HKNIC - Managing Spent Fuel
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Managing Spent Fuel

Once a fuel assembly has been removed from a reactor following the depletion of its uranium 235, it still emits both radiation and heat from its nuclear fission products. Such spent fuel assemblies are therefore stored under water in a dedicated storage pool at the power station for cooling and radiation shielding. They are typically held in this way for several years to allow the radiation and heat to decrease. After around 8-10 years it can be transferred to a ventilated storage module made of concrete and steel, known as the Dry Cask Storage, but otherwise it can safely remain in the pool.

Depending on national requirements, spent fuel assemblies will either be reprocessed, or be prepared for storage in a repository after being taken away from the power station.

Managing Spent Fuel  

Image Credit: DNMC