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Experimental Investigation of Evaporation Behavior of Polonium and Rare-Earth Elements in Lead-Bismuth Eutectic Pool

[+] Author Affiliations
Shuji Ohno, Shinya Miyahara

Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Oarai, Ibaraki, Japan

Yuji Kurata

Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Tokai-mura, Ibaraki, Japan

Ryoei Katsura

Nippon Nuclear Fuel Development Co., Ltd., Oarai, Ibaraki, Japan

Shigeru Yoshida

KAKEN Co., Ltd., Mito, Ibaraki, Japan

Paper No. ICONE14-89187, pp. 401-407; 7 pages
  • 14th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • Volume 1: Plant Operations, Maintenance and Life Cycle; Component Reliability and Materials Issues; Codes, Standards, Licensing and Regulatory Issues; Fuel Cycle and High Level Waste Management
  • Miami, Florida, USA, July 17–20, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4242-8 | eISBN: 0-7918-3783-1
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


Equilibrium evaporation behavior was experimentally investigated for polonium (210 Po) in liquid lead-bismuth eutectic (LBE) and for rare-earth elements gadolinium (Gd) and europium (Eu) in LBE to understand and clarify the transfer behavior of toxic impurities from LBE coolant to a gas phase. The experiments utilized the ‘transpiration method’ in which saturated vapor in an isothermal evaporation pot was transported by inert carrier gas and collected outside of the pot. While the previous paper ICONE12-49111 has already reported the evaporation behavior of LBE and of tellurium in LBE, this paper summarizes the outlines and the results of experiments for important impurity materials 210 Po and rare-earth elements which are accumulated in liquid LBE as activation products and spallation products. In the experiments for rare-earth elements, non-radioactive isotope was used. The LBE pool is about 330–670 g in weight and has a surface area of 4cm × 14cm. 210 Po experiments were carried out with a smaller test apparatus and radioactive 210 Po produced through neutron irradiation of LBE in the Japan Materials Testing Reactor (JMTR). We obtained fundamental and instructive evaporation data such as vapor concentration, partial vapor pressure of 210 Po in the gas phase, and gas-liquid equilibrium partition coefficients of the impurities in LBE under the temperature condition between 450 and 750°C. The 210 Po test revealed that Po had characteristics to be retained in LBE but was still more volatile than LBE solvent. A part of Eu tests implied high volatility of rare-earth elements comparable to that of Po. This tendency is possibly related to the local enrichment of the solute near the pool surface and needs to be investigated more. These results are useful and indispensable for the evaluation of radioactive materials transfer to the gas phase in LBE-cooled nuclear systems.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME
Topics: Evaporation



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