Due to radioisotope releases in the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident, long-term monitoring of radiocesium ((135)Cs and (137)Cs) and Pu isotopes ((239)Pu and (240)Pu) in river suspended particles is necessary to study the transport and fate of these long-lived radioisotopes in the land-ocean system. However, it is expensive and technically difficult to collect samples of suspended particles from river and ocean. Thus, simultaneous determination of multi-radionuclides remains as a challenging topic. In this study, for the first time, we report an analytical method for simultaneous determination of radiocesium and Pu isotopes in suspended particles with small sample size (1-2g). Radiocesium and Pu were sequentially pre-concentrated using ammonium molybdophosphate and ferric hydroxide co-precipitation, respectively. After the two-stage ion-exchange chromatography separation from the matrix elements, radiocesium and Pu isotopes were finally determined by ICP-MS/MS and SF-ICP-MS, respectively. The interfering elements of U ((238)U(1)H(+) and (238)U(2)H(+) for (239)Pu and (240)Pu, respectively) and Ba ((135)Ba(+) and (137)Ba(+) for (135)Cs and (137)Cs, respectively) were sufficiently removed with the decontamination factors of 1-8×10(6) and 1×10(4), respectively, with the developed method. Soil reference materials were utilized for method validation, and the obtained (135)Cs/(137)Cs and (240)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratios, and (239+240)Pu activities showed a good agreement with the certified/information values. In addition, the developed method was applied to analyze radiocesium and Pu in the suspended particles of land water samples collected from Fukushima Prefecture after the FDNPP accident. The (135)Cs/(137)Cs atom ratios (0.329-0.391) and (137)Cs activities (23.4-152Bq/g) suggested radiocesium contamination of the suspended particles mainly originated from the accident-released radioactive contaminates, while similar Pu contamination of suspended

  12. Plutonium focus area

    SciTech Connect

    1996-08-01

    To ensure research and development programs focus on the most pressing environmental restoration and waste management problems at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Environmental Management (EM) established a working group in August 1993 to implement a new approach to research and technology development. As part of this new approach, EM developed a management structure and principles that led to the creation of specific Focus Areas. These organizations were designed to focus the scientific and technical talent throughout DOE and the national scientific community on the major environmental restoration and waste management problems facing DOE. The Focus Area approach provides the framework for intersite cooperation and leveraging of resources on common problems. After the original establishment of five major Focus Areas within the Office of Technology Development (EM-50, now called the Office of Science and Technology), the Nuclear Materials Stabilization Task Group (EM-66) followed the structure already in place in EM-50 and chartered the Plutonium Focus Area (PFA). The following information outlines the scope and mission of the EM, EM-60, and EM-66 organizations as related to the PFA organizational structure.

  13. Plutonium solution analyzer

    SciTech Connect

    Burns, D.A.

    1994-09-01

    A fully automated analyzer has been developed for plutonium solutions. It was assembled from several commercially available modules, is based upon segmented flow analysis, and exhibits precision about an order of magnitude better than commercial units (0.5%-O.05% RSD). The system was designed to accept unmeasured, untreated liquid samples in the concentration range 40-240 g/L and produce a report with sample identification, sample concentrations, and an abundance of statistics. Optional hydraulics can accommodate samples in the concentration range 0.4-4.0 g/L. Operating at a typical rate of 30 to 40 samples per hour, it consumes only 0.074 mL of each sample and standard, and generates waste at the rate of about 1.5 mL per minute. No radioactive material passes through its multichannel peristaltic pump (which remains outside the glovebox, uncontaminated) but rather is handled by a 6-port, 2-position chromatography-type loop valve. An accompanying computer is programmed in QuickBASIC 4.5 to provide both instrument control and data reduction. The program is truly user-friendly and communication between operator and instrument is via computer screen displays and keyboard. Two important issues which have been addressed are waste minimization and operator safety (the analyzer can run in the absence of an operator, once its autosampler has been loaded).

  14. Discovery of isotopes of the transuranium elements with 93≤Z≤98

    SciTech Connect

    Fry, C.; Thoennessen, M.

    2013-01-15

    One hundred and five isotopes of the transuranium elements neptunium, plutonium, americium, curium, berkelium, and californium have been observed so far; the discovery of these isotopes is described. For each isotope a brief summary of the first refereed publication, including the production and identification method, is presented.

  15. Discovery of isotopes of the transuranium elements with 93≤Z≤98

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fry, C.; Thoennessen, M.

    2013-01-01

    One hundred and five isotopes of the transuranium elements neptunium, plutonium, americium, curium, berkelium, and californium have been observed so far; the discovery of these isotopes is described. For each isotope a brief summary of the first refereed publication, including the production and identification method, is presented.

  16. Zone refining of plutonium metal

    SciTech Connect

    1997-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate zone refining techniques for the purification of plutonium metal. The redistribution of 10 impurity elements from zone melting was examined. Four tantalum boats were loaded with plutonium impurity alloy, placed in a vacuum furnace, heated to 700{degrees}C, and held at temperature for one hour. Ten passes were made with each boat. Metallographic and chemical analyses performed on the plutonium rods showed that, after 10 passes, moderate movement of certain elements were achieved. Molten zone speeds of 1 or 2 inches per hour had no effect on impurity element movement. Likewise, the application of constant or variable power had no effect on impurity movement. The study implies that development of a zone refining process to purify plutonium is feasible. Development of a process will be hampered by two factors: (1) the effect on impurity element redistribution of the oxide layer formed on the exposed surface of the material is not understood, and (2) the tantalum container material is not inert in the presence of plutonium. Cold boat studies are planned, with higher temperature and vacuum levels, to determine the effect on these factors. 5 refs., 1 tab., 5 figs.

  17. Selecting a plutonium vitrification process

    SciTech Connect

    Jouan, A.

    1996-05-01

    Vitrification of plutonium is one means of mitigating its potential danger. This option is technically feasible, even if it is not the solution advocated in France. Two situations are possible, depending on whether or not the glass matrix also contains fission products; concentrations of up to 15% should be achievable for plutonium alone, whereas the upper limit is 3% in the presence of fission products. The French continuous vitrification process appears to be particularly suitable for plutonium vitrification: its capacity is compatible with the required throughout, and the compact dimensions of the process equipment prevent a criticality hazard. Preprocessing of plutonium metal, to convert it to PuO{sub 2} or to a nitric acid solution, may prove advantageous or even necessary depending on whether a dry or wet process is adopted. The process may involve a single step (vitrification of Pu or PuO{sub 2} mixed with glass frit) or may include a prior calcination step - notably if the plutonium is to be incorporated into a fission product glass. It is important to weigh the advantages and drawbacks of all the possible options in terms of feasibility, safety and cost-effectiveness.

  18. Double shell tanks plutonium inventory assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Tusler, L.A.

    1995-05-31

    This report provides an evaluation that establishes plutonium inventory estimates for all DSTs based on known tank history information, the DST plutonium inventory tracking system, tank characterization measurements, tank transfer records, and estimated average concentration values for the various types of waste. These estimates use data through December 31, 1994, and give plutonium estimates as of January 1, 1995. The plutonium inventory values for the DSTs are given in Section 31. The plutonium inventory estimate is 224 kg for the DSTs and 854 kg for the SSTs for a total of 1078 kg. This value compares favorably with the total plutonium inventory value of 981 kg obtained from the total plutonium production minus plutonium recovery analysis estimates.

  19. Recent plutonium science and technology at ORNL

    SciTech Connect

    Bell, J.T.

    1985-01-01

    Plutonium research and development (R and D) at ORNL has generally followed development of the nuclear fuel cycle. Basic plutonium chemistry studies have diminished since the mid-1970s; however, significant efforts have been made recently to determine fundamental characteristics of the aqueous plutonium polymer and to develop thermodynamic representations of plutonium oxides. Some studies have also been made on plutonium phosphates related to waste isolation and on definition of the oxidation states of environmental plutonium. The remaining work has been supported by the Consolidated Fuel Reprocessing Program (CFRP) and includes: (1) establishment of boundary limits for polymer formation in Purex systems; (2) preparation of mixed uranium-plutonium oxide microspheres by internal gelation sol-gel techniques; (3) direct thermal denitration of aqueous systems; and (4) plutonium/uranium extraction from spent fast reactor fuels.

  20. Plutonium and americium separation from salts

    DOEpatents

    Hagan, Paul G.; Miner, Frend J.

    1976-01-01

    Salts or materials containing plutonium and americium are dissolved in hydrochloric acid, heated, and contacted with an alkali metal carbonate solution to precipitate plutonium and americium carbonates which are thereafter readily separable from the solution.

  1. Overview of Modeling and Simulations of Plutonium Aging

    SciTech Connect

    Schwartz, A J; Wolfer, W G

    2007-04-24

    Computer-aided materials research is now an integral part of science and technology. It becomes particularly valuable when comprehensive experimental investigations and materials testing are too costly, hazardous, or of excessive duration; then, theoretical and computational studies can supplement and enhance the information gained from limited experimental data. Such is the case for improving our fundamental understanding of the properties of aging plutonium in the nuclear weapons stockpile. The question of the effects of plutonium aging on the safety, security, and reliability of the nuclear weapons stockpile emerged after the United States closed its plutonium manufacturing facility in 1989 and decided to suspend any further underground testing of nuclear weapons in 1992. To address this, the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) initiated a research program to investigate plutonium aging, i.e., the changes with time of properties of Pu-Ga alloys employed in the nuclear weapons and to develop models describing these changes sufficiently reliable to forecast them for several decades. The November 26, 2006 press release by the NNSA summarizes the conclusions of the investigation, '...there appear to be no serious or sudden changes occurring, or expected to occur, in plutonium that would affect performance of pits beyond the well-understood, gradual degradation of plutonium materials'. Furthermore, 'These studies show that the degradation of plutonium in our nuclear weapons will not affect warhead reliability for decades', then NNSA Administrator Linton Brooks said. 'It is now clear that although plutonium aging contributes, other factors control the overall life expectancy of nuclear weapons systems'. The origin of plutonium aging is the natural decay of certain plutonium isotopes. Specifically, it is the process of alpha decay in which a plutonium atom spontaneously splits into a 5 MeV alpha particle and an 85keV uranium recoil

  2. Measuring SNM Isotopic Distributions using FRAM

    SciTech Connect

    Geist, William H.

    2015-12-02

    The first group of slides provides background information on the isotopic composition of plutonium. It is shown that 240Pu is the critical isotope in neutron coincidence/multiplicity counting. Next, response function analysis to determine isotopic composition is discussed. The isotopic composition can be determined by measuring the net peak counts from each isotope and then taking the ratio of the counts for each isotope relative to the total counts for the element. Then FRAM (Fixed energy Response function Analysis with Multiple efficiencies) is explained. FRAM can control data acquisition, automatically analyze newly acquired data, analyze previously acquired data, provide information on the quality of the analysis, and facilitate analysis in unusual situations (non-standard energy calibrations, gamma rays from non-SNM isotopes, poor spectra (within limits)).

  3. 238Pu: accumulation, tissue distribution, and excretion in Mayak workers after exposure to plutonium aerosols.

    PubMed

    Suslova, Klara G; Sokolova, Alexandra B; Khokhryakov, Viktor V; Miller, Scott C

    2012-03-01

    The alpha spectrometry measurements of specific activity of 238Pu and 239Pu in urine from bioassay examinations of 1,013 workers employed at the radiochemical and plutonium production facilities of the Mayak Production Association and in autopsy specimens of lung, liver, and skeleton from 85 former nuclear workers who died between 1974-2009, are summarized.The accumulation fraction of 238Pu in the body and excreta has not changed with time in workers involved in production of weapons-grade plutonium production (e.g., the plutonium production facility and the former radiochemical facility). The accumulation fraction of 238Pu in individuals exposed to plutonium isotopes at the newer Spent Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Plant ranged from 0.13% up to 27.5% based on the autopsy data. No statistically significant differences between 238Pu and 239Pu in distribution by the main organs of plutonium deposition were found in the Mayak workers. Based on the bioassay data,the fraction of 238Pu activity in urine is on average 38-69% of the total activity of 238Pu and 239Pu, which correlates with the isotopic composition in workplace air sampled at the Spent Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Plant. In view of the higher specific activity of 238Pu, the contribution of 238Pu to the total internal dose, particularly in the skeleton and liver, might be expected to continue to increase, and continued surveillance is recommended.

  4. PROCESS OF SEPARATING PLUTONIUM FROM URANIUM

    DOEpatents

    Brown, H.S.; Hill, O.F.

    1958-09-01

    A process is presented for recovering plutonium values from aqueous solutions. It comprises forming a uranous hydroxide precipitate in such a plutonium bearing solution, at a pH of at least 5. The plutonium values are precipitated with and carried by the uranium hydroxide. The carrier precipitate is then redissolved in acid solution and the pH is adjusted to about 2.5, causing precipitation of the uranous hydroxide but leaving the still soluble plutonium values in solution.

  5. Global plutonium management: A security option

    SciTech Connect

    Sylvester, K.W.B.

    1998-12-31

    The US surplus plutonium disposition program was created to reduce the proliferation risk posed by the fissile material from thousands of retired nuclear weapons. The Department of Energy has decided to process its Put into a form as secure as Pu in civilian spent fuel. While implementation issues have been considered, a major one (Russian reciprocity) remains unresolved. Russia has made disposition action conditional on extracting the fuel value of its Pu but lacks the infrastructure to do so. Assistance in the construction of the required facilities would conflict with official US policy opposing the development of a Pu fuel cycle. The resulting stagnation provides impetus for a reevaluation of US nonproliferation objectives and Pu disposition options. A strategy for satisfying Russian fuel value concerns and reducing the proliferation risk posed by surplus weapons-grade plutonium (WGPu) is proposed. The effectiveness of material alteration (e.g., isotopic, chemical, etc.{hor_ellipsis}) at reducing the desire, ability and opportunity for proliferation is assessed. Virtually all the security benefits attainable by material processing can be obtained by immobilizing Pu in large unit size/mass monoliths without a radiation barrier. Russia would be allowed to extract the Pu at a future date for use as fuel in a verifiable manner. Remote tracking capability, if proven feasible, would further improve safeguarding capability. As an alternate approach, the US could compensate Russia for its Pu, allowing it to be disposed of or processed elsewhere. A market based method for pricing Pu is proposed. Surplus Pu could represent access to nuclear fuel at a fixed price at a future date. This position can be replicated in the uranium market and priced using derivative theory. The proposed strategy attempts to meet nonproliferation objectives by recognizing technical limitations and satisfying political constraints.

  6. Plutonium Oxide Process Capability Work Plan

    SciTech Connect

    Meier, David E.; Tingey, Joel M.

    2014-02-28

    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has been tasked to develop a Pilot-scale Plutonium-oxide Processing Unit (P3U) providing a flexible capability to produce 200g (Pu basis) samples of plutonium oxide using different chemical processes for use in identifying and validating nuclear forensics signatures associated with plutonium production. Materials produced can also be used as exercise and reference materials.

  7. 49 CFR 175.704 - Plutonium shipments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... Regulations Applicable According to Classification of Material § 175.704 Plutonium shipments. Shipments of plutonium which are subject to 10 CFR 71.88(a)(4) must comply with the following: (a) Each package... 49 Transportation 2 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Plutonium shipments. 175.704 Section...

  8. 49 CFR 175.704 - Plutonium shipments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... Regulations Applicable According to Classification of Material § 175.704 Plutonium shipments. Shipments of plutonium which are subject to 10 CFR 71.88(a)(4) must comply with the following: (a) Each package... 49 Transportation 2 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Plutonium shipments. 175.704 Section...

  9. 49 CFR 175.704 - Plutonium shipments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... Regulations Applicable According to Classification of Material § 175.704 Plutonium shipments. Shipments of plutonium which are subject to 10 CFR 71.88(a)(4) must comply with the following: (a) Each package... 49 Transportation 2 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Plutonium shipments. 175.704 Section...

  10. 49 CFR 175.704 - Plutonium shipments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... Regulations Applicable According to Classification of Material § 175.704 Plutonium shipments. Shipments of plutonium which are subject to 10 CFR 71.88(a)(4) must comply with the following: (a) Each package... 49 Transportation 2 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Plutonium shipments. 175.704 Section...

  11. 49 CFR 175.704 - Plutonium shipments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... Regulations Applicable According to Classification of Material § 175.704 Plutonium shipments. Shipments of plutonium which are subject to 10 CFR 71.88(a)(4) must comply with the following: (a) Each package... 49 Transportation 2 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Plutonium shipments. 175.704 Section...

  12. HIGH ENERGY DELAYED GAMMA SPECTROSCOPY FOR PLUTONIUM ASSAY OF SPENT REACTOR FUEL

    SciTech Connect

    Campbell, Luke W.; Smith, L. E.; Misner, Alex C.

    2011-07-18

    Nuclear safeguards requires accountancy of plutonium present in spent reactor fuels. Current non-destructive methods do not directly measure plutonium content but instead rely on indirect measurements that require operator declarations of the fuel history. Delayed gamma spectroscopy is one method being investigated which can overcome these limitations. Delayed gamma rays from fission depend on the isotopic fission yield of the fissile isotope, and thus can be used to fingerprint the isotopes undergoing fission. However, difficulties arise because of the intense background due to long lived fission radionuclides already present in the fuel. We report on progress on simulated measurements of the delayed gamma spectrum in the presence of this background, using neutrons from a D-T source thermalized in an interrogation chamber slipped over a fuel assembly. By focusing on delayed gammas in the 3 to 4 MeV range, the passive spectrum becomes negligible, while allowing the preferential attenuation of the passive background to acceptable levels.

  13. Disposition of plutonium-239 via production of fission molybdenum-99.

    PubMed

    Mushtaq, A

    2011-04-01

    A heritage of physical consequences of the U.S.-Soviet arms race has accumulated, the weapons-grade plutonium (WPu), which will become excess as a result of the dismantlement of the nuclear weapons under the arms reduction agreements. Disposition of Pu has been proposed by mixing WPu with high-level radioactive waste with subsequent vitrification into large, highly radioactive glass logs or fabrication into mixed oxide fuel with subsequent irradiation in existing light water reactors. A potential option may be the production of medical isotope molybdenum-99 by using Pu-239 targets.

  14. Forensic investigation of plutonium metal: a case study of CRM 126

    DOE PAGES

    Byerly, Benjamin L.; Stanley, Floyd; Spencer, Khal; Colletti, Lisa; Garduno, Katherine; Kuhn, Kevin; Lujan, Elmer; Martinez, Alex; Porterfield, Donivan; Rim, Jung; et al

    2016-06-27

    In our study, a certified plutonium metal reference material (CRM 126) with a known production history is examined using analytical methods that are commonly employed in nuclear forensics for provenancing and attribution. Moreover, the measured plutonium isotopic composition and actinide assay are consistent with values reported on the reference material certificate. Model ages from U/Pu and Am/Pu chronometers agree with the documented production timeline. Finally, these results confirm the utility of these analytical methods and highlight the importance of a holistic approach for forensic study of unknown materials.

  15. Analysis of civilian processing programs in reduction of excess separated plutonium and high-enriched uranium

    SciTech Connect

    Persiani, P.J.

    1995-12-31

    The purpose of this preliminary investigation is to explore alternatives and strategies aimed at the gradual reduction of the excess inventories of separated plutonium and high-enriched uranium (HEU) in the civilian nuclear power industry. The study attempts to establish a technical and economic basis to assist in the formation of alternative approaches consistent with nonproliferation and safeguards concerns. The analysis addresses several options in reducing the excess separated plutonium and HEU, and the consequences on nonproliferation and safeguards policy assessments resulting from the interacting synergistic effects between fuel cycle processes and isotopic signatures of nuclear materials.

  16. Plutonium Speciation, Solubilization and Migration in Soils

    SciTech Connect

    Neu, M.; Runde, W.

    1999-06-01

    This report summarizes research completed in the first half of a three-year project. As outlined in the authors' proposal they are focusing on (1) characterizing the plutonium at an actinide contaminated site, RFETS, including determining the origin, dispersion, and speciation of the plutonium, (2) studying environmentally important plutonium complexes, primarily hydroxides and carbonates, and (3) examining the interactions of plutonium species with manganese minerals. In the first year the authors focused on site based studies. This year they continue to characterize samples from the RFETS, study the formation and structural and spectroscopic features of environmentally relevant Pu species, and begin modeling the environmental behavior of plutonium.

  17. Plutonium immobilization feed batching system concept report

    SciTech Connect

    Erickson, S.

    2000-07-19

    The Plutonium Immobilization Facility will encapsulate plutonium in ceramic pucks and seal the pucks inside welded cans. Remote equipment will place these cans in magazines and the magazines in a Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) canister. The DWPF will fill the canister with high level waste glass for permanent storage. Feed batching is one of the first process steps involved with first stage plutonium immobilization. It will blend plutonium oxide powder before it is combined with other materials to make pucks. This report discusses the Plutonium Immobilization feed batching process preliminary concept, batch splitting concepts, and includes a process block diagram, concept descriptions, a preliminary equipment list, and feed batching development areas.

  18. Plutonium inventory characterization technical evaluation report

    SciTech Connect

    Wittman, G.R., Westinghouse Hanford

    1996-07-10

    This is a technical report on the data, gathered to date, under WHC- SD-CP-TP-086, Rev. 1, on the integrity of the food pack cans currently being used to store plutonium or plutonium compounds at the Plutonium Finishing Plant. Workplan PFP-96-VO-009, `Inspection of Special Nuclear Material Using X-ray`, was used to gather data on material and containment conditions using real time radiography. Some of those images are included herein. A matrix found in the `Plutonium Inventory Characterization Implementation Plan` was used to categorize different plutonium items based upon the type of material being stored and the life expectancy of the containers.

  19. PROCESS FOR SEPARATING PLUTONIUM FROM IMPURITIES

    DOEpatents

    Wahl, A.C.

    1957-11-12

    A method is described for separating plutonium from aqueous solutions containing uranium. It has been found that if the plutonium is reduced to its 3+ valence state, and the uranium present is left in its higher valence state, then the differences in solubility between certain salts (e.g., oxalates) of the trivalent plutonium and the hexavalent uranium can be used to separate the metals. This selective reduction of plutonium is accomplished by adding iodide ion to the solution, since iodide possesses an oxidation potential sufficient to reduce plutonium but not sufficient to reduce uranium.

  20. PLUTONIUM COMPOUNDS AND PROCESS FOR THEIR PREPARATION

    DOEpatents

    Wolter, F.J.; Diehl, H.C. Jr.

    1958-01-01

    This patent relates to certain new compounds of plutonium, and to the utilization of these compounds to effect purification or separation of the plutonium. The compounds are organic chelate compounds consisting of tetravalent plutonium together with a di(salicylal) alkylenediimine. These chelates are soluble in various organic solvents, but not in water. Use is made of this property in extracting the plutonium by contacting an aqueous solution thereof with an organic solution of the diimine. The plutonium is chelated, extracted and effectively separated from any impurities accompaying it in the aqueous phase.

  1. Method of separating thorium from plutonium

    DOEpatents

    Clifton, D.G.; Blum, T.W.

    1984-07-10

    A method is described for chemically separating plutonium from thorium. Plutonium and thorium to be separated are dissolved in an aqueous feed solution, preferably as the nitrate salts. The feed solution is acidified and sodium nitrite is added to the solution to adjust the valence of the plutonium to the +4 state. A chloride salt, preferably sodium chloride, is then added to the solution to induce formation of an anionic plutonium chloride complex. The anionic plutonium chloride complex and the thorium in solution are then separated by ion exchange on a strong base anion exchange column.

  2. Method of separating thorium from plutonium

    DOEpatents

    Clifton, David G.; Blum, Thomas W.

    1984-01-01

    A method of chemically separating plutonium from thorium. Plutonium and thorium to be separated are dissolved in an aqueous feed solution, preferably as the nitrate salts. The feed solution is acidified and sodium nitrite is added to the solution to adjust the valence of the plutonium to the +4 state. A chloride salt, preferably sodium chloride, is then added to the solution to induce formation of an anionic plutonium chloride complex. The anionic plutonium chloride complex and the thorium in solution are then separated by ion exchange on a strong base anion exchange column.

  3. Method of separating thorium from plutonium

    DOEpatents

    Clifton, D.G.; Blum, T.W.

    A method of chemically separating plutonium from thorium is claimed. Plutonium and thorium to be separated are dissolved in an aqueous feed solution, preferably as the nitrate salts. The feed solution is acidified and sodium nitrite is added to the solution to adjust the valence of the plutonium to the +4 state. A chloride salt, preferably sodium chloride, is then added to the solution to induce formation of an anionic plutonium chloride complex. The anionic plutonium chloride complex and the thorium in solution are then separated by ion exchange on a strong base anion exchange column.

  4. Plutonium concentrations in lichens of Rocky Flats environs

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, R.S.; Ibrahim, S.A.

    1995-03-01

    Xanthoparmelia spp. lichens were used to study the spatial distribution of plutonium concentrations in nonvascular plants surrounding the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons facility with respect to distance, direction, age, and washing. Plutonium concentrations in lichens were inversely related to distance from the initial contamination site with a directional component which corroborated wind-borne transport as the primary means of dispersion. Ultrasonic washing and the relative age of the lichen proved to be significant only at p = 0.21 and p = 0.96, respectively. Isotopic ratios of {sup 239,240}Pu to {sup 238}Pu were highly variable at low activities but remained consistent at 62.6 for samples with high total plutonium activity. Correlation of Xanthoparmelia spp. lichen {sup 239,240}Pu concentrations to surface soil concentrations showed a direct relationship (r = 0.767; p < 0.001). The correlation was supported by soil retention studies which revealed a lichen soil content ranging from 11 to 18% on a dry mass basis with a possible particle size selectivity in the different concentration ratios adjacent to and away from the initial contamination site. Results suggest that further study into the in situ biomonitoring of surface soil by Xanthoparmelia spp. lichens is promising. 38 refs., 4 figs., 3 tabs.

  5. Plutonium concentrations in lichens of Rocky Flats environs.

    PubMed

    Thomas, R S; Ibrahim, S A

    1995-03-01

    Xanthoparmelia spp. lichens were used to study the spatial distribution of plutonium concentrations in nonvascular plants surrounding the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons facility with respect to distance, direction, age, and washing. Plutonium concentrations in lichens were inversely related to distance from the initial contamination site with a directional component which corroborated wind-borne transport as the primary means of dispersion. Ultrasonic washing and the relative age of the lichen proved to be significant only at p = 0.21 and p = 0.96, respectively. Isotopic ratios of 239,240Pu to 238Pu were highly variable at low activities but remained consistent at 62.6 for samples with high total plutonium activity. Correlation of Xanthoparmelia spp. lichen 239,240Pu concentrations to surface soil concentrations showed a direct relationship (r = 0.767; p < 0.001). The correlation was supported by soil retention studies which revealed a lichen soil content ranging from 11 to 18% on a dry mass basis with a possible particle size selectivity in the different concentration ratios adjacent to and away from the initial contamination site. Results suggest that further study into the in situ biomonitoring of surface soil by Xanthoparmelia spp. lichens is promising. PMID:7860301

  6. Plutonium concentrations in lichens of Rocky Flats environs.

    PubMed

    Thomas, R S; Ibrahim, S A

    1995-03-01

    Xanthoparmelia spp. lichens were used to study the spatial distribution of plutonium concentrations in nonvascular plants surrounding the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons facility with respect to distance, direction, age, and washing. Plutonium concentrations in lichens were inversely related to distance from the initial contamination site with a directional component which corroborated wind-borne transport as the primary means of dispersion. Ultrasonic washing and the relative age of the lichen proved to be significant only at p = 0.21 and p = 0.96, respectively. Isotopic ratios of 239,240Pu to 238Pu were highly variable at low activities but remained consistent at 62.6 for samples with high total plutonium activity. Correlation of Xanthoparmelia spp. lichen 239,240Pu concentrations to surface soil concentrations showed a direct relationship (r = 0.767; p < 0.001). The correlation was supported by soil retention studies which revealed a lichen soil content ranging from 11 to 18% on a dry mass basis with a possible particle size selectivity in the different concentration ratios adjacent to and away from the initial contamination site. Results suggest that further study into the in situ biomonitoring of surface soil by Xanthoparmelia spp. lichens is promising.

  7. Plutonium inventories for stabilization and stabilized materials

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, A.K.

    1996-05-01

    The objective of the breakout session was to identify characteristics of materials containing plutonium, the need to stabilize these materials for storage, and plans to accomplish the stabilization activities. All current stabilization activities are driven by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board Recommendation 94-1 (May 26, 1994) and by the recently completed Plutonium ES&H Vulnerability Assessment (DOE-EH-0415). The Implementation Plan for accomplishing stabilization of plutonium-bearing residues in response to the Recommendation and the Assessment was published by DOE on February 28, 1995. This Implementation Plan (IP) commits to stabilizing problem materials within 3 years, and stabilizing all other materials within 8 years. The IP identifies approximately 20 metric tons of plutonium requiring stabilization and/or repackaging. A further breakdown shows this material to consist of 8.5 metric tons of plutonium metal and alloys, 5.5 metric tons of plutonium as oxide, and 6 metric tons of plutonium as residues. Stabilization of the metal and oxide categories containing greater than 50 weight percent plutonium is covered by DOE Standard {open_quotes}Criteria for Safe Storage of Plutonium Metals and Oxides{close_quotes} December, 1994 (DOE-STD-3013-94). This standard establishes criteria for safe storage of stabilized plutonium metals and oxides for up to 50 years. Each of the DOE sites and contractors with large plutonium inventories has either started or is preparing to start stabilization activities to meet these criteria.

  8. Plutonium waste incineration using pyrohydrolysis

    SciTech Connect

    Meyer, M.L.

    1991-01-01

    Waste generated by Savannah River Site (SRS) plutonium operations includes a contaminated organic waste stream. A conventional method for disposing of the organic waste stream and recovering the nuclear material is by incineration. When the organic material is burned, the plutonium remains in the incinerator ash. Plutonium recovery from incinerator ash is highly dependent on the maximum temperature to which the oxide is exposed. Recovery via acid leaching is reduced for a high fired ash (>800{degree}C), while plutonium oxides fired at lower decomposition temperatures (400--800{degrees}C) are more soluble at any given acid concentration. To determine the feasibility of using a lower temperature process, tests were conducted using an electrically heated, controlled-air incinerator. Nine nonradioactive, solid, waste materials were batch-fed and processed in a top-heated cylindrical furnace. Waste material processing was completed using a 19-liter batch over a nominal 8-hour cycle. A processing cycle consisted of 1 hour for heating, 4 hours for reacting, and 3 hours for chamber cooling. The water gas shift reaction was used to hydrolyze waste materials in an atmosphere of 336% steam and 4.4% oxygen. Throughput ranged from 0.14 to 0.27 kg/hr depending on the variability in the waste material composition and density.

  9. Plutonium waste incineration using pyrohydrolysis

    SciTech Connect

    Meyer, M.L.

    1991-12-31

    Waste generated by Savannah River Site (SRS) plutonium operations includes a contaminated organic waste stream. A conventional method for disposing of the organic waste stream and recovering the nuclear material is by incineration. When the organic material is burned, the plutonium remains in the incinerator ash. Plutonium recovery from incinerator ash is highly dependent on the maximum temperature to which the oxide is exposed. Recovery via acid leaching is reduced for a high fired ash (>800{degree}C), while plutonium oxides fired at lower decomposition temperatures (400--800{degrees}C) are more soluble at any given acid concentration. To determine the feasibility of using a lower temperature process, tests were conducted using an electrically heated, controlled-air incinerator. Nine nonradioactive, solid, waste materials were batch-fed and processed in a top-heated cylindrical furnace. Waste material processing was completed using a 19-liter batch over a nominal 8-hour cycle. A processing cycle consisted of 1 hour for heating, 4 hours for reacting, and 3 hours for chamber cooling. The water gas shift reaction was used to hydrolyze waste materials in an atmosphere of 336% steam and 4.4% oxygen. Throughput ranged from 0.14 to 0.27 kg/hr depending on the variability in the waste material composition and density.

