Ad hoc Expert Group on Trends in the Nuclear Fuel Cycle (TNFC)

The renewed interest in the environmental and energy security advantages of nuclear energy has led to a spur of new thinking in the development of technologies such as Generation IV and P&T. The advent of generation III, III+ and IV reactors will require changes in fuel fabrication, reprocessing, waste conditioning, etc. With much happening in connection with nuclear fuel cycle development, an update of the NDC publication, Trends in the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Economic, Environmental and Social Aspects, issued in 2001, was deemed appropriate and timely.

This Expert Group has been set up to review the previous publication by investigating the trends in the latest progress and the future trajectories in nuclear fuel cycle (NFC). The scope of the study will cover a comprehensive review of existing publications and the assessment of advancements in NFC technologies, ongoing global, international initiatives, progress and programmes of individual country, with in-depth analyses of specific case studies.

Whilst trends in the aforementioned features – from the past to today, to what will be required tomorrow – will be underlined from a technological perspective, particular emphasis will be placed on policy and strategy issues and the reciprocal influence on the course of technological progress, as well as sustainability aspects associated with the NFC, such as long-term supply of fuel resources, radioactive waste management and potential links to nuclear proliferation.

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Last reviewed: 15 October 2009