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Alternative Applications of Atomic Vapor Laser Isolop TechnOl°9U epa ratio n A Report Prepared by the Committee on Alternative Applications of Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation Technology Energy Engineering Board Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington D.C. 1991
NOTICE: The project that is the subj eat of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Eng~neenag, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy Of Eng~neenug, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating someW of Lists shed scholars engaged In scientific and eng~neenng research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to they use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Confess In 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press Is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineenag was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel org~7ation of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identity issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O. Thier is the president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of En~eenng in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and eng~neenng communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Prank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This is a report of work supported by Contract No. DE-AC03-90SF18536 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council. Additional copies of this report are available from: Energy Eng~neenng Board Commission on En~eer~ng and Technical Systems 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 Printed ~ the United States of America
COMMITTEE ON ALTERNATIVE APPLICATIONS OF ATOMIC VAPOR LASER ISOTOPE SEPARATION TECHNOLOGY C. BRADLEY MOORE (C7tainnan), Dean, College of Chemistry, University of California- Berkeley, Berkeley, California ANTHONY J. DeMARIA (Hce-Chai~nan), Assistant Director of Research for Electronics & Photonics Technologies, United Technologies Research Center, Fast Hartford, Connecticut RICHARD L. ABRAMS, Chief Scientist, Hughes Research Laboratones, Hughes Aircraft Company, Malibu, California WALTER H. BERNINGER, Manager, Eng~neenug Physics Research Center, Research and Development Center, General Electric Company, Schenectady, New York MARTIN BLITHE, Deputy Director, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York RICHARD W. DAVIS, Phillips Lab, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico ERSEL A. EVANS, Retired Vice President and Laboratory Technical Director, Westinghouse Hanford Company, Consultant, Kennewick, Washington RICHARD R. FREEMAN, Head, Electronics Research Department, AT&T Bell Laboratories' Holmdel, New Jersey JOHN M. GOOGIN, Senior Corporate Fellow, Martin Manetta Energy Systems, Ince, Oak Ridge, Tennessee ANDREW KALDOR, Director, Resource Chemistry Laboratory, Exxon Research & Engineering Company, Annandale, New Jersey MARVIN Me MILLER, Senior Research Scientist, Department of Nuclear Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambndge, Massachusetts JAWS E. SMITH, Senior Director, Imaging Agents R&D, Medical Products Department, E.I. du Font de Nemours & Co., Inc., North Billerica, Massachusetts DALE F. STEIN, President, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan ROBERT J. VON GU~ELD. IBM T. J. Watson Research Laboratory, Yorktown Heights, New York N~on~l Research C~nci] Staff KAMAL J. ARAJ, Sway Director, Energy Engineering Board JAN C. KRONENBURG, Study Assistant (to February 1991) SUSANNA E. CLARENDON, Study Assistant ·.- 111
ENERGY ENGINEERING BOARD JOHN A. TILLINGHAST (~ai'7nan), Tiltec, Portsmouth, New H=npshire DONALD B. ANTHONY, Consultant, Houston, Texas RICHARD E. BA=HISER, Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, California BARBARA R. BARKOVICH, Barkovich and Yap, Consultants, San Rafael, California JOHN A. CASAZZA, CSA Energy Consultants, Arlington, Virginia RALPH C. CAVANAGH, Natural Resources Defense Council, San Francisco, California DAVID E. CO=, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan H. M. HUBBARD, Midwest Research Institute, Golden, Colorado ARTHUR E. HUMPHREY, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (to February 1991) CHARLES IMBRECHI, California Energy Comm~on, Sacramento, California CHARLES D. KOLSTAD, University of fllino~s' Urbana, Illinois HENRY R. LINDEN, Gas Research Institute, Chicago, Illinois JAMES J. MARKOWSKY, American Electric Power Seance Corporation, Colurn bus, Ohio (to February 1991) SEYMOUR L. MEISEL, Mobile R&D Corporation (retired), Princeton, New Jersey DAVID L. MORRISON, IIT Research Institute, Chicago, Illinois MARC H. ROSS, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan MAXINE L. SAVITZ, Garrett Ceramic Component Division, Torrance, California HAROLD H. SCHOBERT, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania GLEN A. SCHURMAN, Chevron Corporation, San Francisco, California JON M. VEIGEL, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge, Tennessee BERTRAM WOLFE, General Electric Nuclear Energy, San Jose, California She ARCHIE L. WOOD, Executive Director, Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems =d Director, Energy Eng~neer~g Board (to January 1991) MAHADEVAN (DEV) MANI, Director, Energy Eng~neer~g Board KAMAL J. ARAJ, Senior Program Officer ROBERT COHEN, Senior Program Officer (retired) GEORGE ~OS, Senior Program Officer JAMES J. ZUCCHEl1O, Senior Program Officer JUDITH A. AMRI, Adminictrative/Finanmal Assistant THERESA M. FISHER, Administrative Secretary JAN C. KRONENBURG, Ac~mini~trative Secretary (to February 1991) PHILOMINA MAMMEN, Administrative Secretary NANCY WHITNEY, Administrative Secretary 1V
Abbreviations and Acronyms ASMI American Society for Metals International AVLIS Atomic vapor laser isotope separation CALEOT Center for Applications of Laser and Electrooptics Technologies, LLNL CANDU Canadian deutenum uranium reactor CRADA Cooperative Research and Development Agreement cw Continuous wave DOD Department of Defense DOE Department of Energy DUV Deep ultraviolet FWHM Full width half maximum HDTV Higl~-definition television IC Integrated circuit LLNL Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory MLIS Molecular laser isotope separation MRI Magnetic resonance imaging M=F Mean time between failures NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration ORAL Oak Ridge National Laboratory Prf Pulse repetition frequency PSP Plasma separation process PUREX Plutonium/uranium extraction R&D Research and development RGU Reactor-grade uranium SWU Separative worlc unit TRUEX Transuranic extraction WGU Weapon-grade uranium v
Acknowledgments The committee thanks the AVLIS staff at LLNL for their extensive briefings, written documents, and frequent help ~ colDecting the information needed for completion of this report. The committee wishes to acknowledge with gratitude the assistance of the following orgy lions which provided information on various topics of interest dunug the course of this study: Ames Laboratory., AT&T Bell Laboratories; Babcock & Wilcox Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratones; Brookhaven National Laboratory, General Electric Co.; Idaho National Eng~neenng Laboratory, KMS Fusion Inc.; Martin Marietta Energy Systems; Science Research Laboratory, Inc.; SD Laboratories, Inc.; Texas Instruments; Westinghouse-Energy Systems; Westingl~ouse-Hanford Company, Westinghouse Idaho Nuclear Company, Inc.; and Westinghouse-Savanna}~ River Company. V1
Preface The purpose of this study was to identify and evaluate possible alternative applications for the atomic vapor laser isotope separation (AVLIS) tec~hnolo~ for uranium enrichment and plutonium purification developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL3 and to recommend steps needed for further development of the most promising applications (see Appendix B for Statement of Task). This report provides a brief summary of the technology and subsystems that have resulted from the major development program at LLNL. The committee considerM many suggested applications, some of which have been recommended for further study or development. Recommendations also include mechanisms to enhance the effective utilization of existing facilities and the timely transfer of technologies to U.S. industry. For those unfamiliar with AVLIS technologies, it is hoped that this report will also provide a useful starUng point for considering other possibilities. C. Bradley Moore, Chainnan Committee on Alternative Applications of Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation Technology ee V11