Analysis of the Reuse of Uranium Recovered from the Reprocessing of Commercial LWR Spent Fuel

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This report provides an analysis of the factors involved in the reuse of uranium recovered from commercial light-water-reactor (LWR) spent fuels (1) by reenrichment and recycling as fuel to LWRs and/or (2) by recycling directly as fuel to heavy-water-reactors (HWRs), such as the CANDU (registered trade name for the Canadian Deuterium Uranium Reactor). Reuse is an attractive alternative to the current Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI) Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) baseline plan, which stores the reprocessed uranium (RU) for an uncertain future or attempts to dispose of it as 'greater-than-Class C' waste. Considering that the open fuel cycle currently ... continued below

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DelCul, Guillermo D; Trowbridge, Lee D; Renier, John-Paul; Ellis, Ronald James; Williams, Kent Alan; Spencer, Barry B et al. February 1, 2009.

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This report provides an analysis of the factors involved in the reuse of uranium recovered from commercial light-water-reactor (LWR) spent fuels (1) by reenrichment and recycling as fuel to LWRs and/or (2) by recycling directly as fuel to heavy-water-reactors (HWRs), such as the CANDU (registered trade name for the Canadian Deuterium Uranium Reactor). Reuse is an attractive alternative to the current Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI) Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) baseline plan, which stores the reprocessed uranium (RU) for an uncertain future or attempts to dispose of it as 'greater-than-Class C' waste. Considering that the open fuel cycle currently deployed in the United States already creates a huge excess quantity of depleted uranium, the closed fuel cycle should enable the recycle of the major components of spent fuel, such as the uranium and the hazardous, long-lived transuranic (TRU) actinides, as well as the managed disposal of fission product wastes. Compared with the GNEP baseline scenario, the reuse of RU in the uranium fuel cycle has a number of potential advantages: (1) avoidance of purchase costs of 11-20% of the natural uranium feed; (2) avoidance of disposal costs for a large majority of the volume of spent fuel that is reprocessed; (3) avoidance of disposal costs for a portion of the depleted uranium from the enrichment step; (4) depending on the {sup 235}U assay of the RU, possible avoidance of separative work costs; and (5) a significant increase in the production of {sup 238}Pu due to the presence of {sup 236}U, which benefits somewhat the transmutation value of the plutonium and also provides some proliferation resistance.

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2009/023
  • Grant Number: DE-AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/947143 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 947143
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc895609

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  • February 1, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Nov. 22, 2016, 6:24 p.m.

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DelCul, Guillermo D; Trowbridge, Lee D; Renier, John-Paul; Ellis, Ronald James; Williams, Kent Alan; Spencer, Barry B et al. Analysis of the Reuse of Uranium Recovered from the Reprocessing of Commercial LWR Spent Fuel, report, February 1, 2009; [Tennessee]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc895609/: accessed June 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.