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Title: Long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel

Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC); Materials Science of Actinides (MSA)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nature Materials; Journal Volume: 14; Related Information: MSA partners with University of Notre Dame (lead); University of California, Davis; Florida State University; George Washington University; University of Michigan; University of Minnesota; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Oregon state University; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Savannah River National Laboratory
Country of Publication:
United States
nuclear (including radiation effects), materials and chemistry by design, synthesis (novel materials), synthesis (self-assembly)

Citation Formats

Ewing, Rodney C. Long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1038/nmat4226.
Ewing, Rodney C. Long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel. United States. doi:10.1038/nmat4226.
Ewing, Rodney C. 2015. "Long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel". United States. doi:10.1038/nmat4226.
title = {Long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel},
author = {Ewing, Rodney C.},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1038/nmat4226},
journal = {Nature Materials},
number = ,
volume = 14,
place = {United States},
year = 2015,
month = 2
  • Dry storage of spent fuel from VVER type reactors is described with regard to te requirements specified in te Federal Republic of Germany. The different points explained demonstrate that a cask-dry storage offers a safe and economical concept, adaptable to the respective needs, for the long-term interim storage of radioactive materials.
  • This paper will specifically address the use and life cycle of ion exchange resins as they relate to the SRS Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Basins. This paper also chronicles the use of two types of ion exchange resins and their affect on basin water quality from the sixties until today.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy, through its Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM), has been accumulating information and data on the performance of spent nuclear fuel under long-term dry storage conditions using the facilities at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL). This paper describes the work performed to date and indicates areas of anticipated work that will provide data on spent fuel performance to aid the design of multi-purpose canisters (MPCs) and independent spent fuel storage installations (ISFSIs), and to support OCRWM commitments to the International Atomic Energy Agency BEFAST III Program.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy decisions for the ultimate disposition of its inventory of used nuclear fuel presently in, and to be received and stored in, the L Basin at the Savannah River Site, and schedule for project execution have not been established. A logical decision timeframe for the DOE is following the review of the overall options for fuel management and disposition by the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future (BRC). The focus of the BRC review is commercial fuel; however, the BRC has included the DOE fuel inventory in their review. Even though the final report bymore » the BRC to the U.S. Department of Energy is expected in January 2012, no timetable has been established for decisions by the U.S. Department of Energy on alternatives selection. Furthermore, with the imminent lay-up and potential closure of H-canyon, no ready path for fuel disposition would be available, and new technologies and/or facilities would need to be established. The fuel inventory in wet storage in the 3.375 million gallon L Basin is primarily aluminum-clad, aluminum-based fuel of the Materials Test Reactor equivalent design. An inventory of non-aluminum-clad fuel of various designs is also stored in L Basin. Safe storage of fuel in wet storage mandates several high-level 'safety functions' that would be provided by the Structures, Systems, and Components (SSCs) of the storage system. A large inventory of aluminum-clad, aluminum-based spent nuclear fuel, and other nonaluminum fuel owned by the U.S. Department of Energy is in wet storage in L Basin at the Savannah River Site. An evaluation of the present condition of the fuel, and the Structures, Systems, or Components (SSCs) necessary for its wet storage, and the present programs and storage practices for fuel management have been performed. Activities necessary to validate the technical bases for, and verify the condition of the fuel and the SSCs under long-term wet storage have also been identified. The overall conclusion is that the fuel can be stored in L Basin, meeting general safety functions for fuel storage, for an additional 50 years and possibly beyond contingent upon continuation of existing fuel management activities and several augmented program activities. It is concluded that the technical bases and well-founded technologies have been established to store spent nuclear fuel in the L Basin. Methodologies to evaluate the fuel condition and characteristics, and systems to prepare fuel, isolate damaged fuel, and maintain water quality storage conditions have been established. Basin structural analyses have been performed against present NPH criteria. The aluminum fuel storage experience to date, supported by the understanding of the effects of environmental variables on materials performance, demonstrates that storage systems that minimize degradation and provide full retrievability of the fuel up to and greater than 50 additional years will require maintaining the present management programs, and with the recommended augmented/additional activities in this report.« less