skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: A New Approach for the Permanent Disposal of Long Lived Fission Waste

Abstract

Nuclear fission can meet humanity's disparate requirements for carbon-free energy throughout this century and for millennia to come - not only for electricity but also as a source of hydrogen for transportation fuels and a heat source for desalination. However, most countries are not pursuing fission as an option for future energy and global climate needs. One paramount reason is diminished public acceptance over concerns of waste disposal. We would also add 'fuel resources' as a major future concern, because fission is not sustainable in the long term with the present 'once-through' fuel that utilizes less than 1% of the mined uranium and consigns its fertile potential to a permanent waste repository. Accordingly, global scale fission will become attainable (i.e., doable) if and when an integrated solution to this overall 'fuel-cycle' problem is realized. It is the back-end of the fuel cycle - i.e., the need for permanent storage of spent fuel and high-level waste - that has become the focus of much of the criticism. In particular, the construction and implementation of permanent waste repositories such as Yucca Mountain is becoming increasingly problematic from a financial and political perspective. The major shortcoming of these conventional repositories is that theymore » must accommodate the whole spent fuel output from once-through fuel cycles. They are thus burdened with very large masses of material but where less than 1% is long-term, hazardous waste and where only a small fraction of the potential nuclear energy has been extracted. Second, such facilities must ensure integrity of waste containment for tens of thousands of years. Given that anything more than a few hundred years hence is unknowable and wholly unpredictable as far as future civilizations are concerned, public perception is that such facilities cannot be guaranteed to be absolutely secure for their envisaged lifetimes of tens of millennia.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1046118
Report Number(s):
UCRL-TR-229584
TRN: US1203752
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN; 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 42 ENGINEERING; CLIMATES; CONSTRUCTION; CONTAINMENT; DESALINATION; ELECTRICITY; FISSION; FUEL CYCLE; HEAT SOURCES; HYDROGEN; IMPLEMENTATION; NUCLEAR ENERGY; SPENT FUELS; STORAGE; URANIUM; WASTE DISPOSAL; WASTES; YUCCA MOUNTAIN

Citation Formats

Perkins, L J. A New Approach for the Permanent Disposal of Long Lived Fission Waste. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/1046118.
Perkins, L J. A New Approach for the Permanent Disposal of Long Lived Fission Waste. United States. doi:10.2172/1046118.
Perkins, L J. Tue . "A New Approach for the Permanent Disposal of Long Lived Fission Waste". United States. doi:10.2172/1046118. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1046118.
@article{osti_1046118,
title = {A New Approach for the Permanent Disposal of Long Lived Fission Waste},
author = {Perkins, L J},
abstractNote = {Nuclear fission can meet humanity's disparate requirements for carbon-free energy throughout this century and for millennia to come - not only for electricity but also as a source of hydrogen for transportation fuels and a heat source for desalination. However, most countries are not pursuing fission as an option for future energy and global climate needs. One paramount reason is diminished public acceptance over concerns of waste disposal. We would also add 'fuel resources' as a major future concern, because fission is not sustainable in the long term with the present 'once-through' fuel that utilizes less than 1% of the mined uranium and consigns its fertile potential to a permanent waste repository. Accordingly, global scale fission will become attainable (i.e., doable) if and when an integrated solution to this overall 'fuel-cycle' problem is realized. It is the back-end of the fuel cycle - i.e., the need for permanent storage of spent fuel and high-level waste - that has become the focus of much of the criticism. In particular, the construction and implementation of permanent waste repositories such as Yucca Mountain is becoming increasingly problematic from a financial and political perspective. The major shortcoming of these conventional repositories is that they must accommodate the whole spent fuel output from once-through fuel cycles. They are thus burdened with very large masses of material but where less than 1% is long-term, hazardous waste and where only a small fraction of the potential nuclear energy has been extracted. Second, such facilities must ensure integrity of waste containment for tens of thousands of years. Given that anything more than a few hundred years hence is unknowable and wholly unpredictable as far as future civilizations are concerned, public perception is that such facilities cannot be guaranteed to be absolutely secure for their envisaged lifetimes of tens of millennia.},
doi = {10.2172/1046118},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Mar 27 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Tue Mar 27 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share: