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WIREs Energy Environ.
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Transmutation of high‐level nuclear waste by means of accelerator driven system

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To be able to answer the worlds’ increasing demand for energy, nuclear energy must be part of the energy basket. The generation of nuclear energy produces, besides energy, also high‐level nuclear waste, which is nowadays for geological storage. Transmutation of the minor actinides and long‐lived fission products that arise from the reprocessing of the nuclear waste can reduce the radiological impact of these radioactive elements. Transmutation can be completed in an efficient way in fast neutron spectrum facilities. Both critical fast reactors and subcritical accelerator driven systems are potential candidates as dedicated transmutation systems. Nevertheless, an accelerator driven system operates in a flexible and safer manner even with a core loading containing a high amount of minor actinides leading to a high more‐efficient transmutation approach. WIREs Energy Environ 2014, 3:60–69. doi: 10.1002/wene.82 This article is categorized under: Fossil Fuels > Science and Materials Fossil Fuels > Systems and Infrastructure Fossil Fuels > Climate and Environment
Overview of the MYRRHA reactor.
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Concept of an accelerator driven system.
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Radiotoxicity of radioactive waste. Reproduced with permission of The Centre for Information and Documentation.
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Schematic overview of partitioning.
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Neutron spectrum of Am241. Figure produced using Java‐based Nuclear Information Software (JANIS) 3 (http://www.oecd‐nea.org/janis).
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Fractions of waste produced by 1 tonne of uranium in a pressurized water reactor after a burn up of 50.000 MWd/tHM.
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Spallation versus fission.
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Cut in the MYRRHA Core.
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