Potential ¹4CO2 Releases from Spent Fuel Containers at Yucca Mountain

by C. Pescatore, Brookhaven Natl Lab, Upton, United States,
T. M. Sullivan, Brookhaven Natl Lab, Upton, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1991


The potential release of gaseous 14CO2 from small perforations in spent fuel containers has been evaluated as a function of temperature, hole size, effective porosity of corrosion products within the hole, and time, based on the waste package design parameters and environmental conditions described in the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Report (SCP). The SCP does not specify initial fill gas (argon) pressure and temperature. It is shown that, if significant 14C oxidation takes place during the initial, inert-gas phase, an incentive exists to initially underpressurize the containers. This will avoid large, spiked releases of gaseous 14CO2 and will result in delayed, smaller, and more uniform release rates over time. Therefore larger size perforations could be tolerated while meeting the applicable regulations.

Subject Headings: Fuels | Radioactive wastes | Nuclear power | Waste sites | Waste disposal | Carbon dioxide | Temperature effects | Oxidation

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