More than 270,000 metric tons of commercial spent nuclear fuel is held in storage worldwide, most at reactor sites. Political and technical difficulties have delayed and in many cases, prevented the construction and operation of geologic repositories to dispose of this material. Failure to manage this problem threatens national, regional and international security, exacerbates nonproliferation risks, strains the credibility of the nuclear community, undercuts public and political acceptance for all nuclear activities, and impacts serious efforts to address climate change.
In 2013, NTI launched the Developing Spent Fuel
Strategies project with generous funding from the John D. and Catherine T.
MacArthur Foundation (as well as the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
during 2013 and 2014. Drawing on three international workshops (Paris 2013,
Taipei 2014, Singapore 2015), NTI’s work to strengthen global approaches to nuclear
materials management, the work of the NTI-CSIS expert group New Approaches
to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle, and recommendations from the Blue Ribbon
Commission on America’s Nuclear Future
(BRC), the project has created a network of nuclear fuel cycle experts in the Pacific Rim to
develop solutions to shared spent fuel management problems and explore ways to address
broader fuel cycle concerns.
Read the latest background report from the DSFS team on Nuclear Security Centers of Excellence in Asia.