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Title: An approach to determine a defensible spent fuel ratio.

Sabotage of spent nuclear fuel casks remains a concern nearly forty years after attacks against shipment casks were first analyzed and has a renewed relevance in the post-9/11 environment. A limited number of full-scale tests and supporting efforts using surrogate materials, typically depleted uranium dioxide (DUO2), have been conducted in the interim to more definitively determine the source term from these postulated events. In all the previous studies, the postulated attack of greatest interest was by a conical shape charge (CSC) that focuses the explosive energy much more efficiently than bulk explosives. However, the validity of these large-scale results remain in question due to the lack of a defensible Spent Fuel Ratio (SFR), defined as the amount of respirable aerosol generated by an attack on a mass of spent fuel compared to that of an otherwise identical DUO2 surrogate. Previous attempts to define the SFR have resulted in estimates ranging from 0.42 to 12 and include suboptimal experimental techniques and data comparisons. Different researchers have suggested using SFR values of 3 to 5.6. Sound technical arguments exist that the SFR does not exceed a value of unity. A defensible determination of the SFR in this lower range would greatly reducemore » the calculated risk associated with the transport and dry storage of spent nuclear fuel. Currently, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is in possession of several samples of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) that were used in the original SFR studies in the 1980s and were intended for use in a modern effort at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) in the 2000s. A portion of these samples are being used for a variety of research efforts. However, the entirety of SNF samples at ORNL is scheduled for disposition at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) by approximately the end of 2015. If a defensible SFR is to be determined for use in storage and transportation security analyses, the need to begin this effort is urgent in order to secure the only known available SNF samples with a clearly defined path to disposal.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States