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The Global Nuclear Energy Partnership John W. Herczeg U.S. Department of Energy U.S. Women in Nuclear The Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh, Pa July 18, 2006 What is GNEP?

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the global nuclear energy partnership john w herczeg u s department of energy

The Global Nuclear Energy PartnershipJohn W. Herczeg U.S. Department of Energy

U.S. Women in Nuclear

The Westin Convention Center

Pittsburgh, Pa

July 18, 2006

slide2

What is GNEP?

This morning, I want to speak to you about one part of this initiative: our plans to expand the use of safe and clean nuclear power. Nuclear power generates large amounts of low-cost electricity without emitting air pollution or greenhouse gases.

….my Administration has announced a bold new proposal called the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership. Under this partnership, America will work with nations that have advanced civilian nuclear energy programs, such as France, Japan, and Russia. Together, we will develop and deploy innovative, advanced reactors and new methods to recycle spent nuclear fuel. This will allow us to produce more energy, while dramatically reducing the amount of nuclear waste and eliminating the nuclear byproducts that unstable regimes or terrorists could use to make weapons.

President George W. Bush

Radio Address: February 18, 2006

slide3

GNEP Goals

Lots of Nuclear Power

(1000 ~2000 GWyr by 2050)

Reduced Proliferation Risk

GNEP Has Two Simultaneous Goals

GNEP Principles:

  • Global Issues require global solutions
  • Spent Fuel is an asset to be managed – not a waste.
slide4

Fuel Leasing

Fuel

Fuel Cycle States

Reactor (Partner) States

GNEP Fuel Leasing Principles

  • Encourage expansion of nuclear power

Spent Fuel

  • Should make “commercial” sense
  • Consistent with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Key Non-proliferation Element of GNEP is Fuel Leasing

possible fuel leasing configuration

Repository

Repository

Possible Fuel Leasing Configuration

Reactor

Partner State

Thermal

Reactor

Fuel

Enriched

Uranium

Spent

Fuel

ORE

Separate

Recycle

Fast

Reactor

Fuel

Fuel Cycle State

slide7

Reliable Fuel Service Partners

  • Shared GNEP goals: more nuclear energy, less proliferation
  • Fuel Cycle Nations: operate reactors & fuel cycle facilities
  • User Nations operate reactors, lease and return fuel
  • IAEA: safeguards & fuel assurances

GNEP Vision

slide8

GNEP Process Just Beginning

Countries Approached by U.S. to be possible Fuel Cycle States

Japan – active follow-up

France – active follow -up

Russia – active follow - up

United Kingdom (In midst of Government Energy Study)

China (Follow-up being arranged)

~ 40 Countries briefed at International Atomic Energy Agency

Science Attaches briefed in DC

Detailed Discussion with Canada, South Korea

International Response Positive

progress
Progress
  • U.S. Public Support:
    • Nuclear Power Plants orders getting closer (EPACT, NP2010)
      • Potentially 25 new plants in the next 15 years in the U.S. (NRC estimate)
    • 43 Expressions of Interest to host GNEP recycling demonstration projects
  • Yucca Mountain:
    • Legislation submitted to Congress
    • Congressional support for SNF recycling & interim storage
  • International Framework:
    • Fuel cycle nations share vision for secure sustainable nuclear energy
    • Much agreement among major fuel cycle nations and the U.S. to
      • Avoid the need to produce separated pure plutonium
      • Transmute the transuranics to reduce the burden of eventual disposal
    • Technical discussions ongoing to define potential R&D partnerships
      • Japan, Russia, France, UK, China
    • Need to address obstacles to partnership created by US criteria
      • Canada, Australia, South Korea, Brazil, URENCO states…

