France and United Kingdom Face Same Plutonium Peril As Japan

Nuclear fuel recycling refers to a process of treating spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power stations with chemicals and extracting reusable uranium and plutonium from it. This project has so far been unsuccessful and there are no prospects that the project will work.

In International news, the  United Kingdom is planning to dispose of some of its surplus plutonium, which it had accumulated as a result of nuclear fuel reprocessing, in an underground repository.  The U.K. has steadily accumulated plutonium, but failed to develop fast-breeder nuclear reactors, which had been viewed as the core of the peaceful use of such a substance.

The U.K. has already abandoned developing fast-breeder nuclear reactors, and is set to give up nuclear fuel reprocessing as well.

 

The U.K. ended up being the world’s largest holder of surplus plutonium.

The U.K. faced a major challenge in dealing with a massive amount of plutonium, which needs to be stored safely. The storage of plutonium costs a huge amount of money, but the U.K. can no longer afford to pay for this.

 

The U.K. then attempted to develop technology for the use of plutonium-uranium MOX fuel in thermal reactors at nuclear power stations, a project known in Japan as “pluthermal.” However, the country has been unsuccessful in producing such fuel.

The same is true with Japan. Areva SA, a nuclear technology company in France, is now manufacturing plutonium-uranium MOX fuel, but questions remain as to its quality.

Source: Mainichi

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