The long-term hazard of radioactive waste arising from nuclear energy production is a matter of continued discussion and public concern in many countries. Through partitioning and transmutation (P&T) of the actinides and some of the long-lived fission products, the radiotoxicity of high-level waste (HLW) can be reduced by a factor of 100 compared with the current once-through fuel cycle. This requires very effective reactor and fuel cycle strategies, including fast reactors (FR) and/or accelerator-driven, sub-critical systems (ADS).
The present study compares FR- and ADS-based actinide transmutation systems with respect to reactor properties, fuel cycle requirements, safety, economic aspects and R&D needs. Several advanced fuel cycle strategies are analysed in a consistent manner to provide insight into the essential differences between the various systems in which the role of ADS is emphasised.
The report includes a summary aimed at policy makers and research managers as well as a detailed technical section for experts in this domain.