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Title: A Practical Solution to Used Nuclear Fuel Treatment to Enable Sustained Nuclear Energy and Recovery of Vital Materials

Abstract

A systems analysis, based on previous in-depth studies, was made to develop an advanced used fuel recycling approach in which over 90% of the fuel components and cladding material are recovered and reused. This can minimize the waste requiring disposition to a geologic repository while enabling sustained nuclear energy and recovery of vital materials. The analysis assumed that: (1) continuing delays will occur in locating a site and licensing a geologic repository in the United States; (2) continued storage of used fuel at reactor sites or central storage locations is not a permanent solution; and (3) public perception is that the unresolved used fuel disposal problem is a deterrent to the continuation and expansion of the use of nuclear energy. The practical solution recommended is to move forward with a parallel approach to (1) deployment of industrialized recycling of used fuels which is a multi-decade process, and (2) focused R&D to recover the re-usable components and minimize residual waste. This approach would use concepts for proliferation resistant recycle facilities, processing oldest fuels first, and incorporating more-complete recycling of used fuel components. In addition to uranium and transuranic actinide recycle, the R&D would be focused on recovery and re-use of valuablemore » components such as noble metals, lighter lanthanide elements, xenon gas, and zirconium from cladding. While the eventual need for a geologic repository will remain, the methods recommended can delay the need, minimize the capacity required, and significantly reduce the hazard of the wastes disposed. With no decision, the path forward for nuclear waste (used fuels) disposal remains uncertain, with many diverse technologies being considered. However, a decision to take advantage of proliferation resistant facility design, processing aged fuels, and incorporation of the concepts of nearcomplete recycling will provide the focus and path forward to a practical solution to the problem of nuclear waste disposal.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1031516
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: INMM 51st Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD, USA, 20100711, 20100715
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; ACTINIDES; CAPACITY; DESIGN; LICENSING; NUCLEAR ENERGY; NUCLEAR FUELS; PROCESSING; PROLIFERATION; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; RARE EARTHS; REACTOR SITES; RECYCLING; STORAGE; SYSTEMS ANALYSIS; URANIUM; WASTES; XENON; ZIRCONIUM

Citation Formats

Collins, Emory D, DelCul, Guillermo D, Rushton, James E, and Williams, Kent Alan. A Practical Solution to Used Nuclear Fuel Treatment to Enable Sustained Nuclear Energy and Recovery of Vital Materials. United States: N. p., 2010. Web.
Collins, Emory D, DelCul, Guillermo D, Rushton, James E, & Williams, Kent Alan. A Practical Solution to Used Nuclear Fuel Treatment to Enable Sustained Nuclear Energy and Recovery of Vital Materials. United States.
Collins, Emory D, DelCul, Guillermo D, Rushton, James E, and Williams, Kent Alan. Fri . "A Practical Solution to Used Nuclear Fuel Treatment to Enable Sustained Nuclear Energy and Recovery of Vital Materials". United States.
@article{osti_1031516,
title = {A Practical Solution to Used Nuclear Fuel Treatment to Enable Sustained Nuclear Energy and Recovery of Vital Materials},
author = {Collins, Emory D and DelCul, Guillermo D and Rushton, James E and Williams, Kent Alan},
abstractNote = {A systems analysis, based on previous in-depth studies, was made to develop an advanced used fuel recycling approach in which over 90% of the fuel components and cladding material are recovered and reused. This can minimize the waste requiring disposition to a geologic repository while enabling sustained nuclear energy and recovery of vital materials. The analysis assumed that: (1) continuing delays will occur in locating a site and licensing a geologic repository in the United States; (2) continued storage of used fuel at reactor sites or central storage locations is not a permanent solution; and (3) public perception is that the unresolved used fuel disposal problem is a deterrent to the continuation and expansion of the use of nuclear energy. The practical solution recommended is to move forward with a parallel approach to (1) deployment of industrialized recycling of used fuels which is a multi-decade process, and (2) focused R&D to recover the re-usable components and minimize residual waste. This approach would use concepts for proliferation resistant recycle facilities, processing oldest fuels first, and incorporating more-complete recycling of used fuel components. In addition to uranium and transuranic actinide recycle, the R&D would be focused on recovery and re-use of valuable components such as noble metals, lighter lanthanide elements, xenon gas, and zirconium from cladding. While the eventual need for a geologic repository will remain, the methods recommended can delay the need, minimize the capacity required, and significantly reduce the hazard of the wastes disposed. With no decision, the path forward for nuclear waste (used fuels) disposal remains uncertain, with many diverse technologies being considered. However, a decision to take advantage of proliferation resistant facility design, processing aged fuels, and incorporation of the concepts of nearcomplete recycling will provide the focus and path forward to a practical solution to the problem of nuclear waste disposal.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2010},
month = {1}
}

Conference:
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