Fuel cycle technology and innovation includes development at all stages of the nuclear fuel cycle, from the latest uranium enrichment technologies to the design and implementation of small modular reactors (SMR).
The NEA aims to provide information and analyses to decision makers regarding the future of nuclear energy – including on economic and resource analyses, advances in nuclear power and fuel cycle technologies.
The NEA Committee for Technical and Economic Studies on Nuclear Energy Development and the Fuel Cycle (NDC) works in this area to advise decision makers and policy makers on the state of the art and latest trends in nuclear technology.
Decommissioning activities are clearly set to increase internationally, giving rise to a sizeable market, growing in business and competition. Meanwhile, ongoing decommissioning work continue at a sustained rate in the numerous legacy sites. It is thus clear that the challenges faced by the industry in relation to decommissioning are significant, spanning technical, political, financial, social and environmental issues, and raising questions over the adequacy of the necessary expertise and infrastructure, as well as the ability to finance the costs.
Challenges related to extended storage are topical in most countries with mature nuclear programmes. Effort to address this issue is ongoing in individual countries. Available knowledge from member countries is gathered and appraised to identify and assess the impact of technical, safety and regulatory, economic and social factors related to different storage options, fuel types and technical conditions. Strategies to manage waste, i.e. managing the time and phasing of decisions to ensure that the best decisions are made at the right time, are analysed in this context. The main output of the expert group will be a state-of-the-art report.