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Actinide burning and waste disposal

Abstract

Here we review technical and economic features of a new proposal for a synergistic waste-management system involving reprocessing the spent fuel otherwise destined for a U.S. high-level waste repository and transmuting the recovered actinides in a fast reactor. The proposal would require a U.S. fuel reprocessing plant, capable of recovering and recycling all actinides, including neptunium americium, and curium, from LWR spent fuel, at recoveries of 99.9% to 99.999%. The recovered transuranics would fuel the annual introduction of 14 GWe of actinide-burning liquid-metal fast reactors (ALMRs), beginning in the period 2005 to 2012. The new ALMRs would be accompanied by pyrochemical reprocessing facilities to recover and recycle all actinides from discharged ALMR fuel. By the year 2045 all of the LWR spent fuel now destined f a geologic repository would be reprocessed. Costs of constructing and operating these new reprocessing and reactor facilities would be borne by U.S. industry, from the sale of electrical energy produced. The ALMR program expects that ALMRs that burn actinides from LWR spent fuel will be more economical power producers than LWRs as early as 2005 to 2012, so that they can be prudently selected by electric utility companies for new construction of nuclear power  More>>
Authors:
Pigford, T H [1] 
  1. University of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Jul 01, 1990
Product Type:
Conference
Report Number:
INIS-XA-N-191; MIT-ANP-CP-001
Resource Relation:
Conference: 1. MIT international conference on the next generation of nuclear power technology, Cambridge, MA (United States), 4-5 Oct 1990; Other Information: 47 refs, 10 figs, 8 tabs; Related Information: In: Proceedings of the first MIT international conference on the next generation of nuclear power technology, 258 pages.
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; ACCELERATORS; AMERICIUM; CESIUM; CONTRACTORS; COST; CURIUM; ELECTRIC UTILITIES; FISSION PRODUCTS; FUEL REPROCESSING PLANTS; HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; LICENSING; LMFBR TYPE REACTORS; NEPTUNIUM; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; PYROCHEMICAL REPROCESSING; SPENT FUELS; STRONTIUM; WASTE DISPOSAL; WASTE STORAGE
OSTI ID:
20767352
Research Organizations:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Program for Advanced Nuclear Power Studies, Cambridge, MA (United States)
Country of Origin:
IAEA
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
TRN: XA04N2133073977
Availability:
Available from INIS in electronic form
Submitting Site:
INIS
Size:
35 pages
Announcement Date:
Sep 25, 2006

Citation Formats

Pigford, T H. Actinide burning and waste disposal. IAEA: N. p., 1990. Web.
Pigford, T H. Actinide burning and waste disposal. IAEA.
Pigford, T H. 1990. "Actinide burning and waste disposal." IAEA.
@misc{etde_20767352,
title = {Actinide burning and waste disposal}
author = {Pigford, T H}
abstractNote = {Here we review technical and economic features of a new proposal for a synergistic waste-management system involving reprocessing the spent fuel otherwise destined for a U.S. high-level waste repository and transmuting the recovered actinides in a fast reactor. The proposal would require a U.S. fuel reprocessing plant, capable of recovering and recycling all actinides, including neptunium americium, and curium, from LWR spent fuel, at recoveries of 99.9% to 99.999%. The recovered transuranics would fuel the annual introduction of 14 GWe of actinide-burning liquid-metal fast reactors (ALMRs), beginning in the period 2005 to 2012. The new ALMRs would be accompanied by pyrochemical reprocessing facilities to recover and recycle all actinides from discharged ALMR fuel. By the year 2045 all of the LWR spent fuel now destined f a geologic repository would be reprocessed. Costs of constructing and operating these new reprocessing and reactor facilities would be borne by U.S. industry, from the sale of electrical energy produced. The ALMR program expects that ALMRs that burn actinides from LWR spent fuel will be more economical power producers than LWRs as early as 2005 to 2012, so that they can be prudently selected by electric utility companies for new construction of nuclear power plants in that era. Some leaders of DOE and its contractors argue that recovering actinides from spent fuel waste and burning them in fast reactors would reduce the life of the remaining waste to about 200-300 years, instead of 00,000 years. The waste could then be stored above ground until it dies out. Some argue that no geologic repositories would be needed. The current view expressed within the ALMR program is that actinide recycle technology would not replace the need for a geologic repository, but that removing actinides from the waste for even the first repository would simplify design and licensing of that repository. A second geologic repository would not be needed. Waste now planned for the second repository would be emplaced in the first repository. Reprocessing would now include separation of the fission products strontium and cesium. After interim storage for 20-300 years, the remaining cesium would also be emplaced in the first repository. One DOE laboratory proposes an accelerator to destroy actinides and long-lived fission products. The time required for geologic or managed storage is said to be reduced to only one to several centuries.}
place = {IAEA}
year = {1990}
month = {Jul}
}