Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Materials

Advanced Nuclear Fuels and Fuel Cycles

Minimization Environmental Impacts Associated with Partitioning and Transmutation

Objective: To improve the capacity of Member States to develop advanced fuel and innovative fuel cycle technologies for mitigation of environmental burden and disposition of nuclear materials and by-products of from nuclear fuel cycle activities.

Contact Point: Uddharan BASAK.

This activity focuses on six target areas:

  • Minimization of process losses in the back-end stage of fuel cycle.
  • Development of advanced fissile material accountancy methods with a specific application to dry processes: (pyrochemical methods)
  • Establishment of criteria for separations processes in order to realize the target environmental benefits
  • Establishment of advantages of automatic separations of several fission products and other long-lived radio-nuclides into separate streams by advanced partitioning methods
  • Assessment of environmental benefits of P&T with respect to different geological formations and suitable matrix development for waste after P&T
  • Task force for Minor actinide materials database (in conjunction with project B4.03)

Incorporation of Partitioning and Transmutation (P&T) into the nuclear fuel cycle to incinerate the actinides to mitigate the radiotoxicity of the nuclear wastes, and thus reducing the burden on the environment, is sought for public acceptance of nuclear energy. As any nuclear procedure involves radiation burden to the persons operating the facility, it is wise to arrive at optimum conditions for P&T that results in minimized environmental impacts apart from other technical considerations. Hence, a Coordinated Research Programme is initiated in the year 2003. The following Member States viz., China, Czech Republic, Germany, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation and USA are participating in the CRP. The 4th RCM was held in cooperation with IGCAR, Kalpakkam at Chennai, India in Nov 2007. The results of this CRP are being documented and the final document to be published by the end of 2009.

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