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[en] In the United States, an approach to manage the aging of spent fuel dry storage systems was created by contributions from the regulatory body, storage facility owners, cask vendors, and the engineering community. The U.S. regulations for storing spent fuel beyond the first approved storage term require aging management activities to ensure that materials degradation will not adversely affect the safe storage of the spent fuel. Several guidance documents provide recommendations for complying with this regulation. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) developed NUREG-1927 and NEI 14-03, respectively, to describe methods to identify the components that support a safety function, to evaluate the aging mechanisms could affect safety, and to establish aging management activities. The NEI guidance also introduces a new system to share operating experience through an Institute of Nuclear Power Operations database. The NRC also developed NUREG-2214 to identify the credible materials aging mechanisms for several cask designs used in the United States. NUREG-2214 also provides example aging management programs that may be used to effectively manage aging. Those programs rely, in part, on consensus codes and standards for monitoring and inspection guidelines, such as American Concrete Institute codes and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. Finally, to provide oversight of aging management activities, the NRC is developing internal procedures to evaluate, through inspection, the storage facilities’ performance of their aging management programs. Lessons learned from NRC Temporary Instruction TI 2690/011 will inform the development of a new NRC inspection procedure. (author)
[en] As part of its efforts to help resolve the major climate and energy issues facing future generations over the next decades, France is committed to a global energy transition materialised through the Act of 17 August 2015 on the energy transition for green growth (LTECV). This act defines the main objectives for the medium and long term. Among these objectives, it is worth highlighting: — Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 40% between 1990 and 2030, and a 4-fold reduction in greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2050; — Development of renewable energy sources to reach 23% of the gross final energy consumption in 2020 and then 32% in 2030; — Reduction in nuclear energy’s contribution to electricity generation to reach 50% by around 2035. To achieve these objectives, the LTECV Act specifies the definition of a French national strategy to lower carbon emissions (SNBC) and a multi-year energy programme (PPE). The first version of this programme covers the periods 2016 to 2018 and 2018 to 2023. It must be reviewed every 5 years over a 10-year period. The main orientations of this PPE programme for the 2019-2028 period were published by the French government within the scope of a project announced in January 2019; they will be open to public consultation before their adoption scheduled for the end of summer. (author)
[en] The experience of nuclear fuel cycle facilities operation shows that explosions during reprocessing of radioactive material could lead to release of radioactive elements with consequences for environmental. The root cause of many of them is chemical interactions with heat and gas generation. Hazard identification methods have been developing for many years, but the specifics of the nuclear industry requires to adapt the approaches. The chemical processes are going to be used for solving the radioactive waste problems that means that the agreed by the scientific community approaches of the safety assessment should be developed. (author)
[en] As the world’s population is expanding and seeking improved standards of living, global demand for energy is inexorably going to increase. However, the existing energy generation mix will not properly address the global concerns over greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and depletion of fossil resources. An increased use of clean, safe, and affordable energy sources is required. The Generation IV International Forum (GIF) promotes nuclear energy as a key pillar towards sustainable and low carbon energy mixes. Advanced nuclear energy systems and innovative applications of nuclear technologies can provide solutions underpinning economic growth and supporting environmental stewardship in both the electrical and non-electrical sectors. Alongside distributed electricity generation systems with large shares of intermittent renewables (e.g. solar photovoltaic and wind), advanced nuclear technologies offer a reliable, decarbonized and dispatchable power generation source for the future. Generation IV systems offer additional features in terms of performance and sustainability compared to existing concepts. The use of high temperature coolants such as helium, liquid metals, liquid salts, or supercritical water offers additional design flexibility, allowing a significant increase in thermal efficiency, while also broadening industrial heat applications that can substantially displace fossil fuel usages. Advanced reactors provide dispatchable power supply and are able to complement variable power generation from renewables. Furthermore, some of the Generation IV systems make it even possible to enhance uranium utilization by a factor of up to 100 when deployed with an advanced fuel cycle. Recycling fissile materials paves the way to long-lasting fission reactors fueling.
[en] Clean energy transition is crucial in combating climate change. With progress in technology, the world is entering an age of clean energy with less dependence on fossil fuels. The share of natural gas, nuclear energy, solar power, wind power and hydropower in energy production and consumption is increasing rapidly. In some countries, clean energies take 60% of the energy mix. However, hydropower is highly restricted by regional resources and wind and solar power also have natural constraints. They can hardly be main power producers without a breakthrough in energy storage technology. Also, nuclear power has been demonstrated to be an important option in replacing coal fired power. Based on these factors, nuclear power is an important baseload power source which avoids price fluctuations and grid safety risks from renewable energy. Nuclear energy will still be an integral part of the future energy mix.
