GEOLOGIC DISPOSAL OF HEU ALUMINUM-BASED DOE FUELS Page: 3 of 6
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the pH would be near neutral, and the uranium would no longer be soluble so it would remain in
the canister or waste package'. Three configurations could result based on level of degradation
of the other components and the location of the canister as it degraded within the waste package:
1) degraded (oxidized) fuel material distributed within the DOE-SNF canister; 2) layers of
hydrated aluminum, uranium, and iron oxides from the degraded DOE-SNF canister above the
degraded HLW (clay); and 3) degraded products from the fuel mixed with various fractions of
the degraded HLW. The volume fraction of water in the degraded HLW and fuel, as well as the
mass of iron oxide from the degraded canisters and basket, were varied in parametric criticality
calculations. The bounding analysis of separation mechanisms indicates that no more than 14%
of the iron and GdPO4 could be separated from the fuel as long as the basket and absorber plates
degrade before the canister significantly corrodes away'. Based on theoretical analysis and on a
review of literature on natural deposits, the small differences in density and particle size
distribution between uranium bearing minerals, iron oxide, and the GdPO4 particulates will not
result in significant stratification.
The most reactive degraded fuel mixture occurs in configuration 1 and requires 1.25 kg of Gd to
be distributed in carbon steel plates in the intact canister basket'. After degradation of the carbon
steel basket, the geochemistry analysis indicates that 1.1 kg of Gd would remain mixed with the
fuel, while MCNP calculations indicate that less than 0.11 kg of Gd would be required to fall
below the upper subcritical limit (USL)'.
Analysis of configurations 2 and 3, which occur after the DOE-SNF canister is severely
degraded, indicate less than 0.01 kg Gd is required to meet the USL if credit is taken for the iron
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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/m1/3/: accessed February 16, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.