Table of Contents
ISRN Materials Science
Volume 2012, Article ID 639520, 13 pages
Review Article

Radiation Effects on Materials Used in Geological Repositories for Spent Nuclear Fuel

Division of Applied Physical Chemistry, School of Chemical Science and Engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Received 4 November 2012; Accepted 23 November 2012

Academic Editors: R. A. Dunlap, Y. Masuda, J. Rubio, and R. A. Varin

Copyright © 2012 Mats Jonsson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Safe long-term storage of radioactive waste from nuclear power plants is one of the main concerns for the nuclear industry as well as for governments in countries relying on electricity produced by nuclear power. A repository for spent nuclear fuel must be safe for extremely long time periods (at least 100 000 years). In order to ascertain the long-term safety of a repository, extensive safety analysis must be performed. One of the critical issues in a safety analysis is the long-term integrity of the barrier materials used in the repository. Ionizing radiation from the spent nuclear constitutes one of the many parameters that need to be accounted for. In this paper, the effects of ionizing radiation on the integrity of different materials used in a granitic deep geological repository for spent nuclear fuel designed according to the Swedish KBS-3 model are discussed. The discussion is primarily focused on radiation-induced processes at the interface between groundwater and solid materials. The materials that are discussed are the spent nuclear fuel (based on UO2), the copper-covered iron canister, and bentonite clay. The latter two constitute the engineered barriers of the repository.