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Energies 2017, 10(5), 690; doi:10.3390/en10050690

Economics and Resources Analysis of the Potential Use of Reprocessing Options by a Medium Sized Nuclear Reactor Fleet

CIEMAT—Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas Avda. Complutense, 40. Ed. 17, Madrid 28040, Spain
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Academic Editor: Adolf Acquaye
Received: 1 March 2017 / Revised: 12 April 2017 / Accepted: 11 May 2017 / Published: 13 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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Abstract

Reprocessing of irradiated nuclear fuel is or has been implemented in several countries with significant numbers of nuclear power plants and installed capacity. In this work, a set of scenarios has been analyzed to find the key variables for the implementation of reprocessing in medium sized fleets. The inventories of the Spanish nuclear fuel cycle scenario were chosen as representative, considering two different reactor lifetimes and reprocessing strategies, with the aim of burning the maximum amount of the Pu mass generated in the cycle. The simulations of the scenarios were performed with the TR_EVOL code developed at CIEMAT. Results show that the lifetime of the reactors has an impact in the possible reduction in the Pu amount. Some scenarios show a shortage of Pu available for mixed uranium-plutonium oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication coming from the reprocessing of UO2 spent fuel. This work has verified that, for medium sized fuel cycle scenarios, the parameters with the most importance are the reprocessing cost and natural uranium cost. A smaller impact in the comparison is also found for the cost of the final disposal and the possibility of valuing the surplus Pu and reprocessed uranium existent at the end of the cycle. View Full-Text
Keywords: fuel cycle scenario; reprocessing; economics; mixed uranium-plutonium oxide fuel; light water reactors (LWRs) fuel cycle scenario; reprocessing; economics; mixed uranium-plutonium oxide fuel; light water reactors (LWRs)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Merino Rodríguez, I.; Álvarez-Velarde, F.; Skarbeli, A.V.; González-Romero, E.M. Economics and Resources Analysis of the Potential Use of Reprocessing Options by a Medium Sized Nuclear Reactor Fleet. Energies 2017, 10, 690.

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