Assessment of dry storage possibilities for MOX or ERU spent fuels

  • Assesment

  • Nuclear safety


As part of preparations for the public debate on the 2019-2021 French National Plan for the Management of Radioactive Materials and Waste (2019-2021 PNGMDR), the President of the National Public Debate Commi​ssion asked the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) to carry out an assessment of the dry storage of spent nuclear fuels containing mixed uranium and plutonium oxide (MOX) or enriched reprocessed uranium oxide (ERU).

This report complements the IRSN n°2019-00181 report on concepts and safety issues related to the storage of spent nuclear fuel published in March 2019 (French issue in June 2018) in response to a request from the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry into the Safety and Security of Nuclear Facilities in France.

IRSN examined, on the one hand the potential compatibility with dry storage of some of the MOX or ERU spent fuels currently stored underwater, and, on the other hand, the potential changes to transport and dry storage concepts in order to raise the reference residual heat values at present accepted, namely below 6 kW for transport and below 2 kW for dry storage.

In conclusion, IRSN’s assessment did not reveal any factors that would rule out storing in dry conditions some of the MOX and ERU fuels currently stored underwater. Nevertheless, the various possible options should be examined, incorporating the related safety and radiation protection requirements as well as all industrial constraints.

The French version of this report was pu​blished in April 2019, and the English version in January 2020.

Download IRSN Report 2019-00903: Assessment of dry storage possibilities for MOX or ERU spent fuels (PDF)