actinides, America, americium, Arkansas Emergency Management, Beatty explosion, Beatty Low Level Waste Site, Bill Gates, California, cesium, clean-up funding, Euratom, fast breeder reactor, Federal Republic of Germany, GE, German nuclear waste, German Pebble Bed Reactor, Germany, Germany nuclear waste problem, Hitachi, Hydrogen explosion, Kam Ghaffarian, Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe Laboratory, molten chloride reactor, MOX, no clean-up funding, Pebble Bed Reactor, plutonium, Santa Susana, SEFOR, SEFOR hazard, sodium coolant contaminants, sodium cooled reactor, sodium explosion, sodium fire, sodium hydroxide, South Carolina, Southwest Atomic Energy Associates, Taxpayer, taxpayer fraud, TerraPower, University of Arkansas, US, US DOE, West Germany, X-Energy
Oppose America becoming Germany’s Nuclear Waste dump!
Update: The US DOE has unofficially (not published in Federal Register) extended the German waste dumping comment deadline. To be anonymous you will have to send a disposable email, or send it by post with no return address. People should have the right to “vote” anonymously. “Comments may be submitted by email to GermanSpentNuclearFuelEA@leidos.com. Direct written comments on the Draft Spent Nuclear Fuel from Germany EA to Tracy Williams, NEPA Compliance Officer, U.S. Department of Energy, P.O. Box B, Aiken, South Carolina 29802. DOE has extended the public comment period in response to several requests. The public comment period now ends March 25, 2016. DOE will consider all comments received via email by 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time or postmarked by that date. Comments submitted after that date and time will be considered to the extent practicable.” http://energy.gov/nepa/ea-1977-acceptance-and-disposition-spent-nuclear-fuel-containing-us-origin-highly-enriched The formal deadline was March 11 at 11.59 pm: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=DOE_FRDOC_0001-3020
What blew up at the Beatty Nuclear waste site last October? Apparently it included metallic sodium coolant from an old MOX (plutonium) fueled US, German, GE, Euroatom experimental nuclear reactor (SEFOR), located in northwestern Arkansas. Meanwhile, following Germany’s request, the US may import high level nuclear waste from Germany’s failed Pebble Bed nuclear reactors. This isn’t the first radioactive waste that they have burned or dumped in America, either. The Italian mafia dumped German nuclear sludge in Italy, as well. The SEFOR drums at Beatty were 92 oil drums with sodium coolant, which may, or may not, have had contaminants, such as plutonium and americium, which are still radioactive.
SEFOR rusting away in Northwest Arkasas, USA
3 pounds of sodium metal plus water, public domain via Wikimedia
Sodium “May ignite spontaneously in air. Reacts violently with water to give sodium hydroxide and hydrogen, which ignites spontaneously [Merck, 11th ed. 1989)]. The ignition temperature of sodium in air depends on the area of surface exposed: vapor ignites at room temperature; droplets at about 250°F; an agitated pool at 400°F. In the absence of moisture and hydrogen, the reaction is insignificant [Mellor 2 Supp. 2:440 1961].” https://cameochemicals.noaa.gov/chemical/7794
As the Nevada State Fire Marshal explains: “Sodium metal reacts vigorously with water, producing hydrogen gas and sodium hydroxide. The exothermic reaction expelled materials from the trench and resulted in the metal fire. The source material was consumed by the reaction and the fire then self-extinguished” http://dps.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/dpsnvgov/content/media/SFM-BeattyIncidentReport.pdf
Currently Germany is attempting to send 455 casks huge casks of high level spent nuclear fuel, which will remain radioactive for effectively forever. Each cask is 278.4 cm (109.6 in.) tall and 138 cm (54.3 in.) in diameter. All of Juelich storage and 93% of Ahaus will be dumped on America, if not stopped. Germany also has above ground bunker-like facilities at Gorleben and another town: http://www.bfs.de/EN/topics/nwm/interim-storage/central/ahaus ahaus_node.html;jsessionid=1BE2D12A02811E0DFB925C2280889CB0.1_cid382
Germany has blah, blah “rules” about how long the waste can remain in these spots, but that’s not America’s problem. That is a problem which Germany needs to grow up about and solve, instead of dumping on others. The VW fraud suggests that Germany doesn’t really give a rats ass about rules anyway. It’s just an excuse.
