GEOLOGIC DISPOSAL OF HEU ALUMINUM-BASED DOE FUELS Page: 2 of 6
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The general disposal criticality analysis methodology described in a separate paper was applied
with the following sequences unique to the Codisposal Waste Package in general, and the Al-
based fuel in particular: 1) aqueous corrosion of stainless steel HLW and fuel containers; 2)
degradation of HLW glass to clay; 3) degradation of Al-based fuel concurrent with or after the
HLW glass; and 4) degradation of DOE-SNF canister basket materials including criticality
control material coupled with flushing of soluble compounds from the waste package.
The chemistry/geochemistry of the system was analyzed using the EQ3/6 program2. Parametric
criticality calculations were run on a range of possible distributions of fuel within the waste
package using MCNP3 to identify the most reactive configurations and to determine the
minimum amount of neutron absorber required to be distributed with the fuel in its degraded
The aluminum-based fuel would be expected to degrade through oxidation within a few decades
to a few centuries of the fuel canister breach. If the fuel canister were penetrated while the HLW
glass was degrading, the chemistry (primarily pH > 10.0) would be such that most of the uranium
could dissolve. This scenario would not be a criticality concern inside the waste package because
of the low uranium concentration in solution and the presence of the large boron inventory within
the HLW glass'.
Should the DOE-SNF canister be penetrated after the HLW glass was completely degraded then
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J. WESLEY DAVIS, DR. PETER GOTTLIEB. GEOLOGIC DISPOSAL OF HEU ALUMINUM-BASED DOE FUELS, report, March 22, 1998; Las Vegas, Nevada. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc716027/m1/2/: accessed February 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.