Title: Closing the Nuclear fuel Cycle for Future Sustainable Nuclear Energy
Authors: FANGHAENEL ThomasGLATZ Jean-PaulSOMERS JosephWASTIN Franck
Citation: Proceedings of Peacefulatom 2009 vol. 1 p. 10 - 25
Publisher: Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Department of Atomic Energy
Publication Year: 2011
JRC N°: JRC53621
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC53621
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The GEN IV initiative focuses on sustainability, economy, safety and proliferation resistance as key parameters for the use of nuclear systems to meet energy demands for the next decades. Closing the nuclear fuel cycle and the deployment of fast reactors is central to four of the six selected systems. Hereby major challenges have to be met and research and development beyond the state of the art is required. Waste minimisation requires the incorporation of minor actinides in the fuels. Innovative fuel fabrication methods and excellent in pile fuel performance to high burnups must be demonstrated. The SUPERFACT irradiation experiment was a milestone, but by no means can such fuels be considered as qualified. Reprocessing of the fuels by aqueous routes has only reached industrial maturity for separation of Pu by the PUREX process. New extractants and concomitant procedures have been tested for the separation of the minor actinides, and though significant success has been achieved, further improvements are necessary. Alternative separation processes based on pyrometallurgical methods show promise, but also remain to be qualified. Inroads made towards all aspects concerning the closure of the nuclear fuel cycle are presented.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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