but the inventory in them has not increased since the March
2011 accident at Fukushima Daiichi because all of Japan’s reactors were shut down with just a few restarted.
Dr. Asano showed a picture of the dry casks that are stored
inside a building at Tokai Unit 2 and Fukushima Daiichi, where
the casks at the Fukushima Daiichi plant are stored horizontally and the casks at Tokai are stored vertically. Hitachi Zosen
delivered large metallic casks to Tokai No. 2 beginning around
1990. The casks stored at the Fukushimi Daiichi plant are also
Two spent fuel storage projects are planned for Japan—an
ISFSI at Chubu Electric’s Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station, and
at the Mutsu centralized interim storage facility in Mutsu City.
Although concrete casks are widely used in the U.S.,
Japan historically has considered concrete casks to have two
disadvantages, one of which is the notion that the storage
casks should be stored inside a building, since the area needed
to store concrete casks is about 1. 2 to 1. 4 times wider than a
building used to store metallic casks. However, the chairman of
the NRA recently stated that no building is necessary for cask
storage because the casks are designed and fabricated to withstand the more severe transport conditions than are required
for storage-only casks.
The second concern with concrete casks is due to the
possibility of chlorine-induced stress corrosion cracking (
CISCC) affecting the performance of the cask. Dr. Asano said “It is
impossible to pursue a project by evading this issue” because
the ISFSIs to be built will face the ocean in Japan. However,
recent studies on CISCC advances are showing that a CISCC-resistant canister is possible.
Dr. Asano concluded by noting that spent fuel storage
should be economical, and that a concrete cask/module system can solve the spent fuel storage issues. Hitachi Zosen
(who has owned U.S. cask vendor NAC International since
2013) delivers many concrete cask systems to the U.S., and
the company wants to introduce concrete cask systems to the
Lubi Dimitrovski, General Manager, Nuclear Operations at
ANSTO, provided an update of spent fuel management in Australia as part of his presentation on the overall nuclear power
status on the continent. Australia has no domestic reprocessing
facility, but exploration of other options, including disposal in the
U.S. and reprocessing in the United Kingdom, began in the late
1970s. In 1997, the Australian government approved the reprocessing of ANSTO’s spent fuel at the La Hague facility in France.
Australia has spent fuel from its High Flux Australian Reactor (HIFAR) research reactor, which was Australia’s first nuclear
reactor and for fifty years the only multi-purpose research reactor. HIFAR, a 10 MWe reactor, operated from 1958-2007. The
reactor was converted to operate on low-enriched uranium
(LEU) in 2006 before it was permanently shut down in January
2007. The 20 MWe Open Pool Australian Lightwater (OPAL) research reactor has operated since 2006. It has a compact core
consisting of 16 LEU fuel assemblies ( 19. 8 percent enriched),
and consumes about 27-30 assemblies per year.
ANSTO has managed nine successful shipments of spent
fuel to the UK, France, and the U.S. between 1963-2009. The
maritime transport of spent fuel has to be done in an International Nuclear Fuel (INF) INF2 ship, as required by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). It meets mandatory
INF code for international shipping of nuclear fuel, plutonium,
and high-level radioactive waste packages. The ship has special
features that make it more robust.
ANSTO shipments are represented in the table shown
The assemblies that were shipped to the U.S. were under
the foreign research reactor spent nuclear fuel acceptance program, so no waste was returned to Australia. The reprocessing wastes from spent fuel that was sent to France was all
returned to Australia by December 2015, and the reprocessing
wastes from spent fuel sent to the UK will all be returned by
2020. The UK enacted substitution for vitrified waste beginning
The OPAL spent fuel is stored in wet storage at the reactor, which also has a connected service pool. The government
has approved funding to reprocess this material overseas, and
in 2015, ANSTO entered into an agreement with AREVA for the