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Title: Analysis of nuclear proliferation resistance reprocessing and recycling technologies

The PUREX process has been progressively and continuously improved during the past three decades, and these improvements account for successful commercialization of reprocessing in a few countries. The renewed interest in nuclear energy and the international growth of nuclear electricity generation do not equate – and should not be equated -with increasing proliferation risks. Indeed, the nuclear renaissance presents a unique opportunity to enhance the culture of non-proliferation. With the recent revival of interest in nuclear technology, technical methods for prevention of nuclear proliferation are being revisited. Robust strategies to develop new advanced separation technologies are emerging worldwide for sustainability and advancement of nuclear energy with enhanced proliferation resistance. On the other hand, at this moment, there are no proliferation resistance advanced technologies. . Until now proliferation resistance as it applies to reprocessing has been focused on not separating a pure stream of weapons-usable plutonium. France, as an example, has proposed a variant of the PUREX process, the COEX TM process, which does not result on a pure plutonium product stream. A further step is to implement a process based on group extraction of actinides and fission products associated with a homogeneous recycling strategy (UNEX process in the US, GANEXmore » process in France). Such scheme will most likely not be deployable on an industrial scale before 2030 or so because it requires intensive R&D and robust flowsheets. Finally, future generation recycling schemes will handle the used nuclear fuel in fast neutron reactors. This means that the plutonium throughput of the recycling process may increase. The need is obvious for advanced aqueous recycling technologies that are intrinsically more proliferation resistant than the commercial PUREX process. In this paper, we review the actual PUREX process along with the advanced recycling technologies that will enhance technical barriers, making plutonium diversion more difficult by not isolating plutonium or/and coexistence of fission products with plutonium.« less
Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1023498
Report Number(s):
INL/CON-10-20124
TRN: US1104561
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: ICONE -19 (International Conference on Nuclear engineering),Makuhari, Japan,05/16/2011,05/19/2011
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org:
DOE - NE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; ACTINIDES; COMMERCIALIZATION; FAST NEUTRONS; FISSION PRODUCTS; FLOWSHEETS; NUCLEAR ENERGY; NUCLEAR ENGINEERING; NUCLEAR FUELS; PLUTONIUM; PROLIFERATION; PUREX PROCESS; RECYCLING; REPROCESSING Proliferation; PUREX; recyling; Reprocessing