Waste Management in a Hot Laboratory of Japan Atomic Energy Agency – 3: Volume Reduction and Stabilization of Solid Waste

In the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, three types of experimental research, advanced reactor fuel reprocessing, radioactive waste disposal, and nuclear fuel cycle technology, have been carried out at the Chemical Processing Facility. The facility has generated high level radioactive liquid and solid wastes in hot cells. The high level radioactive solid waste is divided into three main categories, a flammable waste, a non-flammable waste, and a solid reagent waste. A plastic product is categorized into the flammable waste and molten with a heating mantle. The non-flammable waste is cut with a band saw machine for reducing the volume. Among the solid reagent waste, a used adsorbent after the experiments is heated, and an extractant is decomposed for its stabilization. All high level radioactive solid wastes in the hot cells are packed in a high level radioactive solid waste can. The high level radioactive solid waste can is transported to the 2nd High Active Solid Waste Storage in the Tokai Reprocessing Plant in the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.

Waste Management in a Hot Laboratory of Japan Atomic Energy Agency – 1: Overview and Activities in Chemical Processing Facility

Chemical Processing Facility of Japan Atomic Energy Agency is a basic research field for advanced back-end technology developments with using actual high-level radioactive materials such as irradiated fuels from the fast reactor, high-level liquid waste from reprocessing plant. In the nature of a research facility, various kinds of chemical reagents have been offered for fundamental tests. Most of them were treated properly and stored in the liquid waste vessel equipped in the facility, but some were not treated and remained at the experimental space as a kind of legacy waste. It is required to treat the waste in safety. On the other hand, we formulated the Medium- and Long-Term Management Plan of Japan Atomic Energy Agency Facilities. This comprehensive plan considers Chemical Processing Facility as one of the facilities to be decommissioned. Even if the plan is executed, treatment of the “legacy” waste beforehand must be a necessary step for decommissioning operation. Under this circumstance, we launched a collaborative research project called the STRAD project, which stands for Systematic Treatment of Radioactive liquid waste for Decommissioning, in order to develop the treatment processes for wastes of the nuclear research facility. In this project, decomposition methods of chemicals causing a troublesome phenomenon such as corrosion and explosion have been developed and there is a prospect of their decomposition in the facility by simple method. And solidification of aqueous or organic liquid wastes after the decomposition has been studied by adding cement or coagulants. Furthermore, we treated experimental tools of various materials with making an effort to stabilize and to compact them before the package into the waste container. It is expected to decrease the number of transportation of the solid waste and widen the operation space. Some achievements of these studies will be shown in this paper. The project is expected to contribute beneficial waste management outcome that can be shared world widely.

Effect of Pre-Plasma Potential on Laser Ion Acceleration

In this work, the role of the preformed plasma created on the front face of a target, irradiated by a high intensity short pulse laser, in the framework of ion acceleration process, modeled by Target Normal Sheath Acceleration (TNSA) mechanism, is studied. This plasma is composed of cold ions governed by fluid equations and non-thermal & trapped with densities represented by a "Cairns-Gurevich" equation. The self-similar solution of the equations shows that electronic trapping and the presence of non-thermal electrons in the pre-plasma are both responsible in ion acceleration as long as the proportion of energetic electrons is not too high. In the case where the majority of electrons are energetic, the electrons are accelerated directly by the ponderomotive force of the laser without the intermediate of an accelerating plasma wave.

Study of Temperature Distribution in Coolant Channel of Nuclear Power with Fuel Cylinder Element Using Fluent Software

In this research, we have focused on numeral simulation of a fuel rod in order to examine distribution of heat temperature in components of fuel rod by Fluent software by providing steady state, single phase fluid flow, frequency heat flux in a fuel rod in nuclear reactor to numeral simulation. Results of examining different layers of a fuel rod consist of fuel layer, gap, pod, and fluid cooling flow, also examining thermal properties and fluids such as heat transition rate and pressure drop. The obtained results through analytical method and results of other sources have been compared and have appropriate correspondence. Results show that using heavy water as cooling fluid along with few layers of gas and pod have the ability of reducing the temperature from above 300 ◦C to 70 ◦C. This investigation is developable for any geometry and material used in the nuclear reactor.

Assessment and Uncertainty Analysis of ROSA/LSTF Test on Pressurized Water Reactor 1.9% Vessel Upper Head Small-Break Loss-of-Coolant Accident

An experiment utilizing the ROSA/LSTF (rig of safety assessment/large-scale test facility) simulated a 1.9% vessel upper head small-break loss-of-coolant accident with an accident management (AM) measure under the total failure of high-pressure injection system of emergency core cooling system in a pressurized water reactor. Steam generator (SG) secondary-side depressurization on the AM measure was started by fully opening relief valves in both SGs when the maximum core exit temperature rose to 623 K. A large increase took place in the cladding surface temperature of simulated fuel rods on account of a late and slow response of core exit thermocouples during core boil-off. The author analyzed the LSTF test by reference to the matrix of an integral effect test for the validation of a thermal-hydraulic system code. Problems remained in predicting the primary coolant distribution and the core exit temperature with the RELAP5/MOD3.3 code. The uncertainty analysis results of the RELAP5 code confirmed that the sample size with respect to the order statistics influences the value of peak cladding temperature with a 95% probability at a 95% confidence level, and the Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient.

