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Book
1 online resource (26 p.) : digital, PDF file.
Several beam simulation codes are used to help gain a better understanding of beam dynamics in the DARHT LIAs. The most notable of these fall into the following categories: for beam production – Tricomp Trak orbit tracking code, LSP Particle in cell (PIC) code, for beam transport and acceleration – XTR static envelope and centroid code, LAMDA time-resolved envelope and centroid code, LSP-Slice PIC code, for coasting-beam transport to target – LAMDA time-resolved envelope code, LSP-Slice PIC code. These codes are also being used to inform the design of Scorpius.
Book
1 online resource (52 p.) : digital, PDF file.
The objective of this project was to design and optimize, in simulation space, an active neutron coincidence counter (or collar) using boron-coated straws (BCSs) as a non-<sup>3</sup>He replacement to the Uranium Neutron Coincidence Collar (UNCL). UNCL has been used by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) since the 1980s to verify the <sup>235</sup>U content in fresh light water reactor fuel assemblies for safeguards purposes. This report documents the design and optimization of the BCS collar.
Book
1 online resource (196 p.) : digital, PDF file.
In this report, load-follow simulations using VERA-CS with one-way coupling to standalone BISON has been demonstrated including both a single rod with a full cycle of load-follow operations and a quarter-core model with a single month of load-follow.
A joint effort has been initiated by Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Savanah River National Laboratory (SRNL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), sponsored by the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA’s) office of Proliferation Detection, to develop and validate a flexible framework for simulating effluents and emissions from spent fuel reprocessing facilities. These effluents and emissions can be measured by various on-site and/or off-site means, and then the inverse problem can ideally be solved through modeling and simulation to estimate characteristics of facility operation such as the nuclear material production rate. The flexible framework called Facility Modeling Toolkit focused on the forward modeling of PUREX reprocessing facility operating conditions from fuel storage and chopping to effluent and emission measurements.
Book
1 online resource (5 p.) : digital, PDF file.
One of the long-standing problems in the community is the question of how we can model “next-generation” laser-ion acceleration in a computationally tractable way. A new particle tracking capability in the LANL VPIC kinetic plasma modeling code has enabled us to solve this long-standing problem
Book
1 online resource (8 p.) : digital, PDF file.
Los Alamos National Laboratory states that its mission is “To solve national security challenges through scientific excellence.” The Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) programs exists to engage undergraduate students in STEM work by providing opportunity to work at DOE facilities. As an undergraduate mechanical engineering intern under the SULI program at Los Alamos during the fall semester of 2016, I had the opportunity to contribute to the mission of the Laboratory while developing skills in a STEM discipline. I worked with Technology Applications, an engineering group that supports non-proliferation, counter terrorism, and emergency response missions. This group specializes in tool design, weapons engineering, rapid prototyping, and mission training. I assisted with two major projects during my appointment Los Alamos. The first was a thermal source transportation unit, intended to safely contain a nuclear thermal source during transit. The second was a soil drying unit for use in nuclear postblast field sample collection. These projects have given me invaluable experience working alongside a team of professional engineers. Skills developed include modeling, simulation, group design, product and system design, and product testing.
Book
1 online resource (31 p.) : digital, PDF file.
The Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) Low Activity Waste (LAW) vitrification facility will generate an aqueous condensate recycle stream (LAW Melter Off-Gas Condensate) from the off-gas system. The baseline plan for disposition of this stream during full WTP operations is to send it to the WTP Pretreatment Facility, where it will be blended with LAW, concentrated by evaporation and recycled to the LAW vitrification facility. However, during the Direct Feed LAW (DFLAW) scenario, planned disposition of this stream is to evaporate it in a new evaporator in the Effluent Management Facility (EMF) and then return it to the LAW melter. It is important to understand the composition of the effluents from the melter and new evaporator so that the disposition of these streams can be accurately planned and accommodated. Furthermore, alternate disposition of this stream would eliminate recycling of problematic components, and would enable less integrated operation of the LAW melter and the Pretreatment Facilities. Alternate disposition would also eliminate this stream from recycling within WTP when it begins operations and would decrease the LAW vitrification mission duration and quantity of glass waste. This LAW Melter Off-Gas Condensate stream will contain components that are volatile at melter temperatures and are problematic for the glass waste form, such as halides and sulfate, along with entrained, volatile, and semi-volatile metals, such as Hg, As, and Se. Because this stream will recycle within WTP, these components accumulate in the Melter Condensate stream, exacerbating their impact on the number of LAW glass containers that must be produced. Diverting the stream reduces the halides and sulfate that get recycled to the melter, and is a key objective of this work. This overall program examines the potential treatment and immobilization of this stream to enable alternative disposal. The objective of earlier tasks was to formulate and prepare a simulant of the LAW Melter Off-gas Condensate expected during DFLAW operations and use it in evaporator testing to predict the composition of the effluents from the Effluent Management Facility (EMF) evaporator to aid in planning for their disposition. The objective of this task was to test immobilization options for this evaporator bottoms aqueous stream. This document describes the method used to formulate a simulant of this EMF evaporator bottoms stream, immobilize it, and determine if the immobilized waste forms meet disposal criteria.
