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Measurement of Gap and Grain-Boundary Inventories of 129I Used in Candu Fuels

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 February 2011

S. Stroes-Gascoyne
Affiliation:
AECL Research, Vhiteshell Laboratories, Pinava, Manitoba, Canada
D. L. Moir
Affiliation:
AECL Research, Vhiteshell Laboratories, Pinava, Manitoba, Canada
M. Kolar
Affiliation:
AECL Research, Vhiteshell Laboratories, Pinava, Manitoba, Canada
R. J. Porth
Affiliation:
AECL Research, Vhiteshell Laboratories, Pinava, Manitoba, Canada
J. L. McConnell
Affiliation:
AECL Research, Vhiteshell Laboratories, Pinava, Manitoba, Canada
A. H. Kerr
Affiliation:
AECL Research, Vhiteshell Laboratories, Pinava, Manitoba, Canada
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Abstract

Combined gap and grain-boundary inventories of 129I in 14 used CANDU fuel elements were measured by crushing and simultaneously leaching fuel segments for 4 h in a solution containing KI carrier. From analogy with previous work a near one-to-one correlation vas anticipated between the amount of stable Xe and the amount of 129I in the combined gap and grain-boundary regions of the fuel. However, the results showed that such a correlation was only apparent for low linear power rating (LLPR) fuels with an average linear power rating of 642 kV/m. For high linear power rating (HLPR) fuels (>44 kw/m), the 129I values were considerably smaller than expected. The combined gap and grain-boundary inventories of 129I in the 14 fuels tested varied from 1.8 to 11.01, with an average value of 3.6 ± 2.4% which suggests that the average value of 8.1 ± 1% used in safety assessment calculations overestimates the instant release fraction for 129I. Segments of used CANDU fuels were leached for 92 d (samples taken at 5, 28 and 92 d) to determine the kinetics of 129I release. Results could be fitted tentatively to half-order reaction kinetics, implying that 129I release is a diffusion-controlled process for LLPR fuels, and also for HLPR fuels, once the gap inventory has been leached. However, more data are needed over longer leaching periods to gain more understanding of the processes that control grain-boundary release of 129I from used CANDU fuel.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 1995

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References

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