The US Department of Energy (DoE) has published the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) strategic plan.
The plan lays out the DoE’s path to prepare for construction and operation of a nuclear fuel recycling centre and an advanced recycling reactor, and for continuing an “aggressive research and development” programme focused on advanced fuel cycle technology. Among other goals the plan provides a framework for the US to expand nuclear power; develop, demonstrate, and deploy advanced technologies for recycling spent nuclear fuel without separating plutonium; and deploy advanced reactors that consume transuranics.
Releasing the document, Dennis Spurgeon, assistant secretary for nuclear energy commented: “For the United States, GNEP is good policy; for industry, it could be very good business,” adding, “Releasing GNEP’s Strategic Plan demonstrates the … seriousness of our nation’s need to incorporate safe, emissions-free nuclear power into our nation’s energy mix.”
The release follows a notice of intent from the DoE for the GNEP Environmental Impact Statement which sets out proposals for the DoE to design, build, and operate three facilities: a nuclear fuel recycling centre, and an advanced recycling reactor, which would destroy long-lived radioactive elements in the new fuel. An advanced fuel cycle research facility would perform research and development into spent nuclear fuel recycling processes and other advanced nuclear fuel cycles would complete the group.
The DoE is considering 13 sites as possible locations for one or more of the proposed GNEP facilities.