Utilization of nuclear fuels and management of nuclear wastes have become major topics of public discussion. Under the auspices of the American Physical Society this study was undertaken as an independent evaluation of technical issues in the use of fissionable materials in nuclear fuel cycles, together with their principal economic, environmental, health and safety implications. Reprocessing and recycling in light water reactors were examined, along with technical measures proposed as possible safeguards; advanced reactor fuel cycles were also studied for their resource and safeguards implications. Much of the work of the group centered on the principal alternatives for disposal of radioactive wastes and control of effluents. The group examined the research and development programs sponsored by government agencies along with associated relationships among agencies and between government and private industry. Available information was also considered on nuclear fuel resources, and on important economic and environmental aspects of the various fuel cycles in order to strive for a balanced comparative study. The report presents many conclusions on various aspects of the nuclear fuel cycles and also provides recommendations concerning present utilization and future improvement of fuel cycle technology.
© 1977 American Physical Society