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An International Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility

EXPLORING A RUSSIAN SITE AS A PROTOTYPE

PROCEEDINGS OF AN INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP

Glenn E. Schweitzer and A. Chelsea Sharber, Editors

Committee on the Scientific Aspects of an International Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility in Russia

Office for Central Europe and Eurasia Development, Security, and Cooperation Policy and Global Affairs

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

In cooperation with the Russian Academy of Sciences

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu



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An International Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility: Exploring a Russian Site as a Prototype - Proceedings of an International Workshop An International Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility EXPLORING A RUSSIAN SITE AS A PROTOTYPE PROCEEDINGS OF AN INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP Glenn E. Schweitzer and A. Chelsea Sharber, Editors Committee on the Scientific Aspects of an International Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility in Russia Office for Central Europe and Eurasia Development, Security, and Cooperation Policy and Global Affairs NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES In cooperation with the Russian Academy of Sciences THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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An International Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility: Exploring a Russian Site as a Prototype - Proceedings of an International Workshop THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by a grant from The Russell Family Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-09688-X A limited number of copies are available from the Office for Central Europe and Eurasia, National Research Council, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001; (202) 334-2644. Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2005 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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An International Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility: Exploring a Russian Site as a Prototype - Proceedings of an International Workshop THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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An International Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility: Exploring a Russian Site as a Prototype - Proceedings of an International Workshop NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL COMMITTEE ON THE SCIENTIFIC ASPECTS OF AN INTERNATIONAL SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL STORAGE FACILITY IN RUSSIA Milton Levenson, Chair, Bechtel International (retired) John F. Ahearne, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society John H. Kessler, Electric Power Research Institute Study Staff Glenn E. Schweitzer, Program Director, National Research Council Kelly Robbins, Senior Program Officer, National Research Council A. Chelsea Sharber, Senior Program Associate, National Research Council Amy Moore, Program Assistant, National Research Council RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES ORGANIZING COMMITTEE Nikolay P. Laverov, Russian Academy of Sciences Vasily I. Velichkin, Institute of Geology of Ore Deposits, Mineralogy, and Geochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences Yury K. Shiyan, Foreign Relations Department, Russian Academy of Sciences

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An International Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility: Exploring a Russian Site as a Prototype - Proceedings of an International Workshop Preface After several years of contentious debate in Russia, the Russian government enacted three laws that permit the importation and storage in Russia of spent nuclear fuel from reactors. A number of foreign governments have expressed interest to the Russian government concerning the possibility of transferring their material to Russia on a temporary or permanent basis. Much of the material that might be shipped to Russia is of U.S. origin, that is, uranium provided by the United States to other governments that has been used in fuel rods. Some might not be of U.S. origin. The transfer of U.S.-origin spent fuel to Russia requires U.S. government approval, and the U.S. government is not prepared to approve such transfers at this time. Despite this political uncertainty, Russian officials and scientists are preparing for shipments within the next decade. The income that Russia could potentially derive during the initial few years from accepting and storing spent fuel has been estimated in billions of dollars, although the interest of governments in shipping spent fuel to Russia has yet to be determined. The details of the plans for establishing a repository in Russia are in their early stages of formulation. The location of the site is still being debated. The exact configuration of the site is under discussion. The view of many Russian specialists is that it should be able to accommodate interim storage of 25–50 years or longer and also provide for permanent burial, even though current Russian law prohibits permanent retention in Russia. There are many technical questions concerning the design and operation of the facility and, of course, there are concerns over the ecological aspects and the security of the material both at the site and en route. At the suggestion of the Russian Academy of Sciences to the National Academies, an interacademy workshop of international experts on the scientific issues relevant to the establishment and operation of a storage facility was held in Moscow on May 14–15, 2003. The participants discussed a range of issues drawing on related experience in the United States, Russia, Japan, South Korea, and

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An International Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility: Exploring a Russian Site as a Prototype - Proceedings of an International Workshop Switzerland. There was no attempt to be comprehensive in the discussions, and many relevant topics were left for consideration at other meetings. Following the workshop a group of the participants traveled to Krasnokamensk, a small town near the Siberian city of Chita close to the border with China. There they viewed uranium mining activities and discussed the possibility of locating the international facility at this site. We have not attempted to summarize in this report the papers presented at the workshop or the discussions at the workshop or in Krasnokamensk. We simply note that these two venues provided excellent opportunities for informative discussions and exchanges of ideas concerning the international facility. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This publication was made possible by a grant from The Russell Family Foundation. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the individual authors and do not represent the positions of the foundation, the National Academies, the Russian Academy of Sciences, or other organizations where the authors are employed. This volume has been reviewed in draft form by several individuals chosen for their technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in ensuring that the report is as sound as possible and meets institutional standards for quality. The review comments and original draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of selected papers: William Arnold, Westinghouse Electric Corporation (retired); James Crook, Independent Consultant; Rodney Ewing, University of Michigan; Kathryn Higley, Oregon State University; Frank Parker, Vanderbilt University; and Alvin Trivelpiece, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (retired). Although these reviewers have provided constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the individual papers. Responsibility for the final content of the papers rests with the individual authors. Special thanks are extended to Kelly Robbins for her translation of the Russian language papers into English, and to Amy Moore for her work in editing the papers. Milton Levenson, Chair, National Research Council Committee on the Scientific Aspects of an International Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility in Russia Glenn E. Schweitzer, Director, Office for Central Europe and Eurasia

