Is Spent Fuel or Waste from Reprocessed Spent Fuel Simpler to Dispose of?
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC ENERGY AND MINERALS DIV
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Currently, the Department of Energy plans to permanently dispose of spent fuel without reprocessing, but some experts believe that this will waste a valuable source of uranium and plutonium and pose special waste isolation problems. Until the Congress makes a decision on the future of nuclear power, DOE has no option but to plan for any eventuality--including the potential geological disposal of spent fuel. This report concludes that spent fuel is more difficult to isolate from the biosphere than high-level waste reprocessed from spent fuel and discusses the status of DOEs efforts to provide a manmade barrier system which, when placed around the waste in a repository, will contain the radioactivity for at least the first 1,000 years.
- Geology, Geochemistry and Mineralogy
- Radiation Pollution and Control