Initial results from dissolution rate testing of N-Reactor spent fuel over a range of potential geologic repository aqueous conditions

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Hanford N-Reactor spent nuclear fuel (HSNF) may ultimately be placed in a geologic repository for permanent disposal. To determine whether the engineered barrier system that will be designed for emplacement of light-water-reactor (LWR) spent fuel will also suffice for HSNF, aqueous dissolution rate measurements were conducted on the HSNF. The purpose of these tests was to determine whether HSNF dissolves faster or slower than LWR spent fuel under some limited repository-relevant water chemistry conditions. The tests were conducted using a flowthrough method that allows the dissolution rate of the uranium matrix to be measured without interference by secondary precipitation reactions ... continued below

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63 p.

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Gray, W.J. & Einziger, R.E. April 1, 1998.

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Hanford N-Reactor spent nuclear fuel (HSNF) may ultimately be placed in a geologic repository for permanent disposal. To determine whether the engineered barrier system that will be designed for emplacement of light-water-reactor (LWR) spent fuel will also suffice for HSNF, aqueous dissolution rate measurements were conducted on the HSNF. The purpose of these tests was to determine whether HSNF dissolves faster or slower than LWR spent fuel under some limited repository-relevant water chemistry conditions. The tests were conducted using a flowthrough method that allows the dissolution rate of the uranium matrix to be measured without interference by secondary precipitation reactions that would confuse interpretation of the results. Similar tests had been conducted earlier with LWR spent fuel, thereby allowing direct comparisons. Two distinct corrosion modes were observed during the course of these 12 tests. The first, Stage 1, involved no visible corrosion of the test specimen and produced no undissolved corrosion products. The second, Stage 2, resulted in both visible corrosion of the test specimen and left behind undissolved corrosion products. During Stage 1, the rate of dissolution could be readily determined because the dissolved uranium and associated fission products remained in solution where they could be quantitatively analyzed. The measured rates were much faster than has been observed for LWR spent fuel under all conditions tested to date when normalized to the exposed test specimen surface areas. Application of these results to repository conditions, however, requires some comparison of the physical conditions of the different fuels. The surface area of LWR fuel that could potentially be exposed to repository groundwater is estimated to be approximately 100 times greater than HSNF. Therefore, when compared on the basis of mass, which is more relevant to repository conditions, the HSNF and LWR spent fuel dissolve at similar rates.

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63 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE98057351

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  • Other Information: PBD: Apr 1998

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  • Other: DE98057351
  • Report No.: DOE/SNF/REP--022
  • Report No.: PNNL--11894 UC-802
  • Grant Number: AC06-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/638266 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 638266
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc698725

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  • April 1, 1998

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Aug. 14, 2015, 8:43 a.m.

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  • May 18, 2016, 5:46 p.m.

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Gray, W.J. & Einziger, R.E. Initial results from dissolution rate testing of N-Reactor spent fuel over a range of potential geologic repository aqueous conditions, report, April 1, 1998; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc698725/: accessed October 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.