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1 Welcoming Remarks Daid N. McNelis University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill On behalf of George Russell, sponsor of this meeting, I would like to extend a welcome to this second interacademy workshop focusing on Russia’s plans to host a site for the storage of spent nuclear fuel of international origin. As some of you are aware, George Russell developed an interest in stored nuclear materials after traveling in Russia on numerous occasions and visiting nuclear sites elsewhere in the world. Subsequently, he created a small organiza- tion that I lead (Nuclear Fuel Cycle Technologies—NFCT), which has been spon- soring activities with a primary focus on the destruction of spent nuclear fuel. Currently, he is sponsoring a number of graduate students in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at North Carolina State University. All of these students are working on some aspect of transmutation technologies or the thermal impact on repository design and performance. George Russell also sponsored the first interacademy workshop on the inter- national spent nuclear fuel (SNF) storage site, which was held in Moscow in May 2003. Russia is the first country that has offered to host a storage site for SNF of foreign origin that is not linked to a reprocessing plant. NFCT’s interests include ensuring that an international body, presumably the International Atomic Energy Agency, would provide oversight for such an activity and develop international standards for siting, safeguards, and operations. NFCT also has an interest in reducing the number of sites around the world where SNF and other high-level radioactive materials are placed. With this in mind, NFCT is interested in the Rus- sian site, which might be operated as a regional pilot program. Perhaps eventually there would be a small number of sites around the world where such materials are stored, reprocessed, or placed in geological repositories. The other Russian project of interest to NFCT is still in the design phase. 

OCR for page 1
 SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL STORAGE FACILITIES While here in Vienna and over the next few months, I hope to develop an accept- able plan for the study. This work would be carried out in Dmitrovgrad, where one of the research reactors with an appropriate neutron spectrum would be used to expose partitioned components of the SNF or SNF segments. The isotopic inventory would be periodically assessed to determine the efficacy of the process and to compare the results with those produced by simulations of mathematical models. Although it is widely accepted that beneficial transmutation is possible, results to date have only been simulated. With that brief background on NFCT’s interests, welcome and best wishes for a productive workshop.