  10. Plutonium Recycle: The Fateful Step

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Speth, J. Gustave; And Others

    1974-01-01

    Calls attention to the fact that if the Atomic Energy Commission proceeds with its plans to authorize the nuclear power industry to use plutonium as a fuel in commercial nuclear reactors around the country, this will result in a dramatic escalation in the risks posed by nuclear power. (PEB)

  11. Safe disposal of surplus plutonium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, W. L.; Naz, S.; Lutze, W.; Busch, R.; Prinja, A.; Stoll, W.

    2001-06-01

    About 150 tons of weapons grade and weapons usable plutonium (metal, oxide, and in residues) have been declared surplus in the USA and Russia. Both countries plan to convert the metal and oxide into mixed oxide fuel for nuclear power reactors. Russia has not yet decided what to do with the residues. The US will convert residues into a ceramic, which will then be over-poured with highly radioactive borosilicate glass. The radioactive glass is meant to provide a deterrent to recovery of plutonium, as required by a US standard. Here we show a waste form for plutonium residues, zirconia/boron carbide (ZrO 2/B 4C), with an unprecedented combination of properties: a single, radiation-resistant, and chemically durable phase contains the residues; billion-year-old natural analogs are available; and criticality safety is given under all conceivable disposal conditions. ZrO 2/B 4C can be disposed of directly, without further processing, making it attractive to all countries facing the task of plutonium disposal. The US standard for protection against recovery can be met by disposal of the waste form together with used reactor fuel.

  12. The First Weighing of Plutonium

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    Seaborg, Glenn T.

    1967-09-10

    Recollections and reminiscences at the 25th Anniversary of the First Weighing of Plutonium, Chicago, IL, September 10, 1967, tell an important part of the story of this fascinating new element that is destined to play an increasingly significant role in the future of man.

  13. Decay Heat Calculations for PWR and BWR Assemblies Fueled with Uranium and Plutonium Mixed Oxide Fuel using SCALE

    SciTech Connect

    Ade, Brian J; Gauld, Ian C

    2011-10-01

    In currently operating commercial nuclear power plants (NPP), there are two main types of nuclear fuel, low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel, and mixed-oxide uranium-plutonium (MOX) fuel. The LEU fuel is made of pure uranium dioxide (UO{sub 2} or UOX) and has been the fuel of choice in commercial light water reactors (LWRs) for a number of years. Naturally occurring uranium contains a mixture of different uranium isotopes, primarily, {sup 235}U and {sup 238}U. {sup 235}U is a fissile isotope, and will readily undergo a fission reaction upon interaction with a thermal neutron. {sup 235}U has an isotopic concentration of 0.71% in naturally occurring uranium. For most reactors to maintain a fission chain reaction, the natural isotopic concentration of {sup 235}U must be increased (enriched) to a level greater than 0.71%. Modern nuclear reactor fuel assemblies contain a number of fuel pins potentially having different {sup 235}U enrichments varying from {approx}2.0% to {approx}5% enriched in {sup 235}U. Currently in the United States (US), all commercial nuclear power plants use UO{sub 2} fuel. In the rest of the world, UO{sub 2} fuel is still commonly used, but MOX fuel is also used in a number of reactors. MOX fuel contains a mixture of both UO{sub 2} and PuO{sub 2}. Because the plutonium provides the fissile content of the fuel, the uranium used in MOX is either natural or depleted uranium. PuO{sub 2} is added to effectively replace the fissile content of {sup 235}U so that the level of fissile content is sufficiently high to maintain the chain reaction in an LWR. Both reactor-grade and weapons-grade plutonium contains a number of fissile and non-fissile plutonium isotopes, with the fraction of fissile and non-fissile plutonium isotopes being dependent on the source of the plutonium. While only RG plutonium is currently used in MOX, there is the possibility that WG plutonium from dismantled weapons will be used to make MOX for use in US reactors. Reactor-grade plutonium

  14. Analysis of the effects of inter-individual variation in the distribution of plutonium in skeleton and liver.

    PubMed

    Klein, W; Breustedt, B

    2014-01-01

    One important parameter for biokinetic plutonium modelling is the ratio between the contents of plutonium in liver and skeleton. Autopsy data show a vast inter-individual variation in the partitioning between these organs. The capacity of recent biokinetic models for plutonium to reproduce these variations was studied. Autopsy data for plutonium amounts in liver and skeleton for both (238)Pu and (239)Pu isotopes can be merged into a single data set following several statistical tests. Simulations with different parameter values generate a mapping between the autopsy values and the model parameters. The observed partitioning distribution can be transformed into a distribution of transfer rates, which would result in the observed data. Besides, the variation in the partitioning between liver and skeleton leads via biliary pathway to a variation in the excretion ratio. This can be used to estimate an individual partitioning factor, which can be used in individual case assessments.

  15. Evolving Density and Static Mechanical Properties in Plutonium from Self-Irradiation

    SciTech Connect

    Chung, B W; Thompson, S R; Lema, K E; Hiromoto, D S; Ebbinghaus, B B

    2008-07-31

    Plutonium, because of its self-irradiation by alpha decay, ages by means of lattice damage and helium in-growth. These integrated aging effects result in microstructural and physical property changes. Because these effects would normally require decades to measure, studies are underway to assess the effects of extended aging on the physical properties of plutonium alloys by incorporating roughly 7.5 weight % of highly specific activity isotope {sup 238}Pu into the {sup 239}Pu metal to accelerate the aging process. This paper presents updated results of self-irradiation effects on {sup 238}Pu-enriched alloys measured by immersion density, dilatometry, and tensile tests. After nearly 90 equivalent years of aging, both the immersion density and dilatometry show that the enriched alloys continue to decreased in density by {approx}0.002% per year, without void swelling. Quasi-static tensile measurements show that the aging process increases the strength of plutonium alloys.

  16. Plutonium metal exchange program : current status and statistical analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Tandon, L.; Eglin, J. L.; Michalak, S. E.; Picard, R. R.; Temer, D. J.

    2004-01-01

    The Rocky Flats Plutonium (Pu) Metal Sample Exchange program was conducted to insure the quality and intercomparability of measurements such as Pu assay, Pu isotopics, and impurity analyses. The Rocky Flats program was discontinued in 1989 after more than 30 years. In 2001, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) reestablished the Pu Metal Exchange program. In addition to the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston, six Department of Energy (DOE) facilities Argonne East, Argonne West, Livermore, Los Alamos, New Brunswick Laboratory, and Savannah River are currently participating in the program. Plutonium metal samples are prepared and distributed to the sites for destructive measurements to determine elemental concentration, isotopic abundance, and both metallic and nonmetallic impurity levels. The program provides independent verification of analytical measurement capabilies for each participating facility and allows problems in analytical methods to be identified. The current status of the program will be discussed with emphasis on the unique statistical analysis and modeling of the data developed for the program. The discussion includes the definition of the consensus values for each analyte (in the presence and absence of anomalous values and/or censored values), and interesting features of the data and the results.

  17. Neutron radiation characteristics of plutonium dioxide fuel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taherzadeh, M.

    1972-01-01

    The major sources of neutrons from plutonium dioxide nuclear fuel are considered in detail. These sources include spontaneous fission of several of the Pu isotopes, (alpha, n) reactions with low Z impurities in the fuel, and (alpha, n) reactions with O-18. For spontaneous fission neutrons a value of (1.95 + or - 0.07) X 1,000 n/s/g PuO2 is obtained. The neutron yield from (alpha, n) reactions with oxygen is calculated by integrating the reaction rate equation over all alpha-particle energies and all center-of-mass angles. The results indicate a neutron emission rate of (1.14 + or - 0.26) X 10,000 n/s/g PuO2. The neutron yield from (alpha, n) reactions with low Z impurities in the fuel is presented in tabular form for one part part per million of each impurity. The total neutron yield due to the combined effects of all the impurities depends upon the fractional weight concentration of each impurity. The total neutron flux emitted from a particular fuel geometry is estimated by adding the neutron yield due to the induced fission to the other neutron sources.

  18. Plutonium Immobilization Can Loading Concepts

    SciTech Connect

    Kriikku, E.; Ward, C.; Stokes, M.; Randall, B.; Steed, J.; Jones, R.; Hamilton, L.; Rogers, L.; Fiscus, J.; Dyches, G.

    1998-05-01

    The Plutonium Immobilization Facility will encapsulate plutonium in ceramic pucks and seal the pucks inside welded cans. Remote equipment will place these cans in magazines and the magazines in a Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) canister. The DWPF will fill the canister with glass for permanent storage. This report discusses five can loading conceptual designs and the lists the advantages and disadvantages for each concept. This report identifies loading pucks into cans and backfilling cans with helium as the top priority can loading development areas. The can loading welder and cutter are very similar to the existing Savannah River Site (SRS) FB-Line bagless transfer welder and cutter and thus they are a low priority development item.

  19. Plutonium Immobilization Project Baseline Formulation

    SciTech Connect

    Ebbinghaus, B.

    1999-02-01

    A key milestone for the Immobilization Project (AOP Milestone 3.2a) in Fiscal Year 1998 (FY98) is the definition of the baseline composition or formulation for the plutonium ceramic form. The baseline formulation for the plutonium ceramic product must be finalized before the repository- and plant-related process specifications can be determined. The baseline formulation that is currently specified is given in Table 1.1. In addition to the baseline formulation specification, this report provides specifications for two alternative formulations, related compositional specifications (e.g., precursor compositions and mixing recipes), and other preliminary form and process specifications that are linked to the baseline formulation. The preliminary specifications, when finalized, are not expected to vary tremendously from the preliminary values given.

  20. Plutonium Immobilization Project -- Can loading

    SciTech Connect

    Kriikku, E.

    2000-01-18

    The Savannah River Site (SRS) will immobilize excess plutonium in the proposed Plutonium Immobilization Project (PIP). The PIP scope includes unloading transportation containers, preparing the feed streams, converting the metal feed to an oxide, adding the ceramic precursors, pressing the pucks, inspecting pucks, and sintering pucks. The PIP scope also includes loading the pucks into metal cans, sealing the cans, inspecting the cans, loading the cans into magazines, loading magazines into Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) canisters, and transporting the canisters to the DWPF. The DWPF fills the canister with a mixture of high level radioactive waste and glass for permanent storage. Due to the radiation, remote equipment must perform PIP operations in a contained environment.

  1. Biokinetics of Plutonium in Nonhuman Primates.

    PubMed

    Poudel, Deepesh; Guilmette, Raymond A; Gesell, Thomas F; Harris, Jason T; Brey, Richard R

    2016-10-01

    A major source of data on metabolism, excretion and retention of plutonium comes from experimental animal studies. Although old world monkeys are one of the closest living relatives to humans, certain physiological differences do exist between these nonhuman primates and humans. The objective of this paper was to describe the metabolism of plutonium in nonhuman primates using the bioassay and retention data obtained from macaque monkeys injected with plutonium citrate. A biokinetic model for nonhuman primates was developed by adapting the basic model structure and adapting the transfer rates described for metabolism of plutonium in adult humans. Significant changes to the parameters were necessary to explain the shorter retention of plutonium in liver and skeleton of the nonhuman primates, differences in liver to bone partitioning ratio, and significantly higher excretion of plutonium in feces compared to that in humans. PMID:27575347

  2. Multi-generational stewardship of plutonium

    SciTech Connect

    Pillay, K.K.S.

    1997-10-01

    The post-cold war era has greatly enhanced the interest in the long-term stewardship of plutonium. The management of excess plutonium from proposed nuclear weapons dismantlement has been the subject of numerous intellectual discussions during the past several years. In this context, issues relevant to long-term management of all plutonium as a valuable energy resource are also being examined. While there are differing views about the future role of plutonium in the economy, there is a recognition of the environmental and health related problems and proliferation potentials of weapons-grade plutonium. The long-term management of plutonium as an energy resource will require a new strategy to maintain stewardship for many generations to come.

  3. SEPARATION OF PLUTONIUM HYDROXIDE FROM BISMUTH HYDROXIDE

    DOEpatents

    Watt, G.W.

    1958-08-19

    An tmproved method is described for separating plutonium hydroxide from bismuth hydroxide. The end product of the bismuth phosphate processes for the separation amd concentration of plutonium is a inixture of bismuth hydroxide amd plutonium hydroxide. It has been found that these compounds can be advantageously separated by treatment with a reducing agent having a potential sufficient to reduce bismuth hydroxide to metalltc bisinuth but not sufficient to reduce the plutonium present. The resulting mixture of metallic bismuth and plutonium hydroxide can then be separated by treatment with a material which will dissolve plutonium hydroxide but not metallic bismuth. Sodiunn stannite is mentioned as a preferred reducing agent, and dilute nitric acid may be used as the separatory solvent.

  4. Biokinetics of Plutonium in Nonhuman Primates.

    PubMed

    Poudel, Deepesh; Guilmette, Raymond A; Gesell, Thomas F; Harris, Jason T; Brey, Richard R

    2016-10-01

    A major source of data on metabolism, excretion and retention of plutonium comes from experimental animal studies. Although old world monkeys are one of the closest living relatives to humans, certain physiological differences do exist between these nonhuman primates and humans. The objective of this paper was to describe the metabolism of plutonium in nonhuman primates using the bioassay and retention data obtained from macaque monkeys injected with plutonium citrate. A biokinetic model for nonhuman primates was developed by adapting the basic model structure and adapting the transfer rates described for metabolism of plutonium in adult humans. Significant changes to the parameters were necessary to explain the shorter retention of plutonium in liver and skeleton of the nonhuman primates, differences in liver to bone partitioning ratio, and significantly higher excretion of plutonium in feces compared to that in humans.

  5. Air transport of plutonium metal : content expansion initiative for the Plutonium Air Transportable (PAT-1) packaging.

    SciTech Connect

    Mann, Paul T.; Caviness, Michael L.; Yoshimura, Richard Hiroyuki

    2010-06-01

    The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has submitted an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the air shipment of plutonium metal within the Plutonium Air Transportable (PAT-1) packaging. The PAT-1 packaging is currently authorized for the air transport of plutonium oxide in solid form only. The INMM presentation will provide a limited overview of the scope of the plutonium metal initiative and provide a status of the NNSA application to the NRC.

  6. Air transport of plutonium metal: content expansion initiative for the plutonium air transportable (PAT01) packaging

    SciTech Connect

    Caviness, Michael L; Mann, Paul T

    2010-01-01

    The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has submitted an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the air shipment of plutonium metal within the Plutonium Air Transportable (PAT-1) packaging. The PAT-1 packaging is currently authorized for the air transport of plutonium oxide in solid form only. The INMM presentation will provide a limited overview of the scope of the plutonium metal initiative and provide a status of the NNSA application to the NRC.

  7. Surprising coordination for plutonium in the first plutonium(III) borate.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shuao; Alekseev, Evgeny V; Depmeier, Wulf; Albrecht-Schmitt, Thomas E

    2011-03-21

    The first plutonium(III) borate, Pu(2)[B(12)O(18)(OH)(4)Br(2)(H(2)O)(3)]·0.5H(2)O, has been prepared by reacting plutonium(III) with molten boric acid under strictly anaerobic conditions. This compound contains a three-dimensional polyborate network with triangular holes that house the plutonium(III) sites. The plutonium sites in this compound are 9- and 10-coordinate and display atypical geometries.

  8. A suggested approach to applying IAEA safeguards to plutonium in weapons components

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, M.S.; Allentuck, J.

    1998-08-01

    It is the announced policy of the United States to make fissile material removed from its nuclear weapons stockpile subject to the US-IAEA voluntary safeguards agreement. Much of this material is plutonium in the form of pits. The application of traditional IAEA safeguards would reveal Restricted Data to unauthorized persons which is prohibited by US law and international treaties. Prior to the availability of a facility for the conversion of the plutonium in the pits to a non-sensitive form this obvious long-term solution to the problem is foreclosed. An alternative near-term approach to applying IAEA safeguards while preserving the necessary degree of confidentiality is required. This paper identifies such an approach. It presents in detail the form of the US declaration; the safeguards objectives which are met; inspection techniques which are utilized and the conclusion which the IAEA could reach concerning the contents of each item and the aggregate of all items. The approach would reveal the number of containers and the aggregate mass of plutonium in a set of n containers presented to the IAEA for verification while protecting data of the isotopic composition and plutonium mass of individual components. The suggested approach provides for traceability from the time the containers are sealed until the conversion of the plutonium to a non-sensitive form.

  9. Plutonium stabilization and disposition focus area, FY 1999 and FY 2000 multi-year program plan

    SciTech Connect

    1998-03-01

    Consistent with the Environmental Management`s (EM`s) plan titled, ``Accelerating Cleanup: Paths to Closure``, and ongoing efforts within the Executive Branch and Congress, this Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP) for the Plutonium Focus Area was written to ensure that technical gap projects are effectively managed and measured. The Plutonium Focus Area (PFA) defines and manages technology development programs that contribute to the effective stabilization of nuclear materials and their subsequent safe storage and final disposition. The scope of PFA activities includes the complete spectrum of plutonium materials, special isotopes, and other fissile materials. The PFA enables solutions to site-specific and complex-wide technology issues associated with plutonium remediation, stabilization, and preparation for disposition. The report describes the current technical activities, namely: Plutonium stabilization (9 studies); Highly enriched uranium stabilization (2 studies); Russian collaboration program (2 studies); Packaging and storage technologies (6 studies); and PFA management work package/product line (3 studies). Budget information for FY 1999 and FY 2000 is provided.

  10. Zone refining of plutonium metal

    SciTech Connect

    Blau, M.S.

    1994-08-01

    The zone refining process was applied to Pu metal containing known amounts of impurities. Rod specimens of plutonium metal were melted into and contained in tantalum boats, each of which was passed horizontally through a three-turn, high-frequency coil in such a manner as to cause a narrow molten zone to pass through the Pu metal rod 10 times. The impurity elements Co, Cr, Fe, Ni, Np, U were found to move in the same direction as the molten zone as predicted by binary phase diagrams. The elements Al, Am, and Ga moved in the opposite direction of the molten zone as predicted by binary phase diagrams. As the impurity alloy was zone refined, {delta}-phase plutonium metal crystals were produced. The first few zone refining passes were more effective than each later pass because an oxide layer formed on the rod surface. There was no clear evidence of better impurity movement at the slower zone refining speed. Also, constant or variable coil power appeared to have no effect on impurity movement during a single run (10 passes). This experiment was the first step to developing a zone refining process for plutonium metal.

  11. PLUTONIUM METAL: OXIDATION CONSIDERATIONS AND APPROACH

    SciTech Connect

    Estochen, E.

    2013-03-20

    Plutonium is arguably the most unique of all metals when considered in the combined context of metallurgical, chemical, and nuclear behavior. Much of the research in understanding behavior and characteristics of plutonium materials has its genesis in work associated with nuclear weapons systems. However, with the advent of applications in fuel materials, the focus in plutonium science has been more towards nuclear fuel applications, as well as long term storage and disposition. The focus of discussion included herein is related to preparing plutonium materials to meet goals consistent with non-proliferation. More specifically, the emphasis is on the treatment of legacy plutonium, in primarily metallic form, and safe handling, packaging, and transport to meet non-proliferation goals of safe/secure storage. Elevated temperature oxidation of plutonium metal is the treatment of choice, due to extensive experiential data related to the method, as the oxide form of plutonium is one of only a few compounds that is relatively simple to produce, and stable over a large temperature range. Despite the simplicity of the steps required to oxidize plutonium metal, it is important to understand the behavior of plutonium to ensure that oxidation is conducted in a safe and effective manner. It is important to understand the effect of changes in environmental variables on the oxidation characteristics of plutonium. The primary purpose of this report is to present a brief summary of information related to plutonium metal attributes, behavior, methods for conversion to oxide, and the ancillary considerations related to processing and facility safety. The information provided is based on data available in the public domain and from experience in oxidation of such materials at various facilities in the United States. The report is provided as a general reference for implementation of a simple and safe plutonium metal oxidation technique.

  12. Plutonium decontamination studies using Reverse Osmosis

    SciTech Connect

    Plock, C.E.; Travis, T.N.

    1980-06-17

    Water in batches of 45 gallons each, from a creek crossing the Rocky Flats Plant, was transferred to the Reverse Osmosis (RO) laboratory for experimental testing. The testing involved using RO for plutonium decontamination. For each test, the water was spiked with plutonium, had its pH adjusted, and was then processed by RO. At a water recovery level of 87%, the plutonium decontamination factors ranged from near 100 to 1200, depending on the pH of the processed water.

  13. WET METHOD OF PREPARING PLUTONIUM TRIBROMIDE

    DOEpatents

    Davidson, N.R.; Hyde, E.K.

    1958-11-11

    S> The preparation of anhydrous plutonium tribromide from an aqueous acid solution of plutonium tetrabromide is described, consisting of adding a water-soluble volatile bromide to the tetrabromide to provide additional bromide ions sufficient to furnish an oxidation-reduction potential substantially more positive than --0.966 volt, evaporating the resultant plutonium tribromides to dryness in the presence of HBr, and dehydrating at an elevated temperature also in the presence of HBr.

  14. PROCESS OF SEPARATING PLUTONIUM VALUES BY ELECTRODEPOSITION

    DOEpatents

    Whal, A.C.

    1958-04-15

    A process is described of separating plutonium values from an aqueous solution by electrodeposition. The process consists of subjecting an aqueous 0.1 to 1.0 N nitric acid solution containing plutonium ions to electrolysis between inert metallic electrodes. A current density of one milliampere io one ampere per square centimeter of cathode surface and a temperature between 10 and 60 d C are maintained. Plutonium is electrodeposited on the cathode surface and recovered.

  15. PROCESS FOR THE RECOVERY OF PLUTONIUM

    DOEpatents

    Potratz, H.A.

    1958-12-16

    A process for the separation of plutonium from uranlum and other associated radioactlve fission products ls descrlbed conslstlng of contacting an acid solution containing plutonium in the tetravalent state and uranium in the hexavalent state with enough ammonium carbonate to form an alkaline solution, adding cupferron to selectlvely form plutonlum cupferrlde, then recoverlng the plutonium cupferride by extraction with a water lmmiscible organic solvent such as chloroform.

  16. PRECIPITATION METHOD FOR THE SEPARATION OF PLUTONIUM AND RARE EARTHS

    DOEpatents

    Thompson, S.G.

    1960-04-26

    A method of purifying plutonium is given. Tetravalent plutonium is precipitated with thorium pyrophosphate, the plutonium is oxidized to the tetravalent state, and then impurities are precipitated with thorium pyrophosphate.

  17. PLUTONIUM-CUPFERRON COMPLEX AND METHOD OF REMOVING PLUTONIUM FROM SOLUTION

    DOEpatents

    Potratz, H.A.

    1959-01-13

    A method is presented for separating plutonium from fission products present in solutions of neutronirradiated uranium. The process consists in treating such acidic solutions with cupferron so that the cupferron reacts with the plutonium present to form an insoluble complex. This plutonium cupferride precipitates and may then be separated from the solution.

  18. NON-AQUEOUS DISSOLUTION OF MASSIVE PLUTONIUM

    DOEpatents

    Reavis, J.G.; Leary, J.A.; Walsh, K.A.

    1959-05-12

    A method is presented for obtaining non-aqueous solutions or plutonium from massive forms of the metal. In the present invention massive plutonium is added to a salt melt consisting of 10 to 40 weight per cent of sodium chloride and the balance zinc chloride. The plutonium reacts at about 800 deg C with the zinc chloride to form a salt bath of plutonium trichloride, sodium chloride, and metallic zinc. The zinc is separated from the salt melt by forcing the molten mixture through a Pyrex filter.

  19. An Improved Plutonium Trifluoride Precipitation Flowsheet

    SciTech Connect

    Harmon, H.D.

    2001-06-26

    This report discusses results of the plutonium trifluoride two-stage precipitation study. A series of precipitation experiments was used to identify the significant process variables affecting precipitation performance. A mathematical model of the precipitation process was developed which is based on the formation of plutonium fluoride complexes. The precipitation model relates all process variables, in a single equation, to a single parameter which can be used to control the performance of the plutonium trifluoride precipitation process. Recommendations have been made which will optimize the FB-Line plutonium trifluoride precipitation process.

  20. METHOD OF REDUCING PLUTONIUM WITH FERROUS IONS

    DOEpatents

    Dreher, J.L.; Koshland, D.E.; Thompson, S.G.; Willard, J.E.

    1959-10-01

    A process is presented for separating hexavalent plutonium from fission product values. To a nitric acid solution containing the values, ferrous ions are added and the solution is heated and held at elevated temperature to convert the plutonium to the tetravalent state via the trivalent state and the plutonium is then selectively precipitated on a BiPO/sub 4/ or LaF/sub 3/ carrier. The tetravalent plutonium formed is optionally complexed with fluoride, oxalate, or phosphate anion prior to carrier precipitation.

  1. ION EXCHANGE ADSORPTION PROCESS FOR PLUTONIUM SEPARATION

    DOEpatents

    Boyd, G.E.; Russell, E.R.; Taylor, M.D.

    1961-07-11

    Ion exchange processes for the separation of plutonium from fission products are described. In accordance with these processes an aqueous solution containing plutonium and fission products is contacted with a cation exchange resin under conditions favoring adsorption of plutonium and fission products on the resin. A portion of the fission product is then eluted with a solution containing 0.05 to 1% by weight of a carboxylic acid. Plutonium is next eluted with a solution containing 2 to 8 per cent by weight of the same carboxylic acid, and the remaining fission products on the resin are eluted with an aqueous solution containing over 10 per cent by weight of sodium bisulfate.

  2. OXIDATIVE METHOD OF SEPARATING PLUTONIUM FROM NEPTUNIUM

    DOEpatents

    Beaufait, L.J. Jr.

    1958-06-10

    A method is described of separating neptunium from plutonium in an aqueous solution containing neptunium and plutonium in valence states not greater than +4. This may be accomplished by contacting the solution with dichromate ions, thus oxidizing the neptunium to a valence state greater than +4 without oxidizing any substantial amount of plutonium, and then forming a carrier precipitate which carries the plutonium from solution, leaving the neptunium behind. A preferred embodiment of this invention covers the use of lanthanum fluoride as the carrier precipitate.

  3. Plutonium oxalate precipitation for trace elemental determination in plutonium materials

    DOE PAGES

    Xu, Ning; Gallimore, David; Lujan, Elmer; Garduno, Katherine; Walker, Laurie; Taylor, Fiona; Thompson, Pam; Tandon, Lav

    2015-05-26

    In this study, an analytical chemistry method has been developed that removes the plutonium (Pu) matrix from the dissolved Pu metal or oxide solution prior to the determination of trace impurities that are present in the metal or oxide. In this study, a Pu oxalate approach was employed to separate Pu from trace impurities. After Pu(III) was precipitated with oxalic acid and separated by centrifugation, trace elemental constituents in the supernatant were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy with minimized spectral interferences from the sample matrix.

  4. Chemical and Radiochemical Composition of Thermally Stabilized Plutonium Oxide from the Plutonium Finishing Plant Considered as Alternate Feedstock for the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Tingey, Joel M.; Jones, Susan A.

    2005-07-01

    PFP. Samples varied in appearance depending on the original source of material. Rocky Flats items were mostly dark olive green with clumps that crushed easily with a mortar and pestle. PRF/RMC items showed more variability. These items were mostly rust colored. One sample contained white particles that were difficult to crush, and another sample was a dark grey with a mixture of fines and large, hard fragments. The appearance and feel of the fragments indicated they might be an alloy. The color of the solution samples was indicative of the impurities in the sample. The double-pass filtrate solution was a brown color indicative of the iron impurities in the sample. The other solution sample was light gray in color. Radiochemical analyses, including thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS), alpha and gamma energy analysis (AEA and GEA), and kinetic phosphorescence analysis (KPA), indicate that these materials are all weapons-grade plutonium with consistent plutonium isotopics. A small amount of uranium (<0.14 wt%) is also present in these samples. The isotopic composition of the uranium varied widely but was consistent among each category of material. The primary water-soluble anions in these samples were Cl-, NO3-, SO42-, and PO43-. The only major anion observed in the Rocky Flats materials was Cl-, but the PRF/RMC samples had significant quantities of all of the primary anions observed. Prompt gamma measurements provide a representative analysis of the Cl- concentration in the bulk material. The primary anions observed in the solution samples were NO3-, and PO43-. The concentration of these anions did not exceed the mixed oxide (MOX) specification limits. Cations that exceeded the MOX specification limits included Cr, Fe, Ni, Al, Cu, and Si. All of the samples exceeded at least the 75% specification limit in one element.

  5. Measurements of plutonium, 237Np, and 137Cs in the BCR 482 lichen reference material

    DOE PAGES

    Lavelle, Kevin B.; Miller, Jeffrey L.; Hanson, Susan K.; Connick, William B.; Spitz, Henry B.; Glover, Samuel E.; Oldham, Warren J.

    2015-10-01

    Select anthropogenic radionuclides were measured in lichen reference material, BCR 482. This material was originally collected in Axalp, Switzerland in 1991 and is composed of the epiphytic lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea. Samples from three separate bottles of BCR 482 were analyzed for uranium, neptunium, and plutonium isotopes by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and analyzed for cesium-137 by gamma-ray spectrometry. The isotopic composition of the radionuclides measured in BCR 482 suggests contributions from both global fallout resulting from historical nuclear weapons testing and more volatile materials released following the Chernobyl accident.

  6. Gastrointestinal absorption of plutonium, uranium and neptunium in fed and fasted adult baboons: Application to humans

    SciTech Connect

    Bhattacharyya, M.H.; Larsen, R.P.; Oldham, R.D.; Moretti, E.S. ); Cohen, N.; Ralston, L.G.; Ayres, L. )

    1992-03-01

    Gastrointestinal (GI) absorption values of plutonium, uranium, and neptunium were determined in fed and fasted adult baboons. A dual isotope method of determining GI absorption, which does not require animal sacrifice, was validated and shown to compare well with the sacrifice method (summation of oral isotope in urine with that in tissues at sacrifice). For all three elements, mean GI absorption values were significantly high (5- to 50-fold) in 24-hour (h)-fasted animals than in fed animals, and GI absorption values for baboons agreed well with those for humans.

  7. Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) Waste Composition and High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter Loading

    SciTech Connect

    ZIMMERMAN, B.D.

    2000-12-11

    This analysis evaluates the effect of the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) waste isotopic composition on Tank Farms Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR) accidents involving high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter failure in Double-Contained Receiver Tanks (DCRTs). The HEPA Filter Failure--Exposure to High Temperature or Pressure, and Steam Intrusion From Interfacing Systems accidents are considered. The analysis concludes that dose consequences based on the PFP waste isotopic composition are bounded by previous FSAR analyses. This supports USQD TF-00-0768.

  8. Pyrochemical process for extracting plutonium from an electrolyte salt

    DOEpatents

    Mullins, Lawrence J.; Christensen, Dana C.

    1984-01-01

    A pyrochemical process for extracting plutonium from a plutonium-bearing salt is disclosed. The process is particularly useful in the recovery of plutonium from electrolyte salts which are left over from the electrorefining of plutonium. In accordance with the process, the plutonium-bearing salt is melted and mixed with metallic calcium. The calcium reduces ionized plutonium in the salt to plutonium metal, and also causes metallic plutonium in the salt, which is typically present as finely dispersed metallic shot, to coalesce. The reduced and coalesced plutonium separates out on the bottom of the reaction vessel as a separate metallic phase which is readily separable from the overlying salt upon cooling of the mixture. Yields of plutonium are typically on the order of 95%. The stripped salt is virtually free of plutonium and may be discarded to low-level waste storage.

  9. Pyrochemical process for extracting plutonium from an electrolyte salt

    DOEpatents

    Mullins, L.J.; Christensen, D.C.

    1982-09-20

    A pyrochemical process for extracting plutonium from a plutonium-bearing salt is disclosed. The process is particularly useful in the recovery of plutonium for electrolyte salts which are left over from the electrorefining of plutonium. In accordance with the process, the plutonium-bearing salt is melted and mixed with metallic calcium. The calcium reduces ionized plutonium in the salt to plutonium metal, and also causes metallic plutonium in the salt, which is typically present as finely dispersed metallic shot, to coalesce. The reduced and coalesced plutonium separates out on the bottom of the reaction vessel as a separate metallic phase which is readily separable from the overlying salt upon cooling of the mixture. Yields of plutonium are typically on the order of 95%. The stripped salt is virtually free of plutonium and may be discarded to low-level waste storage.

