United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Regulatory Approaches for Addressing Reprocessing Facility Risks: An Assessment (NUREG/CR-7168)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: December 2011
Date Published: February 2015

Prepared by:
G. Martinez-Guridi, V. Mubayi, R. A. Bari, and *F. Gonzalez

Brookhaven National Laboratory
Nuclear Science and Technology Department
P.O. Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973

*U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
Washington, DC 20555-0001

NRC Job Code V6091

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Abstract

This report addresses methods for assessing the risks posed by a reprocessing facility, which have not previously been quantified relative to other fuel-cycle facilities. Reprocessing facilities can have higher potential source terms than other fuel-cycle facilities, which heighten the risk relative to the other facilities. This report explores the potential hazards that these facilities pose to the public, workers, and the environment by discussing literature on the regulation of these facilities and reviewing the experience of current operating facilities worldwide. It offers an overview of actual events and their consequences at these facilities. It also contains supporting information for assessing the feasibility, advantages, and disadvantages of undertaking detailed versus simplified quantitative risk assessments, for the range of events associated with large reprocessing facilities. The report gleans insights on regulating reprocessing hazards and risks from reports such as NUREG-1909 [Croff et al. 2008], and a white paper from the Nuclear Energy Institute [NEI 2008].

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