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Special Issue "Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability of Nuclear Systems"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Michael I. Ojovan

Department of Materials, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ, UK
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +44 747 828 9098
Interests: nuclear waste; immoblisation; vitrification, glasses; glass crystalline materials
Guest Editor
Mr. Zoran Drace

European Union Project for Chernobyl, Ukraine (Director) and International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO), IAEA (Former Head)
E-Mail
Phone: +43 664 391 8231
Interests: sustainability of nuclear energy systems; nuclear waste predisposal management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nuclear energy is clean, reliable, and competitive with its most important application in power generation, where it can gradually replace fossil fuels and avoid massive pollution of the environment. A useless byproduct, resulting from utilization of nuclear energy in both power generation and other useful applications, such as in medicine, industry, and research, is nuclear waste. To be sustainable in the long term, nuclear energy systems should avoid undue burdens on future generations caused by nuclear waste. This is achieved by reducing the generation of waste and by safe and effective management of radioactive legacy waste and of the waste unavoidable generated during utilization of nuclear energy.

This Special Issue aims to analyze the nuclear waste management activities pursuing to provide environmentally safe utilization of nuclear energy in a sustainable manner. It will focus on assessment of nuclear energy systems in regard of their long-term sustainability and adequate pre-disposal waste management activities aiming to provide environmental safe and sustainable development.

Papers selected for this Special Issue will be subject to a rigorous peer review procedure with the aim of their rapid and wide dissemination.

Prof. Dr. Michael I. Ojovan
Mr. Zoran Drace
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

 

Keywords

  • Nuclear waste management for sustainable development
  • Nuclear waste from current and future uses of nuclear energy
  • Sustainability evaluation of nuclear energy systems
  • Methodology of sustainability assessment of nuclear energy systems
  • Pre-disposal activities to address sustainable development
  • Material aspects of sustainable development

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Update of the INPRO Methodology in the Area of Waste Management
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 970; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10040970
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
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Abstract
Judgment on the sustainable development of energy systems, including nuclear, should be based on the results of thorough, comprehensive, and unbiased assessment. To minimize the influence of human factors on assessment results, a systematic methodological approach for the evaluation of the sustainability of
[...] Read more.
Judgment on the sustainable development of energy systems, including nuclear, should be based on the results of thorough, comprehensive, and unbiased assessment. To minimize the influence of human factors on assessment results, a systematic methodological approach for the evaluation of the sustainability of nuclear energy systems has been developed in the IAEA INPRO section based on the experience acquired in different countries. The methodology comprises several areas of a nuclear energy system (NES) assessment including the area of waste management. In this area it defines three major issues relevant to sustainability and the nine corresponding criteria to be used as assessment tools. Assessment of sustainability in the area of waste management is a part of the holistic system assessment to be performed to make reasonable judgments on sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability of Nuclear Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Comparison and Screening of Nuclear Fuel Cycle Options in View of Sustainable Performance and Waste Management
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1623; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091623
Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 10 September 2017 / Published: 13 September 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5582 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Is it true that a nuclear technology approach to generate electric energy offers a clean, safe, reliable and affordable, i.e., sustainable option? In principle yes, however a technology impact on the environment strongly depends on the actual implementation bearing residual risks due to
[...] Read more.
Is it true that a nuclear technology approach to generate electric energy offers a clean, safe, reliable and affordable, i.e., sustainable option? In principle yes, however a technology impact on the environment strongly depends on the actual implementation bearing residual risks due to technical failures, human factors, or natural catastrophes. A full response is thus difficult and can be given first when the wicked multi-disciplinary issues get well formulated and “resolved”. These problems are lying at the interface between: the necessary R&D effort, the industrial deployment and the technology impact in view of the environmental sustainability including the management of produced hazardous waste. As such, this problem is clearly of multi-dimensional nature. This enormous complexity indicates that just a description of the problem might cause a dilemma. The paper proposes a novel holistic approach applying Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis to assess the potential of nuclear energy systems with respect to a sustainable performance. It shows how to establish a multi-level criteria structure tree and examines the trading-off techniques for scoring and ranking of options. The presented framework allows multi-criteria and multi-group treatment. The methodology can be applied to support any pre-decisional process launched in a country to find the best nuclear and/or non-nuclear option according to national preferences and priorities. The approach addresses major aspects of the environmental footprint of nuclear energy systems. As a case study, advanced nuclear fuel cycles are analyzed, which were previously investigated by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA/OECD) expert group WASTEMAN. Sustainability facets of waste management, resource utilization and economics are in focus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability of Nuclear Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Nuclear Power and Resource Efficiency—A Proposal for a Revised Primary Energy Factor
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1063; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9061063
Received: 13 March 2017 / Revised: 14 June 2017 / Accepted: 14 June 2017 / Published: 20 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (528 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Measuring resource efficiency can be achieved using different methods, of which primary energy demand is commonly used. The primary energy factor (PEF) is a figure describing how much energy from primary resources is being used per unit of energy delivered. The PEF for
[...] Read more.
Measuring resource efficiency can be achieved using different methods, of which primary energy demand is commonly used. The primary energy factor (PEF) is a figure describing how much energy from primary resources is being used per unit of energy delivered. The PEF for nuclear power is typically 3, which refers to thermal energy released from fission in relation to electricity generated. Fuel losses are not accounted for. However; nuclear waste represents an energy loss, as current plans for nuclear waste management mostly include final disposal. Based on a literature review and mathematical calculations of the power-to-fuel ratio for nuclear power, PEF values for the open nuclear fuel cycle (NFC) option of nuclear power and different power mixes are calculated. These calculations indicate that a more correct PEF for nuclear power would be 60 (range 32–88); for electricity in Sweden (41% nuclear power) PEF would change from 1.8 to 25.5, and the average PEF for electricity in the European Union (EU) would change from 2.5 to 18. The results illustrate the poor resource efficiency of nuclear power, which paves the way for the fourth generation of nuclear power and illustrates the policy implication of using PEFs which are inconsistent with current waste management plans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability of Nuclear Systems)
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Other

