The Department of Energy has awarded four contracts to study the feasibility of using recycled nuclear power plant fuel in a new breed of reactors.
INRA will complete three studies by 2008 detailing the technologies needed, designs for a recycling center and recycling reactor, and business plans for nuclear fuel recycling and reuse. If the DOE decides the technology is feasible, a plant could be operational as early as 2020, said Laurence Pernot, an AREVA spokeswoman.
Prior studies have shown that recycling spent nuclear fuel not only reduces the amount of fuel heading to nuclear waste facilities, but can provide power profitably, Pernot said.
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