This report documents the first phase of a multi-year project to understand the technical feasibility and logistical implications of direct disposal of spent nuclear fuel in existing dual-purpose canisters (DPCs) and other types of storage casks.
Deep borehole disposal is one alternative for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and other radioactive waste forms; identifying a site or areas with favorable geological, hydrogeological, and geochemical conditions is one of the first steps to a demonstration project.
Enginerred Barrier Systems (EBS) model evaluation and development is fundamental to the design and analysis of disposal concepts for generic repository systems; this report centers on progress made on modeling and experimental approaches to analyze physical and chemical interactions affecting clay barrier performance.
Experiments were used to examine water content in Permian salt samples including impact of variation in thermal regime on water content of evaporites and other mineral species, behavior of brine inclusions in salt, and evolution of the gas/liquid brine/salt system.
This work on the natural barrier system is conducted to reduce uncertainty in natural system performance and to fully exploit the credits that can be taken for the natural system barrier; several potential enhancements to describing barrier performance capabilities are presented.
Shale and clay-rich rock formations have been considered as potential host rocks for geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste throughout the world: modeling thermal, hydrological, mechanical, and chemical (THMC) of the near field of generic clay repository is discussed.
The Generic Deep Geologic Disposal Safety Case presents generic information that is of use in understanding potential deep geologic disposal options (e.g., salt, shale, granite, deep borehole) in the U.S. for used nuclear fuel (UNF) from reactors and high-level radioactive waste (HLW).
This report describes RD&D activities to support a safety case for disposal of heat generating radioactive waste (used nuclear fuel, high-level nuclear waste) in a generic bedded salt repository based on interactions from March, 2013 Workshop.
Used nuclear fuel (UNF) must maintain its integrity during the storage period in such a way that it can withstand the physical forces of handling and transportation associated with restaging the fuel and transporting it to treatment or recycling facilities, or to a geologic repository.
Clay and granitic geologic rock units are potential host media for future repositories for used nuclear fuel and high level waste. This report addresses the representation of flow in these two media within numerical process (discrete fracture network) models.
The Office of Nuclear Energy has conducted a technical review and assessment of the total current inventory [~70,150 MTHM as of 2011] of domestic discharged used nuclear fuel (UNF) and estimated an amount to be considered for retention in support of research, development, demonstration, and national security interests.
A disposal concept consists of three parts: waste inventory (7 waste types examined), geologic setting (e.g., clay/shale, salt, crystalline, other sedimentary), and the engineering concept of operations (range of generic operational concepts examined; enclosed and open mode disposal concepts, thermal analysis, other).
The Used Fuel Disposition Campaign (UFDC) conducts R&D activities related to storage, transportation and disposal of used nuclear fuel and high level nuclear waste (for existing and future fuels); deep geologic disposal R&D activities are outlined and prioritized on the basis of gaps in understanding and benefit derived from R&D to narrow such gaps.
The Used Fuel Disposition Campaign will identify alternatives and conduct scientific research and technology development to enable storage, transportation, and disposal of used nuclear fuel and wastes generated by existing and future nuclear fuel cycles.
The Transportation Team identified the retrievability and subcriticality safety functions to be of primary importance to the transportation of UNF after extended storage and to transportation of high burnup fuel. The tasks performed and described herein address issues related to retrievability and subcriticality; integrity of cladding (embrittled, high burnup cladding, loads applied to cladding during transport), criticality analyses of failed UNF within transport packages, moderator exclusion concepts, stabilization of cladding with canisters for criticality control; and the need for maintaining a detailed inventory of UNF in dry storage as an ongoing activity.
Several international organizations have made significant progress in the characterization and performance evaluation of other disposal design options and host rock characteristics (clay/shale, granite), most of which were very different from those studied in the U.S. The DOE recognizes that close international collaboration is a beneficial and costeffective strategy for advancing disposal science. This report describes the active collaboration opportunities available to U.S. researchers, and presents specific cooperative research activities that have been recently initiated within DOE’s disposal research program.
The document describes the initial work on designing and developing requirements for a total system performance assessment (TSPA) model that can support preliminary safety assessments for a mined geologic repository for high-level waste (HLW) and spent nuclear fuel (SNF) in salt host rock at a generic site. A preliminary generic salt TSPA model for HLW/SNF disposal has been developed and tested for an isothermal repository in salt, for emplaced waste that is assumed to have no decay heat; for salt repositories containing heat-generating HLW/SNF, the present study develops model requirements based on features, events, and processes (FEPs) screening and proposed sensitivity analyses for heat-generating waste. These may better guide the construction of a more representative salt TSPA model.
The study summarizes the initial work on numerical modeling, simulations, and experimental results related to nuclear waste storage in a salt repository. The study reflects the project's preliminary effort at simulating the fluid flow and heat transport processes, before treating the fully coupled thermal-mechanical-hydrologic-chemical (TMHC) coupled processes in the future.
The natural barrier system (NBS) is an integral part of a geologic nuclear waste repository. The report describes progress in development of an integrated modeling framework that can be used for systematically analyzing the performance of a natural barrier system and identifying key factors that control the performance. This framework is designed as an integrated tool for prioritization and programmatic decisions.
This report summarizes research activities on engineered barrier system (EBS) model integration with the generic disposal system model (GDSM), and used fuel degradation and radionuclide mobilization (RM) in support of the EBS evaluation and tool development within the UFD campaign.
This roadmap is intended to advance deep borehole disposal (DBD) from its current conceptual status to potential future deployment as a disposal system for spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level waste (HLW). The objectives of the DBD RD&D roadmap include providing the technical basis for fielding a DBD demonstration project, defining the scientific research activities associated with site characterization and postclosure safety, and defining the engineering demonstration activities associated with deep borehole drilling, completion, and surrogate waste canister emplacement.