A concept for increasing the effective capacity of a unit area of a geologic repository

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By processing spent fuel to remove the actinides, the thermal properties of the resulting high-level waste are substantially altered. In particular, the {open_quotes}thermal half-life{close_quotes} of the waste is reduced from centuries to about 30 years. This paper evaluates a High-Efficiency Waste Emplacement Concept (HEWEC) that takes advantage of the decrease in thermal half-life. The HEWEC is based on the observation that the waste loading per unit area of a repository is potentially limited by maximum allowable temperatures at several locations: the waste package (very near field), the rock surrounding the package and emplacement drifts (near field), and the large bulk ... continued below

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24 p.

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Croff, A.G. February 1, 1995.

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Description

By processing spent fuel to remove the actinides, the thermal properties of the resulting high-level waste are substantially altered. In particular, the {open_quotes}thermal half-life{close_quotes} of the waste is reduced from centuries to about 30 years. This paper evaluates a High-Efficiency Waste Emplacement Concept (HEWEC) that takes advantage of the decrease in thermal half-life. The HEWEC is based on the observation that the waste loading per unit area of a repository is potentially limited by maximum allowable temperatures at several locations: the waste package (very near field), the rock surrounding the package and emplacement drifts (near field), and the large bulk of surrounding rock (far field). The first two are controlled by decay heat generated within years or decades of waste emplacement, primarily resulting from the fission products but with significant contributions from actinides. Far-field temperatures are controlled by decay heat generated over centuries, primarily from the actinides. While the critical temperature limit for spent nuclear fuel typically occurs within the package, it is close to limits in all other locations. However, if spent fuel without actinides (i.e., high-level waste) is emplaced in the repository, far-field temperatures no longer approach the limits, and waste loading is restricted by temperatures in near-field and very-near-field locations. If the repository is fully ventilated during operation, sufficient total decay heat can be removed to allow significantly more waste to be loaded in a unit area without exceeding temperature limits. Evaluation of HEWEC is based on analysis of several existing thermomechanical studies. It appears possible to increase the equivalent amount of waste loaded in a unit area of a repository by about a factor of 4.7 and application of the HEWEC precepts to unreprocessed spent fuel is not as effective, potentially increasing repository loading by only a factor of 1.2.

Physical Description

24 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE95007376

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  • 3. NEA international exchange meeting on actinide and fission product partitioning and transmutation, Cadarache (France), 12-14 Dec 1994

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  • Other: DE95007376
  • Report No.: CONF-941260--1
  • Grant Number: AC05-84OR21400
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 29370
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc688170

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  • February 1, 1995

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • Jan. 19, 2016, noon

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Croff, A.G. A concept for increasing the effective capacity of a unit area of a geologic repository, article, February 1, 1995; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc688170/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.