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Commercial HALEU supply chain draft EIS now open for comment
The Department of Energy yesterday announced a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) on HALEU Availability Program plans to purchase high-assay low-enriched uranium under 10-year contracts to seed the development of a sustainable commercial HALEU supply chain.
Mark B. Chadwick
Nuclear Technology | Volume 207 | Number 1 | December 2021 | Pages S24-S61
Critical Review | doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2021.1901002
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Nuclear physics advances in the United States and Britain from 1939 to 1945 are described. The Manhattan Project’s work led to an explosion in our knowledge of nuclear science. A conference in April 1943 at Los Alamos provided a simple formula used to compute critical masses and laid out the research program needed to determine the key nuclear constants. In short order, four university accelerators were disassembled and reassembled at Los Alamos, and methods were established to make measurements on extremely small samples owing to the initial lack of availability of enriched 235U and plutonium. I trace the program that measured fission cross sections, fission-emitted neutron multiplicities and their energy spectra, and transport cross sections, comparing the measurements with our best understanding today as embodied in the Evaluated Nuclear Data File ENDF/B-VIII.0. The large nuclear data uncertainties at the beginning of the project, which often exceeded 25% to 50%, were reduced by 1945 often to less than 5% to 10%. Uranium-235 and plutonium-239 fission cross-section assessments in the fast mega-electron-volt range were reduced following more accurate measurements, and the neutron multiplicity increased. By a lucky coincidence of canceling errors, the initial critical mass estimates were close to the final estimated masses. Some images from historical documents from our Los Alamos archives are shown. Many of the original measurements from these early years have not previously been widely available. Through this work, these data have now been archived in the international experimental nuclear reaction data library (EXFOR) in a collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency and Brookhaven National Laboratory.