Conference Proceedings Paper
USED CANDU FUEL REASSESSED: A REACTOR'S FUEL WASTE – A TREASURE TROVE FOR ONTARIO
3rd Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration - 2016 Sept. 11-14
P. Ottensmeyer (University of Toronto)
Ontario’s 50,000 tons of used CANDU fuel is 99.26% heavy atom fuel when recycled through available load-following fast-neutron reactors (FNRs) associated with fuel cycling facilities (FCFs). Such an FNR/FCF technology can produce $74 trillion of non-carbon electricity from that fuel, while avoiding 280 billion tons CO2 emissions compared to using natural gas. That energy provides 4800 years worth of electricity at current power levels, or enough to supplant fossil fuels in transportation, industry and homes for an all-electric economy in Ontario for 900 years. It can replace volatile gas and wind generation with predictable load-following power on demand. Importantly, as the heavy atoms fission, their 400,000-year radiotoxicity is eliminated permanently. The fission product (FP) residue decays to uranium background levels in 300 years naturally, with special treatments possible for long-lived challenges. Surely such a proven FNR/FCF approach is environmentally friendlier, much more profitable, and more worth pursuing than burying a multi-trillion dollar fuel resource in an unprovable million-year DGR.
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