Comparison of Two-Phase Critical Flow Models for Estimation of Leak Flow Rate through Cracks

The estimation of leak flow rates through narrow cracks in structures is of importance for nuclear reactor safety, since the leak flow could be detected before occurrence of loss-of-coolant accidents. The two-phase critical leak flow rates are calculated using the system analysis code, and two representative non-homogeneous critical flow models, Henry-Fauske model and Ransom-Trapp model, are compared. The pressure decrease and vapor generation in the crack, and the leak flow rates are found to be larger for the Henry-Fauske model. It is shown that the leak flow rates are not affected by the structural temperature, but affected largely by the roughness of crack surface.

ROSA/LSTF Separate Effect Test on Natural Circulation under High Core Power Condition of Pressurized Water Reactor

A separate effect test (SET) simulated natural circulation (NC) under high core power condition of a pressurized water reactor (PWR) utilizing the ROSA/LSTF (rig of safety assessment/large-scale test facility). The LSTF test results clarified the relationship between the primary loop mass inventory and the primary loop mass flow rate being dependent on the NC mode at a constant core power of 8% of the volumetric-scaled PWR nominal power. When the core power was 9% or more during reflux condensation, large-amplitude level oscillation in a form of slow fill and dump occurred in steam generator (SG) U-tubes. At 11% core power during reflux condensation, intermittent rise took place in the cladding surface temperature of simulated fuel rods. The RELAP5/MOD3.3 code indicated the insufficient prediction of the SG U-tube liquid level behavior during reflux condensation.

ROSA/LSTF Test on Pressurized Water Reactor Steam Generator Tube Rupture Accident Induced by Main Steam Line Break with Recovery Actions

An experiment was performed for the OECD/NEA ROSA-2 Project employing the ROSA/LSTF (rig of safety assessment/large-scale test facility), which simulated a steam generator tube rupture (SGTR) accident induced by main steam line break (MSLB) with operator recovery actions in a pressurized water reactor (PWR). The primary pressure decreased to the pressure level nearly-equal to the intact steam generator (SG) secondary-side pressure even with coolant injection from the high-pressure injection (HPI) system of emergency core cooling system (ECCS) into cold legs. Multi-dimensional coolant behavior appeared such as thermal stratification in both hot and cold legs in intact loop. The RELAP5/MOD3.3 code indicated the insufficient predictions of the primary pressure, the SGTR break flow rate, and the HPI flow rate, and failed to predict the fluid temperatures in the intact loop hot and cold legs. Results obtained from the comparison among three LSTF SGTR-related tests clarified that the thermal stratification occurs in the horizontal legs by different mechanisms.

Study of Proton-9,11Li Elastic Scattering at 60~75 MeV/Nucleon

The radial form of nuclear matter distribution, charge and the shape of nuclei are essential properties of nuclei, and hence, are of great attention for several areas of research in nuclear physics. More than last three decades have witnessed a range of experimental means employing leptonic probes (such as muons, electrons etc.) for exploring nuclear charge distributions, whereas the hadronic probes (for example alpha particles, protons, etc.) have been used to investigate the nuclear matter distributions. In this paper, p-9,11Li elastic scattering differential cross sections in the energy range  to  MeV have been studied by means of Coulomb modified Glauber scattering formalism. By applying the semi-phenomenological Bhagwat-Gambhir-Patil [BGP] nuclear density for loosely bound neutron rich 11Li nucleus, the estimated matter radius is found to be 3.446 fm which is quite large as compared to so known experimental value 3.12 fm. The results of microscopic optical model based calculation by applying Bethe-Brueckner–Hartree–Fock formalism (BHF) have also been compared. It should be noted that in most of phenomenological density model used to reproduce the p-11Li differential elastic scattering cross sections data, the calculated matter radius lies between 2.964 and 3.55 fm. The calculated results with phenomenological BGP model density and with nucleon density calculated in the relativistic mean-field (RMF) reproduces p-9Li and p-11Li experimental data quite nicely as compared to Gaussian- Gaussian or Gaussian-Oscillator densities at all energies under consideration. In the approach described here, no free/adjustable parameter has been employed to reproduce the elastic scattering data as against the well-known optical model based studies that involve at least four to six adjustable parameters to match the experimental data. Calculated reaction cross sections σR for p-11Li at these energies are quite large as compared to estimated values reported by earlier works though so far no experimental studies have been performed to measure it.

