third section, in the order presented in the study charge. The final section presents the committee’s findings and recommendations.

4.1 DOE MANAGEMENT OF RESEARCH REACTOR SPENT FUEL

DOE has responsibilities for managing spent nuclear fuel from three categories of research reactors (Table 4.1):

  1. Research reactors located at DOE facilities: there are two operating reactors, one at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee (the High Flux Isotope Reactor) and one at Idaho National Laboratory (the Advanced Test Reactor).

  2. Foreign research reactors located in 41 countries that use fuel manufactured in the United States from fissionable material provided by the U.S. government under the Atoms for Peace Program.

  3. Research reactors operated by U.S. universities, U.S. government agencies other than DOE, and private-sector firms. All such reactors are required to be licensed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC). As of July 2005, there were 33 operating research reactors and 11 in the process of decommissioning (USNRC, 2005c) (Figure 4.1).

TABLE 4.1 DOE Research Reactor Spent Fuel Management Activities

Activity

Points of Origina

Packages Shipped, 1996–2004

USNRC Approval of Shipment Route Required?

DOT Highway Routing Regulations Apply?

FRR spent fuel acceptance

2b

168

yes, by DOE policy

yes

Non-DOE U.S. research reactors

36

45c

yes

yes

DOE research reactors

2

93b

no

yes

NOTE: FRR = foreign research reactors. USNRC = U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

aNumber of places within the United States where shipments of research reactor spent fuel originated.

bCharleston Naval Weapons Station and DOE Savannah River Site. Future shipments from Canada are also possible.

cThrough 2002.

SOURCE: DOE (2004c); DOE Office of Environmental Management, written communication.



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