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Title: Technical Issues and Characterization for Fuel and Sludge in Hanford K Basins

Abstract

Technical Issues for the interim dry storage of N Reactor Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) are discussed. Characterization data from fuel, to support resolution of these issues, are reviewed and new results for the oxidation of fuel in a moist atmosphere and the drying of whole fuel elements are presented. Characterization of associated K basin sludge is also discussed in light of a newly adopted disposal pathway.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
FH (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM) (US)
OSTI Identifier:
803931
Report Number(s):
HNF-5338-FP, Rev.0
TRN: US0300769
DOE Contract Number:
AC06-96RL13200
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Conference title not supplied, Conference location not supplied, Conference dates not supplied; Other Information: PBD: 1 Jun 2000
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; DRY STORAGE; DRYING; FUEL ELEMENTS; N-REACTOR; NUCLEAR FUELS; OXIDATION; RESOLUTION; SLUDGES

Citation Formats

MAKENAS, B.J. Technical Issues and Characterization for Fuel and Sludge in Hanford K Basins. United States: N. p., 2000. Web.
MAKENAS, B.J. Technical Issues and Characterization for Fuel and Sludge in Hanford K Basins. United States.
MAKENAS, B.J. Thu . "Technical Issues and Characterization for Fuel and Sludge in Hanford K Basins". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/803931.
@article{osti_803931,
title = {Technical Issues and Characterization for Fuel and Sludge in Hanford K Basins},
author = {MAKENAS, B.J.},
abstractNote = {Technical Issues for the interim dry storage of N Reactor Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) are discussed. Characterization data from fuel, to support resolution of these issues, are reviewed and new results for the oxidation of fuel in a moist atmosphere and the drying of whole fuel elements are presented. Characterization of associated K basin sludge is also discussed in light of a newly adopted disposal pathway.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Jun 01 00:00:00 EDT 2000},
month = {Thu Jun 01 00:00:00 EDT 2000}
}

Conference:
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  • The Safeguards and Accountability database was used as the primary source document for exposure data for spent N Reactor fuel stored at the K-East and K-West basins. This database is a listing of all keys (ie., groups of fuel discharged from the reactor at the same time), and the exposure for that key, mass of uranium in the key, fuel type (whether Mark IV or Mark IA), and several other parameters. There are nearly five hundred records (keys) in this database. Figure 1 illustrates an N Reactor Mark IV fuel assembly. The axial length of the endcap is approximately 0.19more » inch. Mark IA and Mark IV fuel are low enriched zircalloy-2 clad metallic uranium tube-in-tube assemblies held together with spacers and clips. Unexposed Mark IV fuel assemblies have an enrichment of 0.947 wt% {sup 235}U in both inner and outer tubes. Unexposed Mark IA assemblies have an enrichment of 1.25 wt% {sup 235}U in the outer tube and 0.947 wt% {sup 235}U in the inner tube.« less
  • Efforts are under way to gather data on the condition of the metal fuel and associated sludge stored in the water-filled Hanford K Basins. Most of the current data gathering activities are being performed in the basins without fuel movement. These techniques include a video survey of open storage canisters, determination of water/gas levels in sealed canisters, sampling of gas and water from sealed canisters (for chemical analysis) and measurement of sludge depth and sludge volume.
  • The Hanford K Basins contain roughly 2,000 tons of uranium metal fuel previously irradiated in N Reactor. Current plans call for the fuel to be moved to a new storage location in the next few years. This paper describes near term activities to gather data on the mechanical condition and chemical state of the fuel and associated sludge. These on-going in-situ, nondestructive, examinations are intended to complement hot cell examinations which are planned for the near future. Characterization data will feed decisions on interim storage, long term storage and the environmental documentation process as the fuel is relocated. Several techniquesmore » have been, or are planned to be, employed during the conduct of examinations in the K Basins. (1) A video survey using underwater cameras has been made for the open top canisters which hold fuel in the K East Basin. These data have given early assessments of cladding degradation, canister corrosion, fuel swelling, and canister/fuel interactions; (2) Ultrasonic measurements of the water level in gas traps connected to sealed canisters have been used to provide indications of gas generation in or water leakage into the canisters; (3) Sampling of gas and water from closed canisters of fuel in the K West Basin will furnish indications of fuel corrosion, fission product release, and canister integrity and will guide choices of fuel to be retrieved for detailed hot cell examinations; (4) Depth measurements and qualitative properties assessments for the sludge on the floor of the basins and in the bottom of canisters have been made using underwater video techniques.« less
  • Irradiated N Reactor uranium metal fuel is stored underwater in the Hanford K East and K West Basins. In K East Basin, fuel is stored in open canisters and defected fuel is free to react with the basin water. In K West Basin, the fuel is stored in sealed canisters filled with water containing a corrosion inhibitor (potassium nitrite). To gain a better understanding of the physical condition of the fuel in these basins, visual surveys using high resolution underwater cameras were conducted. The inspections included detailed lift and look examinations of a number of fuel assemblies from selected canistersmore » in each basin. These examinations formed the bases for selecting specific fuel elements for laboratory testing and analyses as prescribed in the characterization plan for Hanford K Basin Spent Nuclear Fuel.« less
  • Characterization of N Reactor metal spent fuel and associated sludge stored in the two Hanford K Basins has entered a more mature stage. Previous campaigns had consisted of top-view visual surveys of-open fuel canisters, limited collection of gas and liquid from sealed canisters, detailed examinations of only a few-fuel elements and collection of sludge from the floor of only one basin. More recent work has included lifting fuel elements from both Basins to ascertain bottom end and circumferential cracks. Sludge collection has now been performed for material residing inside of spent fuel canisters in both Basins. Finally the number ofmore » gas and liquid samples from sealed canisters has been greatly expanded leading to a maximum observed cesium-137 content ten times higher than previous reports. Characterization has been a challenge because of the age of the fuel materials, the water environment, and the radiation field.« less