  10. Method of isotope separation by chemi-ionization

    DOEpatents

    Wexler, Sol; Young, Charles E.

    1977-05-17

    A method for separating specific isotopes present in an isotopic mixture by aerodynamically accelerating a gaseous compound to form a jet of molecules, and passing the jet through a stream of electron donor atoms whereby an electron transfer takes place, thus forming negative ions of the molecules. The molecular ions are then passed through a radiofrequency quadrupole mass filter to separate the specific isotopes. This method may be used for any compounds having a sufficiently high electron affinity to permit negative ion formation, and is especially useful for the separation of plutonium and uranium isotopes.

  11. Plutonium Immobilization Program: Can-in-Canister

    SciTech Connect

    Rankin, D.T.

    1999-07-14

    'The end of the cold war brought about a potential new danger, the existence of surplus weapons grade plutonium in the U.S. and Russia. Bilateral disposition programs provide the preferred long-term solution. This paper presents an overview of the U.S. approach to plutonium immobilization using the Can-in-Canister technology.'

  12. Uses for plutonium: Weapons, reactors, and other

    SciTech Connect

    Condit, R.H.

    1994-05-01

    This document begins with a introduction on criticality and supercriticality. Then, types and components, design and engineering, yields, and disassembly of nuclear weapons are discussed. Plutonium is evaluated as a reactor fuel, including neutronics and chemistry considerations. Finally, other uses of plutonium are analyzed.

  13. MOLTEN PLUTONIUM FUELED FAST BREEDER REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Kiehn, R.M.; King, L.D.P.; Peterson, R.E.; Swickard, E.O. Jr.

    1962-06-26

    A description is given of a nuclear fast reactor fueled with molten plutonium containing about 20 kg of plutonium in a tantalum container, cooled by circulating liquid sodium at about 600 to 650 deg C, having a large negative temperature coefficient of reactivity, and control rods and movable reflector for criticality control. (AEC)

  14. Plutonium Immobilization Project -- Robotic canister loading

    SciTech Connect

    Hamilton, L.

    2000-04-28

    The Plutonium Immobilization Program (PIP) is a joint venture between the Savannah River Site, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. When operational in 2008, the PIP will fulfill the nation's nonproliferation commitment by placing surplus weapons-grade plutonium in a permanently stable ceramic form.

  15. RECOVERY OF PLUTONIUM BY CARRIER PRECIPITATION

    DOEpatents

    Goeckermann, R.H.

    1961-04-01

    A process is given for recovering plutonium from an aqueous nitric acid zirconium-containing solution of an acidity between 0.2 and 1 N by adding fluoride anions (1.5 to 5 mg/l) and precipitating the plutonium with an excess of hydrogen peroxide at from 53 to 65 deg C.

  16. Determination of plutonium in environmental samples by AMS and alpha spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Hrnecek, E; Steier, P; Wallner, A

    2005-01-01

    Environmental samples from nuclear weapons test sites at the atolls of Mururoa and Fangataufa (French Polynesia, south Pacific) have been analyzed for their content of plutonium isotopes by applying the independent techniques of decay counting (Alpha Spectrometry) and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Here, we propose the combination of both techniques which results in a maximum of information on the isotopic signature of Pu in environmental samples. Plutonium was chemically separated from the bulk material by anion exchange. (242)Pu was used as an internal standard for both AMS and alpha spectrometry. The samples for alpha spectrometry were prepared by micro-precipitation with NdF(3). After alpha spectrometry, the samples were reprocessed for AMS. Pu was co-precipitated with Fe(OH)(3) and finally, solid samples were prepared. At the VERA (Vienna Environmental Research Accelerator) facility, the various Pu isotopes were separated by their isotopic masses and quantified by the AMS technique. A good agreement of the results obtained from the AMS measurements was found with those obtained from Alpha Spectrometry. Overall, the data agree on average within 10% of each other. Isotope ratios for (238)Pu, (239)Pu and (240)Pu can be extracted from our investigations. Alpha spectrometry delivers data for the (238)Pu and the combination of ((239+240))Pu concentrations in those samples. In addition, the AMS technique provides information on the individual concentrations of (240)Pu and (239)Pu. PMID:15982894

  17. Isotopic Biogeochemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hayes, J. M.

    1985-01-01

    An overview is provided of the biogeochemical research. The funding, productivity, personnel and facilities are reviewed. Some of the technical areas covered are: carbon isotopic records; isotopic studies of banded iron formations; isotope effects in microbial systems; studies of organic compounds in ancient sediments; and development in isotopic geochemistry and analysis.

  18. Cleanup of plutonium oxide reduction black salts

    SciTech Connect

    Giebel, R.E.; Wing, R.O.

    1986-12-17

    This work describes pyrochemical processes employed to convert direc oxide reduction (DOR) black salts into discardable white salt and plutonium metal. The DOR process utilizes calcium metal as the reductant in a molten calcium chloride solvent salt to convert plutonium oxide to plutonium metal. An insoluble plutonium-rich dispersion called black salt sometimes forms between the metal phase and the salt phase. Black salts accumulated for processing were treated by one of two methods. One method utilized a scrub alloy of 70 wt % magnesium/30 wt % zinc. The other method utilized a pool of plutonium metal to agglomerate the metal phase. The two processes were similar in that calcium metal reductant and calcium chloride solvent salt were used in both cases. Four runs were performed by each method, and each method produced greater than 93% conversion of the black salt.

  19. PROCESS FOR THE RECOVERY OF PLUTONIUM

    DOEpatents

    Ritter, D.M.

    1959-01-13

    An improvement is presented in the process for recovery and decontamination of plutonium. The carrier precipitate containing plutonium is dissolved and treated with an oxidizing agent to place the plutonium in a hexavalent oxidation state. A lanthanum fluoride precipitate is then formed in and removed from the solution to carry undesired fission products. The fluoride ions in the reniaining solution are complexed by addition of a borate sueh as boric acid, sodium metaborate or the like. The plutonium is then reduced and carried from the solution by the formation of a bismuth phosphate precipitate. This process effects a better separation from unwanted flssion products along with conccntration of the plutonium by using a smaller amount of carrier.

  20. REMOVAL OF LEGACY PLUTONIUM MATERIALS FROM SWEDEN

    SciTech Connect

    Dunn, Kerry A.; Bellamy, J. Steve; Chandler, Greg T.; Iyer, Natraj C.; Koenig, Rich E.; Leduc, D.; Hackney, B.; Leduc, Dan R.; McClard, J. W.

    2013-08-18

    U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Office of Global Threat Reduction (GTRI) recently removed legacy plutonium materials from Sweden in collaboration with AB SVAFO, Sweden. This paper details the activities undertaken through the U.S. receiving site (Savannah River Site (SRS)) to support the characterization, stabilization, packaging and removal of legacy plutonium materials from Sweden in 2012. This effort was undertaken as part of GTRI’s Gap Materials Program and culminated with the successful removal of plutonium from Sweden as announced at the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit. The removal and shipment of plutonium materials to the United States was the first of its kind under NNSA’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative. The Environmental Assessment for the U.S. receipt of gap plutonium material was approved in May 2010. Since then, the multi-year process yielded many first time accomplishments associated with plutonium packaging and transport activities including the application of the of DOE-STD-3013 stabilization requirements to treat plutonium materials outside the U.S., the development of an acceptance criteria for receipt of plutonium from a foreign country, the development and application of a versatile process flow sheet for the packaging of legacy plutonium materials, the identification of a plutonium container configuration, the first international certificate validation of the 9975 shipping package and the first intercontinental shipment using the 9975 shipping package. This paper will detail the technical considerations in developing the packaging process flow sheet, defining the key elements of the flow sheet and its implementation, determining the criteria used in the selection of the transport package, developing the technical basis for the package certificate amendment and the reviews with multiple licensing authorities and most importantly integrating the technical activities with the Swedish partners.

  1. Analysis of IAEA Environmental Samples for Plutonium and Uranium by ICP/MS in Support Of International Safeguards

    SciTech Connect

    Farmer, Orville T.; Olsen, Khris B.; Thomas, May-Lin P.; Garofoli, Stephanie J.

    2008-05-01

    A method for the separation and determination of total and isotopic uranium and plutonium by ICP-MS was developed for IAEA samples on cellulose-based media. Preparation of the IAEA samples involved a series of redox chemistries and separations using TRU® resin (Eichrom). The sample introduction system, an APEX nebulizer (Elemental Scientific, Inc), provided enhanced nebulization for a several-fold increase in sensitivity and reduction in background. Application of mass bias (ALPHA) correction factors greatly improved the precision of the data. By combining the enhancements of chemical separation, instrumentation and data processing, detection levels for uranium and plutonium approached high attogram levels.

  2. Plutonium Uptake and Distribution in Mammalian Cells: Molecular vs Polymeric Plutonium

    PubMed Central

    ARYAL, BAIKUNTHA P.; GORMAN-LEWIS, DREW; PAUNESKU, TATJANA; WILSON, RICHARD E.; LAI, BARRY; VOGT, STEFAN; WOLOSCHAK, GAYLE E.; JENSEN, MARK P.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose To study the cellular responses to molecular and polymeric forms of plutonium using PC12 cells derived from rat adrenal glands. Materials and methods Serum starved PC12 cells were exposed to polymeric and molecular forms of plutonium for three hours. Cells were washed with 10 mM EGTA, 100 mM NaCl at pH 7.4 to remove surface sorbed plutonium. Localization of plutonium in individual cell was quantitatively analyzed by synchrotron X-ray fluorescence (XRF) microscopy. Results Molecular plutonium complexes introduced to cell growth media in the form of NTA, citrate, or transferrin complexes were taken up by PC12 cells, and mostly co-localized with iron within the cells. Polymeric plutonium prepared separately was not internalized by PC12 cells but it was always found on the cell surface as big agglomerates; however polymeric plutonium formed in situ was mostly found within the cells as agglomerates. Conclusions PC12 cells can differentiate molecular and polymeric forms of plutonium. Molecular plutonium is taken up by PC12 cells and mostly co-localized with iron but aged polymeric plutonium is not internalized by the cells. PMID:21770702

  3. The Optimum Plutonium Inert Matrix Fuel Form for Reactor-Based Plutonium Disposition

    SciTech Connect

    Tulenko, J.S.; Wang, J.; Acosta, C.

    2004-10-06

    The University of Florida has underway an ongoing research program to validate the economic, operational and performance benefits of developing an inert matrix fuel (IMF) for the disposition of the U.S. weapons plutonium (Pu) and for the recycle of reprocessed Pu. The current fuel form of choice for Pu disposition for the Department of Energy is as a mixed oxide (MOX) (PuO2/UO2). We will show analyses that demonstrate that a Silicon Carbide (SiC) IMF offers improved performance capabilities as a fuel form for Pu recycle and disposition. The reason that UF is reviewing various materials to serve as an inert matrix fuel is that an IMF fuel form can offer greatly reduced Pu and transuranic isotope (TRU) production and also improved thermal performance characteristics. Our studies showed that the Pu content is reduced by an order of magnitude while centerline fuel temperatures are reduced approximately 380 degrees centigrade compared to MOX. These reduced temperatures result in reduced stored heat and thermal stresses in the pellet. The reduced stored heat reduces the consequences of the loss of coolant accident, while the reduced temperatures and thermal stresses yield greatly improved fuel performance. Silicon Carbide is not new to the nuclear industry, being a basic fuel material in gas cooled reactors.

  4. The Optimum Plutonium Inert Matrix Fuel Form for Reactor-Based Plutonium Disposition

    SciTech Connect

    Tulenko, J.S.; Wang, J.; Acosta, C.

    2004-10-03

    The University of Florida has underway an ongoing research program to validate the economic, operational and performance benefits of developing an inert matrix fuel (IMF) for the disposition of the U.S. weapons plutonium (Pu) and for the recycle of reprocessed Pu. The current fuel form of choice for Pu disposition for the Department of Energy is as a mixed oxide (MOX) (PuO2/UO2). We will show analyses that demonstrate that a Silicon Carbide (SiC) IMF offers improved performance capabilities as a fuel form for Pu recycle and disposition. The reason that UF is reviewing various materials to serve as an inert matrix fuel is that an IMF fuel form can offer greatly reduced Pu and transuranic isotope (TRU) production and also improved thermal performance characteristics. Our studies showed that the Pu content is reduced by an order of magnitude while centerline fuel temperatures are reduced approximately 380 degrees centigrade compared to MOX. These reduced temperatures result in reduced stored heat and thermal stresses in the pellet. The reduced stored heat reduces the consequences of the loss of coolant accident, while the reduced temperatures and thermal stresses yield greatly improved fuel performance. Silicon Carbide is not new to the nuclear industry, being a basic fuel material in gas cooled reactors.

  5. Automated amperometric plutonium assay system

    SciTech Connect

    Burt, M.C.

    1985-01-01

    The amperometric titration for plutonium assay has been used in the nuclear industry for over twenty years and has been in routine use at the Hanford Engineering Development Laboratory since 1976 for the analysis of plutonium oxide and mixed oxide fuel material for the Fast Flux Test Facility. It has proven itself to be an accurate and reliable method. The method may be used as a direct end point titration or an excess of titrant may be added and a back titration performed to aid in determination of the end point. Due to the slowness of the PuVI-FeII reaction it is difficult to recognize when the end point is being approached and is very time consuming if the current is allowed to decay to the residual value after each titrant addition. For this reason the back titration in which the rapid FeII-CrVI reaction occurs is used by most laboratories. The back titration is performed by the addition of excess ferrous solution followed by two measured aliquots of standard dichromate with measurement of cell current after each addition.

  6. Plutonium focus area. Technology summary

    SciTech Connect

    1997-09-01

    The Assistant Secretary for the Office of Environmental Management (EM) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) chartered the Plutonium Focus Area (PFA) in October 1995. The PFA {open_quotes}...provides for peer and technical reviews of research and development in plutonium stabilization activities...{close_quotes} In addition, the PFA identifies and develops relevant research and technology. The purpose of this document is to focus attention on the requirements used to develop research and technology for stabilization, storage, and preparation for disposition of nuclear materials. The PFA Technology Summary presents the approach the PFA uses to identify, recommend, and review research. It lists research requirements, research being conducted, and gaps where research is needed. It also summarizes research performed by the PFA in the traditional research summary format. This document encourages researchers and commercial enterprises to do business with PFA by submitting research proposals or {open_quotes}white papers.{close_quotes} In addition, it suggests ways to increase the likelihood that PFA will recommend proposed research to the Nuclear Materials Stabilization Task Group (NMSTG) of DOE.

  7. Ceramification: A plutonium immobilization process

    SciTech Connect

    Rask, W.C.; Phillips, A.G.

    1996-05-01

    This paper describes a low temperature technique for stabilizing and immobilizing actinide compounds using a combination process/storage vessel of stainless steel, in which measured amounts of actinide nitrate solutions and actinide oxides (and/or residues) are systematically treated to yield a solid article. The chemical ceramic process is based on a coating technology that produces rare earth oxide coatings for defense applications involving plutonium. The final product of this application is a solid, coherent actinide oxide with process-generated encapsulation that has long-term environmental stability. Actinide compounds can be stabilized as pure materials for ease of re-use or as intimate mixtures with additives such as rare earth oxides to increase their degree of proliferation resistance. Starting materials for the process can include nitrate solutions, powders, aggregates, sludges, incinerator ashes, and others. Agents such as cerium oxide or zirconium oxide may be added as powders or precursors to enhance the properties of the resulting solid product. Additives may be included to produce a final product suitable for use in nuclear fuel pellet production. The process is simple and reduces the time and expense for stabilizing plutonium compounds. It requires a very low equipment expenditure and can be readily implemented into existing gloveboxes. The process is easily conducted with less associated risk than proposed alternative technologies.

  8. Influence of chemical form, feeding regimen, and animal species on the gastrointestinal absorption of plutonium

    SciTech Connect

    Bhattacharyya, M.H.; Larsen, R.P.; Cohen, N.; Ralston, L.G.; Oldham, R.D.; Moretti, E.S.; Ayres, L.

    1985-01-01

    We evaluated the effect of chemical form and feeding regimen on the gastrointestinal (GI) absorption of plutonium in adult mice at plutonium concentrations relevant to the establishment of drinking water standards. Mean fractional GI absorption values in fasted adult mice were: Pu(VI) bicarbonate, 15 x 10/sup -4/; Pu(IV) bicarbonate, 20 x 10/sup -4/; Pu(IV) nitrate (pH2), 17 x 10/sup -4/; Pu(IV) citrate, 24 x 10/sup -4/; and Pu(IV) polymer, 3 x 10/sup -4/. Values in fed adult mice were: Pu(VI) bicarbonate, 1.4 x 10/sup -4/; Pu(IV) polymer, 0.3 x 10/sup -4/. Pu(VI) is the oxidation state in chlorinated drinking waters and Pu(IV) is the oxidation state in many untreated natural waters. To assess the validity of extrapolating data from mice to humans, we also determined the GI absorption of Pu(VI) bicarbonate in adult baboons with a dual-isotope method that does not require animal sacrifice. Fractional GI absorption values obtained by this method were 23 +- 10 x 10/sup -4/ for fasted baboons (n=5) and 1.4 +- 0.9 x 10/sup -4/ for fed baboons (n=3). We have so far validated this method in one baboon and are currently completing validation in two additional animals. At low plutonium concentrations, plutonium oxidation state (Pu(VI) vs Pu(IV)) and administration medium (bicarbonate vs nitrate vs citrate) had little effect on the GI absorption of plutonium in mice. Formation of Pu(IV) polymers and animal feeding decreased the GI absorption of plutonium 5- to 10-fold. The GI absorption of Pu(VI) bicarbonate in both fed and fasted adult baboons appeared to be the same as in fed and fasted adult mice, respectively. 17 refs., 2 tabs.

  9. ADSORPTION-BISMUTH PHOSPHATE METHOD FOR SEPARATING PLUTONIUM

    DOEpatents

    Russell, E.R.; Adamson, A.W.; Boyd, G.E.

    1960-06-28

    A process is given for separating plutonium from uranium and fission products. Plutonium and uranium are adsorbed by a cation exchange resin, plutonium is eluted from the adsorbent, and then, after oxidation to the hexavalent state, the plutonium is contacted with a bismuth phosphate carrier precipitate.

  10. Laboratory-scale evaluations of alternative plutonium precipitation methods

    SciTech Connect

    Martella, L.L.; Saba, M.T.; Campbell, G.K.

    1984-02-08

    Plutonium(III), (IV), and (VI) carbonate; plutonium(III) fluoride; plutonium(III) and (IV) oxalate; and plutonium(IV) and (VI) hydroxide precipitation methods were evaluated for conversion of plutonium nitrate anion-exchange eluate to a solid, and compared with the current plutonium peroxide precipitation method used at Rocky Flats. Plutonium(III) and (IV) oxalate, plutonium(III) fluoride, and plutonium(IV) hydroxide precipitations were the most effective of the alternative conversion methods tested because of the larger particle-size formation, faster filtration rates, and the low plutonium loss to the filtrate. These were found to be as efficient as, and in some cases more efficient than, the peroxide method. 18 references, 14 figures, 3 tables.

  11. SUBSURFACE MOBILE PLUTONIUM SPECIATION: SAMPLING ARTIFACTS FOR GROUNDWATER COLLOIDS

    SciTech Connect

    Kaplan, D.; Buesseler, K.

    2010-06-29

    A recent review found several conflicting conclusions regarding colloid-facilitated transport of radionuclides in groundwater and noted that colloids can both facilitate and retard transport. Given these contrasting conclusions and the profound implications even trace concentrations of plutonium (Pu) have on the calculated risk posed to human health, it is important that the methodology used to sample groundwater colloids be free of artifacts. The objective of this study was: (1) to conduct a field study and measure Pu speciation, ({sup 239}Pu and {sup 240}Pu for reduced-Pu{sub aq}, oxidized-Pu{sub aq}, reduced-Pu{sub colloid}, and oxidized-Pu{sub colloid}), in a Savannah River Site (SRS) aquifer along a pH gradient in F-Area, (2) to determine the impact of pumping rate on Pu concentration, Pu speciation, and Pu isotopic ratios, (3) determine the impact of delayed sample processing (as opposed to processing directly from the well).

  12. Thermal Analysis on the Shipment of Russian Plutonium Fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Or, Chuen T; Skrabek, Emanuel A; Carpenter, Robert T

    1995-01-01

    Paper presented at the 12th Symposium on Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion in Albuquerque, NM in January 1995. The Mound 9516 shipping package was designed for the shipment of Plutonium-238 fuel. One of the shipping configurations is the Russian Pu-238 powder can. Computer models using SINDA were created to predict the temperatures of the package under normal conditions of transport (NCT: 38oC ambient temperature), under hypothetical accident conditions (HAC: engulfed in fire for 30 minutes), and inside a standard cargo container. Pressure increases inside the package due to the expansion of the trapped gases and helium gas generation from isotope decay were also analyzed. There is a duplicate copy and also a copy in the ESD Files.

  13. Isotope separation and advanced manufacturing technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carpenter, J.; Kan, T.

    This is the fourth issue of a semiannual report for the Isotope Separation and Advanced Materials Manufacturing (ISAM) Technology Program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Primary objectives include: (1) the Uranium Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation (UAVLIS) process, which is being developed and prepared for deployment as an advanced uranium enrichment capability; (2) Advanced manufacturing technologies, which include industrial laser and E-beam material processing and new manufacturing technologies for uranium, plutonium, and other strategically important materials in support of DOE and other national applications. This report features progress in the ISAM Program from October 1993 through March 1994.

  14. 10 CFR 140.108 - Appendix H-Form of indemnity agreement with licensees possessing plutonium for use in plutonium...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... possessing plutonium for use in plutonium processing and fuel fabrication plants and furnishing proof of... Appendixes to Part 140 § 140.108 Appendix H—Form of indemnity agreement with licensees possessing plutonium for use in plutonium processing and fuel fabrication plants and furnishing proof of...

  15. 10 CFR 140.108 - Appendix H-Form of indemnity agreement with licensees possessing plutonium for use in plutonium...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... possessing plutonium for use in plutonium processing and fuel fabrication plants and furnishing proof of... Appendixes to Part 140 § 140.108 Appendix H—Form of indemnity agreement with licensees possessing plutonium for use in plutonium processing and fuel fabrication plants and furnishing proof of...

  16. 10 CFR 140.108 - Appendix H-Form of indemnity agreement with licensees possessing plutonium for use in plutonium...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... possessing plutonium for use in plutonium processing and fuel fabrication plants and furnishing proof of... Appendixes to Part 140 § 140.108 Appendix H—Form of indemnity agreement with licensees possessing plutonium for use in plutonium processing and fuel fabrication plants and furnishing proof of...

  17. 10 CFR 140.108 - Appendix H-Form of indemnity agreement with licensees possessing plutonium for use in plutonium...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... possessing plutonium for use in plutonium processing and fuel fabrication plants and furnishing proof of... Appendixes to Part 140 § 140.108 Appendix H—Form of indemnity agreement with licensees possessing plutonium for use in plutonium processing and fuel fabrication plants and furnishing proof of...

  18. 10 CFR 140.108 - Appendix H-Form of indemnity agreement with licensees possessing plutonium for use in plutonium...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... possessing plutonium for use in plutonium processing and fuel fabrication plants and furnishing proof of... Appendixes to Part 140 § 140.108 Appendix H—Form of indemnity agreement with licensees possessing plutonium for use in plutonium processing and fuel fabrication plants and furnishing proof of...

  19. Volatile fluoride process for separating plutonium from other materials

    DOEpatents

    Spedding, F. H.; Newton, A. S.

    1959-04-14

    The separation of plutonium from uranium and/or fission products by formation of the higher fluorides off uranium and/or plutonium is described. Neutronirradiated uranium metal is first converted to the hydride. This hydrided product is then treated with fluorine at about 315 deg C to form and volatilize UF/sub 6/ leaving plutonium behind. Thc plutonium may then be separated by reacting the residue with fluorine at about 5004DEC and collecting the volatile plutonium fluoride thus formed.

  20. VOLATILE FLUORIDE PROCESS FOR SEPARATING PLUTONIUM FROM OTHER MATERIALS

    DOEpatents

    Spedding, F.H.; Newton, A.S.

    1959-04-14

    The separation of plutonium from uranium and/or tission products by formation of the higher fluorides of uranium and/or plutonium is discussed. Neutronirradiated uranium metal is first convcrted to the hydride. This hydrided product is then treatced with fluorine at about 315 deg C to form and volatilize UF/sup 6/ leaving plutonium behind. The plutonium may then be separated by reacting the residue with fluorine at about 500 deg C and collecting the volatile plutonium fluoride thus formed.

  1. HENC performance evaluation and plutonium calibration

    SciTech Connect

    Menlove, H.O.; Baca, J.; Pecos, J.M.; Davidson, D.R.; McElroy, R.D.; Brochu, D.B.

    1997-10-01

    The authors have designed a high-efficiency neutron counter (HENC) to increase the plutonium content in 200-L waste drums. The counter uses totals neutron counting, coincidence counting, and multiplicity counting to determine the plutonium mass. The HENC was developed as part of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between the Department of Energy and Canberra Industries. This report presents the results of the detector modifications, the performance tests, the add-a-source calibration, and the plutonium calibration at Los Alamos National Laboratory (TA-35) in 1996.

  2. Excess Weapons Plutonium Immobilization in Russia

    SciTech Connect

    Jardine, L.; Borisov, G.B.

    2000-04-15

    The joint goal of the Russian work is to establish a full-scale plutonium immobilization facility at a Russian industrial site by 2005. To achieve this requires that the necessary engineering and technical basis be developed in these Russian projects and the needed Russian approvals be obtained to conduct industrial-scale immobilization of plutonium-containing materials at a Russian industrial site by the 2005 date. This meeting and future work will provide the basis for joint decisions. Supporting R&D projects are being carried out at Russian Institutes that directly support the technical needs of Russian industrial sites to immobilize plutonium-containing materials. Special R&D on plutonium materials is also being carried out to support excess weapons disposition in Russia and the US, including nonproliferation studies of plutonium recovery from immobilization forms and accelerated radiation damage studies of the US-specified plutonium ceramic for immobilizing plutonium. This intriguing and extraordinary cooperation on certain aspects of the weapons plutonium problem is now progressing well and much work with plutonium has been completed in the past two years. Because much excellent and unique scientific and engineering technical work has now been completed in Russia in many aspects of plutonium immobilization, this meeting in St. Petersburg was both timely and necessary to summarize, review, and discuss these efforts among those who performed the actual work. The results of this meeting will help the US and Russia jointly define the future direction of the Russian plutonium immobilization program, and make it an even stronger and more integrated Russian program. The two objectives for the meeting were to: (1) Bring together the Russian organizations, experts, and managers performing the work into one place for four days to review and discuss their work with each other; and (2) Publish a meeting summary and a proceedings to compile reports of all the excellent

  3. Plutonium Immobilization Can Loading Conceptual Design

    SciTech Connect

    Kriikku, E.

    1999-05-13

    'The Plutonium Immobilization Facility will encapsulate plutonium in ceramic pucks and seal the pucks inside welded cans. Remote equipment will place these cans in magazines and the magazines in a Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) canister. The DWPF will fill the canister with glass for permanent storage. This report discusses the Plutonium Immobilization can loading conceptual design and includes a process block diagram, process description, preliminary equipment specifications, and several can loading issues. This report identifies loading pucks into cans and backfilling cans with helium as the top priority can loading development areas.'

  4. RECOVERY OF PLUTONIUM FROM AQUEOUS SOLUTIONS

    DOEpatents

    Reber, E.J.

    1959-09-01

    A process is described for recovering plutonium values from aqueous solutions by precipitation on bismuth phosphate. The plutonium is secured in its tetravalent state. bismuth salt is added to the solution, and ant excess of phosphoric acid anions is added to the solution in two approximately equal installments. The rate of addition of the first installment is about two to three times as high as the rate of addition of the second installment, whereby a precipitate of bismuth phosphate forms, the precipitate carrying the plutonium values. The precipitate is separated from the solution.

  5. SEPARATION OF URANIUM, PLUTONIUM AND FISSION PRODUCTS

    DOEpatents

    Nicholls, C.M.; Wells, I.; Spence, R.

    1959-10-13

    The separation of uranium and plutonium from neutronirradiated uranium is described. The neutron-irradiated uranium is dissolved in nitric acid to provide an aqueous solution 3N in nitric acid. The fission products of the solution are extruded by treating the solution with dibutyl carbitol substantially 1.8N in nitric acid. The organic solvent phase is separated and neutralized with ammonium hydroxide and the plutonium reduced with hydroxylamine base to the trivalent state. Treatment of the mixture with saturated ammonium nitrate extracts the reduced plutonium and leaves the uranium in the organic solvent.

  6. NON-CORROSIVE PLUTONIUM FUEL SYSTEMS

    DOEpatents

    Coffinberry, A.S.; Waber, J.T.

    1962-10-23

    An improved plutonium reactor liquid fuel is described for utilization in a nuclear reactor having a tantalum fuel containment vessel. The fuel consists of plutonium and a diluent such as iron, cobalt, nickel, cerium, cerium-- iron, cerium--cobalt, cerium--nickel, and cerium--copper, and an additive of carbon and silicon. The carbon and silicon react with the tantalum container surface to form a coating that is self-healing and prevents the corrosive action of liquid plutonium on the said tantalum container. (AEC)

  7. Removal of plutonium from hepatic tissue

    DOEpatents

    Lindenbaum, Arthur; Rosenthal, Marcia W.

    1979-01-01

    A method is provided for removing plutonium from hepatic tissues by introducing into the body and blood stream a solution of the complexing agent DTPA and an adjunct thereto. The adjunct material induces aberrations in the hepatic tissue cells and removes intracellularly deposited plutonium which is normally unavailable for complexation with the DTPA. Once the intracellularly deposited plutonium has been removed from the cell by action of the adjunct material, it can be complexed with the DTPA present in the blood stream and subsequently removed from the body by normal excretory processes.

  8. Weapons-grade plutonium dispositioning. Volume 4. Plutonium dispositioning in light water reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Sterbentz, J.W.; Olsen, C.S.; Sinha, U.P.

    1993-06-01

    This study is in response to a request by the Reactor Panel Subcommittee of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on International Security and Arms Control (CISAC) to evaluate the feasibility of using plutonium fuels (without uranium) for disposal in existing conventional or advanced light water reactor (LWR) designs and in low temperature/pressure LWR designs that might be developed for plutonium disposal. Three plutonium-based fuel forms (oxides, aluminum metallics, and carbides) are evaluated for neutronic performance, fabrication technology, and material and compatibility issues. For the carbides, only the fabrication technologies are addressed. Viable plutonium oxide fuels for conventional or advanced LWRs include plutonium-zirconium-calcium oxide (PuO{sub 2}-ZrO{sub 2}-CaO) with the addition of thorium oxide (ThO{sub 2}) or a burnable poison such as erbium oxide (Er{sub 2}O{sub 3}) or europium oxide (Eu{sub 2}O{sub 3}) to achieve acceptable neutronic performance. Thorium will breed fissile uranium that may be unacceptable from a proliferation standpoint. Fabrication of uranium and mixed uranium-plutonium oxide fuels is well established; however, fabrication of plutonium-based oxide fuels will require further development. Viable aluminum-plutonium metallic fuels for a low temperature/pressure LWR include plutonium aluminide in an aluminum matrix (PuAl{sub 4}-Al) with the addition of a burnable poison such as erbium (Er) or europium (Eu). Fabrication of low-enriched plutonium in aluminum-plutonium metallic fuel rods was initially established 30 years ago and will require development to recapture and adapt the technology to meet current environmental and safety regulations. Fabrication of high-enriched uranium plate fuel by the picture-frame process is a well established process, but the use of plutonium would require the process to be upgraded in the United States to conform with current regulations and minimize the waste streams.

