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Reducing Uncertainty in Performance Prediction

Objective

At the core of the safety case for long-term geologic disposal for spent nuclear fuel lie the issues regarding spent fuel dissolution. We have today significant knowledge regarding dissolution of uranium oxide in the laboratory. However, uncertainties remain regarding spent fuel dissolution under realistic conditions. Two main questions stand out as necessary to address: First, the synthetic groundwater used in the experiments to date does not contain all of the chemical elements that occur in natural groundwaters. Some of the trace elements may produce radiolysis products that are more aggressive than those produced in the synthetic groundwaters. Second, the fragments used in laboratory experiments contain sharp edges and defects generated by the crushing process. These sites contain atoms that have fewer bonds than the bulk material and constitute high-energy sites. As dissolution occurs, these sites dissolve faster than lower energy sites, such as plane surface sites. As the high-energy sites disappear through dissolution, the dissolution rate decreases. We can approach the long-term dissolution rate in the laboratory, but we cannot at this time estimate how far away we are from it. The two items mentioned above lead to uncertainty concerning the dissolution rate. The objectives of the work proposed here are to reduce the uncertainty in the dissolution rate to be used in the safety case and thereby increase the confidence that can be placed in our ability to demonstrate that the geologic repository will function as designed. A second objective of this work is to provide for the training of young research workers who can continue to support the research needed in the future concerning radioactive waste disposal.

Call for proposal

FP7-Fission-2010
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Coordinator

SVENSK KARNBRANSLEHANTERING AKTIEBOLAG
Address
Box 3091
169 03 Solna
Sweden
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 89 973

Participants (4)

POSIVA OY
Finland
EU contribution
€ 22 608
Address
Olkiluoto
27160 Eurajoki
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
TEKNOLOGIAN TUTKIMUSKESKUS VTT
Finland
EU contribution
€ 271 000
Address
Tekniikantie 4 A
02044 VTT Espoo
Activity type
Research Organisations
UPPSALA UNIVERSITET
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 232 800
Address
Von Kraemers Alle 4
751 05 Uppsala
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 312 922,80
Address
Firth Court Western Bank
S10 2TN Sheffield
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments