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Optimization study on sample pretreatment of spent fuel storage rack

In order to evaluate radionuclide inventories as an essential item for the permanent disposal of spent fuel storage racks, chemical conditions for a sample pretreatment of a spent fuel storage rack were studied. Especially, the surface microstructure and the radionuclide distributions for the spent fuel storage rack were investigated by using a SEM–EDX and γ-spectrometer for minimizing the matrix effect which could affect a chemical separation process of some β-emitting radionuclides. The samples were pretreated with a mixed solution of 5 M HCl and 2 M HNO3 by an ultrasonic surface leaching method. Some radionuclides in the raw racks showed the radioactivity of 102–103 Bq for about 10 g of sample weight. From the sample pretreatment, it was confirmed that almost all radionuclides in the rack were completely extracted from the rack when the dissolved thickness of the rack became a maximum 15 μm by the ultrasonic surface leaching method. The established pretreatment method was applied for all spent fuel storage rack generated from Korean NPPs to determine the scaling factor. The radioactivities of 60Co and 137Cs radionuclides in the pretreated solutions were in the range of 4.9E−1~1.5E+2 and 1.2E−1~9.0E+0 Bq/g, respectively.

Authors:   Hong-Joo Ahn, Myung-Ho Lee, Se-Chul Sohn, Kwang Yong Jee, Kyuseok Song
Journal:   Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Year:   2010
DOI:   10.1007/s10967-010-0548-y
Publication date:   11-Apr-2010
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