Environmental impact resulting from a fire at a spent nuclear fuel storage facility
by Edwin L. Sensintaffar, Charles R. Phillips
International Journal of Nuclear Governance, Economy and Ecology (IJNGEE), Vol. 1, No. 3, 2007

Abstract: Nuclear power reactors have created a significant quantity of used or spent nuclear fuel elements that contain some remaining nuclear fuel and by products of the fission process that are highly radioactive. Lack of a secure central repository or other permanent disposal process for spent nuclear fuel elements has resulted in long term storage of these elements in spent fuel pools at operating nuclear power plants. A recent review of the safety and security of commercial spent nuclear fuel expressed concern that terrorist activity at a spent nuclear fuel storage pool could result in a zirconium cladding fire that could create widespread radioactive contamination with dramatic impact on both the public and the environment. A scenario based on such an event is presented to demonstrate the potential impact resulting from the release and dispersion of spent fuel products.

Online publication date: Tue, 24-Jul-2007

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