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This study provides elements to compare several strategies of irradiated nuclear fuel management, ranging from the simplest one (direct disposal) to the most sophisticated one (recycling of long-lived radionuclides). The technical feasibility and the achievable performances, at different dates, of the operations related to partitioning and transmutation are assessed. Transmutation is considered by means of pressurized water reactors (PWR) and fast neutron reactors (FNR), in homogeneous or heterogeneous mode. The strategies are evaluated globally, according to different criteria (radioactive materials inventories, resulting radiotoxicity, costs), applied to scenarios derived from them. These scenarios last from 2000 to 2100. At that date, inventories of radioactive materials produced (cycle) and to be disposed of in deep underground repositories (waste) are drawn up. Compared with direct disposal, the recycling strategies show little effect on the cycle inventory radiotoxicity. A longer duration of recycling would be necessary to have a substantial effect. Concerning intermediate strategies that do not recycle all the actinides, the results on the waste inventory are beneficial, but less spectacular than expected. Only the recycling of all the actinides allows a significant reduction (by a factor of about 100) of the waste radiotoxicity.

Additional information

Authors: LELIÈVRE D, CEA, Marcoule, Bagnols-sur-Cèze (FR);BOUSSIER H, CEA, Marcoule, Bagnols-sur-Cèze (FR);GROUILLER J P, CEA, CEN Cadarache, Saint-Paul-lez-Durance (FR);BUSH R P, AEA Technology, Harwell Laboratory, Didcot, Oxon (GB);LELIEVRE D, CEA, Marcoule, Bagnols-sur-Ceze (FR)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 17485 EN (1997) 241pp., FS, ECU 43
Availability: Available from the (2)
ISBN: ISBN 92-827-9575-6
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