Studsvik is one of the world's foremost independent suppliers of tests, examinations and analyses of nuclear fuel and material. The hot cell laboratory in Studsvik, Sweden has been providing research results for over 30 years to the safety assessment of deep geological repositories for spent fuel.
Studsvik is involved both in international research programs and in bilateral work directly supporting the disposal programs of individual nations. The majority of the work has been performed to support the Swedish spent nuclear fuel disposal design KBS-3. The concept consists of a copper canister surrounding an iron insert that holds the spent fuel. The canisters will be surrounded by bentonite clay sleeves and placed in a granitic host rock at a depth of approximately 500 m. Aqueous leaching studies relevant to this disposal design include both the short term, so called instant release, and the long term radionuclide release and dissolution rate of the spent nuclear fuel matrix. The studies are typically performed in simplified granitic groundwater under either oxic or anoxic conditions. The effects of corroding iron and the potential for hydrogen pressures of several MPa is also a major topic. Experimental techniques include solution analysis by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) with reaction cell and High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) options or the use of radiometric methods. Gas Mass spectrometry is employed for gas sampling. Solids can be characterized by Laser Ablation ICP-MS, Optical Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) including element analysis (EDS or WDS), Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) and Focused Ion Beam (FIB) equipment.