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Australian Proposal For Advanced Nuclear Fuel Cycle’s Benefits

World Affairs – Energy

Open Eyes Opinion {source: WNA}

Australian proposal for advanced fuel cycle’s benefits

In the context of the announced royal commission in South Australia on nuclear energy prospects for the state, an opposition senator has put forward a proposal for boldly leaping ahead of present nuclear power technology and utilising some of the world’s spent fuel from present reactors to fuel Generation IV fast reactors, via an electrometallurgical reprocessing plant.

The whole venture would be supported by relieving overseas governments of their used fuel, effectively high-level waste, which they would pay South Australia to take, to use for fuel in the new-generation reactors.

Low-cost electricity as continuous, reliable supply would transform the state’s economy following the demise of motor manufacturing there. After processing and use, very little and relatively short-lived waste (basically just fission products) would remain.

This proposal, which has been put together and researched over the last year or more, will be put to the royal commission.

Other proposals are likely to include straightforward deep geological disposal of overseas high-level radioactive wastes in the state’s geologically stable, dry and relatively unpopulated north.

This would be similar to such projects for direct disposal of used fuel in Finland and Sweden, and advanced proposals in USA and (for vitrified high-level wastes) in France.

Also no doubt the building of large and/or small conventional nuclear reactors will be considered, the former probably requiring increased grid capacity with Victoria.

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