Publicatie Laka-bibliotheek:
The MOX myth. Risks and dangers of the use of Mixed Oxide Fuel

AuteurWISE, D.Bannink, J.Boer, L.Pam
Datumapril 1997

Uit de publicatie:

The MOX Myth
Risks and dangers of the use of Mixed Oxide Fuel

Written by: Loeke Pam, Joop Boer and Dirk Bannink
Editor: Dirk Bannink

WISE News Communique 469/470: April 11, 1997

After US President Eisenhower's famous "Atoms for Peace" speech to the United Nations
 in December 1953, nuclear power and knowledge were no longer a military playground 
 solely. Nuclear energy became available for civil purposes. The expectations were 
 enormous: nuclear electricity would be so cheap and abundant, it's use wouldn't be 
 worth metering. The ultimate goal would not be a nuclear chain with remaining wastes 
 but a closed fuel cycle with everlasting energy. During the first decade of 
 commercial utilization of nuclear energy, in the 60s, it was thought that uranium 
 would soon become scarce. The belief was that in about 20-30 years plutonium had to 
 be used instead of  uranium. Reprocessing and Fast Breeder Reactors were seen as
 the basis for the future of nuclear energy. This future should be reached in three 
1- The first  generation of nuclear power plants, mainly Light Water Reactors (LWRs) 
would produce plutonium.
2- The fust Fast Breeder Reactors (FBRs) would be fueled with reprocessed plutonium 
from the spent fuel of these LWRs.
3- After a transition period, during which both LWRs and FBRs would operate together, 
FBRs would be the only nuclear reactors. They would "breed" more plutonium than they 
consumed. The newly bred plutonium inside the FBR spent fuel would be separated in 
special reprocessing plants, fabricated into plutonium fuel and fed into new FBRs. 
This would mean an infinite energy source. 
The functioning of FBRs "kept the company waiting" and plutonium stocks issued from 
reprocessing were piling up. Reprocessing contracts that were already existing 
would only increase the plutonium pile in the future. The aim of that infinite 
energy source has not been reached; the hope for a successful FBR program 
collapsed. It is even planned to rebuild some of the FBRs from breeders to burners 
of plutonium. Commercial utilization of FBRs is being pushed to the far future, 
between 2030 and 2050, if ever. But without the prospect of fast breeders and 
therefore of an infinite energy source, nuclear energy lost another of its