Will you be removing waste from dry casks and if so what are the process and safety issues?
Yes, we would be removing spent nuclear fuel from dry casks. The transfer of fuel assemblies from pools to dry casks takes place at the reactor using cranes and other equipment. There is considerable experience with the movement and transfer of spent nuclear fuel assemblies. The methods and operations for moving from pool to dry cask can be adapted to moving assemblies from dry cask to our disposal canisters. We could also use mobile hot cells instead of pools for facilities that have been decommissioned and no longer have a cooling pool on site.
During insertion into the drillhole, the transfer cask will be placed above the drillhole and the canisters lowered into the drillhole. The main safety concerns are for the people working at the site. For this reason, the operations will be conducted remotely using well-developed procedures for monitoring and safety.
The safety issues during the process are related to exposure to the workers and the potential handling accident from the movement of the assemblies. The workers will be well-trained, and the work will be done following detailed procedures. The risks associated with the movement of the assemblies will be continuously reviewed to ensure safety.