Fed board explores spent fuel issues

FullSizeRenderNed Larson of the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy speaks at Wednesday morning session of the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board. (KNS/Munger photo)

The U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board is holding its winter meeting Wednesday at the Marriott  in downtown Knoxville, with a timely look at issues pertaining to high-burn-up spent fuel and studies under way at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and other sites. With increasing use of high-burn-up fuel at commercial nuclear reactors, the board and others are raising questions about the safety of long-term storage and issues pertaining to the eventual disposition of the highly radioactive materials. ORNL last month received 25 spent fuel rods from the North Anna (Va.) Power Station and is in the early stages of conducting a battery of tests. One issue was addressed in part by the transportation of the rods to Oak Ridge, which was treated, according to one speaker, as a “big deal.”

More on this later, including a brief interview with Johnny Moore, who heads the DOE site office at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.