Journal of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Environment
Online ISSN : 2186-7135
Print ISSN : 1884-7579
Research Article
Mechanisms and Possibility of Autocatalytic Criticality by High-Level Wastes Buried in Water-Saturated Geologic Formation
Joonhong AhnEhud GreenspanPaul L. Chambré
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Volume 4 (1997-1998) Issue 2 Pages 3-20

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Abstract

  An analysis of underground autocatalytic criticality has been performed for vitrified high-level radioactive wastes arising from reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel that are placed in a water-saturated fractured geologic formation. We estimate by mass transport analyses the mass and 235U-enrichment of accumulated uranium in the host rock originated from multiple failed waste canisters, for which static neutronic analyses are performed. Uranium accumulation with 12% enrichment (denoted as U(12)) can be created. With 30% porosity of the host rock, the minimum critical mass of U(12) required for over-moderated criticality is 280 kg. Heterogeneous U(12) depositions can exhibit positive reactivity feedback due to medium temperature increase.

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© 1998 Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Environment, Atomic Energy Society of Japan
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