Spent Fuels

This theme addresses challenges in the management of spent nuclear fuel.

Spent nuclear fuel is a major concern for the UK as we have a large and complex inventory, due to the accumulation of waste from Magnox, AGR, PWR and prototype reactors. Retrieval and relocation operations for legacy fuels are imminent and any measurements or models that enhance our understanding of spent nuclear fuel evolution will mitigate the risks associated with fuel management and inform future decisions for long-term storage or disposal.

Theme Objectives:

  • Develop a  better understanding of the properties and reactivity of bulk corrosion products arising from the degradation of legacy metallic and exotic spent nuclear fuel
  • Develop a  deeper understanding of pressing fuel barrier corrosion issues facing the UK
  • Develop a series of spectroscopic and radiometric techniques that provide rapid and in-situ identification of nuclear fuel materials and their surface corrosion products
  • Develop a predictive tool for long-term spent nuclear fuel behaviour under a range of environmental conditions

Work packages:

  • Properties and Reactivity of Bulk Corrosion Products
  • Pressing Fuel Barrier Corrosion
  • In-Situ Identification of Nuclear Fuel Materials and Surface Corrosion Products
  • Prediction of Long-Term Spent Nuclear Fuel Behaviour