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Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors
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Abstracts and Available Papers Presented at the
1999 International RERTR Meeting

OVERVIEW OF THE SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL STORAGE FACILITIES AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE

Jay Thomas
Westinghouse Savannah River Company
Building 707-C
Aiken, South Carolina 29808
USA

ABSTRACT

The May 1996 Record of Decision (ref. 1) on a Proposed Nuclear Weapons Nonproliferation Policy concerning Foreign Research Reactor Spent Nuclear Fuel initiated a 13 year campaign renewing a policy to support the return of spent nuclear fuel containing uranium of U.S.-origin from foreign research reactors to the United States. As of July 1999, over 18% of the approximately 13,000 spent nuclear fuel assemblies from participating countries have been returned to the Savannah River Site (SRS). These 2400 assemblies are currently stored in two dedicated SRS wet storage facilities. One is the Receiving Basin for Off-site Fuels (RBOF) and the other as L-Basin.  RBOF, built in the early 60’s to support the “Atoms for Peace” program, has been receiving off-site fuel for over 35 years. RBOF has received approximately 1950 casks since startup and has the capability of handling all of the casks currently used in the FRR program. However, RBOF is 90% filled to capacity and is not capable of storing all of the fuel to be received in the program. L-Basin was originally used as temporary storage for materials irradiated in SRS’s L-Reactor. New storage racks and other modifications were completed in 1996 that improved water quality and allowed L-Basin to receive, handle and store spent nuclear fuel assemblies and components from off-site. The first foreign cask was received into L-Area in April 1997 and approximately 86 foreign and domestic casks have been received since that time.  This paper provides an overview of activities related to fuel receipt and storage in both the Receiving Basin for Off-site Fuels (RBOF) and L-Basin facilities. It will illustrate each step of the fuel receipt program from arrival of casks at SRS through cask unloading and decontamination. It will follow the fuel handling process, from fuel unloading, through the cropping and bundling stages, and final placement in the wet storage rack. Decontamination methods and equipment will be explained to show how the empty casks are prepared for shipment off-site. This paper provides a useful reference to foreign facilities, cask owners and shipping contractors on the cask and fuel handling capabilities of the Savannah River Site.


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Contact:
Jay E. Thomas
Off-Site Receipts-Coordinator
WSRC-Savannah River Site
Building 707-C, Room 295
Aiken, SC 29808 USA

Phone:  (803) 557-6402
Fax:      (803) 557-9642
E-mail:  jay.thomas@srs.gov

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Last modified on July 29, 2008 11:34 +0200