Spent Fuel

Mass and Volume of Spent Nuclear Fuel – NRC Response

I recently wrote a post on the Mass and Volume of Spent Nuclear Fuel. Roberto Kersevan pointed out in a comment that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) arrive at a very different figure to myself. I therefore wrote to the NRC to point out their mistake. Here is their response as promised: Peter, Thank you […]

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Mass and Volume of Spent Nuclear Fuel

I frequently hear comments about the amount of spent nuclear fuel for a certain amount of energy. One figure is that it is one pound coin for every household per year. Somewhere else I am told it is 0.3mg per KWh. Others will tell you that you could fit it into the Albert Hall – […]

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‘Burning’ Nuclear Waste in Nuclear Reactors

I was recently asked for my opinion on the DUPIC (Direct Use of spent PWR fuel In CANDU) reactor. Although I do not have any comments about this reactor compared to other reactors which ‘burn nuclear waste’ I thought I would say a few words about the concept in general. Before we go onto that […]

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Spent Fuel Pools – Sizewell/Hinkley and Fukushima Unit 4

Originally I was going to write something just about Fukushima Unit 4 Spent fuel pond. There has been some reports about ‘the end of civilisation’ if the fuel pond fails. I thought this is a bit of an exaggeration. To put it in perspective I worked out what the area would need to be evacuated […]

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Deep Geological Repository

It is planned that the spent fuel from Sizewell C&D will be moved to a final ‘geological repository’ in about 21301. At a recent consultation meeting EDF gave the impression that the technology to do so was well understood and that deep geological repositories already exist in Finland and Sweden. This is far from the […]

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Terrorist Attacks on Spent Nuclear Fuel Ponds

In my previous blog I talked about the amount of spent fuel and in particular Caesium 137 that will possible stored at Sizewell if the new nuclear build goes ahead. This radioactivity could be released either by accident (such as the one that almost happened at Sizewell A1) or by a terrorist attack. We mentioned […]

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Sizewell Nuclear Waste Dump

Unlike Sizewell A the waste from Sizewell B and from the proposed Sizewell C&D are to be stored on site until at least 21301. This will turn the Sizewell area into a massive nuclear waste dump for at least the next 110 years. The site will contain over 100 times the amount of radioactivity released […]

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Cs-137 Inventories in Spent Fuel

In my previous post I showed a method of getting a rough idea about how much Cs-137 there is in spent fuel as it leaves the reactor. Once it leaves the reactor the Cs-137 decays with a half-life of about 30 years. Therefore the amount of Cs-137in the spent fuel removed on the first year […]

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Cs-137 in Spent Fuel as it leaves the reactor

I am now going to get a rough idea of how much caesium 137 there is in spent nuclear fuel. One reason for choosing Cs-137 is that it is a major fission product, it has a reasonably long half-life (30.17 years), it has a low melting and boiling point and is readily absorbed by the […]

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Production and Decay of Fission Products

We are going to assume that the fissile product has one mode of decay and does not do anything naughty such as undergo neutron capture. We can then write its rate of production as: where is the decay constant for fission product N, is the number of fissions per second and is the fraction of […]

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