It is important in nuclear waste repository development that testing be done with materials containing a radionuclide spectrum representative of actual wastes. To meet the need for such materials, the Materials Characterization Center (MCC) has prepared simulated high level waste (HLW) glasses with radionuclides representative of about 10-, 300-, and 1000-year-old waste. A quantity of well characterized spent fuel also has been acquired for the same purpose. Glasses containing 10- and 300-year-old wastes, and the spent fuel specimens, must be fabricated in a hot cell. Hot cell conditions (high radiation field, remote operation, and difficulty of repairs) require that procedures and equipment normally used in materials preparation out-of-cell be modified for hot cell applications.
This paper discusses the fabrication of two glasses, and the preparation of test specimens of these glasses and spent fuel. One of the glasses is a 76–68 composition, which is fully loaded with actual commercial reactor fission product waste. The other glass contains simulated Barnwell Nuclear Fuel Plant waste, doped with different combinations of fission products and actinides. The spent fuel is a 10-year-old PWR material. Special techniques have been used to achieve high quality, well characterized testing materials, including specimens in the form of segments, wafers, cylinders, and powders of these materials.