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Advantages of Irradiated DUPIC Fuels from the Perspective of Environmental Impact

Won Il Ko, Ho Dong Kim, Myung Seung Yang

Nuclear Technology

Volume 138 / Number 2 / May 2002 / Pages 123-139


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This study compares some properties of irradiated Direct Use of Spent Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) Fuel In Canada Deuterium Uranium reactor (CANDU) (DUPIC ) fuels with properties of other fuel cycles. The properties include the radiotoxicity, decay heat, activity, and actinide content embedded in various spent fuels or high-level wastes, which could be measures of the effectiveness of waste management. From radiotoxicity analysis of fuel cycles, the toxicity of the DUPIC option based on 1 GW(electric)yr is much smaller than those of other fuel cycle options such as the PWR once-through mode, mixed oxide fuel recycling mode, and CANDU once-through mode. The analysis shows that the value is just about half the order of magnitude of other fuel cycles until decayed to a level below the toxicity of initial ore. This means that the DUPIC option could have an indirect benefit on the environmental effects of long-term spent-fuel disposal. From total activity analysis of various fuel cycle options, the activity per metric ton heavy metal of spent fuel is the lowest in natural uranium CANDU fuel, but in the case of activity based on 1 GW(electric)yr, the DUPIC option has the smallest activity. In the meanwhile, from the activity analysis of 99Tc and 237Np, which are important to the long-term transport in geologic media, the DUPIC option was being contained in only about half of those other options. In conclusion, compared to other fuel cycle cases, the irradiated DUPIC fuels would have good properties from the perspective of environmental effects.

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