Review of Spent Fuel Reprocessing and Associated Accident Phenomena (NUREG/CR-7232)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: October 2016
Date Published: February 2017

Prepared by:
N. E. Bixler, F. Gelbard, D. L. Y. Louis and J. Phillips*

*Sandia National Laboratories
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185
Operated for the U.S. Department of Energy

M. Fuhrmann, NRC Project Manager

NRC Job Code Number V6050

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

Availability Notice


The work presented in this report supports the advancement of the safety assessment capabilities of the NRC staff in terms of evaluating accidents that could release radioactivity into the environment and estimating the associated risk during the reprocessing of nuclear fuel. This report lays out much of the background and the concepts needed to construct a computational tool for reprocessing facility source terms. It reviews the following topics: (1) the status of past and current reprocessing plants throughout the world; (2) an overview of a typical plant design, its functions, and its layout; (3) historical accidents and the phenomena that are relevant to these accidents; and (4) the models that are needed to describe these accidents. This document does not propose or describe a specific computational tool that can be used to estimate source terms for a reprocessing facility. Rather, it supports the NRC’s capability to evaluate potential accident source terms that would be used in a license application for a reprocessing facility.

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