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External costs of fuel cycles


This project identifies work on the EC/US collaborative project to estabish an accounting framework for the external environmental costs associated with electricity generating fuel cycles.

The work is divided into 2 broad areas:

project definition and implementation of the coal fuel cycle accounting framework for the UK;
co-ordination of the project to be undertaken under the direction of the Project Manager in DG XII.

1. Fuel cycle implementation.

The burdens, pollution dispersion mechanisms and health and environmental impacts of the coal fuel cycle priority cells in Europe will be identified. The relationships and interactions between these will be mapped out to define the impact pathways of the identified priorities. These will be subject to subsequent review by appropriate experts as the project proceeds. In addition a preliminary assessment will be made of the data and models available and suitable to implement the impact pathway framework.

The main available models will be identified which deal with the transport and deposition of the identified priority primary pollutants, and with their transformation into priority secondary pollutants. For each pollutant and each deposition range a particular model will be chosen for use in the UK reference environment. This selection will be discussed with other members of the EC team and with the US team to ensure compatibility of approach to the extent that is possible across different reference environments.

The reference environment for the UK fuel cycle will be identified and outlined. Identification of the location of each stage of the reference fuel cycle and a technical description will be undertaken.

A full description of the reference fuel cycle, materials inputs, transport systems, waste products and their relevant technical characteristics will be done. The relevant changes for each identified generation technology will be characterized.

2. Project coordination.

Scenarios for background environmental conditions will be developed using EC energy scenarios, subject to approval of the Commission. ETSU will assist with co-ordination of the format and scope of technical data within the project to ensure compatibility of data, models and assumptions within the project across different phases of the activity, different reference environments and different fuel cycles.


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United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)
Harwell Laboratory
OX11 0RA Didcot
United Kingdom

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Hessbruehlstrasse, 49 A
70565 Stuttgart

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