Decommissioning, Immobilisation and Storage
soluTIons for NuClear wasTe InVEntories

PuO2 and Fuel Residues

DISTINCTIVE is a multi-disciplinary collaboration of 10 universities and 3 key industry partners from across the UK’s civil nuclear sector.
PuO<sub>2</sub> and Fuel Residues

PuO2 and Fuel Residues

This theme addresses the challenge presented by the UK’s civil plutonium inventory.  Plutonium is a bi-product of reprocessing spent fuel received from the UK’s fleet of nuclear power generators, and there are approximately 125 tonnes of Pu in interim storage in the UK.  However, no decision has yet to be made regarding its final treatment and disposition.

 

Work Packages

  • The behaviour of PuO2 during interim storage.
  • Behaviour of Pu bearing wasteforms and encapsulates.
  • Methods for characterisation of stored Pu and Pu contaminated facilities.

Theme Objectives

  • Understand structure-properties of PuO2 in presence of moisture.
  • Process of gas evolution from PuO2 in storage.
  • Understand radiation induced amorphisation and dissolution of Pu wasteforms.
  • Assess fast neutron radiometric methods for remote assessment of Pu bearing materials.

Projects

Computational modelling of PuO2 ageing and fuel residues.

Ageing mechanisms associated with the storage of PuO2 are poorly understood. The generation, stability and mobility of fission products in addition to the role of the surface oxide layer being key factors…

In-situ characterisation of heavily-contaminated plutonium finishing environments

The decommissioning and decontamination of environments that are heavily contaminated with plutonium residues would benefit significantly from an in-situ characterisation technique…

Modelling the surface chemistry of PuO2 at the molecular level

This PDRA-level project will focus on modelling quantum mechanically the adsorption of water onto the surface of PuO2 in order to obtain detailed information…

Real-time fast neutron plutonium assay for plutonium storage and ageing applications

The isotopic composition of plutonium in storage and related special nuclear materials, advanced fuels and exotics changes with time as a result of radioactive decay; one principal example …

Understanding actinide sorption and binding to cement materials for radioactive waste management

Building on research undertaken by the Fellow as a PDRA in DIAMOND, we propose to investigate the incorporation of Pu and Am in cement materials…

Understanding the Interfacial Interactions of Plutonium Dioxide with Water

More than 100 tonnes of Pu are stored at Sellafield as PuO2 powder in sealed steel storage cans. Under certain circumstances, gas generation may occur within the can with consequent can pressurisation…

Understanding the Interfacial Interactions of Plutonium Dioxide with Water

More than 100 tonnes of Pu are stored at Sellafield as PuO2 powder in sealed steel storage cans. Under certain circumstances, gas generation may occur within the can with consequent can pressurisation…

Ceramic materials for actinide disposition

Building on research conducted in DIAMOND, the central hypothesis of this project is that sensitivity of actinide wasteform ceramics to radiation damage…

Current glass-ceramic formulations for Pu disposition

The overarching research hypothesis of this project is that: understanding of transmutation effects in nuclear materials is essential for prediction of long term performance…

The interaction of water with PuO2 surfaces

Of the world’s c. 250 tonnes of separated Pu, >100 tonnes are stored at Sellafield in the UK as PuO2 powder in sealed steel cans….

Understanding surface species and interactions between adsorbed chloride and water on stored PuO2

Over 100 tonnes of plutonium, in the form of PuO2, is currently stored at the Sellafield site…

Investigation of Anomalous Hydrogen Production from Water Adsorbed on Oxides

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