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Combined Waste Form Cost Trade Study

Description: A new generation of aqueous nuclear fuel reprocessing, now in development under the auspices of the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), separates fuel into several fractions, thereby partitioning the wastes into groups of common chemistry. This technology advance enables development of waste management strategies that were not conceivable with simple PUREX reprocessing. Conventional wisdom suggests minimizing high level waste (HLW) volume is desirable, but logical extrapolation of this concept suggests that at some point the cost of reducing volume further will reach a point of diminishing return and may cease to be cost-effective. This report summarizes an evaluation considering three groupings of wastes in terms of cost-benefit for the reprocessing system. Internationally, the typical waste form for HLW from the PUREX process is borosilicate glass containing waste elements as oxides. Unfortunately several fission products (primarily Mo and the noble metals Ru, Rh, Pd) have limited solubility in glass, yielding relatively low waste loading, producing more glass, and greater disposal costs. Advanced separations allow matching the waste form to waste stream chemistry, allowing the disposal system to achieve more optimum waste loading with improved performance. Metals can be segregated from oxides and each can be stabilized in forms to minimize the HLW volume for repository disposal. Thus, a more efficient waste management system making the most effective use of advanced waste forms and disposal design for each waste is enabled by advanced separations and how the waste streams are combined. This trade-study was designed to juxtapose a combined waste form baseline waste treatment scheme with two options and to evaluate the cost-benefit using available data from the conceptual design studies supported by DOE-NE.
Date: November 1, 2008
Creator: Gombert, Dirk; Piet, Steve; Trickel, Timothy; Carter, Joe; Vienna, John; Ebert, Bill et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department