Physico-chemical characterization of a spent UO2 fuel with respect to its stability under final disposal conditions


Two adjacent fuel rod segments were irradiated in a pressurized water reactor achieving an average burn-up of 50.4 GWd/tHM. A physico-chemical characterisation of the high burn-up fuel rod segments was performed, to determine properties relevant to the stability of the spent nuclear fuel under final disposal conditions. No damage of the cladding was observed by means of visual examination and γ-scanning. The maximal oxide layer thickness was 45 μm. The relative fission gas release was determined to be (8.35 ± 0.66) %. Finally, a rim thickness of 83.7 μm and a rim porosity of about 20% were derived from characterisation of the cladded pellets.

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We acknowledge F. Weiser (KfK-HZ, KIT) for performing the ceramography of N0203 pellets. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Atomic Energy Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2011) under grant agreement no. 295722, the FIRST-Nuclides project.

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Correspondence to Ernesto González-Robles.

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González-Robles, E., Wegen, D.H., Bohnert, E. et al. Physico-chemical characterization of a spent UO2 fuel with respect to its stability under final disposal conditions. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1665, 283–289 (2014).

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