The cancellation of the Yucca Mountain repository program in the Unites States raises the prospect of very long-term storage (i.e., >120 years) and deferred transportation of used fuel at the nuclear power plant sites. While long-term storage of used nuclear fuel in dry cask storage systems (DCSSs) at Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installations (ISFSIs) is already a standard practice among U.S. utilities, recent rule-making activities of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) indicated additional flexibility for the NRC licensees of ISFSIs and certificate holders of the DCSSs to request initial and renewal terms for up to 40 years. The proposed rule also adds a requirement that renewal applicants must provide descriptions of aging management programs (AMPs) and time-limited aging analyses (TLAAs) to ensure that the structures, systems, and components (SSCs) that are important to safety in the DCSSs will perform as designed under the extended license terms. This paper examines issues related to managing aging effects on DCSSs for very long-term storage (VLTS) of used fuels, capitalizing on the extensive knowledge and experience accumulated from the work on aging research and life cycle management at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) over the last 30 years. The technical basis for acceptable AMPs and TLAAs is described, as are generic AMPs and TLAAs that are being developed by Argonne under the support of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Used Fuel Disposition Campaign for R&D on extended long-term storage and transportation.

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