Nuclear, Reactors

NRC to modify nuclear fuel storage licensing requirements

17 September 2009– The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says it is looking into making changes to its licensing requirements for the storage of spent nuclear fuel, which would clarify term limits for specific licenses for independent spent fuel storage installations (ISFSI) as well as for certificates of compliance (CoC) for spent fuel storage casks.

In a proposed rule published in the Federal Register, the agency looks to formalize the initial and renewal terms of specific ISFSI licenses for 40 years instead of 20. Currently, licensees must request an exemption if they desire a term of more than 20 years.

The proposed rule would also allow CoC applicants to request initial and renewal terms of up to 40 years, provided they can demonstrate that all design requirements are satisfied for the requested term.

For both site-specific licenses and CoCs, the proposed rule would require renewal applicants to provide time-limited aging analyses and a description of an aging management program to ensure that storage casks will hold up under the longer terms. The proposed rule would also allow general licensees to implement changes authorized by an amended CoC to a cask previously loaded under the initial certificate instead of having to apply for an exemption.
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