Book
1 online resource (10 p.) : digital, PDF file.
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) is assisting Jet Propulsion Laboratory in undertaking feasibility studies and performance assessments for the Planetary Protection aspect of the Europa Lander mission. The specific areas of interest for this project are described by task number. This white paper presents the evaluation results for Task 2, Radiation Testing, which was stated as follows: Survey SNL facilities and capabilities for simulating the Europan radiation environment and assess suitability for: A. Testing batteries, electronics, and other component and subsystems B. Exposing biological organisms to assess their survivability metrics. The radiation environment the Europa Lander will encounter on route and in orbit upon arrival at its destination consists primarily of charged particles, energetic protons and electrons with the energies up to 1 GeV. The charged particle environments can be simulated using the accelerators at the Ion Beam Laboratory. The Gamma Irradiation Facility and its annex, the Low Dose Rate Irradiation Facility, offer irradiations using Co-60 gamma sources (1.17 and 1.33 MeV), as well as Cs-137 gamma (0.661 MeV) AmBe neutron (0-10 MeV) sources.
Flash sintering is a novel type of field assisted sintering that uses an electric field and current to provide densification of materials on very short time scales. The potential for field assisted sintering techniques to be used in producing nuclear fuel is gaining recognition due to the potential economic benefits and improvements in material properties. The flash sintering behavior has so far been linked to applied and material parameters, but the underlying mechanisms active during flash sintering have yet to be identified. This report summarizes the efforts to investigate flash sintering of uranium dioxide using dilatometer studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory and two separate sets of in-situ studies at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s NSLS-II XPD-1 beamline. The purpose of the dilatometer studies was to understand individual parameter (applied and material) effects on the flash behavior and the purpose of the in-situ studies was to better understand the mechanisms active during flash sintering. As far as applied parameters, it was found that stoichiometry, or oxygen-to-metal ratio, has a significant effect on the flash behavior (time to flash and speed of flash). Composite systems were found to have degraded sintering behavior relative to pure UO<sub>2</sub>. The critical field studies are complete for UO<sub>2.00</sub> and will be analyzed against an existing model for comparison. The in-situ studies showed that the strength of the field and current are directly related to the sample temperature, with temperature-driven phase changes occurring at high values. The existence of an ‘incubation time’ has been questioned, due to a continuous change in lattice parameter values from the moment that the field is applied. Some results from the in-situ experiments, which should provide evidence regarding ion migration, are still being analyzed. Some preliminary conclusions can be made from these results with regard to using field assisted sintering to fabricate nuclear fuel. First, the pure UO<sub>2</sub>-based system shows promising behavior with flash sintering, but composite systems are likely to show better sintering behavior with spark plasma sintering. Efforts to develop these methods should therefore be tailored towards the likelihood of success. Additionally, modeling is a rapidly developing aspect of current flash sintering research and should be used in parallel with experiments. Ultimately, ongoing flash sintering studies on various materials, like those summarized in this report, are rapidly contributing to the feasibility of controlling this method for use in the future.
Book
1 online resource (9 p.) : digital, PDF file.
This report presents a review of nuclear reactor designs.
Book
1 online resource (11 p.) : digital, PDF file.
