lars from 2015 through 2030.
In the United States, not much changed in 2016 in terms of
policy—commercial spent fuel continues to be safely stored at
reactor sites around the country; the NRC continues to regulate
its storage; and the federal government continues to reimburse
utilities, using the taxpayer-funded U.S. Department of Justice
Judgment Fund, for the cost to store the spent fuel. Studies
are ongoing that will confirm the safety of storing spent fuel in
dry storage for up to 300 years. One such study is underway
by a team led by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
to study the performance of high burnup fuel that has been in
storage for very long periods of time to ensure it can be safety
transported after storage.
DOE has continued to lay the groundwork for an integrated
spent fuel management system that would include a pilot
consolidated storage facility that would store spent fuel from
permanently shutdown reactor sites where all that remains is
the independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI). Subsequently, a larger interim storage facility would be built that
could accept up to 70,000 MT of spent fuel from any site in
the U.S. A deep geological repository is also planned. DOE embarked on a tour of the U.S. in 2016 to obtain public input on
how a consent-based process to site these facilities should be
designed, and published the results of that solicitation at the end
of 2016. A wide variety of views, often contradictory, were submitted. DOE also continued its work on a separate repository for
defense waste, and to find a site for a deep borehole disposal
field test. These policy positions were announced in 2015.
In the U.S., every nuclear reactor except for Three Mile
Island Unit 1, Shearon Harris, and Wolf Creek either has dry
storage implemented or has near-term plans to implement it.
Currently, seventy-eight ISFSIs have been licensed in the U.S.,
and three new ISFSIs began operations in 2016 (V.C. Summer,
Watts Bar, and Clinton). Two new ISFSIs could begin operations in 2017/2018 (South Texas Project and Crystal River). At
the end of 2016, UxC reported that 2,471 casks were in service
storing more than 102,000 spent fuel assemblies. In 2016, close
to 200 casks were loaded, and another 200 casks are expected
to be deployed in 2017 at U.S. commercial reactor sites.
To date, seven site-specific ISFSI licenses have been re-
newed, one renewal (North Anna) is under review at the NRC,
and two more renewal applications will be submitted by the
end of March 2017 (Trojan and TMI- 2, which is at the Idaho Na-
tional Laboratory). Two Cask Certificates of Compliance (CoCs)
are also in various stages of the renewal process, and more will
need to be renewed by 2020.
In conclusion, UxC envisions the dry storage market to
continue to see steady growth in the U.S. and globally for the
next several decades as a result of decommissioning plants,
delays in repository programs, and delays in reprocessing
plants in countries that are pursuing this approach.
Nigel Mote, Executive Director of the U.S. Nuclear Waste
Technical Review Board (NWTRB), also presented an Overview of Spent Fuel Management Programs. His presentation
included a summary table of the type of storage (location and
wet or dry), if the canisters in which the spent fuel is stored
are in bolted or welded casks, and the disposal policy of each
country. Mote also noted that research and development is
underway to support extended spent fuel storage. He pointed
out that the areas of research include the following: facility deg-radation/aging management; cask/canister drying; bolt and seal
performance; fuel assembly/cladding/fuel performance; damaged fuel handling; and computer modeling.
Dr. Anders Sjöland of the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste
Management Company (SKB), said that the country’s twelve
operating reactor units, which generate about 45 percent of
Sweden’s electricity, have discharged about 12,000 MT of
spent fuel. Sweden has a final repository for short-lived radioactive waste (SFR) and a central interim storage facility (pool)
for spent nuclear fuel, called Clab.
SKB is owned by the Swedish utilities—Vattenfall, Forsmarks Kraftgrupp, E.ON, and OKG. SKB is responsible for research, technical development, siting, construction, operation,
and communication. Funding of decommissioning and waste
management in Sweden is financed by a 0.04 SEK per kilowatt
hour (kWh) of nuclear electricity, which is placed into a fund.
The Swedish Nuclear Safety Authority (SSM) sets the amount
of the fee per k Wh. At the end of 2014, this fund had about 56
billion SEK (U.S.$6.3 billion).
In 2016, Vattenfall announced its decision to close Ringhals 1 and 2, citing increased taxation on nuclear power as one
reason. E.ON has announced that Oskarshamn 1 and 2 will be
shut down. A new energy agreement that calls for the gradual
abolishment of the special nuclear power tax could mean that
Sweden’s remaining reactors will remain in operation.
Sweden’s reactors are located along the coast, so spent
fuel and SFR are transported to Clab and to the SFR repository
by ship. The Clab facility has the capacity to store 8,000 MT of
spent fuel, but SKB has submitted an application to increase
this capacity to 11,000 MT, as the 8,000 MT capacity could