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Project Information

Project Information


Internationalization of the Civilian Nuclear Fuel Cycle


Project Scope:

This joint study by the U.S. National Academies and the Russian Academy of Sciences (NAS and RAS) will provide an assessment of the technical, economic, legal/regulatory, and non-proliferation criteria necessary for the implementation of an international civilian nuclear fuel cycle. The study is not intended to be a comprehensive treatment of the topics listed, but rather a high-level, first cut at these complex issues.

Specifically, the proposed NAS-RAS joint study will address the primary issues and questions listed below under headings A and B. The secondary issues and questions will be addressed to the extent that budget and time permit::

A. Providing fuel services to countries that already have Light Water Reactors or would be interested in constructing Light Water Reactors (LWRs) if they did not have to develop the entire fuel cycle.

Primary Issues:

1. Is it feasible and effective to establish international fuel supply centers as an incentive for countries not to develop indigenous enrichment facilities?

2. What are the advantages and disadvantages (if any) of establishing international centers for
Sending and receiving back fuel?
Training personnel?
Manufacturing fuel?

3. Who should own the nuclear material and the fuel in such arrangements?

4. Should the international facilities be owned by governments or could private companies own some or all of the facilities?

Secondary Issues:

5. What regulatory requirements should be in place in the receiving country to provide assurance of safety and safeguards?

6. What level of technical personnel are needed, in terms of training and in terms of numbers, to provide adequate confidence that the countries receiving fuel can safely and securely operate their reactor(s)?

7. What should be the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in overseeing the transfer, use, and/or return of fuel?

8. What changes in laws and regulations in the countries sending, consuming, and receiving spent fuel would be required to implement this concept?


B. Fuel Regeneration Options to Support an International Nuclear Fuel Cycle.

Primary Issues:

1. Compare the uranium recovery by extraction plus (UREX+), the plutonium and uranium recovery by extraction (PUREX) process, and other processes being considered by the Russian Federal Agency for Atomic Energy for separation of fissile and other materials from spent or irradiated nuclear fuel. Consider the resulting waste streams and what can and should be done with these waste streams.

2. Compare the burn up and the number of cycles needed to reach an acceptable level of destruction of actinides in the conceptual advanced burner reactor proposed in the U.S. Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) and in the Russian BN-600 and BN-800 reactors.

3. What impact could new technologies have on these proposals?

Secondary Issues:

4. Compare the fuel to be produced from the processes examined in (1) for use in appropriate reactors (LWRs, High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactors, and fast reactors). What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of fuel?

5. Compare the repository requirements for the waste produced by the processes proposed in the GNEP concept with that from a system based on PUREX and one based on Russian plans.

6. Are new laws and/or regulations required for either the U.S. or the Russian approach to the internationalization of the fuel cycle? Will either approach require any existing laws or regulations to be repealed or changed?

Because the scale of the full study task is large and the details of proposed fuel cycle strategies are in flux, the study will be carried out in two phases. In Phase I, the committees will identify distinct strategies that represent the range of fuel cycle options and gather the key technical and legal/regulatory and other information needed to analyze those options. This information-gathering stage will culminate with an international workshop. In Phase II, the committees will carry out the analysis and offer consensus findings and recommendations in a final report on the criteria necessary to achieve an international fuel cycle beneficial for suppliers and consumers alike and supportive of international non-proliferation efforts.

The project is sponsored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
The start date for the project is May 9, 2006.
A report will be issued in the spring of 2008.

Note: The project duration has been extended. The report is now expected to be issued in fall 2008.