  9. A Program to Stabilize Nuclear Materials as Managed by the Plutonium Focus Area

    SciTech Connect

    B. Kenley; B. Scott; B. Seidel; D. Knecht; F. Southworth; K. Osborne; N. Chipman; T. Creque

    1999-03-01

    This paper describes the program to stabilize nuclear materials, consistent with the Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management (EM) plan, Accelerating Cleanup: Paths to Closure. The program is managed by the Plutonium Stabilization and Disposition Focus Area, which defines and manages technology development programs to stabilize nuclear materials and assure their subsequent safe storage and final disposition. The scope of the Plutonium Stabilization and Disposition Focus Area (PFA) activities includes non-weapons plutonium materials, special isotopes, and other fissile materials. The PFA provides solutions to site-specific and complex wide technology issues associated with plutonium remediation, stabilization, and preparation for disposition. Our paper describes an important programmatic function of the Department of Energy nuclear materials stabilization program, including the tie-in of policy to research needs and funding for the nuclear materials disposition area. The PFA uses a rigorous systems engineering determination of technology needs and gaps, under the guidance of a Technical Advisory Panel, consisting of complex-wide experts. The Research and Development planning provides an example for other waste areas and should be of interest to Research and Development managers. The materials disposition maps developed by the PFA and described in this paper provide an evaluation of research needs, data gaps and subsequent guidance for the development of technologies for nuclear materials disposition. This paper also addresses the PFA prioritization methodology and its ability to forecast actual time to implementation.

  10. Determination of the radioactive material and plutonium holdup in ducts and piping in the 324 Building

    SciTech Connect

    Haggard, D.L.; Brackenbush, L.W.; Tanner, J.E.

    1996-01-01

    This report describes the measurements Performed to determine the radionuclide content and mass of plutonium in exposed ducts, filters, and piping in the 324 Building at the US Department of Energy Hanford Site in Washington State. This information is needed to characterize facility radiation levels, to verify compliance with criticality safety specifications, and to allow more accurate nuclear material control using nondestructive assay (NDA) methods. Gamma assay techniques typically employed for NDA analysis were used to determine the gamma-emitting isotopes in the ducts, filters, and piping. Passive neutron counting was selected to estimate -the plutonium content because high gamma levels from fission and activation products effectively mask any gamma emissions from plutonium. A high-purity gamma-ray detector Was used to measure the mixed fission and activation radionuclides. A neutron slab detector containing five {sup 3}He proportional counters was used to determine the neutron emission rates and estimate the mass of plutonium present. Both measurement systems followed the methods and procedures routinely used for nuclear waste assay and safeguards measurements.

  11. Plutonium and minor actinide utilisation in a pebble-bed high temperature reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Petrov, B. Y.; Kuijper, J. C.; Oppe, J.; De Haas, J. B. M.

    2012-07-01

    This paper contains results of the analysis of the pebble-bed high temperature gas-cooled PUMA reactor loaded with plutonium and minor actinide (Pu/MA) fuel. Starting from knowledge and experience gained in the Euratom FP5 projects HTR-N and HTR-N1, this study aims at demonstrating the potential of high temperature reactors to utilize or transmute Pu/MA fuel. The work has been performed within the Euratom FP6 project PUMA. A number of different fuel types and fuel configurations have been analyzed and compared with respect to incineration performance and safety-related reactor parameters. The results show the excellent plutonium and minor actinide burning capabilities of the high temperature reactor. The largest degree of incineration is attained in the case of an HTR fuelled by pure plutonium fuel as it remains critical at very deep burnup of the discharged pebbles. Addition of minor actinides to the fuel leads to decrease of the achievable discharge burnup and therefore smaller fraction of actinides incinerated during reactor operation. The inert-matrix fuel design improves the transmutation performance of the reactor, while the 'wallpaper' fuel does not have advantage over the standard fuel design in this respect. After 100 years of decay following the fuel discharge, the total amount of actinides remains almost unchanged for all of the fuel types considered. Among the plutonium isotopes, only the amount of Pu-241 is reduced significantly due to its relatively short half-life. (authors)

  12. What is plutonium stabilization, and what is safe storage of plutonium?

    SciTech Connect

    Forsberg, C.W.

    1995-06-29

    The end of the cold war has resulted in the shutdown of nuclear weapons production and the start of dismantlement of significant numbers of nuclear weapons. This, in turn, is creating an inventory of plutonium requiring interim and long-term storage. A key question is, ``What is required for safe, multidecade, plutonium storage?`` The requirements for storage, in turn, define what is needed to stabilize the plutonium from its current condition into a form acceptable for interim and long-term storage. Storage requirements determine if research is required to (1) define required technical conditions for interim and long-term storage and (2) develop or improve current stabilization technologies. Storage requirements depend upon technical, policy, and economic factors. The technical issues are complicated by several factors. Plutonium in aerosol form is highly hazardous. Plutonium in water is hazardous. The plutonium inventory is in multiple chemical forms--some of which are chemically reactive. Also, some of the existing storage forms are clearly unsuitable for storage periods over a few years. Gas generation by plutonium compounds complicates storage: (1) all plutonium slowly decays creating gaseous helium and (2) the radiation from plutonium decay can initiate many chemical reactions-some of which generate significant quantities of gases. Gas generation can pressurize sealed storage packages. Last nuclear criticality must be avoided.

  13. Spectrophotometric determination of plutonium-239 based on the spectrum of plutonium(III) chloride

    SciTech Connect

    Temer, D.J.; Walker, L.F.

    1994-07-01

    This report describes a spectrophotometric method for determining plutonium-239 (Pu-239) based on the spectrum of Pu(III) chloride. The authors used the sealed-reflux technique for the dissolution of plutonium oxide with hydrochloric acid (HCl) and small amounts of nitric and hydrofluoric acids. To complex the fluoride, they added zirconium, and to reduce plutonium to Pu(III), they added ascorbic acid. They then adjusted the solution to a concentration of 2 M HCl and measured the absorbances at five wavelengths of the Pu(III) chloride spectrum. This spectrophotometric determination can also be applied to samples of plutonium metal dissolved in HCl.

  14. PRODUCTION OF PLUTONIUM FLUORIDE FROM BISMUTH PHOSPHATE PRECIPITATE CONTAINING PLUTONIUM VALUES

    DOEpatents

    Brown, H.S.; Bohlmann, E.G.

    1961-05-01

    A process is given for separating plutonium from fission products present on a bismuth phosphate carrier. The dried carrier is first treated with hydrogen fluoride at between 500 and 600 deg C whereby some fission product fluorides volatilize away from plutonium tetrafluoride, and nonvolatile fission product fluorides are formed then with anhydrous fluorine at between 400 and 500 deg C. Bismuth and plutonium distill in the form of volatile fluorides away from the nonvolatile fission product fluorides. The bismuth and plutonium fluorides are condensed at below 290 deg C.

  15. Calculating Relative Ionization Probabilities of Plutonium for Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry to Support Nuclear Forensic Investigations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lensegrav, Craig; Smith, Craig; Isselhardt, Brett

    2015-03-01

    Ongoing work seeks to apply the technology of Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry (RIMS) to problems related to nuclear forensics and, in particular, to the analysis and quantification of debris from nuclear detonations. As part of this effort, modeling and simulation methods are being applied to analyze and predict the potential for ionization by laser excitation of isotopes of both uranium and plutonium. Early work focused on the ionization potential of isotopes of uranium, and the present effort has expanded and extended the previous work by identifying and integrating new data for plutonium isotopes. In addition to extending the effort to this important new element, we have implemented more accurate descriptions of the spatial distribution of the laser beams to improve the accuracy of model predictions compared with experiment results as well as an ability to readily incorporate new experimental data as they become available. The model is used to estimate ionization cross sections and to compare relative excitation on two isotopes as a function of wavelength. This allows the study of sensitivity of these measurements to fluctuations in laser wavelength, irradiance, and bandwidth. We also report on initial efforts to include predictions of americium ionization probabilities into our modeling package. I would like to thank my co-authors, Gamani Karunasiri and Fabio Alves. My success is a product of their support and guidance.

  16. Uranium plutonium oxide fuels. [LMFBR

    SciTech Connect

    Cox, C.M.; Leggett, R.D.; Weber, E.T.

    1981-01-01

    Uranium plutonium oxide is the principal fuel material for liquid metal fast breeder reactors (LMFBR's) throughout the world. Development of this material has been a reasonably straightforward evolution from the UO/sub 2/ used routinely in the light water reactor (LWR's); but, because of the lower neutron capture cross sections and much lower coolant pressures in the sodium cooled LMFBR's, the fuel is operated to much higher discharge exposures than that of a LWR. A typical LMFBR fuel assembly is shown. Depending on the required power output and the configuration of the reactor, some 70 to 400 such fuel assemblies are clustered to form the core. There is a wide variation in cross section and length of the assemblies where the increasing size reflects a chronological increase in plant size and power output as well as considerations of decreasing the net fuel cycle cost. Design and performance characteristics are described.

  17. Opportunities in Plutonium Metallurgical Research

    SciTech Connect

    Schwartz, A J

    2006-12-19

    This is an exciting time to be involved in plutonium metallurgical research. Over the past few years, there have been significant advances in our understanding of the fundamental materials science of this unusual metal, particularly in the areas of self-irradiation induced aging of Pu, the equilibrium phase diagram, the homogenization of {delta}-phase alloys, the crystallography and morphology of the {alpha}{prime}-phase resulting from the isothermal martensitic phase transformation, and the phonon dispersion curves, among many others. In addition, tremendous progress has been made, both experimentally and theoretically, in our understanding of the condensed matter physics and chemistry of the actinides, particularly in the area of electronic structure. Although these communities have made substantial progress, many challenges still remain. This brief overview will address a number of important challenges that we face in fully comprehending the metallurgy of Pu with a specific focus on aging and phase transformations.

  18. PLUTONIUM METALLOGRAPHY AT LOS ALAMOS

    SciTech Connect

    PEREYRA, RAMIRO A.; LOVATO, DARRYL

    2007-01-08

    From early days of the Manhattan program to today, scientists and engineers have continued to investigate the metallurgical properties of plutonium (Pu). Although issues like aging was not a concern to the early pioneers, today the reliability of our aging stockpile is of major focus. And as the country moves toward a new generation of weapons similar problems that the early pioneers faced such as compatibility, homogeneity and malleability have come to the forefront. And metallography will continue to be a principle tool for the resolution of old and new issues. Standard metallographic techniques are used for the preparation of plutonium samples. The samples are first cut with a slow speed idamond saw. After mounting in Epon 815 epoxy resin, the samples are ground through 600 grit silicon carbide paper. PF 5070 (a Freon substitute) is used as a coolant, lubricant, and solvent for most operations. Rough mechanical polished is done with 9-{mu} diamond using a nap less cloth, for example nylon or cotton. Final polish is done with 1-{mu} diamond on a nappy cloth such as sylvet. Ethyl alcohol is then used ultrasonically to clean the samples before electro polishing. The sample is then electro-polished and etched in an electrolyte containing 10% nitric acid, and 90% dimethyleneformalmide. Ethyl alcohol is used as a final cleaning agent. Although standard metallographic preparation techniques are used, there are several reasons why metallography of Pu is difficult and challenging. Firstly, because of the health hazards associated with its radioactive properties, sample preparation is conducted in glove boxes. Figure 1 shows the metallography line, in an R and D facility. Since they are designed to be negative in pressure to the laboratory, cross-contamination of abrasives is a major problem. In addition, because of safety concerns and waste issues, there is a limit to the amount of solvent that can be used. Secondly, Pu will readily hydride or oxidize when in contact

  19. Plutonium focus area: Technology summary

    SciTech Connect

    1996-03-01

    To ensure research and development programs focus on the most pressing environmental restoration and waste management problems at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Environmental Management (EM) established a working group in August 1993 to implement a new approach to research and technology development. As part of this approach, EM developed a management structure and principles that led to creation of specific focus areas. These organizations were designed to focus scientific and technical talent throughout DOE and the national scientific community on major environmental restoration and waste management problems facing DOE. The focus area approach provides the framework for inter-site cooperation and leveraging of resources on common problems. After the original establishment of five major focus areas within the Office of Technology Development (EM-50), the Nuclear Materials Stabilization Task Group (NMSTG, EM-66) followed EM-50`s structure and chartered the Plutonium Focus Area (PFA). NMSTG`s charter to the PFA, described in detail later in this book, plays a major role in meeting the EM-66 commitments to the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB). The PFA is a new program for FY96 and as such, the primary focus of revision 0 of this Technology Summary is an introduction to the Focus Area; its history, development, and management structure, including summaries of selected technologies being developed. Revision 1 to the Plutonium Focus Area Technology Summary is slated to include details on all technologies being developed, and is currently planned for release in August 1996. The following report outlines the scope and mission of the Office of Environmental Management, EM-60, and EM-66 organizations as related to the PFA organizational structure.

  20. Preparation of Small Well Characterized Plutonium Oxide Reference Materials and Demonstration of the Usefulness of Such Materials for Nondestructive Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    B.A. Guillen; S.T. Hsue; J.Y Huang; P.A. Hypes; S.M. Long; C.R. Rudy; P.A. Russo; J.E. Stewart; D.J. Temer

    2003-01-01

    Calibration of neutron coincidence and multiplicity counters for passive nondestructive analysis (NDA) of plutonium requires knowledge of the detector efficiency parameters. These are most often determined empirically. Bias from multiplication and unknown impurities may be incurred even with small plutonium metal samples. Five sets of small, pure plutonium metal standards prepared with well-known geometry and very low levels of impurities now contribute to determining accurate multiplication corrections. Recent measurements of these metal standards, with small but well-defined multiplication and negligible yield of other than fission neutrons, demonstrate an improved characterization and calibration of neutron coincidence/multiplicity counters. The precise knowledge of the mass and isotopic composition of each standard also contributes significantly to verifying the accuracy of the most precise calorimetry and gamma-ray spectroscopy measurements.

  1. Design-only conceptual design report: Plutonium Immobilization Plant

    SciTech Connect

    DiSabatino, A A

    2000-05-01

    This design-only conceptual design report was prepared to support a funding request by the Department of Energy Office of Fissile Materials Disposition for engineering and design of the Plutonium Immobilization Plant, which will be used to immobilize up to 50 tonnes of surplus plutonium. The Plutonium Immobilization Plant will be located at the Savannah River Site pursuant to the Surplus Plutonium Disposition Final Environmental Impact Statement Record of Decision, January 4, 2000. This document reflects a new facility using the ceramic immobilization technology and the can-in-canister approach. The Plutonium Immobilization Plant accepts plutonium oxide from pit conversion and plutonium and plutonium oxide from non-pit sources and, through a ceramic immobilization process, converts the plutonium into mineral-like forms that are subsequently encapsulated within a large canister of high-level waste glass. The final immobilized product must make the plutonium as inherently unattractive and inaccessible for use in nuclear weapons as the plutonium in spent fuel from commercial reactors; it must also be suitable for geologic disposal. Plutonium immobilization at the Savannah River Site uses a new building, the Plutonium Immobilization Plant, which will receive and store feed materials, convert non-pit surplus plutonium to an oxide form suitable for the immobilization process, immobilize the plutonium oxide in a titanate-based ceramic form, place cans of the plutonium-ceramic forms into magazines, and load the magazines into a canister. The existing Defense Waste Processing Facility is used for the pouring of high-level waste glass into the canisters. The Plutonium Immobilization Plant uses existing Savannah River Site infrastructure for analytical laboratory services, waste handling, fire protection, training, and other support utilities and services. This design-only conceptual design report also provides the cost for a Plutonium Immobilization Plant which would process

  2. Rapid Separation Methods to Characterize Actinides and Metallic Impurities in Plutonium Scrap Materials at SRS

    SciTech Connect

    Maxwell, S.L. III; Jones, V.D.

    1998-07-01

    The Nuclear Materials Stabilization and Storage Division at SRS plans to stabilize selected plutonium scrap residue materials for long term storage by dissolution processing and plans to stabilize other plutonium vault materials via high-temperature furnace processing. To support these nuclear material stabilization activities, the SRS Analytical Laboratories Department (ALD) will provide characterization of materials required prior to the dissolution or the high-firing of these materials. Lab renovations to install new analytical instrumentation are underway to support these activities that include glove boxes with simulated-process dissolution and high- pressure microwave dissolution capability. Inductively-coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), inductively- coupled mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and thermal-ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) will be used to measure actinide isotopics and metallic impurities. New high-speed actinide separation methods have been developed that will be applied to isotopic characterization of nuclear materials by TIMS and ICP-MS to eliminate isobaric interferences between Pu-238 /U- 238 and Pu-241/Am-241. TEVA Resin, UTEVA Resin, and TRU Resin columns will be used with vacuum-assisted flow rates to minimize TIMS and ICP-MS sample turnaround times. For metallic impurity analysis, rapid column removal methods using UTEVA Resin, AGMP-1 anion resin and AG MP-50 cation resin have also been developed to remove plutonium and uranium matrix interferences prior to ICP-AES and ICP- MS measurements.

  3. Plutonium finishing plant dangerous waste training plan

    SciTech Connect

    ENTROP, G.E.

    1999-05-24

    This training plan describes general requirements, worker categories, and provides course descriptions for operation of the Plutonium Finish Plant (PFP) waste generation facilities, permitted treatment, storage and disposal (TSD) units, and the 90-Day Accumulation Areas.

  4. Pulmonary carcinogenesis from plutonium-containing particles

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, R.G.; Smith, D.M.; Anderson, E.C.

    1980-01-01

    Plutonium administered as an alpha radiation source to the respiratory tracts of Syrian hamsters has resulted in various incidences of neoplasia. Adenomas are the primary lung tumor observed, but adenocarcinomas are also prevalent.

  5. Interaction between stainless steel and plutonium metal

    SciTech Connect

    Dunwoody, John T; Mason, Richard E; Freibert, Franz J; Willson, Stephen P; Veirs, Douglas K; Worl, Laura A; Archuleta, Alonso; Conger, Donald J

    2010-01-01

    Long-term storage of excess plutonium is of great concern in the U.S. as well as abroad. The current accepted configuration involves intimate contact between the stored material and an iron-bearing container such as stainless steel. While many safety scenario studies have been conducted and used in the acceptance of stainless steel containers, little information is available on the physical interaction at elevated temperatures between certain forms of stored material and the container itself. The bulk of the safety studies has focused on the ability of a package to keep the primary stainless steel containment below the plutonium-iron eutectic temperature of approximately 410 C. However, the interactions of plutonium metal with stainless steel have been of continuing interest. This paper reports on a scoping study investigating the interaction between stainless steel and plutonium metal in a pseudo diffusion couple at temperatures above the eutectic melt-point.

  6. International shipment of plutonium by air

    SciTech Connect

    Mercado, J.E.; McGrogan, J.P.

    1995-05-01

    In support of the United States (US) Government`s decision to place excess plutonium oxide at the US Department of Energy`s (DOE) Hanford Site under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, the Department of State notified the Congress that a plutonium storage vault at the Plutonium Finishing Plant at the Hanford Site would be added to the eligible facilities list. As part of the preparations to transfer the plutonium oxide under IAEA safeguards, samples of the powder were taken from the inventory to be shipped to the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria, for laboratory analysis. The analysis of these samples was of high priority, and the IAEA requested that the material be shipped by aircraft, the most expeditious method.

  7. IMPROVED PROCESS OF PLUTONIUM CARRIER PRECIPITATION

    DOEpatents

    Faris, B.F.

    1959-06-30

    This patent relates to an improvement in the bismuth phosphate process for separating and recovering plutonium from neutron irradiated uranium, resulting in improved decontamination even without the use of scavenging precipitates in the by-product precipitation step and subsequently more complete recovery of the plutonium in the product precipitation step. This improvement is achieved by addition of fluomolybdic acid, or a water soluble fluomolybdate, such as the ammonium, sodium, or potassium salt thereof, to the aqueous nitric acid solution containing tetravalent plutonium ions and contaminating fission products, so as to establish a fluomolybdate ion concentration of about 0.05 M. The solution is then treated to form the bismuth phosphate plutonium carrying precipitate.

  8. Plutonium Immobilization Bagless Transfer Can Size Evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Kriikku, E.; Stokes, M.; Rogers, L.; Ward, C.

    1998-02-01

    This report identifies and documents the most appropriate bagless transfer can size to support Plutonium Immobilization Can Loading operations. Also, this report considers can diameter, can wall thickness, and can length.

  9. SEPARATION OF URANIUM, PLUTONIUM, AND FISSION PRODUCTS

    DOEpatents

    Spence, R.; Lister, M.W.

    1958-12-16

    Uranium and plutonium can be separated from neutron-lrradiated uranium by a process consisting of dissolvlng the lrradiated material in nitric acid, saturating the solution with a nitrate salt such as ammonium nitrate, rendering the solution substantially neutral with a base such as ammonia, adding a reducing agent such as hydroxylamine to change plutonium to the trivalent state, treating the solution with a substantially water immiscible organic solvent such as dibutoxy diethylether to selectively extract the uranium, maklng the residual aqueous solutlon acid with nitric acid, adding an oxidizing agent such as ammonlum bromate to oxidize the plutonium to the hexavalent state, and selectlvely extracting the plutonium by means of an immlscible solvent, such as dibutoxy dlethyletber.

  10. Plutonium and Uranium Atom Ratios and Activity Levels in Cochiti Lake Bottom Sediments Provided by Pueblo de Cochiti

    SciTech Connect

    Gallaher, B.M.; Efurd, D.W.; Rokop, D.J.; Benjamin, T.M.

    1999-05-01

    Historical operations at the Los Alamos National Laboratory have contaminated stream sediments with plutonium and other radionuclides. A small portion of these contaminated sediments has been carried by floods into the Rio Grande drainage system, eventually to be trapped by Cochiti Lake located on Pueblo de Cochiti lands approximately 8 km downstream of the Laboratory. In this study, lake bottom sediment samples provided by the Pueblo de Cochiti were analyzed by thermal ionization mass spectrometry to determine plutonium and uranium activity levels and isotopic atom ratios. This specialized analytical method allows us to take isotopic fingerprints of radionuclides found in the sediment and to determine how much plutonium and uranium came from the Laboratory and how much was deposited by worldwide fallout or is natural. Two distinct types of samples were processed: segments of a continuous vertical core of the entire accumulated sediment sequence and other samples from across the lake bottom at the water/sediment interface. Based on measurement of the {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu atom ratio, Laboratory-derived plutonium is present in eight of nine samples at the core site. On a depth-weighted basis, approximately one-half of the {sup 239}Pu and {sup 240}Pu came from early operations at the Laboratory; the remaining plutonium came from fallout dispersed by above-ground nuclear tests. In contrast to the core site, the samples from the other locations showed little or no evidence of Laboratory-derived plutonium, with more than 90 percent of the plutonium attributable to fallout. The overall amount of plutonium in all the samples is of the same magnitude as other reservoirs in the region. The net increase in plutonium over upstream reservoirs unaffected by Laboratory activities is a maximum of 0.014 pCi/g or 3.5 times. All of the samples reflect natural uranium compositions. Laboratory-derived uranium is not identifiable, presumably because the sediment contains abundant

  11. PLUTONIUM CARRIER METATHESIS WITH ORGANIC REAGENT

    DOEpatents

    Thompson, S.G.

    1958-07-01

    A method is described for converting a plutonium containing bismuth phosphate carrier precipitate Into a compositton more readily soluble in acid. The method consists of dissolving the bismuth phosphate precipitate in an aqueous solution of alkali metal hydroxide, and adding one of a certaia group of organic compounds, e.g., polyhydric alcohols or a-hydrorycarboxylic acids. The mixture is then heated causiing formation of a bismuth hydroxide precipitate containing plutonium which may be readily dissolved in nitric acid for further processing.

  12. Plutonium-238 processing at Savannah River Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Burney, G.A.

    1983-01-01

    Plutonium-238 is produced by irradiating NpO/sub 2/-Al cermet slugs or tubes with neutrons. The neptunium-237 is produced as a by-product when natural or enriched uranium is irradiated with neutrons. The neptunium is separated by solvent extraction and ion exchange and precipitated as neptunium oxalate. Neptunium oxalate is calcined to neptunium oxide and fabricated into targets for irradiation. The irradiation conditions are controlled to produce plutonium with 80 to 90 wt % /sup 238/Pu.

  13. Assessing the Feasibility of Using Neutron Resonance Transmission Analysis (NRTA) for Assaying Plutonium in Spent Fuel Assemblies

    SciTech Connect

    D. L. Chichester; J. W. Sterbentz

    2012-07-01

    Neutron resonance transmission analysis (NRTA) is an active-interrogation nondestructive assay (NDA) technique capable of assaying spent nuclear fuel to determine plutonium content. Prior experimental work has definitively shown the technique capable of assaying plutonium isotope composition in spent-fuel pins to a precision of approximately 3%, with a spatial resolution of a few millimeters. As a Grand Challenge to investigate NDA options for assaying spent fuel assemblies (SFAs) in the commercial fuel cycle, Idaho National Laboratory has explored the feasibility of using NRTA to assay plutonium in a whole SFA. The goal is to achieve a Pu assay precision of 1%. The NRTA technique uses low-energy neutrons from 0.1-40 eV, at the bottom end of the actinide-resonance range, in a time-of-flight arrangement. Isotopic composition is determined by relating absorption of the incident neutrons to the macroscopic cross-section of the actinides of interest in the material, and then using this information to determine the areal density of the isotopes in the SFA. The neutrons used for NRTA are produced using a pulsed, accelerator-based neutron source. Distinguishable resonances exist for both the plutonium (239,240,241,242Pu) and uranium (235,236,238U) isotopes of interest in spent fuel. Additionally, in this energy range resonances exists for six important fission products (99Tc, 103Rh, 131Xe, 133Cs, 145Nd, and 152Sm) which provide additional information to support spent fuel plutonium assay determinations. Based on extensive modeling of the problem using Monte Carlo-based simulation codes, our preliminary results suggest that by rotating an SFA to acquire four symmetric views, sufficient neutron transmission can be achieved to assay a SFA. In this approach multiple scan information for the same pins may also be unfolded to potentially allow the determination of plutonium for sub-regions of the assembly. For a 17 ? 17 pressurized water reactor SFA, a simplistic preliminary

  14. Plutonium: The first 50 years. United States plutonium production, acquisition, and utilization from 1944 through 1994

    SciTech Connect

    1996-02-01

    The report contains important newly declassified information regarding the US production, acquisition, and removals of plutonium. This new information, when combined with previously declassified data, has allowed the DOE to issue, for the first time, a truly comprehensive report on the total DOE plutonium inventory. At the December 7, 1993, Openness Press Conference, the DOE declassified the plutonium inventories at eight locations totaling 33.5 metric tons (MT). This report declassifies the remainder of the DOE plutonium inventory. Newly declassified in this report is the quantity of plutonium at the Pantex Site, near Amarillo, Texas, and in the US nuclear weapons stockpile of 66.1 MT, which, when added to the previously released inventory of 33.5 MT, yields a total plutonium inventory of 99.5 MT. This report will document the sources which built up the plutonium inventory as well as the transactions which have removed plutonium from that inventory. This report identifies four sources that add plutonium to the DOE/DoD inventory, and seven types of transactions which remove plutonium from the DOE/DoD inventory. This report also discusses the nuclear material control and accountability system which records all nuclear material transactions, compares records with inventory and calculates material balances, and analyzes differences to verify that nuclear materials are in quantities as reported. The DOE believes that this report will aid in discussions in plutonium storage, safety, and security with stakeholders as well as encourage other nations to declassify and release similar data. These data will also be available for formulating policies with respect to disposition of excess nuclear materials. The information in this report is based on the evaluation of available records. The information contained in this report may be updated or revised in the future should additional or more detailed data become available.

  15. A vision for environmentally conscious plutonium processing

    SciTech Connect

    Avens, L.R.; Eller, P.G.; Christensen, D.C.; Miller, W.L.

    1998-12-31

    Regardless of individual technical and political opinions about the uses of plutonium, it is virtually certain that plutonium processing will continue on a significant global scale for many decades for the purposes of national defense, nuclear power and remediation. An unavoidable aspect of plutonium processing is that radioactive contaminated gas, liquid, and solid streams are generated. These streams need to be handled in a manner that is not only in full compliance with today`s laws,but also will be considered environmentally and economically responsible now and in the future. In this regard, it is indeed ironic that the multibillion dollar and multidecade radioactive cleanup mortgage that the US Department of Energy (and its Russian counterpart) now owns resulted from waste management practices that were at the time in full legal compliance. The theme of this paper is that recent dramatic advances in actinide science and technology now make it possible to drastically minimize or even eliminate the problematic waste streams of traditional plutonium processing operations. Advanced technology thereby provides the means to avoid passing on to our children and grandchildren significant environmental and economic legacies that traditional processing inevitably produces. This paper will describe such a vision for plutonium processing that could be implemented fully within five years at a facility such as the Los Alamos Plutonium Facility (TA55). As a significant bonus, even on this short time scale, the initial technology investment is handsomely returned in avoided waste management costs.

  16. Plutonium Finishing Plant safety evaluation report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1995-01-01

    The Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) previously known as the Plutonium Process and Storage Facility, or Z-Plant, was built and put into operation in 1949. Since 1949 PFP has been used for various processing missions, including plutonium purification, oxide production, metal production, parts fabrication, plutonium recovery, and the recovery of americium (Am-241). The PFP has also been used for receipt and large scale storage of plutonium scrap and product materials. The PFP Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR) was prepared by WHC to document the hazards associated with the facility, present safety analyses of potential accident scenarios, and demonstrate the adequacy of safety class structures, systems, and components (SSCs) and operational safety requirements (OSRs) necessary to eliminate, control, or mitigate the identified hazards. Documented in this Safety Evaluation Report (SER) is DOE`s independent review and evaluation of the PFP FSAR and the basis for approval of the PFP FSAR. The evaluation is presented in a format that parallels the format of the PFP FSAR. As an aid to the reactor, a list of acronyms has been included at the beginning of this report. The DOE review concluded that the risks associated with conducting plutonium handling, processing, and storage operations within PFP facilities, as described in the PFP FSAR, are acceptable, since the accident safety analyses associated with these activities meet the WHC risk acceptance guidelines and DOE safety goals in SEN-35-91.

  17. PLUTONIUM FINISHING PLANT (PFP) STABILIZATION & PACKAGING PROJECT

    SciTech Connect

    GERBER, M.S.

    2004-01-14

    Fluor Hanford is pleased to submit the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) Stabilization and Packaging Project (SPP) for consideration by the Project Management Institute as Project of the Year for 2004. The SPP thermally stabilized and/or packaged nearly 18 metric tons (MT) of plutonium and plutonium-bearing materials left in PFP facilities from 40 years of nuclear weapons production and experimentation. The stabilization of the plutonium-bearing materials substantially reduced the radiological risk to the environment and security concerns regarding the potential for terrorists to acquire the non-stabilized plutonium products for nefarious purposes. The work was done In older facilities which were never designed for the long-term storage of plutonium, and required working with materials that were extremely radioactive, hazardous, pyrophoric, and In some cases completely unique. I n some Instances, one-of-a-kind processes and equipment were designed, installed, and started up. The SPP was completed ahead of schedule, substantially beating all Interim progress milestone dates set by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) and in the Hanford Site's Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order (Tri-Party Agreement or TPA), and finished $1-million under budget.

  18. Complementary technologies for verification of excess plutonium

    SciTech Connect

    Langner, , D.G.; Nicholas, N.J.; Ensslin, N.; Fearey, B.L.; Mitchell, D.J.; Marlow, K.W.; Luke, S.J.; Gosnell, T.B.

