On selection and operation of an international interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel
Author(s)Burns, Joe, 1966-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Nuclear Engineering.
Mujid S. Kazimi.
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Disposal of post-irradiation fuel from nuclear reactors has been an issue for the nuclear industry for many years. Most countries currently have no long-term disposal strategy in place. Therefore, the concept of an intermediate nuclear spent fuel storage facility has been introduced as a method of temporarily storing the spent fuel in a central location until long-term disposal of the spent nuclear fuel is made available. General criteria that can be used to compare potential international sites for an intermediate nuclear spent fuel storage facility have been identified and elucidated. Those criteria were then utilized to compare four potential international intermediate nuclear spent fuel storage facility (IINSFSF) sites. Two of the sites are in Russia (one in the area of the old nuclear city of Krasnoyarsk-26 currently known as Zheleznogorsk and one on Sakhalin Island in the area of the town of Kholmsk), one is in China (in the area of the town of Xilinhot in the Nei Mongol province) and one in Australia (in the area of the city of Meekatharra in Western Australia). Safety and safeguard regulations for nuclear facilities were reviewed and appropriate portions that could be applied to a potential IINSFSF are recommended. An analysis was conducted to determine legal issues pertinent to an IINSFSF and a brief, limited overview of the most important legal issues is presented. The effects that nuclear fuels subjected to higher burnups (than practiced now) will have on dry cask storage was examined and recommendations for storage strategies are proposed.(cont.) The selected criteria involve the areas of Geological Suitability, Seismic Stability, Land Area Suitability, Site Infrastructure Suitability, Transportation Infrastructure Suitability, Meteorological Suitability, Willingness of the Host Nation and Population Density. Application of the criteria to the suggested sites revealed that Krasnoyarsk - 26 is the best alternative. This is mainly due to the willingness of the host nation of Russia to accept this type of facility. Krasnoyarsk - 26 also rates as the best site with respect to the criteria of geological suitability and seismic suitability. Without consideration for the willingness of the host nation, Meekatharra would be the ideal site. Xilinhot was evaluated as the third best alternative followed by the Sakhalin Island site of Kholmsk. The legal issue that would be of most concern to an IINSFSF would be potential liability. It would be best if the host nation were a signatory of an international treaty limiting the liability of the IINSFSF operator. Of the two major international nuclear liability treaties in existence the one preferable is the Paris Convention. Economics are driving nuclear power plants in the United States to look to implement more highly enriched fuels to achieve higher burnupsHow these higher burnup spent fuels will affect dry cask storage of spent fuels at reactor sites should be examined. To determine this, the decay heat output of higher burnup spent fuels was compared to the storage capacity of a typical dry cask storage system ...
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Nuclear Engineering, 2004.Includes bibliographical references.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Nuclear Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology