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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Conditions for criticality by uranium deposition in water-saturated geological formations

  • Author(s): Liu, X
  • Ahn, J
  • Hirano, F
  • et al.

© 2014 Atomic Energy Society of Japan. This study focuses on neutronic analysis to examine the criticality conditions for uranium depositions in geological formations resulting from geological disposal of damaged fuels from Fukushima Daiichi reactors. MCNP models are used to evaluate the neutron multiplication factor (keff) and critical mass for various combinations of host rock and geometries. It has been observed that the keff for the deposition become greater with (1) smaller concentrations of neutron-absorbing materials in the host rock, (2) larger porosity of the host rock, (3) heterogeneous geometry of the deposition, and (4) greater mass of uranium in the deposition. This study has revealed that the planar fracture geometry applied in the previous criticality safety assessment for geological disposal would not necessarily yield conservative results against the homogeneous uranium deposition.

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