    1998-12-31

    Three complementary measurement technologies have been identified as candidates for use in the verification of excess plutonium of weapons origin. These technologies: high-resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy, neutron multiplicity counting, and low-resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy, are mature, robust technologies. The high-resolution gamma-ray system, Pu-600, uses the 630--670 keV region of the emitted gamma-ray spectrum to determine the ratio of {sup 240}Pu to {sup 239}Pu. It is useful in verifying the presence of plutonium and the presence of weapons-grade plutonium. Neutron multiplicity counting is well suited for verifying that the plutonium is of a safeguardable quantity and is weapons-quality material, as opposed to residue or waste. In addition, multiplicity counting can independently verify the presence of plutonium by virtue of a measured neutron self-multiplication and can detect the presence of non-plutonium neutron sources. The low-resolution gamma-ray spectroscopic technique is a template method that can provide continuity of knowledge that an item that enters the a verification regime remains under the regime. In the initial verification of an item, multiple regions of the measured low-resolution spectrum form a unique, gamma-radiation-based template for the item that can be used for comparison in subsequent verifications. In this paper the authors discuss these technologies as they relate to the different attributes that could be used in a verification regime.

  19. A DGT technique for plutonium bioavailability measurements.

    PubMed

    Cusnir, Ruslan; Steinmann, Philipp; Bochud, François; Froidevaux, Pascal

    2014-09-16

    The toxicity of heavy metals in natural waters is strongly dependent on the local chemical environment. Assessing the bioavailability of radionuclides predicts the toxic effects to aquatic biota. The technique of diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) is largely exploited for bioavailability measurements of trace metals in waters. However, it has not been applied for plutonium speciation measurements yet. This study investigates the use of DGT technique for plutonium bioavailability measurements in chemically different environments. We used a diffusion cell to determine the diffusion coefficients (D) of plutonium in polyacrylamide (PAM) gel and found D in the range of 2.06-2.29 × 10(-6) cm(2) s(-1). It ranged between 1.10 and 2.03 × 10(-6) cm(2) s(-1) in the presence of fulvic acid and in natural waters with low DOM. In the presence of 20 ppm of humic acid of an organic-rich soil, plutonium diffusion was hindered by a factor of 5, with a diffusion coefficient of 0.50 × 10(-6) cm(2) s(-1). We also tested commercially available DGT devices with Chelex resin for plutonium bioavailability measurements in laboratory conditions and the diffusion coefficients agreed with those from the diffusion cell experiments. These findings show that the DGT methodology can be used to investigate the bioaccumulation of the labile plutonium fraction in aquatic biota.

  20. Novel drug delivery systems for actinides (uranium and plutonium) decontamination agents.

    PubMed

    Fattal, Elias; Tsapis, Nicolas; Phan, Guillaume

    2015-08-01

    The possibility of accidents in the nuclear industry or of nuclear terrorist attacks makes the development of new decontamination strategies crucial. Among radionuclides, actinides such as uranium and plutonium and their different isotopes are considered as the most dangerous contaminants, plutonium displaying mostly a radiological toxicity whereas uranium exhibits mainly a chemical toxicity. Contamination occurs through ingestion, skin or lung exposure with subsequent absorption and distribution of the radionuclides to different tissues where they induce damaging effects. Different chelating agents have been synthesized but their efficacy is limited by their low tissue specificity and high toxicity. For these reasons, several groups have developed smart delivery systems to increase the local concentration of the chelating agent or to improve its biodistribution. The aim of this review is to highlight these strategies.

  1. Nonproliferation and safeguards aspects of fuel cycle programs in reduction of excess separated plutonium and high-enriched uranium

    SciTech Connect

    Persiani, P.J.

    1995-06-01

    The purpose of this preliminary investigation is to explore alternatives and strategies aimed at the gradual reduction of the excess inventories of separated plutonium and high-enriched uranium (HEU) in the civilian nuclear power industry. The study attempts to establish a technical and economic basis to assist in the formation of alternative approaches consistent with nonproliferation and safeguards concerns. Reference annual mass flows and inventories for a representative 1,400 Mwe Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) fuel cycle have been investigated for three cases: the 100 percent uranium oxide UO{sub 2} fuel loading once through cycle, and the 33 percent mixed oxide MOX loading configuration for a first and second plutonium recycle. The analysis addresses fuel cycle developments; plutonium and uranium inventory and flow balances; nuclear fuel processing operations; UO{sub 2} once-through and MOX first and second recycles; and the economic incentives to draw-down the excess separated plutonium stores. The preliminary analysis explores several options in reducing the excess separated plutonium arisings and HEU, and the consequences of the interacting synergistic effects between fuel cycle processes and isotopic signatures of nuclear materials on nonproliferation and safeguards policy assessments.

  2. Purification of aqueous plutonium chloride solutions via precipitation and washing.

    SciTech Connect

    Stroud, M. A.; Salazar, R. R.; Abney, Kent David; Bluhm, E. A.; Danis, J. A.

    2003-01-01

    Pyrochemical operations at Los Alamos Plutonium Facility (TA-55) use high temperature melt s of calcium chloride for the reduction of plutonium oxide to plutonium metal and hi gh temperature combined melts of sodium chloride and potassium chloride mixtures for the electrorefining purification of plutonium metal . The remaining plutonium and americium are recovered from thes e salts by dissolution in concentrated hydrochloric acid followed by either solvent extraction or io n exchange for isolation and ultimately converted to oxide after precipitation with oxalic acid . Figur e 1 illustrates the current aqueous chloride flow sheet used for plutonium processing at TA-55 .

  3. SEPARATION OF PLUTONIUM FROM URANIUM AND FISSION PRODUCTS

    DOEpatents

    Boyd, G.E.; Adamson, A.W.; Schubert, J.; Russell, E.R.

    1958-10-01

    A chromatographic adsorption process is presented for the separation of plutonium from other fission products formed by the irradiation of uranium. The plutonium and the lighter element fission products are adsorbed on a sulfonated phenol-formaldehyde resin bed from a nitric acid solution containing the dissolved uranium. Successive washes of sulfuric, phosphoric, and nitric acids remove the bulk of the fission products, then an eluate of dilute phosphoric and nitric acids removes the remaining plutonium and fission products. The plutonium is selectively removed by passing this solution through zirconium phosphate, from which the plutonium is dissolved with nitric acid. This process provides a convenient and efficient means for isolating plutonium.

  4. PROCESS OF FORMING PLUOTONIUM SALTS FROM PLUTONIUM EXALATES

    DOEpatents

    Garner, C.S.

    1959-02-24

    A process is presented for converting plutonium oxalate to other plutonium compounds by a dry conversion method. According to the process, lower valence plutonium oxalate is heated in the presence of a vapor of a volatile non- oxygenated monobasic acid, such as HCl or HF. For example, in order to produce plutonium chloride, the pure plutonium oxalate is heated to about 700 deg C in a slow stream of hydrogen plus HCl. By the proper selection of an oxidizing or reducing atmosphere, the plutonium halide product can be obtained in either the plus 3 or plus 4 valence state.

  5. Determination of U, Pu and Am isotopes in Irish Sea sediment by a combination of AMS and radiometric methods.

    PubMed

    Srncik, M; Hrnecek, E; Steier, P; Wallner, G

    2011-04-01

    Samples from a marine sediment core from the Irish Sea (54.416 N, 3.563 W) were analyzed for the isotopic composition of uranium, plutonium and americium by a combination of radiometric methods and AMS. The radiochemical procedure consisted of a Pu separation step by anion exchange, subsequent U separation by extraction chromatography using UTEVA® and finally Am separation with TRU® Resin. Additionally to radiometric determination of these isotopes by alpha spectrometry, the separated samples were also used for the determination of (236)U/(238)U and plutonium isotope ratios by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) at the VERA facility. PMID:21316820

  6. Thorium plutonium (TREX) fuel for weapons-grade plutonium disposition in pressurized water reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Comfort, C.; Ferguson, C.; Klima, S.; Lilly, D.E.; Rahnema, F.

    1996-12-31

    The goal of this study was to create a pressurized water reactor (PWR) reactor assembly (17 x 17) that would burn weapons-grade plutonium (WGP). Current designs of mixed-oxide (MOX) fuels combine WGP with uranium as the fuel. MOX fuel assemblies will destroy plutonium, but only 40 to 50% of the plutonium present in the fuel. This percentage is limited by the presence of {sup 238}U in the core, which becomes {sup 239}Pu by absorption and decay. The production of plutonium counteracts the disposition of WGP in current MOX fuel designs. This problem can be overcome by replacing the uranium in a MOX design with thorium. This loss of uranium (primarily {sup 238}U) halts the production of {sup 239}Pu in the thorium plutonium (TREX) fuel. The absence of {sup 239}Pu production allows the TREX design to burn up to 85 wt% of the {sup 239}Pu, originally loaded in the fuel.

  7. Advanced isotope separation

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1982-05-04

    The Study Group briefly reviewed the technical status of the three Advanced Isotope Separation (AIS) processes. It also reviewed the evaluation work that has been carried out by DOE's Process Evaluation Board (PEB) and the Union Carbide Corporation-Nuclear Division (UCCND). The Study Group briefly reviewed a recent draft assessment made for DOE staff of the nonproliferation implications of the AIS technologies. The staff also very briefly summarized the status of GCEP and Advanced Centrifuge development. The Study Group concluded that: (1) there has not been sufficient progress to provide a firm scientific, technical or economic basis on which to select one of the three competing AIS processes for full-scale engineering development at this time; and (2) however, should budgetary restraints or other factors force such a selection, we believe that the evaluation process that is being carried out by the PEB provides the best basis available for making a decision. The Study Group recommended that: (1) any decisions on AIS processes should include a comparison with gas centrifuge processes, and should not be made independently from the plutonium isotope program; (2) in evaluating the various enrichment processes, all applicable costs (including R and D and sales overhead) and an appropriate discounting approach should be included in order to make comparisons on a private industry basis; (3) if the three AIS programs continue with limited resources, the work should be reoriented to focus only on the most pressing technical problems; and (4) if a decision is made to develop the Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation process, the solid collector option should be pursued in parallel to alleviate the potential program impact of liquid collector thermal control problems.

  8. Plutonium AMS measurements in Yangtze River estuary sediment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tims, S. G.; Pan, S. M.; Zhang, R.; Fifield, L. K.; Wang, Y. P.; Gao, J. H.

    2010-04-01

    The Yangtze River is the largest single source of sediment to the continental shelf of the East China Sea. The quantity of material exported by the river is expected to decrease substantially as a consequence of an extensive continuing program of dam construction within the river catchment. We report here AMS measurements of plutonium isotope concentrations and ratios for selected depth increments from a sediment core, collected from the sub-aqueous delta of the Yangtze River estuary. The Pu derives from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and 1960s, and is potentially a useful tracer of sediment deposition times in the marine environment. The results show considerable structure in the depth-concentration profile, and offer an excellent opportunity to compare Pu with the more commonly used 137Cs isotopic tracer. The AMS data show superior sensitivity and indicate that the 240Pu/ 239Pu ratio can provide a check on the deposition dates. The changes in the 240Pu and 239Pu concentrations and the 240Pu/ 239Pu ratios with sediment depth all indicate the possibility of using Pu as a geochronological tool for coastal sediment studies.

  9. Plutonium measurements by accelerator mass spectrometry at LLNL

    SciTech Connect

    McAninch, J E; Hamilton, T F; Broan, T A; Jokela, T A; Knezovich, T J; Ognibene, T J; Proctor, I D; Roberts, M L; Southon, J R; Vogel, J S; Sideras-Haddad, E

    1999-10-26

    Mass spectrometric methods provide sensitive, routine, and cost-effective analyses of long-lived radionuclides. Here the authors report on the status of work at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to develop a capability for actinide measurements by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) to take advantage of the high potential of AMS for rejection of interferences. This work demonstrates that the LLNL AMS spectrometer is well-suited for providing high sensitivity, robust, high throughput measurements of plutonium concentrations and isotope ratios. Present backgrounds are {approximately}2 x 10{sup 7}atoms per sample for environmental samples prepared using standard alpha spectrometry protocols. Recent measurements of {sup 239+240}Pu and {sup 241}Pu activities and {sup 240}Pu/{sup 239}Pu isotope ratios in IAEA reference materials agree well with IAEA reference values and with alpha spectrometry and recently published ICP-MS results. Ongoing upgrades of the AMS spectrometer are expected to reduce backgrounds below 1 x 10{sup 6} atoms per sample while allowing simplifications of the sample preparation chemistry. These simplifications will lead to lower per-sample costs, higher throughput, faster turn around and, ultimately, to larger and more robust data sets.

  10. Photoemission Spectroscopy of Delta- Plutonium: Experimental Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tobin, J. G.

    2002-03-01

    The electronic structure of Plutonium, particularly delta- Plutonium, remains ill defined and without direct experimental verification. Recently, we have embarked upon a program of study of alpha- and delta- Plutonium, using synchrotron radiation from the Advanced Light Source in Berkeley, CA, USA [1]. This work is set within the context of Plutonium Aging [2] and the complexities of Plutonium Science [3]. The resonant photoemission of delta-plutonium is in partial agreement with an atomic, localized model of resonant photoemission, which would be consistent with a correlated electronic structure. The results of our synchrotron- based studies will be compared with those of recent laboratory- based works [4,5,6]. The talk will conclude with a brief discussion of our plans for the future, such as the performance of spin-resolving and dichroic photoemission measurements of Plutonium [7] and the development of single crystal ultrathin films of Plutonium. This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by the University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract No. W-7405-Eng-48. 1. J. Terry, R.K. Schulze, J.D. Farr, T. Zocco, K. Heinzelman, E. Rotenberg, D.K. Shuh, G. van der Laan, D.A. Arena, and J.G. Tobin, “5f Resonant Photoemission from Plutonium”, UCRL-JC-140782, Surf. Sci. Lett., accepted October 2001. 2. B.D. Wirth, A.J. Schwartz, M.J. Fluss, M.J. Caturla, M.A. Wall, and W.G. Wolfer, MRS Bulletin 26, 679 (2001). 3. S.S. Hecker, MRS Bulletin 26, 667 (2001). 4. T. Gouder, L. Havela, F. Wastin, and J. Rebizant, Europhys. Lett. 55, 705 (2001); MRS Bulletin 26, 684 (2001); Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 3378 (2000). 5. A.J. Arko, J.J. Joyce, L. Morales, J. Wills, J. Lashley, F. Wastin, and J. Rebizant, Phys. Rev. B 62, 1773 (2000). 6. L.E. Cox, O. Eriksson, and B.R. Cooper, Phys. Rev. B 46, 13571 (1992). 7. J. Tobin, D.A. Arena, B. Chung, P. Roussel, J. Terry, R.K. Schulze, J.D. Farr, T. Zocco, K. Heinzelman, E

  11. Plutonium and uranium contamination in soils from former nuclear weapon test sites in Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Child, D. P.; Hotchkis, M. A. C.

    2013-01-01

    The British government performed a number of nuclear weapon tests on Australian territory from 1952 through to 1963 with the cooperation of the Australian government. Nine fission bombs were detonated in South Australia at Emu Junction and Maralinga, and a further three fission weapons were detonated in the Monte Bello Islands off the coast of Western Australia. A number of soil samples were collected by the Australian Radiation Laboratories in 1972 and 1978 during field surveys at these nuclear weapon test sites. They were analysed by gamma spectrometry and, for a select few samples, by alpha spectrometry to measure the remaining activities of fission products, activation products and weapon materials. We have remeasured a number of these Montebello Islands and Emu Junction soil samples using the ANTARES AMS facility, ANSTO. These samples were analysed for plutonium and uranium isotopic ratios and isotopic concentrations. Very low 240Pu/239Pu ratios were measured at both sites (∼0.05 for Alpha Island and ∼0.02 for Emu Field), substantially below global fallout averages. Well correlated but widely varying 236U and plutonium concentrations were measured across both sites, but 233U did not correlate with these other isotopes and instead showed correlation with distance from ground zero, indicating in situ production in the soils.

  12. Isotope separation

    DOEpatents

    Bartlett, Rodney J.; Morrey, John R.

    1978-01-01

    A method and apparatus is described for separating gas molecules containing one isotope of an element from gas molecules containing other isotopes of the same element in which all of the molecules of the gas are at the same electronic state in their ground state. Gas molecules in a gas stream containing one of the isotopes are selectively excited to a different electronic state while leaving the other gas molecules in their original ground state. Gas molecules containing one of the isotopes are then deflected from the other gas molecules in the stream and thus physically separated.

  13. Long-term plutonium storage: Design concepts

    SciTech Connect

    Wilkey, D.D.; Wood, W.T.; Guenther, C.D.

    1994-08-01

    An important part of the Department of Energy (DOE) Weapons Complex Reconfiguration (WCR) Program is the development of facilities for long-term storage of plutonium. The WCR design goals are to provide storage for metals, oxides, pits, and fuel-grade plutonium, including material being held as part of the Strategic Reserve and excess material. Major activities associated with plutonium storage are sorting the plutonium inventory, material handling and storage support, shipping and receiving, and surveillance of material in storage for both safety evaluations and safeguards and security. A variety of methods for plutonium storage have been used, both within the DOE weapons complex and by external organizations. This paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages of proposed storage concepts based upon functional criteria. The concepts discussed include floor wells, vertical and horizontal sleeves, warehouse storage on vertical racks, and modular storage units. Issues/factors considered in determining a preferred design include operational efficiency, maintenance and repair, environmental impact, radiation and criticality safety, safeguards and security, heat removal, waste minimization, international inspection requirements, and construction and operational costs.

  14. Dispersion of plutonium from contaminated pond sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rees, T.F.; Cleveland, J.M.; Carl, Gottschall W.

    1978-01-01

    Sediment-water distributions of plutonium as a function of pH and contact time are investigated in a holding pond at the Rocky Flats plant of the Department of Energy. Although plutonium has been shown to sorb from natural waters onto sediments, the results of this study indicate that under the proper conditions it can be redispersed at pH 9 and above. Concentrations greater than 900 pCi Pu/L result after 34 h contact at pH 11 or 12 and the distribution coefficient, defined as the ratio of concentration in the sediment to that in the liquid, decreases from 1.1 ?? 105 at pH 7 to 1.2 ?? 103 at pH 11. The plutonium is probably dispersed as discrete colloids or as hydrolytic species adsorbed onto colloidal sediment particles whose average size decreases with increasing pH above pH 9. About 5% of the total plutonium is dispersed at pH 12, and the dispersion seems to readsorb on the sediment with time. Consequently, migration of plutonium from the pond should be slow, and it would be difficult to remove this element completely from pond sediment by leaching with high pH solutions. ?? 1978 American Chemical Society.

  15. Plutonium Chemistry in the UREX+ Separation Processes

    SciTech Connect

    ALena Paulenova; George F. Vandegrift, III; Kenneth R. Czerwinski

    2009-10-01

    The project "Plutonium Chemistry in the UREX+ Separation Processes” is led by Dr. Alena Paulenova of Oregon State University under collaboration with Dr. George Vandegrift of ANL and Dr. Ken Czerwinski of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. The objective of the project is to examine the chemical speciation of plutonium in UREX+ (uranium/tributylphosphate) extraction processes for advanced fuel technology. Researchers will analyze the change in speciation using existing thermodynamics and kinetic computer codes to examine the speciation of plutonium in aqueous and organic phases. They will examine the different oxidation states of plutonium to find the relative distribution between the aqueous and organic phases under various conditions such as different concentrations of nitric acid, total nitrates, or actinide ions. They will also utilize techniques such as X-ray absorbance spectroscopy and small-angle neutron scattering for determining plutonium and uranium speciation in all separation stages. The project started in April 2005 and is scheduled for completion in March 2008.

  16. 69. INTERIOR, BUILDING 272 (PLUTONIUM STORAGE BUILDING) LOOKING SOUTHWEST THROUGH ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    69. INTERIOR, BUILDING 272 (PLUTONIUM STORAGE BUILDING) LOOKING SOUTHWEST THROUGH DOOR-WAY INTO PLUTONIUM STORAGE AREA. - Loring Air Force Base, Weapons Storage Area, Northeastern corner of base at northern end of Maine Road, Limestone, Aroostook County, ME

  17. 71. INTERIOR, BUILDING 272 (PLUTONIUM STORAGE BUILDING) LOOKING NORTHEAST INTO ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    71. INTERIOR, BUILDING 272 (PLUTONIUM STORAGE BUILDING) LOOKING NORTHEAST INTO PLUTONIUM STORAGE ROOM SHOWING CUBICLES FOR STORAGE. - Loring Air Force Base, Weapons Storage Area, Northeastern corner of base at northern end of Maine Road, Limestone, Aroostook County, ME

  18. 16. VIEW OF GLOVE BOX WORKSTATIONS WITHIN THE PLUTONIUM BUTTON ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    16. VIEW OF GLOVE BOX WORKSTATIONS WITHIN THE PLUTONIUM BUTTON BREAKOUT ROOM. (9/82) - Rocky Flats Plant, Plutonium Recovery Facility, Northwest portion of Rocky Flats Plant, Golden, Jefferson County, CO

  19. 17. VIEW OF THE FIRST PLUTONIUM BUTTON PRODUCED FROM THE ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    17. VIEW OF THE FIRST PLUTONIUM BUTTON PRODUCED FROM THE BUILDING 371 AQUEOUS RECOVERY OPERATION. (9/30/83) - Rocky Flats Plant, Plutonium Recovery Facility, Northwest portion of Rocky Flats Plant, Golden, Jefferson County, CO

  20. COLUMBIC OXIDE ADSORPTION PROCESS FOR SEPARATING URANIUM AND PLUTONIUM IONS

    DOEpatents

    Beaton, R.H.

    1959-07-14

    A process is described for separating plutonium ions from a solution of neutron irradiated uranium in which columbic oxide is used as an adsorbert. According to the invention the plutonium ion is selectively adsorbed by Passing a solution containing the plutonium in a valence state not higher than 4 through a porous bed or column of granules of hydrated columbic oxide. The adsorbed plutonium is then desorbed by elution with 3 N nitric acid.

  1. PROCESS OF ELIMINATING HYDROGEN PEROXIDE IN SOLUTIONS CONTAINING PLUTONIUM VALUES

    DOEpatents

    Barrick, J.G.; Fries, B.A.

    1960-09-27

    A procedure is given for peroxide precipitation processes for separating and recovering plutonium values contained in an aqueous solution. When plutonium peroxide is precipitated from an aqueous solution, the supernatant contains appreciable quantities of plutonium and peroxide. It is desirable to process this solution further to recover plutonium contained therein, but the presence of the peroxide introduces difficulties; residual hydrogen peroxide contained in the supernatant solution is eliminated by adding a nitrite or a sulfite to this solution.

  2. Fused salt processing of impure plutonium dioxide to high-purity plutonium metal

    SciTech Connect

    Mullins, L.J.; Christensen, D.C.; Babcock, B.R.

    1982-01-01

    A process for converting impure plutonium dioxide (approx. 96% pure) to high-purity plutonium metal (>99.9%) was developed. The process consists of reducing the oxide to an impure plutonium metal intermediate with calcium metal in molten calcium chloride. The impure intermediate metal is cast into an anode and electrorefined to produce high-purity plutonium metal. The oxide reduction step is being done now on a 0.6-kg scale with the resulting yield being >99.5%. The electrorefining is being done on a 4.0-kg scale with the resulting yield being 80 to 85%. The purity of the product, which averages 99.98%, is essentially insensitive to the purity of the feed metal. The yield, however, is directly dependent on the chemical composition of the feed. To date, approximately 250 kg of impure oxide has been converted to pure metal by this processing sequence. The availability of impure plutonium dioxide, together with the need for pure plutonium metal, makes this sequence a valuable plutonium processing tool.

  3. Plutonium transport in the environment.

    PubMed

    Kersting, Annie B

    2013-04-01

    The recent estimated global stockpile of separated plutonium (Pu) worldwide is about 500 t, with equal contributions from nuclear weapons and civilian nuclear energy. Independent of the United States' future nuclear energy policy, the current large and increasing stockpile of Pu needs to be safely isolated from the biosphere and stored for thousands of years. Recent laboratory and field studies have demonstrated the ability of colloids (1-1000 nm particles) to facilitate the migration of strongly sorbing contaminants such as Pu. In understanding the dominant processes that may facilitate the transport of Pu, the initial source chemistry and groundwater chemistry are important factors, as no one process can explain all the different field observations of Pu transport. Very little is known about the molecular-scale geochemical and biochemical mechanisms controlling Pu transport, leaving our conceptual model incomplete. Equally uncertain are the conditions that inhibit the cycling and mobility of Pu in the subsurface. Without a better mechanistic understanding for Pu at the molecular level, we cannot advance our ability to model its transport behavior and achieve confidence in predicting long-term transport. Without a conceptual model that can successfully predict long-term Pu behavior and ultimately isolation from the biosphere, the public will remain skeptical that nuclear energy is a viable and an attractive alternative to counter global warming effects of carbon-based energy alternatives. This review summarizes our current understanding of the relevant conditions and processes controlling the behavior of Pu in the environment, gaps in our scientific knowledge, and future research needs. PMID:23458827

  4. Plutonium transport in the environment.

    PubMed

    Kersting, Annie B

    2013-04-01

    The recent estimated global stockpile of separated plutonium (Pu) worldwide is about 500 t, with equal contributions from nuclear weapons and civilian nuclear energy. Independent of the United States' future nuclear energy policy, the current large and increasing stockpile of Pu needs to be safely isolated from the biosphere and stored for thousands of years. Recent laboratory and field studies have demonstrated the ability of colloids (1-1000 nm particles) to facilitate the migration of strongly sorbing contaminants such as Pu. In understanding the dominant processes that may facilitate the transport of Pu, the initial source chemistry and groundwater chemistry are important factors, as no one process can explain all the different field observations of Pu transport. Very little is known about the molecular-scale geochemical and biochemical mechanisms controlling Pu transport, leaving our conceptual model incomplete. Equally uncertain are the conditions that inhibit the cycling and mobility of Pu in the subsurface. Without a better mechanistic understanding for Pu at the molecular level, we cannot advance our ability to model its transport behavior and achieve confidence in predicting long-term transport. Without a conceptual model that can successfully predict long-term Pu behavior and ultimately isolation from the biosphere, the public will remain skeptical that nuclear energy is a viable and an attractive alternative to counter global warming effects of carbon-based energy alternatives. This review summarizes our current understanding of the relevant conditions and processes controlling the behavior of Pu in the environment, gaps in our scientific knowledge, and future research needs.

  5. REVIEW OF PLUTONIUM OXIDATION LITERATURE

    SciTech Connect

    Korinko, P.

    2009-11-12

    A brief review of plutonium oxidation literature was conducted. The purpose of the review was to ascertain the effect of oxidation conditions on oxide morphology to support the design and operation of the PDCF direct metal oxidation (DMO) furnace. The interest in the review was due to a new furnace design that resulted in oxide characteristics that are different than those of the original furnace. Very little of the published literature is directly relevant to the DMO furnace operation, which makes assimilation of the literature data with operating conditions and data a convoluted task. The oxidation behavior can be distilled into three regimes, a low temperature regime (RT to 350 C) with a relatively slow oxidation rate that is influenced by moisture, a moderate temperature regime (350-450 C) that is temperature dependent and relies on more or less conventional oxidation growth of a partially protective oxide scale, and high temperature oxidation (> 500 C) where the metal autocatalytically combusts and oxidizes. The particle sizes obtained from these three regimes vary with the finest being from the lowest temperature. It is surmised that the slow growth rate permits significant stress levels to be achieved that help break up the oxides. The intermediate temperatures result in a fairly compact scale that is partially protective and that grows to critical thickness prior to fracturing. The growth rate in this regime may be parabolic or paralinear, depending on the oxidation time and consequently the oxide thickness. The high temperature oxidation is invariant in quiescent or nearly quiescent conditions due to gas blanketing while it accelerates with temperature under flowing conditions. The oxide morphology will generally consist of fine particles (<15 {micro}m), moderately sized particles (15 < x < 250 {micro}m) and large particles (> 250 {micro}m). The particle size ratio is expected to be < 5%, 25%, and 70% for fine, medium and large particles, respectively, for

  6. Characterization of Delta Phase Plutonium Metal

    SciTech Connect

    Rudisill, T.S.

    2000-09-21

    The FB-Line facility has developed the capability to recast plutonium metal using an M-18 reduction furnace with a new casting chamber. Plutonium metal is recast by charging a standard FB-Line magnesia crucible and placing the charge in the casting chamber. The loaded casting chamber is raised into the M-18 reduction furnace and sealed against the furnace head using a copper gasket following the same procedure used for a bomb reduction run. The interior volume of the chamber is evacuated and backfilled with argon gas. The M-18 motor-generator set is used to heat the surface of the casting chamber to nominally 750 Degrees C. Within about 2 hr, the plutonium metal reaches its melting temperature of approximately 640 Degrees C.

  7. The United States Plutonium Balance, 1944 - 2009

    SciTech Connect

    2012-06-01

    This report updates the report -Plutonium: The first 50 years- which was released by the U.S.Department of Energy (DOE) in 1996. The topic of both reports is plutonium, sometimes referred to as Pu-239, which is capable of sustaining a nuclear chain reaction and is used in nuclear weapons and for nuclear power production. This report updates 1994 data through 2009. The four most significant changes since 1994 include: (a) the completion of cleanup activities at the Rocky Flats Plant in 2005; (b) material consolidation and disposition activities, especially shipments from Hanford to the Savannah River Site; (c) the 2007 declaration of an additional 9.0 MT of weapons grade plutonium to be surplus to defense needs in the coming decades; and (d) the opening of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico in 1999.

  8. Excess plutonium disposition: The deep borehole option

    SciTech Connect

    Ferguson, K.L.

    1994-08-09

    This report reviews the current status of technologies required for the disposition of plutonium in Very Deep Holes (VDH). It is in response to a recent National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report which addressed the management of excess weapons plutonium and recommended three approaches to the ultimate disposition of excess plutonium: (1) fabrication and use as a fuel in existing or modified reactors in a once-through cycle, (2) vitrification with high-level radioactive waste for repository disposition, (3) burial in deep boreholes. As indicated in the NAS report, substantial effort would be required to address the broad range of issues related to deep bore-hole emplacement. Subjects reviewed in this report include geology and hydrology, design and engineering, safety and licensing, policy decisions that can impact the viability of the concept, and applicable international programs. Key technical areas that would require attention should decisions be made to further develop the borehole emplacement option are identified.

  9. Method for dissolving delta-phase plutonium

    DOEpatents

    Karraker, David G.

    1992-01-01

    A process for dissolving plutonium, and in particular, delta-phase plutonium. The process includes heating a mixture of nitric acid, hydroxylammonium nitrate (HAN) and potassium fluoride to a temperature between 40.degree. and 70.degree. C., then immersing the metal in the mixture. Preferably, the nitric acid has a concentration of not more than 2M, the HAN approximately 0.66M, and the potassium fluoride 0.1M. Additionally, a small amount of sulfamic acid, such as 0.1M can be added to assure stability of the HAN in the presence of nitric acid. The oxide layer that forms on plutonium metal may be removed with a non-oxidizing acid as a pre-treatment step.

  10. Interaction of divalent plutonium and curium

    SciTech Connect

    Mikheev, N.B.; Kazakevich, M.Z.; Rumer, I.A.

    1988-11-01

    It has been established that at plutonium concentrations ranging from 10/sup -5/ to 10/sup -4/ mole % the oxidation potentials of the Pu/sup 3 +//Pu/sup 2 +/ and Cm/sup 3 +//Cm/sup 2 +/ pairs increased by 0.15-0.2 V due to the dimerization of Pu/sup 2 +/ and the formation of mixed dimers of plutonium and curium. Promethium(2+) does not have a similar ability to form mixed dimers owing to the fact that Pm/sup 2 +/ does not have a free d electron. The oxidation potential of the Pm/sup 3 +//Pm/sup 2 +/ pair does not vary in the presence of massive quantities of plutonium

  11. Excess plutonium disposition using ALWR technology

    SciTech Connect

    Phillips, A.; Buckner, M.R.; Radder, J.A.; Angelos, J.G.; Inhaber, H.

