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International Workshop on High Level Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management - Storage and Disposal Status of U.S. Used Nuclear Fuel Disposition Program.

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Presentation on theme: "International Workshop on High Level Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management - Storage and Disposal Status of U.S. Used Nuclear Fuel Disposition Program."— Presentation transcript:

1 International Workshop on High Level Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management - Storage and Disposal Status of U.S. Used Nuclear Fuel Disposition Program Jeff Williams, Deputy Director Office of Used Nuclear Fuel Disposition R&D Office of Nuclear Energy U.S. Department of Energy November 30, 2011

2 Presentation Outline History of U.S. Used Nuclear Fuel Program U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy –Organization –Mission and goals Office of Fuel Cycle Technologies Used Fuel Disposition R&D Campaign –Disposal –Storage –Transportation Blue Ribbon Commission 2

3 Used Nuclear Fuel Program History and Status Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) directed Department of Energy (DOE) to develop a repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste NWPA amended, directing DOE to only evaluate Yucca Mountain 2002 – Yucca Mountain site recommendation and approval by Congress 2008 – DOE submits license application for construction authorization President Obama directed the Secretary of Energy to establish the Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) on America’s Nuclear Future DOE filed a motion with NRC to withdraw the LA BRC created in light of the Administration’s decision not to proceed with Yucca Mountain BRC to conduct a comprehensive review of the back-end of the fuel cycle; provide advice and recommendations on policy and management of used nuclear fuel Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management abolished and technical activities transferred to Office of Nuclear Energy BRC Draft report released in July 2011 BRC Final report due in January

4 NRC Review of DOE License Application for Yucca Mountain DOE submitted a license application to NRC, seeking authorization to construct a high-level waste geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada NRC issued: –First volume of Staff’s Safety Evaluation Report – August 23, 2010 –Staff’s Postclosure Technical Evaluation Report – July 21, 2011 –Staff’s Preclosure Technical Evaluation Report – September 1, 2011 –Staff’s Administrative and Programmatic Technical Evaluation Report – September 21, 2011 The Technical Evaluation Reports did not contain findings as to whether NRC’s regulatory requirements were satisfied; however (as examples), –NRC staff notes that DOE’s representation of repository performance in its Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) is consistent with the guidance in the Yucca Mountain Review Plan –NRC staff also notes that the DOE technical approach for its TSPA and the TSPA results are reasonable 30 Nov 2011 Status of US SNF Disposition Program 4

5 Nuclear fuel fabrication/test facility Shutdown reactor site undergoing decommissioning Operating reactor Shutdown reactor SNF from shutdown reactor at operating reactor site Commercial SNF pool storage (away from reactor) Operating commercial research reactor Commercial HLW Shutdown reactor site largely decommissioned except ISFSI Commercial SNF from research reactor Commercial dry storage site Locations of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste 1 January Locations reflect non-federally owned SNF and HLW covered by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act

6 Historical and Projected Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel Discharges 6

7 US DOE-NE Organization 7

8 Used Fuel Disposition Guidance Framework Nuclear Waste Disposal “All Nuclear Waste Disposal project funding has been eliminated due to the termination of the Yucca Mountain Project and the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management.” “Office of Nuclear Energy (based on FY 2011 budget request) will develop and execute a research and program that will address critical scientific and technical issues associated with the long-term management and disposal of used nuclear fuel. The Office of Nuclear Energy will support the work of the Blue Ribbon Commission and the development of an integrated approach to waste management options.” “… Follow on work to explore waste management and disposal alternatives to the Yucca Mountain repository will be supported by the Office of Nuclear Energy.” “The Department is committed to preserving core scientific knowledge and expertise resident in government and national laboratory personnel and applying it to developing a different approach to used fuel management. The Department will make every effort to utilize the expertise and experience of current Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management personnel, consistent with federal statutes, regulations, and union agreements.” 30 Nov 2011Status of US SNF Disposition Program 8

