Report details where most spent nuclear fuel is stored in U.S.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently issued a report from the Nuclear Fuel Data Survey indicating the nature and amount of spent nuclear fuel currently in storage around the U.S.

The EIA said most nuclear material used in commercial nuclear plants is uranium in the form of fuel rods, once the material has been enriched for power generation. Currently, there are two approved storage methods for nuclear fuel: spent-fuel pools and dry-cask storage. Both methods offer protection against radiation leakage.

The report said that between 1968 and 2013, there were 241,468 fuel assemblies in storage facilities in the U.S., from 118 nuclear facilities that have operated during that time frame. Most of the assemblies are storied in Illinois, South Carolina and Pennsylvania. Each state houses over 4,000 metric tons of uranium (MTU). Below them in volume are California, Alabama, Florida and New York.

The EIA said approximately two-thirds of spent fuel comes from pressurized-water reactors, and the remaining third comes from boiling-water reactors. The EIA also said that up to 99 percent of spent fuel produced in the U.S. remains in storage facilities, which are regulated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

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U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission US Energy Information Administration

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