Determination of mechanical properties of aged plutonium from ARIES pits by instrumented sharp indentation

Huntley, Tonya; Johnson, Kaye; Olivas, David; Mulford, Robi; Brown, Wendel; Walter, Kevin; Stout, Mike
July 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 532 Issue 1, p414
Academic Journal
We are studying the effects of extended aging in very old weapons-grade plutonium that is being recovered from pits being destroyed for material disposition (MD) purposes. This study is a piggyback study to the demonstration of the Advanced Recovery Integrated Extraction System (ARIES). The plutonium in the weapons selected for ARIES has a unique combination of advanced age and varied service history. The major goal of this study is to determine mechanical properties of aged pit materials. Long-term, safe storage of plutonium from pits depends upon several properties, including the strength and dimensional stability of the metal. A large amount of concrete data about the structure and mechanical properties of plutonium has been accumulated over many years, but very little of this data has a bearing on the properties of the metal as it ages. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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