Extended Storage and Transportation of Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste from Current and Future Reactor Technologies
The NEA Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC) created the Ad-hoc Group on the Extended Storage and Transportation (AhGEST) in 2021. Following the work on these two topics, AhGEST presented its conclusions and recommendations to the RWMC in March 2022. The AhGEST recommended to organise a broad discussion on sustainability of extended storage and transport with involvement of the NEA standing technical committees, international organisations and other stakeholders.
Extended storage refers to situations where storage periods longer than generally considered today are required, for example, when the disposal solutions are not available in the near future. These longer storage periods require further understanding of potential changes to the spent fuel and radioactive waste characteristics over time. In order to understand such behavior, a monitoring and inspection programme might provide useful information to help identify potential challenges and options to address them before a safety problem arises (such as repackaging).
The NEA and Natural Resources Canada organised the international workshop on Management of Spent Fuel, Radioactive Waste and Decommissioning in SMRs or Advanced Reactor Technologies held on 7-10 November 2022 in Ottawa, Canada. The workshop discussions focused on how radioactive waste management can be considered as part of a comprehensive preparation for these reactors’ deployment from the design stage, as well as on understanding the unique features of SMR waste in order to identify key concepts associated with the disposal of SMR waste. Based on the discussions held, the current workshop will address and elaborate on a number of related topics.