PAEC designs long-term storage facilities for spent fuel

STAFF REPORT IBD: Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) has completed lot of work on designing long-term storage facilities for the spent fuel from KANUPP and Chashma Nuclear power plants and actual implementation will begin soon after the completion of these facilities.

“For dealing with the spent fuel from nuclear power plants, several satisfactory options are available,” official sources told this scribe adding very small volume of the spent fuel involved, makes it relatively easy to implement technological solutions for its long-term storage or disposal that keeps it isolated from the environment.

Commenting on the objection that transport and disposal of spent fuel from nuclear power plants will be an unmanageable problem, he said “An idea of the smallness of the volume involved can be gauged from the fact that all the spent fuel discharged from both plants over their whole 60-year lifetime would not fill up a room of dimensions 15m x15m x 8m”.

After discharge from the reactor, the spent fuel is kept for many years in a well protected pool adjacent to the reactor building and the building that houses the pool is designed to withstand external hazards such as earthquakes and aircraft crash.

He said after sufficient cooling, the spent fuel can be transferred to a secure long-term storage facility, adding there are tried and tested procedures for carrying out such a transfer without undue risk.

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