Spent Fuel Disposal: Redox Chemistry of UO2 Under Repository Relevant Conditions in the Presence of Zircaloy and Waste Canister Material
Within this DOE NEUP funded research project, we are studying the corrosion of UO2 in the presence of Zircaloy (a material used as fuel cladding in nuclear reactors) and 316 Stainless Steel (which is intended to be used in containers for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel). Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) is intended to be disposed of in a deep geological repository (DGR), where it will be stored for hundreds of thousands of years. Due to the sheer length of time that the SNF will be stored, the case must be considered that all technical barriers between the SNF and the environment might fail, resulting in ground water contacting the SNF assembly. This project consists of high pressure, high temperature hydrothermal corrosion experiments which will shed new light on the redox chemistry of UO2 in a DGR, and therefore help to close knowledge gaps about the behavior of SNF in the case of technical barrier failure and groundwater infiltration of a DGR.