While the Pebble Bed spent nuclear fuel casks are currently in comparatively secure bunker-like above ground facilities in Germany, they would be shipped in 30 trans-Atlantic trips, to sit outside, or under tarp (says the US DOE EA), in the sweltering heat of South Carolina, USA. There they would await “processing” in an old facility, which has recently suffered from criticality issues. There is no place, nor plan, for disposal of this high level German nuclear waste after “processing”. [Update: Actually one of the plans appears to be to downblend it with DU and send it to Texas or Utah or other “commercial facilities”. Some parts may go to Nevada. Under one option they may build another processing facility. Since the US has a legacy of not completing this type of project, then the chances are good that the waste will sit outside forever.] Processing itself makes more radioactive waste. Even the German spent nuclear fuel casks will become radioactive waste, unless reused, to be dumped someplace in America. Where was the plutonium from MOX fuel from SEFOR dumped? The fuel cladding was removed at Santa Susanna Lab, in California. The fuel was probably sent from Santa Susanna to South Carolina, based on Santa Susanna worker interviews.
Deadline to oppose Germany dumping (this batch of) its radioactive waste on the US is March 11, 11.59 Eastern Time: “Acceptance and Disposition of Spent Nuclear Fuel“. http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=DOE_FRDOC_0001-3020 (comment may be anonymous) See draft EA: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/01/f28/Draft%20DOE%20EA%201977_FOR%20PUBLIC.pdf (Beware that there is a lot of misleading info in the EA). Since Germany and its Universities brought the world nuclear power, shouldn’t they find innovative solutions, rather than dumping on other people? Has Germany contributed to cleaning up SEFOR? They have taken the research results.
University of Arkansas, now caretaker of SEFOR, has had difficulties obtaining money for clean-up. They appear to have gotten $1.9 million for a clean-up study in 2009, $1 million in 2014, and possibly $2 million in 2013: “the Department could not show that there had been comparative progress made at the Southwest Experimental Fast Oxide Reactor (SEFOR) located at the University of Arkansas. The Department also did not provide a detailed action plan for cleanup as directed. Within funding for Small Sites, $2,000,000 is provided to develop an updated cost estimate for an accelerated phased cleanup plan that makes further progress for the decontamination and decommissioning of SEFOR.“Committee Reports, 113th Congress (2013-2014), House Report 113-135 https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT-113hrpt135/html/CRPT-113hrpt135.htm The UK spent around $24 million (ca 2008) only for an on-site processing facility to reduce the radiation in the sodium coolant of a similar reactor type at Dounreay!
Although $20 million was requested, based on a clean-up estimate by EnergySolutions, U. of Arkansas has received nothing from the US DOE for SEFOR since 2014, even as the US DOE throws $80 million for research into a similar reactor type, and Pebble Bed (again). They haven’t even bothered to change the reactor names from “Advanced” since 1968. How can something be “Advanced” in 1968 and still be “Advanced” in 2016? This is ludicrous! Have Germany, Euratom, GE-Hitachi, and the utilities paid for any of the clean-up? If yes, why hasn’t it been cleaned up? If not, why not?
