Fluoride Action Network

UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority: Storage for UF6 (“hex”) tails

Source: NDA (Nuclear Decommissioning Authority) document | March 23rd, 2010
Industry type: Nuclear Industry

Storage Strategy for NDA Owned Uranium Hexafluoride Tails 2010

1. Storage of uranium hexafluoride (hex) tails will only be on licensed sites.

2. Storage will continue to meet or exceed UK safety and environmental standards and criteria. Storage parameters will be managed, so far as reasonable practicable, to minimise the degradation of primary containment. The interactive properties of hex tails and hex containment vessels will be further investigated in order to improve current understanding in order to underpin long-term storage, should this be required for any part of the inventory.

3. New technologies that can aid storage, inspection, monitoring and retrieval will be reviewed as they arise.

4. No additional material will be added to the existing stock on NDA sites beyond existing contractual commitments.

5. Commercial agreements will be required for the future management of customers’ hex tails stored on NDA sites. Subject to these agreements, it is intended that customers’ material will be stored for the same periods and in the same forms as the NDA’s own material.

6. Storage may not be the best long-term option for hex tails and therefore opportunities to reduce stock in order to minimise legacy risk, on an optimised economic basis, will be pursued as they arise.

7. Hex tails that are not planned to be either sold or returned to the fuel cycle would need to be deconverted. Any deconversion technology adopted would need to provide economic value to the taxpayer within the bounds of minimising, as far as reasonably practicable, the environmental impact and safety risk. Subject to NDA estate-wide funding and hazard reduction priorities, the present intent is to commence deconversion by 2020 and earlier if this is practicable. A baseline programme for this work is currently included in the Capenhurst Lifetime Plan.

8. Adequate financial allowance will be shown in Lifetime Plans for deconversion of hex tails, although this would need to be reviewed should the cost of deconversion be incompatible with NDA estate-wide funding and hazard reduction priorities.

9. This strategy will be continuously monitored in relation to emergent internal and external events unless there are any significant hazard management, technological, socio-political or economic issues that warrant an earlier review, the next formal review of the hex tails strategy will be no later than 2015.

10. This strategy will be freely communicated to all interested parties.

For further information please contact: enquiries@nda.gov.uk

Signed by:

Author: NDA Head of Fuel Cycle

Approved: NDA Interim Executive Strategy Director