This study evaluates front-end nuclear fuel cycle costs assuming that uranium recovered during the reprocessing of commercial light-water reactor (LWR) spent nuclear fuel is available to be recycled and used in the place of natural uranium. This report explores the relationship between the costs associated with using a natural uranium fuel cycle, in which reprocessed uranium (RepU) is not recycled, with those associated with using RepU.
Ever since the 1950s, plutonium, used in fas reactors, has been seen as the key to unlocking the vast energy resource contained in the the world's uranium reserves. However, the reductions in expected nuclear reactor installation rates, combined with discovery of additional uranium, have led to a lengthening in the perceived time interval before fast reactors, the most effective users of plutonium, will make large demands on plutonium supplies. THere are several options concerning its use or storage in the meantime.