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PostPosted: Mar 30, 2010 10:29 pm 
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Location: Oklahoma
The Times of India carried this story today: US-India-reach-nuclear-reprocessing-deal

WASHINGTON: India and the United States have concluded a nuclear fuel reprocessing agreement to advance their bilateral civilian nuclear deal, the Obama administration announced on Monday.

A similar story appeared in the New York times: U.S., India Finish Nuclear Reprocessing Arrangements

The story also appeared in the paper addition of the Wallstreet Journal.

The deal basically lifts the restriction that previously kept India from reprocessing US supplied fuel after it's burned once in a reactor.

In nations with easy access to cheap uranium ore, there's not much incentive to reprocess. It costs a bit more than a once-through cycle, and only reduces ore usage by about 30% for light water reactors.

For India, which does not have much domestic uranium, it's much more significant. Their locally built AHWR-300 can, at least in theory, be operated as a near-breeder. With reprocessing, it might breed 90% of its own fuel, using locally available thorium as the fertile material. The needed 10% makeup fuel could come from reprocessed imported fuel.

Instead of a 30% increase in uranium fuel utilization, they could support 3 GW of AHWR with the waste from 1GW of imported light water reactors.

With the added cost of reprocessing, they may choose to power all of their reactors with imported fuel and maintain a modest strategic reserve of fresh fuel, while simply stockpiling their spent fuel at an interim storage facility. This would still give them much of the energy security, especially if they built a reprocessing pilot plant in the near term. In that way, they could ramp up a reprocessing industry quickly in the event of a supply disruption.

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Nathan Wilson, MSEE


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PostPosted: Mar 31, 2010 6:54 am 
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This has been a log-standing Indian demand. Plutonium from 2 of 150 MW boiling water reactors could fuel one or two FBR's. The Chinese have tried out recovered uranium from LWR for PHWR fuel. Reprocessing will produce hundreds of tons of PHWR fuel and a ton or two of reactor grade plutonium. Vacated spent fuel space can be used in subsequent years or other reactors at site.


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PostPosted: Jan 22, 2014 11:31 am 
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Joined: Nov 15, 2013 3:54 am
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India does need larger capacity reprocessing plants. The largest they have is 100 ton capacity, while Japan and UK plants are 800 and 900 ton or even higher capacity.

Does this US deal just give India the 'right' to reprocess fuel from imported LWRs, or does it also allow India to purchase design tech for larger reprocessing plants?


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PostPosted: Jan 28, 2014 1:46 am 
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I guess it is no objection to reprocessing imported fuel. Bigger reprocessing plants may come up in due course.
It may be better to go for pyroprocessing as major requirement is recycling of fuel in fast reactors/thorium fueled reactors. Chloride volatility or electrolysis will leave less of liquid waste, still a problem in the US.


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