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Homogeneous versus Heterogeneous Recycling of Transuranics in Fast Nuclear Reactors
English, 92 pages, published: 12/31/2012
NEA#7077, ISBN: 978-92-64-99177-4
Available online at: http://www.oecd-nea.org/science/docs/2012/7077-hvh-recycling-transuranics-fnr.pdf
Fuel transuranics (TRU) multi-recycling is a mandatory feature if both the resource sustainability and the waste minimisation objectives for future fuel cycles are to be pursued. The resulting TRU transmutation can be implemented in fast neutron spectrum reactors according to two main options commonly referred to as the homogeneous and heterogeneous modes.

In this study, the two alternatives have been compared in terms of reactor core feasibility, fuel development and impact on the fuel cycle. The multi-criteria analysis indicates that there are major challenges in minor actinide-loaded fuel development, its experimental validation and possibly in its reprocessing. Both modes of recycling have an impact on the overall fuel cycle, even if at different stages, for example complex target fabrication and handling in the case of heterogeneous recycling and full core fuel fabrication in the case of homogeneous recycling. The study finds that an economic evaluation according to specific implementation scenarios should still be undertaken.