The aim for storage of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) either in wet or in dry storage systems is to ensure general safety objectives are met throughout a desired storage period. Staff at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), in collaborations with partners at other national laboratories, industry research organizations, and the University of South Carolina (UofSC), have performed materials aging testing and analyses, and have established nuclear materials aging management programs to support extended periods of safe storage of research reactor (RR) SNF and of commercial power reactor (PR) SNF pending ultimate disposal. Several example challenges include susceptibility of aluminum SNF from research reactors to corrosion in poor quality water (wet storage). In dry storage, aluminum SNF can release hydrogen via radiolysis of the hydrated oxides on the aluminum cladding. Austenitic stainless steel canisters used for dry storage are susceptible to chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking (outside-in attack) that threaten the confinement boundary provided by the canister. This paper further describes these challenges, among others, and the formulated solutions to support extended safe storage of SNF.
Sindelar, Robert L.
"Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Safe Management of Spent Nuclear Fuel,"
Journal of the South Carolina Academy of Science: Vol. 20:
1, Article 7.
Available at: https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/jscas/vol20/iss1/7