United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Hydrogen Generation in TRU Waste Transportation Packages (NUREG/CR-6673)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: February 2000
Date Published: May 2000

Prepared by:
B. L. Anderson, M. K. Sheaffer, L. E. Fischer

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
7000 East Avenue
Livermore, CA 94550

Prepared for:
Spent Fuel Project Office
Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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Abstract

This document addresses hydrogen generation in TRU waste transportation packages. The potential sources of hydrogen generation are summarized with a special emphasis on radiolysis. After defining various TRU wastes according to groupings of material types, bounding radiolytic G-values are established for each waste type. Analytical methodologies are developed for prediction of hydrogen gas concentrations for various packaging configurations in which hydrogen generation is due to radiolysis. Representative examples are presented to illustrate how analytical procedures can be used to estimate the hydrogen concentration as a function of time. Methodologies and examples are also provided to show how the time to reach a flammable hydrogen concentration in the innermost confinement layer can be estimated. Finally, general guidelines for limiting the hydrogen generation in the payload and hydrogen accumulation in the innermost confinement layer are described.

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