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Title: Spent Nuclear Fuel Disposition

One interdisciplinary field devoted to achieving the end-state of used nuclear fuel (UNF) through reuse and/or permanent disposal. The reuse option aims to make use of the remaining energy content in UNF and reduce the amount of long-lived radioactive materials that require permanent disposal. The planned approach in the U.S., as well as in many other countries worldwide, is direct permanent disposal in a deep geologic repository. Used nuclear fuel is fuel that has been irradiated in a nuclear reactor to the point where it is no longer capable of sustaining operational objectives. The vast majority (by mass) of UNF is from electricity generation in commercial nuclear power reactors. Furthermore, the other main source of UNF in the U.S. is the Department of Energy’s (DOE) and other federal agencies’ operation of reactors in support of federal government missions, such as materials production, nuclear propulsion, research, testing, and training. Upon discharge from a reactor, UNF emits considerable heat from radioactive decay. Some period of active on-site cooling (e.g., 2 or more years) is typically required to facilitate efficient packaging and transportation to a disposition facility. Hence, the field of UNF disposition broadly includes storage, transportation and ultimate disposition. See also: Nuclearmore » Fission (content/nuclear-fission/458400), Nuclear Fuels (/content/nuclear-fuels/458600), Nuclear Fuel Cycle (/content/nuclear-fuel-cycle/458500), Nuclear Fuels Reprocessing (/content/nuclear-fuels-reprocessing/458700), Nuclear Power (/content/nuclear-power/459600), Nuclear Reactor (/content/nuclear-reactor/460100), Radiation (/content/radiation/566300), and Radioactive Waste Management (/content/radioactive-waste-management/568900).« less
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2469-5610
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: AccessScience; Journal ID: ISSN 2469-5610
McGraw-Hill Education
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; geologic disposal; radioactive waste; spent nuclear fuel; storage; transportation
OSTI Identifier: