International Safeguards Relevant to Geologic Disposal of High-Level Wastes and Spent Fuels

by K. K. S. Pillay, Los Alamos Natl Lab, Safeguards Systems Group, United States,
R. R. Picard, Los Alamos Natl Lab, Safeguards Systems Group, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1990


Spent fuels from once-through fuel cycles placed in underground repositories have the potential to become attractive targets for diversion and/or theft because of their valuable material content and decreasing radioactivity. The first geologic repository in the U.S., as currently designed, will contain approximately 500 Mt of plutonium, 60 000 Mt of uranium and a host of other fissile and strategically important elements. This paper identifies some of the international safeguards issues relevant to the various proposed scenarios for disposing of the spent fuel. In the context of the U.S program for geological disposal of spent fuels, this paper highlights several issues that should be addressed in the near term by U.S. industries, the Department of Energy, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission before the geologic repositories for spent fuels become a reality.

Subject Headings: Fuels | Safety | Geology | Waste disposal | Nuclear power | Radioactive wastes | Underground storage | Waste storage | United States

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