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Dispersal of Spent Fuel -Reply

It will make a big difference if the fuel element has been in a reactor and contains
fission products.

The question is very difficult to answer generically, but to start scoping it out, I
would start with the release fractions in Table 13 of NUREG-1140, "A Regulatory
Analysis on Emergency Preparedness for Fuel Cycle and Other Radioactive
Material Licensees."  That table gives release fractions of 0.001 for uranium, 0.01
for Cs-137, and 0.5 for iodine 131, for example.  That is the fraction of the material
that might become airborne as respirable particles in an accident.

I can send you a copy of the document if you want it.

>>> John Harvey <harveyj@mcmail.CIS.McMaster.CA> 08/29/96 11:33am >>>
Hello again:

I'm afraid I was too discrete in my original query. Specifically, what  would happen if
an explosive charge was set off under a spent fuel  element? The scenario is
outdoors in an unconfined geometry. 

How would you assess the risk to the community?


John Harvey                            | McMaster University
Senior Health Physicist                | NRB-110
(905) 525-9140 ext 24226               | 1280 Main St. W.
harveyj@mcmail.cis.mcmaster.ca         | Hamilton, Ont Canada L8S 4K1