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Title: Used Fuel Disposition Disposal R&D Roadmap - Synopsis.


Abstract not provided.

Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: Proposed for presentation at the SFWST Annual Working Group Meeting held May 23-25, 2017 in Las Vegas, nv.
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Sassani, David. Used Fuel Disposition Disposal R&D Roadmap - Synopsis.. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Sassani, David. Used Fuel Disposition Disposal R&D Roadmap - Synopsis.. United States.
Sassani, David. 2017. "Used Fuel Disposition Disposal R&D Roadmap - Synopsis.". United States. doi:.
title = {Used Fuel Disposition Disposal R&D Roadmap - Synopsis.},
author = {Sassani, David},
abstractNote = {Abstract not provided.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 5

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  • Since 1987 the U.S. has focused research and development activities relevant to the disposal of commercial used nuclear fuel and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) owned spent nuclear fuel and high level waste on the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. At the same time, the U.S. successfully deployed a deep geologic disposal facility for defense-related transuranic waste in bedded salt at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. In 2009 the DOE established the Used Fuel Disposition Campaign (UFDC) within the Office of Nuclear Energy. The Mission of the UFDC is to identify alternatives and conduct scientific research and technology developmentmore » to enable storage, transportation and disposal of used nuclear fuel and wastes generated by existing and future nuclear fuel cycles. The U.S. national laboratories have participated on these programs and has conducted research and development related to these issues to a limited extent. However, a comprehensive research and development (R&D) program investigating a variety of geologic media has not been a part of the U.S. waste management program since the mid 1980s. Such a comprehensive R&D program is being developed in the UFDC with a goal of meeting the UFDC Grand Challenge to provide a sound technical basis for absolute confidence in the safety and security of long-term storage, transportation, and disposal of used nuclear fuel and wastes from the nuclear energy enterprise. The DOE has decided to no longer pursue the development of a repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Since a repository site will ultimately have to be selected, sited, characterized, designed, and licensed, other disposal options must now be considered. In addition to the unsaturated volcanic tuff evaluated at Yucca Mountain, several different geologic media are under investigation internationally and preliminary assessments indicate that disposal of used nuclear fuel and high level waste in these media is feasible. Considerable progress has been made in the U.S. and other nations in understanding disposal concepts in different geologic media, but gaps in knowledge still exist. A principal aspect of concern to the UFDC as it considers the broad issues of siting a repository in different geologic media are the marked differences in the regulatory bases for assessing suitability and safety of a repository between the U.S. and other nations. Because the probability based - risked informed nature of the current U.S. regulations for high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel is sufficiently different from other regulations, information gained in previous studies, while useful, likely need to be supplemented to enable more convincing communication with the public, better defense of the numerical models, and stronger safety cases. Thus, it was recognized when the UFDC was established that there were readily identified disposal-related R&D opportunities to address knowledge gaps. An effort to document these research opportunities was a key component of Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 engineered system, natural system, and system-level modeling activities for a range of disposal environments. A principal contribution to identifying these gaps was a workshop held to gather perspectives from experts both within and external to the UFDC regarding R&D opportunities. In the planning for FY2010 it was expected that these activities would culminate with a UFDC research and development roadmap that would identify the knowledge gaps, discuss the R&D needed to fill these gaps, and prioritize the proposed R&D over both the near- and long-term. A number of knowledge gaps and needed R&D were identified and are discussed in this report. However, these preliminary R&D topics have not been evaluated in detail nor have they been prioritized to support future planning efforts. This will be completed in FY11 and the final UFDC Research and Development Roadmap will be completed. This report discusses proposed R&D topics in three areas related to repository siting, design, and performance: natural systems, engineered systems, and overall disposal system. The intent of this report is to consolidate the proposed R&D topics to support subsequent discussions among UFDC and external expertise to identify additional R&D needs and to prioritize these needs, leading to the development for the UFDC Research and Development Roadmap.« less