Compartative fuel cycle analysis of critical and sub-critical fast reactor transmutation systems
Stacey, Weston M.
Hoffman, E. A. (Elisha Albright)
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Fuel cycle analyses are performed to evaluate the impacts of further transmutation of spent nuclear fuel on high-level and low-level waste mass flows into repositories, on the composition and toxicity of the high-level waste, on the capacity of high-level waste repositories, and on the proliferation-resistance of the high-level waste. Storage intact of LWR spent nuclear fuel, a single recycle in a LWR of the plutonium as MOX fuel, and the repeated recycle of the transuranics in critical and sub-critical fast reactors are compared with the focus on the waste management performance of these systems. Other consideration such as cost and technological challenges were beyond the scope of this study. The overall conclusion of the studies is that repeated recycling of the transuranics from spent nuclear fuel would significantly increase the capacity of high-level waste repositories per unit of nuclear energy produced, significantly increase the nuclear energy production per unit mass of uranium ore mined, significantly reduce the radio-toxicity of the waste streams per unit of nuclear energy produced, and significantly enhance the proliferation-resistance of the material stored in high-level waste repositories.