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Integrated Decision-making Tool to Develop Spent Fuel Strategies for Research Reactors

by Randall L Beatty, Thomas J Harrison
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Publication Date
Conference Name
INMM Annual Meeting
Conference Location
Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America
Conference Sponsor

IAEA Member States operating or having previously operated a Research Reactor are responsible for the safe and sustainable management and disposal of associated radioactive waste, including research reactor spent nuclear fuel (RRSNF). This includes the safe disposal of RRSNF or the corresponding equivalent waste returned after spent fuel reprocessing. One key challenge to developing general recommendations lies in the diversity of spent fuel types, locations and national/regional circumstances rather than mass or volume alone. This is especially true given that RRSNF inventories are relatively small, and research reactors are rarely operated at a high power level or duration typical of commercial power plants. Presently, many countries lack an effective long-term policy for managing RRSNF. This paper presents results of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Coordinated Research Project (CRP) #T33001 on Options and Technologies for Managing the Back End of the Research Reactor Nuclear Fuel Cycle which includes an Integrated Decision Making Tool called BRIDE (Back-end Research reactor Integrated Decision Evaluation). This is a multi-attribute decision-making tool that combines the Total Estimated Cost of each life-cycle scenario with Non-economic factors such as public acceptance, technical maturity etc and ranks optional back-end scenarios specific to member states situations in order to develop a specific member state strategic plan with a preferred or recommended option for managing spent fuel from Research Reactors.