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The long-term hazard of alpha-bearing waste from the present nuclear fuel cycle can be reduced by a factor of at least 200 by the recycling of all transuranium elements. Within the constraints of existing LWR and FR technology, a transuranium fuel cycle is described which takes into account the situation expected within the European Community in the year 2000. From the discharged 35000t of spent LWR fuel accumulated, the Pu could be recovered and recycled in the "self-generated mode" in LWRs of a capacity of 130 GWe. If, from the Highly Active Waste, Np, Am and Cm were partitioned, these could be transmuted in fast reactors of a capacity of 4 GWe into fission products and Pu, which could then be recycled back to LWRs. The implications of this scheme for the present fuel cycle are discussed in view of the make-up of Np-, Am- and Cm-bearing fuels and their irradiation behaviour and in respect of the possible partitioning of the transuranium elements from Highly Active Waste. The expected additional costs are compared with the resulting benefits which consist of a marginal increase in energy production, a reduction of the long-term hazard of nuclear waste and an increased denaturation of the plutonium.

Additional information

Authors: KOCH L, JRC Karlsruhe, P.O. Box 2340, 7500 Karlsruhe (DE)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: 5th International Conference on Emerging Nuclear Energy Systems, Karlsruhe (DE), June 3-6, 1989
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 34642 ORA
Record Number: 198910888 / Last updated on: 1994-12-01
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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