Status: Completed

PIN: ISAC-N-06-02-A

Project Duration (months): 24 month(s)

RSO: Lowenthal, Micah



Geographic Focus:

Committee Membership

Committee Post Date: 09/26/2006

John F. Ahearne - (Chair)
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society

John F. Ahearne is the director of the Ethics Program at Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, a lecturer in public policy at Duke University, and an adjunct scholar at Resources for the Future. He has extensive expertise in nuclear and radiation engineering and risk assessment. His professional rests are reactor safety, energy issues, resource allocation, and public policy management. Dr. Ahearne served in the U.S. Air Force from 1959 to 1970, resigning as a major. He has also served as deputy and principal deputy assistant secretary of defense (1972-1977), in the White House Energy Office (1977), as deputy assistant secretary of energy (1977-1978), and as commissioner and chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (chairman, 1979-1981). He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Society for Risk Analysis, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Sigma Xi, and the American Nuclear Society. He currently chairs the NRC Committee on Opportunities for U.S.-Russian Cooperation in Countering Radiological Terrorism and previously chaired or served as a member on NRC committees for over 30 other NRC studies.
Dr. Robert J. Budnitz
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Robert J. Budnitz is associate program leader for nuclear systems safety and security in the energy and environment directorate at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. From 2002 to 2004, he directed the Department of Energy Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management’s program on science and technology. For twenty years prior to that, Dr. Budnitz was president of Future Resources Associates, Inc. in Berkeley, California. Previously, he served as deputy director and director of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, and he also held several management positions at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory of the University of California. Dr. Budnitz’s professional interests are in environmental impacts, hazards, and safety analysis, particularly of the nuclear fuel cycle. He has been prominent in the field of nuclear reactor safety assessment and waste-repository performance assessment, including probabilistic risk assessment. He has served on numerous investigative and advisory panels of scientific societies, government agencies, and committees of the National Research Council. Dr. Budnitz received a B.A. degree from Yale University and a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University.
Matthew G. Bunn
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Matthew Bunn is a Senior Research Associate of the Project on Managing the Atom in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. His current research interests include nuclear theft and terrorism; security for weapons-usable nuclear material in the former Soviet Union and worldwide; verification of nuclear stockpiles and of nuclear warhead dismantlement; disposition of excess plutonium; conversion in Russia's nuclear cities; and nuclear waste storage, disposal, and reprocessing. Before joining the Kennedy School in 1997, he served for three years as an adviser to the Office of Science and Technology Policy on U.S. policies related to the control and disposition of weapons-usable nuclear materials in the United States and the former Soviet Union and directed a secret study for President Clinton on security for nuclear materials in Russia. Previously, Mr. Bunn was at the National Academy of Sciences. He is a consultant to the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a member of the Russian-American Nuclear Security Advisory Council, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Arms Control Association. He is the author or co-author of several books and book-length technical reports, and dozens of articles in magazines and newspapers. Mr. Bunn received his bachelors' and masters' degrees in political science, specializing in defense and arms control, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
William F. Burns
U.S. Army War College

William F. Burns, Major General (USA, retired) is former Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and former Commandant of the U.S. Army War College. He served as ambassador to the Safe, Secure Dismantlement (SSD) negotiations regarding the denuclearization of the former Soviet Union. He is a distinguished fellow at the Army War College and serves on several panels, advisory boards, and boards of trustees of governmental and non-profit organizations. He is judge emeritus of the Court of Judicial Discipline of Pennsylvania. General Burns co-chaired a National Academies study on overcoming impediments to U.S.-Russian cooperation on nuclear nonproliferation and is currently a member of the Committee on International Security and Arms Control.
Steven Fetter
University of Maryland, College Park

