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Nuclear & Uranium

Spent Nuclear Fuel

Release date: December 7, 2015
Next release date: Late 2018

Table 3. Annual commercial spent fuel discharges and burnup, 1968 - June 30, 2013
  Number of assemblies a Initial uranium content (MTU) Average burnup (GWDt/MTU)
All discharged assemblies
Year BWR PWR Total BWR PWR Total BWR PWR
1968 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1969 94 0 94 9.6 0.0 9.6 16.7 0.0
1970 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1971 193 25 218 22.5 10.4 32.9 15.9 26.5
1972 256 251 507 42.8 88.0 130.8 12.4 23.3
1973 526 113 639 87.7 48.3 135.9 13.4 21.5
1974 1,166 571 1,737 218.3 206.0 424.4 13.2 18.4
1975 907 737 1,644 164.9 299.4 464.3 17.2 17.4
1976 1,544 868 2,412 274.1 377.0 651.0 13.9 21.8
1977 2,015 1,085 3,100 376.7 457.2 833.9 16.9 25.2
1978 2,171 1,650 3,821 370.8 692.4 1,063.2 19.7 26.3
1979 1,967 1,634 3,601 368.7 708.4 1,077.0 22.2 27.1
1980 3,031 1,456 4,487 564.1 617.6 1,181.8 22.3 29.8
1981 2,255 1,547 3,802 419.3 658.3 1,077.6 23.9 30.3
1982 1,679 1,498 3,177 306.8 640.3 947.1 24.5 29.7
1983 2,530 1,771 4,301 460.3 769.1 1,229.4 26.9 30.3
1984 2,431 1,933 4,364 442.9 839.4 1,282.3 25.6 29.5
1985 2,989 2,033 5,022 542.6 859.7 1,402.3 23.6 32.0
1986 2,459 2,255 4,714 440.6 979.3 1,419.9 20.8 30.8
1987 3,316 2,566 5,882 595.9 1,095.7 1,691.7 22.7 31.5
1988 2,955 2,574 5,529 535.1 1,093.8 1,628.9 24.5 33.7
1989 3,803 2,719 6,522 691.6 1,184.6 1,876.2 22.4 32.7
1990 3,751 3,435 7,186 681.1 1,480.8 2,161.9 25.4 34.6
1991 2,926 2,804 5,730 527.1 1,218.6 1,745.8 28.2 35.7
1992 3,932 3,577 7,509 713.1 1,543.0 2,256.1 28.9 36.8
1993 3,763 3,400 7,163 678.0 1,477.0 2,155.1 30.3 39.2
1994 3,776 2,746 6,522 676.0 1,176.0 1,852.0 33.2 40.3
1995 4,391 3,737 8,128 780.6 1,627.3 2,407.9 32.8 40.9
1996 4,663 3,537 8,200 827.4 1,514.4 2,341.9 35.2 39.1
1997 3,850 3,338 7,188 673.7 1,476.5 2,150.2 35.5 40.6
1998 3,816 2,157 5,973 665.3 930.8 1,596.1 36.2 44.0
1999 4,320 3,552 7,872 752.3 1,555.5 2,307.8 35.7 44.2
2000 4,603 3,122 7,725 800.4 1,368.0 2,168.4 38.3 44.9
2001 3,617 2,896 6,513 623.7 1,270.6 1,894.3 40.1 45.5
2002 4,148 3,765 7,913 717.6 1,630.0 2,347.5 40.2 46.0
2003 4,584 3,585 8,169 792.9 1,572.0 2,364.9 39.5 46.4
2004 4,431 2,669 7,100 765.2 1,165.6 1,930.8 42.8 46.9
2005 4,075 3,704 7,779 707.0 1,626.0 2,333.0 42.8 46.6
2006 3,995 3,516 7,511 698.4 1,536.2 2,234.6 43.1 46.9
2007 4,574 2,782 7,356 805.8 1,234.9 2,040.7 43.3 46.9
2008 4,480 3,550 8,030 795.5 1,548.2 2,343.7 43.1 47.2
2009 4,395 3,677 8,072 777.2 1,615.7 2,392.9 45.1 46.5
2010 4,617 2,856 7,473 820.9 1,250.9 2,071.7 44.3 46.8
2011 4,105 3,663 7,768 728.3 1,609.9 2,338.2 45.1 46.6
2012 4,476 3,759 8,235 796.4 1,648.1 2,444.6 45.0 44.5
2013 3,246 1,534 4,780 575.5 665.8 1,241.2 44.1 45.4
Total 136,821 104,647 241,468 24,314.8 45,366.8 69,681.6 33.9 39.7
a Some data for earlier years have been revised. When utilities reinsert assemblies that had been listed as permanently discharged in previous years, the historical totals change.
BWR = Boiling-water reactor; PWR = Pressurized-water reactor.
MTU = Metric tons of uranium.
GWDt/MTU = Gigawattdays thermal per metric ton of uranium.
Notes: This table shows only assemblies reported on the Form GC-859 which includes only spent nuclear fuel discharged from commercial reactors and currently stored at commercial sites. Previous surveys (RW-859) reflected all commercial spent nuclear fuel discharges including assemblies that had been shipped to away-from-reactor, off-site facilities. As such, assemblies previously reported may not be included in this table. For example, the previous surveys reflected discharges in 1968 that had been shipped to an away-from-reactor, off-site facility. Totals may not equal sum of components because of independent rounding. Average burnup totals are weighted.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form GC-859, "Nuclear Fuel Data Survey" (2013).
More spent fuel tables:
Table 1. U.S. spent nuclear fuel discharged and stored at commercial sites
Table 2. Nuclear power plant data as of June 30, 2013