In November 2001, Foster Wheeler Environmental Corporation under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) filed a site-specific license application with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to construct and operate an independent spent fuel storage installation on the site of the Idaho National Laboratory located approximately 53 miles west of Idaho Falls, Idaho. The facility was to be known as the Idaho Spent Fuel (ISF) facility. The ISF would be located within that portion of the site referred to as the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center (INTEC) and in close promixity to the existing storage area for the spent nuclear fuel (SNF) from Three Mile Island Unit 2 (now owned by DOE) — see the below schematic. The ISF was envisioned as part of the implementation of the 1995 settlement agreement between DOE and the State of Idaho regarding waste removal and environmental cleanup of the Idaho National Laboratory. NRC granted Foster Wheeler the site-specific license in November 2004. In September 2009 the license was transferred from Foster Wheeler to DOE. However, as of August 2011, the ISF has yet to be built.
If built as designed, the ISF would store SNF inside a concrete and steel building. Each SNF assembly would be placed into its own metal storage canister. The canister would be sealed and placed into an individual, vertically-oriented, metal storage tube within a passively-cooled concrete storage vault. The ISL was designed and licensed to hold 246 SNF assemblies currently stored at DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory (from the decommissioned Peach Bottom Unit 1, from the decommissioned Shippingport plant, and from a number of test, research and isotope reactors built by General Atomics), which would be relocated from their existing storage locations. Since the ISF has not yet been built it is possible that its design could be changed, if approved by NRC, to allow for additional SNF storage in the future.