According to the Arkansas Emergency Management Plan (2012), SEFOR constitutes a major hazard, even while they understate the hazard of Arkansas Nuclear One: “Although the SEFOR site is not operational, a sizeable danger still remains that an event might occur. The continued deterioration of the encapsulation system remains the most likely scenario. Once moisture penetrates the encapsulated materials, the potential for a violent explosion increases greatly. Since closure, the SEFOR facility has deteriorated significantly and now poses a serious risk to surrounding populations. The biggest concern at SEFOR is the possibility of an explosion due to sodium residue. The residue is a result of the sodium metal that was used as the reactor’s coolant. Sodium, when combined with water, produces hydrogen which is highly combustible. As the facility and its current encapsulation system deteriorate, the potential for moisture to seep in leads to the possibility of a massive explosion. Such an explosion would likely disperse significant amounts of asbestos, radioactive materials, and trace amounts of mercury and other hazardous chemicals throughout the area. A credible threat exists due to sabotage by trespassers. In 2009, it was announced that the University of Arkansas would get $1.9 million from the U.S. Department of Energy for a “characterization study” to determine what would be required for cleaning up the site. EnergySolutions, an international nuclear services company based in Salt Lake City, was contracted and has completed the study and the first stages of planning for a complete cleanup. The plan was completed on schedule in 2010. The university has applied repeatedly for the estimated $20 million from the federal government needed for a complete clean up.” (Emphasis our own). See document here: http://www.adem.arkansas.gov/ADEM/Divisions/Preparedness/Planning/Documents/2012_Arkansas_Comprehensive_Emergency_Management_Plan.pdf ) Some work above and beyond the “study” had been completed by Dec. 2011, according to EnergySolutions SEC report: “110 foot waste gas vent stack removal and disposal, removal of sodium from the secondary system, disposal of approximately 40,000 gallons of liquid waste to a publicly owned treatment works from the radioactive waste and gaseous vaults, and the sodium drain tank vault room.” If this was sufficient, it passed unnoticed by the Arkansas Emergency Management Plan. Regardless, SEFOR constituted a hazard for decades.
Even the US NRC dissents with Arkansas Emergency Management re the safety of Arkansas Nuclear One: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/central-us-arkansas-nuclear-one-receiving-highest-level-of-nrc-scrutiny-for-operating-reactors-depth-and-breadth-of-problems-to-be-assessed-report-in-spring-2016/
Meanwhile, the US DOE is throwing $40 million taxpayer money to continue to “study” Pebble Bed fuel. Pebble Beds were rejected as problematic, by the US, even prior to the German Pebble Bed accidents which caused radiological contamination in Germany. And, the US DOE is throwing an additional $40 million to study a molten chloride reactor for Bill Gates backed Terrapower (he is founder and chair), even though molten salt (and it IS apparently a molten salt reactor) is both explosive upon contact with water and highly corrosive. http://energy.gov/articles/energy-department-announces-new-investments-advanced-nuclear-power-reactors-help-meet It’s not just metallic sodium which reacts with water. See Molten sodium chloride reacting with water: http://youtu.be/lreob7RYhpM High operating temps-neutron flux cause swelling of steel. These are very dangerous nuclear reactor types. Additionally, for 2016, only, $1.9 billion has been requested to dump radioactive waste and materials upon America, under a mostly false claim of “non-proliferation” activities: http://www.energy.gov/articles/energy-department-presents-fy16-budget-request
Cause of Explosion at the Beatty Radioactive Waste Dump, According to Nevada State Fire Marshal
“Metallic sodium, packed in oil-filled steel drums was received from at least three sources for burial at the east end of Trench 14 at this site. The sources included two (2) drums from a US Bureau of Mines Research Center in Boulder City, closed by that agency in the early 1970’s; twenty-two (22) drums from Gulf-United Nuclear, Elmsford, New York; and ninety-two (92) drums from GE Nuclear Energy Division-SEFOR, Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Corrosion of the steel drums containing the metallic sodium over time allowed the packing fluid to drain out leaving the metallic sodium exposed to the underground elements.
Approximately two weeks prior to the event, Desert Research Institute (DRI) instrumentation at the site reported 1.29-inches of rainfall on October 4 through 6, inclusive. On the day of the incident, DRI instruments recorded an additional 0.57-inch of precipitation.
Although the original cover was designed and sloped to drain rainwater, there was evidence to indicate that portions of the cover were compromised due to settling and collapse of underlying waste containers and resulting subsidence and cracking of the cover, allowing the migration of rainwater into these areas.