U<sub>3</sub>Si<sub>2</sub> is a candidate for accident tolerant nuclear fuel being developed as an alternative to UO<sub>2</sub> in commercial light water reactors (LWRs). One of its main benefits compared to UO<sub>2</sub> is higher thermal conductivity that increases with temperature. This increase is contrary to UO<sub>2</sub>, for which the thermal conductivity decreases with temperature. The reason for the difference is the electronic origin of thermal conductivity in U<sub>3</sub>Si<sub>2</sub>, as compared to the phonon mechanism responsible for thermal transport in UO<sub>2</sub>. The phonon thermal conductivity in UO<sub>2</sub> is unusually low for a fluorite oxide due to the strong interaction with the spins in the paramagnetic phase. The thermal conductivity of U<sub>3</sub>Si<sub>2</sub> as well as other U-­Si compounds has been measured experimentally [1-­4]. However, for fuel performance simulations it is also critical to model the degradation of the thermal conductivity due to damage and microstructure evolution caused by the reactor environment (irradiation and high temperature). For UO<sub>2</sub> this reduction is substantial and it has been the topic of extensive NEAMS research resulting in several publications [5, 6]. There are no data or models for the evolution of the U<sub>3</sub>Si<sub>2</sub> thermal conductivity under irradiation. We know that the intrinsic thermal conductivities of UO<sub>2</sub> (semi-conductor) and U<sub>3</sub>Si<sub>2</sub> (metal) are very different, and we do not necessarily expect the dependence on damage to be the same either, which could present another advantage for the silicide fuel. In this report we summarize the first step in developing a model for the thermal conductivity of U-­Si compounds with the goal of capturing the effect of damage in U<sub>3</sub>Si<sub>2</sub>. Next year, we will focus on lattice damage. We will also attempt to assess the impact of fission gas bubbles.
Book
1 online resource (80 p.) : digital, PDF file.
Destructive post-irradiation examination was performed on AGR-1 fuel Compact 4-1-1, which was irradiated to a final compact-average burnup of 19.4% FIMA (fissions per initial metal atom) and a time-average, volume-average temperature of 1072°C. The analysis of this compact focused on characterizing the extent of fission product release from the particles and examining particles to determine the condition of the kernels and coating layers. The work included deconsolidation of the compact and leach-burn-leach analysis, visual inspection and gamma counting of individual particles, metallurgical preparation of selected particles, and examination of particle cross-sections with optical microscopy, electron microscopy, and elemental analysis. Deconsolidation-leach-burn-leach (DLBL) analysis revealed no particles with failed TRISO or failed SiC layers (as indicated by very low uranium inventory in all of the leach solutions). The total fractions of the predicted compact inventories of fission products Ce-144, Cs-134, Cs-137, and Sr-90 that were present in the compact outside of the SiC layers were <2×10<sup>-6</sup>, based on DLBL data. The Ag-110m fraction in the compact outside the SiC layers was 3.3×10<sup>-2</sup>, indicating appreciable release of silver through the intact coatings and subsequent retention in the OPyC layers or matrix. The Eu-154 fraction was 2.4×10<sup>-4</sup>, which is equivalent to the inventory in one average particle, and indicates a small but measurable level of release from the intact coatings. Gamma counting of 61 individual particles indicated no particles with anomalously low fission product retention. The average ratio of measured inventory to calculated inventory was close to a value of 1.0 for several fission product isotopes (Ce-144, Cs-134, and Cs-137), indicating good retention and reasonably good agreement with the predicted inventories. Measured-to-calculated (M/C) activity ratios for fission products Eu-154, Eu-155, Ru-106, Sb-125, and Zr-95 were significantly less than 1.0. However, as no significant release of these fission products from compacts was noted during previous analysis of the AGR-1 capsule components, the low M/C ratios are most likely an indication of a bias in the inventories predicted by physics simulations of the AGR-1 experiment. The distribution of Ag-110m M/C ratios was centered on a value of 1.02 and was fairly broad (standard deviation of 0.18, with values as high as 1.42 and as low as 0.68). Based on all data gathered to date, it is believed that silver retention in the particles was on average relatively high, but that the broad distribution in values among the particles represents significant variation in the inventory of Ag-110m generated in the particles. Ceramographic analysis of particle cross-sections revealed many of the characteristic microstructures often observed in irradiated AGR-1 particles from other fuel compacts. Palladium-rich fission product clusters were observed in the IPyC and SiC layers near the IPyC-SiC interface of three Compact 4-1-1 particle cross-sections. In spite of the presence of fission product clusters in the SiC layer, no significant corrosion or degradation of the layer was observed in any of the particles examined.
Book
1 online resource (46 pages) : color illustrations, map.
Book
1 online resource (69 p.) : digital, PDF file.
