Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Spent Fuel Research and Assessment

 Content Editor


The duration of spent fuel storage prior to disposition has been steadily increasing over the decades; in the 1980s periods of up to 50 years were foreseen, and today some countries are envisaging periods of up to 300 years. In many countries, research programmes are underway to ensure continued spent fuel integrity during storage and provide assurance that spent fuel can be safely and securely stored, transported and conditioned for subsequent fuel cycle steps.
The IAEA can support Member States by facilitating collaboration and information exchange to provide maximum value from these efforts. Dissemination of high quality research information also supports Member States in decision making in the back end of the fuel cycle.


To sustain and improve the IAEA's Member States technical knowledge base on the long-term behaviour of power reactor spent fuel through sharing and disseminating information, reporting topical research carried-out in participating Member States and by documenting on-going spent fuel performance.

Specific objectives

To document experiences of spent fuel performance under wet and dry storage.

To collect and exchange relevant experiences on spent fuel handling activities.

To report research into establishing the condition of/likely behaviour of spent fuel through storage, particularly in relation to a transition to future spent fuel handling and subsequent transport.

To collate experiences from on-going programmes and any new/novel techniques for carrying out spent fuel surveillance and monitoring of spent fuel in storage.

To exploit areas of synergy among research projects of the participating Member States to gain agreed approaches to research and result analysis.

To facilitate the transfer of knowledge by documenting the technical basis for spent fuel storage.

To extrapolate predictions of spent fuel behaviour over long periods of time.