Chemical analysis of Plutonium-238 for space applications

Amy S. Wong
2001 AIP Conference Proceedings  
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has produced general-purpose heat sources (GPHS) containing plutonium-238 oxide for space and terrestrial uses over the past two decades. Power Source Technologies Group (NMT-9) has fill capabilities to both recover and puri~238PuOZfrom scrap and aged fhels and to fabricate oxides into fiel pellets for heat sources. . Analytical chemistry supports processing monitoring and product certification for 238Puoperations. The 238Puoxides are dissolved and
more » ... for plutonium assay (OAPu), actinide impurity (236Pu,237Np, 234U,and 241Am), pIutonium isotopic composition, and non-actinide cationic and anionic impurities analyses. The data obtained from these measurements provide baseline parameters for processing, waste disposal, and product certifications. Due to source term and material-at-risk issues at the aging CMR Facility (Chemistry Metallurgy Research building), we began the process of relocating 238Puanalytical capabilities to the Plutonium Facility at TA-55 in 1999. In addition, we are installing several in-line processing monitoring capabilities in the full-scale aqueous scrap recovety operation. In this paper, an overview of chemical analysis capabilities that support 238Puprograms and the progress of establishing these capabilities at the Plutonium Facility will be discussed. These chemical and in-line analysis capabilities include UV-visible spectrome~, gamma-ray spectrometry, alpha spectrometry, direct-current arc (DC Arc), inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), plutonium process monitoring (PPM) system for ion exchange operation, and solution in-line alpha counter (SILAC) for gross alpha determination of aqueous solutions. 182000 DISCLAIMER
doi:10.1063/1.1358003 fatcat:nihlk2pdj5cuhdhspuv6drrrfy