Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika

The peer-reviewed scientific and technology journal. ISSN: 0204-3327

Quantitative evaluation of plutonium proliferation protection

6/22/2018 2018 - #02 Physics and technology of nuclear reactors

Kulikov E.G. Kulikov G.G. Apse V.A. Shmelev A.N. Geraskin N.I.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2018.2.04

UDC: 621.039.58

Mathematical model developed in the article [1] could be applied for quantitative evaluation of plutonium proliferation protection. One should analyze warm up process of nuclear explosive devices (NEDs) of a different structure under various conditions of artificial heat removal and define the case with the longest lifetime of NED. Content of 238Pu in plutonium, which provides a short enough lifetime of NED even in this most dangerous case, could be regarded as sufficient for protection from plutonium proliferation.

The aim of the work consisted in performing quantitative evaluation of 238Pu content in plutonium to guarantee its proliferation protection as well as defining factors which strongly affect such an evaluation.

During implementation of the work we have used input data, methodology and main results of the previous works on this topic as well as our own evaluations and results of numerical analyses.

We obtained the following results. 1. Important factors are technology level of NED and required lifetime of the device. 2. Depending on the required lifetime of NED more stringent requirements for 238Pu content in plutonium could be laid down in cases of both high and low technology levels of NED.

General conclusion. It has been demonstrated that plutonium can be considered as a proliferation protected material if it contains at least 55% 238Pu (implosion type NED on its basis is functional less than 5 hours – it is unlikely that in such a short time it is possible to assemble and transport NED).


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plutonium plutonium 238 proliferation protection nuclear explosive device chemical explosive cryogenic temperatures