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North Carolina State University|Raleigh Marriott City Center
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Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
A day in the life of the nuclear community
The November issue of Nuclear News is focused on the individuals who make up our nuclear community.
We invited a small group of those individuals to tell us about their day-to-day work in some of the many occupations and applications of nuclear science and technology, and they responded generously. They were ready to tell us about the part they play, together with colleagues and team members, in supplying clean energy, advancing technology, protecting safety and health, and exploring fundamental science.
In these pages, we see a community that can celebrate both those workdays that record progress moving at a steady pace and the exceptional days when a goal is reached, a briefing is delivered, a contract goes through, a discovery is made, or an unforeseen challenge is overcome.
The Nuclear News staff hopes that you enjoy meeting these members of our community—or maybe get reacquainted with friends—through their words and photos.
Paul Korinko, Simona Hunyadi Murph, George Larsen
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 71 | Number 4 | May 2017 | Pages 628-633
Technical Note | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2017.1290950
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Tritium is produced by irradiating Tritium Producing Burnable Absorber Rods (TPBARs) in a Commercial Light Water Reactor at the Tennessee Valley Authority Watts Bar Reactor 1. The TPBARs are manufactured with strict materials specification for contaminants for all of the components. Despite meeting these requirements, gamma emitting contamination in the form of 65Zn was detected in a glovebox that was designed to contain tritium. A forensic examination of the piping revealed that the zinc was borne from natural zinc. This zinc deposits at an anomalous distance from the extraction furnace based on vapor pressure. A method to capture the zinc was developed that is intended to prevent the further spread of the 65Zn. This method relies on operating filter media at a specific temperature and location. While this approach is acceptable for the facility while it is in limited operation, as the facility undergoes increased utilization, there is a possibility of scheduling conflicts for maintenance and increasing dose to workers. In order to preclude these issues, methods to contain the zinc within the furnace module, an area designed for high radiation dose, were examined and experimental approaches were developed. These approaches used bulk materials and nano-materials deposited on various substrates that are compatible with tritium and the extraction process. These materials were tested to ascertain their zinc capturing capability, capacity, and characteristics. The first generation material was optimized and a process lid has been fabricated for testing.