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Leaching experiments are performed to mimic the conditions arising during deep geological storage of spent fuel should a fuel canister fail. A possible alternative to the use of spent fuel for such studies is offered by the use of SIMFUEL, which replicates the composition, chemical slate and some micro-structural features of spent fuel, without problems associated with the high radiation field.

This study used a SIMFUEL pellet with simulated 8% burn-up that was mechanically polished prior to the onset of leaching. Static leaching was performed at room temperature In carbonated groundwater under oxic conditions The sample was immersed in water for the prerequisite time whereupon it was removed from the leachate and transferred immediately to the spectrometer without drying, so as to minimise any changes arising via interaction with the external atmosphere. Analysis was then performed 'as received' without cleaning so as to avoid any sample alteration which may arise during processes such as ion etching. Following analysis, the sample was re-immersed in fresh water and leached further Leaching times ranged from 75 to 30000 minutes

Additional information

Authors: BLACK L, JRC Institute for Transuranium Elements, Karlsruhe (DE);GOUDER T, JRC Institute for Transuranium Elements, Karlsruhe (DE);COBOS J, JRC Institute for Transuranium Elements, Karlsruhe (DE);RONDINELLA V.V, JRC Institute for Transuranium Elements, Karlsruhe (DE)
Bibliographic Reference: An oral report given at: The 5th International Conference on Nuclear and Radiochemistry. Held at: Prontresina (CH) 3-8 September 2000
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