The effects of isotopic separation on closed nuclear fuel cycles

Flanagan, Robert Ryan
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This paper investigates the potential benefits to the fuel cycle outcomes of removing a single isotope during separation processes. Two strategies for managing the removed isotope are considered. The first strategy looks at removal of a short to intermediate lived isotope from a mass stream to be recycled and subsequently recycling its decay daughter in a transmuting reactor. The second investigates the effect of removing a long lived fission product from high level waste and recycling it into the transmuting reactor. This analysis shows that the removal of Cm-244 using the first strategy provides a marked benefit to several fuel cycle metrics. The second strategy benefits the long term radioactivity measured from the high level waste from isotopes including Zr-93 and Cs-137.