9 UFD Guidance Framework in the DOE-NE R&D Roadmap Nuclear Energy Research and Development Roadmap: Report to Congress April 2010 “R&D will identify options for performing [storage, transportation and disposal] functions, including research into disposal in a variety of geologic environments. This R&D will consider used fuel and high-level waste inventories arising from the current reactor fleet and any additional new builds, including the potential for changing used fuel characteristics from enhanced operations (e.g., increased fuel burnup) and the projected inventories from advanced reactor and fuel cycle systems (e.g., HTRs and SMRs).” “The program will also conduct scientific research and technology development to enable storage, transportation, and disposal of used nuclear fuel and all radioactive wastes generated by existing and future nuclear fuel cycles.” “All research and development activities and plans outlined here will be revisited and revised as needed to reflect the [Blue Ribbon] Commission’s findings and associated Administration decisions.” 30 Nov 2011Status of US SNF Disposition Program 9

10 Used Fuel Disposition: Disposal Geologic disposal will be required under any fuel cycle scenario Establish the technical bases for a variety of potential disposal environments, including: –Granite –Clay/Shale –Salt –Deep Boreholes No site-specific investigations 10

11 Disposal Options Included for R&D Disposal R&D is focusing on four basic disposal options –Three mined repository options (granitic rocks, clay/shale, and salt) –One geologic disposal alternative: deep boreholes in crystalline rocks 11 8 Nov 2011

12 Waste Form EBS BUFFER Host Rock and Other Geologic Units Waste Package NEAR FIELD GEOSPHERE Surface (backfill, liner, seals) [BENTONITE BUFFER] [CLAY, SALT BACKFILL] [DEEP BOREHOLE SEAL] [ GRANITIC ROCKS] [CLAY/SHALE] [SALT ] BIOSPHERE FAR FIELD UFD Disposal Research Activities 30 Nov 2011Status of US SNF Disposition Program 12

13 Overview of EBS Multi-Barrier Concepts –Waste Form (glass, CNSF, etc.) –Canister/Overpack –Backfill/Buffer Material –Modular Concept: Integrated Waste Package (IWP; Apted, 1998) Multi-Component Module (MCM; McKinley et al. 2001) Engineered Barrier System General Overview Source: Multi-barrier concept for the Belgian radioactive waste repository Thin Steel Outer Shell Geotextile Material Bentonite Clay/Sand Mix Layer Bentonite Clay Layer Sand Layer Waste Steel Container Enclosing Waste Schematic diagram of the MCM concept after McKinley et al. (2006) Not to scale 13

14 Develop models to evaluate performance of multiple generic disposal systems Source: modified from Brady et al., 2009, Deep Borehole Disposal of High-Level Radioactive Waste, SAND Disposal System Environment Modeling R&D Source: Figure of Clayton et al., Generic Disposal System Modeling—Fiscal Year 2011 Progress Report, FCRD-USED Nov 2011Status of US SNF Disposition Program 14

15 UFD Storage and Transportation Objectives UFD Storage and Transportation objectives: Develop the technical basis for extended storage of used nuclear fuel Develop the technical basis for fuel retrievability and transportation after extended storage Develop the technical basis for transportation of high burnup used nuclear fuel 30 Nov 2011 Status of US SNF Disposition Program 15

16 Storage of Used Nuclear Fuel Currently 54 dry cask storage NRC-licensed Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installations (ISFSIs) in 33 states There are 14 shutdown reactors at 13 sites in 9 states with used fuel in wet or dry storage Interim storage of UNF is safe and licensable Existing facilities can be licensed to store low- burnup light water reactor (LWR) fuel (<45 GWD/MTU) up to 60 years Additional regulatory and technical basis needed for interim storage of low-burnup fuels past 60 years and for interim storage of high-burnup fuels 16

17 Overall Objectives: Develop the technical bases to demonstrate used fuel integrity for extended storage Develop technical bases for fuel retrievability after long term storage Extend the technical basis to allow storage of high burnup LWR fuels Storage Objectives Connecticut Yankee ISFSI 17

18 Storage System Components I.Fuel I.Pellet II.Fuel/Clad III.Assembly II.Cask I.Basket II.Internals III.Canister IV.Overpack III.ISFSI I.Pad II.Rebar III.Physical Protection IV.Monitoring Systems I.Remote inspection II.In-package sensors III.Security 18

