Burning waste or playing with fire? Waste management considerations for non-traditional reactors. Lindsay Krall and Allison Macfarlane. Why some advanced nuclear reactor technologies—funded for their supposed waste management benefits—will actually exacerbate spent fuel disposal issues. Advanced reactor developers are receiving substantial funding on the pretense that extraordinary waste management benefits can be reaped through adoption of these technologies. Here, the authors describe why molten salt reactors and sodium-cooled fast reactors – due to the unusual chemical compositions of their fuels – will actually exacerbate spent fuel storage and disposal issues. Before these reactors are licensed, policymakers must determine the implications of metal- and salt-based fuels vis a vis the Nuclear Waste Policy Act and the Continued Storage Rule.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 31st Aug 2018 read more »