This study examines whether reprocessing and plutonium recycle will make radioactive waste management more effective and economical. It compares the wastes generated in three alternative nuclear fuel cycles. The first cycle is low-enriched uranium in once-through mode (LEU-OT), which is the choice followed by the great majority of the civilian nuclear reactor operators in the world. The second cycle is mixed-oxide fuel in once-through mode (MOX-OT), which reprocessing-pursuing countries currently prefer. The third cycle is self-generating recycle (SGR) where plutonium is reprocessed and recycled repeatedly in the reactor throughout its operating life. Although current cost picture and the cost trends make SGR unlikely, it is included so that one can see its advantages and disadvantages for potential use in the future.
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