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Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1953256, 17 pages
Research Article

Feasibility Studies on Pyro-SFR Closed Fuel Cycle and Direct Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel in Line with the Latest National Policy and Strategy of Korea

Kyung Hee University, 1732 Deogyeong-daero, Giheung-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do 17104, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Jae Hak Cheong

Received 20 June 2017; Revised 22 August 2017; Accepted 17 September 2017; Published 31 October 2017

Academic Editor: Arkady Serikov

Copyright © 2017 Muhammad Minhaj Khan 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.


With a view to providing supportive information for the decision-making on the direction of the future nuclear energy systems in Korea (i.e., direct disposal or recycling of spent nuclear fuel) to be made around 2020, quantitative studies on the spent nuclear fuel (SNF) including transuranic elements (TRUs) and a series of economic analyses were conducted. At first, the total isotopic inventory of TRUs in the SNF to be generated from all thirty-six units of nuclear power plants in operation or under planning is estimated based on the Korean government’s official plan for nuclear power development. Secondly, the optimized deployment strategies are proposed considering the minimum number of sodium cooled-fast reactors (SFRs) needed to transmute all TRUs. Finally, direct disposal and Pyro-SFR closed nuclear energy systems were compared using equilibrium economic model and considering reduction of TRUs and electricity generation as benefits. Probabilistic economic analysis shows that the assumed total generation cost for direct disposal and Pyro-SFR closed nuclear energy systems resides within the range of 13.60~33.94 mills/kWh and 11.40~25.91 mills/kWh, respectively. Dominant cost elements and the range of SFR overnight cost which guarantees the economic feasibility of the Pyro-SFR closed nuclear energy system over the direct disposal option were also identified through sensitivity analysis and break-even cost estimation.