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Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. html 28 AN INTERNATIONAL SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL STORAGE FACILITY The arms race, nuclear weapons testing, major radiation accidents, and the wastes and emissions of enterprises during the early years of the nuclear industry led to the appearance in the biosphere of engineered radionuclides, the radioactive contamination of certain areas, and the presence to this day of a large number of facilities, mainly from the defense sector, that are hazardous from a nuclear or radiation standpoint and must be decommissioned or returned to environmentally safe status.
All rights reserved. 4 kg Pd isotopes SOURCE: James Laidler. Development of Separations Technologies Under the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative. Report to the ANTT Subcommittee. December 2002. neutrons created by bombarding protons from a high-energy accelerator on a suitable target. Two examples of transmutation are shown in Figure 2. In addition to transmuting the highly radioactive constituents of spent fuel, there is the possibility of separating out the uranium to sufficient purity that it could be disposed of as Class C low-level waste or reused in reactors.
In addition, currently exploited deposits of hydrocarbon fuel are being exhausted, while bringing new resource deposits into exploitation requires ever increasing volumes of investments. As a result, it will become unavoidable to change the supply structure in the energy market, which in conjunction with *Translated from the Russian by Kelly Robbins. 20 Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. html HANDLING SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL 21 severe environmental restrictions will lead in turn to sharp price competition and corresponding instability.