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Spent Nuclear Fuel Transportation

Project Details

Start Date
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<p>Spent nuclear fuel (SNF) rail cask on railcar.&nbsp;</p>

Problem Statement:

Commercial nuclear power plants have been producing and storing spent nuclear fuel (SNF) for over 60 years.  However, no disposal process has ever been implemented.  When a disposition path is implemented, a large-scale system for transporting the SNF will be needed.  Many parts of such a transportation system are destination independent and thus can be developed to ensure availability when destination decisions are made.

Technical Approach:

The 3 primary elements of a large-scale SNF transportation system are 1) Intergovernmental and External Engagement, 2) Operations and 3) Hardware.  Development in all 3 areas is ongoing with focus on long lead-time needs.  Key activities include development of stakeholder relationships including meetings with State Regional Groups and tribes several times a year, study of the shutdown sites and the processes that would be needed to remove the SNF from these sites, and development of a railcar compliant with AAR standards for transport of high-level waste.


By proactively developing long-lead time needs for a SNF transportation system, the safe and secure transport of this material can be assured once interim storage and/or repository destinations are ready for use.


Major Sponsor:

Department of Energy (DOE)


Matthew R. Feldman, Kevin J. Connolly, William (Bill) J. Reich, Oscar A. Martinez, Abiodun Idowu Adeniyi