Fuel Manufacturing Facility (FMF) contains the special nuclear material (SNM)
glovebox. This is a large, negative-pressure, inert atmosphere glovebox that
primarily supports enriched uranium operations. The inert (argon) gas atmosphere
(capable of attaining <10 ppm O2) allows for processing of
materials that could be reactive in the presence of oxygen or moisture. This glovebox can accommodate uranium-bearing materials in various forms
for handling and processing operations. This glovebox was designed to handle relatively large items and
therefore has an internal hoist system and large bag port. Shielded windows and
gloves provide extra radiological dose reduction for lightly irradiated items.
It has a large removable floor section that can be changed out to accommodate a
number of processing systems, in particular, a thermal vacuum distillation
furnace system or an oxidation furnace. It also has a number of workstations
for mechanical processing operations.
The SNM glovebox is used for "breakout" of uranium-bearing feedstock batches. This allows quantities of such material to be provided to other research and development facilities. This glovebox is used to stabilize and package for excess material for disposition. Examples of such excess materials include unirradiated sodium-bonded fast reactor fuels, lightly irradiated sodium-bearing uranium oxide experiments, metal casting scrap, potentially reactive metal fines, and uranium compounds.
This double-sided glovebox is approximately 14 ft 6 in. long, 9 ft 9 in. tall and 46 in. wide. The glovebox shell is constructed of 7 gauge Type 304 stainless steel with a 3/8-in. plate floor. A 15-in. bag port and 8-in. bag port are provided on the west end of the glovebox. Two manual chain fall hoists with a 300 lb working load limit each are provided to aid in the movement of heavy items in the glovebox. A large removable base plate (approximately 81 in. by 39 in.) is bolted to the underside of the glovebox floor. The sodium separation system furnace system configuration has an 8 in. diameter by 30 in. tall furnace well that operates at 650°C and 200 millitorr. The oxidation furnace configuration consists of a commercial box furnace with an internal steel retort that can oxidize approximately 9 kg of uranium at temperatures up to 750°C.