Uranium (U) metal, attached to Magnox cladding and removed from spent fuel prior to reprocessing, is a key component of the UK’s intermediate level waste (ILW). It is encapsulated in grout and sealed within stainless steel canisters in preparation for interim storage and eventual disposal. Understanding corrosion processes that may occur in these U-containing waste canisters is critical to ensuring the safe long term containment of this ILW (>100 years).Read more...
One key problem facing the nuclear industry is how to store spent nuclear fuel safely in the long term. Any deep geological repository will be built to last many thousands of years, and there is the very real potential that the stored spent fuel will come into contact with groundwater. The predominant component of nuclear fuel is uranium dioxide (UO2), which is insoluble in water. However, the residual radioactivity of the fission daughter products, and of the fuel itself, cause the radiolytic splitting of water into highly oxidising species. These products then cause the dissolution of the fuel with the subsequent release of fission products into the environment.Read more...
Management and disposal of higher activity radioactive wastes is a significant issue across the developed world as many countries with a history of nuclear power generation and military activities seek long term solutions for these materials. The most common disposal choice is containment within a deep geological disposal facility (GDF). To remain effective over the long term, the design of a GDF must limit the mobility and migration of radionuclides.Read more...
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