Solitons and Universes with Acceleration Driven by Bulk Particles

Considering a scenario where our universe is taken as a 3d domain wall embedded in a 5d dimensional Minkowski space-time, we explore the existence of a richer class of solitonic solutions and their consequences for accelerating universes driven by collisions of bulk particle excitations with the walls. In particular it is shown that some of these solutions should play a fundamental role at the beginning of the expansion process. We present some of these solutions in cosmological scenarios that can be applied to models that describe the inflationary period of the Universe.

Effects of Level Densities and Those of a-Parameter in the Framework of Preequilibrium Model for 63,65Cu(n,xp) Reactions in Neutrons at 9 to 15 MeV

In this study, the calculations of proton emission spectra produced by 63Cu(n,xp) and 65Cu(n,xp) reactions are used in the framework of preequilibrium models using the EMPIRE code and TALYS code. Exciton Model predidtions combined with the Kalbach angular distribution systematics and the Hybrid Monte Carlo Simulation (HMS) were used. The effects of levels densities and those of a-parameter have been investigated for our calculations. The comparison with experimental data shows clear improvement over the Exciton Model and HMS calculations.

Influence of Silica Surface Hydrophilicity on Adsorbed Water and Isopropanol Studied by in-situ NMR

Surface wettability is a crucial factor in oil recovery. In oil industry, the rock wettability involves the interplay between water, oil, and solid surface. Therefore, studying the interplay between adsorptions of water and hydrocarbon molecules on solid surface would be very informative for understanding rock wettability. Here we use the in-situ Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) gas isotherm technique to study competitive adsorptions of water and isopropanol, an intermediate step from hydrocarbons. This in-situ NMR technique obtains information on thermodynamic properties such as the isotherm, molecular dynamics via spin relaxation measurements, and adsorption kinetics such as how fast the system can reach thermal equilibrium after changes of vapor pressures. Using surfaces of silica glass beads, which can be modified from hydrophilic to hydrophobic, we obtained information on the influence of surface hydrophilicity on the state of surface water via obtained thermodynamic and dynamic properties.

Optical and Double Folding Analysis for 6Li+16O Elastic Scattering

Available experimental angular distributions for 6Li elastically scattered from 16O nucleus in the energy range 13.0–50.0 MeV are investigated and reanalyzed using optical model of the conventional phenomenological potential and also using double folding optical model of different interaction models: DDM3Y1, CDM3Y1, CDM3Y2, and CDM3Y3. All the involved models of interaction are of M3Y Paris except DDM3Y1 which is of M3Y Reid and the main difference between them lies in the different values for the parameters of the incorporated density distribution function F(ρ). We have extracted the renormalization factor NR for 6Li+16O nuclear system in the energy range 13.0–50.0 MeV using the aforementioned interaction models.

The Applicability of Distillation as an Alternative Nuclear Reprocessing Method

A customized two-stage model has been developed to simulate, analyse, and visualize distillation of actinides as a useful alternative low-pressure separation method in the nuclear recycling cases. Under the most optimal conditions of idealized thermodynamic equilibrium stages and under total reflux of distillate the investigated cases of chloride systems for the separation of such actinides are (A) UCl4-CsCl-PuCl3 and (B) ThCl4-NaCl-PuCl3. Simulatively, uranium tetrachloride in case A is successfully separated by distillation into a six-stage distillation column, and thorium tetrachloride from case B into an eight-stage distillation column. For this, a permissible mole fraction value of 1E-06 has been assumed for the residual impurification degree. With further separation effort of eleven to seventeen required separation stages, the monochlorides of plutonium trichloride from both systems A and B are simulatively shown to be separated as high pure distillation products.

Effect of Birks Constant and Defocusing Parameter on Triple-to-Double Coincidence Ratio Parameter in Monte Carlo Simulation-GEANT4

This project concerns with the detection efficiency of the portable Triple-to-Double Coincidence Ratio (TDCR) at the National Institute of Metrology of Ionizing Radiation (INMRI-ENEA) which allows direct activity measurement and radionuclide standardization for pure-beta emitter or pure electron capture radionuclides. The dependency of the simulated detection efficiency of the TDCR, by using Monte Carlo simulation Geant4 code, on the Birks factor (kB) and defocusing parameter has been examined especially for low energy beta-emitter radionuclides such as 3H and 14C, for which this dependency is relevant. The results achieved in this analysis can be used for selecting the best kB factor and the defocusing parameter for computing theoretical TDCR parameter value. The theoretical results were compared with the available ones, measured by the ENEA TDCR portable detector, for some pure-beta emitter radionuclides. This analysis allowed to improve the knowledge of the characteristics of the ENEA TDCR detector that can be used as a traveling instrument for in-situ measurements with particular benefits in many applications in the field of nuclear medicine and in the nuclear energy industry.