DOE announces nuclear fuel storage research initiative

The Energy Department announced a new dry storage research and development project Tuesday, to be led by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). The project will design and demonstrate dry storage cask technology for high burn-up spent nuclear fuels that have been removed from commercial nuclear power plants.

In the nuclear energy industry, burn-up relates to the power extracted from reactor fuels. Over the last few years, many improvements have been made in fuel technologies which have allowed plant operators to achieve higher burn-up levels, almost doubling the amount of energy captured. The Energy Department has studied the current long-term dry cask systems used to store spent nuclear fuel from commercial nuclear power reactors, and has identified areas for continued research and data collection related to the storage of high burn-up spent fuel. The research project led by EPRI will focus on studying these issues. The Department will invest $15.8 million over five years, with private industry contributing at least 20 percent of the total project cost.

This work builds on the steps the Department is taking in FY 2013, and has proposed for FY 2014, to support a new strategy for the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle. In the Energy Department’s budget request presented last week, the Department requested $60 million for nuclear waste research and development that aligns with the recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future and supports to the Administration’s Strategy for the Management and Disposal of Used Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste. The request includes funds to lay the groundwork for the design of an integrated waste management system as well as related research and development on storage, transportation and materials issues.

Subscribe to Nuclear Power International magazine

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

Whitepapers

Maximizing Operational Excellence

In a recent survey conducted by PennEnergy Research, 70% of surveyed energy industry professional...

Leveraging the Power of Information in the Energy Industry

Information Governance is about more than compliance. It’s about using your information to drive ...

Reduce Engineering Project Complexity

Engineering document management presents unique and complex challenges. A solution based in Enter...

Revolutionizing Asset Management in the Electric Power Industry

With the arrival of the Industrial Internet of Things, data is growing and becoming more accessib...