Designing Reactors to Facilitate Decommissioning

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Critics of nuclear power often cite issues with tail-end-of-the-fuel-cycle activities as reasons to oppose the building of new reactors. In fact, waste disposal and the decommissioning of large nuclear reactors have proven more challenging than anticipated. In the early days of the nuclear power industry the design and operation of various reactor systems was given a great deal of attention. Little effort, however, was expended on end-of-the-cycle activities, such as decommissioning and disposal of wastes. As early power and test reactors have been decommissioned difficulties with end-of-the-fuel-cycle activities have become evident. Even the small test reactors common at the INEEL ... continued below

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Meservey, Richard H. June 1, 2006.

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Critics of nuclear power often cite issues with tail-end-of-the-fuel-cycle activities as reasons to oppose the building of new reactors. In fact, waste disposal and the decommissioning of large nuclear reactors have proven more challenging than anticipated. In the early days of the nuclear power industry the design and operation of various reactor systems was given a great deal of attention. Little effort, however, was expended on end-of-the-cycle activities, such as decommissioning and disposal of wastes. As early power and test reactors have been decommissioned difficulties with end-of-the-fuel-cycle activities have become evident. Even the small test reactors common at the INEEL were not designed to facilitate their eventual decontamination, decommissioning, and dismantlement. The results are that decommissioning of these facilities is expensive, time consuming, relatively hazardous, and generates large volumes of waste. This situation clearly supports critics concerns about building a new generation of power reactors.

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  • ANS Annual Meeting 2006,Reno, NV,06/04/2006,06/08/2006

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-06-01242
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 911633
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc886413

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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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Creation Date

  • June 1, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 7, 2016, 5:24 p.m.

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Meservey, Richard H. Designing Reactors to Facilitate Decommissioning, article, June 1, 2006; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc886413/: accessed October 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.