    1993-02-01

    The Office of Nuclear Energy of the Department of Energy chartered the Plutonium Disposition Task Force in August 1992. The Task Force was created to assess the range of practicable means of disposition of excess weapons-grade plutonium. Within the Task Force, working groups were formed to consider: (1) storage, (2) disposal,and(3) fission options for this disposition,and a separate group to evaluate nonproliferation concerns of each of the alternatives. As a member of the Fission Working Group, the Savannah River Technology Center acted as a sponsor for light water reactor (LWR) technology. The information contained in this report details the submittal that was made to the Fission Working Group of the technical assessment of LWR technology for plutonium disposition. The following aspects were considered: (1) proliferation issues, (2) technical feasibility, (3) technical availability, (4) economics, (5) regulatory issues, and (6) political acceptance.

  12. Preparation of a glovebox for casting enriched plutonium.

    SciTech Connect

    Ronquillo, R. D.; Trujillo, C. M.; Trujillo, C. C.

    2002-01-01

    Objectives: Prepare existing glovebox for casting, heat treating and storing enriched plutonium, Upgrade seismic systems to reduce dispersion hazard, Upgrade atmospheric systems to reduce oxidation of plutonium, Upgrade vacuum system to prevent oxidation, InstalI/upgrade induction heating systems to melt plutonium and heat mold

  13. VIEW OF THE INTERIOR OF THE PLUTONIUM LABORATORY IN BUILDING ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    VIEW OF THE INTERIOR OF THE PLUTONIUM LABORATORY IN BUILDING 559. THE LABORATORY WAS USED TO ANALYZE THE PURITY OF PLUTONIUM. PLUTONIUM SAMPLES WERE CONTAINED WITHIN GLOVE BOXES - Rocky Flats Plant, Chemical Analytical Laboratory, North-central section of Plant, Golden, Jefferson County, CO

  14. 10 CFR 71.63 - Special requirement for plutonium shipments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Special requirement for plutonium shipments. 71.63 Section... MATERIAL Package Approval Standards § 71.63 Special requirement for plutonium shipments. Shipments containing plutonium must be made with the contents in solid form, if the contents contain greater than...

  15. 10 CFR 71.63 - Special requirement for plutonium shipments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Special requirement for plutonium shipments. 71.63 Section... MATERIAL Package Approval Standards § 71.63 Special requirement for plutonium shipments. Shipments containing plutonium must be made with the contents in solid form, if the contents contain greater than...

  16. 15. VIEW OF THE SAFE GEOMETRY PLUTONIUM METAL STORAGE PALLETS ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    15. VIEW OF THE SAFE GEOMETRY PLUTONIUM METAL STORAGE PALLETS FROM THE INSIDE OF AN INPUT-OUTPUT STATION. INDIVIDUAL CONTAINERS OF PLUTONIUM ARE STORED IN THE WATER-FILLED, DOUBLE-WALLED STAINLESS STEEL TUBES THAT ARE WELDED ONTO THE PALLETS. (12/3/88) - Rocky Flats Plant, Plutonium Recovery Facility, Northwest portion of Rocky Flats Plant, Golden, Jefferson County, CO

  17. 10 CFR 71.63 - Special requirement for plutonium shipments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Special requirement for plutonium shipments. 71.63 Section... MATERIAL Package Approval Standards § 71.63 Special requirement for plutonium shipments. Shipments containing plutonium must be made with the contents in solid form, if the contents contain greater than...

  18. 10 CFR 71.63 - Special requirement for plutonium shipments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Special requirement for plutonium shipments. 71.63 Section... MATERIAL Package Approval Standards § 71.63 Special requirement for plutonium shipments. Shipments containing plutonium must be made with the contents in solid form, if the contents contain greater than...

  19. Precipitation of plutonium from acidic solutions using magnesium oxide

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, S.A.

    1994-12-05

    Magnesium oxide will be used as a neutralizing agent for acidic plutonium-containing solutions. It is expected that as the magnesium oxide dissolves, the pH of the solution will rise, and plutonium will precipitate. The resulting solid will be tested for suitability to storage. The liquid is expected to contain plutonium levels that meet disposal limit requirements.

  20. 10 CFR 71.63 - Special requirement for plutonium shipments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Special requirement for plutonium shipments. 71.63 Section... MATERIAL Package Approval Standards § 71.63 Special requirement for plutonium shipments. Shipments containing plutonium must be made with the contents in solid form, if the contents contain greater than...

  1. Study of the formation, prevention, and recovery of plutonium from plutonium esters in the Purex process

    SciTech Connect

    Gray, L. W.; Burney, G. A.

    1981-01-01

    The Savannah River Plant uses the basic Purex process to separate /sup 239/Pu from /sup 238/U and fission products. Dark-brown, dense solids containing up to 30% Pu have previously occurred in rotameters in the plutonium finishing operations. The kinetics of formation of this mixture of DBP- and MBP-Pu esters suggest two methods to prevent the formation of the solids. A selective dissolution method using NaOH metathesis has been developed to separate the phosphate ester from the plutonium before dissolution of the residual plutonium hydroxide in a HNO/sub 3/-HF medium.

  2. PLUTONIUM ALLOYS CONTAINING CONTROLLED AMOUNTS OF PLUTONIUM ALLOTROPES OBTAINED BY APPLICATION OF HIGH PRESSURES

    DOEpatents

    Elliott, R.O.; Gschneidner, K.A. Jr.

    1962-07-10

    A method of making stabilized plutonium alloys which are free of voids and cracks and have a controlled amount of plutonium allotropes is described. The steps include adding at least 4.5 at.% of hafnium, indium, or erbium to the melted plutonium metal, homogenizing the resulting alloy at a temperature of 450 deg C, cooling to room temperature, and subjecting the alloy to a pressure which produces a rapid increase in density with a negligible increase in pressure. The pressure required to cause this rapid change in density or transformation ranges from about 800 to 2400 atmospheres, and is dependent on the alloying element. (AEC)

  3. A vision for environmentally conscious plutonium processing

    SciTech Connect

    Avens, L.R.; Eller, P.G.; Christensen, D.C.; Miller, W.L.

    1998-12-31

    Regardless of individual technical and political opinions about the uses of plutonium, it is virtually certain that plutonium processing will continue on a significant global scale for many decades for the purposes of national defense, nuclear power, and remediation. An unavoidable aspect of plutonium processing is that radioactively contaminated gas, liquid, and solid waste streams are generated. These streams need to be handled in a manner that not only is in full compliance with today`s laws but also will be considered environmentally and economically responsible now and in the future. In this regard, it is indeed ironic that the multibillion dollar and multidecade radioactive cleanup mortgage that the US Department of Energy (and its Russian counterpart) now owns resulted from waste management practices that were at the time in full legal compliance. It is now abundantly evident that in the long run, these practices have proven to be neither environmentally nor economically sound. Recent dramatic advances in actinide science and technology now make it possible to drastically minimize or even eliminate the problematic waste streams of traditional plutonium processing operations. Advanced technology thereby provides the means to avoid passing on to children and grandchildren significant environmental and economic legacies that traditional processing inevitably produces. The authors describe such a vision for plutonium processing that could be implemented fully within 5 yr at a facility such as the Los Alamos National Laboratory Plutonium Facility (TA55). As a significant bonus, even on this short timescale, the initial technology investment is handsomely returned in avoided waste management costs.

  4. Dehydration of plutonium or neptunium trichloride hydrate

    DOEpatents

    Foropoulos, Jr., Jerry; Avens, Larry R.; Trujillo, Eddie A.

    1992-01-01

    A process of preparing anhydrous actinide metal trichlorides of plutonium or neptunium by reacting an aqueous solution of an actinide metal trichloride selected from the group consisting of plutonium trichloride or neptunium trichloride with a reducing agent capable of converting the actinide metal from an oxidation state of +4 to +3 in a resultant solution, evaporating essentially all the solvent from the resultant solution to yield an actinide trichloride hydrate material, dehydrating the actinide trichloride hydrate material by heating the material in admixture with excess thionyl chloride, and recovering anhydrous actinide trichloride is provided.

  5. Dehydration of plutonium or neptunium trichloride hydrate

    DOEpatents

    Foropoulos, J. Jr.; Avens, L.R.; Trujillo, E.A.

    1992-03-24

    A process is described for preparing anhydrous actinide metal trichlorides of plutonium or neptunium by reacting an aqueous solution of an actinide metal trichloride selected from the group consisting of plutonium trichloride or neptunium trichloride with a reducing agent capable of converting the actinide metal from an oxidation state of +4 to +3 in a resultant solution, evaporating essentially all the solvent from the resultant solution to yield an actinide trichloride hydrate material, dehydrating the actinide trichloride hydrate material by heating the material in admixture with excess thionyl chloride, and recovering anhydrous actinide trichloride.

  6. Waste measurements at a plutonium facility

    SciTech Connect

    Wachter, J.R.

    1992-01-01

    Solid plutonium contaminated wastes are often highly heterogeneous, span a wide range of chemical compositions and matrix types, and are packaged in a variety of container sizes. NDA analysis of this waste depends on operator knowledge of these parameters so that proper segregation, instrument selection, quality assurance, and uncertainty estimation can take place. This report describes current waste measurement practices and uncertainty estimates at a US plutonium scrap recovery facility and presents a program for determining reproducibility and bias in NDA measurements. Following this, an operator's perspective on desirable NDA upgrades is offered.

  7. Modeling of Diffusion of Plutonium in Other Metals and of Gaseous Species in Plutonium-Based Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Bernard R. Cooper; Gayanath W. Fernando; S. Beiden; A. Setty; E.H. Sevilla

    2004-07-02

    Establish standards for temperature conditions under which plutonium, uranium, or neptunium from nuclear wastes permeates steel, with which it is in contact, by diffusion processes. The primary focus is on plutonium because of the greater difficulties created by the peculiarities of face-centered-cubic-stabilized (delta) plutonium (the form used in the technology generating the waste).

  8. SEPARATION OF PLUTONIUM FROM LANTHANUM BY CHELATION-EXTRACTION

    DOEpatents

    James, R.A.; Thompson, S.G.

    1958-12-01

    Plutonium can be separated from a mixture of plutonlum and lanthanum in which the lanthanum to plutonium molal ratio ls at least five by adding the ammonium salt of N-nitrosoarylhydroxylamine to an aqueous solution having a pH between about 3 and 0.2 and containing the plutonium in a valence state of at least +3, to form a plutonium chelate compound of N-nitrosoarylhydroxylamine. The plutonium chelate compound may be recovered from the solution by extracting with an immiscible organic solvent such as chloroform.

  9. Plutonium dispersal in fires: Summary of what is known

    SciTech Connect

    Condit, R.H.

    1993-07-01

    In view of the great public apprehension about plutonium and nuclear weapons we should explore ways to prevent, limit, or mitigate possible plutonium dispersals. This review is primarily a tutorial on what is known about plutonium dispersal in fires. It concludes that in most types of fires involving plutonium the amount released will not be an immediate danger to life. Indeed, in many cases very few personnel will receive more than the lung burden allowed by current regulations for plutonium workers. However, the dangers may be significant in special situations, unusual terrains, certain meteorological conditions, and very high burn temperatures.

  10. Excess Weapons Plutonium Disposition: Plutonium Packaging, Storage and Transportation and Waste Treatment, Storage and Disposal Activities

    SciTech Connect

    Jardine, L J; Borisov, G B

    2004-07-21

    A fifth annual Excess Weapons Plutonium Disposition meeting organized by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) was held February 16-18, 2004, at the State Education Center (SEC), 4 Aerodromnya Drive, St. Petersburg, Russia. The meeting discussed Excess Weapons Plutonium Disposition topics for which LLNL has the US Technical Lead Organization responsibilities. The technical areas discussed included Radioactive Waste Treatment, Storage, and Disposal, Plutonium Oxide and Plutonium Metal Packaging, Storage and Transportation and Spent Fuel Packaging, Storage and Transportation. The meeting was conducted with a conference format using technical presentations of papers with simultaneous translation into English and Russian. There were 46 Russian attendees from 14 different Russian organizations and six non-Russian attendees, four from the US and two from France. Forty technical presentations were made. The meeting agenda is given in Appendix B and the attendance list is in Appendix C.

  11. Using magnetization measurements to detect small amounts of plutonium hydride formation in plutonium metal

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Jae Wook; Mielke, Charles H.; Zapf, Vivien; Baiardo, Joseph P.; Mitchell, Jeremy N.; Richmond, Scott; Schwartz, Daniel S.; Mun, Eun D.; Smith, Alice Iulia

    2014-10-20

    We report the formation of plutonium hydride in 2 at % Ga-stabilized δ-Pu, with 1 atomic % H charging. We show that magnetization measurements are a sensitive, quantitative measure of ferromagnetic plutonium hydride against the nonmagnetic background of plutonium. It was previously shown that at low hydrogen concentrations, hydrogen forms super-abundant vacancy complexes with plutonium, resulting in a bulk lattice contraction. Here we use magnetization, X-ray and neutron diffraction measurements to show that in addition to forming vacancy complexes, at least 30% of the H atoms bond with Pu to precipitate PuHx, largely on the surface of the sample with x ~ 1.9. We observe magnetic hysteresis loops below 40 K with magnetic remanence, consistent with precipitates of ferromagnetic PuH1.9.

  12. Weapons-grade plutonium dispositioning. Volume 2: Comparison of plutonium disposition options

    SciTech Connect

    Brownson, D.A.; Hanson, D.J.; Blackman, H.S.

    1993-06-01

    The Secretary of Energy requested the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on International Security and Arms Control to evaluate disposition options for weapons-grade plutonium. The Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) offered to assist the NAS in this evaluation by investigating the technical aspects of the disposition options and their capability for achieving plutonium annihilation levels greater than 90%. This report was prepared for the NAS to document the gathered information and results from the requested option evaluations. Evaluations were performed for 12 plutonium disposition options involving five reactor and one accelerator-based systems. Each option was evaluated in four technical areas: (1) fuel status, (2) reactor or accelerator-based system status, (3) waste-processing status, and (4) waste disposal status. Based on these evaluations, each concept was rated on its operational capability and time to deployment. A third rating category of option costs could not be performed because of the unavailability of adequate information from the concept sponsors. The four options achieving the highest rating, in alphabetical order, are the Advanced Light Water Reactor with plutonium-based ternary fuel, the Advanced Liquid Metal Reactor with plutonium-based fuel, the Advanced Liquid Metal Reactor with uranium-plutonium-based fuel, and the Modular High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor with plutonium-based fuel. Of these four options, the Advanced Light Water Reactor and the Modular High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor do not propose reprocessing of their irradiated fuel. Time constraints and lack of detailed information did not allow for any further ratings among these four options. The INEL recommends these four options be investigated further to determine the optimum reactor design for plutonium disposition.

  13. Determination of plutonium metal origins

    SciTech Connect

    Moody, K.J.

    1995-02-01

    Forensic signatures are present in any Pu sample that can determine the sample`s origin: isotopic ratio of Pu, progeny species that grow into the sample, and contaminant species left over from incomplete purification of the Pu in fuel reprocessing. In the context of intelligence information, this can result in attribution of responsibility for the product of clandestine proliferant operations or material smuggled from existing stockpiles. A list of signature elements and what can be determined from them have been developed. Work needs to be done in converting concentrations of signature species into a quantitative forensic analysis, particularly in regard to reactor performance, but this should require only a small effort. A radiochemical analysis scheme has been developed for measuring these nuclides; more work is needed, particularly for determining fission product concentrations. A sample of Pu metal has been analyzed and several parameters determined that are strong indicators of its point of origin.

  14. First AID (Atom counting for Isotopic Determination).

    SciTech Connect

    Roach, J. L.; Israel, K. M.; Steiner, R. E.; Duffy, C. J.; Roench, F. R.

    2002-01-01

    Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has established an in vitro bioassay monitoring program in compliance with the requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations, 10 CFR 835, Occupational Radiation Protection. One aspect of this program involves monitoring plutonium levels in at-risk workers. High-risk workers are monitored using the ultra-sensitive Therrnal Ionization Mass Spectrometry (TIMS) technique to ensure compliance with DOE standards. TIMS is used to measure atom ratios of 239Pua nd 240Puw ith respect to a tracer isotope ('Pu). These ratios are then used to calculate the amount of 239Pu and 240Pup resent. This low-level atom counting technique allows the calculation of the concentration levels of 239Pu and 240Pu in urine for at risk workers. From these concentration levels, dose assessments can be made and worker exposure levels can be monitored. Detection limits for TIMS analysis are on the order of millions of atoms, which translates to activity levels of 150 aCi 239Pua nd 500 aCi for 240Pu. pCi for Our poster presentation will discuss the ultra-sensitive, low-level analytical technique used to measure plutonium isotopes and the data verification methods used for validating isotopic measurements.

  15. Electrochemically Modulated Separation for Plutonium Safeguards

    SciTech Connect

    Pratt, Sandra H.; Breshears, Andrew T.; Arrigo, Leah M.; Schwantes, Jon M.; Duckworth, Douglas C.

    2013-12-31

    Accurate and timely analysis of plutonium in spent nuclear fuel is critical in nuclear safeguards for detection of both protracted and rapid plutonium diversions. Gamma spectroscopy is a viable method for accurate and timely measurements of plutonium provided that the plutonium is well separated from the interfering fission and activation products present in spent nuclear fuel. Electrochemically modulated separation (EMS) is a method that has been used successfully to isolate picogram amounts of Pu from nitric acid matrices. With EMS, Pu adsorption may be turned "on" and "off" depending on the applied voltage, allowing for collection and stripping of Pu without the addition of chemical reagents. In this work, we have scaled up the EMS process to isolate microgram quantities of Pu from matrices encountered in spent nuclear fuel during reprocessing. Several challenges have been addressed including surface area limitations, radiolysis effects, electrochemical cell performance stability, and chemical interferences. After these challenges were resolved, 6 µg Pu was deposited in the electrochemical cell with approximately an 800-fold reduction of fission and activation product levels from a spent nuclear fuel sample. Modeling showed that these levels of Pu collection and interference reduction may not be sufficient for Pu detection by gamma spectroscopy. The main remaining challenges are to achieve a more complete Pu isolation and to deposit larger quantities of Pu for successful gamma analysis of Pu. If gamma analyses of Pu are successful, EMS will allow for accurate and timely on-site analysis for enhanced Pu safeguards.

  16. Plutonium Immobilization Can Loading Preliminary Specifications

    SciTech Connect

    Kriikku, E.

    1998-11-25

    This report discusses the Plutonium Immobilization can loading preliminary equipment specifications and includes a process block diagram, process description, equipment list, preliminary equipment specifications, plan and elevation sketches, and some commercial catalogs. This report identifies loading pucks into cans and backfilling cans with helium as the top priority can loading development areas.

  17. Plutonium Immobilization Can Loading Equipment Review

    SciTech Connect

    Kriikku, E.; Ward, C.; Stokes, M.; Randall, B.; Steed, J.; Jones, R.; Hamilton, L.

    1998-05-01

    This report lists the operations required to complete the Can Loading steps on the Pu Immobilization Plant Flow Sheets and evaluates the equipment options to complete each operation. This report recommends the most appropriate equipment to support Plutonium Immobilization Can Loading operations.

  18. NNSS Soils Monitoring: Plutonium Valley (CAU366)

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Julianne J.; Mizell, Steve A.; Nikolich, George; Campbell, Scott

    2012-02-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Nevada Site Office (NSO), Environmental Restoration Soils Activity has authorized the Desert Research Institute (DRI) to conduct field assessments of potential sediment transport of contaminated soil from Corrective Action Unit (CAU) 366, Area 11 Plutonium Valley Dispersion Sites Contamination Area (CA) during precipitation runoff events.

  19. Plutonium packaging and long-term storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lloyd, Jane A.; Wedman, Douglas E.

    2000-07-01

    It has been demonstrated that the Advanced Recovery and Integrated Extraction System (ARIES) packaging line at Los Alamos National Laboratory can successfully package plutonium to meet DOE requirements for safe long-term storage. The ARIES system has just completed the disassembly and conversion of its first cores ("pits") for nuclear weapons.

  20. Recovery of Plutonium by Carrier Precipitation

    DOEpatents

    Goeckermann, R. H.

    1961-04-01

    The recovery of plutonium from an aqueous nitric acid Zr-containing solution of 0.2 to 1N acidity is accomplished by adding fluoride anions (1.5 to 5 mg/l), and precipitating the Pu with an excess of H/sub 2/0/sub 2/ at 53 to 65 deg C. (AEC)

  1. PLUTONIUM PURIFICATION PROCESS EMPLOYING THORIUM PYROPHOSPHATE CARRIER

    DOEpatents

    King, E.L.

    1959-04-28

    The separation and purification of plutonium from the radioactive elements of lower atomic weight is described. The process of this invention comprises forming a 0.5 to 2 M aqueous acidffc solution containing plutonium fons in the tetravalent state and elements with which it is normally contaminated in neutron irradiated uranium, treating the solution with a double thorium compound and a soluble pyrophosphate compound (Na/sub 4/P/sub 2/O/sub 7/) whereby a carrier precipitate of thorium A method is presented of reducing neptunium and - trite is advantageous since it destroys any hydrazine f so that they can be removed from solutions in which they are contained is described. In the carrier precipitation process for the separation of plutonium from uranium and fission products including zirconium and columbium, the precipitated blsmuth phosphate carries some zirconium, columbium, and uranium impurities. According to the invention such impurities can be complexed and removed by dissolving the contaminated carrier precipitate in 10M nitric acid, followed by addition of fluosilicic acid to about 1M, diluting the solution to about 1M in nitric acid, and then adding phosphoric acid to re-precipitate bismuth phosphate carrying plutonium.

  2. Overview of surplus weapons plutonium disposition

    SciTech Connect

    Rudy, G.

    1996-05-01

    The safe disposition of surplus weapons useable plutonium is a very important and urgent task. While the functions of long term storage and disposition directly relate to the Department`s weapons program and the environmental management program, the focus of this effort is particularly national security and nonproliferation.

  3. Design-Only Conceptual Design Report: Plutonium Immobilization Plant

    SciTech Connect

    DiSabatino, A.; Loftus, D.

    1999-01-01

    This design-only conceptual design report was prepared to support a funding request by the Department of Energy Office of Fissile Materials Disposition for engineering and design of the Plutonium Immobilization Plant, which will be used to immobilize up to 50 tonnes of surplus plutonium. The siting for the Plutonium Immobilization Plant will be determined pursuant to the site-specific Surplus Plutonium Disposition Environmental Impact Statement in a Plutonium Deposition Record of Decision in early 1999. This document reflects a new facility using the preferred technology (ceramic immobilization using the can-in-canister approach) and the preferred site (at Savannah River). The Plutonium Immobilization Plant accepts plutonium from pit conversion and from non-pit sources and, through a ceramic immobilization process, converts the plutonium into mineral-like forms that are subsequently encapsulated within a large canister of high-level waste glass. The final immobilized product must make the plutonium as inherently unattractive and inaccessible for use in nuclear weapons as the plutonium in spent fuel from commercial reactors and must be suitable for geologic disposal. Plutonium immobilization at the Savannah River Site uses: (1) A new building, the Plutonium Immobilization Plant, which will convert non-pit surplus plutonium to an oxide form suitable for the immobilization process, immobilize plutonium in a titanate-based ceramic form, place cans of the plutonium-ceramic forms into magazines, and load the magazines into a canister; (2) The existing Defense Waste Processing Facility for the pouring of high-level waste glass into the canisters; and (3) The Actinide Packaging and Storage Facility to receive and store feed materials. The Plutonium Immobilization Plant uses existing Savannah River Site infra-structure for analytical laboratory services, waste handling, fire protection, training, and other support utilities and services. The Plutonium Immobilization Plant

  4. Crystalline plutonium hosts derived from high-level waste formulations.

    SciTech Connect

    O'Holleran, T. P.

    1998-04-24

    The Department of Energy has selected immobilization for disposal in a repository as one approach for disposing of excess plutonium (1). Materials for immobilizing weapons-grade plutonium for repository disposal must meet the ''spent fuel standard'' by providing a radiation field similar to spent fuel (2). Such a radiation field can be provided by incorporating fission products from high-level waste into the waste form. Experiments were performed to evaluate the feasibility of incorporating high-level waste (HLW) stored at the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant (ICPP) into plutonium dispositioning materials to meet the spent fuel standard. A variety of materials and preparation techniques were evaluated based on prior experience developing waste forms for immobilizing HLW. These included crystalline ceramic compositions prepared by conventional sintering and hot isostatic pressing (HIP), and glass formulations prepared by conventional melting. Because plutonium solubility in silicate melts is limited, glass formulations were intentionally devitrified to partition plutonium into crystalline host phases, thereby allowing increased overall plutonium loading. Samarium, added as a representative rare earth neutron absorber, also tended to partition into the plutonium host phases. Because the crystalline plutonium host phases are chemically more inert, the plutonium is more effectively isolated from the environment, and its attractiveness for proliferation is reduced. In the initial phase of evaluating each material and preparation method, cerium was used as a surrogate for plutonium. For promising materials, additional preparation experiments were performed using plutonium to verify the behavior of cerium as a surrogate. These experiments demonstrated that cerium performed well as a surrogate for plutonium. For the most part, cerium and plutonium partitioned onto the same crystalline phases, and no anomalous changes in oxidation state were observed. The only observed

  5. Isotopic abundance measurements on solid nuclear-type samples by glow discharge mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Betti, M; Rasmussen, G; Koch, L

    1996-07-01

    A double-focusing Glow Discharge Mass Spectrometer (GDMS) installed in a glovebox for nuclear sample screening has been employed for isotopic measurements. Isotopic compositions of zirconium, silicon, lithium, boron, uranium and plutonium which are elements of nuclear concern have been determined. Interferences arising from the matrix sample and the discharge gas (Ar) for each of these elements are discussed. The GDMS results are compared with those from Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry (TIMS). For boron and lithium at microg/g-ng/g levels, the two methods gave results in good agreement. In samples containing uranium the isotopic composition obtained by GDMS was in agreement with those from TIMS independently of the enrichment. Attempts for the determination of plutonium isotopic composition were also made. In this case, due to the interferences of uranium at mass 238 and americium at mass 241, the GDMS raw data are complementary with those values obtained from physical non-destructive techniques.

  6. Plutonium in the air in Kurchatov, Kazakhstan.

    PubMed

    Lehto, J; Salminen, S; Jaakkola, T; Outola, I; Pulli, S; Paatero, J; Tarvainen, M; Ristonmaa, S; Zilliacus, R; Ossintsev, A; Larin, V

    2006-07-31

    Weekly air samples of 25000 m(3) volume were taken with two air samplers over a period of one year in 2000-2001 in the town of Kurchatov in Kazakhstan. For another three-month period in 2001, the samplers were run in the city of Astana, about 500 km west of Kurchatov. (137)Cs, Pu and U concentrations were determined from the filters. Pu activities in Kurchatov varied in a 100-fold range; median (239,240)Pu activities were 100 nBq/m(3) and (238)Pu activities 34 nBq/m(3). The corresponding values for Astana were considerably lower: 29 and 9 nBq/m(3), respectively, and in half of the filters the (238)Pu activity was below the detection limit. Plutonium concentration correlated with the amount of dust retained on the filters only at the highest dust loads. Also no correlation between wind speed and the plutonium activity in the filters was observed. Thus, resuspension does not seem to be the mechanism responsible for the airborne plutonium. No clear seasonal variation of Pu air concentration was observed, though levels were somewhat elevated in February to April. There was no correlation between the plutonium and (137)Cs concentrations. In most of the filters the cesium concentration was below the detection limit, but in those filters where it could be detected the cesium concentration was practically constant at 3.9+/-1.6 microBq/m(3). Dose estimation for the inhalation of the airborne plutonium gave a low value of 0.018 microSv/a for the inhabitants in Kurchatov, which is about a thousand times lower than the dose caused by the naturally occurring (210)Po. Air parcel trajectory analysis indicated that the observed Pu activities in the air could not unambiguously be attributed to the most contaminated areas at the Semipalatinsk Test Site.

  7. In search of plutonium: A nonproliferation journey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hecker, Siegfried

    2010-02-01

    In February 1992, I landed in the formerly secret city of Sarov, the Russian Los Alamos, followed a few days later by a visit to Snezhinsk, their Livermore. The briefings we received of the Russian nuclear weapons program and tours of their plutonium, reactor, explosives, and laser facilities were mind boggling considering the Soviet Union was dissolved only two months earlier. This visit began a 17-year, 41 journey relationship with the Russian nuclear complex dedicated to working with them in partnership to protect and safeguard their weapons and fissile materials, while addressing the plight of their scientists and engineers. In the process, we solved a forty-year disagreement about the plutonium-gallium phase diagram and began a series of fundamental plutonium science workshops that are now in their tenth year. At the Yonbyon reprocessing facility in January 2004, my North Korean hosts had hoped to convince me that they have a nuclear deterrent. When I expressed skepticism, they asked if I wanted to see their ``product.'' I asked if they meant the plutonium; they replied, ``Well, yes.'' Thus, I wound up holding 200 grams of North Korean plutonium (in a sealed glass jar) to make sure it was heavy and warm. So began the first of my six journeys to North Korea to provide technical input to the continuing North Korean nuclear puzzle. In Trombay and Kalpakkam a few years later I visited the Indian nuclear research centers to try to understand how India's ambitious plans for nuclear power expansion can be accomplished safely and securely. I will describe these and other attempts to deal with the nonproliferation legacy of the cold war and the new challenges ahead. )

  8. Improved Radiation Dosimetry/Risk Estimates to Facilitate Environmental Management of Plutonium-Contaminated Sites

    SciTech Connect

    Scott, Bobby R.; Tokarskaya, Zoya B.; Zhuntova, Galina V.; Osovets, Sergey V.; Syrchikov, Victor A., Belyaeva, Zinaida D.

    2007-12-14

    This report summarizes 4 years of research achievements in this Office of Science (BER), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) project. The research described was conducted by scientists and supporting staff at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI)/Lovelace Biomedical and Environmental Research Institute (LBERI) and the Southern Urals Biophysics Institute (SUBI). All project objectives and goals were achieved. A major focus was on obtaining improved cancer risk estimates for exposure via inhalation to plutonium (Pu) isotopes in the workplace (DOE radiation workers) and environment (public exposures to Pu-contaminated soil). A major finding was that low doses and dose rates of gamma rays can significantly suppress cancer induction by alpha radiation from inhaled Pu isotopes. The suppression relates to stimulation of the body's natural defenses, including immunity against cancer cells and selective apoptosis which removes precancerous and other aberrant cells.

  9. Transuranium isotopes

    SciTech Connect

    Hoffman, D.C.

    1985-12-01

    The needs of the research community for the production of transuranium isotopes, the quantities required, the continuity of production desired, and what a new steady state neutron source would have to provide to satisfy these needs are discussed. Examples of past frontier research which need these isotopes as well as an outline of the proposed Large Einsteinium Activation Program, LEAP, which requires roughly ten times the current production of /sup 254/Es are given. 15 refs., 5 figs., 4 tabs.

  10. Isotopic Paleoclimatology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowen, R.

    Paleotemperature scales were calculated by H. C. Urey and others in the 1950s to assess past temperatures, and later work using the stable isotopes of oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon employed standards such as Peedee belemnite (PDB) and Standard Mean Ocean Water (SMOW). Subsequently, subjects as diverse as ice volume and paleotemperatures, oceanic ice and sediment cores, Pleistocene/Holocene climatic changes, and isotope chronostratigraphy extending back to the Precambrian were investigated.

  11. Isotopic chirality

    SciTech Connect

    Floss, H.G.

    1994-12-01

    This paper deals with compounds that are chiral-at least in part, due to isotope substitution-and their use in tracing the steric course of enzyme reaction in vitro and in vivo. There are other applications of isotopically chiral compounds (for example, in analyzing the steric course of nonenzymatic reactions and in probing the conformation of biomolecules) that are important but they will not be discussed in this context.

