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HOME 한국원자력연구원 대표 홈페이지(영문)>R&D Activities>Nuclear Safety Technology>Provision of solutions for safe management of spent fuel

Provision of solutions for safe management of spent fuel

  • Background
    High public demand for safe operation of nuclear power plants and environment-friendly management of spent fuel and radioactive waste
  • Goal
    Provide safety technologies that practically eliminate the radiation risk of nuclear facilities and provide safety management solutions for spent fuel that minimize the burden on future generations
  • Significance
    Pursue optimal safety of nuclear power to protect public health, which is the top priority of the national agenda

Promotion Strategy

(Goal) Development of advanced technologies to safely manage SF from origin to disposal under the nation's responsibility

Flow chart of management of spent fuel

(Transportation and storage) Timely development of transportation technology after AR storage and large-scale dry storage technology Standardized system for SF management, verification test for thermal safety, structural safety, containment integrity, road and sea transportation scenario development, and safety evaluation technology under accident

(Disposal after Recycling) Nuclear fuel cycle based on recycling (Pyro+FR) will be studied by 2020, centered on core technology development, and after that, it will be decided whether to continue the project (reflecting the results of Joint Fuel Cycle Study between ROK and US)

(Final Disposal) Development of a Korean reference repository system for direct deep geological disposal based on KURT (KAERI Underground Research Tunnel) Deep geological disposal, deep borehole disposal, efficiency improvement of disposal system, generic URL, etc.

(R&D infrastructure) Establishment of various infrastructures including facilities and research labs capable of investigating the properties of SF, nuclides, and radiation

(Action Plan) Promoting cooperation with government bodies and role sharing between agencies because the management of spent fuel is a national pending issue (technical assistance for reconsideration of national SF management program)

Research Topics
  • Transport and storage casks of radioactive materials, including spent fuel
  • Nuclear Fuel Cycle based on Recycling (Pyro+FR)
  • Deep Geological Disposal System based on the KURT
  • Development of technology for radioactive nuclide analysis in cooperation with nuclear industries

Research Facilities

  • Research Facilities

    PRIDE (Pyroprocess integrated inactive demonstration facility)

    PRIDE(Pyroprocess integrated inactive demonstration facility) had constructed in 2015. The main purpose of this engineering scale pyroprocessing facility is to study and improve the remote-operation and hot-cell management technologies for integrated pyroprocessing (including head-end, oxide-reduction, electro- refining, electro-wining, salt waste treatment, etc.).

  • Research Facilities

    KURT (KAERI Underground Research Tunnel)
    • KURT: KAERI Underground Research Tunnel
    • Total length of galleries of 543m and maximum depth of 120m
    • Various experiments were performed to investigate natural host rock and ground-water, engineering barrier and safety assessment utilizing KURT, which has similar geological conditions as an actual geological repository.
  • Research Facilities

    Transport/Storage Safety Test Facility

    As the only safety testing facility for radioactive material transportation cask and storage systems in Korea, safety evaluation of transportation casks is performed under hypothetical accident conditions (9 m high drop, 1 m high puncture, 800°C fire, 20 bar water immersion) according to the IAEA regulations and NSSC Act. The heat removal performance test of a concrete storage cask is also performed.

  • Research Facilities

    IMEF (Irradiated Material Examinations Facility)

    The mission of IMEF (Irradiated Material Examinations Facility) since 1994

    • Post-irradiation examinations on irradiated fuels and structural materials from HANARO research reactor to next-generation and future reactors
    • Integrity and life estimation of the structural parts in an operating reactor
    • Back-end fuel cycle demonstration tests for the longterm storage of spent fuel
  • Research Facilities

    PIEF (Post Irradiation Examination Facility)

    PIEF (Post-Irradiation Examination Facility) was constructed in 1985 to evaluate the integrity of the nuclear fuels irradiated at a commercial nuclear power plant with 3 pools and 6 hot cells. The primary purpose of PIEF is as follows.

    • Integrity and performance estimation of fuels irradiated at nuclear power plant and HANARO reactor
    • Evaluation of degradation and mechanical behavior of spent fuel during wet and dry storage
    • Irradiation behavior evaluation of fuel skeleton used at nuclear power plants