What is Nuclear Fuels Management?
The lifecycle for the management of spent fuels discharged from nuclear reactors may involve a number of stages or building blocks: storage, transport, reprocessing and disposal. The management strategy for different sources and types of nuclear fuels may involve different variations and combinations of these building blocks.
Why is Nuclear Fuels Management Important?
The UK has 15 operational nuclear reactors at 7 sites, which together supply ca. 20% of the nation’s electricity. Having safe, resilient strategies for the management of the spent fuels from these reactors is essential to ensuring that the nation has a dependable supply of energy for its homes and industries. There are plans to replace some of the ageing nuclear generating capacity in the UK with new reactors, whose spent fuels will also need to be managed. In addition, the UK has a legacy of diverse spent fuels from a variety of research, prototype and power reactors that require safe, cost-effective and practical future management strategies.
TÜV SÜD's Services
Our Nuclear Fuels Management services include:
- Storage – We help our clients to decide on the best approaches for storing their spent fuels, drawing on our technical expertise in a variety of areas, including shielding requirements and criticality safety; heat management; fuel cladding corrosion and the influence of storage conditions (wet and dry); and the practicalities of spent fuel receipt, handling and storage.
- Transport – We advise our clients on a variety of topics relating to the off-site transport of spent fuels, including shielding requirements and criticality safety cases; transport flask options; and the practicalities of flask loading, receipt and handling.
- Disposal – We assist in the development of safe, fit-for-purpose concepts for the deep geological disposal of spent fuels and advise on the suitability of particular fuels for disposal.
- Reprocessing – We are able to draw on the first-hand, practical experience of our staff and associates in the design, commissioning and operation of spent fuel reprocessing plants.
- Strategy – We help our clients to devise safe, cost-effective and practical strategies for the lifecycle management of their spent fuels, including option identification, development and assessment; the identification of technical needs, risks and opportunities; and the production of R&D roadmaps to deal with these.