  12. Plutonium, Mineralogy and Radiation Effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewing, R. C.

    2006-05-01

    During the past fifty years, more than 1,800 metric tonnes of Pu and substantial quantities of other "minor" actinides, such as Np, Am and Cm, have been generated in nuclear reactors. Some of these transuranic elements can be a source of energy in fission reactions (e.g., 239Pu), a source of fissile material for nuclear weapons (e.g., 239Pu and 237Np), or are of environmental concern because of their long half- lives and radiotoxicity (e.g., 239Pu, t1/2 = 24,100 years, and 237Np, t1/2 = 2.1 million years). There are two basic strategies for the disposition of these elements: 1.) to "burn" or transmute the actinides using nuclear reactors or accelerators; 2.) to "sequester" the actinides in chemically durable, radiation-resistant materials that are suitable for geologic disposal. There has been substantial interest in the use of actinide-bearing minerals, such as zircon or isometric pyrochlore, A2B2O7 (A = rare earths; B = Ti, Zr, Sn, Hf; Fd3m; Z=8), for the immobilization of actinides, particularly plutonium. One of the principal concerns has been the accumulation of structural damage caused by alpha-decay events, particularly from the recoil nucleus. Systematic ion beam irradiation studies of rare-earth pyrochlores have led to the discovery that certain compositions (B = Zr, Hf) are stable to very high fluences of alpha-decay event damage. Some compositions, Gd2Ti2O7, are amorphized at relatively low doses (0.2 displacements per atom, dpa, at room temperature), while other compositions, Gd2Zr2O7, do not amorphize (even at doses of > 40 dpa at 25K), but instead disorder to a defect fluorite structure. By changing the composition of the A-site (e.g., substitution of different rare earth elements), the temperature above which the pyrochlore composition can no longer be amorphized, Tc, varies by >600 K (e.g., Lu2Ti2O7: Tc = 480 K; Gd2Ti2O7: Tc = 1120 K). The variation in response to irradiation as a function of composition can be used to model the long

  13. Isotopic signatures by bulk analyses

    SciTech Connect

    Efurd, D.W.; Rokop, D.J.

    1997-12-01

    Los Alamos National Laboratory has developed a series of measurement techniques for identification of nuclear signatures by analyzing bulk samples. Two specific applications for isotopic fingerprinting to identify the origin of anthropogenic radioactivity in bulk samples are presented. The first example is the analyses of environmental samples collected in the US Arctic to determine the impact of dumping of radionuclides in this polar region. Analyses of sediment and biota samples indicate that for the areas sampled the anthropogenic radionuclide content of sediments was predominantly the result of the deposition of global fallout. The anthropogenic radionuclide concentrations in fish, birds and mammals were very low. It can be surmised that marine food chains are presently not significantly affected. The second example is isotopic fingerprinting of water and sediment samples from the Rocky Flats Facility (RFP). The largest source of anthropogenic radioactivity presently affecting surface-waters at RFP is the sediments that are currently residing in the holding ponds. One gram of sediment from a holding pond contains approximately 50 times more plutonium than 1 liter of water from the pond. Essentially 100% of the uranium in Ponds A-1 and A-2 originated as depleted uranium. The largest source of radioactivity in the terminal Ponds A-4, B-5 and C-2 was naturally occurring uranium and its decay product radium. The uranium concentrations in the waters collected from the terminal ponds contained 0.05% or less of the interim standard calculated derived concentration guide for uranium in waters available to the public. All of the radioactivity observed in soil, sediment and water samples collected at RFP was naturally occurring, the result of processes at RFP or the result of global fallout. No extraneous anthropogenic alpha, beta or gamma activities were detected. The plutonium concentrations in Pond C-2 appear to vary seasonally.

  14. Total Measurement Uncertainty for the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) Segmented Gamma Scan Assay System

    SciTech Connect

    WESTSIK, G.A.

    2001-06-06

    This report presents the results of an evaluation of the Total Measurement Uncertainty (TMU) for the Canberra manufactured Segmented Gamma Scanner Assay System (SGSAS) as employed at the Hanford Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP). In this document, TMU embodies the combined uncertainties due to all of the individual random and systematic sources of measurement uncertainty. It includes uncertainties arising from corrections and factors applied to the analysis of transuranic waste to compensate for inhomogeneities and interferences from the waste matrix and radioactive components. These include uncertainty components for any assumptions contained in the calibration of the system or computation of the data. Uncertainties are propagated at 1 sigma. The final total measurement uncertainty value is reported at the 95% confidence level. The SGSAS is a gamma assay system that is used to assay plutonium and uranium waste. The SGSAS system can be used in a stand-alone mode to perform the NDA characterization of a container, particularly for low to medium density (0-2.5 g/cc) container matrices. The SGSAS system provides a full gamma characterization of the container content. This document is an edited version of the Rocky Flats TMU Report for the Can Scan Segment Gamma Scanners, which are in use for the plutonium residues projects at the Rocky Flats plant. The can scan segmented gamma scanners at Rocky Flats are the same design as the PFP SGSAS system and use the same software (with the exception of the plutonium isotopics software). Therefore, all performance characteristics are expected to be similar. Modifications in this document reflect minor differences in the system configuration, container packaging, calibration technique, etc. These results are supported by the Quality Assurance Objective (QAO) counts, safeguards test data, calibration data, etc. for the PFP SGSAS system. Other parts of the TMU analysis utilize various modeling techniques such as Monte Carlo N

  15. Neptunium as a Tool for Reducing Proliferation Risks with Plutonium: A Technical Analysis of its Efficiency and its Drawbacks

    SciTech Connect

    Greneche, Dominique; Ng, Selena; Guesdon, Bernard; Vinoche, Richard; Delpech, Marc; Golfier, Herve; Dolci, Florence; Poinot-Salanon, Christine

    2006-07-01

    Introducing neptunium into the nuclear fuel cycle has been proposed in the past as a way to impede the diversion or the direct use of plutonium to fabricate a nuclear explosive device. This paper aims to technically analyze the industrial consequences should this proposal be implemented. Two scenarios are considered: 1) adding neptunium to fresh uranium oxide (UOX) fuel before irradiation in a light water reactor; 2) separating neptunium together with plutonium from used UOX fuel and using this combined oxide to fabricate mixed oxide (MOX) fuel before subsequent irradiation in a light water reactor. In both cases, assembly calculations for a pressurized water reactor using fresh fuel doped with neptunium are presented for a wide range of neptunium proportions. Consequences on core and fuel performances and the fuel cycle are analyzed. These are weighed against the potential proliferation resistance benefits of adding neptunium due to the increased quantity of the plutonium isotope {sup 238}Pu in the discharged fuel, or due to the potentially increased detectability through gamma ray emissions of a plutonium-neptunium oxide mixture. Finally, the proliferation risk presented by neptunium itself is discussed. (authors)

  16. Determining Spent Nuclear Fuel's Plutonium Content, Initial Enrichment, Burnup, and Cooling Time

    SciTech Connect

    Cheatham, Jesse R; Francis, Matthew W

    2011-01-01

    The Next Generation of Safeguards Initiative is examining nondestructive assay techniques to determine the total plutonium content in spent nuclear fuel. The goal of this research was to develop new techniques that can independently verify the plutonium content in a spent fuel assembly without relying on an operator's declarations. Fundamentally this analysis sought to answer the following questions: (1) do spent fuel assemblies contain unique, identifiable isotopic characteristics as a function of their burnup, cooling time, and initial enrichment; (2) how much variation can be seen in spent fuel isotopics from similar and dissimilar reactor power operations; and (3) what isotopes (if any) could be used to determine burnup, cooling time, and initial enrichment? To answer these questions, 96,000 ORIGEN cases were run that simulated typical two-cycle operations with burnups ranging from 21,900 to 72,000 MWd/MTU, cooling times from 5 to 25 years, and initial enrichments between 3.5 and 5.0 weight percent. A relative error coefficient was determined to show how numerically close a reference solution has to be to another solution for the two results to be indistinguishable. By looking at the indistinguishable solutions, it can be shown how a precise measurement of spent fuel isotopics can be inconclusive when used in the absence of an operator's declarations. Using this Method of Indistinguishable Solutions (MIS), we evaluated a prominent method of nondestructive analysis - gamma spectroscopy. From this analysis, a new approach is proposed that demonstrates great independent forensic examination potential for spent nuclear fuel by examining both the neutron emissions of Cm-244 and the gamma emissions of Cs-134 and Eu-154.

  17. Interim Storage of Plutonium in Existing Facilities

    SciTech Connect

    Woodsmall, T.D.

    1999-05-10

    'In this era of nuclear weapons disarmament and nonproliferation treaties, among many problems being faced by the Department of Energy is the safe disposal of plutonium. There is a large stockpile of plutonium at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Center and it remains politically and environmentally strategic to relocate the inventory closer to a processing facility. Savannah River Site has been chosen as the final storage location, and the Actinide Packaging and Storage Facility (APSF) is currently under construction for this purpose. With the ability of APSF to receive Rocky Flats material an estimated ten years away, DOE has decided to use the existing reactor building in K-Area of SRS as temporary storage to accelerate the removal of plutonium from Rocky Flats. There are enormous cost savings to the government that serve as incentive to start this removal as soon as possible, and the KAMS project is scheduled to receive the first shipment of plutonium in January 2000. The reactor building in K-Area was chosen for its hardened structure and upgraded seismic qualification, both resulting from an effort to restart the reactor in 1991. The KAMS project has faced unique challenges from Authorization Basis and Safety Analysis perspectives. Although modifying a reactor building from a production facility to a storage shelter is not technically difficult, the nature of plutonium has caused design and safety analysis engineers to make certain that the design of systems, structures and components included will protect the public, SRS workers, and the environment. A basic overview of the KAMS project follows. Plutonium will be measured and loaded into DOT Type-B shipping packages at Rocky Flats. The packages are 35-gallon stainless steel drums with multiple internal containment boundaries. DOE transportation vehicles will be used to ship the drums to the KAMS facility at SRS. They will then be unloaded, stacked and stored in specific locations throughout the

  18. PLUTONIUM CONTAMINATION VALENCE STATE DETERMINATION USING X-RAY ABSORPTION FINE STRUCTURE PERMITS CONCRETE RECYCLE

    SciTech Connect

    Ervin, P. F.; Conradson, S. D.

    2002-02-25

    This paper describes the determination of the speciation of plutonium contamination present on concrete surfaces at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS). At RFETS, the plutonium processing facilities have been contaminated during multiple events over their 50 year operating history. Contamination has resulted from plutonium fire smoke, plutonium fire fighting water, milling and lathe operation aerosols, furnace operations vapors and plutonium ''dust'' diffusion.

  19. Destructive analysis capabilities for plutonium and uranium characterization at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Tandon, Lav; Kuhn, Kevin J; Drake, Lawrence R; Decker, Diana L; Walker, Laurie F; Colletti, Lisa M; Spencer, Khalil J; Peterson, Dominic S; Herrera, Jaclyn A; Wong, Amy S

    2010-01-01

    Los Alamos National Laboratory's (LANL) Actinide Analytical Chemistry (AAC) group has been in existence since the Manhattan Project. It maintains a complete set of analytical capabilities for performing complete characterization (elemental assay, isotopic, metallic and non metallic trace impurities) of uranium and plutonium samples in different forms. For a majority of the customers there are strong quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) objectives including highest accuracy and precision with well defined uncertainties associated with the analytical results. Los Alamos participates in various international and national programs such as the Plutonium Metal Exchange Program, New Brunswick Laboratory's (NBL' s) Safeguards Measurement Evaluation Program (SME) and several other inter-laboratory round robin exercises to monitor and evaluate the data quality generated by AAC. These programs also provide independent verification of analytical measurement capabilities, and allow any technical problems with analytical measurements to be identified and corrected. This presentation will focus on key analytical capabilities for destructive analysis in AAC and also comparative data between LANL and peer groups for Pu assay and isotopic analysis.

  20. RAPID METHOD FOR PLUTONIUM, AMERICIUM AND CURIUM IN VERY LARGE SOIL SAMPLES

    SciTech Connect

    Maxwell, S

    2007-01-08

    The analysis of actinides in environmental soil and sediment samples is very important for environmental monitoring. There is a need to measure actinide isotopes with very low detection limits. A new, rapid actinide separation method has been developed and implemented that allows the measurement of plutonium, americium and curium isotopes in very large soil samples (100-200 g) with high chemical recoveries and effective removal of matrix interferences. This method uses stacked TEVA Resin{reg_sign}, TRU Resin{reg_sign} and DGA-Resin{reg_sign} cartridges from Eichrom Technologies (Darien, IL, USA) that allows the rapid separation of plutonium (Pu), americium (Am), and curium (Cm) using a single multistage column combined with alpha spectrometry. The method combines an acid leach step and innovative matrix removal using cerium fluoride precipitation to remove the difficult soil matrix. This method is unique in that it provides high tracer recoveries and effective removal of interferences with small extraction chromatography columns instead of large ion exchange resin columns that generate large amounts of acid waste. By using vacuum box cartridge technology with rapid flow rates, sample preparation time is minimized.

  1. 2nd Annual Los Alamos Plutonium Metal Standard Exchange Workshop : "preliminary" results

    SciTech Connect

    Tandon, L.; Slemmons, A. K.

    2002-01-01

    The Rocky Flats Plutonium (Pu) Metal Sample Exchange program was conducted to insure the quality and intercomparability of measurements such as Pu assay, Pu isotopics, and impurity analyses. This program was discontinued in 1989 after more than 30 years. Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has reestablished the Pu metal exchange program. During the first year, five DOE facilities, Argonne East, Argonne West, Livermore, Los Alamos, and New Brunswick Laboratory, Savannah River and the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE)' at Aldermaston are participating in the program. Plutonium metal samples are being prepared and distributed to the various sites primarily for destructive measurements for elemental concentration, isotopic abundance, and both metallic and nonmetallic impurity levels. The program is intended to provide independent verification of analytical measurement capability for each participating facility and to allow problems to be identified. Significants achievements in FY02 will be described. Results from category 1 elements and comparisons with Rocky Flats standards exchange metal historical data will also be presented. The roles and responsibilities of LANL and the external laboratories have been defined.

  2. Plutonium Assay in Soil at the BRC Threshold

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, T.

    2003-02-25

    The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston has investigated the performance of low and high-resolution gamma-ray detectors for plutonium (Pu) assay in soil at the UK Below Regulatory Concern (BRC) threshold (0.4 Bq/g above the natural background activity level). The goal was a rapid and economical technique for sorting large volumes of lightly contaminated soils into above and BRC fractions. The strategy involved utilizing the relatively high yield 60 keV emission from Am-241 ingrowth (Pu-241 daughter) and known isotopic ratios. This paper covers the determination of detector response factors for an Am-241 source positioned at various locations within a circular tray of soil. These factors were weighted, according to the relative volumes that they represent, in order to derive a uniform response factor and quantify the systematic error for non-uniform activity distributions. Detection limits and random errors were also derived from the counting data. The high-resolution detector was shown to have the best detection levels and lowest systematic and random errors. However, uncertainties for non-uniform distributions of contamination were relatively large. Hence, analyzing soils at the BRC threshold would only be feasible if contamination was well distributed throughout the soil sample being monitored. Fortunately, contaminated land at AWE is generally homogeneous and so the technique has wide applicability.

  3. Characterization of plutonium particles originating from the BOMARC accident - 1960

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gostic, Richard Charles

    Within the U.S. arsenal, 32 accidents with nuclear weapons were reported between 1950 and 1980. One of these accidents occurred at McGuire AFB in 1960. A BOMARC missile armed with a nuclear warhead caught on fire and as a result the warhead was destroyed. Sub-millimeter particles consisting of weapons grade plutonium (WGPu) produced by this accident were distributed around the site and remained in the environment for 47 years. Soil cores known to contain WGPu particles produced by this accident were obtained. The particles were localized and removed from the soil with the aid of high resolution computed tomography. The isotopic composition of the particles and the date of manufacture of the Pu were estimated using a combination of alpha and gamma spectroscopy. Scanning electron microscopy was used to study the surface morphology of the particles; energy dispersive spectroscopy and synchrotron based x-ray fluorescence were used to determine the composition and elemental distributions of the particles. The results of these experiments and their application to the field of nuclear forensic analysis are discussed in this thesis.

  4. Clues in the rare gas isotopes to early solar system history

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reynolds, J. H.

    1974-01-01

    Rare gases in meteorites and lunar samples are discussed stimulating the discovery of the solar wind. Radioactive isotopes are examined, making a correlation to the origin of the solar system. It is shown that the heights of the peaks above the horizontal lines represent the spectrum of the fissiogenic sample. Nuclear tracks of iodine, xenon, and plutonium detected in lunar rocks are also explained.

  5. Spectroscopy of plutonium-organic complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Richmann, M.K.; Reed, D.T.

    1995-12-31

    Information on the spectroscopy of plutonium-organic complexes is needed to help establish the speciation of these complexes under environmentally relevant conditions. Laser photoacoustic spectroscopy (LPAS) and absorption spectrometry were used to characterize the Pu(IV)-citrate and Pu(IV)-nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) complexes at concentrations of 10{sup {minus}3}--10{sup {minus}7} M in aqueous solution. Good agreement was observed between the band shape of the LPAS and absorption spectra for the Pu(IV)-NTA complex. Agreement for the Pu(IV)-citrate complex was not quite as good. In both cases, a linear dependence of the LPAS signal on laser power and total concentration of the complexes was noted. This work is part of an ongoing research effort to study key subsurface interactions of plutonium-organic complexes.

  6. CRITICALITY CURVES FOR PLUTONIUM HYDRAULIC FLUID MIXTURES

    SciTech Connect

    WITTEKIND WD

    2007-10-03

    This Calculation Note performs and documents MCNP criticality calculations for plutonium (100% {sup 239}Pu) hydraulic fluid mixtures. Spherical geometry was used for these generalized criticality safety calculations and three geometries of neutron reflection are: {sm_bullet}bare, {sm_bullet}1 inch of hydraulic fluid, or {sm_bullet}12 inches of hydraulic fluid. This document shows the critical volume and critical mass for various concentrations of plutonium in hydraulic fluid. Between 1 and 2 gallons of hydraulic fluid were discovered in the bottom of HA-23S. This HA-23S hydraulic fluid was reported by engineering to be Fyrquel 220. The hydraulic fluid in GLovebox HA-23S is Fyrquel 220 which contains phosphorus. Critical spherical geometry in air is calculated with 0 in., 1 in., or 12 inches hydraulic fluid reflection.

  7. [Plutonium-239 metabolism in chemical skin burns].

    PubMed

    Il'in, L A; Beliaev, I K

    1983-01-01

    Certain peculiarities of metabolism of plutonium-239 were revealed after skin applications there of in solutions of nitrogen acid, tributyl phosphate and hexychloro-butadiene. It was shown that the absorption of plutonium-239 in 0.1 NHO3 solution for 3 days made up 0.02% of the quantity applied. The increase in the acid concentration up to 0.5-10 N was accompanied by a 2.5-5-fold increase in the resorption. The application of the nuclide in organic solvents was characterized by a 4-5-fold increase in its accretion within the body. There was a 25-fold increase in the absorption of 239Pu after the combined effect of the acid and the organic solvents on the skin. PMID:6657939

  8. Lawrence Livermore plutonium button critical experiment benchmark

    SciTech Connect

    Trumble, E.F.; Justice, J.B.; Frost, R.L.

    1994-12-31

    The end of the Cold War and the subsequent weapons reductions have led to an increased need for the safe storage of large amounts of highly enriched plutonium. In support of code validation required to address this need, a set of critical experiments involving arrays of weapons-grade plutonium metal that were performed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in the late 1960s has been revisited. Although these experiments are well documented, discrepancies and omissions have been found in the earlier reports. Many of these have been resolved in the current work, and these data have been compiled into benchmark descriptions. In addition, a computational verification has been performed on the benchmarks using multiple computer codes. These benchmark descriptions are also being made available to the US Department of Energy (DOE)-sponsored Nuclear Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Working Group for dissemination in the DOE Handbook on Evaluated Criticality Safety Benchmark Experiments.

  9. Plutonium fractionation in southern Baltic Sea sediments.

    PubMed

    Strumińska-Parulska, Dagmara I; Skwarzec, Bogdan; Pawlukowska, Magdalena

    2012-01-01

    In this study, different chemical plutonium fractions (dissolved in water, connected to carbonates, connected to oxides, complexed with organic matter, mineral acids soluble and the rest) in sediments from the Vistula River estuary, the Gdańsk Basin and the Bornholm Deep were determined. The distribution of (239+240)Pu in analysed sediments samples was not uniform but dependent on its chemical form, depth and the sediment geomorphology. The highest amount of plutonium exists in middle parts of sediments and comes from the global atmospheric fallout from nuclear tests in 1958-1961. According to all analysed fractions, the biggest amount of (239+240)Pu was in the mobile form, connected to carbonate fractions from the Vistula River estuary, the Gulf of Gdańsk and the Bornholm Deep sediments. PMID:22612422

  10. Plutonium stabilization and handling (PuSH)

    SciTech Connect

    Weiss, E.V.

    1997-01-23

    This Functional Design Criteria (FDC) addresses construction of a Stabilization and Packaging System (SPS) to oxidize and package for long term storage remaining plutonium-bearing special nuclear materials currently in inventory at the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP), and modification of vault equipment to allow storage of resulting packages of stabilized SNM for up to fifty years. The major sections of the project are: site preparation; SPS Procurement, Installation, and Testing; storage vault modification; and characterization equipment additions. The SPS will be procured as part of a Department of Energy nationwide common procurement. Specific design crit1460eria for the SPS have been extracted from that contract and are contained in an appendix to this document.

  11. a Plutonium Ceramic Target for Masha

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilk, P. A.; Shaughnessy, D. A.; Moody, K. J.; Kenneally, J. M.; Wild, J. F.; Stoyer, M. A.; Patin, J. B.; Lougheed, R. W.; Ebbinghaus, B. B.; Landingham, R. L.; Oganessian, Yu. Ts.; Yeremin, A. V.; Dmitriev, S. N.

    2005-09-01

    We are currently developing a plutonium ceramic target for the MASHA mass separator. The MASHA separator will use a thick plutonium ceramic target capable of tolerating temperatures up to 2000 °C. Promising candidates for the target include oxides and carbides, although more research into their thermodynamic properties will be required. Reaction products will diffuse out of the target into an ion source, where they will then be transported through the separator to a position-sensitive focal-plane detector array. Experiments on MASHA will allow us to make measurements that will cement our identification of element 114 and provide for future experiments where the chemical properties of the heaviest elements are studied.

  12. Concentration and purification of plutonium or thorium

    DOEpatents

    Hayden, John A.; Plock, Carl E.

    1976-01-01

    In this invention a first solution obtained from such as a plutonium/thorium purification process or the like, containing plutonium (Pu) and/or thorium (Th) in such as a low nitric acid (HNO.sub.3) concentration may have the Pu and/or Th separated and concentrated by passing an electrical current from a first solution having disposed therein an anode to a second solution having disposed therein a cathode and separated from the first solution by a cation permeable membrane, the Pu or Th cation permeating the cation membrane and forming an anionic complex within the second solution, and electrical current passage affecting the complex formed to permeate an anion membrane separating the second solution from an adjoining third solution containing disposed therein an anode, thereby effecting separation and concentration of the Pu and/or Th in the third solution.

  13. Plutonium disposition via immobilization in ceramic or glass

    SciTech Connect

    Gray, L.W.; Kan, T.; Shaw, H.F.; Armantrout, A.

    1997-03-05

    The management of surplus weapons plutonium is an important and urgent task with profound environmental, national, and international security implications. In the aftermath of the Cold War, Presidential Policy Directive 13, and various analyses by renown scientific, technical, and international policy organizations have brought about a focused effort within the Department of Energy to identify and implement paths for the long term disposition of surplus weapons- usable plutonium. The central goal of this effort is to render surplus weapons plutonium as inaccessible and unattractive for reuse in nuclear weapons as the much larger and growing stock of plutonium contained in spent fuel from civilian reactors. One disposition option being considered for surplus plutonium is immobilization, in which the plutonium would be incorporated into a glass or ceramic material that would ultimately be entombed permanently in a geologic repository for high-level waste.

  14. Dose estimates of alternative plutonium pyrochemical processes.

    SciTech Connect

    Kornreich, D. E.; Jackson, J. W.; Boerigter, S. T.; Averill, W. A.; Fasel, J. H.

    2002-01-01

    We have coupled our dose calculation tool Pandemonium with a discrete-event, object-oriented, process-modeling system ProMosO to analyze a set of alternatives for plutonium purification operations. The results follow expected trends and indicate, from a dose perspective, that an experimental flowsheet may warrant further research to see if it can be scaled to industrial levels. Flowsheets that include fluoride processes resulted in the largest doses.

  15. Derivation of plutonium-239 materials disposition categories

    SciTech Connect

    Brough, W.G.

    1995-04-27

    At this time, the Office of Fissile Materials Disposition within the DOE, is assessing alternatives for the disposition of excess fissile materials. To facilitate the assessment, the Plutonium-Bearing Materials Feed Report for the DOE Fissile Materials Disposition Program Alternatives report was written. The development of the material categories and the derivation of the inventory quantities associated with those categories is documented in this report.

  16. Plutonium Immobilization Program cold pour tests

    SciTech Connect

    Hovis, G.L.; Stokes, M.W.; Smith, M.E.; Wong, J.W.

    1999-07-01

    The Plutonium Immobilization Program (PIP) is a joint venture between the Savannah River Site, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to carry out the disposition of excess weapons-grade plutonium. This program uses the can-in-canister (CIC) approach. CIC involves encapsulating plutonium in ceramic forms (or pucks), placing the pucks in sealed stainless steel cans, placing the cans in long cylindrical magazines, latching the magazines to racks inside Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) canisters, and filling the DWPF canisters with high-level waste glass. This process puts the plutonium in a stable form and makes it attractive for reuse. At present, the DWPF pours glass into empty canisters. In the CIC approach, the addition of a stainless steel rack, magazines, cans, and ceramic pucks to the canisters introduces a new set of design and operational challenges: All of the hardware installed in the canisters must maintain structural integrity at elevated (molten-glass) temperatures. This suggests that a robust design is needed. However, the amount of material added to the DWPF canister must be minimized to prevent premature glass cooling and excessive voiding caused by a large internal thermal mass. High metal temperatures, minimizing thermal mass, and glass flow paths are examples of the types of technical considerations of the equipment design process. To determine the effectiveness of the design in terms of structural integrity and glass-flow characteristics, full-scale testing will be conducted. A cold (nonradioactive) pour test program is planned to assist in the development and verification of a baseline design for the immobilization canister to be used in the PIP process. The baseline design resulting from the cold pour test program and CIC equipment development program will provide input to Title 1 design for second-stage immobilization. The cold pour tests will be conducted in two

  17. MEANS FOR PRODUCING PLUTONIUM CHAIN REACTIONS

    DOEpatents

    Wigner, E.P.; Weinberg, A.M.

    1961-01-24

    A neutronic reactor is described with an active portion capable of operating at an energy level of 0.5 to 1000 ev comprising discrete bodies of Pu/ sup 239/ disposed in a body of water which contains not more than 5 molecules of water to one atom of plutonium, the total amount of Pu/sup 239/ being sufficient to sustain a chain reaction. (auth)

  18. Achievements in testing of the MGA and FRAM isotopic software codes under the DOE/NNSA-IRSN cooperation of gamma-ray isotopic measurement systems

    SciTech Connect

    Vo, Duc; Wang, Tzu - Fang; Funk, Pierre; Weber, Anne - Laure; Pepin, Nicolas; Karcher, Anna

    2009-01-01

    DOE/NNSA and IRSN collaborated on a study of gamma-ray instruments and analysis methods used to perform isotopic measurements of special nuclear materials. The two agencies agreed to collaborate on the project in response to inconsistencies that were found in the various versions of software and hardware used to determine the isotopic abundances of uranium and plutonium. IRSN used software developed internally to test the MGA and FRAM isotopic analysis codes for criteria used to stop data acquisition. The stop-criterion test revealed several unusual behaviors in both the MGA and FRAM software codes.

  19. Microdosimetry of plutonium in beagle dog lung

    SciTech Connect

    Fisher, D.R.; Roesch, W.C.

    1980-08-01

    A better understanding of the microdosimetry of internally-deposited radionuclides should provide new clues to the complex relationships between organ dose distribution and early or late biological effects. Our current interest is the microdosimetry of plutonium and other alpha emitters in the lung. Since the lung is an inhomogeneous tissue, it was necessary to characterize the microscopic distributions of alveolar tissue, air space, and epithelial cell nuclei to define source-target parameters. A statistical representation of the microstructure of beagle dog lung was developed from automated image analysis of specimens from three healthy adult male dogs. The statistical distributions obtained constituted a data base from which it was possible to calculate both the energy dissipation of an alpha particle as it traversed a straight line path through pulmonary tissue, and the probability of intersecting a potentially sensitive biological site in the cell. Computer methods were modified to accomodate tissues with air space regions such as one finds in lung tissue. With the lung model description, these methods were used to determine probability density curves in specific energy for inhaled plutonium aerosols. It was assumed that the activity was randomly distributed on alveolar walls. Calculated examples are given for various activities of inhaled plutonium point sources deposited in lung tissue.

  20. TRACKING SURPLUS PLUTONIUM FROM WEAPONS TO DISPOSITION

    SciTech Connect

    Allender, J.; Beams, J.; Sanders, K.; Myers, L.

    2013-07-16

    Supporting nuclear nonproliferation and global security principles, beginning in 1994 the United States has withdrawn more than 50 metric tons (MT) of government-controlled plutonium from potential use in nuclear weapons. The Department of Energy (DOE), including the National Nuclear Security Administration, established protocols for the tracking of this "excess" and "surplus" plutonium, and for reconciling the current storage and utilization of the plutonium to show that its management is consistent with the withdrawal policies. Programs are underway to ensure the safe and secure disposition of the materials that formed a major part of the weapons stockpile during the Cold War, and growing quantities have been disposed as waste, after which they are not included in traditional nuclear material control and accountability (NMC&A) data systems. A combination of resources is used to perform the reconciliations that form the basis for annual reporting to DOE, to U.S. Department of State, and to international partners including the International Atomic Energy Agency.

  1. Atomistic modeling of thermodynamic equilibrium of plutonium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Tongsik; Valone, Steve; Baskes, Mike; Chen, Shao-Ping; Lawson, Andrew

    2012-02-01

    Plutonium metal has complex thermodynamic properties. Among its six allotropes at ambient pressure, the fcc delta-phase exhibits a wide range of anomalous behavior: extraordinarily high elastic anisotropy, largest atomic volume despite the close-packed structure, negative thermal expansion, strong elastic softening at elevated temperature, and extreme sensitivity to dilute alloying. An accurate description of these thermodynamic properties goes far beyond the current capability of first-principle calculations. An elaborate modeling strategy at the atomic level is hence an urgent need. We propose a novel atomistic scheme to model elemental plutonium, in particular, to reproduce the anomalous characteristics of the delta-phase. A modified embedded atom method potential is fitted to two energy-volume curves that represent the distinct electronic states of plutonium in order to embody the mechanism of the two-state model of Weiss, in line with the insight originally proposed by Lawson et al. [Philos. Mag. 86, 2713 (2006)]. By the use of various techniques in Monte Carlo simulations, we are able to provide a unified perspective of diverse phenomenological aspects among thermal expansion, elasticity, and phase stability.

  2. PLUTONIUM METALLIC FUELS FOR FAST REACTORS

    SciTech Connect

    STAN, MARIUS; HECKER, SIEGFRIED S.

    2007-02-07

    Early interest in metallic plutonium fuels for fast reactors led to much research on plutonium alloy systems including binary solid solutions with the addition of aluminum, gallium, or zirconium and low-melting eutectic alloys with iron and nickel or cobalt. There was also interest in ternaries of these elements with plutonium and cerium. The solid solution and eutectic alloys have most unusual properties, including negative thermal expansion in some solid-solution alloys and the highest viscosity known for liquid metals in the Pu-Fe system. Although metallic fuels have many potential advantages over ceramic fuels, the early attempts were unsuccessful because these fuels suffered from high swelling rates during burn up and high smearing densities. The liquid metal fuels experienced excessive corrosion. Subsequent work on higher-melting U-PuZr metallic fuels was much more promising. In light of the recent rebirth of interest in fast reactors, we review some of the key properties of the early fuels and discuss the challenges presented by the ternary alloys.

