Friday, January 27, 2006

Reaction to GNEP Proposal

There's plenty of reaction to yesterday's news concerning the Bush Administration proposal for the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, including this AP account that quotes NEI's Chief Nuclear Officer, Marv Fertel:

"Reprocessing could help avoid or delay the need for a second repository," Marvin Fertel, a senior vice president of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry's lobbying group, told a congressional hearing last March.

But Fertel emphasized that the nuclear industry views fuel reprocessing as a technology that is still decades away from being economical - and won't be as long as fresh uranium is plentiful and relatively cheap.
More later, as we pile through the coverage.

UPDATE: American ex-pat Jim Freeman has some thoughts.

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Matthew66 said...

Reprocessing may not be an economical source of reactor fuel, but I believe that it is an economical method of waste management. Reprocessing reduces the volume and radioactivity of the spent fuel. The MOX and recovered uranium should be viewed as by-products that can be sold to partially offset the cost of recycling.

We began recycling aluminum, paper and plastics, not because recycling these is cheaper than using raw materials, but because we needed to reduce quantity of material going into landfill, and because we have legitimate environmental concerns about disposing of material that can be reused. Why on earth would we view the recycling of used nuclear fuel rods any differently?

Anonymous said...

Partitioning alone won't reduce the need for additional repository space. We're going to have to go to actinide recycle to get the heat load down as well.

Anonymous said...

It was pointed out at a LANL shindig
fifteen years ago that CANDU (fast
shuffle) reactors can reburn spent
light water pellets after simply de-
and re-cladding. No need to qualify
by adding "if they work"--and if they
aren't economical why are they so
popular outside the USA?

Not Invented Here Syndrome!

They also will burn unenriched U but
you would never know it from reading
press accounts: it is accepted as
"common knowledge" that generation
*requires* enrichment. Very handy
for Iran...