Radiation resistant concrete for applications in nuclear power and radioactive waste industries

Update Item Information
Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Engineering
Department Civil & Environmental Engineering
Author Burnham, Steven Robert
Title Radiation resistant concrete for applications in nuclear power and radioactive waste industries
Date 2014-08
Description Elemental components of ordinary concrete contain a variety of metals and rare earth elements that are susceptible to neutron activation. This activation occurs by means of radiative capture, a neutron interaction that results in formation of radioisotopes such as Co-60, Eu-152, and Eu-154. Studies have shown that these three radioisotopes are responsible for the residual radioactivity found in nuclear power plant concrete reactor dome and shielding walls. Such concrete is classified as Low Level Radioactive Waste (LLRW) and Very Low Level Waste (VLLW) by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) standards and requires disposal at appropriate disposal sites. There are only three such sites in the USA, and every nuclear power plant will produce at the time of decommissioning approximately 1,500 tonnes of activated concrete classified as LLRW and VLLW. "NAVA ALIGA" (ancient word for a "new stone") is a new concrete mixture developed mainly by research as presented in this thesis. The purpose of NAVA ALIGA is to satisfy IAEA clearance levels if used as a material for reactor dome, spent fuel pool, or radioactive waste canisters. NAVA ALIGA will never be activated above the IAEA clearance level after long-term exposure to neutron radiation when used as a material for reactor dome, spent fuel pool, and radioactive waste canisters. Components of NAVA ALIGA were identified using Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ISP-MS) to determine trace element composition. In addition, it was tested for compressive strength and permeability, important for nuclear infrastructure. The studied mixture had a high water to cement ratio of 0.56, which likely resulted in the high measured permeability, yet the mixture also showed a compressive strength greater than 6 000 psi after 28 days. In addition to this experimental analysis, which goal was to develop a standard approach to define the concrete mixtures in satisfying the IAEA radiation clearance levels, the NAVA ALIGA concrete was analyzed as to potentially be used together with depleted uranium. This study was purely computational (based on MCNP6 models) and was twofold: to find if this new concrete mix would enhance the radiation shielding properties when combined with depleted uranium and to find if this will be an effective and useful way of using the existing large quantities of disposed depleted uranium.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Concrete; Radiation; Resistant
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Master of Science
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Steven Robert Burnham 2014
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 1,367,481 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/3135
ARK ark:/87278/s6rj7sp0
Setname ir_etd
ID 196702
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6rj7sp0