Argonne National Laboratory
Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors
Nuclear Engineering Division at Argonne
U.S. Department of Energy

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Abstracts and Available Papers Presented at the
1998 International RERTR Meeting


Mr. Charles E. Messick
Program Manager
Foreign Research Reactor Spent Nuclear Fuel Program
Spent Fuel Management Division
United States Department of Energy
Savannah River Site

Dr. Charles D. Massey
Manager, Nuclear Materials Management Department
Sandia National Laboratories

Ms. Tracy P. Mustin
Program Manager
Foreign Research Reactor Spent Nuclear Fuel Program
Office of Nuclear Material and Facility Stabilization
United States Department of Energy


On May 13, 1996, the U.S. Department of Energy issued a Record of Decision on a Nuclear Weapons Nonproliferation Policy Concerning Foreign Research Reactor Spent Nuclear Fuel. The goal of the long-term policy is to recover enriched uranium exported from the United States, while giving foreign research reactor operators sufficient time to develop their own long-term solutions for storage and disposal of spent fuel. The spent fuel accepted by the U.S. DOE under the policy must be out of the research reactors by May 12, 2006 and returned to the United States by May 12, 2009.

Since resuming the Foreign Research Reactor Spent Nuclear Fuel (FRR SNF) Acceptance Program in 1996, the DOE has successfully accepted shipments of spent fuel from Europe, South America, Australia, Canada, and Southeast Asia. For these shipments, trucks, trains, ships, and, in one case, an aircraft have been used to effect the shipments. Each shipment has proven to be unique in some aspect and the lessons learned from each of these shipments have been incorporated to make future shipments go more smoothly. However, challenges remain as shown by the recent shipment from South America in which DOE was unable to accept all of the spent fuel planned for the shipment.

The operational experience of the transport of FRR SNF will be discussed. The information presented will include transport logistics, regulatory issues, technical constraints, and lessons learned. Specific information will also be provided on research reactor operators responsibilities for joint shipments in which spent fuel from other countries is involved. As the Foreign Research Reactor Spent Fuel Acceptance Program moves into its third year, DOE has demonstrated that it can successfully accept FRR SNF on a regular basis. The continued success of the program depends upon the informed cooperation of all parties to the acceptance of this spent fuel. The information presented in this paper will be important to foreign research reactor operators and their host governments, shippers, cask vendors, and stakeholders to the movement of radioactive materials to and within the United States.

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Chuck Messick
U.S.Department of Energy Savannah River Op.Office
Bldg. 704K P.O.Box A
Aiken South Carolina 29802

Phone: 1 803 557 3237
Fax: 1 803 557 3996

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Last modified on July 29, 2008 11:33 +0200