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Fusion Science and Technology
Finland in Front: The World’s Likely First Spent Fuel Repository Moves Toward Licensing
The year 2024 is shaping up to be a historic one for Posiva, the waste management organization owned by Finland’s two nuclear power plant utilities, Fortum and Teollisuuden Voima. The company is looking to receive regulatory approval of its operating license for the Onkalo deep geological repository for high-level radioactive waste by the end of the year.
Guanyi Wang, Cezary Bojanowski, Akshay Dave, David Jaluvka, Lin-Wen Hu, Erik Wilson
Nuclear Technology | Volume 209 | Number 11 | November 2023 | Pages 1797-1818
Regular Research Article | doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2023.2205971
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The hydromechanical stability of the fuel plates in parallel coolant channels of a Materials Testing Reactor (MTR) fuel element design is of great importance to the safety of research and test reactors. Previous analytical, experimental, and numerical efforts focused on parallel channels with the same or similar size; also, in the prior numerical simulations, the fuel plate was often assumed to be perfectly flat. This work presents the results of a fluid-structure interaction simulation performed to evaluate the flow-induced deflections of the fuel plates in the low-enriched uranium (LEU, <20 wt% 235U) fuel element design for the conversion (from highly enriched uranium) of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Reactor (MITR-II, also referred to as MITR). Various manufacturing and assembly tolerances of the MITR LEU elements are considered in the analysis, and the effects of channel size disparity, nonideal plate shape, and flow rate uncertainty are investigated. Results show that, for all cases analyzed, the deflection occurs toward the larger channel, and the change in any channel stripe remains small (less than 0.021 mm) compared to fabrication tolerances. In addition to simulation work, a hydraulic performance test of the MITR LEU fuel element is currently planned to support conversion to the use of LEU fuel.