ASSESSMENT OF THE RISK OF TRANSPORTING SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL BY TRUCK

The assessment includes the risks from release of spent fuel materials and radioactive cask cavity cooling water due to transportation accidents. The contribution to the risk of package misclosure and degradation during normal transport was also considered. The results of the risk assessment have been related to a time in the mid-1980's, when it is projected that nuclear plants with an electrical generating capacity of 100 GW will be operating in the U.S. For shipments from reactors to interim storage facilities, it is estimated that a truck carrying spent fuel will be involved in an accident that would not be severe enough to result in a release of spent fuel material about once in 1.1 years. It was estimated that an accident that could result in a small release of radioactive material (primarily contaminated cooling water) would occur once in about 40 years. The frequency of an accident resulting in one or more latent cancer fatalities from release of radioactive materials during a truck shipment of spent fuel to interim storage was estimated to be once in 41,000 years. No accidents were found that would result in acute fatalities from releases of radioactive material. The risk for spent fuel shipments from reactors to reprocessing plants was found to be about 20% less than the risk for shipments to interim storage. Although the average shipment distance for the reprocessing case is larger, the risk is somewhat lower because the shipping routes, on average, are through less populated sections of the country. The total risk from transporting 180-day cooled spent fuel by truck in the reference year is 4.5 x 10 exp -5 fatalities. An individual in the population at risk would have one chance in 6 x 10 exp 11 of suffering a latent cancer fatality from a release of radioactive material from a truck carrying spent fuel in the reference year. (ERA citation 04:021728)

  • Corporate Authors:

    Batelle Memorial Institute/Pacific Northwest Labs

    Battelle Boulevard, P.O. Box 999
    Richland, WA  USA  99352
  • Authors:
    • Elder, H K
  • Publication Date: 1978-11

Media Info

  • Pagination: 315 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00198709
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Contract Numbers: EY-76-C-06-1830
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 17 1980 12:00AM