The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) today announced that its study, Economic Assessment of Used Nuclear Fuel Management in the United States, concludes that nuclear fuel recycling, as part of a portfolio strategy in which a large scale integrated recycling plant complements a repository (such as the planned Yucca Mountain repository) could be attractive for solving the long-term used nuclear fuel management requirement of the U.S. nuclear power market. Conducted for Bethesda , Maryland based AREVA, Inc., BCG performed the first extensive study of proprietary operational and financial data from decades of AREVAÂs nuclear recycling experience at La Hague and Melox facilities in France .For a summary, click here (PDF). Click here (PDF) for the full report.
The study shows that the economics of recycling and disposal of high level waste in Yucca Mountain are comparable to the economics of the targeted once-through U.S. fuel cycle, especially considering uncertainties that surround the nuclear fuel cycle, such as capital investment costs and uranium prices.
"This study shows that current generation recycling technologies for used nuclear fuel are in an economic range that can be competitive," said Dennis Spurgeon, assistant secretary for Nuclear Energy. "This economic benchmark is useful as we work on advanced recycling technologies that make better use of our energy resources and reduce the space and time needed to store nuclear waste."
U.S. Senator Pete Domenici had some comments:
"This report uses real economic figures to validate the position that it is time for the United States to embrace recycling of commercial spent fuel to maximize our energy use and minimize the amount of nuclear waste that must be stored," Domenici said.Domenici's statement also added that the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee will hold a hearing in September on the report, as well GNEP and related initiatives.
"A single-minded focus on burying waste is not in our best interest, or that the world. Recycling spent fuel to power new nuclear power plants here makes sense. A new focus on recycling would be beneficial to the rebirth of U.S. nuclear power and to the international goals we've set with the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership," he said.
Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Power, Used Fuel, Energy, Technology, Electricity, GNEP, Used Fuel Recycling, Boston Consulting Group, AREVA