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Research on the eutectic Pb-17Li is part of the blanket studies carried out in Europe for fusion power reactors. The use of this breeder makes easier some safety problems as compared to the case of lithium as a consequence of the lower chemical reactivity of Pb-17Li. On the other hand, it increases the radioactivity problems due to the neutron activation of lead and impurities. This paper presents both short-term (accidents) and long-term (waste disposal and recycling) aspects of the Pb-17Li activation products. These include their production, mobilisation, release and environmental impact. Concerning accidents, particular attention is given to Po-210 and Hg-203. Questions related to waste management are also reviewed. The most attractive solution seems to be that of recycling the spent Pb-17Li. This will be possible about 20 years after removal from service. As an alternative to recycling, disposal of the breeder as radioactive waste is discussed.

Additional information

Authors: CASINI G, JRC Ispra (IT);ROCCO P, JRC Ispra (IT);ZUCCHETTI M, Politecnico di Torino, Dipartimento di Energetica (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: 2nd International Symposium on Fusion Nuclear Technology, Karlsruhe (DE), June 2-7, 1991
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 36170 ORA
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