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Fuel Cycle Cost Considerations of Increased Discharge Burnups

Lawrence R. Scherpereel, Fred J. Frank

Nuclear Technology

Volume 56 / Number 1 / January 1982 / Pages 106-111


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Evaluations are presented that indicate the attainment of increased discharge burnups in light water reactors will depend on economic factors particular to individual operators. In addition to pure resource conserving effects and assuming continued reliable fuel performance, a substantial economic incentive must exist to justify the longer operating times necessary to achieve higher burnups. Whether such incentive will exist or not will depend on relative price levels of all fuel cycle cost components, utility operating practices, and resolution of uncertainties associated with the back-end of the fuel cycle. It is concluded that implementation of increased burnups will continue at a graduated pace similar to past experience, rather than finding universal acceptance of particular increased levels at any particular time.

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