The solution has been available in the U.S. since 1986. Five years after it has been removed from the reactor core, spent fuel has cooled down to the point where it can be transferred into dry storage. Spent fuel in dry storage is cooled by the chimney effect of air flowing into the bottom of the container and exiting at the top. The spent fuel is within a sealed canister so that the heat escapes, but not the radioactivity.U.S. reactors began using dry storage in 1986. But plant owners use dry storage only after filling their spent fuel pools to near capacity. Consequently, the spent fuel pool risk is maximized. If the spent fuel pool inventory were reduced to only the fuel removed from reactors within the past five years, the spent fuel pool risk would be minimized. Much is known about the Fukushima disaster. Something often overlooked is the fact that there were nearly 400 spent fuel assemblies in dry storage at Fukushima. They came through the earthquake and tsunami undamaged. It is the right way to manage the spent fuel hazard.
There are known spent fuel storage, fire protection, and seismic hazards at Duane Arnold with known and readily available solutions. But until those solutions are implemented, the people of Iowa face greater risk than is necessary.In addition to the safety risk, nuclear power has significant financial risks. Billions of dollars were wasted on nuclear reactors ordered, partially built, and then canceled.More billions of dollars were wasted on nuclear reactors placed in service but mis-managed to the point where year-plus outages were required to restore their safety levels to acceptable ranges.
David Lochbaum High Level Nuclear Waste-20120630
The Magic of Spent Fuel David LochbaumDirector, Nuclear Safety Project June 30, 2012
When in the reactor core,irradiated fuel is sohazardous as to requirehighly reliable cooling andcontainment systems withhighly reliable backups. When in a repository, irradiated fuel is so hazardous as to requireIn-between, irradiated fuel is so benign it isolation for the nextcan be crowded in a pool cooled by a 10,000 years.single non-safety system without backups.
The non-safety-related,non-Class 1E spent fuelpool cooling system is anon-essential load on theclosed cooling watersystem. Its backup?
Nine Mile Point Unit 2 Technical Specifications
Spent Fuel in BWR SFPs: Doesn’t need water (except when being moved about)
Spent Fuel in BWR SFPs: Doesn’t need water Doesn’t need containment Doesn’t need AC power (except when being moved about)
Browns Ferry Unit 1 Technical Specifications (ML052780019)
Spent Fuel in BWR SFPs: Doesn’t need water Doesn’t need containment Doesn’t need AC power Doesn’t need DC power (except when being moved about)
Browns Ferry Unit 1 Technical Specifications (ML052780019)
Spent Fuel in BWR SFPs: Doesn’t need water Doesn’t need containment Doesn’t need AC power Doesn’t need DC power Doesn’t need control room AC (except when being moved about)
General Design Criterion 44 (GDC 44) in Appendix A to 10 CFR Part 50Criterion 44—Cooling water. A system to transfer heatfrom structures, systems, and components important tosafety, to an ultimate heat sink shall be provided. Thesystem safety function shall be to transfer the combinedheat load of these structures, systems, and componentsunder normal operating and accident conditions.Suitable redundancy in components and features, andsuitable interconnections, leak detection, and isolationcapabilities shall be provided to assure that for onsiteelectric power system operation (assuming offsite poweris not available) and for offsite electric power systemoperation (assuming onsite power is not available) thesystem safety function can be accomplished, assuming asingle failure.
10 CFR Part 50.49, Environmental Qualification of Electrical Equipment(i) This equipment is that relied upon to remain functional during andfollowing design basis events to ensure--(A) The integrity of the reactor coolant pressure boundary;(B) The capability to shut down the reactor and maintain it in a safeshutdown condition; or(C) The capability to prevent or mitigate the consequences of accidents thatcould result in potential offsite exposures comparable to the guidelines in §50.34(a)(1), § 50.67(b)(2), or § 100.11 of this chapter, as applicable.(ii) Design basis events are defined as conditions of normal operation,including anticipated operational occurrences, design basis accidents,external events, and natural phenomena for which the plant must bedesigned to ensure functions (b)(1)(i) (A) through (C) of this section.(2) Nonsafety-related electric equipment whose failure under postulatedenvironmental conditions could prevent satisfactory accomplishment ofsafety functions specified in subparagraphs (b)(1) (i) (A) through (C) ofparagraph (b)(1) of this section by the safety-related equipment.
During a reactor accident,irradiated fuel in BWRspent fuel pools becomesinvisible – one can still seethe pool, but it magicallyempties of irradiated fuel asfar as safety studies ofreactor building coolingloads for GDC 44 andenvironmentalqualifications for 10 CFR50.49 go. Amazing!
Spent Fuel in BWR SFPs: Doesn’t need water Doesn’t need containment Doesn’t need AC power Doesn’t need DC power Doesn’t need control room AC Doesn’t need to affect GDC 44 or 10 CFR 50.49 (except when being moved about)
BWR Spent Fuel Science FictionIrradiated fuel in spent fuel pools, evenwhen not being moved, needs: to be covered by water to be within reliable containment to have ac power for its cooling system to have dc power for its I&C systems to enable control room habitability to enable GDC 44 to be met to enable 10 CFR 50.49 to be met
Far, Far Better Place to Store Spent FuelFive years after discharge from reactor cores, spent fuel can and should be transferred into dry storage. Slide 26
Lessons from Fukushima Dai-IchiHydrogen explosions removed Nearly 400 BWR spent fuelwalls and roofs, allowing water assemblies were in this building,cannons and helicopters to inundated by the tsunami, but notprovide feed & bleed cooling of requiring explosions and Rubethese BWR spent fuel pools. Goldberg water cooling. Could the irradiated fuel in the Unit 4 SFP have been cooled w/o the explosions?
ConclusionsIrradiated fuel in BWR spent fuel pools posesundue hazards.Safety studies and tech specs must considerspent fuel pool events other than dropping anassembly or banging it into something.The decay heat from BWR spent fuel poolsmust be considered in GDC 44 and 10 CFR50.49 calculations.As soon as possible after 5 years’ decay,irradiated fuel must be moved to dry storage. Slide 30