The Nuclear Fuel Cycle in the U.S.: What Are the Options?

Originally delivered Sep 11, 2013
Developed by: AIChE
  • Type:
    Archived Webinar
  • Level:
  • Duration:
    1 hour
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Chris Phillips describes both reprocessing and long term storage as complementary ways of dealing with the used nuclear fuel (UNF) from the US's nuclear reactors, which currently amounts to almost 70,000 tons and which is increasing at about 2,000 tons/year. He also explains the Conceptual Design, Technology Roadmap and Business Plan that EnergySolutions has produced for a US UNF reprocessing, new fuel fabrication and waste treatment facility, and how this could be built and operated economically in the US, given access to the US nuclear waste fund, and how it could be further developed to deal with UNF from future US fast reactors, if these are ultimately adopted .

Candido Pereira provides an overview of the nuclear fuel cycle and possible future directions for sustainable nuclear power production with an emphasis on chemical processing and recycle. The presentation covers the basic fuel cycle operations, advanced concepts and options, and the objectives and drivers for future development. The emphasis is on technologies that enable recycle of the long-lived fissionable radionuclides present in used nuclear fuel to fuel advanced reactors with the concommitant disposition of fission products in superior waste-disposal forms.  He discusses technologies currently under development to support different fuel cycle options using the recent work in advanced separations at Argonne National Laboratory as illustration.


Candido Pereira

Candido Pereira is a Principal Chemical Engineer in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division of Argonne National Laboratory. He currently leads the Process Simulation and Equipment Design Group, which supports modeling and simulation efforts in separations for the nuclear fuel cycle and in medical isotope production. He has worked on small-scale liquid-liquid extraction studies, and on the design of associated separations process flowsheets and equipment. He previously led the development of processes for treating spent electrorefiner salts by ion exchange and of ceramic waste forms...Read more

Christopher Phillips

Chris Phillips is currently Vice President for Applied Technology with EnergySolutions, managing a range of technology inputs to EnergySolutions’ projects. He has an Honors Degree in Applied Chemistry from Brunel University, London, England. Until 2000 he worked for British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) at its Sellafield site in northwest England. During that time he developed, designed, commissioned and saw into hot operation the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP) for UK and foreign used nuclear fuel. In 2000 he moved to the US, working initially with BNFL Inc. and, since 2006, with...Read more

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