The disposal of the US spent nuclear fuel inventory is an important issue for increasing the nuclear power production and closing the nuclear fuel cycle of the current generation of nuclear power reactors. Worldwide activities are under way to develop, construct, and operate subcritical systems for different nuclear energy applications. A few subcritical assemblies driven by proton accelerators have been proposed to: transmute all the minor actinides of the US spent nuclear fuel inventory; generate nuclear power; significantly reduce the storage capacity of the required geological repository; and incinerate a large fraction of the long lived fission products. Near term deployment, current technologies with minimum extrapolations, a single spent nuclear fuel processing step, and fixed accelerator power are the main features of these systems. In this talk, these activities are summarized and these systems are discussed.
Argonne Physics Division Colloquium Schedule