Abstract: A method for packaging spent nuclear fuel for long-term disposal in a geological repository. At least one spent nuclear fuel assembly is first placed in an unsealed waste package and a depleted uranium fill material is added to the waste package. The depleted uranium fill material comprises flowable particles having a size sufficient to substantially fill any voids in and around the assembly and contains isotopically-depleted uranium in the +4 valence state in an amount sufficient to inhibit dissolution of the spent nuclear fuel from the assembly into a surrounding medium and to lessen the potential for nuclear criticality inside the repository in the event of failure of the waste package. Last, the waste package is sealed, thereby substantially reducing the release of radionuclides into the surrounding medium, while simultaneously providing radiation shielding and increased structural integrity of the waste package.
April 15, 1997
Date of Patent:
November 3, 1998
The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
Abstract: A composite material comprising a pure copper or dispersion strengthened copper matrix and a boron rich species, such as, but not limited to, elemental boron or boron carbide, for use in the fabrication of baskets that support spent nuclear fuel in nuclear waste containers. A method for manufacturing the composite material using powder metallurgy and hot extrusion.