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 with expanding menus:

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List of Risk-Informed and Performance-Based Activities

This list shows 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:

Method of Evaluation for Defining Authorized Shielding-Related Specifications of Spent Fuel Storage System Contents

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In public interactions in late FY 2020, a storage system CoC holder was identified to prepare and submit a topical report to pilot development and review of an MOE for defining authorized spent fuel contents. An initial topical report was submitted in early FY 2021. Based on staff review of the initial report and interactions between the staff and the CoC holder, the CoC holder revised the topical report and submitted it for review in mid FY 2021. The staff is in process of review, having accepted the topical for review after an acceptance review. The staff plans to complete its review in FY 2022, issuing any needed requests for additional information and engaging in any needed public interactions with the CoC holder. The staff will issue a safety evaluation report upon conclusion of the review.

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Graded Approach for Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation System Certificates of Compliance

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In FY 2021, the staff began exploring the potential need for guidance to facilitate implementation of the graded approach and review of applications using it. The staff plans to continue that exploration in FY 2022, considering the lessons learned and experience gained from review of applications with the graded approach, including the pilot amendment and recent applications seeking to use the graded approach.

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Thermal Evaluation Model Topical Report

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On September 14, 2021, staff issued a final safety evaluation report for the first topical report related to Holtec's spent fuel storage systems. The topical report involves a generic and risk-informed approach on heat load zone configurations. This approach, when adopted for a given Holtec design, will reduce the number of future license amendments. (ADAMS Accession No. ML21125A186).

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Risk Tool for Spent Fuel Dry Cask Storage

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NRC staff developed materials to improve training and use of the Risk Tool to aid in its introduction as a part of technical safety reviews. These materials include internal documents and sites that allow staff to obtain training and supporting documents whenever they are needed. Additionally, staff completed the Risk Tool Job Aid (ML20318A270), a document that walks Risk Tool users through the process and points out important factors to be considered in a risk informed review.

In the spring of 2021, the Risk Tool was used on two dry storage cask license amendments in order to evaluate its impact on the review process and develop a lessons learned report. The first cases involving the Risk Tool showed its capability of grading design changes by risk level, which can then be used for planning and implementation of a technical review. The findings of the pilot will be finalized and shared with management and stakeholders. These lessons learned will also be used to target research funding to improve the Risk Tool and its supporting documents.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, February 03, 2022