Research Quantities of Commercial Nuclear Fuel
- Frequently Asked Questions | Research Quantities of Commercial Nuclear Fuel
What is spent nuclear fuel?
An arrangement of fuel rods forms a fuel assembly that is loaded into the reactor core. Inside the core, the nuclear fuel undergoes fission, producing heat to power turbines and generate electricity. A single fuel assembly spends about five years in a reactor on average before it can no longer sustain the nuclear chain reaction and is considered “used” or “spent” fuel.
Is spent nuclear fuel dangerous to people or the environment?
Although these byproducts remain contained inside the fuel assemblies, spent nuclear fuel is radioactive and generates heat. When the fuel assemblies are first removed from the reactor core, they are placed in a spent fuel pool to cool over time. After the spent fuel assemblies have cooled to the point that they no longer need to be stored underwater, they are safely stored at the plant in large containers made of steel-reinforced concrete.
Does the Settlement Agreement ban spent nuclear fuel shipments to Idaho?