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Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations
Volume 2008 (2008), Article ID 265430, 18 pages
Review Article

A Critical Review of the Recent Improvements in Minimizing Nuclear Waste by Innovative Gas-Cooled Reactors

1DIMNP, University of Pisa, CIRTEN, Via Diotisalvi 2, 56126 Pisa, Italy
2DIPTEM, University of Genovfa, Via all'Opera Pia 15/a, 16145 Genova, Italy
3Department of Energetics, University of Pisa, Via Diotisalvi 2, 56126 Pisa, Italy
4DII, University of Salento, Via per Arnesano, 73100 Lecce, Italy

Received 30 May 2007; Accepted 12 March 2008

Academic Editor: Nikola Cavlina

Copyright © 2008 E. Bomboni et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper presents a critical review of the recent improvements in minimizing nuclear waste in terms of quantities, long-term activities, and radiotoxicities by innovative GCRs, with particular emphasis to the results obtained at the University of Pisa. Regarding these last items, in the frame of some EU projects (GCFR, PUMA, and RAPHAEL), we analyzed symbiotic fuel cycles coupling current LWRs with HTRs, finally closing the cycle by GCFRs. Particularly, we analyzed fertile-free and Pu-Th-based fuel in HTR: we improved plutonium exploitation also by optimizing Pu/Th ratios in the fuel loaded in an HTR. Then, we chose GCFRs to burn residual MA. We have started the calculations on simplified models, but we ended them using more “realistic" models of the reactors. In addition, we have added the GCFR multiple recycling option using calculations for all the reactors. As a conclusion, we can state that, coupling HTR with GCFR, the geological disposal issues concerning high-level radiotoxicity of MA can be considerably reduced.