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Open AccessPerspective Silver Buckshot or Bullet: Is a Future “Energy Mix” Necessary?
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020302
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 17 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (266 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
To displace fossil fuels and achieve the global greenhouse-gas emissions reductions required to meet the Paris Agreement on climate change, the prevalent argument is that a mix of different low-carbon energy sources will need to be deployed. Here we seek to challenge that
[...] Read more.
To displace fossil fuels and achieve the global greenhouse-gas emissions reductions required to meet the Paris Agreement on climate change, the prevalent argument is that a mix of different low-carbon energy sources will need to be deployed. Here we seek to challenge that viewpoint. We argue that a completely decarbonized, energy-rich and sustainable future could be achieved with a dominant deployment of next-generation nuclear fission and associated technologies for synthesizing liquid fuels and recycling waste. By contrast, non-dispatchable energy sources like wind and solar energy are arguably superfluous, other than for niche applications, and run the risk of diverting resources away from viable and holistic solutions. For instance, the pairing of variable renewables with natural-gas backup fails to address many of the entrenched problems we seek to solve. Our conclusion is that, given the urgent time frame and massive extent of the energy-replacement challenge, half-measures that distract from or stymie effective policy and infrastructure investment should be avoided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability of Nuclear Systems)
Open AccessProject Report On the Sustainability and Progress of Energy Neutral Mineral Processing
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010235
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 28 December 2017 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 17 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3356 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A number of primary ores such as phosphate rock, gold-, copper- and rare earth ores contain considerable amounts of accompanying uranium and other critical materials. Energy neutral mineral processing is the extraction of unconventional uranium during primary ore processing to use it, after
[...] Read more.
A number of primary ores such as phosphate rock, gold-, copper- and rare earth ores contain considerable amounts of accompanying uranium and other critical materials. Energy neutral mineral processing is the extraction of unconventional uranium during primary ore processing to use it, after enrichment and fuel production, to generate greenhouse gas lean energy in a nuclear reactor. Energy neutrality is reached if the energy produced from the extracted uranium is equal to or larger than the energy required for primary ore processing, uranium extraction, -conversion, -enrichment and -fuel production. This work discusses the sustainability of energy neutral mineral processing and provides an overview of the current progress of a multinational research project on that topic conducted under the umbrella of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability of Nuclear Systems)
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