seventh-lecture - 2/28/2011 Spent (Used) Nuclear Fuel...

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2/28/2011 1 Spent (Used) Nuclear Fuel Management “My situation, after all sophistry and reflection, had to finally to be summed up in three awful words—Lost! LOST!! LOST!! LOST!!! —Henry Lawson in “Journey to the Center of the Earth” by Jules Verne. Spent Nuclear Fuel Management Because the only way radioactive waste finally becomes harmless is through decay, which for high-level wastes can take hundreds of thousands of years, the wastes must be stored and finally disposed of in a way that provides adequate protection of the public for a very long time ” (NRC Website)
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2/28/2011 2 Spent Nuclear Fuel Management At present, NRC licensees must safely store SNF at their reactor facilities. During the early years of nuclear energy, SNF was expected to cool in pools for only a few years before being sent to reprocessing years before being sent to reprocessing plants. Options for SNF Management For decades, experts throughout the world have studied many options for permanently managing HLW— including: Storing SNF material at current storage sites. Burying it in the ocean floor.
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2/28/2011 3 Options for SNF Management Placing it on polar ice sheets. Sending it into outer space. Placing it deep underground in a geologic repository. Reprocessing it for future use (later lectures). Wet Storage When spent fuel is first removed from a reactor, it is placed in a pool of water contained in a steel- lined concrete basin. The water serves 2 purposes: It serves as a shield to reduce the radiation levels that people working above may be exposed to. It cools the fuel assemblies that continue to produce heat (called decay heat) for some time after removal.
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2/28/2011 4 20 tons of SNF per year = 5 x 10 7 Ci after one year Wet Storage of SNF
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2/28/2011 5
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2/28/2011 6 SNF Cooling tank at the UI research reactor
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2/28/2011 7 Nuclear Fuel Pool Capacity Nuclear Fuel Pool Capacity About 40,000 tons of SNF are stored in pools at 110 operating and closed reactor sites across the United States, with 2-plus billion curies of long-lived radioactivity. Over the next several years DOE estimates Over the next several years, DOE estimates that storage space for an additional 11,000 tons of SNF will be needed.
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2/28/2011 8 Concerns about wet storage National Academy of Sciences has challenged the decision by federal regulators to allow the decision by federal regulators to allow commercial nuclear facilities to store large quantities of radioactive spent fuel in pools of water. The report concluded that the government does not fully understand the risks that a terrorist attack could pose to the risks that a terrorist attack could pose to the pools and ought to expedite the removal of the fuel to dry storage casks that are more resilient to attack. ” (2005) Dry Storage of SNF After it has cooled considerably, some commercial power plants and government commercial power plants and government facilities move the fuel to dry-storage containers made of steel and/or concrete to shield radiation.
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seventh-lecture - 2/28/2011 Spent (Used) Nuclear Fuel...

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