Interim Dry Storage of CANDU Fuel

by R. K. Nakagawa, AECL CANDU, Mississauga, Canada,

Abstract: The Canadian approach to permanent disposal of used CANDU fuel is directed toward its storage in suitable containers emplaced into an underground, stable, plutonic rock formation. Reprocessing of used CANDU fuel is not planned due to economic considerations. Permanent disposal of used fuel in Canada is not expected to commence until the next century. At that time there will be sufficient quantity of used CANDU fuel such that the Used-Fuel Disposal Centre can be operated economically at full capacity. In the meantime, used fuel is stored on an interim basis at the reactor sites. The concept for permanent disposal is under review by a Federal panel. Upon approval of the disposal concept, site selection, design, and construction for the facility follows. Initially, CANDU fuel is stored in water-filled bays at each nuclear station. Subsequently, six years after discharge from reactor, the fuel can be stored dry in concrete canisters. This option has been implemented at several CANDU reactor sites. Commercial application for the concrete dry storage canisters is now well advanced. The concept can provide further cost reduction through integration of the individual canisters into a concrete vault-like structure called CANSTOR. AECL have developed a similar new system for dry storage of PWR and BWR fuel elements. This new system is called MACSTOR (Modular Air Cooled Storage).

Subject Headings: Energy storage | Fuels | Waste storage | Concrete | Nuclear reactors | Construction sites | Economic factors | Waste treatment | North America | Canada

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