Abstracts and Available Papers Presented at the
2002 International RERTR Meeting
GERMAN RESEARCH REACTOR BACK-END PROVISIONS
German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology
RWE NUKEM GmbH
On behalf of the German Working Group Back-end for Research Reactors
Germany has several types of Research Reactors in operation. These reactors use fuel containing uranium of U.S. origin. Basically all the fuel which will be spent until May 2006 will be returned to the U.S. under existing contracts with the U.S. Department of Energy. The contracts are based on the U.S. FRR SNF (Foreign Research Reactor Spent Nuclear Fuel) Program which started in May 1996 and which will last for 10 years.
In 1990, the German Federal Government started a program to long-term store (approx. 40 years) and finally dispose of spent fuel in Germany after the so-called U.S. fuel return window will be closed. In order to long-term store the fuel, a special container was designed which covers all different types of spent fuel from the Research Reactors.
The container called ‘CASTOR MTR 2’ is basically licensed and is already in use for the spent fuel of Russian origin from the ‘Research Reactor Rossendorf’ in the eastern part of Germany.
All that fuel is expected to be stored in the existing intermediate storage facility, the so-called BZA (Brennelemente Zwischenlager Ahaus). BZA already accomodates spent fuel from the former THTR-300 high temperature reactor. A final repository does not yet exist in Germany. Alternative provisions to close the back-end of the Research Reactor fuel cycle are reprocessing at COGEMA (France) or in Russian facilities, perspectively. Waste return in a form to be agreed will be mandatory, at least in France.
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Mr. Gerhard J. Gruber
RWE NUKEM GmbH
Senior Manager Research Reactors
63754 Alzenau, Germany,
Phone: (49 6023) 91 1609
Fax: (49 6023) 91 1614