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Headspace Gas Evaluation of Welded Plutonium Storage Containers

[+] Author Affiliations
Bruce J. Hardy, Stephen P. Harris, Matthew J. Arnold, Stephen J. Hensel

Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, SC

Paper No. PVP2008-61877, pp. 299-306; 8 pages
  • ASME 2008 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 7: Operations, Applications and Components
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, July 27–31, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4830-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3828-5
  • Copyright © 2008 by Washington Savannah River Company LLC


The Can Puncture Device (CPD) serves as a containment vessel during the puncture of nested 3013 containers as part of surveillance operations in K-Area. The purpose of the CPD sampling process is to determine the original pressure and composition of gasses within the inner 3013 container. The relation between the composition of the gas sample drawn from the CPD and that originally in the inner 3013 container depends on the degree of mixing that occurs over the interval of time from the puncture to drawing the sample. Gas mixing is bounded by the extremes of no mixing of gases in the inner container and that of complete mixing, in which case the entire CPD system is of uniform composition. Models relating the sample composition and pressure to the initial (pre-puncture) inner can composition and pressure for each of these extremes were developed. Predictions from both models were compared to data from characterization experiments. In the comparison, it was found that the model that assumed complete gas mixing after puncture, the Uniform Mixing Model, showed significantly better agreement with the data than the model that assumed no change in the composition of the inner container, referred to as the Non-Uniform Mixing Model. Both models were implemented as Microsoft® Excel spreadsheet calculations, which utilize macros, to include the effects of uncertainties and biases in the measurements of process parameters and in the models. Potential inleakage of gas from the glovebox is also addressed. The spreadsheet utilizing the Uniform Mixing Model, which was validated by data from the characterization tests, is used to evaluate the pre-puncture composition and pressure within the inner 3013 container. This spreadsheet model is called the Gas Evaluation Software Tool (GEST).

Copyright © 2008 by Washington Savannah River Company LLC
Topics: Containers , Storage



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