Packages for intermediate level waste (ILW) often contain residual water besides the actual waste. The water either exists as obvious free water or it may be bound physically or chemically, e.g. as pore water. A water driven gas generation could occur by vaporisation and by radiolysis. Steam as the result of vaporisation causes an increasing pressure inside a package and can affect corrosion. Vaporisation and condensation processes itself change the thermal behavior of the content especially during strongly unsteady thermal situations like accident fire situations. Radiolysis changes the chemical composition of the content which could cause an unexpected interaction, e.g. hydrogen embrittlement. Besides the pressure build-up the radiolysis of water generates hydrogen and oxygen, which can be highly flammable respectively explosive. The gas generation caused by vaporisation and radiolysis must be taken into account during the design and the safety assessment of a package. Pressure build-up, a changed thermal behavior and content chemistry, and especially the risk of accumulation of combustible gases exceeding the limiting concentration for flammability has to be considered in the safety assessment. Approaches to ensure the transportability of stored packages due to radiolysis will be discussed.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.