Archive for March 6th, 2009

March 6, 2009 | 1:34 pm

It’s the Right Time to Reconsider U.S. Recycling

Yucca Mountain

Yucca Mountain

During a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing yesterday, the discussion of the future of the Yucca Mountain project raised the possibility of recycling nuclear fuel as part of the nation’s used fuel management strategy.

Recycling nuclear fuel would enable us to reduce the volume of material for disposal by a factor of at least four and reduce toxicity by a factor 10 (based on experience in France). It also turns the most difficult waste into a vitrified form (glass logs) that is more stable, durable and manageable for long-term storage in a repository. If recycled, the 60,000 metric tons of used fuel stored at nuclear plant sites could provide enough fuel to power America’s 104 nuclear reactors for seven to eight years.

If the U.S. turns to recycling we could defer having to find and build a second or third repository, perhaps forever. Recycling would postpone or eliminate the need for additional repository capacity. There’s no doubt that locating a geological repositories requires some level of acceptance by the local community. But this task would be made easier if you can limit its size and avoid having to build multiple repositories.

AREVA has recycled used fuel in France for customers in Europe and Japan for several decades and continues to do so today. This technology is safe, mature and cost effective. In the United States, we recycle glass, aluminum and paper; why not recycle nuclear fuel? In addition to the reduction in the amount of waste we must dispose, we would also conserve the amount of new uranium that we must use. Facing the expansion of nuclear energy worldwide, this is important to consider in terms of U.S. energy security as well.

In the end, we believe that recycling is just common sense.

March 6, 2009 | 6:32 am

Thanks for the Welcome!

Following our launch yesterday, we were quite pleased to see welcome messages from several of our colleagues at other nuclear blogs…

From Steve Aplin at Canadian Energy Issues:

No sooner do I get off a post about the challenges the “nuclear industry” faces when it comes to strategic communication than Areva, the French giant, launches a blog dedicated to promoting its North American operations. It went live this morning. One of the first posts, by an Areva communications executive, says there are 60,000 potential new jobs in nuclear energy in the U.S.

From David Bradish at NEI Nuclear Notes:

NEI’s former blog contributor, Jarret Adams, is one of the authors for AREVA’s first blog. Welcome and best of luck!

And from Dan Yurman at Idaho Samizdat:

So far as I know Areva is the first nuclear company to launch a corporate blog with the objective of fostering dialog about energy issues. Lots of energy companies have blogs, but they are often just one-way broadcasts from the corporate PR office. . . .

The blog is just being published this week so the discussion forums aren’t live yet. I’m told they are coming soon. The story can also be told now that in developing this blog, Areva’s team reached out to a fairly diverse group of energy bloggers for ideas and input. That’s an important signal that the company plans to work hard at using its listening skills.

Dialog is welcome. Welcome to the blogsphere Areva. Do well.

Thanks for the warm welcome, friends! We’re looking forward to the conversation.