January 17, 2020
South Korea and the U.S. held a director-level meeting on maritime and environment issues in Seoul on Thursday.
According to the Foreign Ministry on Friday, the two sides discussed the possibility of Japan releasing contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster site into the ocean.
They also shared views on ways to preserve marine environments.
The two sides discussed how they plan to reduce marine debris and ways to open the Seventh International Marine Debris Conference in South Korea in 2022.
During the meeting, South Korea called on the U.S. to swiftly take steps to remove South Korea from its preliminary list of countries that engage in illegal, unreported, and unregulated(IUU) fishing.
South Korea was designated as a preliminary IUU fishing country by the U.S. after two South Korean fishing boats violated closed fishing grounds and operated near Antarctica in 2017.
Heat released by a spent fuel assembly
A uranium oxide (UOX) fuel assembly weighs approximately 500 kg. Five years after being unloaded from the reactor, it emits heat equivalent to around a dozen 100 watt light bulbs. This heat release steadily tails off, falling to 85 watts after 300 years. Spent fuel assemblies must be cooled prior to disposal, either in a pool or in dry silos.
A dozen 100 watt light bulbs is quite a bit of heat actually in an 8 foot by 5 foot nuclear waste canister.
There is a full spectrum of alpha emitters, beta emitters, and gamma emitters from the many radionuclides present in high level, nuclear waste canisters.
The radioactive material emits radiation that interacts with the canister-case materials and other materirials in the cask, to create gas. Any water present will generate hydrogen gas, from radiation attacking water molecules.
There are the corrosion and embrittling aspects of the radiation interaction, with the steel shells that contain the waste.
Stainless Steel May Not be the Best material for Storing Nuclear Waste
In the real-life scenario, the glass or ceramic waste forms would be in close contact with stainless steel canisters,” says Xiaolei. “Under specific conditions, the corrosion of stainless steel will go crazy. It creates a super-aggressive environment that can corrode surrounding materials.”
They found that the steel interacted with the glass or ceramic to produce severe and localized corrosion that both damaged the steel and corroded and cracked the glass and ceramics. According to the team, this is because the iron in stainless steel has a chemical affinity with the silicon in glass, accelerating corrosion.
Nuclear waste storage, is a fantasy world of convenient omission
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