Nuclear Material Processing and Disposition

SRNL designs, develops and tests processes, flow sheets and equipment to support excess nuclear material storage, processing and transportation. This core competency includes qualification and validation of ongoing operational processes, development and demonstration of next-generation technology options, program analysis, and troubleshooting of process operations.

Associated SRNL competencies and capabilities include:

Extended Wet Storage of Used Fuel and Placement in Extended Dry Storage

  • Leader in corrosion evaluation of fuel in pools and radioactive waste storage tanks (including development of chemistry control programs to mitigate corrosion).
  • Development of dry storage criteria and drying process for fuel and fuel debris.

Reprocessing and Treatment of Fuel and Fuel Debris

  • Spent fuel and nuclear materials reprocessing flow-sheet development, testing of processes, implementation of processes in Savannah River Site H-Canyon/HB Line or portable systems.
  • Stabilization treatments, including waste form development and fabrication for fuel, fuel debris, and reprocessing waste streams.
  • Fabricate surplus plutonium into fuel at Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility.

Repair of Leaks in Reactor Building for Stable Closed-loop Cooling

  • Development, adaptation and deployment of equipment, materials and processes for remote repair of radioactive tanks, piping and reactor vessels.
  • Integration of commercial off-the-shelf technology with in-house designs to develop cost-effective, field-deployable solutions for inspections, radiological surveys, repairs and modifications in buildings, tank, and piping systems.

Removal, Packaging, and Storage of Damaged Fuel and Debris

  • Packaging and underwater storage of damaged reactor fuel and debris in special oversized containers with “J-tube” feature to control gas release and to meet safety functions of confinement, criticality safety, retrievability and thermal control.
  • Development and deployment of in-pool portable, skid-mounted system (pumps, filters and ion-exchange resin column systems) to clean up the water in the spent fuel pool.

Remote Monitoring, Characterization and Handling

  • Full system integration (remote operations/control, data acquisition, component interface) for system deployment in a radiological environment.
  • Development of radiation monitoring and mapping technologies (RadmapperTM and GrayQbTM) to locate, identify and generate maps of radioactive contamination in outdoor and enclosed areas.

Nuclear Materials Packaging for Transportation

  • Supports various Safety Analysis Reports for Packages by designing, testing, and maintaining packages for transportation of nuclear material across the DOE complex.
  • Maintains certification of Type B radioactive material packages for DOE, NNSA and NRC.
  • Provides technical support services to the DOE Office of Environmental Management, Manager, DOE Packaging Certification Program, Office of Packaging and Transportation for Type B radioactive material packages.