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A First Step towards Zero Nuclear Waste—Advanced Strategic Thinking in Light of iMAGINE

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Bruno Merk
  • Anna Detkina
  • Dzianis Litskevich
  • Maulik Patel
  • Omid Noori-kalkhoran
  • Gregory Cartland-Glover
  • Olga Efremova
  • Mark Bankhead
  • Claude Degueldre
  • Alessandro Del Nevo (Editor)
Article number7209
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/09/2022
Issue number19
Number of pages21
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Traditionally, there has been a gap between reactor operation and the consideration of nuclear waste in the final disposal. Fuel is produced, and fuel must be disposed. In the view of the reactor operator, fuel has to be cleaned in the reprocessing, and new solid fuel has to be produced in the view of the chemist. iMAGINE is designed to overcome this separation through a breakthrough development applying an optimized, integrative approach from cradle to grave of nuclear energy production as a first step to come as close as possible to the vision of zero waste nuclear power. It is described here for the first time in three steps: reactor, fuel cycle, and waste, providing the rationality behind each of the choices made to come to the overall solution to open the discussion and thinking process on what could be achieved by a very innovative approach to integrated nuclear energy production. The opportunities regarding the handling of the remaining waste are discussed with a view on the expectation of the final disposal community, the study “Nuclear waste from small modular reactors”, and the IAEA report “waste from innovative types of reactors and fuel cycles—a preliminary study”. The aim of this work is not to find answers to each of the raised points, but to identify potential approaches and promising ways to go, as well as to stimulate a discussion among experts. In the best case, this could lead to a change of track for nuclear power to become even more sustainable and an important, trusted technology to help solve the net-zero challenge.