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Report No.

Effects of $$alpha$$-radiation on a disposal of spent nuclear fuel

Kitamura, Akira  

The Japanese geological disposal program has started researching disposal of spent nuclear fuel (SF) in deep geological strata (hereafter "direct disposal of SF") as an alternative management option other reprocessing followed by vitrification and geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste. In the case of direct disposal of SF, specific examples of the possible effects of radiation include: generation of oxidizing chemical species in conjunction with decomposition of groundwater and accompanying oxidation of reducing groundwater; and increase in the dissolution rate of SF and the solubility of radionuclides. Focusing especially on the effects of $$alpha$$-radiation in safety assessment, this study has reviewed research into the effects of $$alpha$$-radiation on the spent nuclear fuel, canisters and environment outside the canisters, and safety assessments in countries other than Japan that are planning direct disposal of SF. It was found that the effects of $$alpha$$-radiation on SF disposal are not significant due to suppression of water radiolysis by hydrogen gas generated from canister corrosion according to the latest research.



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