The objective of the International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO) is to support the safe, sustainable, economic and proliferation resistant use of nuclear technology to meet the needs of the 21st century. The first part of the project focusses on the development of an understanding of the requirements of possible users of innovative concepts for reactors and fuel cycle applications. This paper reports progress made on the identification of user requirements as they relate to the environment and environmental protection. The user requirements being formulated are intended to limit adverse environmental effects from the different facilities involved in the nuclear fuel cycles to be well below maximum acceptable levels. To determine if the user requirements are met, it is necessary to identify those factors that are relevant to assessment of the environmental performance of innovative nuclear systems. To this effect, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Material Flow accounting (MFA) methodologies are being appraised for the suitability for application. This paper develops and provides the rationale for the “users’ requirements” as they are currently defined. Existing Environmental Impact Assessment and Materials Flow Accounting methodologies that can be applied to determine whether or not innovative technologies conform to the User Requirements are briefly described. It is concluded that after establishing fundamental principles, it is possible to formulate sets of general and specific users’ requirements against which, the potential adverse environmental effects to be expected from innovative nuclear energy systems (INES) can be assessed. The application of these users’ requirements should keep the adverse environmental effects from INES’s within acceptable limits.

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