Effects of matrix composition and sample preparation on instant release fractions from high burnup nuclear fuel

Abstract

The rapid release of fission products segregated either to the gap between the fuel and the cladding or to the UO2 grain boundaries from spent nuclear fuel in contact with water (often referred to as the instant release fraction - IRF) is of interest for the safety assessment of geological repositories for spent fuel due to the potential dose contribution. In September 2012 a study was initiated with the aim of comparing the instant release behavior of fuels with and without additives/dopants. Preliminary results from this (ongoing) study indicate that the release of uranium during the first contact periods was higher than during the tests with fuel segments, even though the fuel was cut open recently [1]. This could be due to the sample preparation method which included axial cutting of the cladding in order to remove the fuel fragments used in the study. In the present work, leaching data from both studies are presented and the releases are discussed comparing the two sample preparation methods and considering the effect of matrix composition. The leaching studies have been performed in air using 10 mM NaCl + 2 mM NaHCO3 as leaching solution.

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Roth, O., Low, J. & Spahiu, K. Effects of matrix composition and sample preparation on instant release fractions from high burnup nuclear fuel. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1665, 261–266 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1557/opl.2014.653

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