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Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors
Nuclear Science and Engineering Division at Argonne
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Abstracts and Available Papers Presented at the
1997 International RERTR Meeting

Status of Implementation of the Foreign Research Reactor
Spent Nuclear Fuel Return Program

William D. Clark, Jr.
Spent Nuclear Fuel Program Manager
U. S. Department of Energy
Savannah River Operations Office


On May 13, 1996 the Secretary of Energy signed the Record of Decision (ROD) on a Proposed Nuclear Weapons Nonproliferation Policy Concerning Foreign Research Reactor Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) (DOE/EIS-0218F). This ROD provided the direction to resume a program for the return of highly enriched and low enriched uranium spent nuclear fuel to the United States for 13 years.

Shortly after the ROD was signed, United States Department of Energy (DOE) - Headquarters in conjunction with DOE-Savannah River (SR) and DOE-Idaho began implementation planning for this program. Aluminum clad SNF shipments, which make up approximately 85% of the return program were scheduled first with the Training, Research, Isotope General Atomic (TRIGA) shipment planned for later in the program. DOE-SR took the lead in planning and executing the first shipment under this policy in September, 1996. This first shipment included SNF from Europe and South America and arrived at the Savannah River Site (SRS) without incident. A second shipment, from a Canadian university was completed in December, 1996.

The third shipment under the renewed program arrived at SRS in April, 1997 and included SNF from four European facilities. The fourth shipment containing SNF from three European facilities plus Japan will arrive at SRS in August, 1997. The first TRIGA shipment is now planned for early 1998.

DOE has prepared plans and schedules for fully implementing the FRR SNF return program. Two year, five year, and thirteen year schedules are maintained. Considerable focus has been placed on definitization of parameters that would affect those schedules. Specifically, DOE-SR has been working with the FRR operators to better define inventories, fuel characteristics, preferences with respect to cask utilization and shipping schedules. These efforts have identified issues that require resolution in the near term and the long term. Cask certification and availability, fuel condition issues, prioritization of shipments, and negotiation of contracts have been the primary concerns in the first 16 months of the program.

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Mr. William D. Clark
U.S. Department of Energy
Savannah River Operation Office
PO Box A, Aiken, SC 29802, USA
Phone: 803-557-3759
Fax: 803-557-3759
Email: [email protected]

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