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In situ gas analysis in interim spent fuel containers

   EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy - GREEN

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  Prof P Martin  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

This project will primarily be based at The University of Manchester.

Interim dry storage is being proposed or considered for a large part of the UK’s spent fuel inventory. The fuel will be stored for several decades pending disposal in a geological repository. At current, there are few options being considered for monitoring the spent fuel during this interim storage, and no mature monitoring technology that would avoid penetration of containment.

This project will investigate the potential for a combined LIBS and Raman approach to be used to this end. The spectra and limit of detection of several gases of interest will be analysed in inert gas:

  • Xenon and Krypton; to assess viability for fuel cladding failure during storage. (LIBS)
  • Hydrogen and oxygen; to assess viability for water vapour detection during storage. (Raman)
  • Nitrogen/air; to assess viability for container failure during storage. (Raman) This will determine if LIBS can detect these signature gases at practicable levels for deployment of the technique in a dry storage container.

The project will also assess options for integrating LIBS/Raman into storage container design, including the use of optical windows, or embedded fibre optics. These data will determine if the use of LIBS in dry storage containers can reach sufficient TRL to be considered for deployment.


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