Fuel cycle strategies and plutonium management in Europe

Haas, D. and Hamilton, D.J. (2007) Fuel cycle strategies and plutonium management in Europe. Progress in Nuclear Energy, 49(8), pp. 574-582. (doi: 10.1016/j.pnucene.2007.09.001)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pnucene.2007.09.001


An overview of current nuclear power generation and fuel cycle strategies in Europe is presented, with an emphasis on options for the management of separated plutonium in the medium to long term. Countries which have opted for reprocessing of spent fuel have had to contend with increasing inventories of separated plutonium. Of the various potential options for utilisation or disposition of these stockpiles, only light water reactor (LWR) mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel programmes are sufficiently technologically mature to be fully operational in several European countries at present. Such reprocessing-recycling programmes allow for a stabilisation of the overall separated plutonium stocks, but not for a significant reduction in the stockpile. Moreover, the quality of recycled plutonium decreases at each potential step of re-irradiation. Therefore, optimised or new ways of managing the plutonium stocks in the medium to long term are required. In the present overview we consider the most promising options for reactor utilisation of plutonium in both near-term future reactor and Generation IV systems.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hamilton, Dr David
Authors: Haas, D., and Hamilton, D.J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Progress in Nuclear Energy

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