The NFRC was established in 2002 to promote the construction and operation of nuclear reprocessing facilities. NFRC promotes reprocessing commercial spent nuclear fuel that is generated by commercial nuclear power plants.

Reprocessing dramatically reduces the amount of high-level radioactive waste that would have to be stored in a geologic repository. We also support reprocessing plutonium and highly enriched uranium from nuclear warheads into fuel for use in commercial nuclear power plants.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Data On Spent Nuclear Fuel in the USA

graph of spent nuclear fuel discharged and stored at U.S. nuclear reactors since 1968, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form GC-859Nuclear Fuel Data Survey

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data from its Nuclear Fuel Data Survey on the amount, type, and characteristics of spent nuclear fuel once it is discharged from a reactor. As nuclear electricity generation has continued to increase, the inventory of discharged spent fuel from nuclear reactors has grown steadily since the 1970s.
The latest Nuclear Fuel Data Survey data show that a total of 241,468 fuel assemblies, with an initial loading weight of about 70,000 metric tons of uranium (MTU), were discharged from and stored at 118 commercial nuclear reactors operating in the United States from 1968 through June 2013. Illinois, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina have the highest amount of stored nuclear material, with more than 4,000 MTU in each state.
Nuclear reactors are fueled by fissionable material, most commonly uranium, that has been enriched and formed into fuel rods. These rods are bundled together to form fuel assemblies, which are loaded into the reactor core and irradiated. These assemblies are used in the reactors for multiple cycles, with each cycle typically lasting between 18 and 24 months. After being irradiated, the spent fuel assemblies are highly radioactive and must be properly stored.
There are two storage methods used for spent fuel: spent fuel pools and dry cask storage. The spent-fuel-pool approach involves storing spent fuel assemblies in large pools of water that cool the assemblies and provideshielding from the radiation. Dry cask storage allows spent fuel already cooled in a spent fuel pool for several years to be stored inside a container, called a cask, filled with inert gas. Each cask is surrounded by steel, concrete, or other material to provide shielding from radiation. All spent fuel storage is regulated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Approximately two-thirds of total spent nuclear fuel is from pressurized-water reactors, and about one-third is fromboiling-water reactors. In the United States, nearly all spent nuclear fuel is currently stored on-site at commercial nuclear power plants. A very small amount, less than 1%, has been shipped to away-from-reactor, off-site facilities.
map of commercial spent nuclear fuel in storage by state, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form GC-859, Nuclear Fuel Data Survey
Note: Includes discharges stored at commercial sites only

Friday, December 4, 2015

Senator Obama Wrote to NFRC Co-Chair in 2007 Re Nuclear Power



Sent: 4/7/2007 7:05:55 P.M. Central Daylight Time

Subj: Message from Senator Barack Obama

Dear Clinton:

Thank you for your letter regarding your support of greater utilization of nuclear power. I was interested in your perspective.

I appreciate the environmental argument you make for nuclear energy. While the threat of nuclear accidents and the dumping of spent nuclear material have serious environmental implications, nuclear power is one of the few emissions-free energy sources available to us. I also noted your concern that any of our more common energy sources do not have the longevity of alternative fuels and will eventually run out, and agree that this consideration should weigh heavily in our debate over energy policy.

I am open to the use of nuclear power production as a transition to new energy technologies, but I think answers to a variety of safety questions, such as how we are going to transport and dispose of nuclear waste safely, are required before we seriously consider initiating an expansion of nuclear power capacity. Also, I am concerned about national security concerns when it comes to nuclear power, particularly in regards to spent nuclear fuel rods, which are periodically removed from reactors and can be used to produce weapons. These concerns led me to pass a provision in the Environment and Public Works Committee in the 109th Congress that requires the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to track unaccounted-for spent nuclear fuel rods used at power plants in the United States.

Again, thank you for relaying your views on national energy policy. Please stay in touch in the days ahead.


Barack Obama
United States Senator