United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment
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Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel

What We Regulate

There are two acceptable storage methods for spent fuel after it is removed from the reactor core:

  • Spent Fuel Pools - Currently, most spent nuclear fuel is safely stored in specially designed pools at individual reactor sites around the country.
  • Dry Cask Storage - If pool capacity is reached, licensees may move toward use of dry storage systems.

For additional information, see our Spent Fuel Storage in Pools and Dry Casks, Key Points and Questions & Answers page.

How We Regulate

The NRC regulates spent fuel through a combination of regulatory requirements, licensing; safety oversight, including inspection, assessment of performance; and enforcement; operational experience evaluation; and regulatory support activities. For general information, see the How We Regulate page. For details, see the following:

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, August 24, 2016