In the present paper we have investigated the transmutation potential of different nuclear systems from a physical point of view. Transuranium (TRU) elements have been considered, but also long lived fission products (LLFP). The potential for transmutation has to take into account not only the consumption of a specific nucleus (or of a specific `family` of nuclei), but also the reproduction of other nuclei of higher masses. The present study allows an intercomparison taking into account both aspects. Technological, safety and design constraints were not considered at this stage. However strategic indications for future studies have been obtained. 3 refs., 3 tabs.