Study of hydrogen generation and radionuclide release during wet damaged oxide spent fuel storage

A. Gayazov, S. Komarov, A. Leshchenko, K. Revenko, V. Smirnov (Sosny R&D Company), E. Zvir , P. Ilyin, V. Teplov (JSC “SSC RIAR”)


Nuclear Energy and Technology 5 (1), 2019


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The paper describes the outcomes of the experiments to study hydrogen and gaseous fission products accumulation during simulations of the wet damaged VVER-440 SNF storage in air-tight canisters with the water drained and no drying conducted. Physical and chemical processes occurring during the damaged oxide SNF storage in wet environment are discussed. The experiments were carried out in two stages: 1) preliminary soaking of fine fuel particles in water in an air-tight canister, 2) water draining and keeping the wet SNF in the air-tight canister.

The experiments were conducted one after another using the same SNF canister and differing only in the SNF soaking temperature, i.e. 25 and 80 °С.

The radionuclide release into the liquid phase during the SNF storage under water was studied. Uranium and cesium isotopic concentrations were found to reach steady values when the SNF is kept under water for more than a month. The kinetics of hydrogen and gaseous fission product accumulation in the gaseous phase during wet storage of the spent fuel in the air-tight canister with the water drained coincide for both experiments. The kinetics demonstrate an abrupt decrease of the hydrogen and gaseous fission product accumulation rate in 46 hours. The data obtained can be applied for development and verification of the damaged SNF behavior models during SNF storage in wet environment under radiolysis.

Keywords: Fire and explosion safety; damaged SNF; VVER-440; radiolysis; hydrogen; gaseous fission products; UO2 dissolution.

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