Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Materials

Advanced Nuclear Fuels and Fuel Cycles

Current Status and Future Perspective of Fast Reactor Fuel Cycle

The potential of fast reactor for exploiting the virtually inexhaustible energy locked in natural uranium was realized in the mid 1940's. However, fast reactor technology has still not matured enough to be economically competitive with water-cooled or gas-cooled thermal reactor. One of the key issues for the commercial deployment of fast reactors is to develop suitable fuels and closed fuel cycle options that make most efficient utilization of natural uranium resources and reduce the long term radiotoxicity of spent fuel. In recent years there has been a rising expectation for nuclear power and its long term sustainability. Accordingly, there has been renewed interest in fast reactors and related fuel and fuel cycle technology in several countries.

To support Member States and to facilitate information exhange, the IAEA has, for example, organized a technical meeting at Obninsk in cooperation with IPPE. The meeting critically reviewed global development of liquid metal cooled fast reactor fuels and its fuel cycle. The IAEA has also published two documents on fast reactor fuel cycle in 2011:

For further information, please contact the NEFW Contact Point.

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