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Fusion Science and Technology
GAO urges Congress to address spent fuel stalemate
Congress needs to take action to break the impasse over a permanent solution for commercial spent nuclear fuel, according to a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The GAO recommends that Congress amend the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) to authorize a new consent-based siting process, restructure the Nuclear Waste Fund, and direct the Department of Energy to develop and implement an integrated waste management strategy.
The GAO also recommends that the DOE finalize the consent-based process it began in 2015 for siting consolidated interim storage and permanent geologic repository facilities. The DOE agrees with that recommendation.
Matthew Bunn, John P. Holdren, Steve Fetter, Bob Van Der Zwaan
Nuclear Technology | Volume 150 | Number 3 | June 2005 | Pages 209-230
Technical Paper | Fuel Cycle and Management | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT05-A3618
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
We assess the economics of reprocessing versus direct disposal of spent fuel. The uranium price at which reprocessing spent fuel from light water reactors (LWRs) and recycling the resulting plutonium and uranium in LWRs would become economic is estimated for a range of reprocessing prices and other fuel cycle costs. The contribution of both fuel cycle options to the cost of electricity is also estimated. A similar analysis is performed to compare fast neutron reactors (FRs) with LWRs. We review available information about various fuel cycle costs, as well as the quantities of uranium likely to be recoverable at a range of future prices. We conclude that the once-through LWR fuel cycle is likely to remain significantly cheaper than recycling in either LWRs or FRs for at least the next 50 yr, even with substantial growth in nuclear power.