Closing the CANDU nuclear reactor fuel cycle with a Modified PUREX Processing System: Reducing, Refining and Recycling CANDU Spent Fuel
34th Annual CNS Conference - 2013 June 09-12


Presented at:
34th Annual CNS Conference
2013 June 09-12
Location:
Toronto, Canada
Session Title:
Environment & Spent Fuel Management 1

Authors:
Alexander Koven (University of Toronto)
Jinah Kim (University of Toronto)
Juhx Pellazar (University of Toronto)
Leon Wu (University of Toronto)
Marty Tzolov (University of Toronto)
Sameena Mulam (University of Toronto)
Eric Jelinski (University of Toronto)
Peter Ottensmeyer (University of Toronto)
  

Abstract

Currently, CANDU nuclear reactors in Canada utilize only 0.74% of the potential energy in fresh fuel bundles before storing the remainder as nuclear ‘waste’ at on-site nuclear waste management facilities. With the modified PUREX processing system, it is economically possible to close the fuel cycle by extracting and converting the remaining 99% to usable energy. It is also feasible to separate out rare earths and other fission products, which decay much faster than the longer-lived actinides in the spent fuel and may be sold as precious metals. Overall, the process is designed to mitigate proliferation efforts, as well as produce a mixed-oxide fuel for reuse in CANDU reactors and metallic fuel for use in fast-neutron reactors. The multiple products generated create a profit centre.

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