NDA Oxide Fuel Strategy

The NDA has published a discussion paper on the development of a strategy for managing spent oxide fuels. In considering the future strategy the discussion paper describes how oxide fuel is currently managed in the UK and how this fuel could be managed in the future.

The objectives of the strategy are to:

  • ensure the safe management and ultimate disposition of UK owned oxide fuel
  • optimise the management of overseas fuel stored in the UK.

We are currently responsible for managing the following types of oxide fuel: 

  • Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor (AGR) fuel from the 14 British Energy reactors across England and Scotland
  • Light Water Reactor (LWR) fuel through existing contracts with European and Japanese customers
  • fuels inherited from UKAEA, primarily from prototype reactors.

To date spent fuel from these sources has been stored and then reprocessed at Sellafield. The current intention for fuel still to arise from the British Energy reactor fleet is to continue to reprocess but with some fuel being stored for the longer term pending a decision to reprocess or treat it as waste and dispose of it to a deep Geological Disposal Facility (GDF).
The discussion paper explains that future options are to:

  • reprocess all fuel
  • store the fuel long-term pending a decision on whether to dispose of it to a GDF or reprocess it.

A programme of stakeholder engagement on the development of the strategy begins at the NDA’s National Stakeholder Group this week. This will lead to the publication of a credible options paper later this year.

Comments on the discussion paper can also be sent to oxidefuel@nda.gov.uk

 Oxide Fuel Topic Strategy discussion paper March 2010 (124 KB)