Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 124 / Number 2 / October 1996 / Pages 280-290
Technical Paper / dx.doi.org/10.13182/NSE96-A28578
A major issue to secure the development of nuclear energy in the future is the radioactive waste minimization‚ both inside the fuel cycle and in a deep geological storage. Most of the research activities have been devoted to assess the potential benefits of the so-called partitioning/transmutation technologies. The physical principles that provide an inherent minimization of the radioactive wastes is established. A new concept is introduced to characterize the radiotoxicity associated with various nuclei families in an equilibrium state. The analysis shows the potential of evolutionary nuclear systems, mostly based on known technologies and the potential of more futuristic systems, like accelerator-driven systems and the thorium fuel cycle.