In the United States, commercial nuclear power plants store spent nuclear (fuel) underwater in spent fuel pools and in dry-cask storage systems. Similarly, spent fuel is stored by DOE in wet storage pools and in dry cask storage systems. DOE stores liquid high-level radioactive waste in underground tanks. When the liquid high-level waste is processed into a solid form, it is packaged into steel canisters for storage and eventual transportation to a repository. Cesium and strontium capsules are currently stored in a wet-storage pool and calcined high-level waste is stored in a specially-designed dry-storage facility. The methods used for the processing, packaging, and storage of both spent fuel and high-level waste will have direct impacts on the eventual transportation and disposal of these materials.
Under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA), as amended, the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board is charged with evaluating the technical and scientific validity of activities undertaken by DOE under the NWPA related to managing and disposing of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste.
Examples of Board activities related to packaging and storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Waste:
- BOARD LETTER- To the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy and to the DOE Office of Environmental Management, following the Summer 2014 Board Meeting on DOE's Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Waste management activities, October 10, 2014.
- PUBLIC MEETING - A Review of DOE's Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Waste management activities, Summer 2014 Board Meeting - August 6, 2014.
- PUBLIC MEETING and WORKSHOP - 2013 Board Technical Workshop - November 18 and 19, 2013: Impacts of Dry-Storage Canister Designs on Future Handling, Storage, Transportation, and Geologic Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel
- FACT SHEET - Extended Spent Nuclear Fuel Dry Storage, February 15, 2012.
- BOARD REPORT - Evaluation of the Technical Basis for Extended Dry Storage and Transportation of Used Nuclear Fuel, December 2010.