Fuel Reprocessing and Waste Handling

Crucial to the concept of sustainable nuclear energy is a closed fuel cycle, that is, recycling the radioactive fuel and fission products to as full an extent as possible. The once-through mindset of conventional nuclear power cannot continue if we are to achieve any sense of sustainability with respect to nuclear power. That said, a closed fuel cycle requires extensive reprocessing of nuclear waste. The once-through
nuclear fuel cycle is inherently unsustainable, but it is certainly legitimate to weigh the safety issues of excessive handling of radioactive waste (as in reprocessing) against the safety concerns of “disposing” of the waste for thousands of years.

Updated: September 26, 2015 — 10:04 am