The primary disposition path of Low Activity Waste (LAW) at the DOE Hanford Site is vitrification. A cementitious waste form is one of the alternatives being considered for the supplemental immobilization of the LAW that will not be treated by the primary vitrification facility. Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) has been directed to generate and collect data on cementitious or pozzolanic waste forms such as Cast Stone. This report documents the coring and leach testing of monolithic samples cored from an engineering-scale demonstration (ES Demo) with non-radioactive simulants. The ES Demo was performed at SRNL in October of 2013 using the Scaled Continuous Processing Facility (SCPF) to fill an 8.5 ft. diameter x 3.25 ft. high container with simulated Cast Stone grout. The Cast Stone formulation was chosen from the previous screening tests. Legacy salt solution from previous Hanford salt waste testing was adjusted to correspond to the average LAW composition generated from the Hanford Tank Waste Operation Simulator (HTWOS). The dry blend materials, ordinary portland cement (OPC), Class F fly ash, and ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS or BFS), were obtained from Lafarge North America in Pasco, WA. In 2014 core samples originally obtained approximately six months after filling the ES Demo were tested along with bench scale molded samples that were collected during the original pour. A latter set of core samples were obtained in late March of 2015, eighteen months after completion of the original ES Demo. Core samples were obtained using a 2” diameter x 11” long coring bit. The ES Demo was sampled in three different regions consisting of an outer ring, a middle ring and an inner core zone. Cores from these three lateral zones were further segregated into upper, middle and lower vertical segments. Monolithic core samples were tested using the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Method 1315, which is designed to provide mass transfer rates (release rates) of inorganic analytes contained in monolithic material under diffusion controlled release conditions as a function of leaching time. Compressive strength measurements and drying tests were also performed on the 2015 samples. Leachability indices reported are based on analyte concentrations determined from dissolution of the dried samples.
Book
1 online resource (86 p. ) : digital, PDF file.
Analyses were performed to evaluate the performance of the low enriched uranium (LEU) conceptual design fuel for the conversion of the Transient Reactor Test Facility (TREAT) from its current highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel. TREAT is an experimental nuclear reactor designed to produce high neutron flux transients for the testing of reactor fuels and other materials. TREAT is currently in non-operational standby, but is being restarted under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Resumption of Transient Testing Program. The conversion of TREAT is being pursued in keeping with the mission of the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration’s Material Management and Minimization (M3) Reactor Conversion Program. The focus of this study was to demonstrate that the converted LEU core is capable of maintaining the performance of the existing HEU core, while continuing to operate safely. Neutronic and thermal hydraulic simulations have been performed to evaluate the performance of the LEU conceptual-design core under both steady-state and transient conditions, for both normal operation and reactivity insertion accident scenarios. In addition, ancillary safety analyses which were performed for previous LEU design concepts have been reviewed and updated as-needed, in order to evaluate if the converted LEU core will function safely with all existing facility systems. Simulations were also performed to evaluate the detailed behavior of the UO<sub>2</sub>-graphite fuel, to support future fuel manufacturing decisions regarding particle size specifications. The results of these analyses will be used in conjunction with work being performed at Idaho National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory, in order to develop the Conceptual Design Report project deliverable.
Book
1 online resource (42 p.) : digital, PDF file.
The testing presented in this report is in support of the investigation of the Alternative Chemical Cleaning program to aid in developing strategies and technologies to chemically clean radioactive High Level Waste tanks prior to tank closure. The data and conclusions presented here were the examination of the corrosion rates of A285 carbon steel and 304L stainless steel exposed to two proposed chemical cleaning solutions: acidic permanganate (0.18 M nitric acid and 0.05M sodium permanganate) and caustic permanganate. (10 M sodium hydroxide and 0.05M sodium permanganate). These solutions have been proposed as a chemical cleaning solution for the retrieval of actinides in the sludge in the waste tanks, and were tested with both HM and PUREX sludge simulants at a 20:1 ratio.
Book
43 p. : digital, PDF file.
Ten chemical processing cell (CPC) experiments were performed using simulant to evaluate Sludge Batch 9 for sludge-only and coupled processing using the nitric-formic flowsheet in the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF). Sludge Receipt and Adjustment Tank (SRAT) and Slurry Mix Evaporator (SME) cycles were performed on eight of the ten. The other two were SRAT cycles only. Samples of the condensate, sludge, and off gas were taken to monitor the chemistry of the CPC experiments. The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) has previously shown antifoam decomposes to form flammable organic products, (hexamethyldisiloxane (HMDSO), trimethylsilanol (TMS), and propanal), that are present in the vapor phase and condensate of the CPC vessels. To minimize antifoam degradation product formation, a new antifoam addition strategy was implemented at SRNL and DWPF to add antifoam undiluted.
