[s]pent nuclear fuel, the used fuel removed from nuclear reactors, is one of the most hazardous substances created by humans. Commercial spent fuel is stored at reactor sites; about 74 percent of it is stored in pools of water, and 26 percent has been transferred to dry storage casks. The United States has no permanent disposal site for the nearly 70,000 metric tons of spent fuel currently stored in 33 states. GAO was asked to examine (1) the amount of spent fuel expected to accumulate before it can be moved from commercial nuclear reactor sites, (2) the key risks posed by stored spent fuel and actions to help mitigate these risks, and (3) key benefits and challenges of moving spent nuclear fuel out of wet storage and ultimately away from commercial nuclear reactors. GAO reviewed NRC documents and studies on spent fuel’s safety and security risks and industry data, interviewed federal and state government officials and representatives from industry and other groups, and visited reactor sites.
Monday, September 17, 2012
GAO Report Released: Spent Nuclear Fuel, Accumulating Quantities at Commercial Reactors Present Storage and Other Challenges
Recently, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its report, titled Spent Nuclear Fuel Accumulating Quantities at Commercial Reactors Present Storage and Other Challenges GAO-12-797 (Aug. 15, 2012). This 66 page report, available here, was conducted by the GAO because,