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Long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel

To design reliable and safe geological repositories it is critical to understand how the characteristics of spent nuclear fuel evolve with time, and how this affects the storage environment.

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Figure 1: Microstructure of spent fuel and the distribution of fission products and actinides after irradiation in a reactor.
Figure 2: Chemical processes that may affect the alteration of spent fuel in contact with groundwater.
Figure 3: Pourbaix diagrams for U and Pu.


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R.C.E. is grateful for support from the Energy Frontier Research Center Materials Science of Actinides funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (DE-SC0001089).

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Correspondence to Rodney C. Ewing.

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Ewing, R. Long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel. Nature Mater 14, 252–257 (2015).

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