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Additional info for An International Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility Exploring a Russian Site as a Prototype
A Report to Congress: A Roadmap for Developing Accelerator Transmutation of Waste (ATW) Technology, DOE/RW-0519. S. Department of Energy, Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, October 1999, pp. 1–4. Theoretical Capacity of Yucca Mountain 120,000 Retain Current Nuclear Energy Capacity Yucca Mountain Statutory Capacity 90,000 60,000 2015 Reduces Technical Need For 2nd Repository Impact of AFCI Technology 30,000 0 1980 2000 2020 2040 Year FIGURE 3 Civilian spent fuel accumulation in the United States both with and without transmutation and uranium separation under the AFCI Program.
In addition to transmuting the highly radioactive constituents of spent fuel, there is the possibility of separating out the uranium to sufficient purity that it could be disposed of as Class C low-level waste or reused in reactors. The potential benefits of transmutation and such uranium separation can be seen in Figure 3, which displays a graph of the accumulation over time of civilian spent fuel in the United States both with and without transmutation and uranium separation. Currently there are about 44,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel residing at commercial nuclear power plants in the United States, with some 2000 metric tons being generated each year.
The economic benefits of transmutation and uranium separation are only now beginning to be analyzed, and the early numbers are encouraging. S. dollars on repository costs and even eliminate the need for additional repositories. S. transmutation program well in maintaining its focus. GENERATION IV ACTIVITIES The grand purpose of the GEN-IV Program is to identify and down-select the most promising technologies for sustaining, and even increasing, nuclear energy production for the rest of the twenty-first century.