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Title: Design and Operation of Equipment to Detect and Remove Water within Used Nuclear Fuel Storage Bottles

Inspection and drying equipment has been implemented in a hot cell to address the inadvertent ingress of water into used nuclear fuel storage bottles. Operated with telemanipulators, the system holds up to two fuel bottles and allows their threaded openings to be connected to pressure transducers and a vacuum pump. A prescribed pressure rebound test is used to diagnose the presence of moisture. Bottles found to contain moisture are dried by vaporization. The drying process is accelerated by the application of heat and vacuum. These techniques detect and remove virtually all free water (even water contained in a debris bed) while leaving behind most, if not all, particulates. The extracted water vapour passes through a thermoelectric cooler where it is condensed back to the liquid phase for collection. Fuel bottles are verified to be dry by passing the pressure rebound test.
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Conference: HOTLAB 2013,Idaho Falls, ID,09/22/2013,09/26/2013
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; hot cell; moisture detection; remote handling; system design