Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika

The peer-reviewed scientific and technology journal. ISSN: 0204-3327

Study of Flammable Gases Generation and Radionuclide Release during and after Drying of Damaged VVER SNF

6/05/2024 2024 - #02 Fuel cycle and nuclear waste management

Gaiazov A.Z. Leshchenko A.Yu. Smirnov V.P. Zvir Е.А. Il’in P.А. Teplov V.G.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2024.2.05

UDC: 621.039.546

The paper presents an experimental evaluation of drying the damaged VVER SNF after the wet storage. The aim of the experiments was to justify the fire safety of air-tight canisters with the dried SNF during transportation, storage, and reprocessing.

Keeping the SNF in boric acid during the experiments determined the concentration of uranium, plutonium, and specific activity of fission products in the solution inside the model canisters with the SNF. The canisters with the SNF underwent the thermal-vacuum drying to determine the process parameters (temperature, residual pressure, drying rate), a hydrogen release, 85Kr activity during the drying, and an airborne radionuclide release onto the filters of the SNF thermal vacuum drying system.

The results of weighing the baskets of the canisters before soaking in the boric acid and after drying at 160°С to the residual pressure below 6 mbar showed that the difference in weight is al-most the same as the calculated difference in mass of H3BO3 loaded into the canister and the mass after the complete decomposition into B2O3. Thus, we discovered that the boric acid undergoes complete decomposition into boric anhydride, and the SNF corrosion products generate hydrogen that accumulates in the air-tight canister.

We also considered the hydrogen that accumulated in the air-tight model canister with the dried SNF as a result of the radiolysis of hydrated corrosion products of the spent oxide nuclear fuel, as well as a release of gaseous fission products (GFP) inside the canister. We calculated the quantity of the hydrated corrosion products of uranium oxide after the wet storage and determined their chemical composition after the thermal-vacuum drying.


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VVER SNF storage fire and explosion safety damaged SNF thermal-vacuum drying radiolysis hydrogen corrosion products

Link for citing the article: Gaiazov A.Z., Leshchenko A.Yu., Smirnov V.P., Zvir Е.А., Il’in P.А., Teplov V.G. Study of Flammable Gases Generation and Radionuclide Release during and after Drying of Damaged VVER SNF. Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika. 2024, no. 2, pp. 59-73; DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2024.2.05 (in Russian).