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Title: Forty-nine years of safe storage of research reactor spent fuel at ANSTO
Authors: Dimitrovski, L
Anderson, M
Keywords: ANSTO
Spent fuel storage
Wet storage
HIFAR Reactor
MOATA Reactor
Dry storage
Radioactive waste management
Issue Date: 19-Oct-2009
Publisher: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Citation: Dimitrovski. L., & Anderson, M (2009). Forty-nine years of safe storage of research reactor spent fuel at ANSTO. Paper presented to Technical Meeting on Management and Storage of Research Reactor Spent Nuclear Fuel; Thurso (United Kingdom); 19-22 Oct 2009. In Management and storage of research reactor spent nuclear fuel : proceedings of a technical meeting held in Thurso, United Kingdom, 19-22 October 2008, Vienna: International Atomic Energy Agency. Retrieved from
Abstract: ANSTO permanently shut down its 10 MW research reactor (HIFAR) in January 2007 following 49 years of operation. The shutdown followed the earlier closure of a smaller 100 kW research reactor (MOATA) in 1995. The spent fuel resulting from the operation of the HIFAR and MOATA reactors (2281 elements) was stored in wet and dry storage facilities. Of the 2281 spent fuel elements produced only 19 incurred some degree of “damage”, either physical or chemical. Until recently (2007) some of these elements were still kept in dry storage, awaiting removal and preparation for final shipment. The damaged fuel elements were then removed from the wet storage ponds, some placed inside special sealed cans, and then deposited in the dry storage holes for long term storage. The management of spent fuel remained a very important aspect of the operation of research reactors for ANSTO. For disposition of UK-origin spent fuel arising from the operation of the HIFAR reactor, ANSTO initially elected to ship the irradiated fuel assemblies to the UKAEA in Dounreay, Scotland. With the closure of Dounreay, alternatives were evaluated, and reprocessing of the spent fuel at the La Hague reprocessing plant was selected as the option for the disposition of ANSTO’s UK origin spent fuel. Between 1999 and 2004, a total of 1288 fuel assemblies were sent in four shipments to the La Hague reprocessing plant. For the remaining HIFAR fuel assemblies containing US origin uranium, ANSTO decided to exercise its option to return the fuel assemblies to the USA under the Foreign Research Reactor Spent Nuclear Fuel (FRR SNF) acceptance programme. ANSTO’s remaining spent fuel was shipped to the USA in 2006 and 2009 respectively. This paper describes ANSTO’s management of its spent fuel inventory.
ISBN: 978-92-0-138210-8
ISSN: 0074-1884
Appears in Collections:Conference Publications

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