United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

TH36  Safety Concern: Degradation of Neutron Absorbing Materials in the Spent Fuel Pool

Many licensees credit neutron-absorbing materials with maintaining subcriticality in the spent fuel pool In accordance with the regulations. This includes any licensee that keeps fuel in a spent fuel pool for any period of time. However, programs to monitor these neutron-absorbing materials may not be adequate to maintain reasonable assurance that the materials are capable of performing their intended safety function. Recent operating experience indicates that the unidentified and unmitigated degradation and deformation of these materials may challenge the criticality regulations. Therefore, the staff is also evaluating the neutron-absorbing material monitoring methodologies and degradation mechanisms through research and interacting with the industry.




  • Jocelyn Lian, Technical Assistant, Division of Engineering, NRR/NRC tel: 301-415-4666, e-mail: Jocelyn.Lian@nrc.gov
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, May 23, 2014