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​​​​​Nuclear Fuel Cycle Evaluation and Screening

The U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) chartered a study on 12/15/2011 to conduct an evaluation and screening of nuclear fuel cycle options. The objective of the evaluation and screening was to provide information about the potential benefits and challenges of nuclear fuel cycle options (i.e., the complete nuclear energy system from mining to disposal) that could be used to strengthen the basis and provide guidance for the activities undertaken by the DOE-NE Fuel Cycle Research and Development (FCRD) program.

Nine evaluation criteria were specified by DOE-NE representing broadly defined economic, environmental, safety, non-proliferation, security, and sustainability goals. The fuel cycle options evaluated were comprehensive with respect to fuel cycle performance. Screening for potential benefit resulted in a smaller number of promising fuel cycle options that could achieve substantial improvements compared to the current nuclear fuel cycle in the United States. This information can strengthen the basis for R&D decisions, particularly with respect to narrowing the focus of program activities. These R&D decisions could include eliminating support for technologies no longer considered relevant to program objectives, continuing or increased support for technologies already under development, as well as support for technologies that are currently not being investigated.

The final report of the study consists of a Main Report summarizing the Study and results, and Appendices that provide details of all aspects of the Study, including the process by which the promising options were identified. Each part of the final report can be downloaded using the following links:

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