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Title: Objectives, Strategies, and Challenges for the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative

Abstract

This paper will summarize the objectives, strategies, and key chemical separation challenges for the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI). The major objectives are as follows: Waste management - defer the need for a second geologic repository for a century or more, Proliferation resistance - be more resistant than the existing PUREX separation technology or uranium enrichment, Energy sustainability - turn waste management liabilities into energy source assets to ensure that uranium ore resources do not become a constraint on nuclear power, and Systematic, safe, and economic management of the entire fuel cycle. There are four major strategies for the disposal of civilian spent fuel: Once-through - direct disposal of all discharged nuclear fuel, Limited recycle - recycle transuranic elements once and then direct disposal, Continuous recycle - recycle transuranic elements repeatedly, and Sustained recycle - same as continuous except previously discarded depleted uranium is also recycled. The key chemical separation challenges stem from the fact that the components of spent nuclear fuel vary greatly in their influence on achieving program objectives. Most options separate uranium to reduce the weight and volume of waste and the number and cost of waste packages that require geologic disposal. Separated uranium can also bemore » used as reactor fuel. Most options provide means to recycle transuranic (TRU) elements - plutonium (Pu), neptunium (Np), americium (Am), curium (Cm). Plutonium must be recycled to obtain repository, proliferation, and energy recovery benefits. U.S. non-proliferation policy forbids separation of plutonium by itself; therefore, one or more of the other transuranic elements must be kept with the plutonium; neptunium is considered the easiest option. Recycling neptunium also provides repository benefits. Americium recycling is also required to obtain repository benefits. At the present time, curium recycle provides relatively little benefit; indeed, recycling curium in thermal reactors would significantly increase the hazard (hence cost) of the resulting fuel. Most options separate short-lived fission products cesium and strontium to allow them to decay in separate storage facilities tailored to that need, rather than complicate long-term geologic disposal. This can also reduce the number and cost of waste packages requiring geologic disposal. These savings are balanced by costs for separation and recycle systems. Several long-lived fission products, such as technetium-99 and iodine-129 go to geologic disposal in improved waste forms, recognizing that transmutation of these isotopes would be a slow process; however, the program has not precluded their transmutation as a future alternative.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org.:
DOE - NE
OSTI Identifier:
911608
Report Number(s):
INL/CON-05-00091
TRN: US0800039
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC07-99ID-13727
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Symposium in the Division of Nuclear Engineering entitled “Chemical Engineering Advances in the Nucl,Atlanta, George,04/10/2005,04/14/2005
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 - NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; DEPLETED URANIUM; ENERGY RECOVERY; ENERGY SOURCES; FISSION PRODUCTS; FUEL CYCLE; IODINE 129; ISOTOPE SEPARATION; NON-PROLIFERATION POLICY; NUCLEAR ENGINEERING; NUCLEAR FUELS; NUCLEAR POWER; SPENT FUELS; STORAGE FACILITIES; TECHNETIUM 99; THERMAL REACTORS; URANIUM ORES; WASTE FORMS; WASTE MANAGEMENT; AFCI, fuel cycle, recycle

Citation Formats

Piet, Steven, Dixon, Brent, Shropshire, David, Hill, Robert, Wigeland, Roald, Schneider, Erich, and Smith, J D. Objectives, Strategies, and Challenges for the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative. United States: N. p., 2005. Web.
Piet, Steven, Dixon, Brent, Shropshire, David, Hill, Robert, Wigeland, Roald, Schneider, Erich, & Smith, J D. Objectives, Strategies, and Challenges for the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative. United States.
Piet, Steven, Dixon, Brent, Shropshire, David, Hill, Robert, Wigeland, Roald, Schneider, Erich, and Smith, J D. Fri . "Objectives, Strategies, and Challenges for the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/911608.
@article{osti_911608,
title = {Objectives, Strategies, and Challenges for the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative},
author = {Piet, Steven and Dixon, Brent and Shropshire, David and Hill, Robert and Wigeland, Roald and Schneider, Erich and Smith, J D},
abstractNote = {This paper will summarize the objectives, strategies, and key chemical separation challenges for the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI). The major objectives are as follows: Waste management - defer the need for a second geologic repository for a century or more, Proliferation resistance - be more resistant than the existing PUREX separation technology or uranium enrichment, Energy sustainability - turn waste management liabilities into energy source assets to ensure that uranium ore resources do not become a constraint on nuclear power, and Systematic, safe, and economic management of the entire fuel cycle. There are four major strategies for the disposal of civilian spent fuel: Once-through - direct disposal of all discharged nuclear fuel, Limited recycle - recycle transuranic elements once and then direct disposal, Continuous recycle - recycle transuranic elements repeatedly, and Sustained recycle - same as continuous except previously discarded depleted uranium is also recycled. The key chemical separation challenges stem from the fact that the components of spent nuclear fuel vary greatly in their influence on achieving program objectives. Most options separate uranium to reduce the weight and volume of waste and the number and cost of waste packages that require geologic disposal. Separated uranium can also be used as reactor fuel. Most options provide means to recycle transuranic (TRU) elements - plutonium (Pu), neptunium (Np), americium (Am), curium (Cm). Plutonium must be recycled to obtain repository, proliferation, and energy recovery benefits. U.S. non-proliferation policy forbids separation of plutonium by itself; therefore, one or more of the other transuranic elements must be kept with the plutonium; neptunium is considered the easiest option. Recycling neptunium also provides repository benefits. Americium recycling is also required to obtain repository benefits. At the present time, curium recycle provides relatively little benefit; indeed, recycling curium in thermal reactors would significantly increase the hazard (hence cost) of the resulting fuel. Most options separate short-lived fission products cesium and strontium to allow them to decay in separate storage facilities tailored to that need, rather than complicate long-term geologic disposal. This can also reduce the number and cost of waste packages requiring geologic disposal. These savings are balanced by costs for separation and recycle systems. Several long-lived fission products, such as technetium-99 and iodine-129 go to geologic disposal in improved waste forms, recognizing that transmutation of these isotopes would be a slow process; however, the program has not precluded their transmutation as a future alternative.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2005},
month = {4}
}

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