Transportation and storage of plutonium oxide is typically done using a convenience container to hold the oxide powder which is then placed inside a containment vessel. Intermediate containers which act as uncredited confinement barriers may also be used. The containment vessel is subject to an internal pressure due to several sources including; (1) plutonium oxide provides a heat source which raises the temperature of the gas space, (2) helium generation due to alpha decay of the plutonium, (3) hydrogen generation due to radiolysis of the water which has been adsorbed onto the plutonium oxide, and (4) degradation of plastic bags which may be used to bag out the convenience can from a glove box. The contributions of these sources are evaluated in a reasonably conservative manner.
Pressurization of Containment Vessels From Plutonium Oxide Contents
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Askew, NM, Hensel, SJ, Laurinat, JE, & Skidmore, TE. "Pressurization of Containment Vessels From Plutonium Oxide Contents." Proceedings of the ASME 2012 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference. Volume 7: Operations, Applications and Components. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. July 15–19, 2012. pp. 201-205. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/PVP2012-78057
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