With no prospects in sight for developing a permanent repository for spent nuclear fuel, the U.S. is turning to “interim storage.” Development of a consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) took a significant step forward this week with a license application submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on April 28 by Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS), with support from AREVA, for a CISF in Andrews County, Texas.
The proposed facility is designed to store used nuclear fuel and other waste generated at nuclear energy facilities. “Establishing an economically viable solution for used fuel management in the United States is vital to sustaining and advancing nuclear energy,” said Greg Vesey, senior vice president of AREVA TN Americas. “The CISF is an important part of meeting this goal. Working with our partners, WCS and subcontractor NAC International, we are proud to reach this regulatory milestone in the project’s development.”
AREVA signed an agreement with WCS in early 2015 to assist with the license application and environmental report for the facility. WCS submitted its license application on time, following a year of pre-application meetings with the NRC.
In its application, the company proposed an initial 40-year license for the facility, which is designed to store 40,000 metric tons of used nuclear fuel. WCS expects the CISF to be operational by 2021.
New Mexico has also expressed interest in providing a site for a CISF. Earlier this month, Holtec International submitted a letter of intent to the NRC regarding its bid to open a $5 billion CISF in Lea County with a life span of 100 years. Holtec International expects to submit a license application to the NRC by the end of November.
—Gail Reitenbach, PhD, editor (@GailReit, @POWERmagazine)