DOE issues RFI for a spent fuel consolidated interim storage facility

July 3, 2024, 3:01PMRadwaste Solutions

The Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy has issued a request for information opportunity for the design and construction of a federal consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) for spent nuclear fuel. The DOE is planning on establishing a federal CISF to manage SNF until a permanent repository is available. In May, the DOE received initial approval, known as “Critical Decision-0,” for such a facility.

The deadline for submissions is September 5.

In issuing the RFI, the DOE said it is seeking information, comments, feedback, and recommendations from interested parties regarding the department’s procurement approach for the design and construction of the CISF and associated transportation. The DOE will use the information to help formulate a request for proposal for soliciting a contract for the work.

“Given the technical and regulatory complexity of a federal CISF, DOE seeks input from qualified engineering design firms and other nuclear industry entities on how best to move forward, and well as an assessment of the capabilities of the marketplace to support DOE in accomplishment of this unique mission,” the DOE said in its July 1 RFI, adding that the department is also looking to discover to what degree small businesses would be capable of participating in the effort.

Timeline: The DOE said it believes the siting, design, licensing, construction, startup, and initial operation of a CISF will take over a decade from when the department first receives a year of full appropriations for consolidated storage program. An initial contract award for the CISF will therefore likely have a 10-year performance period, with additional options to continue operations.

While the DOE will need authorization from Congress before it can begin construction of a federal CISF, in 2021 Congress directed the department to move forward under its existing authority to identify a CISF site using a consent-based process.

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