Earlier this week in Brussels at ENA 2006, NEI CEO Skip Bowman laid out five key points critical to the future of the industry. Here's #3:
Point No. 3: To build sustainable confidence in nuclear energy in the United States, we are defining a long-term road map and vision.Note that last paragraph. Read it again, and understand that whatever progress we may make toward an integrated international program to recycle used nuclear fuel, it will not obviate the need for a national used fuel repository.
For sure in the near-term: A new construction cycle for advanced light water reactors, well-suited for baseload electricity production.
Possibly in the medium-term: Starting around 2025, commercial deployment of high-temperature reactors, with a more varied product slate, using advanced hydrogen production technologies, co-located with oil refineries and coal gasification plants, providing hydrogen they require to upgrade coal and the heavy crude oils of the future into usable products. Generating process heat to produce clean drinking water, to extract oil from tar sands and other industrial applications.
And the long-term vision: Over the next 30 to 40 years, deployment of advanced technologies to partition used fuel to recover the uranium and plutonium and recycle them, recycle long-lived minor actinides into fuel, deploy fast-spectrum reactors capable of burning actinides.
Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Power, Used Fuel, Energy, Reprocessing, Technology, Electricity, Yucca Mountain