Nuclear Fuel Cycle & Materials
For nuclear power to be sustainable, the nuclear fuel cycle must be sustainable. The increasing use of nuclear power puts stringent demands on nuclear fuel cycle activities and on understanding the behaviour of materials used in nuclear reactors.
To contribute to the sustainable development of nuclear power, the IAEA's Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Material Section is placing concerted efforts in helping Member States to:
- Increase sustainable uranium production;
- Better utilize uranium resources;
- Improve nuclear fuel performance;
- Properly manage spent fuel through long term storage and/or reprocessing and recycling; and
- Develop materials, fuels and fuel cycles for new, innovative nuclear reactors.
Focus of Work
While the activities of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Materials Section covers the whole nuclear fuel cycle from 'cradle to grave', i.e. from mining of the uranium till the management of spent fuel, the focus is on:
- Production of nuclear-grade uranium;
- Fabrication and in-reactor performance of nuclear fuel;
- Management of spent nuclear fuel; and
- Advanced fuel cycles including recycling.
The support we provide to our Member States in these areas is supplemented by the Integrated Nuclear Fuel Cycle Information System (iNFCIS) which offers access to several nuclear fuel cycle related databases and a simulation system for long term projections of nuclear fuel cycle material and service requirements.
We receive advice on our programmes though the joint OECD-NEA / IAEA Uranium Group, the Technical Working Group on Fuel Performance and Technology and the Technical Working Group on Nuclear Fuel Cycle Options.