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Topic Title: REPORT: Spent Nuclear Fuel: Research Needs
Topic Summary: R. Ewing, et. al., University of Michigan. Review of recent research on a variety of topics
Created On: 6/27/2007 8:10 AM

 6/27/2007 8:10 AM

Lynne Robinson

Posts: 701
Joined: 2/3/2007

In 2005, the global inventory of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) is approximately 175,000 metric tonnes (slightly less than one third is in the USA) (Ewing, 2004). In the USA, the inventory in 2010 will be 61,800 metric tonnes of heavy metal (tHM) with a total activity of 32.6 GCi. The USA presently has an open nuclear fuel cycle (without reprocessing) with ultimate disposal at the proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. The SNF represents >95% of the radioactivity. Thus, a major challenge of successful geologic disposal of radioactive waste is to understand the long-term behavior of SNF. An understanding of their long-term behavior requires an improved knowledge of their structures, thermochemical parameters, solubilities, substitution mechanisms for trace radionuclides, surface properties and the kinetics of dissolution/precipitation reactions. Natural uranium deposits, such as the Oklo natural reactors, also provide important data. This paper reviews recent research on these topics, and its relation to the properties of SNF.

Citation: Ewing, R.C. and Peters, M. Spent Nuclear Fuel: Research Needs. Goldschmidt Conference. Moscow, Idaho. May 22, 2005

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