The heavy precipitation prior to and on the day of the event saturated the earthen cover over the buried waste. Rainwater seeping through the compromised earth cover reached the metallic sodium causing an exothermic reaction between the water and the metallic sodium.
The reaction produced a large amount of heat and generated quantities of hydrogen gas. The volume of gas produced caused the eruption of the ground, expelling dirt, buried and corroded drums, and the products of the sodium-water reaction, primarily sodium hydroxide.
The heat generated by the sodium-water reaction ignited combustible metals at the immediate site, resulting in a fire.
The fire continued to burn into the evening and early morning hours of the following day until all fuel had been consumed. At that point the fire extinguished itself.
Sodium metal reacts vigorously with water, producing hydrogen gas and sodium hydroxide. The exothermic reaction expelled materials from the trench and resulted in the metal fire. The source material was consumed by the reaction and the fire then self-extinguished. This incident was likely prompted by the combined impact of multiple storm events in October 2015, all with a greater than normal amount of precipitation. The incident was localized to a limited area of a single disposal trench. It should be noted that the incident did not involve radioactive wastes, but the incident does bring focus to the potential need for additional measures at the LLRW facility.” (Emphasis our own) “Nevada Department of Public Safety, State Fire Marshal Division, December 30, 2015 Beatty Incident Report, REPORT ON THE OCTOBER 18, 2015 INDUSTRIAL FIRE INCIDENT AT THE CLOSED STATE OF NEVADA LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE SITE US Highway 95, Near Milepost NY 48 12 Miles South of Beatty, Nye County, Nevada“: http://dps.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/dpsnvgov/content/media/SFM-BeattyIncidentReport.pdf (Note that it is unclear where the Gulf-Nuclear Fuel sodium was from or for. However, the vast majority of the drums are from SEFOR, according to the report.)
While the report says that radioactive wastes were not involved, radioactive wastes were historically buried at that trench, as shown in documents appended to the report. And, plutonium was buried somewhere at the Beatty site, as we reported last year. And, while the sodium itself would no longer be radioactive, or not very radioactive, it could still be contaminated. Neither plutonium (Pu) nor Americium (Am), which would be “typical actinide contaminants” of the sodium coolant appear to have been tested for. Furthermore, if radionuclides, such as cesium 137, went airborne they wouldn’t be measurable on site. And, so much radiation is now considered acceptable in US food (15 times more than for Japanese food) that the area might be considered non-radioactive, and still be radioactive. The temperature of a sodium fire would appear high enough to vaporize any plutonium. Additionally, it could simply go air-borne as dust. According to news reports, the waste which blew up arrived there in the 1970s. This is around the time SEFOR closed. Documents indicate that the fuel and sodium coolant were removed in 1972. If this was the case, it is unlikely that the sodium was cleaned of contaminants in any way. In the US, they appear to have been still struggling with how to clean sodium coolant well after the waste dump was closed in 1992. Regardless, the Nevada Fire Marshal is correct that this needs to serve as a warning.
“184.108.40.206. Primary circuits
There are several sources of radioactivity in bulk Na or NaK from primary circuits:
− Activation of sodium and potassium by neutrons in the reactor core; 22Na and 40K are the main generated radionuclides; − Contamination by actinides and fission products due to initial surface contamination of fresh fuel by fissionable material, fuel cladding failures during operation, or use of leaking fuel pins. Typical actinide contaminants are Pu, Am, Cm and U isotopes; the most common fission products are isotopes of caesium. Tritium is also present; − Contamination by activated corrosion products from fuel cladding and primary circuit structures, such as 54Mn and 60Co.” (p. 10) “RADIOACTIVE SODIUM WASTE TREATMENT AND CONDITIONING” IAEA, VIENNA, 2007 IAEA-TECDOC-1524 ISBN 92–0–116006–2 http://www-pub.iaea.org/mtcd/publications/pdf/te_1534_web.pdf (The secondary circuit sodium was only recently removed (ca 2011), suggesting it was primary circuit sodium at the site.)
