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Surprising Science

Spent Nuclear Fuel: Resource or Waste?

“A new report argues that the world has plenty of uranium but needs to make wise choices about what to do with it once its been depleted in a nuclear reactor.”

“The Massachusetts Institute of Technology released a report on the nuclear fuel cycle paid for by the nuclear industry. In short, the report finds that uranium resources are not likely to run out in the next century, even if the U.S. alone builds as many as 1,000 nuclear reactors. Therefore, either reprocessing or recycling spent nuclear fuel, as the French and Japanese do, is likely to be a waste of money better spent on improving the light-water reactors presently in use. The funds could also be used to create a $670-million-per-year research and development program for nuclear power as well as to determine the best fuel cycle over the course of the next several decades.”


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