Depleted uranium oxides and silicates as spent nuclear fuel waste package fill materials

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A new repository waste package (WP) concept for spent nuclear fuel (SNF) is being investigated that uses depleted uranium (DU) to improve performance and reduce the uncertainties of geological disposal of SNF. The WP would be filled with SNF and then filled with depleted uranium (DU) ({approximately}0.2 wt % {sup 235}U) dioxide (UO{sub 2}) or DU silicate-glass beads. Fission products and actinides can not escape the SNF UO{sub 2} crystals until the UO{sub 2} dissolves or is transformed into other chemical species. After WP failure, the DU fill material slows dissolution by three mechanisms: (1) saturation of AT groundwater with ... continued below

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10 p.

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Forsberg, C.W. September 10, 1996.

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Description

A new repository waste package (WP) concept for spent nuclear fuel (SNF) is being investigated that uses depleted uranium (DU) to improve performance and reduce the uncertainties of geological disposal of SNF. The WP would be filled with SNF and then filled with depleted uranium (DU) ({approximately}0.2 wt % {sup 235}U) dioxide (UO{sub 2}) or DU silicate-glass beads. Fission products and actinides can not escape the SNF UO{sub 2} crystals until the UO{sub 2} dissolves or is transformed into other chemical species. After WP failure, the DU fill material slows dissolution by three mechanisms: (1) saturation of AT groundwater with DU and suppression of SNF dissolution, (2) maintenance of chemically reducing conditions in the WP that minimize SNF solubility by sacrificial oxidation of DU from the +4 valence state, and (3) evolution of DU to lower-density hydrated uranium silicates. The fill expansion seals the WP from water flow. The DU also isotopically exchanges with SNF uranium as the SNF degrades to reduce long-term nuclear-criticality concerns.

Physical Description

10 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE96015221

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  • 1996 Fall meeting of the Materials Research Society (MRS), Boston, MA (United States), 2-6 Dec 1996

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  • Other: DE96015221
  • Report No.: CONF-961202--2
  • Grant Number: AC05-96OR22464
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 402374
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc688163

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • September 10, 1996

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  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • Jan. 21, 2016, 7:38 p.m.

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Forsberg, C.W. Depleted uranium oxides and silicates as spent nuclear fuel waste package fill materials, article, September 10, 1996; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc688163/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.