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Design and Operational Characteristics of High-Density Fuel Storage Facilities

E. A. Grimm

Nuclear Technology / Volume 43 / Number 2 / Pages 146-154

April 1979

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General Electric (GE) experience in operation of the Morris spent fuel storage facility, which now contains over 300 Mg of both boiling water reactor (BWR) and pressurized water reactor spent fuel, confirms that receipt, handling, and storage of spent fuel can be accomplished safely with negligible impact on the environment or the operation itself. Basin water treatment is accomplished with disposable powdered resins applied to a precoated filter-demineralizer unit, and special applications of Zeolites aid in maintaining radiocobalt and radiocesium concentrations to <4 × 10−4 μCi/ml in the basin water. No gaseous radioisotopes from damaged or leaking fuel have been observed, and no significant increases in radioactivity or loss of cladding integrity have been observed during fuel handling and storage. GE has utilized this experience to design an expansion of the Morris basin and to design Boral-poisoned, high-density, stainless-steel storage modules for BWR reactor pools. These free-standing modules store BWR fuel on 165.1-mm (6.5-in.) center spacing, and a sliding low-friction support system limits the seismic loads applied to the fuel. Application of this fuel storage experience has permitted expansion of storage capacity for spent fuel at Morris and at BWR reactors, permitting continued operation until federal programs for long-term storage have been clarified and implemented.

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