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Sister Rod Destructive Examinations (FY22) Appendix J: Leaching of High Burnup Used Nuclear Fuel in Deionized Water...

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ORNL Report
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The leaching experiment aims to understand the trends in the radiolysis-enhanced dissolution of HBU SNF when exposed to water (e.g., in-reactor or in-pool cladding failures). Specimens from a baseline M5-clad rod and a heat-treated M5 rod were cut from the fractured CIRFT specimens and placed in 100 mL deionized water for a period of 128 days. Both radial and axial sections were cut to provide different surface areas of fuel in contact with the leachate. During the four-month exposure period, aliquot samples of the leachate were analyzed using gamma spectroscopy and inductively coupled plasma - mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The analysis quantified the amount of fuel leached into the solutions and provided individual isotopic release fractions (of 30+ isotopes) which were compared as a function of time and surface area of the fuel exposed.