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
2000 International RERTR Meeting

Package Licensing In Support of the U.S. Department Of Energy (DOE) Foreign Research Reactor (FRR) Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) Acceptance Program

Billy Chambers
United States Department of Energy-Savannah River Operations Office
Aiken, SC 29801
Tel. 803-952-2506

Maureen Clapper
United States Department of Energy-Headquarters (EM-24),
Washington, DC 20585
Tel. 202-586-8013
E-mail: maureen.clapper@hq.doe

This paper will describe recent technical developments in the resolution of regulatory issues, and describe DOE actions to expedite the regulatory package licensing process in the USA.

The DOE devotes considerable time and resources to resolving the complex technical issues associated with transportation of SNF to ensure compliance with international and domestic USA package license requirements. The impacts on foreign research reactor operator’s and DOE’s plans for the transport of the spent nuclear fuel will be examined.

It is the standard policy of the Department of Transportation (DOT) to forward Type-B package revalidation submittals of Safety Analysis Report (SAR) for packages to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for thorough technical review. The NRC is the U.S. agency responsible for the licensing of domestic packages.  Since in many cases a single shipment will call for the use of several different types of transport packages, DOE often has multiple package validation review requests being processed with the DOT and the NRC.   For example, in October 2000 there are expected to be five FRR package applications under technical review by the NRC that are all requested to be completed in March 2001.  DOE works closely with DOT and NRC to prioritize the package validation review list, given shipping schedules, and works to ensure all parties involved are aware of deadlines, actions, potential problems, and unanticipated problems.

The DOE staff reviews the status of the NRC package validation reviews and priorities weekly.  The Type-B package approval recommendations by the NRC typically require review periods of three to six months, and even longer if there are any problems with the submittal.  If the NRC is not able to provide a complete or timely review, then planned shipments must be postponed or rescheduled. The DOT will not issue the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) certificate, without an approval recommendation from the NRC.  A DOE “transport” goal is to synchronize available resources to maximize SNF shipment opportunities.

The paper examines the roles, involvement and interaction between the DOE,  NRC and  DOT, foreign reactor operators, and package vendor representatives. Improved coordination and communication between the DOE, reactor operators, the licensees, and the competent authorities will result in “more manageable” problems and an increased reliability in the shipment planning and scheduling process. 

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Mr. Billy Chambers
Nuclear Engineer
U.S. Department of Energy
Savannah River Operations Office
P.O. Box A
Aiken, SC 29801 USA

Phone: (803) 952-2506
Fax: (803) 952-3236

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