Waste classification, characteristics, and inventory

18.1.4 Spent fuel and RAW classification

The US classification system has two separate subsystems: one applies to commercial waste, and NRC regulations define it; the other applies to DOE

SNF and waste. The two systems are used for different purposes and differ­ent situations so conflicts do not occur. If ownership of radioactive waste is transferred from the DOE to a commercial entity licensed by the NRC, the waste is then subject to NRC regulation (and classification).

Spent fuel

The United States defines ‘SNF’ as fuel that has been withdrawn from a nuclear reactor following irradiation, the constituent elements of which have not been separated by reprocessing. US law generally uses the term ‘SNF’ rather than ‘spent fuel,’ and the DOE has begun using the term ‘used fuel’ to acknowledge that in the future, the material may have residual value through recycling. For the purposes of this chapter, used fuel is referred to as SNF in accordance with the conventional terminology unless otherwise noted.

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