Book
1 online resource (12 p. ) : digital, PDF file.
During the astrophysical r-process, multiple neutron captures occur so rapidly on target nuclei that their daughter nuclei generally do not have time to undergo radioactive decay before another neutron is captured. The r-process can be approximately simulated on Earth in certain types of thermonuclear explosions through an analogous process of rapid neutron captures known as the "prompt capture" process. Between 1952 and 1969, 23 nuclear tests were fielded by the US which were involved (at least partially) with the "prompt capture" process. Of these tests, 15 were at least partially successful. Some of these tests were conducted under the Plowshare Peaceful Nuclear Explosion Program as scientific research experiments. It is now known that the USSR conducted similar nuclear tests during 1966 to 1979. The elements einsteinium and fermium were first discovered by this process. The most successful tests achieved 19 successive neutron captures on the initial target nuclei. A review of the US program, target nuclei used, heavy element yields, scientific achievements of the program, and how some of the results have been used by the astrophysical community is given. Finally, some unanswered questions concerning very neutron-rich nuclei that could potentially have been answered with additional nuclear experiments is presented.
Book
1 online resource (23 p.) : digital, PDF file.
Since the beginning of commercial nuclear power generation in the 1960s, the ability of researchers to understand and control the isotopic content of spent fuel has improved. It is therefore not surprising that both fuel assembly design and fuel assembly irradiation optimization have improved over the past 50+ years. It is anticipated that the burnup and isotopics of the spent fuel should exhibit less variation over the decades as reactor operators irradiate each assembly to the optimum amount. In contrast, older spent fuel is anticipated to vary more in burnup and resulting isotopics for a given initial enrichment. Modern fuel therefore should be more uniform in composition, and thus, measured safeguards results should be easier to interpret than results from older spent fuel. With spent fuel ponds filling up, interim and long-­term storage of spent fuel will need to be addressed. Additionally after long periods of storage, spent fuel is no longer self-­protecting and, as such, the IAEA will categorize it as more attractive; in approximately 20 years many of the assemblies from early commercial cores will no longer be considered self-­protecting. This study will assess how more recent changes in the reactor operation could impact the interpretation of safeguards measurements. The status quo for spent fuel assay in the safeguards context is that the overwhelming majority of spent fuel assemblies are not measured in a quantitative way except for those assemblies about to be loaded into a difficult or impossible to access location (dry storage or, in the future, a repository). In other words, when the assembly is still accessible to a state actor, or an insider, when it is cooling in a pool, the inspectorate does not have a measurement database that could assist them in re-­verifying the integrity of that assembly. The spent fuel safeguards regime would be strengthened if spent fuel assemblies were measured from discharge to loading into a difficult or impossible to access location. The primary driver for suggesting this shift in approach is the change in robotic technology and information technology in general. It should be possible, with minimal impact to the facility, to measure each assembly every time that it is moved in the pool, with the first measurements being made at discharge. The following conclusions were reached: The total neutron count rate can be accurately predicted at any future moment in time based upon the measured count rate at discharge, provided the initial enrichment and burnup of the assembly is known at discharge. It is expected that the total neutron count rate measured at discharge will be indicative of the initial enrichment and burnup of that assembly. If the automated robot were to focus on measuring the assemblies in the rack without moving them, the time available would increase immensely.
Book
1 online resource (52 p.) : digital, PDF file.
The Preliminary Remediation Goal (PRG) and Dose Compliance Concentration (DCC) calculators are screening level tools that set forth Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recommended approaches, based upon currently available information with respect to risk assessment, for response actions at Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) sites, commonly known as Superfund. The screening levels derived by the PRG and DCC calculators are used to identify isotopes contributing the highest risk and dose as well as establish preliminary remediation goals. Each calculator has a residential gardening scenario and subsistence farmer exposure scenarios that require modeling of the transfer of contaminants from soil and water into various types of biota (crops and animal products). New publications of human intake rates of biota; farm animal intakes of water, soil, and fodder; and soil to plant interactions require updates be implemented into the PRG and DCC exposure scenarios. Recent improvements have been made in the biota modeling for these calculators, including newly derived biota intake rates, more comprehensive soil mass loading factors (MLFs), and more comprehensive soil to tissue transfer factors (TFs) for animals and soil to plant transfer factors (BV's). New biota have been added in both the produce and animal products categories that greatly improve the accuracy and utility of the PRG and DCC calculators and encompass greater geographic diversity on a national and international scale.