UWFDM-1285 Current Challenges Facing Recycling and Clearance of Fusion Radioactive Materials

Abstract

The favorable environmental characteristics of fusion power can be fully exploited only in a power plant design that pays careful attention to the disposition of active materials arising during operation and at end-of-life. In order to minimize (or eliminate) the quantity of such material that remains as waste requiring long-term storage (> 100 y), maximum use should be made of both recycling within the nuclear industry and “clearance” for scrapping or release to the commercial market as non-radioactive products. For the clearance of materials, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, European Commission, Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, and International Atomic Energy Agency recently issued revised clearance levels. In this paper the implications for fusion materials of these new levels are considered, with examples of re-evaluation of the clearance index for selected power plant concepts. Concerning recycling within the nuclear industry, power plant studies have employed criteria based solely on radiological parameters. Reviews of remote procedures currently used within the nuclear industry suggest that these criteria have been unduly conservative, and this paper makes recommendations for revised criteria, and assesses the implications of their use.

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