Separation Science and Technology, Vol.41, No.10, 2097-2109, 2006
Investigation of PWR hull with a view to downgrade
The cladding materials remaining after the reprocessing of nuclear fuel, generally called hulls, are classified as high-level radioactive waste. They are usually packaged in a container for disposal after being compacted, melted, or solidified into a heterogeneous matrix. Efforts to fabricate a better waste form from an environmental perspective have failed due to the technical difficulties encountered in the chemical decontamination of cladding hulls. In the early 1990's, the accumulation of radiochemical data on hulls and the advent of new technology such as laser or plasma have made the decontamination of hulls a viable option. This paper summarizes information regarding the radiochemical analysis of spent nuclear fuel hulls through a literature survey, including the characteristics of the hulls of 32,000 MWd/tU burn-up and 15 years cooling of Korean pressurized water reactor. The reduction of the radioactivity by peeling off the inner surface of the hulls via laser technology was evaluated.