• 2 hours WTI At 7-Month High On Supply Optimism, Kurdistan Referendum
  • 9 hours Permian Still Holds 60-70 Billion Barrels Of Recoverable Oil
  • 14 hours Petrobras Creditors Agree To $6.22 Billion Debt Swap
  • 18 hours Cracks Emerge In OPEC-Russia Oil Output Cut Pact
  • 22 hours Iran Calls On OPEC To Sway Libya, Nigeria To Join Cut
  • 23 hours Chevron To Invest $4B In Permian Production
  • 1 day U.S.-Backed Forces Retake Syrian Conoco Gas Plant From ISIS
  • 1 day Iraq Says Shell May Not Quit Majnoon Oilfield
  • 4 days Nigerian Oil Output Below 1.8 Million BPD Quota
  • 4 days Colorado Landfills Contain Radioactive Substances From Oil Sector
  • 4 days Phillips 66 Partners To Buy Phillips 66 Assets In $2.4B Deal
  • 4 days Japan Court Slams Tepco With Fukushima Damages Bill
  • 4 days Oil Spills From Pipeline After Syria Army Retakes Oil Field From ISIS
  • 4 days Total Joins Chevron In Gulf Of Mexico Development
  • 4 days Goldman Chief Urges Riyadh To Get Vision 2030 Going
  • 4 days OPEC Talks End Without Recommendation On Output Cut Extension
  • 4 days Jamaican Refinery Expansion Stalls Due To Venezuela’s Financial Woes
  • 5 days India In Talks to Acquire 20 Percent Of UAE Oilfield
  • 5 days The Real Cause Of Peak Gasoline Demand
  • 5 days Hundreds Of Vertical Oil Wells Damaged By Horizontal Fracking
  • 5 days Oil Exempt In Fresh Sanctions On North Korea
  • 5 days Sudan, South Sudan Sign Deal To Boost Oil Output
  • 5 days Peruvian Villagers Shut Down 50 Oil Wells In Protest
  • 5 days Bay Area Sues Big Oil For Billions
  • 5 days Lukoil Looks To Sell Italian Refinery As Crimea Sanctions Intensify
  • 6 days Kurdistan’s Biggest Source Of Oil Funds
  • 6 days Oil Prices On Track For Largest Q3 Gain Since 2004
  • 6 days Reliance Plans To Boost Capacity Of World’s Biggest Oil Refinery
  • 6 days Saudi Aramco May Unveil Financials In Early 2018
  • 6 days Has The EIA Been Overestimating Oil Production?
  • 6 days Taiwan Cuts Off Fossil Fuels To North Korea
  • 6 days Clash In Oil-Rich South Sudan Region Kills At Least 25
  • 6 days Lebanon Passes Oil Taxation Law Ahead Of First Licensing Auction
  • 7 days India’s Oil Majors To Lift Borrowing To Cover Dividends, Capex
  • 7 days Gulf Keystone Plans Further Oil Output Increase In Kurdistan
  • 7 days Venezuela’s Crisis Deepens As Hurricane Approaches
  • 7 days Tension Rises In Oil-Rich Kurdistan
  • 7 days Petrobras To Issue $2B New Bonds, Exchange Shorter-Term Debt
  • 8 days Kuwait Faces New Oil Leak Near Ras al-Zour
  • 8 days Sonatrach Aims To Reform Algiers Energy Laws
OPEC’s Premature Victory Lap

OPEC’s Premature Victory Lap

OPEC’s meeting on Friday did…

Heavy Crude Production Hit Hard By OPEC Cuts

Heavy Crude Production Hit Hard By OPEC Cuts

The global crude oil supply…

Using Nuclear Waste in the Prism Fast Reactor Could Power the UK for 500 Years

The UK has a 100 tonne stockpile of plutonium nuclear waste which the government has been trying to get rid of for years. One option that has been considered is to convert the plutonium into a mixed-oxide fuel (Mox), and then use it to fuel conventional nuclear reactors. Unfortunately a trial Mox plant in the UK failed. Another option is to use the plutonium waste in a fast reactor. The fast reactor would be able to extract far large quantities of energy than a Mox reactor. In fact back in February, David MacKay, the chief scientist at the Department of Energy and Climate Change said that the UK’s nuclear waste stockpile was enough to power the country for more than 500 years if used in a fast reactor.

The UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) previously dismissed fast reactors as being decades from commercial viability. However on Monday GE-Hitachi submitted a thousand page feasibility report designed to persuade the NDA that the technology in their Prism fast reactor is already available and competitive.

The NDA has also received another proposal to deal with the radioactive waste from a Canadian firm who have designed a Candu reactor to be run on Mox fuel. The NDA will review both reports and then advise the government towards the end of the year. The government can then make their decision and refer the winning option to the Office of Nuclear Regulation.

By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com

Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • Mel Tisdale on July 13 2012 said:
    Each nation needs to conduct a thorough, independent review of its nuclear options. We need an energy supply that is both reliable and safe while also able to meet society's needs without spoiling the supply of other needs, such as the need for food met by agriculture, due to the excessive use of water that is a feature of nearly every nuclear reactor currently supplying domestic energy. We need a carbon free energy supply and we need it pretty damn quick if we are to avoid the more extreme ravages of climate change, which are looking ever more dire as we continue to fail to take action. Throwing the politicians, scientists and media people in jail that can be clearly shown to have deliberately hindered action to combat climate change will give us scant satisfaction as the earth refuses to support its burden of swarming humans.

    Simply reading both of the reports mentioned in the article and deciding the winner is a thoroughly amateurish way of going about the matter. We have to realise that there is a lot at stake here, not only for the public at large, but also the nuclear industry in general. Currently it uses a technology that is well beyond its sell-by date, yet has a lot of expertise invested in it (a bit like the rail industry’s investment in steam technology expertise back in the middle of the last century).

    Some say the current business model is that of manufacturing razors or computer printers. Both are sold at cost, or even less, to capture the ongoing sales of razor blades that only fit their razors, or ink cartridges that only fit their printers, With the current nuclear reactors the real profits are made from supplying the fuel rods, which are specific to the particular design and extremely expensive due to their complexity. This income stream is obviously lost with thorium fuelled molten salt reactors.

    So let’s have a professional appraisal of all the options for nuclear energy. An appraisal that not only gives the ‘pros’, but also the ‘cons’. Only then will anyone have a legitimate basis on which to decide which way to go. Such an approach would also assist in combating some of the more extreme elements within the ‘green’ brigade of bra-burners and tepee-dwellers, who will, at the first mention of the word ‘nuclear’ wet their knickers in anger and antagonism. Even its more intelligent members are blinkered when it comes to the issue of nuclear energy. They of all people should see the urgency of the situation as far as climate change is concerned.
  • Mike on July 12 2012 said:
    The downside is not going with a Prism reactor. We just 'bury' a potentially tremendous source of energy and have this radioactive waste hang around for tens of thousands of years. Also, some kook in the near or distant future could dig up the plutonium and reuse it for making bombs. The atom bomb fuel is now a peaceful electricity producing fuel.
  • Philip Andrews on July 12 2012 said:
    What's the downside?

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News