Climate change is one of the main issues facing humanity. Due to its low CO2 emission, nuclear power is part of a sustainable energy mix. However, safety and waste issues cannot be taken lightly. For the latter the way forward is to recycle spent fuel with the goal to close the fuel cycle. This eases ultimate radioactive waste management, increases proliferation resistance and drastically improves economy and sustainability by better use of fuel resources.
The SNETP deployment plan describes a technical needs fuel recycling including partitioning of spent fuel, fabrication and characterisation of minor actinide bearing fuel and the development of transmutation systems.
This project follows that plan and answers to NRFP7 of the 2018-2019 EURATOM call: Research and Innovation for Partitioning and/or Transmutation. It focusses on research on advanced partitioning to efficiently separate Am from spent fuel, on experimental and fuel performance code development work studying the behaviour of Am bearing fuel under irradiation and on the safety related research supporting the licensing process of MYRRHA in its role in the development trajectory for a dedicated accelerator driven transmuter. It may be noted that for first time, the communities working of partitioning, transmutation and the development of MYRRHA are joint in one project.
Besides the technical work described above, dedicated work packages deals with education focussing on pre-and post-graduate students, and with dissemination where besides the specific stakeholders also high school pupils and the general public is targeted. A further task on knowledge management includes the both foreground data as well as metadata to so ensure proper QA for V&V is possible. The project is performed using a combination of experiments, theoretical studies and numerical simulations for which the expertise of 25 research centres and universities from 11 EU countries, Switzerland, Russia and the US is pooled.