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Title: Review of Spent Fuel Reprocessing and Associated Accident Phenomena.


Abstract not provided.

; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Bixler, Nathan E., Gelbard, Fred, Louie, David, and Phillips, Jesse. Review of Spent Fuel Reprocessing and Associated Accident Phenomena.. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1369527.
Bixler, Nathan E., Gelbard, Fred, Louie, David, & Phillips, Jesse. Review of Spent Fuel Reprocessing and Associated Accident Phenomena.. United States. doi:10.2172/1369527.
Bixler, Nathan E., Gelbard, Fred, Louie, David, and Phillips, Jesse. 2017. "Review of Spent Fuel Reprocessing and Associated Accident Phenomena.". United States. doi:10.2172/1369527.
title = {Review of Spent Fuel Reprocessing and Associated Accident Phenomena.},
author = {Bixler, Nathan E. and Gelbard, Fred and Louie, David and Phillips, Jesse},
abstractNote = {Abstract not provided.},
doi = {10.2172/1369527},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 7

Technical Report:

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  • The objective of this project was to provide basic thermal-hydraulic data associated with a SFP complete loss-of-coolant accident. The accident conditions of interest for the SFP were simulated in a full-scale prototypic fashion (electrically-heated, prototypic assemblies in a prototypic SFP rack) so that the experimental results closely represent actual fuel assembly responses. A major impetus for this work was to facilitate code validation (primarily MELCOR) and reduce questions associated with interpretation of the experimental results. It was necessary to simulate a cluster of assemblies to represent a higher decay (younger) assembly surrounded by older, lower-power assemblies. Specifically, this program providedmore » data and analysis confirming: (1) MELCOR modeling of inter-assembly radiant heat transfer, (2) flow resistance modeling and the natural convective flow induced in a fuel assembly as it heats up in air, (3) the potential for and nature of thermal transient (i.e., Zircaloy fire) propagation, and (4) mitigation strategies concerning fuel assembly management.« less
  • Movement of Spent N Reactor fuels from the Hanford K Basins near the Columbia River to Dry interim storage facility on the Hanford plateau will require repackaging the fuel in the basins into multi-canister overpacks (MCOs), drying of the fuel, transporting the contained fuel, hot conditioning, and finally interim storage. Each of these functions will be accomplished while the fuel is contained in the MCOs by several mechanisms. The principal source of hydrogenand oxygen within the MCOs is residual water from the vacuum drying and hot conditioning operations. This document assesses the detonation phenomena of hydrogen and oxygen in themore » spent fuel containers. Several process scenarios have been identified that could generate detonation pressures that exceed the nominal 10 atmosphere design limit ofthe MCOS. Only 42 grams of radiolized water are required to establish this condition.« less
  • This research examines the practice of equating the reactivity of spent fuel to that of fresh fuel for the purpose of performing burnup credit criticality safety analyses for PWR spent fuel pool (SFP) storage conditions. The investigation consists of comparing k{sub inf} estimates based on reactivity equivalent fresh fuel enrichment (REFFE) to k{sub inf} estimates using the actual spent fuel isotopics. Analyses of selected storage configurations common in PWR SFPs show that this practice yields nonconservative results (on the order of a few tenths of a percent) in configurations in which the spent fuel is adjacent to higher-reactivity assemblies (e.g.,more » fresh or lower-burned assemblies) and yields conservative results in configurations in which spent fuel is adjacent to lower-reactivity assemblies (e.g., higher-burned fuel or empty cells). When the REFFE is determined based on unborated water moderation, analyses for storage conditions with soluble boron present reveal significant nonconservative results associated with the use of the REFFE. This observation is considered to be important, especially considering the recent allowance of credit for soluble boron up to 5% in reactivity. Finally, it is shown that the practice of equating the reactivity of spent fuel to fresh fuel is acceptable, provided the conditions for which the REFFE was determined remain unchanged. Determination of the REFFE for a reference configuration and subsequent use of the REFFE for different configurations violates the basis used for the determination of the REFFE and, thus, may lead to inaccurate, and possibly, nonconservative estimates of reactivity. A significant concentration ({approximately}2000 ppm) of soluble boron is typically (but not necessarily required to be) present in PWR SFPs, of which only a portion ({le} 500 ppm) may be credited in safety analyses. Thus, a large subcritical margin currently exists that more than accounts for errors or uncertainties associated with the use of the REFFE. Consequently, the findings presented here do not represent a significant safety concern unless/until the subcritical margin associated with the soluble boron (that is not currently explicitly credited) is offset by the uncertainties associated with burnup credit and/or the expanded allowance of credit for the soluble boron.« less
  • With regard to the specific question embodied in California's nuclear statutes about the demonstrated and approved permanent terminal disposal of nuclear waste (assuming that the reprocessing question is now most for legislative purposes), the finding of the Energy Commission is that such a technology has not been demonstrated and that it is even questionable to assume that one will be demonstrated before the mid 1980s. Following upon this finding and addressing the broader question of continued implementation of the policy expressed by the nuclear fuel cycle statutes, the evidence indicates that it is not prudent to continue siting nuclear powerplantsmore » based on an optimistic assumption that waste management technologies to handle nuclear waste will be developed and scientifically demonstrated. The California Legislature has questioned that optimistic assumption by placing the burden of proof on the developers of a demonstrated, scientifically tested process for the permanent and terminal disposal of nuclear wastes. Such a process does not exist at this time. There are many who are optimistic that the development of such a technology will become a reality in the near future. This overview and the supporting report indicate that this optimism is not warranted. Weapons proliferation and degradation of the biosphere by radioactive waste have proved to be unanticipated, difficult and possibly intractable problems in spite of an overriding confidence that nuclear technology would not present such problems. On the basis of the evidence received by this Commission, there are substantial scientific gaps which preclude proceeding on the basis of faith that all the attendant risks and issues will be resolved.« less