Study on Flammable Gas Generation and Radionuclide Release During Underwater Handling of AM Reactor Spent Fuel

A. Gayazov, A. Leshchenko, V. Smirnov (Sosny R&D Company), P. Ilyin, V. Teplov (JSC “SSC RIAR”)


2021 ANS Winter Meeting, Washington, USA, November 30 - December 3, 2021


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Generation of flammable gases in water received little attention for the dispersion fuel of complex composition. The study aimed to obtain experimental data on the flammable gas generation rate to justify fire and explosion safety in handling the dispersion spent fuel underwater. The paper describes the results of the experiments investigating the accumulation of flammable gases. It also addresses the assessments of radiolytic hydrogen produced during underwater storage of damaged spent nuclear fuel.

The experiments studied the accumulation of flammable gases during underwater handling simulations for the damaged spent nuclear fuel from the AM reactor. The kinetics of hydrogen production for the (U‑9% Mo)+Mg and UC+Ca fuel and the kinetics of methane generation for the carbide spent fuel were obtained. The estimates demonstrated that the contribution of radiolytic hydrogen to the gas yield was negligible, and the determining source of gases was the chemical interaction between the spent fuel and the water. The findings may be helpful to justify fire and explosion safety of underwater handling techniques for the damaged spent nuclear fuel with the considered fuel compositions.

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