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2015 | 13 | 1 |
Article title

Simulation of alpha dose for predicting radiolytic
species at the surface of spent nuclear fuel pellets

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In many countries, spent nuclear fuel
is considered as a waste form to be disposed of in
underground disposal. Under deep host rock conditions,
a reducing environment prevails. In the case of water
contact, long-term radionuclide release from the fuel
depends on dissolution processes of the UO2 matrix. The
dissolution rate of irradiated UO2 is controlled by oxidizing
processes facilitated by dissolved species formed by alpharadiolysis
of water in contact with spent nuclear fuel. To
understand the effect of the radiation, the information of
the dose rate at the surface of the fuel and its proximity
is needed. α particles contribute strongly due to their
high linear energy transfer. However, their dose rate and
the energy deposition at the fuel surface are difficult to
measure. Cylindrical fuel pellets as used in fuel rods show
specific features, such as the rim zone, where a higher Pu
concentration and a different porosity of the fuel matrix
is present. The a particle dose rate was determined by
simulations with the code MCNPX with focus on the rim
zone of a pellet. As a result a 40% increased dose level
in the rim zone exists in comparison to the center of
a pellet. The potential dominant and inhomogeneous
α-dose distribution is supposed to have a strong impact on
radiolysis phenomena and in turn on an inhomogeneous
dissolution of elements over the surface.
Physical description
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28 - 2 - 2014
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