The paper presents some results of system analysis of the plutonium utilization alternatives carried out by Russian specialists with an assistance of their European colleagues in the frames of ISTC#369 and #1443 Projects, financially supported by European Commission states. The multi-attribute utility (MAU) model was chose as the methodology for the analysis. For the time being the work is under continuation, but results of the first stage of the study related to conceptual features of the problem can be summed up and discussed.

The study made has shown that effective application of a quantitative model to the problem of plutonium utilization is possible provided that political and technical objectives are strictly defined. A realistic base for the scenarios under consideration is general requirement of a principal importance. The principal result of system consideration is the conclusion that transition from the practice of plutonium accumulation and storing to the strategy of plutonium utilization in nuclear reactors is justified under the real Russian conditions. In an economic sense it is justified by the reason that the expenses of reactor conversion to MOX fuel utilization are comparable with those of long-term storing of plutonium, taking into account modern, and especially future, safety requirements. On the non-proliferation criterion, conversion to MOX fuel utilization is also justified, so as in this case the main source of the proliferation risk — the plutonium store, where plutonium is being stored in the forms being the most attractive for the non-authorized usage — is eliminated. At last, conversion to utilization of stored plutonium results in the decrease of radiation risk for staff and population, as well as in the decrease of impact on the environment due to reduction of some stages of the fuel cycle.

Ranking of the plutonium utilization alternatives on a base of account economic, non-proliferation and ecological factors has led to reasonable, explicable results. These results were used in “The concept of the Russian Federation on_disposition of weapons plutonium being released in the course of nuclear disarmament”, which was approved as an official document of Ministry of Atomic Energy of Russian Federation. The main approaches of this strategy were changed significantly when comparing with the previous concept of plutonium utilization. One may expect more detailed recommendations to decision makers in course of further elaboration of scenarios and models at the following stages of the study.

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