IAEA launches new research on storage of spent reactor fuel

Special Correspondent

21 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

IAEA launches new research on storage of spent reactor fuel

The IAEA is launching a new Coordinated Research Project (CRP) to address technical challenges in the long-term storage of spent power reactor fuel.

The CRP, entitled “Spent Fuel Research and Assessment” (SFERA), will run for four years and will focus on issues related to fuel, fuel cladding and fuel assembly structures.

Knowledge of the long-term performance of materials used in spent fuel and storage systems is required for continued operations and storage system relicensing.

Storage durations are increasing due to limited recycling and disposal implementation, fuel discharge burnups are continuing to increase, and new fuel designs are entering reactor service, a IAEA news said.

As such, there is a continued need for collaborative research on spent fuel storage issues and challenges, it said.

For more than 40 years, the IAEA CRPs “Behaviour of Spent Fuel Assemblies in Storage” (BEFAST), “Spent Fuel Performance and Assessment” (SPAR), “Demonstrating Performance of Spent Fuel and Related Storage System Components during Very Long Term Storage” (DEMO), and “Ageing Management Programmes for Dry Storage Systems” (AMP-DSS) have reported the results of participating Member States’ research programmes in support of wet and dry storage options and the ongoing performance of spent fuel as well as systems, structures, and components in storage.

To sustain and improve Member States’ technical knowledge base on the long-term behaviour of power reactor spent fuel through sharing and disseminating information, reporting topical research carried out in participating Member States, and documenting ongoing spent fuel performance.