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Future regional nuclear fuel cycle cooperation in East Asia: Energy security costs and benefits

von Hippel, David, Hayes, Peter, Kang, Jungmin, Katsuta, Tadahiro
Energy policy 2011 v.39 no.11 pp. 6867-6881
economic development, electricity, energy, nuclear fuels, nuclear power, uranium, East Asia
Economic growth in East Asia has rapidly increased regional energy, and especially, electricity needs. Many of the countries of East Asia have sought or are seeking to diversify their energy sources and bolster their energy supply and/or environmental security by developing nuclear power. Rapid development of nuclear power in East Asia brings with it concerns regarding nuclear weapons proliferation associated with uranium enrichment and spent nuclear fuel management. This article summarizes the development and analysis of four different scenarios of nuclear fuel cycle management in East Asia, including a scenario where each major nuclear power user develops uranium enrichment and reprocessing of spent fuel individually, scenarios featuring cooperation in the full fuel cycle, and a scenario where reprocessing is avoided in favor of dry cask storage of spent fuel. The material inputs and outputs and costs of key fuel cycle elements under each scenario are summarized.