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Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation Sub-Arena

Spent fuel storage and transportation comprises one of three sub-arenas that the staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) identified in considering which areas of the waste management arena to target for greater use of risk information. This page summarizes the following aspects of this sub-arena:

Objective

Utilize risk information on a case-by-case basis to prioritize and address regulatory initiatives in spent fuel storage and radioactive materials transportation.

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Basis

SECY-99-100 and SECY-04-0182, as well as the related staff requirements memorandum (SRM), provide the conceptual framework for risk-informing the NRC's waste activities. Guidance on how to apply this framework is provided in "Risk-Informed Decision-Making for Material and Waste Applications". In particular, individual risk-informed applications must meet the established screening criteria.

In this subarena, the NRC staff is limited in its ability to risk-inform the agency's regulatory activities because it is not cost-beneficial to perform risk-assessment of each of the numerous storage or transport designs. As a result, the agency has conducted (or sponsored) risk assessments for a few selected designs. In addition, the staff may apply risk assessments to specific activities on a case-by-case basis, provided that the screening criteria are met. For example, the staff has completed and documented a pilot study PRA of a dry cask storage facility, and determined that the risk from that facility was negligibly small.

The goal described below meets the screening criterion for cost/benefit by assessing risk impacts by judgment.

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Goals

The staff has established the following goal for risk-informed and performance-based activities in this subarena:

  • Produce updated versions of NUREG-1536, "Standard Review Plan for Dry Cask Storage Systems," and NUREG-1567, "Standard Review Plan for Spent Fuel Dry Storage Facilities."

Risk-Informed and Performance-Based Activities

The following table specifies the ongoing licensing initiatives, projects, and activities that the staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has targeted for greater use of risk information in the Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation Sub-Arena within the Waste Management Arena.

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Initiative, Program or Project Project Description and Major Activities Status
2014
Risk Informing Framework for Spent Fuel Storage and Transport (SFST) Development of a risk-informed framework to better enable the staff to focus SFST regulatory efforts, improve guidance, streamline casework activities, help assess 10 CFR 72.48 changes, and evaluate requests for exemptions to the regulations while maintaining appropriate margins of safety and security. Ongoing
Enhance Regulatory Framework for Extended Storage and Transportation of Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) Continue current research activities that support the determination of the regulatory bases of extended storage and transportation of Spent Nuclear Fuel. Complete the extended storage and transportation regulatory gap assessments.
Risk Basis: Use risk information and performance-based approaches in the gap assessments to identify technical and regulatory needs to expand the basis for regulating the extended storage and transportation of spent nuclear fuel.
SECY-13-0057: Annual Status Report: Activities Related to Extended Storage and Transportation

Technical Information Needs Report will be finalized in 2014
Regulatory Framework for Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation Development of a risk-informed framework to better enable the staff to focus SFST regulatory efforts, improve guidance, streamline casework activities, help assess 10 CFR 72.48 changes, and evaluate requests for exemptions to the regulations while maintaining appropriate margins of safety and security. Revise the spent fuel dry storage SRPs, NUREG-1536, "Standard Review Plan for Dry Cask Storage Systems" and NUREG-1567, "Standard Review Plan for Spent Fuel Dry Storage Facilities."
Risk Basis: The updates of the SRPs include a priority ranking of the review procedures for the purpose of focusing the staff's review resources on those procedures that are considered to be the most effective and important to worker and public safety. The priority ranking is based on a method derived from the risk triplet and the expert judgment of experienced staff.
More Information
Updated Assessment of Spent Fuel Transportation Risk In January of 2014 NUREG-2125, "Spent Fuel Transportation Risk Assessment," was issued to obtain an updated and refined assessment of the risks associated with transportation of spent nuclear fuel.
Risk Basis: The report is a risk assessment that staff will use to reconfirm the adequacy of NRC's transportation regulations for protecting public health and safety for transportation of spent nuclear fuel. The report can be a source of risk information to help risk inform future regulatory actions regarding spent nuclear fuel transportation.
NUREG-2125
Spent Fuel Transportation Fire Safety Analyses Understand how spent fuel transportation packages would perform in real-world railway and roadway accidents that have involved long-duration and/or severe fires.
Risk Basis: The results of the analyses can be a source of risk information to help inform future regulatory actions regarding spent nuclear fuel transportation.
More Information

To request additional information, Contact Us About Risk-Informed, Performance-Based Regulation.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, November 25, 2014