The Safety of Long-Term Interim Storage Facilities in NEA Member Countries

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Management of spent fuel (SF) and high-level waste (HLW) is fundamental to the fuel cycle safety. The original management strategies were established on the basis of limited interim storage periods of 50-60 years, with different national approaches based on the main storage concepts: wet storage in pools and dry storage in casks or vaults.

To date, no final repository for SF or HLW is in operation, and many Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) member countries have expressed their intention/need to plan for long-term interim storage (LTIS), and much longer interim storage periods are being considered. This situation brings additional regulatory and operational issues into focus.

The report is based on the information presented in the workshop together with additional information supplied by the WGFCS members on LTIS requirements, research and development (R&D) needs and ongoing programmes, operational practices and experience, recording the different approaches and solutions and extracting relevant conclusions to help NEA members to learn from current experience and make informed decisions on LTIS issues in their own countries.