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Thermal Issues with the U.S. High-Level Waste Repository and the Potential Benefits of Waste Transmutation

  • Gordon E. Michaels

Abstract

Recent total system performance assessments for the proposed Yucca Mountain site2,3 (which assumes that spent fuel is directly emplaced in the repository without reprocessing and transmutation), have substantially altered the technical picture upon which much of the previous repository assessments were based11. The intention of this paper is to provide a qualitative update of the thermal issues associated with the proposed U.S. high-level waste repository and to discuss the potential impact of these issues. Significant questions about the ability to license the Yucca Mountain site are envisioned due to the difficulties associated with predicting the perturbations to the site that arise from the decay heat. It is suggested that waste transmutation, i.e., fuel reprocessing and use of Pu and other transuranic elements as fuel, may provide very significant benefits to the repository by removing the long-term heat source posed by actinides.

Keywords

Heat Pipe Spend Fuel Radioactive Waste Management Waste Package Decay Heat 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon E. Michaels
    • 1
  1. 1.Oak Ridge National LaboratoryOak Ridge

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