“Sodium is often used as a coolant in fast reactors, because it does not moderate neutron speeds much and has a high heat capacity. However, it burns and foams in air. It has caused difficulties in reactors (e.g. USS Seawolf (SSN-575), Monju)” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast-neutron_reactor
About Monju in Japan: “On December 8, 1995, the reactor suffered a serious accident. Intense vibration caused a thermowell inside a pipe carrying sodium coolant to break, possibly at a defective weld point, allowing several hundred kilograms of sodium to leak out onto the floor below the pipe. Upon contact with air, the liquid sodium reacted with oxygen and moisture in the air, filling the room with caustic fumes and producing temperatures of several hundred degrees Celsius. The heat was so intense that it warped several steel structures in the room. An alarm sounded around 7:30 p.m., switching the system over to manual operations, but a full operational shutdown was not ordered until around 9:00 p.m., after the fumes were detected. When investigators located the source of the spill they found as much as three tons of solidified sodium“. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monju_Nuclear_Power_Plant
About MOX Fueled-Sodium Cooled SEFOR, 1968
1. 0 INTRODUCTION
The Southwest Experimental Fast Oxide Reactor (SEFOR) is a 20 MW(t)·fast spectrum reactor fueled with mixed PuO2-UO2 and cooled with sodium. SEFOR will have characteristics similar to large, soft spectrum fast breeder reactors fueled with mixed PuO2-UO2 … The SEFOR Project consists of two major parts: the design and construction of the reactor and a related research and development program. Funds for the design and construction of the facility are being provided by the Southwest Atomic Energy Associates (a group of seventeen investor-owned utility companies located in the South and Southwest part of the United States), together with the Karlsruhe Laboratory of the Federal Republic of Germany, Euratom, and the General Electric Company. / The United States Atomic Energy Commission is supporting the research and development program…,” p. 1-1 http://www.osti.gov/scitech/biblio/4520769/ “GEAP-5576 AEC Research and Development Report January 1968, FINAL. SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE SEFOR EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAM”
US DOE just announced $80 Million Of Taxpayer Money to be thrown to two consortiums. One includes Bill Gates’ Terra Power: “Southern Company Services – partnering with TerraPower, Electric Power Research Institute, Vanderbilt University, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to perform integrated effects tests and materials suitability studies to support development of the Molten Chloride Fast Reactor. The MCFR is also a next generation design with the most advanced safety features that enable its potential use across the country“. The second is a consortium led by Iranian, Kam Ghaffarian owned “X-energy – partnering with BWX Technology, Oregon State University, Teledyne-Brown Engineering, SGL Group, Idaho National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to solve design and fuel development challenges of the Xe-100 Pebble Bed Advanced Reactor… serve a wider array of communities – particularly densely populated areas – while ensuring public safety.” http://energy.gov/articles/energy-department-announces-new-investments-advanced-nuclear-power-reactors-help-meet Mysteriously, it is not easy, and maybe impossible to find out if Ghaffarian has American citizenship, dual citizenship, where he was educated and when he came to America.
Former Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln tried to get SEFOR clean-up monies and then went to work with “Nuclear Matters” to try to maintain and promote more nuclear mess! On May 7, 2014 Nuclear Matters “announced that former Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) has joined the Leadership Council of the bipartisan campaign to preserve the United States’ existing nuclear energy plants…”
“Small Sites- The Committee recommends $48,233,000 for Small Sites, $19,197,000 below fiscal year 2013 and $1,956,000 below the budget request. Within this amount, $40,000,000 is provided to accelerate removal of uranium mill tailings at Moab, $4,222,000 above the budget request. The Department provided a report on its small sites cleanup activities in July 2012 that showed significant progress has been made at Argonne, Brookhaven, SLAC National Accelerator, and Lawrence Berkeley in recent years. However, the Department could not show that there had been comparative progress made at the Southwest Experimental Fast Oxide Reactor (SEFOR) located at the University of Arkansas. The Department also did not provide a detailed action plan for cleanup as directed. Within funding for Small Sites, $2,000,000 is provided to develop an updated cost estimate for an accelerated phased cleanup plan that makes further progress for the decontamination and decommissioning of SEFOR.” Committee Reports, 113th Congress (2013-2014), House Report 113-135 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/?&sid=cp113InZRb&r_n=hr135.113&dbname=cp113&&sel=TOC_224976&
“Environmental monitoring of water at SEFOR”
by Lee, Y.L.; West, L.; Epperson, C.E.
