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Public Acceptance of Spent Fuel Reprocessing Project

[+] Author Affiliations
Zijian Wang, Shanfang Huang, Xiaoyu Guo, Kan Wang

Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Paper No. ICONE25-67082, pp. V008T12A008; 4 pages
  • 2017 25th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • Volume 8: Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Coupled Codes; Nuclear Education, Public Acceptance and Related Issues
  • Shanghai, China, July 2–6, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5786-1
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


At present, there are hundreds of nuclear power plants in operation around the world. Anti-nuclear movements continue in many places, although the nuclear power plants have good operating records. It has some factors, and the first factor that the public knows little about nuclear industry, results in regarding the nuclear power plant mysterious. This condition relates to destructive scene by nuclear weapon with nuclear industry, deeming it unacceptable to take this risk. Secondly, construction of nuclear power plant and off site emergency may occupy large land. The public hopes to be rewarded more to offset the risk by their imagination. Last, it relates to the political environment of one country. Every country has its own situation, so the strategies of developing nuclear power plant are widely different. The public is not familiar with other nuclear engineering projects except nuclear power plants, and hence the boycott happens more frequently. Sino-French cooperation on nuclear fuel cycle project is the first large-scale commercial spent fuel reprocessing plant, which is the biggest cooperative project between China and France until now. AREVA is responsible for technology, and CNNC is responsible for building. Spent fuel reprocessing is the most important part of nuclear fuel cycle back end, which separates uranium and plutonium from spent fuel, and manufactures MOX fuel with recycled resources for using in nuclear reactor again. This will make the best use of the uranium resources. After that process, the fission products needed to be disposed reduce significantly. And it is good for environmental protection. The public protest happened in one of the candidate sites, when CNNC carried out the preliminary work of site selection. For meeting the enormous energy demands, the fossil energy may be exhausted in the future due to the greenhouse gases emission. Chinese government speeds up the development of new energy. Nuclear energy is the only technology with no emission of greenhouse gases and will be rapidly developed. Along with the nuclear power units continuing to increase, they become the critical factors in restricting the sustainable development of nuclear energy. That is efficient utilization of uranium resources, spent fuel intermediate storage, reprocessing, and geologic disposal of high level radioactive waste. To this project, it not only has a great current demand, but also closely relates to transition of energy structure. The public has different views in the project progressing, which results in wide concern and discussion. The article took this event for example, and analyzed the reason from all directions. Besides, the author put forward own views for the public acceptance events about nuclear engineering projects except nuclear power plant.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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