4. To promote material homogeneity for facilitating MC&A measurements and
stabilization tests (such as for adsorbed water content), and to preserve
characterization information to the greatest extent possible, only similar materials
(comparable in form and composition, for example) should be packaged together.
Storage - Surveillance of Stored Packages for Safety
Surveillance is to be primarily non-destructive to preserve storage container integrity. Limited
numbers of containers may be destructively examined if the information to be obtained is
sufficiently important to warrant the added cost and personnel radiation exposure. Examples of
non-destructive testing methods include the following:
Radiography to observe physical changes in the stored material (e.g., oxide growth on
plutonium metal) and dimensional changes of the inner container (pressure change), note
that surface area on plutonium metal is small thus eliminating the need to radiograph these
containers for the purpose of determining dimensional changes from pressure generation
Eddy current or ultrasonic testing of the integrity of the outer container and its welds;
Weight measurement change, which would indicate a breach in the package; or
Additional methods that may become available as technology develops.
1. Plans need to be responsive to site policies and practices.
2. During the course of packaging and storage of plutonium metal and oxide, there is a
very small possibility that some container manufacturing defects may not be
detected, that some batches of material may be improperly stabilized or packaged,
or that some of the packages may be damaged during handling and storage. The
function of the surveillance program is to identify these anticipated low probability
errors and flaws in the packaging as well as unanticipated threats to package
integrity during storage.
Essentially all manufactured products exhibit failure rates that graph as a bathtub
shaped curve. This type of curve exhibits three distinct phases that occur over the
lifetime of the product. There is an early life period, when the failure rate can be
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