This study is part of a generic investigation for the assessment of the required minimum distance between a Spent Fuel/High-Level Waste/ Intermediate-Level Waste (SF/HWL/ILW) repository and a Low/ Intermediate-Level Waste (L/ILW) repository. For this, a large-scale numerical model was constructed to investigate the two-phase flow behavior for such a repository configuration in a low-permeability claystone formation. The modeling focused on the pressurization mechanisms associated with (a) resaturation of backfilled underground facilities, (b) thermal effects caused by heat generation from the SF/HLW canisters, and (c) gas generation from corrosion and degradation of different wastes in the L/ILW and ILW caverns and in the SF/HLW emplacement tunnels. The model accounts for gas generation from corrosion and degradation of both L/ILW and ILW wastes indicating decreasing rates with time, and from corrosion of the SF/HLW canisters characterized by a constant rate. Heat generation from radioactive decay of radionuclides of MOX/UO2 wastes is described by an exponential decay with time. The preceding operational phases of the different repository components were simulated representing the transient initial conditions for the post-closure phase. The simulated pressure buildup in the L/ILW repository shows a near linear increase between 10 and 4,000 years when the peak pressure of 6.5 MPa is reached for a repository at about 370 m bg. This is followed by a similar decline, recovering to near hydrostatic pressures after 1 million years. The SF/HLW repository (repository level 600 m bg) indicates a pressure rise between 100 and 1,000 years affected by the early thermal effects, followed by a steep increase between 3,000 and 100,000 years when the pressures level off to a maximum of 6.5 MPa after 160,000 years (corresponding to a steel corrosion rate of 1 μm/year). This is the time when all the metal is corroded and the gas generation stops resulting in a sudden decline, and the pressures level off to about 4.5 MPa in the SF/HLW emplacement tunnel after 1 million years. The numerical modeling demonstrates that the main pressurization mechanism is from gas generation in the different repository components. The pressure histories show a distinct separation of the pressure peaks between the L/ILW repository and the SF/HLW/ILW repository. Moreover, the thermal phenomena affect the pressures in the SF/HLW repository at early time only (prior to about 2,000 years). The thermal expansion of the pore water in the nearfield around the SF/HLW tunnels does produce a relatively steep pressure buildup after 100 years, but it dissipates rapidly prior to the main pressure buildup caused by the gas generation and gas accumulation in the SF/HLW repository. The thermally induced pressure buildup is restricted to the vicinity of the SF/HLW emplacement tunnels (decameter range) and thus, significant interference of the thermally induced pressure perturbation around the SF/HLW/ILW repository with the early gas pressure buildup in the L/ILW repository can be excluded.
- Nuclear Engineering Division and Environmental Engineering Division
Investigations of the Possible Separation Distance Between Spent Fuel/High-Level Waste and a Low/Intermediate-Level Waste Repositories due to Gas and Heat Generation
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Senger, R, & Ewing, J. "Investigations of the Possible Separation Distance Between Spent Fuel/High-Level Waste and a Low/Intermediate-Level Waste Repositories due to Gas and Heat Generation." Proceedings of the ASME 2011 14th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management. ASME 2011 14th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, Parts A and B. Reims, France. September 25–29, 2011. pp. 1241-1251. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ICEM2011-59220
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