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Abstract

The incentives to recycle minor actinides result from the reduction of the long-term alpha radiological risk rather than from a better utilization of the uranium resources. Nevertheless, the gain in generated electricity by minor actinide transmutation in a Fast Breeder Reactor can compensate for the costs of their recovery and make-up into fuel elements. Different recycling options of minor actinides are discussed: transmutation in LMFBR's is possible as long as Pu is not recycled in LWR's. In this case a Minor Actinide Burner with fuel of different composition has to be introduced. The development of appropriate minor actinide fuels and their properties are described. The irradiation experiments underway or planned are summarized. A review of minor actinide partitioning from the PUREX waste stream is given. From the present constraints of LMFBR technology a reduction of the long-term alpha radiological risk by a factor of 200 is deduced relative to that from the direct storage of spent LWR fuel. Though the present accumulation of minor actinides is low, nuclear transmutation may be needed when nuclear energy production has grown.

Additional information

Authors: KOCH L JRC KARLSRUHE ESTAB. (GERMANY), JRC KARLSRUHE ESTAB. (GERMANY)
Bibliographic Reference: ACTINIDES '85, AIX-EN-PROVENCE (FRANCE), SEPT. 2-6, 1985 WRITE TO CEC LUXEMBOURG, DG XIII/A2, POB 1907 MENTIONING PAPER E 32432 ORA
Availability: Can be ordered online
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