Sandia to put nuclear waste storage canisters to the test

January 13, 2021 2:49 pm Published by

Sandia National Laboratories is outfitting three 22.5-ton, 16.5-feet-long stainless-steel storage canisters with heaters and instrumentation to simulate nuclear waste so researchers can study their durability.

The three canisters, which arrived in mid-November and have never contained any nuclear materials, will be used to study how much salt gathers on canisters over time. Sandia will also study the potential for cracks caused by salt- and stress-induced corrosion with additional canisters that will be delivered during the next stage of the project.

Currently there is not an operating geologic repository in the U.S. for the permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel. As a result, spent fuel is being stored at commercial nuclear power plants in both storage pools and dry storage canisters. The storage canisters currently holding the spent nuclear fuel were designed to have a useful life of a few decades but will now likely need to be used longer than planned, said Tito Bonano, Sandia’s nuclear energy fuel cycle senior manager.

Read the complete news release about how scientists will explore science of cracks caused by corrosion. Learn more about Sandia’s nuclear waste management expertise.

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