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Volume 45 | Copyright
Adv. Geosci., 45, 63-72, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/adgeo-45-63-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  02 Aug 2018

02 Aug 2018

Preliminary study on geo-mechanical aspects of SSiC canisters

Ya-Nan Zhao1, Heinz Konietzky1, Jürgen Knorr2, and Albert Kerber3 Ya-Nan Zhao et al.
  • 1Geotechnical Institut, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Freiberg, Germany
  • 2Nuclear Power Engineering, GWT-TUD GmbH, Dresden, Germany
  • 3SiCeram GmbH, Jena, Germany

Abstract. To meet safety requirements for underground storage of high-level nuclear waste, engineered barriers are an integral part of a modern defense-in-depth concept and therefore have to be considered in interaction with the host rock. This study presents preliminary results for the load behavior of a canister made of pressure-less sintered silicon carbide (SSiC), which forms the main retention barrier for the fission products in a new multi-layer waste package design denominated as TRIPLE C. This means a three-fold enclosure strategy, spreading the functionalities to three different ceramic barriers: first the porous potting compound surrounding each single fuel rod in the container, second the solid container wall of SSiC and third the over-pack of carbon concrete. Besides all the advantages a potential drawback of ceramics in general is their brittleness. Therefore, the behavior of SSiC structural components under static and dynamic loading has to be investigated. First results for a small model canister indicate that static loading will not create any relevant damage, even if stresses are extremely high and highly anisotropic on a canister all-around embedded. First dynamic simulations indicate that, under very unfavorable circumstances, the model canister can experience tensile stresses bigger than its tensile strength. Also, point loading may cause damage to the canister under certain conditions. Based on the performed calculations, the SSiC canister design will be optimized together with the carbon concrete over-pack, so that mechanical damage of main retention barrier can be excluded even under extreme static and dynamic conditions in a final repository.

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Silicon carbide is seen as a possible replacement for metals as canister material in geological disposal of radioactive waste. The performed calculations on a small model underline the concept that the SSiC canister alone sustains definite loading of the host rock, but should be protected generally by a mechanically robust over pack preferably made of carbon concrete to complete a final waste package for all types of host rocks (shared and split functionality in TRIPLE C concept).
Silicon carbide is seen as a possible replacement for metals as canister material in geological...
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