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Title: Spent-Fuel Test - Climax: An evaluation of the technical feasibility of geologic storage of spent nuclear fuel in granite: Executive summary of final results

Abstract

This summary volume outlines results that are covered in more detail in the final report of the Spent-Fuel Test - Climate project. The project was conducted between 1978 and 1983 in the granitic Climax stock at the Nevada Test Site. Results indicate that spent fuel can be safely stored for periods of years in this host medium and that nuclear waste so emplaced can be safely retrieved. We also evaluated the effects of heat and radiation (alone and in combination) on emplacement canisters and the surrounding rock mass. Storage of the spent-fuel affected the surrounding rock mass in measurable ways, but did not threaten the stability or safety of the facility at any time.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
60116
Report Number(s):
UCRL-53762
ON: DE87009999
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 2 Sep 1986
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
05 NUCLEAR FUELS; SPENT FUEL STORAGE; FEASIBILITY STUDIES; NEVADA TEST SITE; GRANITES; TEMPERATURE EFFECTS; RADIATION EFFECTS; UNDERGROUND STORAGE; MATERIALS HANDLING; VENTILATION SYSTEMS; EVALUATION; Yucca Mountain Project

Citation Formats

Patrick, W.C. Spent-Fuel Test - Climax: An evaluation of the technical feasibility of geologic storage of spent nuclear fuel in granite: Executive summary of final results. United States: N. p., 1986. Web. doi:10.2172/60116.
Patrick, W.C. Spent-Fuel Test - Climax: An evaluation of the technical feasibility of geologic storage of spent nuclear fuel in granite: Executive summary of final results. United States. doi:10.2172/60116.
Patrick, W.C. 1986. "Spent-Fuel Test - Climax: An evaluation of the technical feasibility of geologic storage of spent nuclear fuel in granite: Executive summary of final results". United States. doi:10.2172/60116. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/60116.
@article{osti_60116,
title = {Spent-Fuel Test - Climax: An evaluation of the technical feasibility of geologic storage of spent nuclear fuel in granite: Executive summary of final results},
author = {Patrick, W.C.},
abstractNote = {This summary volume outlines results that are covered in more detail in the final report of the Spent-Fuel Test - Climate project. The project was conducted between 1978 and 1983 in the granitic Climax stock at the Nevada Test Site. Results indicate that spent fuel can be safely stored for periods of years in this host medium and that nuclear waste so emplaced can be safely retrieved. We also evaluated the effects of heat and radiation (alone and in combination) on emplacement canisters and the surrounding rock mass. Storage of the spent-fuel affected the surrounding rock mass in measurable ways, but did not threaten the stability or safety of the facility at any time.},
doi = {10.2172/60116},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1986,
month = 9
}

Technical Report:

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  • In the Climax stock granite on the Nevada Test Site, eleven canisters of spent nuclear reactor fuel were emplaced, and six electrical simulators were energized. When test data indicated that the test objectives were met during the 3-year storage phase, the spent-fuel canisters were retrieved and the thermal sources were de-energized. The project demonstrated the feasibility of packaging, transporting, storing, and retrieving highly radioactive fuel assemblies in a safe and reliable manner. In addition to emplacement and retrieval operations, three exchanges of spent-fuel assemblies between the SFT-C and a surface storage facility, conducted during the storage phase, furthered this demonstration.more » The test led to development of a technical measurements program. To meet these objectives, nearly 1000 instruments and a computer-based data acquisition system were deployed. Geotechnical, seismological, and test status data were recorded on a continuing basis for the three-year storage phase and six-month monitored cool-down of the test. This report summarizes the engineering and scientific endeavors which led to successful design and execution of the test. The design, fabrication, and construction of all facilities and handling systems are discussed, in the context of test objectives and a safety assessment. The discussion progresses from site characterization and experiment design through data acquisition and analysis of test data in the context of design calculations. 117 refs., 52 figs., 81 tabs.« less
  • The objective of the Spent Fuel Geologic Storage Test in the Climax Granite Stock is to evaluate the response of a granitic rock mass to the underground storage of encapsulated spent reactor fuel in a geometry that simulates a module of a large-scale geologic repository. This document reports an assessment of the safety of conducting this test. Descriptions are provided of the geography, meteorology, hydrology, geology, and seismology of the Climax Site; the effects of postulated natural phenomena and other activities at the nevada Test Site on the safety of the test; and the design and operation of the testmore » facility and associated equipment. Evaluations are made of both the radiological and nonradiological impacts of normal operations, abnormal operations, and postulated accidents. It is concluded that conduct of the spent fuel test at the Climax Site will not result in any undue risk to the public, property, environment, or site employees.« less
  • The Spent Fuel Test in the Climax granite at the Nevada Test Site is a generic test in which spent fuel assemblies from an operating commercial nuclear reactor are emplaced at, and retrieved from, a plausible waste repository depth in a typical granite. Eleven canisters of spent fuel are emplaced in a storage drift 420 m below the surface along with six electrical simulator canisters. Two adjacent drifts contain electrical heaters which are operated so as to simulate the initial five years of the temperature-stress-displacement fields of a large repository. The site is described, and the pre-operational measurement program andmore » characteristics of the spent fuel are given. Both thermal and mechanical response calculations are summarized. The field instrumentation and data acquisition systems are described, as well as the system for handling the spent fuel.« less
  • We plan to emplace spent fuel assemblies from an operating commercial nuclear reactor in the Climax granite at the US Department of Energy`s Nevada Test Site. In this generic test, 11 canisters of spent fuel will be emplaced with 6 electrical simulator canisters in a storage drift 420 m below in surface and their effects compared. Two adjacent drifts will contain electrical heaters, operated to simulate the temperature-stress-displacement fields of a large repository. We describe the test objectives, the technical issues, the site, the preoperational measurement program, thermal and mechanical response calculations, the characteristics of the spent fuel, the fieldmore » instrumentation and data-acquisition systems, and the system for handling the spent fuel.« less
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has emplaced 11 spent nuclear-reactor fuel assemblies in the Climax granite at Nevada Test Site as part of the National Waste Terminal Storage Program. One of the objectives is to study radiation effects on the rock. The neutron and gamma ray doses to the rock are being determined by calculation and measurement. This report discusses calculations performed using the MORSE-L Monte Carlo code to determine dose rates and doses in the materials surrounding the spent fuel assemblies. The initial maximum dose rate to the granite is about 25 mGy/s (9 x 10/sup 3/ rad per hour),more » and the maximum dose integrated over five years is about 2.2 MGy (220 Mrad). The dose rate is nearly constant over the central 2.44 m of the spent fuel assembly, and drops off approximately exponentially with radius in the granite.« less