Redundancy of Supply in the International Nuclear Fuel Fabrication Market: Are Fabrication Services Assured?

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For several years, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has been assessing the reliability of nuclear fuel supply in support of the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. Three international low enriched uranium reserves, which are intended back up the existing and well-functioning nuclear fuel market, are currently moving toward implementation. These backup reserves are intended to provide countries credible assurance that of the uninterrupted supply of nuclear fuel to operate their nuclear power reactors in the event that their primary fuel supply is disrupted, whether for political or other reasons. The efficacy of these backup reserves, however, may be ... continued below

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Seward, Amy M.; Toomey, Christopher; Ford, Benjamin E.; Wood, Thomas W. & Perkins, Casey J. November 14, 2011.

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Description

For several years, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has been assessing the reliability of nuclear fuel supply in support of the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. Three international low enriched uranium reserves, which are intended back up the existing and well-functioning nuclear fuel market, are currently moving toward implementation. These backup reserves are intended to provide countries credible assurance that of the uninterrupted supply of nuclear fuel to operate their nuclear power reactors in the event that their primary fuel supply is disrupted, whether for political or other reasons. The efficacy of these backup reserves, however, may be constrained without redundant fabrication services. This report presents the findings of a recent PNNL study that simulated outages of varying durations at specific nuclear fuel fabrication plants. The modeling specifically enabled prediction and visualization of the reactors affected and the degree of fuel delivery delay. The results thus provide insight on the extent of vulnerability to nuclear fuel supply disruption at the level of individual fabrication plants, reactors, and countries. The simulation studies demonstrate that, when a reasonable set of qualification criteria are applied, existing fabrication plants are technically qualified to provide backup fabrication services to the majority of the world's power reactors. The report concludes with an assessment of the redundancy of fuel supply in the nuclear fuel market, and a description of potential extra-market mechanisms to enhance the security of fuel supply in cases where it may be warranted. This report is an assessment of the ability of the existing market to respond to supply disruptions that occur for technical reasons. A forthcoming report will address political disruption scenarios.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-20861
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/1036934 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1036934
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc840149

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • November 14, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 7, 2016, 8:18 p.m.

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Seward, Amy M.; Toomey, Christopher; Ford, Benjamin E.; Wood, Thomas W. & Perkins, Casey J. Redundancy of Supply in the International Nuclear Fuel Fabrication Market: Are Fabrication Services Assured?, report, November 14, 2011; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc840149/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.