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Fusion Science and Technology
Cs-137 sealed source lost in Western Australia
A rendering of the sealed source capsule’s appearance. (Image: DFES)
Authorities are searching 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) of Australia’s Great Northern Highway, between Perth and the remote town of Newman, for a lost sealed-source capsule containing cesium-137. The source was part of a density gauge used by mining company Rio Tinto at its mining operations in Western Australia.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) of Western Australia reported that the density gauge containing a 6-mm-diameter (0.24-inch-diameter) by 8-mm-height (0.31-inch-height) source capsule was sent by flatbed truck to Perth for repair, leaving Rio Tinto’s Gudai-Darri mine site in Western Australia on January 12 and arriving in Perth on January 16. The package containing the gauge, however, was not inspected until January 25.
Upon opening the package, it was found that the gauge was broken apart with one of four mounting bolts missing. The source itself and all screws on the gauge were also missing. It is assumed that vibrations from the truck broke the gauge apart and allowed the screws and capsule to fall through the bolt hole and away from the truck. DFES said they were notified of the loss on the evening of January 25.
Jin-Li Cao, Wei Xiao, Qi Cao, Bing-Ling He
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 74 | Number 3 | October 2018 | Pages 177-185
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2017.1416245
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Experiments observed preferential He bubble formation in carbide precipitates M23C6 during low-temperature He irradiation in ferritic-martensitic steels. However, the process and mechanism of He trapping in M23C6 present a challenge to measure. Using density functional theory, we have systematically investigated He distribution, migration, and accumulation in Cr23C6. The formation energies of interstitial and substitutional He in Cr23C6 are 3.50 and 3.16 eV, respectively, remarkably lower than those in Fe matrix. The higher solubility of He in Cr23C6 makes it an He-trapping center in martensitic steels. On the other hand, the migration barrier of interstitial He in Cr23C6 is 2.58 eV, about 2.52 eV higher than that in bulk Fe. Furthermore, we only find a very weak attraction potency for substitutional-interstitial He pair, 0.25 eV, and even no binding trend for interstitial-interstitial or substitutional-substitutional He pairs, which suggests that it is more difficult for He atoms to move and less powerful driving force to accumulate in Cr23C6 than those in Fe matrix. Our results indicate that the trapping effect results from a lower charge density zone in Cr23C6, and predict that the small and dense Cr23C6 particles may hinder bubble growth at the initial stage, which can improve the resistance to irradiation void swelling.