The Path Forward for Expansion of Nuclear as A Sustainable Energy Option

Olson, A. L., Idaho Cleanup Project
Gorensek, M. B., Savannah River National Laboratory

US nuclear energy policy is currently promulgated via the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). This initiative would use a closed nuclear fuel cycle to enhance energy security, achieving its goal by having nations with secure, advanced nuclear capabilities provide fuel to other nations for power generation only. GNEP would require development and deployment of technologies for recycling and consumption of long-lived radwaste. Its focus is on nuclear power expansion, proliferation-resistant recycling, minimized nuclear waste, advanced burner reactors, reliable fuel services, appropriately-sized reactors, and nuclear safeguards. GNEP strategy appears to be addressing cost and safety issues, as well as safeguards and proliferation, but it does not appear to be addressing the waste disposal issue in much depth other than to suggest separation schemes that could optimize repository space. Nuclear power and the fuel cycle fell into public disfavor when waste processing and disposal issues were not adequately addressed. They must be resolved to the public’s satisfaction before nuclear power can enjoy any resurrection. This session will consist of invited papers that addresses GNEP strategy with the intent of establishing a dialog about this important issue.



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