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The Education, Training & Workforce Development Division provides communication among the academic, industrial, and governmental communities through the exchange of views and information on matters related to education, training and workforce development in nuclear and radiological science, engineering, and technology. Industry leaders, education and training professionals, and interested students work together through Society-sponsored meetings and publications, to enrich their professional development, to educate the general public, and to advance nuclear and radiological science and engineering.
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April 8–10, 2021
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NNSA releases contractor performance evaluations
The National Nuclear Security Administration last week released performance evaluation summaries on the effectiveness of its management and operating (M&O) contractors in meeting the agency’s expectations during fiscal year 2020.
The summaries feature assessment “scorecards,” as well as links to M&O contractor performance evaluation and measurement plans. Also included are specific contractor accomplishments, plus issues requiring attention.
M. Gonzalez, L. Hansen, D. Rappleye, R. Cumberland, M. F. Simpson
Nuclear Technology | Volume 192 | Number 2 | November 2015 | Pages 165-171
Technical Paper | Reprocessing | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT15-28
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
It has previously been proposed by safeguards experts that curium will track plutonium through a spent fuel pyroprocessing facility, enabling nondestructive assaying of plutonium via counting neutron emissions from 244Cm. This is a critical assumption for the neutron balance approach to safeguards. If Cm and Pu were to behave chemically the same, counting neutrons could be used to estimate Pu concentrations. In this study, plutonium tracking with curium has been investigated using Enhanced REFIN with Anodic Dissolution (ERAD), a one-dimensional transient electrorefiner model based on fundamental electrochemical equations. The model was used to simulate simultaneous deposition of uranium, plutonium, and curium onto a solid metal cathode. Chemical/physical properties used by the model were either obtained from the literature or assumed. The standard exchange current density of curium was estimated by analyzing published cyclic voltammetry data for LiCl-KCl-CmCl3. The focus of the ERAD calculations was on verifying that Pu and Cm could codeposit onto the cathode along with U and to determine if the Pu/Cm ratio would be the same between the salt pool and cathode deposit. It was determined that Cm largely resists cathode deposition, while Pu can be driven to codeposit at sufficiently high current densities. The expected concentration of Cm in the salt would not support any deposition of Cm onto the cathode. It would need to be raised to ~1 wt% before small gram quantities of Cm will deposit onto the cathode. Even then, the Pu/Cm ratio of the cathode was found to be three orders of magnitude higher than the ratio in the salt. It is, thus, concluded that the neutron balance approach would be ineffective at safeguarding a nuclear fuel pyroprocessing facility.