MIT Report Endorses Centralized Interim Storage for Spent Reactor Fuel

"A Massachusetts Institute of Technology task force report called yesterday for the United States to create a few centralized storage sites for spent nuclear reactor fuel in the next decades, while researching new reactor designs that could reduce the challenges of permanent geological burial of nuclear wastes.

The report, 'The Future of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle,' co-chaired by MIT professors Mujid Kazimi, Ernest Moniz and Charles Forsberg, also concludes that worldwide supplies of uranium will be sufficient to serve a tenfold increase in light water reactors, each operating for 60 years. 'There is no shortage of uranium resources that might constrain future commitments to build new nuclear plants for at least much of this century,' the report says.

That judgment leads to another: that the United States and other countries should continue to rely for decades on the 'once through' open fuel cycle with light water reactors. That would allow time for more research on 'fast' reactor designs whose operation generates new fuel and becomes self-sustaining."

Peter Behr reports for ClimateWire September 17, 2010.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010