NEA Mandates and Structures

Expert Group on the Economics of Extended Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel (EGEES)

Chair(s): Josh JARRELL, United States
Secretary:  Michel BERTHELEMY
Vice-Chair(s): Cécile EVANS, France
Member(s):All NEA member countries
Full participant(s): European Commission
Under the NEA Statute
Observer(s)(International Organisation): International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
By agreement
Date of creation:26 June 2015
End of mandate:31 December 2020

Mandate (Document reference):

Mandate (Document extract):

Extract from document NEA/NDC(2019)12


Extended intermediate storage of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) is becoming an increasingly adopted practice, and operational periods of 60 years or longer are being considered. This is sometimes due to the long time frames needed for the deployment of final repositories, but can also be considered as a strategic choice. In a few cases, political and social hurdles have challenged the establishment of a national strategy for SNF, with significant policy shifts over time, with other factors influencing continued long-term storage (including the small volumes of waste accumulated in the country, difficulties with transport or site selection, or inadequacy of available funding).


Challenges related to extended storage are topical in most countries with mature nuclear programmes. Effort to address this issue is ongoing in individual countries. This study will update the NDC publication Timing of High-level Waste Disposal (2008) and will extend the NDC publication, The Economics of the Back End of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle (2013) by providing a comprehensive overview of the intertwined issues and implications related to extended storage of SNF. Available knowledge from member countries will be gathered and appraised to identify and assess the impact of technical, safety and regulatory, economic and social factors (as identified above) related to different storage options, fuel types and technical conditions. Strategies to manage waste, i.e. managing the time and phasing of decisions to ensure that the best decisions are made at the right time, will be analysed in this context. To the extent that data becomes available, this study might also examine the extended storage of spent nuclear fuel reprocessing waste. The main output will be a state-of-the-art report to be completed by end 2020.