A Comparative Study on the Economics of Reprocessing and Direct Disposal of Nuclear Spent Fuel

사용후 핵연료의 제처리와 직접 처분의 경제성 비교 연구

  • Published : 2000.06.30


Nuclear fuel cycle choices and costs are important in considering energy policies, fuel diversity, security of supply and associated social and environmental impacts. Particularly, the nuclear spent fuel is very important in view of high activity and the need of long term management. This study focuses on the comparison of reprocessing and direct disposal of nuclear spent fuel in terms of cost, safety and public acceptability. The results of the study show that the direct disposal is about 7% more economical than the reprocessing. In terms of safety, the results show that the risk of vitrified HLW (high-level radioactive waste) is less than directly disposed spent fuel. For the public acceptability, both of the methods are not well understood and therefore they are not accepted. In conclusion, it is necessary to guarantee the safety of the both spent fuel processing methods through continuous development of associated technology and to have a fuel cycle policy which should consider not only the economics but also social and environmental impacts.