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In the event of a revival of interest in nuclear energy, so-called Generation IV power systems will come into operation between 2030 and 2050. These systems should be highly economical, have enhanced safety features, give rise to a minimum of waste, and be proliferation resistant. This paper considers Generation IV systems from the proliferation viewpoint and describes activities at the Institute for Transuranium Elements in this area. It specifically considers proliferation issues associated with a) advanced aqueous and pyroprocessing of present nuclear fuel to process spent fuel, b) the separation and recovery of minor actinides Np, Am, Cm, and c) the transmutation of these actinides in accelerator driven systems (ADS). In an ADS case study, some potential proliferation problems were identified and led to new regulations regarding the export of associated technology. The paper describes some exotic applications based on the use of americium, which may have a role to play in future nuclear systems. Finally, it is shown that the costs associated with safeguarding present day civilian reactors are very small indeed compared to the overall capital investment and operational costs.

Additional information

Authors: MAGILL J, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute of Transuranium Elements, Karlsruhe (DE);SCHENKEL R, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute of Transuranium Elements, Karlsruhe (DE)
Bibliographic Reference: An oral report given at: International Conference on Global Warming and Energy Policy Organised by: Global Foundation Held at: Fort Lauderdale (US), 26-28 November 2000
Availability: Conference proceedings published as: "Global Warming and Energy Policy", edited by Kursunoglu et al. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York, 2001.
Record Number: 200214505 / Last updated on: 2002-04-03
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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