David Lochbaum High Level Nuclear Waste-20120630

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High Level Nuclear Waste presentation The Magic of Spent Fuel by David Lochbaum, Director, Nuclear Safety, Union of Concerned Scientists at the KNOW NUKES Y'ALL SUMMIT on June 30, 2012.

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David Lochbaum High Level Nuclear Waste-20120630

  1. 1. The Magic of Spent Fuel David LochbaumDirector, Nuclear Safety Project June 30, 2012
  2. 2. Spent Fuel in BWR SFPs is REAL MAGIC!
  3. 3. 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.
  4. 4. The non-safety-related,non-Class 1E spent fuelpool cooling system is anon-essential load on theclosed cooling watersystem. Its backup?
  5. 5. Nine Mile Point Unit 2 Technical Specifications
  6. 6. Spent Fuel in BWR SFPs: Doesn’t need water (except when being moved about)
  7. 7. Cooper Technical Specifications
  8. 8. Spent Fuel in BWR SFPs: Doesn’t need water Doesn’t need containment (except when being moved about)
  9. 9. NUREG-1433, Vol. 1, Rev. 3 BWR/4 Improved Technical Specifications
  10. 10. Spent Fuel in BWR SFPs: Doesn’t need water Doesn’t need containment Doesn’t need AC power (except when being moved about)
  11. 11. Browns Ferry Unit 1 Technical Specifications (ML052780019)
  12. 12. 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)
  13. 13. Browns Ferry Unit 1 Technical Specifications (ML052780019)
  14. 14. 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)
  15. 15. 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.
  16. 16. 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.
  17. 17. 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!
  18. 18. 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)
  19. 19. 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
  20. 20. 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
  21. 21. 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?
  22. 22. Spent Fuel Hazard: The Sites Slide 29
  23. 23. 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

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