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Nuclear Installations Safety
Devoted specifically to the safety of nuclear installations and the health and safety of the public, this division seeks a better understanding of the role of safety in the design, construction and operation of nuclear installation facilities. The division also promotes engineering and scientific technology advancement associated with the safety of such facilities.
2021 ANS Virtual Annual Meeting
June 14–16, 2021
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Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
The consequences of closure: The local cost of shutting down a nuclear power plant
When on May 7, 2013, the Kewaunee nuclear power plant in rural Wisconsin was shut down, it took with it more than 600 full-time jobs and more than $70 million in lost wages, not including temporary employment from refueling and maintenance outages. Taking into account indirect business-to-business activity, the total economic impact of the closure of the single-unit pressurized water reactor was estimated to be more than $630 million to the surrounding three-county area.
Elmar Eidelpes, Brian M. Hom, Robert A. Hall, Harold E. Adkins, Josh J. Jarrell
Nuclear Science and Engineering | Volume 195 | Number 3 | March 2021 | Pages 279-299
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/00295639.2020.1802161
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The uranium 235U enrichment commonly used in fuel production for U.S. light water nuclear reactors typically does not exceed 5 wt%. In contrast, many of the currently investigated advanced reactor concepts demand fuel with higher enrichments. This includes high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU), characterized by a 235U enrichment of 5 to 20 wt%. The necessity of HALEU transportation in the fuel production cycle leads to new challenges caused by various technical and regulatory hurdles. Current U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission–approved transportation package designs for UF6 with enrichments above 5 wt% provide relatively small payloads [≤116 kg (250 lb)]. Furthermore, in accordance with 10 CFR 71.55, package design activities for fissile material enriched above 5 wt% need to consider water infiltration in the containment as part of the criticality safety evaluations. This study presents a transportation package concept for HALEU advanced nuclear reactor fuel with a significantly higher payload of up to 376 kg (830 lb) of fissile material per package and up to 1881 kg (4149 lb) of HALEU per legal weight truck. The anticipated chemical form of the transported material is UO2 downblended from available highly enriched uranium. The concept utilizes a combination of existing transportation packaging, 18 inner canisters, and a novel basket design that includes a borated aluminum flux trap. Criticality and shielding evaluations; fundamental structural, confinement, and thermal assessments; and studies on package operations are presented. The results of this study build significant confidence in the technical feasibility of a high-capacity HALEU transportation package concept while demonstrating the concept’s potential to meet U.S. regulatory requirements.