Contribution of water vapor pressure to pressurization of plutonium dioxide storage containers

Veirs, D. Kirk; Morris, John S.; Spearing, Dane R.
July 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 532 Issue 1, p107
Academic Journal
Pressurization of long-term storage containers filled with materials meeting the US DOE storage standard is of concern.1,2 For example, temperatures within storage containers packaged according to the standard and contained in 9975 shipping packages that are stored in full view of the sun can reach internal temperatures of 250 °C.3 Twenty five grams of water (0.5 wt.%) at 250 °C in the storage container with no other material present would result in a pressure of 412 psia, which is limited by the amount of water. The pressure due to the water can be substantially reduced due to interactions with the stored material. Studies of the adsorption of water by PuO[sub 2] and surface interactions of water with PuO[sub 2] show that adsorption of 0.5 wt.% of water is feasible under many conditions and probable under high humidity conditions.4,5,6 However, no data are available on the vapor pressure of water over plutonium dioxide containing materials that have been exposed to water. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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