Surface and groundwater samples have been collected and analyzed via gamma spectroscopy for possible fission product contamination at the decommissioned SEFOR reactor site. The 20-MW(thermal) sodium-cooled experimental fast reactor was decommissioned in 1972 when fuel and sodium were removed. During decommissioning, activated and contaminated components were sealed inside the reactor building. Ownership of the facility was later transferred from the Southwest Atomic Energy Associates to the University of Arkansas for use as a laboratory for radiation calibration work. In recent years, environmental monitoring has increased at the request of the Radiation Control Division of the Arkansas State Health Department. At the time of the first report of soil monitoring of SEFOR, no fission product contamination had been detected in soil samples analyzed via gamma spectroscopy. Examination of more samples led to the detection of small concentrations of 60Co in the soil in the inner perimeter. This paper presents a summary of the gamma spectroscopy analysis of water samples for photon emitters” https://inis.iaea.org/search/searchsinglerecord.aspx?recordsFor=SingleRecord&RN=22034154
A Facebook Page Devoted to SEFOR-https://www.facebook.com/Clean-Up-The-SEFOR-Plant-290216924449771/
“FINAL SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE SEFOR EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAM. 1968-01-01“: http://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/4520769/
Explains high levels of radiation exposures at Santa Susana due to SEFOR decladding:
“Nuclear activities conducted in the facility during the quarter were limited to decladding of SEFOR fuel and to developing a method for the disposal of acid wastes generated during electropolishing of SEFOR fuel cladding… Ambient radiation levels currently range from less than 0 .1 mR/hr in the operating gallery to approximately 1 .0 mR/hr near the service gallery. The average result for 15 fixed-location film badges continuously exposed during the quarter was 1207 mrem with a minimum of <10 mrem (7 locations) and a maximum of 8430 mrem. The latter result is for the location badge installed at the fume hood in Room 141 and is due to storage of SEFOR fuel decladding acid wastes generated there during development of the electropolishing process” The 8430 mrem would be 8.4 mSv http://www.dtsc-ssfl.com/files/lib_rcra_soils%5Cgroup_vii%5Chistorical_docs/PDF_FILES/HDMSP001824967.pdf
“Has NFS ever operated a nuclear reactor called the Southwest Experimental Fast Oxide Reactor (SEFOR)?
No. Nuclear Fuel Services has never operated nor has it been licensed to operate any type of nuclear reactor facility, including the SEFOR. During the 1960s and 1970s, NFS manufactured fuel for SEFOR in Building 234. The associated processing equipment was removed and the building was torn down years ago.” http://www.nrc.gov/materials/fuel-cycle-fac/fuel-fab/nfs-faqs.html
This is excerpted from the request for bids by the University of Arkansas, who ended up with SEFOR and had hoped to use it somehow. Some places it says it was used for equipment calibration until the mid-1980s. It would be interesting to know how far along the clean-up is or is not:
“Reactor Support Facility
The Reactor Support Facility is a two-story reinforced concrete building. The groundfloor high-bay area was used for receiving and storing fuel. The basement was used for gaseous and liquid radioactive waste management. The Reactor Support Facility footprint is approximately 3,300 squarefeet….
Septic Tank and Drain Field: A septic drain field, approximately 110-foot by 15-foot is present where sanitary wastes were discharged and where wastes from a chemical and liquid radioactive waste system were potentially discharged. This drain field will remain after decommissioning.
