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What do we do with left over Magnox: optimisation of a direct encapsulation process for the treatment of Magnox fuel and wastes

Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

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Prof B Hanson , Dr B Mishra No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

It is possible that a small quantity of Magnox fuel may not be reprocessed. Experience from the First Generation Fuel Storage ponds at Sellafield site shows us that wet storage of Magnox fuels leads to extensive corrosion of the cladding and partial corrosion of the uranium metal. The main strategy of Magnox fuel storage has been to prevent or inhibit this corrosion, so that the fuel cladding integrity is maintained. In the legacy ponds and silos, corrosion of 1st generation Magnox fuel has occurred and in some cases to completion, but this has led to a problem, as the fuel was intended for retrieval. If this had occurred in an engineered container that was compatible with in-drum cementation, then it could have been directly converted to a waste

This project will develop a process to convert Magnox and Exotics fuels into a chemically passive solid waste form, suitable for disposal. It builds the previous work and aims to define the mechanism that drives the Mg-water-chloride reaction, to sufficient detail so as to be able to confidently predict the extend of reaction in the condition prevailing on the plant.

The project will also define the optimum conditions that will result in a robust Mg cement, in order to provide a good quality final waste form.

Funding Notes

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Growing skills for Reliable Economic Energy from Nuclear 4 year studentship consisting of academic fees, together with a maintenance grant paid at standard Research Council rates. It is part funded by Sellafield Ltd. UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance.  European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course. Funding is awarded on a competitive basis.

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