Environmental Protection

Nuclear Fuel Storage Research Gets More Funding

The Energy Department will be investing $15.8 million over the next five years on a new dry storage research and development project that should result in safe and secure storage of used nuclear fuel.

In order to find more effective and safe ways to store used nuclear fuel, the Energy Department will be helping to find a new project on dry storage research, which will be led by the Electric Power Research Institute. During the project, researchers will be designing and working with dry storage cask technology for high burn-up spent nuclear fuels from commercial nuclear power plants.

Burn-up is the result of power being extracted from reactor fuels, which then needs to be transported away from the power plant and stored. The higher the burn-up levels, more energy is then captured. In recent years, the Energy Department has been studying the dry cask systems that are currently in use and has determined that further research should be done in making storing systems safer and more sufficient.

“The Energy Department is committed to advancing clean, reliable and safe nuclear power – which provides the largest source of low-carbon electricity in the United States,” said Pete Lyons, assistant secretary for Nuclear Energy. “At the same time, the Department is working to address the challenges of the back end of the fuel cycle, including advancing secure and reliable extended storage and dry cask technologies.”

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