Spent fuel pools (SFPs) are large accident-hardened structures that are used to temporarily store irradiated nuclear fuel. Due to the robustness of the structures, SFP severe accidents have long been regarded as highly improbable events, where there would be more than adequate time for corrective operator action. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident that followed after the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, has renewed international interest in the safety of spent nuclear fuel stored in SFPs under prolonged loss of cooling conditions
Following the accident, the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) launched several activities to help contributing to the post-Fukushima accident decision making process. Within this framework, it was decided to write a “Status report on SFPs under loss of cooling accident conditions”, to summarize the current state of design and knowledge.