[ RadSafe ] RE: Fast neutron reactors

Marcel Schouwenburg M.Schouwenburg at tudelft.nl
Thu Dec 4 03:00:37 CST 2008

Posted on behalf of George Stanford.

        The goal, which I am told is achievable, is to have less than 1%
of the transuranics reach the waste stream.  
        Per GWe-yr, there is roughly one tonne of waste that leaves a
fast-reactor plant (e.g., IFR or S-PRISM) .  Annual output of
transuranics would therefore be 10 kg or less per GWe-yr (there's an
economic tradeoff).

        In the spent fuel from current (thermal) reactors, there's about
240 kg of transuranics per gWe-yr, currently destined for Yucca
Mountain..  If instead it were to be used for input to fast-reactors, a
1% loss would mean that 2.4 kg of transuranics per GWe-yr of
thermal-reactor power would be in the waste stream, mixed with a tonne
of fission products.

        I'm sorry the Scientific American article did not make this

        Regarding the long-term hazard of nuclear waste, essential
perspective is in Bernie Cohen's article, to be found at
< http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/pra-ppr.pdf
<http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/pra-ppr.pdf> >.  Bottom line:  Yucca
Mountain would be just fine, especially with a major reduction in
transuranic content.

        Molten salt for the secondary loop sounds good to me (but that's
not my field).


         --  George Stanford
        Reactor physicist, retired.

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