Scoping Experimental Analysis of Factors Affecting Cask Contamination Weeping

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by P. C. Bennett, Sandia Natl Lab, Albuquerque, United States,
B. M. Rutherford, Sandia Natl Lab, Albuquerque, United States,
J. F. Kunze, Sandia Natl Lab, Albuquerque, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1991:

Abstract: One issue of particular concern to both the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the US Department of Energy (DOE) involves the control of in-transit 'weeping' of surface contamination on pool-loaded spent fuel transportation casks. Weeping is the release of semi-fixed radioactive particulates from an exterior surface of a transportation cask some time after its removal from a spent fuel pool. Spent fuel casks have arrived at final destinations with removable surface contamination levels in excess of that allowed by the US Department of Transportation although preshipment surveys indicated removable contamination levels were well below these limits. The first set of experiments, reported herein, concentrated on inducing weeping, isolating and identifying the contaminants, and investigating macroscopic variables which might affect weeping. A second series of tests is underway to characterize bonding and release mechanisms, and to suggest effective means of decontamination.

Subject Headings: Fuels | Nuclear power | Pollution | Federal government | Radioactive wastes | Geomatic surveys | Bonding |

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