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Dry storage casks at Idaho National Laboratory can safely house spent nuclear fuel for decades.

EM’s mission includes safely and efficiently managing its spent nuclear fuel and preparing it for disposal in a geological repository.

EM works with stakeholders and tribal governments and will help protect the environment and the health and safety of workers and the public by fully complying with applicable federal, state and local laws, orders and regulations.

Canister Storage Building at Hanford
Canister Storage Building at Hanford

Through the National Environmental Policy Act, a decision was made in 1995 to consolidate DOE-owned SNF at existing DOE sites that have the skills, facilities and technologies to best handle the fuel. Based on the decisions from the associated environmental impact statement, DOE will temporarily store its SNF at the Hanford Site in Wash., the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in Idaho, and the Savannah River Site (SRS) in S.C., until a repository is completed. The Hanford Site retained most of its inventory of SNF. The remaining DOE SNF was consolidated at the INL or SRS, depending on the type of fuel.

EM is currently managing approximately 2500 metric tons of heavy metal (MTHM) of SNF at the three sites, including approximately 2,129 MTHM at Hanford; about 29 MTHM at SRS and about 280 MTHM at INL. The majority of this fuel (about 87%) is dry-stored.

At Idaho National Laboratory, fuel is stored in various facilities and configurations, including wet pool storage, indoor dry vaults, outdoor below-grade vaults, and SNF cask storage on concrete pads.  Facilities at Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center (INTEC) that store SNF include CPP-1774, CPP-603 Irradiated Fuel Storage Facility, CPP-749, CPP-666, and CPP-2707.

The Spent Nuclear Fuel Working Group, which includes representatives from DOE programs and sites that manage SNF, met in March 2019 at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) to discuss SNF challenges.
The Spent Nuclear Fuel Working Group, which includes representatives from DOE programs and sites that manage SNF, met in March 2019 at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) to discuss SNF challenges.
CPP-666 Basin at Idaho National Laboratory
CPP-666 Basin at Idaho National Laboratory
CPP-603 Irradiated Fuel Storage Facility (INL)
CPP-603 Irradiated Fuel Storage Facility (INL)

 

 

 

 

 

At Hanford, SNF has been consolidated in the Canister Storage Building/200 Area for safe interim storage.

SRS provides for the safe receipt and interim storage of SNF assemblies including SNF from domestic and foreign test and research reactors. SNF at SRS is stored in L Basin, a wet pool storage facility. The basins have concrete walls three feet thick and hold 3.5 million gallons of water with pool depths of 17-to-30 feet to provide shielding to protect workers from radiation. 

L-Basin at Savannah River
L-Basin at Savannah River