Steve Fetter, is Dean and Professor at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. His research interests include arms control and nonproliferation, nuclear energy and releases of radiation, and climate change and carbon-free energy supply. He has been an advisor to many government agencies, NGOs, and scientific organizations, and has held visiting positions at Stanford, Harvard, and MIT. In 1993-94 he was a special assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, and in 1992 and 2004 he was a visiting fellow at the State Department. He has served on several committees for the National Academies and is currently a member of the Committee on International Security and Arms Control. He holds a Ph.D. in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and an S.B. in physics from MIT.
Rose E. Gottemoeller
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Rose Gottemoeller, Russia Security Dialogue leader, became the Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center in January 2006. She was previously a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, specializing in arms control, nonproliferation and nuclear security issues. From 1998 to 2000, she served in the Department of Energy as Assistant Secretary for Nonproliferation and National Security and then as Deputy Under-secretary for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation. From 1993 to 1994 she was Director for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia Affairs on the National Security Council in the White House. Ms. Gottemoeller co-chaired a National Academies study on overcoming impediments to U.S.-Russian cooperation on nuclear nonproliferation and is currently a member of the Committee on International Security and Arms Control.
Milton Levenson
Independent Consultant

Milton Levenson is nationally recognized for his ability to apply creative new insights to major engineering challenges in the nuclear industry and for his organizational and leadership skills. Currently an independent consultant, Mr. Levenson is a chemical engineer with more than 50 years of experience in nuclear energy and related fields. His technical experience includes work related to nuclear safety, fuel cycle, water reactors, advanced reactors, and remote control. His professional experience includes research and operations positions at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Argonne National Laboratory, EPRI (formerly the Electric Power Research Institute), and Bechtel. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1976. Mr. Levenson is a fellow and past president of the American Nuclear Society, a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and recipient of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers' Robert E. Wilson Award in Nuclear Chemical Engineering. He is the author of more than 150 publications and presentations and holds three U.S. patents. Mr. Levenson has served as chairman or committee member for several National Academies studies and is currently a member of the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board.

Events



Location:

Keck Center
500 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Rita Guenther
Contact Email:  rguenther@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  202-334-2359

Agenda
This meeting is closed in its entirety.
Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

John Ahearne
Robert Budnitz
Matt Bunn
Steve Fetter
Rose Gottemoeller
Milton Levenson
Nikolai Laverov
Valery Bezzubtsev
Alexander Bychkov
Valentin Ivanov
Vladislav Petrov


The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

The draft report was discussed during the closed session.

The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:

None

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
June 18, 2008
Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-


Location:

The Golden Ring Hotel
Moscow, Russia
Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Rita Guenther
Contact Email:  rguenther@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  202-334-2359

Agenda
This meeting is closed in its entirety.
Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

John Ahearne
Robert Budnitz
Matthew Bunn
William Burns
Steve Fetter
Milton Levenson
Nikolai Laverov
Alexander Bychkov
Valentin Ivanov
Boris Myasoedov
Yuri Shiyan

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

The draft consensus report was the primary topic discussed during the closed session.

The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:

None.

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
June 18, 2008
Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-


Location:

Hilton Danube Hotel, Vienna, Austria and
Vienna International Center, Vienna Austria
Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Rita Guenther
Contact Email:  rguenther@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  202-334-2359

Agenda
The committee convened a workshop of nuclear energy experts from eight countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna. The agenda of this workshop is posted below. The presentations made at the workshop can be made available upon request.

Workshop on Internationalization of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle
Convened by the U.S. National Academies and the Russian Academy of Sciences with the support of the International Atomic Energy Agency
April 23-24, 2007
Vienna, Austria

AGENDA
Principal Purpose of the Workshop: To identify incentives and issues of importance to non nuclear weapons states considering using, developing, or providing fuel services.

Note that experts participated in their personal capacities. Participants’ statements should not be regarded as the official positions of their home countries.

