The Transportation of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste
A Systematic Basis for Planning and Management at the National, Regional, and Community Levels
Planning Information Corporation
In common practice, a reactor name may be used to refer to any of several facilities at a site, or to the site itself. Thus, the term "Calvert Cliffs" may be used to refer to either or both of Baltimore Gas and Electric's two nuclear powerplants, to the joined spent fuel pools at those reactors, to the site's concrete module dry storage facility, or the site itself on the Patuxent River near Lusby in Calvert County. In assessment, however, it is useful to maintain a distinction between the facilities which generate spent fuel, the facilities where this waste is temporarily stored, and the sites from which such waste may be shipped to a centralized or permanent storage facility. The same applies to high-level waste at DOE's defense sites and to other nuclear waste requiring geologic disposal.
In its Acceptance Priority Ranking reports,3 DOE identifies SNF by the reactor from which it was discharged and by its current storage location. For example:
The 136 BWR assemblies discharged from the Oyster Creek reactor in Ocean County, New Jersey on May 1, 1972 are now stored at Oyster Creek—meaning the spent fuel pool associated with the Oyster Creek reactor.
The 85 BWR assemblies discharged from the Quad Cities 2 reactor in Rock Island County, Illinois on December 22, 1974 are now stored at Quad Cities 1—meaning the joined spent fuel storage pools for Quad Cities reactors 1 and 2.
The 509 BWR assemblies discharged from the Dresden 2 reactor near Morris, Illinois on February 19, 1972 are now stored at Morris—meaning that they have been moved to the nearby General Electric spent fuel storage facility.
The 102 PWR assemblies discharged from the Robinson 2 reactor in Hartsville, South Carolina on May 4, 1974 are now stored at the Brunswick 1 PWR pool—meaning that they have been transported to Southport, North Carolina for storage in the portion of the Brunswick 1 spent fuel pool designed for BWR assemblies.
Thus, there is a distinction between spent fuel origins and storage locations. Origins are nuclear reactors. Storage locations are spent fuel pools which are sometimes shared among two reactors, or joined by a transfer canal, or, increasingly, on-site dry storage facilities such as those at Surry or Calvert Cliffs, or off-site pools such as those are Morris, or the Idaho National Engineering Lab (INEL). Table 1-1 and Table 1-2 present the list of spent fuel origins and storage locations used in this assessment.
In aggregate, DOE's listing of spent fuel discharges describes where spent fuel from particular reactors is now stored, and where spent fuel at particular storage locations came from. For example:
The 2,200 BWR assemblies discharged through November 1994 from the Peachbottom 3 reactor near York, Pennsylvania are all stored at the Peachbottom 3 spent fuel pool, which has capacity to store 3,814 BWR assemblies.
Of the 808 PWR assemblies discharged through November 1994 from the Oconee 3 reactor in the western corner of South Carolina, 444 (55 percent) are now stored at the Oconee 3 spent fuel pool, 244 (30.2 percent) are in dry storage facilities at the Oconee site, 58 (7.2 percent) are stored at the Oconee 1 spent fuel pool shared by the Oconee 1 and Oconee 2 reactors, and 62 (7.7 percent) are stored at the McGuire 2 spent fuel pool in North Carolina.
Of the 3,217 spent fuel assemblies stored at GE's Morris facility in Gundy County, Illinois in November 1994, 1,054 (32.8 percent) are BWR assemblies discharged from the Copper Station reactor in Nebraska, 1,058 (32.9 percent) are BWR assemblies discharged from the Monticello reactor in Minnesota, 753 (23.4 percent) are BWR assemblies from the nearby Dresden 2 reactor, 270 (8.4 percent) are PWR assemblies from the San Onofre 1 reactor in California, and 82 (2.5 percent) are PWR assemblies from the Haddam Neck reactor in Connecticut.
Of the 1,018 spent fuel assemblies stored at INEL in November 1994, 744 (73.1 percent) are HTG assemblies from Fort St. Vrain in Colorado, 177 are PWR assemblies from the damaged Three Mile Island 2 reactor in Pennsylvania, 69 (6.8 percent) are PWR assemblies from the Surry 1 and 2 reactors in Virginia, 18 (1.8 percent) are PWR assemblies from the Turkey Point 3 reactor in Florida, 6 (0.6 percent) are PWR assemblies from the Point Beach 1 reactor in Wisconsin, and 4 are BWR assemblies from Dresden 1 in Illinois and Peachbottom 2 in Pennsylvania.
As mentioned, spent fuel discharges through November 1994 are identified in DOE Acceptance Priority Ranking reports by the reactor from which the fuel was discharged and by the current storage location. In this assessment, the 30,044 MTU discharged through November 1994 are assumed to remain at their November 1994 storage location until accepted by DOE for transport to an interim or permanent storage facility. We have not attempted to project future transfers of spent fuel among storage locations.
For the no-new-reactor-orders case in which nuclear reactors are assumed to operate at an assumed percentage of capacity through their NRC license term, DOE forecasts annual discharges through 2042 by the reactor from which the fuel is discharged4. In this assessment, we have identified the pool location to which the fuel would be discharged. For example, projected discharges from the Point Beach 2 reactor near Two Creeks, Wisconsin would go to the Point Beach 1 pool shared by Point Beach reactors 1 and 2, while projected discharges from the Comanche Peak 2 reactor near Glen Rose, Texas would go to the Comanche Peak 1 and 2 pools which are connected by a transfer canal. However, we have not attempted to project future transfers of this fuel either to onsite dry storage facilities or to pools at other sites owned by the same utility, or to pools at sites such as Morris or INEL.
For HLW generated at defense sites, DOE forecasts the projected number of canisters (containing vitrified HLW) which will require disposal in a geologic repository.5 In this assessment, we assume that the HLW is vitrified, canistered, and stored until pick up at the site at which it was generated.
Route analysis requires the identification of a point of origin for each shipment—the place from which the legal-weight truck, heavy-haul truck, rail or barge shipment begins. This assessment associates each storage location with a shipment origin (Table 1-3). For example, spent fuel stored at the separate pools at Arkansas Nuclear's reactors 1 and 2 or at the Arkansas Nuclear dry storage facility all have the same shipment origin. Similarly, spent fuel stored at the connected pools at Calvert Cliffs reactors 1 and 2 or at the Calvert Cliffs dry storage facility all have the same shipment origin.
As will be discussed in Sections 7 and 8, transportation choices are keyed both to the facilities at the storage location (e.g., the characteristics of the separate, shared or joined spent fuel pools, or of the dry storage facility) and to the characteristics of near-site infrastructure (e.g., the availability of onsite rail, the distance to an offsite railhead, and the characteristics of the community along the heavy-haul route).
|Table 1-1.||Originators of Spent Nuclear Fuel or High-Level Waste|
|Table 1-2.||Storage Locations for Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Waste|
|Table 1-3.||Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Shipment Sites|