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Rodney C. Ewing
Journal Articles

Socio-technical multi-criteria evaluation of long-term spent nuclear fuel management strategies: A framework and method

François Diaz-Maurin, Jerold Yu, Rodney C. Ewing
Science of The Total Environment , 2021
In the absence of a federal geologic repository or consolidated, interim storage in the United States, commercial spent fuel will remain stranded at some 75 sites across the country. Currently, these include 18 “orphaned sites” where spent fuel has been left at decommissioned reactor sites.
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Journal Articles

Particulate Plutonium Released from the Fukushima Daiichi Meltdowns

Rodney C. Ewing, Rodney C. Ewing
Science of The Total Environment , 2020

A new study reveals particles that were released from nuclear plants damaged in the devastating 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami contained small amounts of radioactive plutonium.

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Journal Articles

Probabilistic Performance Assessment vs. the Safety Case Approach

François Diaz-Maurin, Rodney C. Ewing
MRS Advances , 2019

The “safety case” approach has been developed to address the issue of evaluating the performance of a geologic repository in the face of the large uncertainty that results for evaluations that extend over hundreds of thousands of years. This paper reviews the concept of the safety case as it has been defined by the international community. We contrast the safety case approach with that presently used in the U.S. repository program. Especially, we focus on the role of uncertainty quantification.

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Journal Articles

Evolution and Structure of the Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management

François Diaz-Maurin, Rodney C. Ewing
MRS Advances , 2018

The final disposal of nuclear waste is at the interface between the technologies of the nuclear fuel cycle that produce the waste and the natural hydrologic and geochemical cycles of geologic repositories. Despite this broad interdisciplinary scope, nuclear waste management, as practiced, remains “balkanized” among the relevant disciplines.

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Policy Briefs

Reset of America’s Nuclear Waste Management Strategy and Policies

Rodney C. Ewing,
2018

The U.S. government has worked for decades and spent tens of billions of dollars in search of a permanent resting place for the Nation’s nuclear waste. Some 80,000 tons of highly radioactive spent fuel from commercial nuclear power plants and millions of gallons of high-level nuclear waste from defense programs are stored in pools, dry casks and large tanks throughout the country at more than 75 sites in 39 states.

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Journal Articles

Mission Impossible? Socio-technical Integration of Nuclear Waste Geological Disposal Systems

François Diaz-Maurin, François Diaz-Maurin, Rodney C. Ewing
Sustainability , 2018

Abstract: We present a new perspective on geological disposal systems for nuclear waste. Geological disposal systems encompass all the processes required for the permanent isolation of highly-radioactive materials from humans and the biosphere. Radioactive materials requiring geological disposal are created by commercial nuclear power plants, research reactors, and defense-related nuclear activities, such as spent nuclear fuel from commercial reactors and high-level waste from reprocessing to reclaim fissile material for weapons.

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Journal Articles

Novel Method of Quantifying Radioactive Cesium-Rich Microparticles (CsMPs) in the Environment from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Rodney C. Ewing, Rodney C. Ewing
Environmental Science and Technology , 2018

Highly radioactive cesium-rich microparticles (CsMPs) were released from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP) to the surrounding environment at an early stage of the nuclear disaster in March of 2011; however, the quantity of released CsMPs remains undetermined.

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Commentary

Policy: Reassess New Mexico's nuclear-waste repository

Rodney C. Ewing, Cameron Tracy, Megan K. Dustin
Nature , 2016

For the past 15 years, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) has stored transuranic waste from the US nuclear-defense programme. The facility, located 650 meters below ground in the bedded salt deposits of southeastern New Mexico, is run by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and will be permanently sealed in 2033. Yet an arms-control agreement made with Russia in 2000 requires the United States to dispose of 34 tonnes of weapons plutonium, which a recent DOE panel recommended should be stored at WIPP.

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Journal Articles

Long-Term Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel

Rodney Ewing
Nature Materials , 2015

In a commentary on the long-term storage of SNF in the March 2015 issue of Nature Materials, Professor Rod Ewing writes that, "to design reliable and safe geological repositories it is critical to understand how the characteristics of spent nuclear fuel evolve with time, and how this affects the storage environment.

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Journal Articles

Dual Surface-Functionalized Janus Nanocomposites for Simultaneous Tumor Cell Targeting and Stimulus-Induced Drug Release

Feng Wang, Giovanni M. Pauletti, Juntao Wang, Jiaming Zhang, Rodney C. Ewing, Yilong Wang, Donglu Shi
Advanced Materials , 2013
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Testimonies

Testimony before the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, U.S. House of Representatives

Rodney Ewing
, 2013

CISAC Affiliate Rodney Ewing, Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board and Professor at the University of Michigan, testified before the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In this testimony, he discusses the approval process for disposal of nuclear waste, what can be learned from the failure of the Yucca Mountian Project and other nuclear waste projects globally. 

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Policy Briefs

Standards & Regulations for the Geologic Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Waste

Rodney Ewing
, 2011

Prepared for the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future

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Journal Articles

Spent Nuclear Fuel

Jordi Bruno, Rodney Ewing
Elements , 2006

The primary waste form resulting from nuclear energy production is spent nuclear fuel (SNF). There are a number of different types of fuel, but they are predominantly uranium based, mainly UO2 or, in some cases, metallic U. The UO2 in SNF is a redox-sensitive semiconductor consisting of a fine-grained (5–10 μm), polycrystalline aggregate containing fission-product and transuranium elements in concentrations of 4 to 6 atomic percent. The challenge is to predict the long-term behavior of UO2 under a range of redox conditions.

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