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Detailed Radiation Dose Rate Evaluations of Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel Canisters

by Georgeta Radulescu, Kaushik Banerjee
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Journal Name
International High-Level Radioactive Waste Management Conference
Publication Date
Page Numbers
346 to 352
Conference Name
International High-Level Radioactive Waste Management (IHLRWM 2019)
Conference Location
Knoxville, Tennessee, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
Conference Date

Electronic devices that are being designed for continuous monitoring of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) canister internal integrity may be subjected to very high radiation levels depending on their placement. Components of electronic devices (e.g., silicon semiconductors, optical glasses, insulators) have a limited tolerance to ionizing radiation. For selected locations on the inner and outer surfaces of a representative dry storage pressurized water reactor (PWR) SNF canister and a representative dry storage boiling water reactor (BWR) SNF canister, this paper provides (1) the dose rate in silicon as a function of decay time and (2) the time-integrated dose in silicon. The analyzed decay time interval is from 5 to 70 years after fuel discharge. Each representative canister contained identical SNF assemblies with bounding radiation sources. Surface dose rates varied significantly as a function of location and SNF assembly decay time. At a 5-year decay time, the estimated maximum dose rate values were 480 Gy/h (PWR canister) and ~366 Gy/h (BWR canister), and the estimated minimum dose rate was ~0.2 Gy/h for both canisters. Over a 65-year period, the dose rate decreased by a factor between 13 and 580, depending on location. The total dose over a time interval could be very large (e.g., estimated maximum value over a 5-year interval is 1.5E+07 Gy) depending on location and the time interval over which dose is accumulated.