Cover: Reprocessing of nuclear fuel and plutonium breeder commercialization: implications of deferral

Reprocessing of nuclear fuel and plutonium breeder commercialization: implications of deferral

Published 1978

by Wayne D. Perry

Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback64 pages $23.00

Analyzes implications of deferred light water reactor (LWR) spent fuel reprocessing upon the availability and cost of plutonium needed for liquid metal fast breeder reactor (LMFBR) commercialization. The analysis is predicated upon the assumption that U.S. commercial reprocessing of nuclear fuel would not otherwise proceed, because of U.S. weapons antiproliferation policies or because of findings that the near-term economic benefits of reprocessing for recycle of uranium and fissile plutonium in LWRs are either small or nonexistent. As background, this paper reviews U.S. government policies on deferral of commercial-scale reprocessing and plutonium breeding reactors, and summarizes prior U.S. economic cost/benefit analyses, all of which indicate small benefits, if any, of investment in reprocessing for recycle in a LWR economy. The paper models the time and capacity of commercial-scale LWR reprocessing facilities and the associated minimum present discounted costs that would support a decision to proceed with U.S. LMFBR commercialization at a later time.

This report is part of the RAND paper series. The paper was a product of RAND from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.