Long-Term Leaching of Irradiated Spent Fuel
Spent light-water reactor (LWR) fuel with burnups of 9, 28 and 54 MWd/kgU were leach tested at 25°C in deionized water in a Paige apparatus. No discernible differences in long term leach rates were observed relative to burnup. An accelerated leaching period was observed during the Paige leach test of the 54 MWd/kgU spent fuel. Additionally, the 28 MWd/kgU fuel was IAEA leach-tested in five different leach solutions. Deionized water gave the highest leach rates, and calcium chloride solution gave the lowest.
Comparisons between spent fuel and borosilicate waste glass leach rates are made. In sodium bicarbonate solution, the leach rates are nearly equal and the glass becomes increasingly more resistant in calcium chloride solution, followed in order by sodium chloride solution, WIPP “B” brine and deionized water--in which the glass is two to three orders of magnitude more leach-resistant than is spent fuel.
KeywordsSpend Fuel Leach Solution Sodium Bicarbonate Solution Waste Form High Level Waste
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