A 110-foot exhaust stack is located on top of the Operations Building. The stack and related equipment may never have been used. The stack was to have been used in emergency situations. Decommissioning will include complete removal of the stack and related equipment“. http://planning.uark.edu/capital_budgeting/content/ad_bids_sefor.pdf (Notice that they say “may never have been used“. U. of Arkansas wasn’t the owner at the time, and anything could have happened in rural Arkansas back then. Who would have known? Who would have stopped those operating the nuclear reactor at the time? )
Actually, this US government document explains that it would have been used!
“The operations building is a rectangular, concrete structure, located on the south side of the reactor, and houses the control room, secondary sodium system, electrical equipment, and diesel-generator, as well as miscellaneous utilities, offices, and maintenance facilities. A 30-inch-diameter by 108-foot-high stack is located on top of the operations building for discharging radioactive waste gases after suitable holdup and dilution.” Additional info: “The operations building is a rectangular, concrete structure, located on the south side of the reactor, and houses the control room, secondary sodium system, electrical equipment, and diesel-generator, as well as miscellaneous utilities, offices, and maintenance facilities.” And, “The fuel service building is a concrete structure located directly east of the reactor building and north of the operations building, and connects these two buildings. This structure houses the following:
a. New fuel storage and inspection area
b. Service area for transfer of fuel into and out of the reactor building
c. Personnel and equipment lock, as well as a large equipment door through which the spent fuel cask is routed
d. Facilities for storing, filtering, and transporting of radioactive gaseous and liquid wastes in the region below the operating floor” Much more detail at original: “GEA P-13924 Distribution Category UC-79, SEFOR PLANT OPERATING EXPERIENCE” J. D. Hixson http://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/4491796/
“Plutonium & Uranium Recovery from spent Fuel Reprocessing by Nuclear Fuel Services at West Valley, New York from 1966 to 1972“: “Of the 635 kg of AEC-origin plutonium, most came from N-Reactor, a plutonium production reactor at the Hanford site near Richland, Washington. Specifically, 534 kg of plutonium came from N-Reactor, 95 kg from fuel from the Southwest Experimental Fast Oxide Reactor (SEFOR), and 6 kg from the Bonus Reactor, an AEC-owned demonstration reactor in Puerto Rico… The last campaign involved processing liquid residues received from Nuclear Fuels Services Facility in Erwin, Tennessee, generated during the fabrication of fuel for the SEFOR reactor“. http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1219/ML12194A610.pdf But spent fuel from SEFOR had cladding removed at Santa Susanna Lab hot lab.
EnergySolutions SEC description of work done: “University of Arkansas – SEFOR Reactor — We provided cleanup, removal and disposal services at this site. Phase 1 included the cleanup of exterior grounds and burn pits, grubbing within the fenced in area of the site and tree removal from various locations, security fence maintenance, control of harmful insects, installation and set up of a radiological gate monitor, and performance of various radiological surveys throughout the site. Phase 2 included sampling and analysis of various soils and liquids throughout the site, asbestos abatement from all location of work areas complete, maintenance building cleanup, demolition, and disposal, maintenance tool shed cleanup, removal and disposal of underground storage diesel tank, septic tank system backfill and closure, 110 foot waste gas vent stack removal and disposal, removal of sodium from the secondary system, disposal of approximately 40,000 gallons of liquid waste to a publicly owned treatment works from the radioactive waste and gaseous vaults, and the sodium drain tank vault room“. “ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934, For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011” http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1393744/000110465912018613/a12-1257_410k.htm
Was this radioactive waste properly treated and disposed or just diluted into public sewage processing?
