Gloveboxes in a mixed oxide fuel fabrication facility provide primary confinement for the process systems handling nuclear material. The fire protection design must be coordinated with the confinement design while meeting criticality and life safety requirements. The fire protection strategy for the facility starts with specifying fire resistant systems, structures, and components with low fire loadings and design features that minimize ignition sources. The fire hazards, along with other process hazards, are specifically addressed during the design of nuclear process units. The industrial-scale process glove boxes in the MOX facility utilize polycarbonate as their window material, which was evaluated as being the most appropriate material in terms of constructability, operability, and confinement performance under mechanical loadings (e.g. shock, earthquake). The glovebox fire detectors are installed in accordance with the requirements of NFPA 72-1996 requirements and are an integral part of the facility fire detection system. Special design features to prevent a fire from starting, to divert potentially explosive material upon detection of a fire, and to reliably extinguish any incipient fires are incorporated into glovebox and process unit designs.

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