Day One
9:00 – 10:00 Welcome from IAEA (Tariq Rauf) and Co-chairs Ahearne and Myasoedov.
Co-chairs review purpose and structure of the workshop (approximately 25 minutes each)
Dr. John F. Ahearne, Director of the Ethics Program, Sigma Xi the Scientific Research Society
Academician Boris Myasoedov, Deputy Secretary General for Science, Russian Academy of Sciences

10:00 – 10:30 Perspectives from Bulgaria
Prof. Dr. Jordan Stamenov, Director, Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

10:30 – 11:00 Break

11:00 – 11:30 Perspectives from Indonesia
Dr. Karyono
Deputy Chairman for Development of Nuclear Material Cycle Technology and Engineering, National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN)

11:30 – 12:00 Perspectives from Egypt
Ambassador Mohamed Shaker, Vice Chairman, Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs

12:00 – 12:30 Perspectives from Armenia
Dr. Areg Galstyan, Deputy Minister, Armenian Ministry of Energy

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch Break

14:00 – 14:30 Perspectives from Australia
Dr. Ian Smith, Executive Director and CEO, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization

14:30 – 15:00 Perspectives from Argentina
Ambassador Pedro Raul Villagra Delgado, Embassy of Argentina, Canberra, Australia

15:00 – 15:30 Perspectives from Brazil
Dr. Leonan dos Santos Guimarães, Eletronuclear

15:30 – 16:00 Break

16:00 – 16:30 Perspectives from the Republic of Korea
Dr. Yang Chang-kook, former president, Korea Nuclear Fuel Company

16:30 – 18:00 Questions and comments from U.S. and Russian committees and Participants
Day Two

8:30 – 9:00 Perspectives solicited from other Academies of Science
Academician Boris Myasoedov

9:00 – 10:00 Review key points from Day One – U.S. and Russian committees
Dr. John Ahearne
Academician Boris Myasoedov

10:00 – 10:30 Break

10:30 – 12:30 Comments from and discussion among participants

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:30 Continued Discussion

15:30 – 16:00 Break

16:00 – 17:00 Final Discussion

17:00 – 17:30 Closing Remarks and Thanks


Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

John Ahearne
Robert Budnitz
Matthew Bunn
William Burns
Steven Fetter
Rose Gottemoeller
Milton Levenson


The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

Developments and research in Russia and the United States, preparation for the workshop, planning for completion of the study.

The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:

Agendas and other meeting materials

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
July 18, 2007
Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-


Location:

National Academy of Sciences Building
2101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20418
Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Rita Guenther
Contact Email:  rguenther@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  202-334-2359

Agenda
October 17, 2006

8:45-9:00 Introductory Remarks,
Dr. John Ahearne, Study Co-Chair
9:00-10:00 U.S. DOE's Efforts in new nuclear energy and international fuel cycles.
Dr. Paul Lisowski and Dr. Victor Reis, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology
10:00-11:00 Technology for advanced nuclear fuel cycles.
Dr. Phillip Finck, Argonne National Laboratory
11:00-11:30 Coffee Break
11:30-12:30 Phillip Finck (cont.)

12:30-1:30 Lunch

1:30-2:00 Nonproliferation and institutional considerations in pursuing new international fuel cycles
Dr. James Timbie, U.S. Department of State
2:00-2:30 Nonproliferation and institutional considerations in pursuing new international fuel cycles
Dr. Lawrence Scheinman, Monterey Institute of International Studies
2:30-3:00 Nonproliferation and institutional considerations in pursuing new international fuel cycles
Harold D. Bengelsdorf; Bengelsdorf, McGoldrick and Associates
3:00-3:15 Coffee Break

3:15-4:15 Panel Discussion
• Frank von Hippel
Princeton University
• Richard Garwin (confirmed)
Thomas J. Watson Research Center

4:15-5:00 Nonproliferation and institutional considerations in pursuing new international fuel cycles
Will Tobey (confirmed)
Deputy Administrator
National Nuclear Security Administration

5:00-5:45 Opportunity for public comment and Summary of Day’s Briefings
5:45 Adjourn


Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

John Ahearne
Matt Bunn
Steve Fetter
Rose Gottemoeller
Robert Budnitz
William F. Burns

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

The Committee discussed the furture plans for the study, including further information gathering meetings, the schedule of such meetings, and potential topics for discussion during future meetings.

The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:

None.

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
November 20, 2006
Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Publications

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