The Strategy for the Management and Disposal of Used Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste is a framework for moving toward a sustainable program to deploy an integrated system capable of transporting, storing, and disposing of used nuclear fuel1 and high-level radioactive waste from civilian nuclear power generation, defense, national security and other activities.
In June 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) submitted a license application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the construction of a geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The license application was accepted for formal NRC review in September 2008. Throughout the more than 20-year history of the Yucca Mountain project, EPRI has performed independent assessments of key technical and scientific issues to facilitate an understanding of overall repository performance.
International Review Team Report: A Peer Review of the Yucca Mountain IMARC Total System Performance Assessment EPRI Model
Since 1989, EPRI has been conducting independent assessments of the proposed deep geologic repository for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. EPRI pioneered application of the total system performance assessment (TSPA) approach for evaluating performance of geologic repository systems on a probabilistic basis. Along the way, EPRI developed the Integrated Multiple Assumptions and Release Code (IMARC) as its primary analytical tool for TSPA-based evaluations.
Cost Estimate for an Away-From-Reactor Generic Interim Storage Facility (GISF) for Spent Nuclear Fuel
As nuclear power plants began to run out of storage capacity in spent nuclear fuel (SNF) storage pools, many nuclear operating companies added higher density pool storage racks to increase pool capacity. Most nuclear power plant storage pools have been re-racked one or more times. As many spent fuel storage pools were re-racked to the maximum extent possible, nuclear operating companies began to employ interim dry storage technologies to store SNF in certified casks and canister-based systems outside of the storage pool in independent spent fuel storage installations (ISFSIs).
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) convened a workshop of over 40 representatives of the nuclear industry, federal government, national laboratories, and suppliers of used-fuel dry-storage systems to discuss the potential issues associated with extended dry storage of used fuel, that is, storage considerably beyond the term of current and recently proposed U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulations. The workshop was held November 18-19, 2009, at EPRI's offices in Washington, DC.
Nuclear Fuel Cycle Cost Comparison Between Once-Through and Plutonium Multi-Recycling in Fast Reactors
This report presents results from a parametric study of equilibrium fuel cycle costs for a closed fuel cycle with multi-recycling of plutonium in fast reactors (FRs) compared to an open, once-through fuel cycle using PWRs. The study examines the impact on fuel cycle costs from changes in the unit costs of uranium, advanced PUREX reprocessing of discharged uranium dioxide (UO2) fuel and fast-reactor mixed-oxide (FR-MOX) fuel, and FR-MOX fuel fabrication.
The Industry Spent Fuel Storage Handbook (“the Handbook”) addresses the relevant aspects of at-reactor spent (or used) nuclear fuel (SNF) storage in the United States. With the prospect of SNF being stored at reactor sites for the foreseeable future, it is expected that all U.S. nuclear power plants will have to implement at-reactor dry storage by 2025 or shortly thereafter. The Handbook provides a broad overview of recent developments for storing SNF at U.S. reactor sites, focusing primarily on at-reactor dry storage of SNF.
EPRI Review of Geologic Disposal for Used Fuel and High Level Radioactive Waste: Volume IV - Lessons Learned
The effective termination of the Yucca Mountain program by the U.S. Administration in 2009 has further delayed the construction and operation of a permanent disposal facility for used fuel and high level radioactive waste (HLW) in the United States. In concert with this decision, the President directed the Energy Secretary to establish the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future to review and provide recommendations on options for managing used fuel and HLW.
This report presents the results of a critical review of the technological challenges to the growth of nuclear energy, emerging advanced technologies that would have to be deployed, and fuel cycle strategies that could conceivably involve interim storage, plutonium recycling in thermal and fast reactors, reprocessed uranium recycling, and transmutation of minor actinide elements and fission products before eventual disposal of residual wastes.
The U.S. industry’s limited efforts at licensing transportation packages characterized as “highcapacity,”
or containing “high-burnup” (>45 GWd/MTU) commercial spent nuclear fuel
(CSNF), or both, have not been successful considering existing spent-fuel inventories that will
have to be eventually transported. A holistic framework is proposed for resolving several CSNF
transportation issues. The framework considers transportation risks, spent-fuel and cask-design