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Real-time monitoring of plutonium content in uranium-plutonium alloys

United States Patent

September 1, 2015
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Idaho National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office Website
A method and device for the real-time, in-situ monitoring of Plutonium content in U--Pu Alloys comprising providing a crucible. The crucible has an interior non-reactive to a metallic U--Pu alloy within said interior of said crucible. The U--Pu alloy comprises metallic uranium and plutonium. The U--Pu alloy is heated to a liquid in an inert or reducing atmosphere. The heated U--Pu alloy is then cooled to a solid in an inert or reducing atmosphere. As the U--Pu alloy is cooled, the temperature of the U--Pu alloy is monitored. A solidification temperature signature is determined from the monitored temperature of the U--Pu alloy during the step of cooling. The amount of Uranium and the amount of Plutonium in the U--Pu alloy is then determined from the determined solidification temperature signature.
Li; Shelly Xiaowei (Idaho Falls, ID), Westphal; Brian Robert (Idaho Falls, ID), Herrmann; Steven Douglas (Idaho Falls, ID)
U.S. Department of Energy (Washington, DC)
13/ 710,533
December 11, 2012
GOVERNMENT INTERESTS The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC07-05ID14517, between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Battelle Energy Alliance.