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Title: Strategy for Used Fuel Acquisition

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE), Office of Fuel Cycle Technology, has established the Used Fuel Disposition Campaign (UFDC) to conduct the research and development activities related to storage, transportation, and disposal of used nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The mission of the UFDC is to identify alternatives and conduct scientific research and technology development to enable storage, transportation and disposal of used nuclear fuel (UNF) and wastes generated by existing and future nuclear fuel cycles. The Storage and Transportation staffs within the UFDC are responsible for addressing issues regarding the extended or long-term storage of UNF and its subsequent transportation. The near-term objectives of the Storage and Transportation task are to use a science-based approach to develop the technical bases to support the continued safe and secure storage of UNF for extended periods, subsequent retrieval, and transportation. While both wet and dry storage have been shown to be safe options for storing UNF, the focus of the program is on dry storage at reactor or centralized locations. Because limited information is available on the properties of high burnup fuel (exceeding 45 gigawatt-days per metric tonne of uranium [GWd/MTU]), and because much of the fuelmore » currently discharged from today’s reactors exceeds this burnup threshold, a particular emphasis of this program is on high burnup fuels. Since high burnup used fuels have only been loaded into dry storage systems in the past decade or so, these materials are available to the UFDC for testing in only very limited quantities. Much of what is available has come via NRC testing programs. Some of these fuels may have achieved "high burnup," but that does not mean they were designed for high burnup use (e.g. lower enrichments, smaller plenum spaces, extra reactor cycles). The handling and transfer of these materials from utility to laboratory has not always been prototypical of how used nuclear fuel is prepared for dry storage; these fuels are not subjected to the same vacuum drying conditions that can lead to changes in hydride morphology that will affect the mechanical properties of the fuel. It is recognized that sources of used high burnup fuel that can be handled in a manner consistent with how fuel is readied for dry storage is essential to the mission of the UFDC. This report documents what types of fuel are of interest to the campaign, and how those fuels could be acquired and shipped to the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) for incorporation into the campaign R&D mission. It also identifies any gaps in INL capabilities that might preclude working with one fuel type or another.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS acquisition; strategy; used fuel