May 18, 2024

Building the foundations of a predictive tool for spent fuel behaviour (PDRA)

The overall aim of the PhD project and associated PDRA position is to construct the basis for a predictive tool for spent fuel behaviour; to model spent fuel in aqueous environments, across length-scales, using results from atomistic simulations, using physical and chemical kinetics, combining radiolysis models with molecular dynamics. We plan to close the loop […]

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May 18, 2024

Predicting the Corrosion of Spent Nuclear Fuels

The PhD project will seek to investigate, experimentally and computationally, the corrosion mechanism(s), including intermediates, products and reaction rates, of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) in oxidative environments. The objective is therefore, to be able to predict quantitatively the degree of corrosion and product formation as a function of time and temperature by using a combination […]

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May 18, 2024

In-situ Identification of Surface Corrosion Products on Spent Nuclear Fuels

The PDRA project will seek to develop laser-based methods for characterisation of degraded spent nuclear fuel materials in situ. The techniques, including time-resolved laser fluorescence (TRLFS), Raman and laser-induced breakdown (LIBS) spectroscopy, provide direct speciation, structural and compositional information on uranium-containing compounds and solutions. Moreover, they offer the potential for ‘hands-off’ deployment, which is essential […]

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May 18, 2024

SCC in AGR cladding (micromechanical testing of irradiated clad)

There is a need to understand the stress corrosion cracking and mechanical properties of stainless steel 20-25-Nb AGR cladding material before and after irradiation to underpin predictions of structural integrity during transport and in storage and disposal environments. This PhD project aims to utilise real spent fuel clad materials recently provided to Bristol from the […]

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May 18, 2024

Characterisation of perforated AGR fuel and its behaviour during drying

A recently completed PhD project tested and proved the feasibility of drying AGR fuels that had been stored for long periods in a caustic environment. The project successfully developed a drying process and proved that end points can be identified.   During the project, drying of perforated fuels was simulated in the main using pin […]

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May 18, 2024

The Oxidation of Uranium Oxide Spent Fuel at Low Temperatures

The expected remaining lifetime of the UK’s Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors (AGRs) will result in the generation of ~6600t of Spent Nuclear Fuel. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s preferred option for this spent fuel is pre-disposal interim storage – currently in ponds at Sellafield – prior to final disposal by consignment to a geologic disposal repository in […]

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May 18, 2024

An investigation of corrosion and leaching of carbide fuels in a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) setting.

Uranium carbide (UC) is considered an exotic fuel material which has arisen from the UK nuclear test reactor programme. This material has served as both a fuel at sites like Dounreay, Scotland and as a fission target material in facilities such as CERN. The NDA has an inventory of irradiated uranium carbide as part of […]

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May 18, 2024

Assessing the properties and release behaviour of products arising from metallic and exotic fuel corrosion

Aim: To develop a better understanding of the properties and reactivity of bulk corrosion products arising from the degradation of legacy metallic and exotic SNF.   Research will develop understanding of the fundamental properties and reactivity of bulk corrosion products arising from the degradation of legacy metallic and exotic nuclear fuel materials. Such research will […]

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May 18, 2024

Muon Tomography for Monitoring Civil Nuclear Assets

Muons are fundamental charged particles, produced in the atmosphere by cosmic rays. Every second, hundreds of high velocity muons shower each square meter of earth, providing a highly penetrating, naturally abundant, and safe particle source that can be used for passive imaging. One such imaging technique is Muon Scattering Tomography (MST), which uses sandwiches of […]

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May 18, 2024

Field deployment of biomineral technologies for treatment and repair of concrete nuclear infrastructure

Nuclear sites comprise huge volumes of concrete assets, which are exposed to differing environmental conditions resulting in variable mechanisms for, and rates of, concrete degradation. For example, external concrete building facades may be exposed to freeze-thaw and high salinity, whereas some internal concrete structures may be exposed to high temperatures and high levels of radiation. […]

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