WASHINGTON (CN) - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reviewing its rules on the packaging and transportation of spent nuclear fuel to see if the two sets of rules need to be aligned.
"Because these regulatory schemes are separate, there is no requirement that loaded casks also meet transportation requirements," the NRC announced. "Integration of storage and transport regulations could enable a more predictable transition from storage to transport by potentially minimizing future handling of spent fuel and uncertainty as to whether loaded storage casks may be transported from the storage location."
The NRC plans to review current regulations, policies, guidance and technical needs to determine what should be done to achieve an updated system. Some of the key areas to be studied include retrievability, cladding integrity, safe handling, criticality safety features and requirement for transportation and aging management and qualification of dual-purpose canisters and components after long-term storage.
The policy review comes after 20 years of regulatory experience with dry cask storage and in the anticipation of longer storage durations and with more nuclear power plants storing high burnup fuel.
"The goal of this review is to identify areas for enhancing the regulatory framework to incorporate past regulatory knowledge and experience, and to ensure long-term stability and effectiveness of the commission's future dry cask storage and transportation program," the NRC said.
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