In response to a request from Congress, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Homeland Security sponsored a National Academies study to assess the safety and security risks of spent nuclear fuel stored in cooling pools and dry casks at commercial nuclear power plants. The information provided in this book examines the risks of terrorist attacks using these materials for a radiological dispersal device. Safety and Security of Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel is an unclassified public summary of a more detailed classified book. The book finds that successful terrorist attacks on spent fuel pools, though difficult, are possible. A propagating fire in a pool could release large amounts of radioactive material, but rearranging spent fuel in the pool during storage and providing emergency water spray systems would reduce the likelihood of a propagating fire even under severe damage conditions. The book suggests that additional studies are needed to better understand these risks. Although dry casks have advantages over cooling pools, pools are necessary at all operating nuclear power plants to store at least the recently discharged fuel. The book explains it would be difficult for terrorists to steal enough spent fuel to construct a significant radiological dispersal device.
Table of Contents
|NOTE TO READERS||1-2|
|SUMMARY FOR CONGRESS||3-4|
|1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND||12-24|
|2 TERRORIST ATTACKS ON SPENT FUEL STORAGE||25-37|
|3 SPENT FUEL POOL STORAGE||38-59|
|4 DRY CASK STORAGE AND COMPARATIVE RISKS||60-74|
|5 IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES||75-78|
|A INFORMATION-GATHERING SESSIONS||83-86|
|B BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS||87-91|
|C TOUR OF SELECTED SPENT FUEL STORAGE-RELATED INSTALLATIONS IN GERMANY||92-99|
|D HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF CURRENT COMMERCIAL POWER REACTOR FUEL OPERATIONS||100-107|
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