CDT Next Generation Nuclear - Development of a pre-treatment process for disposal of Magnox and Exotic Fuels

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Chemical and Process Engineering


The aim of this project is to develop a process that will convert Magnox and Exotics fuels into a chemically passive solid waste form, suitable for disposal.

Building on the knowledge base already created on corrosion of reactive metal fuels in aqueous environments, the project will test the feasibility of total, controlled, aqueous corrosion of Magnox fuel to create a solid/slurry that could be packaged or encapsulated for disposal, within existing facilities. The idea is to determine a set of conditions that will allow total chemical conversion of the reactive metals and cladding into a passive chemical form; without the need to treat any secondary waste streams and with a final product that is compatible with existing waste treatment facilities, so as to remove the need to develop any new encapsulation technologies.

The main question that this project will address is whether Magnox fuel can be completely converted to Mg/Al/U oxides or hydroxide slurry, in benign conditions, to create a chemical form that is compatible with packaging or encapsulation.

The project will consist of the following tasks:
1) Identify the likely chemistry of Magnox cladding and fuel.
2) Develop surrogate materials for testing
3) Investigation complete corrosion
4) Investigate corrosion enhancement (e.g. use of Cl- and SO42-)
5) Determine optimum conditions for conversion
6) Investigate compatibility with packaging or encapsulation


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509243/1 30/09/2015 31/12/2021
1795512 Studentship EP/N509243/1 30/09/2016 30/03/2021 Joseph Alexander Vickers
EP/P510555/1 30/09/2016 29/09/2021
1795512 Studentship EP/P510555/1 30/09/2016 30/03/2021 Joseph Alexander Vickers