Sunday, 1 April 2012

Consuming plutonium as fuel while generating electricity

Great advancement! consuming plutonium as fuel while generating electricity!: "A generation of "fast" nuclear reactors could consume Britain's radioactive waste stockpile as fuel, providing enough low-carbon electricity to power the country for more than 500 years, according to figures confirmed by the chief scientific adviser to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc).
Britain's large stockpile of nuclear waste includes more than 100 tonnes of plutonium and 35,000 tonnes of depleted uranium. The plutonium in particular presents a security risk as a potential target for terrorists and will cost billions to dispose of safely. The government is currently considering options for disposing of or managing it.
Decc's preferred option is to build a plant to combine the plutonium with other materials in so-called mixed-oxide fuel (Mox), which is less dangerous than the current plutonium-oxide powder. But there is currently no large-scale capacity for consuming Mox fuel, and the previous Mox plant at Sellafield has been shut after being beset by operating and financial problems.
In addition, Mox fuel allows only a tiny proportion of the energy in the waste to be converted into electricity.
The engineering firm GE Hitachi has submitted an alternative proposal based on its Prism fast reactor, which could consume the plutonium as fuel while generating electricity." ... this is the link to the original announcement: ...

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