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An introduction to package evolution and criticality research studies relevant to the UK disposal programme

  • C. Padovani (a1), S. J. Williams (a1) and P. Wood (a1)

Abstract

In the UK, radioactive wastes currently planned for disposal in a geological disposal facility (GDF) include intermediate level waste, some low level waste and high level waste. Disposal of other materials, including spent fuel, uranium and plutonium is also being evaluated to inform the safety case for a GDF, if such materials were to be classified as wastes in the future. This paper describes the generic safety functions through which waste packages can contribute to the safety case of a GDF in the UK. It describes the engineering approach used or envisaged, in the UK and internationally, to ensure that waste packages retain their safety functions for the required periods of time and summarizes the scientific basis underpinning the current understanding of relevant evolution processes. Where gaps in the knowledge exist, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority Radioactive Waste Management Directorate has identified specific research activities needed to close out such gaps to a level of maturity sufficient for this stage of the disposal programme (generic). This paper describes the latest results from their R&D programme and presents a summary of the research activities planned to meet the current needs of the disposal programme with specific reference to the topics of package evolution and criticality safety.

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Copyright

© [2012] The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

References

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