Australian news, and some related international items

Doubt about what happens to spent nuclear fuel rods within casks

Derek Abbott Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia, 13 Jan 19,    Something that is never discussed about dry cask storage (before it is transferred into a repository canister) is that the fuel rods have been emitting alpha particles for 40 years in the dry cask. 

The nuke enthusiasts who don’t understand physics naively think those alpha particles are impotent. They say “a piece of paper can block an alpha particle.” True but misleading.
What actually happens is that alpha particles do indeed get blocked and don’t go far within a fuel rod, but they get converted to back to helium. [Remember an alpha particle is a helium nucleus anyway].So you get helium bubbles building up inside the fuel rod. Over 40 years this can fracture the fuel rod into pieces. So transferring the rods into a repository canister may not be possible. Because no one has actually opened up a bunch of old dry casks to get the rods into a repository yet, there isn’t much experience on exactly how much alpha particle damage affects the rods. I’m not sure there has even been a proper study of this. I am searching and will post it here if I find a study.


January 14, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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