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Effects of $$alpha$$-radiation on a direct disposal system for spent nuclear fuel, 2; Review of research into safety assessments of direct disposal of spent nuclear fuel in Europe and North America

Kitamura, Akira  ; Takase, Hiroyasu*; Metcalfe, R.*; Penfold, J.*

Not only geological disposal of vitrified waste generated by spent fuel (SF) reprocessing, but also the possibility of disposing of SF itself in deep geological strata (hereinafter "direct disposal of SF") may be considered in the Japanese geological disposal program. In the case of direct disposal of SF, the radioactivity of the waste is higher and the potential effects of the radiation are greater. Specific examples of the possible effects of radiation include: increased amounts of canister corrosion; generation of oxidizing chemical species in conjunction with radiation degradation of groundwater and accompanying oxidation of reducing groundwater; and increase in the dissolution rate and the solubility of SF. Therefore, the influences of radiation, which are not expected to be significant in the case of geological disposal of vitrified waste, must be considered in safety assessments for direct disposal of SF. Focusing especially on the effects of $$alpha$$-radiation in safety assessment, this study has reviewed safety assessments in countries other than Japan that are planning direct disposal of SF. The review has identified issues relevant to safety assessment for the direct disposal of SF in Japan.

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Category:Nuclear Science & Technology

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