Progress & Insights

progress11
Progress
  • Technology Maturity:
    • Possible to start now on GNEP
      • Forty-year base of experience with liquid metal fast reactors and test reactors
      • France, U.K., Japan and Russia have reprocessing (PUREX) facilities and experience
      • Industry interest
    • Technology Challenges for GNEP is transuranic recycle
      • Separation, fuel fabrication, burning and recycle of transuranic fuel
    • U.S. should focus on developing integrated recycling center
      • Build Demonstrations
        • Interim process storage needed to feed the recycle facility
        • A sodium fast burner reactor
      • Targeted advanced fuel cycle research
        • Focus on gaps not solved or pursued by industry in transuranic recycle
    • GNEP recycling can be secured cost-effectively in scale up
      • Could process material to always have radiation equivalent to spent fuel or be in lowest category of attractiveness for a weapon
      • Blending actinides with uranium good for security during fuel fabrication

Progress & Insights

demonstrated technologies required r d
Demonstrated Technologies & Required R&D

Chopping and

LWR Spent

Fuel

Uranium

Product

Conversion

Nitric Acid

UREX Process

Dissolution

Well understood &demonstrated, fewissues associated with scale-up

Technetium

TRU + Fission Products

Decay Storage

Cs/Sr

U

O

3

8

CCD-PEG

Cladding Hullsand Iodine

Powder

of Cs

&

Sr

Understood &

demonstrated at

lab-scale/prototypic

environment

TRU

+

Remaining Fission Products

High-Level

Waste Form

(Vitrification)

Fission

Products

TRUEX

Process

Still significant R&D, not well understood & not demonstrated

at any scale

Advanced

Burner Reactor

Lanthanides

TRU + Lanthanides

.

Product

Conversion &

Packaging

TRU and Lanthanides Oxides

UREX +1

Nitric Acid

Re-dissolution

U3O8 for fuel fabrication

TALSPEAK

Process

Storage/Disposal of

Remaining U3O8

Advanced Fuel

Fabrication

TRU

Blending and

Product

Conversion

Progress & Insights

summary
Summary
  • GNEP vision - vibrant
    • Making progress in addressing challenges
  • International partnership more essential for technology path
    • Success of US program more dependent on R&D at foreign facilities in bypassing engineering demos
    • Interest by Japan, France, Russia makes manageable
  • Important to enlist partners in GNEP outside P-5
    • Leverage the real political support for GNEP that outstrips the ability to implement the technology but helps define its mission

Path Forward

slide14

Key U.S. Program Elements

  • Expand nuclear power (NP2010)
  • Manage & minimize spent fuel (Yucca Mountain)
  • Demonstrate recycle technology (UREX+, Pyro)
  • Demonstrate Advanced Burner Reactors (Sodium FSR)
  • Establish reliable fuel services (Leasing, Backup)
  • Demonstrate small, exportable reactors (Robust, Secure)
  • Enhanced nuclear safeguards technology (Design Norms)

GNEP Vision

slide16

Japan (France)

Russia

Maintain LWR

(Export LWR)

Expand LWR

Export LWR

Interim Storage

Interim Storage (international)

Recycle PUREX/MOX

Recycle PUREX

Fast Breeder Reactors

Fast Breeder Reactors

Disposition =

(Spent Fuel) –(U +Pu))

Disposition =

(Spent Fuel –(U +Pu))

  • Disposition,
  • Cost of FBR

Issues:

  • Infrastructure
  • Disposition,
  • Cost of FBR

Different Current National Strategies

slide17

NP-2010/Energy Policy Act

Expand LWR

Export (L)WR

Small Reactors

Issues: $ Separation

Actinide Fuel

$ FBuR

“Interim” Storage

UREX +

Recycle

Fast Burner Reactors

(Pyroprocessing)

Demonstration Programs

R&D

Especially Simulation

Disposition =

Spent Fuel - (U+C/S+ Actinides)

Yucca Mountain (1)

Proposed GNEP Strategy for U.S.

  • An Integrated Approach:
    • Domestic/International
    • DOE: NE/RW/SC/NA
    • DOE Labs (9)
    • Industry