Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New-generation reactors help reduce nuclear waste

Date:
December 23, 2009
Source:
Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland)
Summary:
Advanced technologies offer ways of reducing the quantity of nuclear waste. “New types of nuclear power plants can switch to a closed fuel cycle. It means that nuclear waste wouldn’t be buried as such; instead, it would be chemically dissolved and the recyclable component re-processed into new fuel. As a result, many of the most long-lived radioactive substances could be used at new types of facilities,” says one of the researchers.

Advanced technologies offer ways of reducing the quantity of nuclear waste. "New types of nuclear power plants can switch to a closed fuel cycle. It means that nuclear waste wouldn't be buried as such; instead, it would be chemically dissolved and the recyclable component re-processed into new fuel. As a result, many of the most long-lived radioactive substances could be used at new types of facilities," says Professor Riitta Kyrki-Rajamäki of Lappeenranta University of Technology.

Professor Kyrki-Rajamäki heads the New Type Nuclear Reactors project which is part of the Sustainable Energy Research Programme launched by the Academy of Finland. Very much different from the existing light water reactors, the new types of reactors have already attracted worldwide interest.

The New Type Nuclear Reactors project studies what is known as 'fourth-generation nuclear reactors'. The purpose of the project is to improve the analysis capabilities in view of these Gen IV reactors -- in other words, the development and application of new computational and experimental methodologies for studying the reactors. The main fields of science involved are reactor physics, reactor dynamics, materials technology, thermal hydraulics, and computational fluid dynamics.

While the use of nuclear energy does not generate significant emissions of greenhouse gases or fine particles, the inexpensive uranium resources required for light water reactors will only last for the next 200 years. If the number of nuclear power plants increases, the resources will be depleted even faster. Currently, there are some 450 units in operation with around 50 more being built. "The transition to new types of reactors over the next few decades would guarantee that the existing reserves of raw material for nuclear fuel last for thousands of years to come," explains Professor Kyrki-Rajamäki.

Professor Kyrki-Rajamäki also emphasises that the new reactor concepts would present many challenges because no compromise must be made on reactor safety. It is important to prepare safety standards for these reactor types that differ from the existing facilities to a considerable degree. For one thing, the new plants would make use of new materials that would have to be tested to ensure safety. For example, the new graphite-moderated reactors would have a fuel cooling system based on heat radiation which is easier to control; however, a new safety-critical issue would be the prevention of atmospheric interaction.

According to Professor Kyrki-Rajamäki, Finland should be actively involved in international activities in order to influence and benefit from the development of new types of nuclear reactors. Through the New Type Nuclear Reactors project, Finland is contributing to the international cooperation through research and by training new scientists for the nuclear sector.

The other parties involved in the project in addition to Lappeenranta University of Technology are Helsinki University of Technology and the Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). "New-generation reactors help reduce nuclear waste." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091221130029.htm>.
Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). (2009, December 23). New-generation reactors help reduce nuclear waste. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091221130029.htm
Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). "New-generation reactors help reduce nuclear waste." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091221130029.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) — 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) — Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) — Daimler kicks off a round of second-quarter earnings results from Europe's top carmakers with a healthy set of numbers - prompting hopes that stronger sales in Europe will counter weakness in emerging markets. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) — Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins