< Back to S. 3634 (109th Congress, 2005–2006)

Text of the Spent Nuclear Fuel Control and Accounting Act of 2006

This bill was introduced on July 11, 2006, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jul 11, 2006 (Introduced).

Download PDF

Source: GPO

II

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3634

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

July 11, 2006

(for himself and Mr. Leahy) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works

A BILL

To amend the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 to improve the material control and accounting and data management systems used by civilian nuclear power reactors to better account for spent nuclear fuel and reduce the risks associated with the handling of those materials.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Spent Nuclear Fuel Control and Accounting Act of 2006.

2.

Findings

Congress finds that—

(1)

several incidents involving missing or unaccounted-for spent nuclear fuel have occurred at civilian nuclear power reactors, including—

(A)

the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant;

(B)

the Humboldt Bay Nuclear Power Plant (California); and

(C)

the Millstone Nuclear Power Station (Connecticut);

(2)

weaknesses in the accounting and control of spent nuclear fuel have been identified at several other civilian nuclear power reactors;

(3)

data provided by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission indicate that—

(A)

operators of most civilian nuclear power reactors have removed spent fuel rods from their fuel assemblies; and

(B)

those rods are stored onsite in spent fuel pools or dry casks or have been shipped offsite to a storage facility;

(4)

individual spent fuel rods and fragments may also result from the loading of a new assembly and therefore may be new fuel;

(5)

individual spent fuel rods, and especially fragments of spent fuel rods, are—

(A)

highly radioactive; and

(B)

much smaller and lighter than fuel assemblies;

(6)

while regulations promulgated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission require civilian nuclear power reactors to control and account for spent nuclear fuel, they do not cover—

(A)

individual spent fuel rods that have been removed from an assembly; and

(B)

fragments of spent fuel rods;

(7)

the storage and oversight of individual spent fuel rods at civilian nuclear power reactors have not been managed in a consistent manner;

(8)

the lack of specific guidance in the regulations promulgated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission relating to how civilian nuclear power reactors should conduct physical inventories has resulted in inconsistent compliance with those regulations;

(9)

the Nuclear Regulatory Commission does not evaluate the compliance of civilian nuclear power reactors with the material control and accounting regulations promulgated by the Commission;

(10)

the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has much to do to implement the recommendations listed in the report published by the Government Accountability Office titled NRC Needs to Do More to Ensure that Power Plants Are Effectively Controlling Spent Nuclear Fuel; and

(11)

the effective implementation of material control and accounting regulations by civilian nuclear power reactors is of great importance to the United States because of the potential safety and security consequences for failing to manage spent nuclear fuel, especially in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in the United States.

3.

Material control and accounting of dismantled fuel assembly

The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (42 U.S.C. 10101 et seq.) is amended by adding after section 137 the following:

138.

Material control and accounting of individual rods and fragments from a dismantled fuel assembly

(a)

Promulgation of regulations

The Commission shall promulgate regulations to require each civilian nuclear power reactor to provide to the Commission a report that contains a detailed record of each individual spent fuel rod, and each fragment of a spent fuel rod, that results from the loading or dismantling of a fuel assembly.

(b)

Annual inspection

The Commission shall promulgate regulations to require an annual inspection by the Commission of each civilian nuclear power reactor to determine the compliance of the civilian nuclear power reactor with regulations relating to the material control and accounting of spent nuclear fuel promulgated by the Commission.

139.

Guidance for storing individual fuel rods and fragments

The Commission shall develop and make available to each civilian nuclear power reactor guidance that describes—

(1)

best management practices relating to—

(A)

the procedures that a civilian nuclear power reactor should use to store individual fuel rods and fragments on site; and

(B)

the selection of suitable locations for the storage of individual fuel rods and fragments; and

(2)

suitable inventory practices relating to—

(A)

the manner in which a civilian nuclear power reactor should conduct an annual inventory of any spent nuclear fuel, including individual fuel rods and fragments; and

(B)

the manner in which a civilian nuclear power reactor should catalogue each item of spent nuclear fuel, including individual rods and fragments located at the civilian nuclear power reactor.

140.

Electronic data management and waste tracking system

(a)

Development of system

The Commission shall develop an electronic data management and waste tracking system—

(1)

to store and access the records of each civilian nuclear power reactor; and

(2)

to track the location of spent nuclear fuel including individual rods and fragments.

(b)

Adoption of electronic data management and waste tracking system by civilian nuclear power reactors

The Commission shall promulgate regulations to require each civilian nuclear power reactor—

(1)

in the case of a civilian nuclear power reactor that is licensed before the date of enactment of this section, to digitize the existing records of the civilian nuclear power reactor; and

(2)

in the case of a civilian nuclear power reactor that is licensed on or after the date of enactment of this Act, to implement and use the electronic data management and waste tracking system described in subsection (a).

(c)

Evaluation of existing electronic data management and waste tracking systems

The Commission may evaluate existing electronic data management and waste tracking systems to determine whether those systems could be modified for purposes of complying with subsection (a).

.

4.

Manifest requirement for spent nuclear fuel

The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (42 U.S.C. 10101 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 180 the following:

181.

Manifest requirement for spent nuclear fuel

(a)

Development of manifest

The Commission shall develop a detailed manifest form for the onsite transportation of spent fuel that indicates whether the package containing the spent fuel contains individual rods or fragments.

(b)

Promulgation of regulations

The Commission shall promulgate regulations to require each civilian nuclear power reactor to provide to the Commission a completed detailed manifest form developed under subsection (a) to identify and track any spent fuel rod or rod fragment that is transported within the premises of the civilian nuclear power reactor.

182.

Identification of spent fuel or rod fragments transported outside premises of civilian nuclear power reactors

The Commission, in consultation with the Department of Transportation, shall identify any spent fuel rod or rod fragment that is transported outside the premises of the civilian nuclear power reactor through use of manifests used by the Department of Transportation.

.

5.

Conforming amendments

The table of contents of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (42 U.S.C. 10101 note; 96 Stat. 2201) is amended—

(1)

by adding after the item relating to section 137 the following:

Sec. 138. Material control and accounting of dismantled fuel assembly.

Sec. 139. Guidance for storing spent nuclear fuel.

Sec. 140. Electronic data management and waste tracking system.

.

and;

(2)

by adding after the item relating to section 180 the following:

Sec. 181. Manifest requirement for spent nuclear fuel.

Sec. 182. Identification of spent fuel or rod fragments transported outside premises of civilian nuclear power reactors.

.