This theme addresses the challenges of storage and disposition of the plutonium arising from the reprocessing of spent fuel.
civil inventory of nuclear materials contains significant stocks of separated
Pu from the reprocessing of Magnox and AGR spent fuels. The preferred option
for the 140 t of Pu is re-use as mixed oxide fuel, although 5% is not suitable
for re-use and is recommended for direct disposal. However, it will take >15
years to implement re-use, requiring that the Pu be kept in its current state
for that period, i.e. as PuO2 powder in
inert steel storage cans at Sellafield.
The aim of the research is to provide
technical underpinning to ongoing option development for the UK civil Pu
- For interim storage, to understand how the surface structure and properties of pristine and radiation damaged PuO2 change with time in the absence and presence of water
- For disposition, to understand the mechanisms of incorporation of Pu into ceramic and glass-ceramic wasteforms, as well as the effect on these of self-induced radiation damage
- Surface Chemistry of PuO2 Under Conditions Relevant to Interim Storage
- Plutonium Immobilisation in Advanced Ceramic Wasteforms