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Fusion Science and Technology
New TRIGA fuel delivered to a U.S. university reactor for the first time in a decade
Penn State’s Radiation Science and Engineering Center (RSEC) has received the first new TRIGA fuel shipped to the United States since 2012, the university announced on September 28. The fuel reached University Park, Pa., on September 27 and is destined for RSEC’s Breazeale Reactor, the nation’s longest continuously operating university research reactor.
Nuclear Technology | Volume 209 | Number 4 | April 2023 | Pages 604-621
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2022.2136440
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Water flows in only a small fraction of the total area of the fractures in fractured rocks. The width of the “channels” is often in the range of centimeters to tens of centimeters. Nuclides can diffuse into and out of the porous rock matrix, which causes them to be significantly retarded compared to the water velocity. In discrete facture networks, diffusion is modeled to be linear and perpendicular to the fracture surface. From a narrow channel, the diffusion cloud would then be as wide as the channel. When the nuclide has propagated farther than the channel width, the diffusion will become essentially radial, which allows the nuclide flux to increase enormously. For the times of interest for a repository for high-level nuclide waste, this will increase nuclide flux into the matrix by tens to thousands of times, and consequently, the nuclide retardation in the flowing water. Radial diffusion was not invoked in the performance assessment of the Forsmark site, which in January 2022 was chosen by the government to locate Sweden’s high-level waste repository. It is shown, using data from this site, that the effect of radial diffusion from the narrow channels considerably increases the retardation of any escaping radionuclides, potentially allowing for the use of thinner copper canisters.