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Preparation and Fabrication of Plutonium Fuel Alloy for Los Alamos Molten Plutonium Reactor Experiment No.1

J. W. ANDERSON, W. D. MCNEESE, C. C. BURWELL, J. A. LEARY

Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 11 / Number 4 / Pages 434-440

December 1961

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Tantalum-sheathed plutonium fuel pins have been prepared for the first core loading of the Los Alamos Molten Plutonium Reactor Experiment-I. Twenty-five kilograms of plutonium–10 atomic per cent iron alloy were prepared by co-reduction and by co-melting methods. After casting the alloy into rods, each rod was machined and finished to a 0.357 in. diam piece weighing 175 gm. The finished alloy rod was finally placed in a tantalum sheath which was then sealed by fusion welding to a tantalum cap. Procedures and equipment used for alloying, casting, machining, welding, and inspection are described and illustrated by photograph. Methods used to prepare rods of other low melting plutonium alloys are also discussed.

 
 
 
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