By proposing a credible response to the growing demand for energy while emitting no greenhouse gas, nuclear power will more than likely expand in the future, leading to increased quantities of used nuclear fuel to manage. Recycling the energy from this used fuel and an efficient waste management are key components for a sustainable development of nuclear energy. Current closed fuel cycle enables 25% in uranium savings, reduces the volume of waste by a factor 5 while its radiotoxicity is divided by a factor 10. Excellent track records of existing recycling plants participate to the competitiveness of MOX (Mixed Oxide) and ERU (Enriched Reprocessed Uranium) fuels compared to ENU (Enriched Natural Uranium) fuel. By offering a sound solution for nuclear waste management, recycling also contribute to favour nuclear acceptance. The advantages of closed fuel cycle have been demonstrated by the successful policy of recycling implemented in Europe for more than 30 years, with 35 reactors using MOX fuel with an excellent return of experience. The AREVA industrial recycling platform (La Hague and Melox plants) has treated more than 24,500 tons of used fuel and fabricated more than 1,600 tons of MOX fuel. With the new AREVA EPR™ reactor, recycling will take another step forward, enabling MOX fuel loading of up to 100%, thus offering optimized management options of recycled fuel, and giving more flexibility to its customers.
- Nuclear Engineering Division
Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Which Strategy to Sustain Nuclear Renaissance?
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Liberge, R, & Arslan, M. "Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Which Strategy to Sustain Nuclear Renaissance?." Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering. 18th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering: Volume 1. Xi’an, China. May 17–21, 2010. pp. 457-463. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ICONE18-29574
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