Nuclear energy is the preferred option for electrical power generation in an increasing number of countries around the world. However the growth in nuclear power depends on completing /closing the nuclear fuel cycle and this depends on safe, economic reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel and responsible storage and disposal of nuclear waste.
Very few countries contemplating new nuclear build programmes have the expertise and infrastructure to complete the nuclear fuel cycle. France generates 80% of its electricity from nuclear power and has, arguably, the greatest expertise and experience of facilities for completing the fuel cycle. Électricité de France (EDF), which operates over 70 nuclear reactors worldwide, has chosen to recycle its fuel assemblies.
The lecture examines the importance and challenges of closing the nuclear fuel cycle, illustrates how the expertise and facilities have been deployed on an industrial scale in France, and highlights the lessons for other countries. Ongoing issues arising from the Fukushima incident for fuel cycle activities and facilities will also be discussed.
Recorded on 26 October 2011. For more information please visit http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/eventssummary/event_27-9-2011-11-17-17