Future Processing of Spent Reactor Fuels
The probable future for the reprocessing of nuclear fuels over the next 50 years is discussed in the light of four main factors: the processing of light water reactor (LWR) fuel on schedules to be determined by individual national policies; the eventual processing of fast reactor fuels; present and future degrees of concern on arms proliferation issues and the vulnerability of processing plants to terrorist activities; and general public acceptance of reprocessing. An overriding factor may well be the institutional and financial arrangements necessary for reprocessing (and therefore the whole fuel cycle) to progress. The general principles of reprocessing technology have already been established although improvements may still be necessary in meeting new safeguard requirements and developing methods of waste disposal that are acceptable to the public. Use of the “sphere pac” fuel fabrication process colocated with appropriately designed reprocessing plants may allay the serious concern about possible diversion of plutonium.
KeywordsFuel Assembly Fuel Cycle Spend Fuel Uranyl Nitrate Reactor Fuel
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