19 Integrate closely with industry, regulators, and international organizations Ensure that technical, regulatory, operational, and institutional aspects of storage and transportation are addressed adequately –Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Extended Storage Collaboration Program (ESCP) Working with industry (fuel and cask vendors, utilities) to identify critical technical gaps associated with S&T objectives Working with NRC to identify technical gaps Working with international organizations to develop a common basis of technical gaps associated with long term storage and transportation. Storage - Domestic and International Collaboration 19

20 Options for Transportation after Extended Storage Identify advantages and disadvantages of the following options for the post-storage handling of UNF assemblies prior to transport Develop technical bases for the assertion that UNF cladding and canisters will be intact after extended storage: –Thermal performance –Radiological performance –Confinement –Sub-criticality –Retrievability Repackage UNF assemblies prior to transport into new canisters. Canister all future UNF assemblies prior to storage in transportable canisters. –Provide criticality mitigations within canisters (assume UNF will degrade) –“Canister” canisters if they are degraded after extended storage Technical Bases for Post-Storage Transport OPTIONS Technical Bases for Post-Storage Transport OPTIONS 1. Cladding / canister integrity 2. Repackage 3. Canister all stored UNF 30 Nov 2011Status of US SNF Disposition Program 20

21 Used Fuel Disposition: Transportation Develop the technical basis to allow safe and secure transportation of high-burnup fuels and a variety of waste forms. 21

22 Transportation Extensive operational experience exists for LWR fuels and DOE HLW Less experience with transportation of high-burnup fuels and advanced fuel forms Secure transportation options are currently limited for Category I and II materials 22

23 Transportation Priorities Near term: transport of selected fuel rods to support UNF testing Medium term: transport of UNF from Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installations to a central storage facility –Key transportation emphasis: Inventory of UNF in dry storage and transfer / transport systems available. Decommissioned sites “first” Logistical issues: e.g.: Are storage canisters currently transportable? Are transfer systems / transport casks available? Use of dual-purpose casks? Long term: transport of UNF after extended storage –Key transportation assumptions for R&D emphasis: UNF may be degraded after extended storage Canisters may be degraded Retrievability and criticality issues must be addressed 30 Nov 2011Status of US SNF Disposition Program 23

24 UFD Campaign International Activities Mont Terri: International underground research laboratory (URL) in clay in Switzerland Joining the URL will give DOE access to data from all Mont Terri R&D, also the opportunity to conduct new experiments Colloid Formation and Migration Project Colloid research at Grimsel granite URL in Switzerland DECOVALEX: (Development of Coupled Models and their Validation against Experiments) DOE has participated in the past, new phase of project begins Spring 2012 Major current or soon-to-be started experiments Collaboration continues in multiple areas, including storage, transportation, and disposal Primary new goal for Disposal R&D in FY12: Establish formal collaborative R&D arrangements with three ongoing European programs 30 Nov 2011Status of US SNF Disposition Program 24

25 November 2011 IDWG 25 America’s Nuclear Future The President and Secretary Chu have made it clear that Yucca Mountain is not a workable option. The President directed the Secretary to establish the Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) on America’s Nuclear Future Established in light of the Administration’s decision not to proceed with Yucca Mountain Conduct a comprehensive review of the back-end of the fuel cycle Commission is made up of 15 members with wide range of expertise and experience in nuclear issues, including: –Scientists –Industry and labor representatives –Respected former elected officials

26 November 2011 IDWG 26 BRC Draft Report to Secretary of Energy Key Recommendations –Establish a siting approach that is: adaptive, staged, consent-based, transparent, and standards+science based –Create new organization with a focused, integrated program for transportation, storage, and disposal of nuclear wastes –Assure program access to the Nuclear Waste Fund –Prompt efforts to develop one or more permanent deep geological facilities for safe disposal –Prompt efforts to develop one or more consolidated interim storage facilities as part of a comprehensive plan –Support stable research, development and demonstration on advanced reactor and fuel cycle technologies –Encourage international leadership to address non-proliferation concerns and improve safety and security of nuclear facilities

27 November 2011 IDWG 27 Summary Used Nuclear Fuel Disposition R&D office is addressing current issues for disposal of spent nuclear fuel Related topics on disposal, storage and transportation are being studied U.S. is pursuing continued collaboration with domestic and international partners Blue Ribbon Commission will provide input on future considerations


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