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Performance Tests of Catalysts for the Safe Conversion of Hydrogen Inside the Nuclear Waste Containers in Fukushima Daiichi


The safe decommissioning as well as decontamination of the radioactive waste resulting from the nuclear accident in Fukushima Daiichi represents a huge task for the next decade. At present, research and development on long-term safe storage containers has become an urgent task with international cooperation in Japan. One challenge is the generation of hydrogen and oxygen in significant amounts by means of radiolysis inside the containers, as the nuclear waste contains a large portion of sea water. The generation of radiolysis gases may lead to a significant pressure build-up inside the containers and to the formation of flammable gases with the risk of ignition and the loss of integrity.
In the framework of the project “R&D on technology for reducing concentration of flammable gases generated in long-term waste storage containers” funded by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (MEXT), the potential application of catalytic recombiner devices inside the storage containers is investigated. In this context, a suitable catalyst based on the so-called intelligent automotive catalyst for use in a recombiner is under consideration. The catalyst is originally developed and mass-produced for automotive exhaust gas purification, and is characterized by having a self-healing function of precious metals (Pd, Pt and Rh) dissolved as a solid solution in the perovskite type oxides. The basic features of this catalyst have been tested in an experimental program. The test series in the REKO-4 facility has revealed the basic characteristics of the catalyst required for designing the recombiner system.

Related subjects: Safety
Countries: Germany ; Japan

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Performance tests of catalysts for the safe conversion of hydrogen inside the nuclear waste containers in Fukushima Daiichi

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