Developing Spent Fuel Strategies

Challenge

As global demand for nuclear energy grows, spent nuclear fuel accumulates at reactor sites, creating security, proliferation and safety concerns, in some cases, threatening growth of nuclear power.

Action

To generate new solutions for spent fuel waste management and address broader fuel cycle concerns in the United States and internationally.

Results

A new network of nuclear fuel cycle experts in the Pacific Rim is exploring collaborative approaches to spent fuel management, to provide practical solutions, and to build trust and shared understanding.

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), NTIs 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.

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Latest Activity

Key Takeaways: NUMO-NTI Tokyo Workshop on Developing Spent Fuel Strategies

Tokyo, Japan
Key nuclear waste specialists from Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, and the United States participated in a three day Developing Spent Fuel Strategies (DSFS) regional workshop in Tokyo, the fourth in this continuing series of workshops. This meeting was coordinated by NTI's Developing Spent Fuel Strategies team in conjunction with the Nuclear Waste Organization of Japan (NUMO).

Key Takeaways: Honolulu Workshop on Developing Spent Fuel Strategies

Honolulu, Hawaii
Key takeaways from a workshop in Singapore on NTI's Developing Spent Fuel Strategies Project, designed to generate new solutions for spent fuel waste management and address broader fuel cycle concerns in the United States and internationally.

Key Takeaways: Taipei Workshop on Developing Spent Fuel Strategies

Taipei, Taiwan
Key takeaways from a workshop in Taiwan on NTI's Developing Spent Fuel Strategies Project, designed to generate new solutions for spent fuel waste management and address broader fuel cycle concerns in the United States and internationally.

Key Takeaways: Paris Workshop on Developing Spent Fuel Strategies

Paris, France
Key takeaways from a workshop in Paris on NTI's Developing Spent Fuel Strategies Project, designed to generate new solutions for spent fuel waste management and address broader fuel cycle concerns in the United States and internationally.

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