Performance Modeling and Analysis of Spent Nuclear Fuel Recycling
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- Performance Modeling and Analysis of Spent Nuclear Fuel Recycling
- Gao, Ruxing; Choi, Sungyeol; Zhou, Yun; Ko, Won Il
- Issue Date
- INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESEARCH, v.39, no.15, pp.1981 - 1993
- The rapid expansion of nuclear energy in China has intensified concerns regarding spent fuel management. However, the consequences of failure or delay in developing approaches to managing spent fuel in China have not yet been explicitly analyzed. Thus, a dynamic analysis of transitions in nuclear fuel cycles in China to 2050 was conducted. This multidisciplinary study compares the environmental, security, and economic consequences of choices among ongoing technology development options for spent fuel management. Four transition scenarios were identified: the direct disposal of PWR (Pressurized Water Reactor) spent fuel, the recycling of PWR spent fuel through PWR-MOX (Mixed Oxides), the PWR-MOX followed by fast reactors, and the recycling of PWR spent fuel using fast reactors. Direct disposal would have the lowest cost of electricity generation under the current market conditions, while the reprocessing and recycling of PWR spent fuel would benefit the Chinese nuclear power program by reducing the generation of high level waste (67-82%), saving natural U resources (9-17%), and reducing Pu management risk (24-58%). Moreover, a fast reactor system would provide better performance than one-time recycling through PWR-MOX. The latter also poses high risks in managing the build-up of separated Pu.
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