The management of used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste is required for any country using nuclear energy. This includes the storage, transportation, and disposal of low and intermediate level waste (LILW), used nuclear fuel (UNF), and high level waste (HLW). The Used Fuel Disposition Campaign (UFDC), within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), Office of Fuel Cycle Technology (FCT), is responsible for conducting research and development pertaining to the management of these materials in the U.S.
The NEAC Facilities Subcommittee made a site visit to Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) on August 26, 2010. Subcommittee members included John Ahearne (Vice Chairman of NEAC and Facilities Subcommittee Chairman), Dana Christensen (ORNL), Thomas B. Cochran (Natural Resources Defense Council), Michael Corradini, (University of Wisconsin-Madison), and Andrew Klein (Oregon State University). Tansel Selekler (Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy) accompanied the Subcommittee.
The U.S. nuclear power industry continues to make pro- gress toward the construction of new nuclear power plants in the United States. Currently, 13 license applica- tions are under active review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for up to 22 new reactors. The De- partment of Energy has awarded conditional commit- ments for loan guarantees to the partners in the Vogtle project and is negotiating terms for loan guarantees with several new nuclear projects.
The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Ten-Year Site Plan for Fiscal Year 2014 outlines the vision, strategy, and progress toward delivering and sustaining world-leading capabilities needed for the core mission of the laboratory - nuclear energy research, development and demonstration (RD&D) and multi-program missions in energy security and national and homeland security.
The Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee, Facility Subcommittee visited the Idaho National Laboratory on 19-20 May 2010 to tour the nuclear infrastructure and to discuss the INL plans for facility modernization as a dimension of the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy’s (NE) mission. This was there mission.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) project helps address the President’s goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing energy security. The NGNP project was formally established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005), designated as Public Law 109-58, 42 USC 16021, to demonstrate the generation of electricity and/or hydrogen with a high-temperature nuclear energy source. The project is being executed in collaboration with industry, DOE national laboratories, and U.S. universities. The U.S.
The International Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (I-NERI) is an international, research-oriented collaboration that supports advancement of nuclear science and technology in the United States and the world. I-NERI promotes bilateral scientific and engineering research and development (R&D) with other nations. Innovative research performed under the I-NERI umbrella addresses key issues affecting the future use of nuclear energy and its global deployment by improving cost performance, enhancing safety, and increasing proliferation resistance of future nuclear energy systems.
The International Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (I-NERI) is an international, research-oriented initiative that supports the advancement of nuclear science and technology in the United States and the world. I-NERI promotes bilateral scientific and engineering research and development (R&D) with other nations. Innovative research performed under the I-NERI umbrella addresses key issues affecting the future use of nuclear energy and its global deployment by improving cost performance, enhancing safety, and increasing proliferation resistance of future nuclear energy systems.
The successful implementation of the HEU Agreement remains a high priority of the U.S. Government. The agreement also serves U.S. and Russian commercial interests. HEU Agreement deliveries are an important source of supply in meeting requirements for U.S. utility uranium, conversion, and enrichment. With higher and increasingly unstable market prices for uranium and declining uranium supply from secondary markets, HEU Agreement deliveries help to provide an adequate uranium supply at reasonable prices.
On March 11, 2008, Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman signed a policy statement1 on the management of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) excess uranium inventory (Policy Statement). This Policy Statement provides the framework within which DOE will make decisions concerning future use and disposition of this inventory.
The Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee (NEAC) formed two subcommittees to develop a report for the new Administration: a Policy Subcommittee chartered to evaluate U.S. nuclear energy policy and a Technical Subcommittee to review facilities for nuclear energy programs. The two subcommittee reports follow this brief summary.1
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) owns and manages an inventory of depleted uranium (DU), natural uranium (NU), and low-enriched uranium (LEU) that is currently stored in large cylinders as depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6), natural uranium hexafluoride (NUF6), and low-enriched uranium hexafluoride (LEUF6) at the DOE Paducah site in western Kentucky (DOE Paducah) and the DOE Portsmouth site near Piketon in south-central Ohio (DOE Portsmouth)1.
Nuclear reactors present a very harsh environment for components service. Components within a reactor core must tolerate high temperature water, stress, vibration, and an intense neutron field. Degradation of materials in this environment can lead to reduced performance, and in some cases, sudden failure. A recent EPRI-led study interviewed 47 US nuclear utility executives to gauge perspectives on long-term operation of nuclear reactors. Nearly 90% indicated that extensions of reactor lifetimes to beyond 60 years were likely.
The International Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (I-NERI) supports the National Energy Policy by pursuing international collaborations to conduct research that will advance the state of nuclear science and technology in the United States. I-NERI promotes bilateral and multilateral scientific and engineering research and development (R&D) with other nations.
Securing sufficient supplies of fresh water for societal, industrial, and agricultural uses while protecting the natural environment is becoming increasingly difficult in many parts of the United States. Climate variability and change may exacerbate the situation through hotter weather and disrupted precipitation patterns that promote regional droughts. Achieving long- term water sustainability will require balancing competing needs effectively, managing water resources more holistically, and developing innovative approaches to water use and conserva- tion.