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Experiments Performed in Substantiation of the Conditioning of BN-350 Spent Cesium Traps Using Lead or Lead-Bismuth Alloy Filling Technology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 February 2011

O.G. Romanenko
Affiliation:
Nuclear Technology Safety Center (RK), Almaty 050020, Kazakhstan
I.L. Tazhibaeva
Affiliation:
Nuclear Technology Safety Center (RK), Almaty 050020, Kazakhstan
I.L. Yakovlev
Affiliation:
MAEC Kazatomprom (RK), Aktau, Mangistau region 130000, Kazakhstan
A.I. Ivanov
Affiliation:
MAEC Kazatomprom (RK), Aktau, Mangistau region 130000, Kazakhstan
D. Wells
Affiliation:
Nuvia Limited (UK), Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 8DH, UK
A. Herrick
Affiliation:
Nuvia Limited (UK), Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 8DH, UK
J.A. Michelbacher
Affiliation:
Idaho National Laboratory (USA), Idaho Falls, ID 83415-6000, USA
S.B. Shiganakov
Affiliation:
Kazakh Atomic Energy Committee (RK), Astana 010000, Kazakhstan
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Abstract

The technology of removing cesium radionuclides from sodium coolant at the BN-350 fast reactor was realized in the form of two different types of cesium traps: stationary devices connected to the circuit and in-core devices installed into the core of reactor when it was not under operation. Carbon-graphite materials were used as sorbents in these traps to collect and concentrate radioactive cesium, accumulated in the BN-350 reactor circuits over the decades of their operation. The relatively small volume traps provided effective radiation-safe conditions for personnel working close to the primary circuit coolant and equipment during BN-350 decommissioning. These spent cesium traps represent solid radioactive wastes that must be treated before long term storage. The presence of chemically active sodium, potassium and cesium in the traps results in series of problems related to their long term storage and disposal in the Republic of Kazakhstan. As a consequence, the technology of filling spent cesium traps with lead/lead-bismuth alloy was evaluated. A set of experiments was implemented aimed at verification of calculations performed in substantiation of the proposed technology: filling a full scale cesium trap mock-up with sodium followed by its draining to determine the optimal regimes of draining; filling bench scale cesium trap mock-ups with sodium and cesium followed by sodium draining and filling with lead or lead-bismuth alloy at different temperatures and filling rates to chose the optimal regimes for filling spent cesium traps; implementation of leachability tests to determine the rate of cesium release from the filling materials into water. This paper provides a description of the experimental program carried out and the main results obtained.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2009

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References

1 Romanenko, O.G., Allen, K.J., Wachs, D.M., Planchon, H.P., Wells, P.B., Michelbacher, J.A., Nazarenko, P., Dumchev, I., Maev, V., Zemtzev, B., Tikhomirov, L., Yakovlev, V. and Synkov, A., Nuclear Technology 150, pp. 7999 (2005).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
2 Romanenko, O.G., Tazhibaeva, I.L., Wells, D., Herrick, A., Michelbacher, J.A., Knight, C., Polyakov, V.I., Privalov, U., Sobolev, M., U Shtynda, Gaynullina, A., Yakovlev, I.L., Shirobokov, U.P., Ivanov, A.I. and Pugachev, G.P., “Strategy for Handling Spent BN-350 Cesium Traps in the Republic of Kazakhstan”, Safety Related Issues of Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage, ed. Lambert, J.D.B. and Kadyrzhanov, K.K. (Springer 2007) pp.107142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
3 Kizin, V.D., Polyakov, V.I. and Sobolev, A.V., “Preparation of radionuclide traps of sodium cooled reactors for disposal”, Report for Russian-French seminar on treatment of radioactive sodium wastes, Dimitrovgrad, Russia, 15-16 October, 1998.Google Scholar
4 Kizin, V.D. and Shtynda, Y.E., Cesium Trap Conditioning for Disposal, IAEA meeting, “Radioactive Sodium Waste Treatment and Conditioning”, Lyon, France (2002).Google Scholar

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Experiments Performed in Substantiation of the Conditioning of BN-350 Spent Cesium Traps Using Lead or Lead-Bismuth Alloy Filling Technology
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