  3. Plutonium Immobilization Project -- Robotic canister loading

    SciTech Connect

    Hamilton, R.L.

    2000-01-04

    The Plutonium Immobilization Program (PIP) is a joint venture between the Savannah River Site (SRS), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). When operational in 2008, the PIP will fulfill the nation's nonproliferation commitment by placing surplus weapons-grade plutonium in a permanently stable ceramic form and making it unattractive for reuse. Since there are significant radiation and security concerns, the program team is developing novel and unique technology to remotely perform plutonium immobilization tasks. The remote task covered in this paper employs a jointed arm robot to load seven 3.5 inch diameter, 135-pound cylinders (magazines) through the 4 inch diameter neck of a stainless steel canister. Working through the narrow canister neck, the robot secures the magazines into a specially designed rack pre-installed in the canister. To provide the deterrent effect, the canisters are filled with a mixture of high-level waste and glass at the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF).

  4. A Plutonium-Contaminated Wound, 1985, USA

    SciTech Connect

    Doran M. Christensen, DO, REAC /TS Associate Director and Staff Physician Eugene H. Carbaugh, CHP, Staff Scientist, Internal Dosimetry Manager, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington

    2012-02-02

    A hand injury occurred at a U.S. facility in 1985 involving a pointed shaft (similar to a meat thermometer) that a worker was using to remove scrap solid plutonium from a plastic bottle. The worker punctured his right index finger on the palm side at the metacarpal-phalangeal joint. The wound was not through-and- through, although it was deep. The puncture wound resulted in deposition of ~48 kBq of alpha activity from the weapons-grade plutonium mixture with a nominal 12 to 1 Pu-alpha to {sup 241}Am-alpha ratio. This case clearly showed that DTPA was very effective for decorporation of plutonium and americium. The case is a model for management of wounds contaminated with transuranics: (1) a team approach for dealing with all of the issues surrounding the incident, including the psychological, (2) early surgical intervention for foreign-body removal, (3) wound irrigation with DTPA solution, and (4) early and prolonged DTPA administration based upon bioassay and in vivo dosimetry.

  5. Proposed Modification to the Plutonium Systemic Model.

    PubMed

    Konzen, Kevin; Miller, Scott; Brey, Richard

    2015-10-01

    The currently accepted biokinetic model for plutonium distribution within the human body was recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection in publication 67. This model was developed from human and animal studies and behavioral knowledge acquired from other known bone-seeking radionuclides. The biokinetic model provides a mathematical means of predicting the distribution, retention, and clearance of plutonium within the human body that may be used in deriving organ, tissue, and whole body dose. This work proposed a modification to the ICRP 67 systemic model for plutonium that incorporated the latest knowledge acquired from recent human injection studies with physiologically based improvements. In summary, the changes included a separation of the liver compartments, removed the intermediate soft tissue-to-bladder pathway, and added pathways from the blood compartment to both the cortical and trabecular bone volumes. The proposed model provided improved predictions for several bioassay indicators compared to the ICRP 67 model while also maintaining its basic structure. Additionally, the proposed model incorporated physiologically based improvements for the liver and skeleton and continued to ensure efficient coupling with intake biokinetic models.

  6. Plutonium immobilization in glass and ceramics

    SciTech Connect

    Knecht, D.A.; Murphy, W.M.

    1996-05-01

    The Materials Research Society Nineteenth Annual Symposium on the Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management was held in Boston on November 27 to December 1, 1995. Over 150 papers were presented at the Symposium dealing with all aspects of nuclear waste management and disposal. Fourteen oral sessions and on poster session included a Plenary session on surplus plutonium dispositioning and waste forms. The proceedings, to be published in April, 1996, will provide a highly respected, referred compilation of the state of scientific development in the field of nuclear waste management. This paper provides a brief overview of the selected Symposium papers that are applicable to plutonium immobilization and plutonium waste form performance. Waste forms that were described at the Symposium cover most of the candidate Pu immobilization options under consideration, including borosilicate glass with a melting temperature of 1150 {degrees}C, a higher temperature (1450 {degrees}C) lanthanide glass, single phase ceramics, multi-phase ceramics, and multi-phase crystal-glass composites (glass-ceramics or slags). These Symposium papers selected for this overview provide the current status of the technology in these areas and give references to the relevant literature.

  7. Zirconia ceramics for excess weapons plutonium waste

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, W. L.; Lutze, W.; Ewing, R. C.

    2000-01-01

    We synthesized a zirconia (ZrO 2)-based single-phase ceramic containing simulated excess weapons plutonium waste. ZrO 2 has large solubility for other metallic oxides. More than 20 binary systems A xO y-ZrO 2 have been reported in the literature, including PuO 2, rare-earth oxides, and oxides of metals contained in weapons plutonium wastes. We show that significant amounts of gadolinium (neutron absorber) and yttrium (additional stabilizer of the cubic modification) can be dissolved in ZrO 2, together with plutonium (simulated by Ce 4+, U 4+ or Th 4+) and impurities (e.g., Ca, Mg, Fe, Si). Sol-gel and powder methods were applied to make homogeneous, single-phase zirconia solid solutions. Pu waste impurities were completely dissolved in the solid solutions. In contrast to other phases, e.g., zirconolite and pyrochlore, zirconia is extremely radiation resistant and does not undergo amorphization. Baddeleyite (ZrO 2) is suggested as the natural analogue to study long-term radiation resistance and chemical durability of zirconia-based waste forms.

  8. Investigations of plutonium immobilization into the vitreous compositions

    SciTech Connect

    Matyunin, Y.I.,

    1998-04-15

    Development and characterizations of phosphate and borosilicate glasses for vitrifying high level waste (HLW) solutions in Russia has been extensive. The technical data generated were for low concentrations (less than 0.05% Pu) of plutonium. Limited studies have been performed with plutonium concentrations one to two orders of magnitude larger. The results of these studies are being used to plan and implement an expanded experimental program to establish the limitations and characteristics of plutonium in similar glass compositions.

  9. 14. END VIEW OF THE PLUTONIUM STORAGE VAULT FROM THE ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    14. END VIEW OF THE PLUTONIUM STORAGE VAULT FROM THE REMOTE CONTROL STATION. THE STACKER-RETRIEVER, A REMOTELY-OPERATED, MECHANIZED TRANSPORT SYSTEM, RETRIEVES CONTAINERS OF PLUTONIUM FROM SAFE GEOMETRY PALLETS STORED ALONG THE LENGTH OF THE VAULT. THE STACKER-RETRIEVER RUNS ALONG THE AISLE BETWEEN THE PALLETS OF THE STORAGE CHAMBER. (3/2/86) - Rocky Flats Plant, Plutonium Recovery Facility, Northwest portion of Rocky Flats Plant, Golden, Jefferson County, CO

  10. SEPARATION OF PLUTONIUM FROM AQUEOUS SOLUTIONS BY ION-EXCHANGE

    DOEpatents

    Schubert, J.

    1958-06-01

    A process is described for the separation of plutonium from an aqueous solution of a plutonium salt, which comprises adding to the solution an acid of the group consisting of sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, and oxalic acid, and mixtures thereof to provide an acid concentration between 0.0001 and 1 M, contacting the resultant solution with a synthetic organic anion exchange resin, and separating the aqueous phase and the resin which contains the plutonium.

  11. Plutonium speciation in water from Mono Lake, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cleveland, J.M.; Rees, T.F.; Nash, K.L.

    1983-01-01

    The solubility of plutonium in Mono Lake water is enhanced by the presence of large concentrations of indigenous carbonate ions and moderate concentrations of fluoride ions. In spite of the complex chemical composition of this water, only a few ions govern the behavior of plutonium, as demonstrated by the fact that it was possible to duplicate plutonium speciation in a synthetic water containing only the principal components of Mono Lake water.

  12. METHOD FOR RECOVERING PLUTONIUM VALUES FROM SOLUTION USING A BISMUTH HYDROXIDE CARRIER PRECIPITATE

    DOEpatents

    Faris, B.F.

    1961-04-25

    Carrier precipitation processes for separating plutonium values from aqueous solutions are described. In accordance with the invention a bismuth hydroxide precipitate is formed in the plutonium-containing solution, thereby carrying plutonium values from the solution.

  13. ISOTOPE SEPARATORS

    DOEpatents

    Bacon, C.G.

    1958-08-26

    An improvement is presented in the structure of an isotope separation apparatus and, in particular, is concerned with a magnetically operated shutter associated with a window which is provided for the purpose of enabling the operator to view the processes going on within the interior of the apparatus. The shutier is mounted to close under the force of gravity in the absence of any other force. By closing an electrical circuit to a coil mouated on the shutter the magnetic field of the isotope separating apparatus coacts with the magnetic field of the coil to force the shutter to the open position.

  14. Plutonium release from pressed plutonium oxide fuel pellets in aquatic environments

    SciTech Connect

    Patterson, J.H.; Steinkruger, F.J.; Matlack, G.M.; Heaton, R.C.; Coffelt, K.P.; Herrera, B.

    1983-12-01

    Plutonium oxide pellets (80% /sup 238/Pu, 40 g each) were exposed to fresh water and sea water at two temperatures for 3 y in enclosed glass chambers. The concentrations of plutonium observed in the waters increased linearly with time throughout the experiment. However, the observed release rates were inversely dependent on temperature and salinity, ranging from 160 ..mu..Ci/day for cold fresh water to 1.4 ..mu..Ci/day for warm sea water. The total releases, including the chamber residues, showed similar dependencies. A major portion (typically greater than 50%) of the released plutonium passed through a 0.1-..mu..m filter, with even larger fractions (greater than 80%) for the fresh water systems.

  15. New nuclear safe plutonium ceramic compositions with neutron poisons for plutonium storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadykto, B. A.; Timofeeva, L. F.

    2000-07-01

    A complex of works is conducted to study the possibility of reprocessing surplus weapon-grade plutonium to a critical-mass-free composition with neutron poison. Nuclear safe ceramic compositions of PuO2 with four most efficient neutron poisons, Hf, Gd, Li, and B, are fabricated in the laboratory. Various methods for fabrication of the compositions with PuO2 depending on neutron poison element are used and studied: a — by sintering initial component powders; b — by impregnation of a porous skeleton made of neutron poison oxide with plutonium sol-gel; c — by sintering microspheres made of plutonium oxide with neutron poison (B4C), with the microspheres having a coating completely absorbing alpha particles.

  16. Real-time monitoring of plutonium content in uranium-plutonium alloys

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Shelly Xiaowei; Westphal, Brian Robert; Herrmann, Steven Douglas

    2015-09-01

    A method and device for the real-time, in-situ monitoring of Plutonium content in U--Pu Alloys comprising providing a crucible. The crucible has an interior non-reactive to a metallic U--Pu alloy within said interior of said crucible. The U--Pu alloy comprises metallic uranium and plutonium. The U--Pu alloy is heated to a liquid in an inert or reducing atmosphere. The heated U--Pu alloy is then cooled to a solid in an inert or reducing atmosphere. As the U--Pu alloy is cooled, the temperature of the U--Pu alloy is monitored. A solidification temperature signature is determined from the monitored temperature of the U--Pu alloy during the step of cooling. The amount of Uranium and the amount of Plutonium in the U--Pu alloy is then determined from the determined solidification temperature signature.

  17. Magnetic separation as a plutonium residue enrichment process

    SciTech Connect

    Avens, L.R.; McFarlan, J.T.; Gallegos, U.F.

    1989-01-01

    We have subjected several plutonium contaminated residues to Open Gradient Magnetic Separation (OGMS) on an experimental scale. Separation of graphite, bomb reduction sand, and bomb reduction sand, and bomb reduction sand, slag, and crucible, resulted in a plutonium rich fraction and a plutonium lean fraction. The lean fraction varied between about 20% to 85% of the feed bulk. The plutonium content of the lean fraction can be reduced from about 2% in the feed to the 0.1% to 0.5% range dependent on the portion of the feed rejected to this lean fraction. These values are low enough in plutonium to meet economic discard limits and be considered for direct discard. Magnetic separation of direct oxide reduction and electrorefining pyrochemical salts gave less favorable results. While a fraction very rich in plutonium could be obtained, the plutonium content of the lean fraction was to high for direct discard. This may still have chemical processing applications. OGMS experiments at low magnetic field strength on incinerator ash did give two fractions but the plutonium content of each fraction was essentially identical. Thus, no chemical processing advantage was identified for magnetic separation of this residue. The detailed results of these experiments and the implications for OGMS use in recycle plutonium processing are discussed. 4 refs., 3 figs., 9 tabs.

  18. Geomorphology of plutonium in the Northern Rio Grande

    SciTech Connect

    Graf, W.L.

    1993-03-01

    Nearly all of the plutonium in the natural environment of the Northern Rio Grande is associated with soils and sediment, and river processes account for most of the mobility of these materials. A composite regional budget for plutonium based on multi-decadal averages for sediment and plutonium movement shows that 90 percent of the plutonium moving into the system is from atmospheric fallout. The remaining 10 percent is from releases at Los Alamos. Annual variation in plutonium flux and storage exceeds 100 percent. The contribution to the plutonium budget from Los Alamos is associated with relatively coarse sediment which often behaves as bedload in the Rio Grande. Infusion of these materials into the main stream were largest in 1951, 1952, 1957, and 1968. Because of the schedule of delivery of plutonium to Los Alamos for experimentation and weapons manufacturing, the latter two years are probably the most important. Although the Los Alamos contribution to the entire plutonium budget was relatively small, in these four critical years it constituted 71--86 percent of the plutonium in bedload immediately downstream from Otowi.

  19. Plutonium Immobilization Program -- Cold pour Phase 1 test results

    SciTech Connect

    Hamilton, L.

    2000-01-18

    The Plutonium Immobilization Project will disposition excess weapons grade plutonium. It uses the can-in-canister approach that involves placing plutonium-ceramic pucks in sealed cans that are then placed into Defense Waste Processing Facility canisters. These canisters are subsequently filled with high-level radioactive waste glass. This process puts the plutonium in a stable form and makes it unattractive for reuse. A cold (non-radioactive) glass pour program was performed to develop and verify the baseline design for the canister and internal hardware. This paper describes the Phase 1 scoping test results.

  20. 30. VIEW OF A GLOVEBOX LINE USED IN PLUTONIUM OPERATIONS. ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    30. VIEW OF A GLOVEBOX LINE USED IN PLUTONIUM OPERATIONS. SAFETY AND HEALTH CONCERNS WERE OF MAJOR IMPORTANCE AT THE PLANT, BECAUSE OF THE RADIOACTIVE NATURE OF THE MATERIALS USED. PLUTONIUM GIVES OFF ALPHA AND BETA PARTICLES, GAMMA PROTONS, NEUTRONS, AND IS ALSO PYROPHORIC. AS A RESULT, PLUTONIUM OPERATIONS ARE PERFORMED UNDER CONTROLLED CONDITIONS THAT INCLUDE CONTAINMENT, FILTERING, SHIELDING, AND CREATING AN INERT ATMOSPHERE. PLUTONIUM WAS HANDLED WITHIN GLOVEBOXES THAT WERE INTERCONNECTED AND RAN SEVERAL HUNDRED FEET IN LENGTH (5/5/70). - Rocky Flats Plant, Bounded by Indiana Street & Routes 93, 128 & 72, Golden, Jefferson County, CO

  1. PLUTONIUM RECOVERY FROM NEUTRON-BOMBARDED URANIUM FUEL

    DOEpatents

    Moore, R.H.

    1962-04-10

    A process of recovering plutonium from neutronbombarded uranium fuel by dissolving the fuel in equimolar aluminum chloride-potassium chloride; heating the mass to above 700 deg C for decomposition of plutonium tetrachloride to the trichloride; extracting the plutonium trichloride into a molten salt containing from 40 to 60 mole % of lithium chloride, from 15 to 40 mole % of sodium chloride, and from 0 to 40 mole % of potassium chloride or calcium chloride; and separating the layer of equimolar chlorides containing the uranium from the layer formed of the plutonium-containing salt is described. (AEC)

  2. Technical considerations and policy requirements for plutonium management

    SciTech Connect

    Christensen, D.C.; Dinehart, S.M.; Yarbro, S.L.

    1995-12-31

    The goals for plutonium management have changed dramatically over the past few years. Today, the challenge is focused on isolating plutonium from the environment and preparing it for permanent disposition. In parallel, the requirements for managing plutonium are rapidly changing. For example, there is a significant increase in public awareness on how facilities operate, increased attention to environmental safety and health (ES and H) concerns, greater interest in minimizing waste, more emphasis on protecting material from theft, providing materials for international inspection, and a resurgence of interest in using plutonium as an energy source. Of highest concern, in the immediate future, is protecting plutonium from theft or diversion, while the national policy on disposition is debated. These expanded requirements are causing a broadening of responsibilities within the Department of Energy (DOE) to include at least seven organizations. An unavoidable consequence is the divergence in approach and short-term goals for managing similar materials within each organization. The technology base does exist, properly, safely, and cost effectively to extract plutonium from excess weapons, residues, waste, and contaminated equipment and facilities, and to properly stabilize it. Extracting the plutonium enables it to be easily inventoried, packaged, and managed to minimize the risk of theft and diversion. Discarding excess plutonium does not sufficiently reduce the risk of diversion, and as a result, long-term containment of plutonium from the environment may not be able to be proven to the satisfaction of the public.

  3. Precision of gamma-ray measurements of the effective specific power and effective {sup 240}Pu fraction of plutonium

    SciTech Connect

    Sampson, T.E.

    1992-05-01

    This paper uses gamma-ray spectrometry data from replicate measurements on 40 plutonium-bearing samples to examine the repeatability of the effective {sup 240}Pu fraction ({sup 240}Pu{sub eff}) and the effective specific power (P{sub eff}) calculated from the isotopic distribution analyzed with gamma-ray spectrometry codes. The measurements were used to identify the error component arising from repeatability in the determination of the isotopic composition of plutonium in the sample and the contribution of the error component to the uncertainty in total plutonium mass measurements from neutron coincidence counting ({sup 240}Pu{sub eff}) and calorimetry (P{sub eff}). The 40 samples had {sup 240}Pu{sub eff} percentages ranging from 2 to 39% and P{sub eff} values ranging from 2 to 16 mW/g Pu. Four different gamma-ray spectrometry codes (FRAM, MGA, Blue Box, and PUJRC) were used to analyze the data (not all samples were analyzed with each code). All analyses showed that the % relative standard deviation of P{sub eff} was smaller than that of {sup 240}Pu{sub eff}. This result coupled with a cursory examination of uncertainties in coincidence counting of well-characterized samples and water-bath calorimetry errors for the same types of samples lead to the conclusion that smaller uncertainties will be present in the total plutonium mass determined by the combination of calorimetry/gamma-ray spectrometry than in the mass determined by coincidence counting/gamma-ray spectrometry. An additional examination of the biases arising from the {sup 240}Pu correlation used in the gamma-ray spectrometry codes also supported this conclusion. 17 refs.

  4. Initial Report for the Aquifer Background Study: Summary of Uranium and Plutonium Data from INEEL Groundwater Samples

    SciTech Connect

    Robert C. Roback; Don L. Koeppen

    2003-06-01

    As part of the “Aquifer Background Study,” Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) under contract with the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) has undertaken a study to determine uranium and plutonium abundances and isotopic composition in groundwater samples collected at the INEEL. To date, four samples have been analyzed for uranium and plutonium and an additional nine samples have been analyzed for uranium. It is expected that several more samples will be analyzed for this study. This report summarizes the results from this initial set of samples. Of the 13 samples analyzed for uranium, four samples have 238U/235U ratios that differ from the natural value of 137.88. These four samples and two additional samples also contain 236U at 3-sigma level above detection limits. The presence of 236U and the non-natural 238U/235U ratios unequivocally indicate the presence of anthropic uranium in four of the samples. A small component of anthropic uranium is also present in two additional samples with positive 236U detection but natural 238U/235U isotope ratios. Two of the samples with anthropic uranium, as well as two samples with no detectable anthropic uranium were analyzed for plutonium. No plutonium was detected in these four samples at detection limits of approximately 5E7 239Pu atoms for three of the samples and approximately 1E8 239Pu atoms for the forth sample. These detection limits correspond to (239+240)Pu activity ratios (assuming a 240Pu/239Pu atom ratio of 0.18) of 0.002 and 0.004 pCi/L respectively.

  5. Plutonium and Cesium Colloid Mediated Transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boukhalfa, H.; Dittrich, T.; Reimus, P. W.; Ware, D.; Erdmann, B.; Wasserman, N. L.; Abdel-Fattah, A. I.

    2013-12-01

    Plutonium and cesium have been released to the environment at many different locations worldwide and are present in spent fuel at significant levels. Accurate understanding of the mechanisms that control their fate and transport in the environment is important for the management of contaminated sites, for forensic applications, and for the development of robust repositories for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and nuclear waste. Plutonium, which can be present in the environment in multiple oxidations states and various chemical forms including amorphous oxy(hydr)oxide phases, adsorbs/adheres very strongly to geological materials and is usually immobile in all its chemical forms. However, when associated with natural colloids, it has the potential to migrate significant distances from its point of release. Like plutonium, cesium is not very mobile and tends to remain adhered to geological materials near its release point, although its transport can be enhanced by natural colloids. However, the reactivity of plutonium and cesium are very different, so their colloid-mediated transport might be significantly different in subsurface environments. In this study, we performed controlled experiments in two identically-prepared columns; one dedicated to Pu and natural colloid transport experiments, and the other to Cs and colloid experiments. Multiple flow-through experiments were conducted in each column, with the effluent solutions being collected and re-injected into the same column two times to examine the persistence and scaling behavior of the natural colloids, Pu and Cs. The data show that that a significant fraction of colloids were retained in the first elution through each column, but the eluted colloids collected from the first run transported almost conservatively in subsequent runs. Plutonium transport tracked natural colloids in the first run but deviated from the transport of natural colloids in the second and third runs. Cesium transport tracked natural

  6. SEPARATION OF PLUTONIUM IONS FROM SOLUTION BY ADSORPTION ON ZIRCONIUM PYROPHOSPHATE

    DOEpatents

    Stoughton, R.W.

    1961-01-31

    A method is given for separating plutonium in its reduced, phosphate- insoluble state from other substances. It involves contacting a solution containing the plutonium with granular zirconium pyrophosphate.

  7. Test plan for demonstrating plutonium extraction from 10-L solutions using EIChrom extraction chromatographic resins

    SciTech Connect

    Barney, G.S.

    1994-08-15

    Corrosive plutonium solutions stored in 10-L containers at the Plutonium Finishing Plant must be treated to convert the plutonium to a safe, solid form for storage and to remove the americium so that radiation exposure can be reduced. Extraction chromatographic resins will be tested for separating plutonium from these solutions in the laboratory. Separation parameters will be developed during the testing for large scale processing of the 10-L solutions and solutions of similar composition. Use of chromatographic resins will allow plutonium separation with minimum of chemical addition to the feed and without the need for plutonium valence adjustment. The separated plutonium will be calcined to plutonium oxide by direct solution calcination.

  8. Chemical species of plutonium in Hanford radioactive tank waste

    SciTech Connect

    Barney, G.S.

    1997-10-22

    Large quantities of radioactive wastes have been generated at the Hanford Site over its operating life. The wastes with the highest activities are stored underground in 177 large (mostly one million gallon volume) concrete tanks with steel liners. The wastes contain processing chemicals, cladding chemicals, fission products, and actinides that were neutralized to a basic pH before addition to the tanks to prevent corrosion of the steel liners. Because the mission of the Hanford Site was to provide plutonium for defense purposes, the amount of plutonium lost to the wastes was relatively small. The best estimate of the amount of plutonium lost to all the waste tanks is about 500 kg. Given uncertainties in the measurements, some estimates are as high as 1,000 kg (Roetman et al. 1994). The wastes generally consist of (1) a sludge layer generated by precipitation of dissolved metals from aqueous wastes solutions during neutralization with sodium hydroxide, (2) a salt cake layer formed by crystallization of salts after evaporation of the supernate solution, and (3) an aqueous supernate solution that exists as a separate layer or as liquid contained in cavities between sludge or salt cake particles. The identity of chemical species of plutonium in these wastes will allow a better understanding of the behavior of the plutonium during storage in tanks, retrieval of the wastes, and processing of the wastes. Plutonium chemistry in the wastes is important to criticality and environmental concerns, and in processing the wastes for final disposal. Plutonium has been found to exist mainly in the sludge layers of the tanks along with other precipitated metal hydrous oxides. This is expected due to its low solubility in basic aqueous solutions. Tank supernate solutions do not contain high concentrations of plutonium even though some tanks contain high concentrations of complexing agents. The solutions also contain significant concentrations of hydroxide which competes with other

  9. Measurements of plutonium, 237Np, and 137Cs in the BCR 482 lichen reference material

    SciTech Connect

    Lavelle, Kevin B.; Miller, Jeffrey L.; Hanson, Susan K.; Connick, William B.; Spitz, Henry B.; Glover, Samuel E.; Oldham, Warren J.

    2015-10-01

    Select anthropogenic radionuclides were measured in lichen reference material, BCR 482. This material was originally collected in Axalp, Switzerland in 1991 and is composed of the epiphytic lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea. Samples from three separate bottles of BCR 482 were analyzed for uranium, neptunium, and plutonium isotopes by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and analyzed for cesium-137 by gamma-ray spectrometry. The isotopic composition of the radionuclides measured in BCR 482 suggests contributions from both global fallout resulting from historical nuclear weapons testing and more volatile materials released following the Chernobyl accident.

  10. Fifty years of plutonium exposure to the Manhattan Project plutonium workers: an update.

    PubMed

    Voelz, G L; Lawrence, J N; Johnson, E R

    1997-10-01

    Twenty-six white male workers who did the original plutonium research and development work at Los Alamos have been examined periodically over the past 50 y to identify possible health effects from internal plutonium depositions. Their effective doses range from 0.1 to 7.2 Sv with a median value of 1.25 Sv. As of the end of 1994, 7 individuals have died compared with an expected 16 deaths based on mortality rates of U.S. white males in the general population. The standardized mortality ratio (SMR) is 0.43. When compared with 876 unexposed Los Alamos workers of the same period, the plutonium worker's mortality rate was also not elevated (SMR = 0.77). The 19 living persons have diseases and physical changes characteristic of a male population with a median age of 72 y (range = 69 to 86 y). Eight of the twenty-six workers have been diagnosed as having one or more cancers, which is within the expected range. The underlying cause of death in three of the seven deceased persons was from cancer, namely cancer of prostate, lung, and bone. Mortality from all cancers was not statistically elevated. The effective doses from plutonium to these individuals are compared with current radiation protection guidelines.

  11. Ultra-small plutonium oxide nanocrystals: an innovative material in plutonium science.

    PubMed

    Hudry, Damien; Apostolidis, Christos; Walter, Olaf; Janssen, Arne; Manara, Dario; Griveau, Jean-Christophe; Colineau, Eric; Vitova, Tonya; Prüssmann, Tim; Wang, Di; Kübel, Christian; Meyer, Daniel

    2014-08-11

    Apart from its technological importance, plutonium (Pu) is also one of the most intriguing elements because of its non-conventional physical properties and fascinating chemistry. Those fundamental aspects are particularly interesting when dealing with the challenging study of plutonium-based nanomaterials. Here we show that ultra-small (3.2±0.9 nm) and highly crystalline plutonium oxide (PuO2 ) nanocrystals (NCs) can be synthesized by the thermal decomposition of plutonyl nitrate ([PuO2 (NO3 )2 ]⋅3 H2 O) in a highly coordinating organic medium. This is the first example reporting on the preparation of significant quantities (several tens of milligrams) of PuO2 NCs, in a controllable and reproducible manner. The structure and magnetic properties of PuO2 NCs have been characterized by a wide variety of techniques (powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS), X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES), TEM, IR, Raman, UV/Vis spectroscopies, and superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometry). The current PuO2 NCs constitute an innovative material for the study of challenging problems as diverse as the transport behavior of plutonium in the environment or size and shape effects on the physics of transuranium elements.

  12. 25. Plutonium Recovery From Contaminated Materials, Architectural Plans & Details, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    25. Plutonium Recovery From Contaminated Materials, Architectural Plans & Details, Building 232-Z, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Hanford Atomic Products Operation, General Electric Company, Dwg. No. H-2-23105, 1959. - Plutonium Finishing Plant, Waste Incinerator Facility, 200 West Area, Richland, Benton County, WA

  13. 26. Plutonium Recovery From Contaminated Materials, Architectural Elevations, Sections & ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    26. Plutonium Recovery From Contaminated Materials, Architectural Elevations, Sections & Dets., Building 232-Z, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Hanford Atomic Products Operation, General Electric Company, Dwg. No. H-2-23106, 1959. - Plutonium Finishing Plant, Waste Incinerator Facility, 200 West Area, Richland, Benton County, WA

  14. Processing of Non-PFP Plutonium Oxide in Hanford Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, Susan A.; Delegard, Calvin H.

    2011-03-10

    Processing of non-irradiated plutonium oxide, PuO2, scrap for recovery of plutonium values occurred routinely at Hanford’s Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) in glovebox line operations. Plutonium oxide is difficult to dissolve, particularly if it has been high-fired; i.e., calcined to temperatures above about 400°C and much of it was. Dissolution of the PuO2 in the scrap typically was performed in PFP’s Miscellaneous Treatment line using nitric acid (HNO3) containing some source of fluoride ion, F-, such as hydrofluoric acid (HF), sodium fluoride (NaF), or calcium fluoride (CaF2). The HNO3 concentration generally was 6 M or higher whereas the fluoride concentration was ~0.5 M or lower. At higher fluoride concentrations, plutonium fluoride (PuF4) would precipitate, thus limiting the plutonium dissolution. Some plutonium-bearing scrap also contained PuF4 and thus required no added fluoride. Once the plutonium scrap was dissolved, the excess fluoride was complexed with aluminum ion, Al3+, added as aluminum nitrate, Al(NO3)3•9H2O, to limit collateral damage to the process equipment by the corrosive fluoride. Aluminum nitrate also was added in low quantities in processing PuF4.

  15. Plutonium Immobilization Project Concept for Dustless Transfer of Powder

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, C.R.

    2001-08-15

    Plutonium powder will be brought into the Plutonium Immobilization Plant in Food Pack Cans in 3013 packages. The Food Pack Cans will be removed from the 3013 outer and inner can. This document describes their concept and completes PIP milestone 2.2.3.4/FY01/c, Complete Concept for Material Transfer.

  16. 10 CFR 71.88 - Air transport of plutonium.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... citation of 49 CFR chapter I, as may be applicable, the licensee shall assure that plutonium in any form... carrier, require compliance with 49 CFR 175.704, U.S. Department of Transportation regulations applicable... part, and in which the radioactivity is essentially uniformly distributed; or (3) The plutonium...

  17. 10 CFR 71.88 - Air transport of plutonium.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... citation of 49 CFR chapter I, as may be applicable, the licensee shall assure that plutonium in any form... carrier, require compliance with 49 CFR 175.704, U.S. Department of Transportation regulations applicable... part, and in which the radioactivity is essentially uniformly distributed; or (3) The plutonium...

  18. 10 CFR 71.88 - Air transport of plutonium.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... citation of 49 CFR chapter I, as may be applicable, the licensee shall assure that plutonium in any form... carrier, require compliance with 49 CFR 175.704, U.S. Department of Transportation regulations applicable... part, and in which the radioactivity is essentially uniformly distributed; or (3) The plutonium...

  19. 10 CFR 71.88 - Air transport of plutonium.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... citation of 49 CFR chapter I, as may be applicable, the licensee shall assure that plutonium in any form... carrier, require compliance with 49 CFR 175.704, U.S. Department of Transportation regulations applicable... part, and in which the radioactivity is essentially uniformly distributed; or (3) The plutonium...

  20. 10 CFR 71.88 - Air transport of plutonium.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... citation of 49 CFR chapter I, as may be applicable, the licensee shall assure that plutonium in any form... carrier, require compliance with 49 CFR 175.704, U.S. Department of Transportation regulations applicable... part, and in which the radioactivity is essentially uniformly distributed; or (3) The plutonium...