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An International Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility: Exploring a Russian Site as a Prototype - Proceedings of an International Workshop Contents Opening Remarks Milton Levenson   1 HANDLING SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL—INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE         IAEA Activities in Nuclear Spent Fuel Management Fyodor F. Sokolov, Aleksey E. Lebedev, and Kosaku Fukuda   5     Analysis of U.S. Experience with Spent Fuel John F. Ahearne   12     Problems of Spent Nuclear Fuel Management and Storage Site Selection M. I. Solonin   20     Feasibility of Transmutation of Radioactive Elements Sekazi K. Mtingwa   30     The High-Level Waste Disposal Technology Development Program in Korea Jongwon Choi   50     The Use of Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactors for Effectively Reprocessing Plutonium and Minor Actinides V. I. Matveev, V. A. Yeliseev, and Ye. V. Poplavskaya   59 SITE SELECTION FOR SPENT FUEL STORAGE AND DISPOSAL OF HIGH-LEVEL WASTE         Site Selection for Spent Fuel Storage and Disposal of High-Level Waste: Experience of European Countries Charles McCombie   75

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An International Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility: Exploring a Russian Site as a Prototype - Proceedings of an International Workshop     The Private Fuel Limited Liability Company National Spent Fuel Site John D. Parkyn   89     Experience of Japan Koji Nagano   96     The Current Status of Spent Nuclear Fuel in Korea Hyun-Soo Park and Jongwon Choi   109     Safe Transport of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Waste: International Experience Michael E. Wangler and Ronald B. Pope   118     Ensuring Nuclear and Radiation Safety During the Transport of Radioactive Materials in Russia Aleksandr M. Agapov   128 PROBLEMS IN ESTABLISHING AN INTERNATIONAL STORAGE FACILITY FOR SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL IN RUSSIA         Creating an Infrastructure for Managing Spent Nuclear Fuel K. G. Kudinov   145     Current Status of Government Regulation of Activities Associated with the Import of Spent Nuclear Fuel into the Russian Federation A. M. Dmitriev   152     Return to the Russian Federation of Irradiated Fuel Assemblies from the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Republic of Uzbekistan Aleksey E. Lebedev   159     Investment and International Aspects of the Problem of Spent Nuclear Fuel Management Vitaly P. Keondijan and Michael A. Zhdanov   163     Creation of an Underground Storage Facility for Spent Nuclear Fuel near the City of Zheleznogorsk (Eastern Siberia) Ye. B. Anderson, Ye. F. Lyubtseva, V. G. Savonenkov, S. I. Shabalev, and N. L. Alekseev   166     Conditions for the Creation of an International Spent Nuclear Fuel Repository near the Priargunsk Mining-Chemical Production Association (City of Krasnokamensk, Chita Oblast) Vasily I. Velichkin, V. A. Petrov, V. F. Golovin, and V. A. Ovseichuk   177

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An International Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility: Exploring a Russian Site as a Prototype - Proceedings of an International Workshop UTILIZATION OF HIGH-LEVEL WASTE         Types of High-Level Radioactive Wastes Formed as a Result of Dry Methods of Spent Fuel Regeneration and Technologies for Their Management Valentin B. Ivanov   189     Chemical Treatment of High-Level Waste for Utilization Boris F. Myasoedov   199     Immobilization of High-Level Waste: Analysis of Appropriate Synthetic Waste Forms S. V. Yudintsev   208     Management of High-Level Radioactive Wastes from the Mayak Production Association and Plans for the Creation of an Underground Laboratory Yu. V. Glagolenko   225     Creation of Underground Laboratories at the Mining-Chemical Complex and at Mayak to Study the Suitability of Sites for Underground Isolation of Radioactive Wastes Tatyana A. Gupalo   240     Concluding Observations Milton Levenson   248 APPENDIXES     A   Workshop Agenda   253 B   Environmental Effects of Radiation in the Russian Federation V. V. Kutsenko   257 C   Geochemistry of Actinides During the Long-Term Storage and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel Nikolay P. Laverov, Vasily I. Velichkin, B. I. Omelyanenko, and S. V. Yudintsev   260

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