Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL)



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An assessment of potential pathways for release of gaseous radioactivity following fuel damage during Run 14 at the Sodium Reactor Experiment. The Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE) featured a sodium-cooled, graphite-moderated nuclear reactor. As implied by its name, the primary purpose of SRE was not to generate electricity but rather to test the performance of the sodium-cooled, graphite-moderate reactor design, fuel element designs, and the performance of materials. The reactor would be started up and operated for a period, then shut down for examinations and/or to reconfigure test conditions. These periods of reactor operation were termed power runs. Run 14 took place on July 12, 1959. During run 14, the thermocouples that monitored the temperatures at the exit of individual fuel channels in the reactor core and plotted them continuously on a recorder in the control room showed large (greater than 100ºF) differences. Some differences were to be expected due to variances in fuel element power levels and fuel channel cooling flow rates, but the magnitude of the observed differences could not be explained.

This research was completed money allocated during Round 2 of the Citizens’ Monitoring and Technical Assessment Fund (MTA Fund). Clark University was named conservator of these works.

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Santa Susana Field Laboratory




nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons testing, environment, non-governmental organizations, United States Department of Energy, tribal governments, environmental cleanup, radioactive fallout, radioactive waste


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Santa Cruz, CA

An Assessment of Potential Pathways for Release of Gaseous Radioactivity Following Fuel Damage During Run 14 at the Sodium Reactor Experiment



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