Nuclear Technology / Volume 171 / Number 3 / September 2010 / Page 231
Pyroprocessing is a nuclear fuel cycle technology that can be used to separate spent fuel into reusable actinide products and high-level waste streams. It consists of nonaqueous, electrochemical unit operations that typically use molten salt electrolytes operating at high temperatures. It has several advantages relative to aqueous technologies (i.e., PUREX, UREX, and COEX), especially for fast reactors. These benefits include but are not limited to compact space requirements, efficient recycling of metallic fuel, integrated waste processing and fuel fabrication, and unique nuclear material safeguards features. The technology is currently being used to process spent fuel from the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II in the United States, is being readied for BN-800 fuel treatment in Russia, and is being developed for commercial spent-fuel processing in South Korea.