Notes About Air-borne Plutonium
“People are exposed to plutonium mainly when they inhale small particles from the top soil kicked up by the wind or by some human activity…” http://permalink.lanl.gov/object/tr?what=info:lanl-repo/lareport/LA-UR-00-1613
1950 K is the temp of a sodium fire http://www.iaea.org/inis/collection/NCLCollectionStore/_Public/33/003/33003431.pdf
Plutonium (Pu) entropy of vaporization: from 1200-1790 K= 345.2 kJ/mol; from 1724-2219 K= 342 kJ/mol alpha-plutonium http://webwiser.nlm.nih.gov/WebWISER/getSubstanceData.do?substanceId=419&displaySubstanceName=Plutonium%20Radioactive&STCCID=&UNNAID=&selectedDataMenuItemID=44
melting point of plutonium is 639.4 C; 912.5 K
Document on Santa Susana: https://www3.epa.gov/region9/superfund/santasusana/references/ref-4.pdf
Santa Susana as Superfund site: http://yosemite.epa.gov/r9/sfund/r9sfdocw.nsf/ViewByEPAID/CAN000908498
“Cleanup“, transport of contaminated materials (e.g. soil) from Santa Susana lab where SEFOR MOX fuel was decladded: http://archive.epa.gov/region9/nepa/web/pdf/enviro-cleanup-acts-santa-susana-field-lab-deis.pdf
Early offshore dumping from Santa Susana: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/10/26/nevada-radioactive-waste-dump-fire-47-pounds-of-plutonium-buried-at-the-beatty-low-level-waste-site-foreshadow-of-things-to-come-due-to-continued-burial-of-radioactive-waste-in-n-america-and-e/
Some SEFOR fuel rods were low in plutonium. This is called SEFOR MUF – Material Unaccounted for: http://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/10108554
This was a Karen Silkwood-like missing plutonium before Karen Silkwood!
“The Nuclear material from the Hot Lab decladding operation, I think, was shipped to Savannah River for eventual reprocessing…
At the Hot Laboratory we didn’t actually manufacture any fuel, we just decladded and examined the fuel post-irradiation. Plutonium fuel was the hardest to handle…
Building 64 was a storage facility—there was some scrap material that was stored outside on the black top—mostly in 55 gallon drums awaiting shipment to a recovery site. The un-irradiated material was shipped by the government in SSTs (Safe, Secure Transporters). The recoverable material was generally shipped by Tri-State Motor Company. Waste material was shipped to Hanford, Idaho and Beatty.” “Santa Susana Field Laboratory Former Worker Interviews, November 2011, Appendix H, Interview 249” p. 291 http://www.etec.energy.gov/Environmental_and_Health/Documents/WorkerHealthFiles/Former_Worker_Interview_Final_Report.pdf
About the $80 being thrown to the wind by the US DOE “Energy Dept. Announces New Investments in Advanced Nuclear Power Reactors” http://energy.gov/articles/energy-department-announces-new-investments-advanced-nuclear-power-reactors-help-meet
SEFOR was also called “Advanced” and funded by the predecessor of the US DOE, the AEC:
Click to enlarge.
Not only will the so-called molten chloride reactor from TerraPower probably have NaCl, the behavior of alkali-metal halides is similar – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkali_metal_halide
“Chlorine has two stable isotopes ( 35Cl –75.77 atom % and 37Cl – 24.23 atom %) and several oxidation numbers (+7, +5, +3, +1, and –1). As a result of the more complex bonding configurations available in chlorides, their solution and corrosion chemistry is more complex than that of fluorides.
The actinide trichlorides form much lower melt point solutions with chloride salts and contain significant amounts of TRU. An example salt that has received significant prior analysis is PuCl 3-NaCl (Ref. 19), which can contain ~40 mol % PuCl 3 while exhibiting a melt point below 500°C. Overall, NaCl exhibits good nuclear, chemical, and physical properties. As the melt point of NaCl containing only 1–2 mol % PuCl 3 is nearly 800°C, the selected salt will need to be a mixture of NaCl and another dilutant salt selected to lower the mixture melting temperature“. (pp. 9-10) ORNL/TM-2011/105, “Fast Spectrum Molten Salt Reactor Options“, July 2011, Prepared by D. E. Holcomb et. al. http://info.ornl.gov/sites/publications/files/Pub29596.pdf