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National Spent Nuclear Fuel Program

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) established the National Spent Nuclear Fuel Program (NSNFP) to support its need to safely and efficiently manage all DOE-owned spent nuclear fuel and high level waste and prepare it for disposal. The National Spent Nuclear Fuel Program is addressing that need. Our mission is to provide technology solutions and guidance to ensure safe, efficient handling, characterization, and disposition of DOE managed spent nuclear fuel and high level waste. 

The NSNFP is DOE's principal technical and engineering resource to ensure that all DOE SNF and high level waste is included in the repository licensing analyses. It is the only engineering resource in the complex qualified under a repository QA program with the technical and institutional knowledge to respond to technical questions from EM, the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (RW), and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regarding DOE SNF and HLW in the repository license application.

The NSNFP provides significant value to DOE.

  • The NSNFP devised the technical strategy for inclusion of DOE SNF and HLW in the repository that will reduce EM's disposal lifecycle costs by several billion dollars using a standard canister.
  • The NSNFP developed the strategy for DOE SNF that demonstrates compliance with 10CFR63 requirements for repository pre-closure, post closure, and criticality safety.
  • The NSNFP created and maintains the official radionuclide inventory used in the repository license application for the qualification and acceptance of all DOE SNF in the complex. It is the source of all repository data submittals and used for complex-wide SNF inquiries.
  • The NSNFP designed and tested the standard canister and continues to develop a new alloy for effective neutron poison under repository conditions. This canister will also be used to package Idaho calcine if direct disposal is used.
  • The NSNFP coordinated the DOE-EM review for the entire license application, safety analysis report, and analytical modeling reports for all sections related to DOE SNF and HLW.


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What is Spent Nuclear Fuel?

Spent Nuclear Fuel is produced when nuclear reactors are used to generate electricity or produce special materials.

What is High Level Waste?

High-level radioactive waste is the highly radioactive material resulting from the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel.

Department of energy

DOE Office of Nuclear Energy
DOE-Idaho Office