Cost of Corrosion – Nuclear Waste Storage
Nuclear wastes are generated from spent nuclear fuel, dismantled nuclear weapons, and products such as radio pharmaceuticals. The most important design item for the safe storage of nuclear waste is effective shielding of radiation. Corrosion is an important issue in the design of the casks used for permanent storage with a design life of several thousand years. A 1998 total life cycle cost analysis by DOE for the permanent disposal of nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain, Nevada estimated the total repository cost by the construction phase (2002) at $4.9 billion with an average annual cost (from 1999 to 2116) of $205 million. Of this cost, $42.2 million is corrosion-related.
Corrosion is not considered a major issue in the transportation of nuclear wastes due to the stringent package requirements and the relatively short duration of the transport; however, corrosion is an important issue in the design of the casks used for permanent storage with a design service life of several thousand years. In 1998, the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published an analysis of the total life cycle cost for the permanent disposal of radioactive waste in Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This analysis was based on the most current plans, strategies and policies. The total estimated repository cost by the construction phase (2002) was estimated at $4.9 billion with an average cost per year (from 1999 to year 2116) of $205 million. It is anticipated that about 20 percent of this annual cost, or $42 million is corrosion-related.