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International Conference on the Management of Spent Fuel from Nuclear Power Reactors - Abstract and Paper Submissions

10–14 June 2024, Vienna, Austria

Conference on the Management of Spent Fuel from Nuclear Power Reactors 2024

Themes and Topics

The IAEA welcomes high quality contributions that fall under the umbrella of the seven topics listed here below.

Each individual topic may cover the following cross-cutting aspects: technology (operational and research and development), safety, security, and safeguards with attention to their interfaces, economics, stakeholder involvement, regulatory framework, knowledge management as well as collaborative options.

This conference covers SNF management from current and future power reactors of all sizes and types, including damaged and degraded fuels, with a particular focus on the integration of these fuels into SNF management systems. To that end, it considers the following in all topics:

  • Fuels used in current power reactors
  • Evolutionary fuels intended for current power reactors
  • New fuels arising from large and small reactors of types not currently deployed for power production

1. National strategies for spent fuel management of countries with established nuclear power programmes, countries phasing out nuclear power and embarking countries, including integration of advanced energy systems with an emphasis on:

  • Stakeholder involvement in decision making, including civil society (engagement with local and indigenous communities), international good practices, lessons learned, energy/environmental justice
  • Multinational or regional approaches for sharing infrastructure
  • Managing spent fuel to enhance nuclear energy and environmental sustainability
  • Status of programmes for SNF and HLW disposal 
  • Knowledge management and skills preservation (e.g., competences, data management, human resources, training, etc.)

2. Storage of SNF and vitrified HLW and subsequent transportability:

  • Behaviour of SNF during storage (wet and dry)
  • Service life extension and ageing management of SNF storage systems (wet and dry)
  • Ageing management of HLW and related storage systems
  • Demonstrating post-storage transportability of SNF/HLW and SNF/HLW packages, including multipurpose canisters
  • Storage considerations for new fuel types from current and advanced reactors (e.g., ATFs, spent fuel from all envisaged SMR technologies and innovative reactors)  

3. Transportation in the back end of the fuel cycle:

  • Transportation operating experiences, achievements and lessons learned (including planning, cask testing and maintenance, emergency response, risk assessment, and decommissioning of casks and other transport equipment)
  • Evolution of international and national regulations for transportation
  • Optimization of transportation systems, including cost implications
  • Transportation considerations for higher burnup fuel, advanced technology fuel (ATF), damaged fuel, recycling materials and new fuel types for advanced reactors (e.g., all envisaged SMR technologies and innovative reactors, etc.)
  • Transportable reactors (e.g., SMRs, microreactors, transportable nuclear power plants): challenges, emerging issues, operational considerations, etc

4. Recycling of spent fuel:

  • Industrial operating experiences and lessons learned:
      • Fuel and recycling products (RepU and Pu management)
      • U and Pu co-management
  • Developments in U and Pu multirecycling
  • Recycling of fuels from advanced reactors including management and recycling of minor actinides
  • Opportunities to recycle spent fuel from existing reactors as feedstock for advanced reactors (e.g., SMRs, High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactors (HTGRs), Liquid Metal Fast Reactors (LMFRs), Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs), etc.)  
  • Thorium fuel cycles
  • Management of waste forms resulting from recycling activities

5. Disposal of SNF, HLW and other waste forms in Deep Geological Repositories (DGR):

  • Achievements and lessons learned in developing and implementing a DGR
  • Licensing and specific regulatory framework for disposal. Retrievability and post-closure considerations
  • Assessing the disposability of SNF, HLW and other waste forms in the DGR:
    • Acceptance criteria for disposability
    • SNF and HLW performance/behaviour under repository conditions
    • Influence of plant operating conditions on disposal of current fuel
    • Disposal of new materials associated with SNF and their management routes, (e.g., irradiated graphite and TRU contaminated materials (e.g., Cd from pyroprocessing))
  • Comprehensive national and international R&D programmes in support of the development of DGRs
  • Characterization of SNF and HLW with regards to disposal
  • Packaging SNF and HLW for disposal (e.g., repackaging, encapsulation)
  • SNF data management (characterization, knowledge preservation)
  • Safeguards of disposed spent fuel (pre- and post-closure)

6. Impacts of advanced nuclear energy systems on the back end of the fuel cycle:

  • Advanced Technology Fuels
  • Fuels from advanced reactors (e.g., Small Modular Reactors, HTGRs, LMFRs, MSRs, etc.)

7. Achieving integrated spent fuel management:

  • Achievements and lessons learned in developing and implementing an integrated approach for managing SNF
  • Integrating storage, transport, recycling and disposal stages (e.g., acceptance criteria, regulatory requirements, information, etc.)
  • Optimization, flexibility, and resilience. Life cycle management and time frame of implementation
  • Integrating the management of different spent fuel types:
    • Accident Tolerant Fuels
    • Fuels from advanced reactors (e.g., SMRs, HTGRs, LMFRs, MSRs, etc.)
    • Damaged and degraded fuel
    • Severely damaged fuel and corium
  • Drivers and impediments for implementing a back end strategy (e.g., economics, politics, technology, timeframe, stakeholder involvement including public support, resources, etc.)
  • Multinational approaches and shared infrastructure. Implications for SNF “Take Back” agreements
  • Risk management and decision making with uncertainties

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