[en] Conclusion: • Despite strong technical evidence that nuclear energy could mitigate climate change and global warming, this carbon-free emission energy source is always questioned. • For nuclear power to be sustainable as a global source of emission-free energy, the fuel cycle should be: – Integrated; – Economically viable; – Safe; – Environmentally friendly; – Proliferation resistant; – Flexible to adapt to any policy or societal evolution.
[en] This publication provides guidance for assessing the sustainability of a nuclear energy system (NES) in the area of nuclear fuel cycle facility (NFCF) safety. It deals with NFCFs that may be potentially involved in the NES such as, mining, milling, refining, conversion, enrichment, fuel fabrication, spent fuel storage, and spent fuel reprocessing facilities. It augments the information presented in the earlier INPRO publications on the methodology for sustainability assessments. The publication is intended for use by organizations involved in the development and deployment of a NES, including planning, design, modification and technical support for NFCFs. INPRO is an international project to help ensure that nuclear energy is available to contribute in a sustainable manner to meeting the energy needs of the 21st century.
[en] With nuclear energy anyhow a necessary part of a sustainable and affordable energy future worldwide, intra-nuclear options to further improve the sustainable performance of nuclear energy have been researched and some developed since the early days of nuclear energy. These especially address the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle given the management of spent fuel (SF) being a socio-politically sensitive topic translating into technical-economic challenges for many of the back-end fuel cycle options. Especially in those countries with a large legacy of SF from the past decades of nuclear energy use, these SF-inventories become an increasing challenge. For small(er) nuclear power plant (NPP) parks, such a SF-inventory is even more challenging as the prime option to dispose of this SF in geological disposal facility (GDF) may become overly costly. These situations influence the acceptance of nuclear energy as sustainable energy source while nuclear newcomer countries watch which new SF-management options may become available in due time and well before such challenges may also pose to them. Though, SF-management does not have to be a „bottleneck‟ to nuclear energy use now nor in the future. Various SF-management options have been researched, some developed and some even industrialised. There‟s been expectations during the last 30 years that so-called “Generation-IV” systems or even more advanced “Generation-X” (partitioning & transmutation (P&T)) systems would become online by around the 2030s and able to resolve many of the challenges of such SF-management. Today, these expectations largely remain prospects for post-2050 with exception for some countries continuously advancing towards such advanced nuclear energy systems. Though, while the role of nuclear energy and thus its prospects in light of sustainable energy is today high on the agenda and will have to be clarified during the 2020s, a proper solution-oriented and responsible and above-all timely SF-management will need to go along and be realised by mid-century. This paper overviews which back-end fuel cycle strategies may construe such proper solution-oriented SF-management aligned to nuclear energy‟s role within the uncertain prospect to evolve soon towards “Generation-IV” systems. (author)
[en] Myanmar is strategically located in Southeast Asia, between China and India, and is endowed with abundant oil and gas, hydropower, coal and other natural resources. Despite that, the country’s energy sector has been underdeveloped because of limited financial and technical capacities. In 2017, the total installed capacity for power generation was 5,409 megawatts and the available capacity is only about 50 per cent of the installed potential due to water shortages for hydropower generation during the dry season. Furthermore, inadequate power supply has emerged as one of the most serious infrastructure constraints for the country’s sustainable economic growth. Only 35% of the total population had access to electricity in 2016 and economy of the country relies on the exporting of natural resources such as oil and gas, jades and teaks, but got more money by exporting teaks. Exporting teaks and overpopulation become the main causes to face deforestation in Myanmar and this leads to increase the emission of greenhouse gases. As a consequence, the temperature is rising, and it affects on climate change. Recorded highest temperature 47.2 ̊ C is the highest among ASEAN countries during the last decade. By changing climate, Myanmar is facing natural disasters such as cyclones, landslides, earthquakes, tsunami, floods, fire and drought. To contain the vulnerable climate change and to sustain the socioeconomic development of the country, Myanmar needs to consider to change the energy policies of the country. Nuclear energy is the only one solution to reduce carbon dioxide emissions while helping to improve energy security, providing affordable electricity, and facilitating economic and industrial development. (author)
[en] The work was conducted in the context of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) newly initiated activity on “approaches for nuclear power costs estimation and analysis” (the “Nuclear Cost Basis”, or NCB, project). The NCB provides guidelines and resources for developing consistent cost estimates and analyses covering, basically, all areas of a country’s nuclear power programme; from nuclear infrastructure development; to reactor construction and operation; to management of radioactive waste. The paper focuses on technologically mature, widely used, spent nuclear fuel storage options and technologies. Storage of spent nuclear fuel can be made At-Reactor (AR) or Away-from-Reactor (AFR) ― at Reactor-Site (AFR-RS) or Off-Site (AFR-OS) ―. These options may involve wet (water pools) and dry storage technologies (casks, vaults, silos). For each of these technologies and options, an effort has been made to synthesize existing literature and compile a comprehensive list of key factors affecting costs. This list will be used as a basis for developing standard cost categories and cost breakdown structures for costing purposes. (author)