Cancellation of radioactive spent nuclear fuel rods shipment to Idaho

Feds cancel research shipment of spent nuclear fuel to Idaho, Salt Lake Tribune, By KEITH RIDLER The Associated Press, 25 Oct 15, Boise, Idaho • Federal authorities have canceled the first of two proposed research shipments of spent nuclear fuel to eastern Idaho but still hope to deliver the second.

The U.S. Department of Energy said Friday that 25 fuel rods weighing about 100 pounds will not be sent to the Idaho National Laboratory.

The move comes after federal and state officials couldn’t come to terms on a waiver to a 1995 agreement that ties such shipments to nuclear waste cleanup at the 890-square-mile site. The federal agency is currently in violation of the agreement because of its failure to convert 900,000 gallons of liquid waste into solid form due to malfunctions at a $571 million plant……..

The Department of Energy wants to better understand “high burnup” spent fuel that is accumulating at nuclear power plants in the U.S. High burnup fuel remains in nuclear reactor cores longer to produce more energy but comes out more radioactive and hotter. It’s cooled in pools before being encased in steel and concrete.

The first proposed shipment to Idaho initially set for August would have come from the Byron Nuclear Power Station in Illinois.

The second shipment, also of 25 spent nuclear fuel rods weighing about 100 pounds, is scheduled for January 2016, from the North Anna Nuclear Power Station in Virginia.

The Department of Energy “will continue to work with the state of Idaho in an effort to identify a path forward for the proposed second shipment,” the agency said……..

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