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A day in the life of the nuclear community
The November issue of Nuclear News is focused on the individuals who make up our nuclear community.
We invited a small group of those individuals to tell us about their day-to-day work in some of the many occupations and applications of nuclear science and technology, and they responded generously. They were ready to tell us about the part they play, together with colleagues and team members, in supplying clean energy, advancing technology, protecting safety and health, and exploring fundamental science.
In these pages, we see a community that can celebrate both those workdays that record progress moving at a steady pace and the exceptional days when a goal is reached, a briefing is delivered, a contract goes through, a discovery is made, or an unforeseen challenge is overcome.
The Nuclear News staff hopes that you enjoy meeting these members of our community—or maybe get reacquainted with friends—through their words and photos.
Ivars Neretnieks, Helen Winberg-Wang
Nuclear Technology | Volume 205 | Number 6 | June 2019 | Pages 819-829
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2018.1537460
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
In geologic repositories for nuclear waste located in crystalline rocks, the waste is surrounded by a bentonite buffer that in practice is not permeable to water flow. The nuclides must escape by molecular diffusion to enter the seeping water in the fractures of the rock. At high water-seepage rates, the nuclides can be carried away rapidly. The seepage rate of the water can be driven by the regional hydraulic gradient as well as by buoyancy-driven flow. The latter is induced by thermal circulation of the water by the heat produced by radionuclide decay. The circulation may also be induced by salt exchange between buffer and water in the fractures. The main aim of this paper is to explore how salt exchange between the backfill and mobile water in fractures, by buoyancy effects, can increase the escape rate of radionuclides from a repository.
A simple analytical model has been developed to describe the mass transfer rate induced by buoyancy. Numerical simulations support the simple solution. A comparison is made with the regional gradient-driven flow model. It is shown that buoyancy-driven flow can noticeably increase the release rate.