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Research Papers: Materials and Fabrication

Analysis of Powder Airborne Release Fractions for Vessel Ruptures

[+] Author and Article Information
James E. Laurinat

Savannah River National Laboratory,
Savannah River Site,
Aiken, SC 29808
e-mail: james.laurinat@srnl.doe.gov

Steve J. Hensel

Fellow ASME
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions LLC,
Savannah River Site,
Aiken, SC 29808
e-mail: steve.hensel@srnl.doe.gov

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Pressure Vessel and Piping Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF PRESSURE VESSEL TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received January 23, 2019; final manuscript received March 6, 2019; published online April 4, 2019. Editor: Young W. Kwon. The United States Government retains, and by accepting the article for publication, the publisher acknowledges that the United States Government retains, a nonexclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this work, or allow others to do so, for United States government purposes.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 141(3), 031402 (Apr 04, 2019) (8 pages) Paper No: PVT-19-1013; doi: 10.1115/1.4043188 History: Received January 23, 2019; Revised March 06, 2019

The Department of Energy (DOE) handbook for airborne releases from nonreactor nuclear facilities bases its bounding airborne release fraction (ARF) for pressurized powders on tests conducted at Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL). An analysis is presented that correlates the ARF from these tests. The amount of powder that becomes airborne is correlated in terms of an adjusted airborne release fraction (AARF) equal to the product of the powder entrainment from the powder bed and the ratio of the total vessel volume to the volume occupied by the powder bed. Powder entrainments and release fractions at low pressures are correlated using a fluidized bed analogy. The analysis shows that the entrainment is enhanced by a sonic shock if the pressure prior to the rupture exceeds approximately 0.329 MPa (33 psig). A secondary, three-dimensional shock is predicted to occur at an initial pressure of approximately 2.39 MPa (332 psig). A correlation based on this analysis is used to predict the ARF for ruptures of vessels containing plutonium oxide. It is assumed that the oxide is pressurized by hydrogen that is radiolytically generated from adsorbed moisture.

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References

DOE, 1994, “ DOE Handbook: Airborne Release Fractions/Rates and Respirable Fractions for Nonreactor Nuclear Facilities,” U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, DC, Standard No. DOE-HDBK-3010-94. https://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1307/ML13078A031.pdf
Sutter, S. L. , 1983, “ Aerosols Generated by Releases of Pressurized Powders and Solutions in Static Air,” U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Rockville, MD, Report No. NUREG/CR-3093; Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland, WA, Report No. PNL-4566. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/5761994
Sutter, S. L. , 1983, “ Powder Aerosols Generated by Accidents: Pressurized Release Experiments,” Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J., 44(6), pp. 379–383. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Ballinger, M. Y. , Sutter, S. L. , and Hodgson, W. H. , 1987, “ New Data for Aerosols Generated by Releases of Pressurized Powders and Solutions in Static Air,” U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Rockville, MD, Report No. NUREG/CR-4779; Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland, WA, Report No. PNL-6065.
Matsen, J. M. , 1982, “ Mechanisms of Choking and Entrainment,” Powder Technol., 32(1), pp. 21–33. [CrossRef]
Van Wylen, G. J. , and Sonntag, R. E. , 1973, Fundamentals of Classical Thermodynamics, 2nd ed., Wiley, New York, Chap. 14.
Lide, D. R. , 1994, CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 75th ed., CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, p. A105.
Speight, J. G. , 2018, Formulas and Calculations for Drilling Operations, Wiley, Hoboken, NJ.

Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic of PARE apparatus (from Ref. [2])

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Fig. 2

PARE sample collection (from Ref. [2])

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Fig. 3

Mixing effectiveness factors for PNL PARE tests

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Fig. 4

Comparison of measured and predicted entrainments for PNL PARE tests

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Fig. 5

Correlation of upper confidence bound for powder entrainment ratio

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Fig. 6

Airborne release fractions for venting of a vial containing saturated air and plutonium oxide powder, high temperature range

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Fig. 7

Airborne release fractions for venting of a vial containing saturated air and plutonium oxide powder, low temperature range

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Fig. 8

Airborne release fractions for venting of a vial containing saturated air and plutonium oxide powder, high pressure range

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Fig. 9

Airborne release fractions for venting of a vial containing saturated air and plutonium oxide powder, low pressure range

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Fig. 10

Variation of ARF with oxide fill fraction at 0.454 MPa (51.2 psig) (408 K)

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Fig. 11

Variation of ARF with oxide fill fraction at 0.274 MPa (25 psig) (383 K)

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Fig. 12

Correlation of adjusted ARF at high pressures (>0.329 MPa (33.0 psig))

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Fig. 13

Correlation of adjusted ARF at low pressures (<0.329 MPa (33.0 psig))

Tables

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