Given its potential significance for public health and the environment, the impact of radioactive releases during important steps of nuclear energy production must be considered when selecting among different fuel cycles. With this in mind, the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) has undertaken a comparative study of the radiological impacts of two main fuel cycle options: one with and one without reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. The study compares the respective impacts of the two options based on generic models and assumptions as well as actual data. It concludes that the difference between them is not significant.
A wealth of recent data assembled and evaluated by an international expert geam is provided in annex.