The back-end of fusion materials cycle: Recycling, clearance and disposal

Massimo Zucchetti, Luigi Di Pace, L. El-Guebaly, B. N. Kolbasov, Vincent Massaut, Raoul Pampin, P. Wilson

    Research outputpeer-review


    In order to maximize the environmental benefits of fusion power generation, it is important to clearly define the parameters governing the back-end of the materials cycle. A fusion-specific approach is necessary and needs to be developed. Recycling of materials and clearance (i.e. declassification to non-radioactive material) are the two recommended options for reducing the amount of fusion waste, while the disposal as low-level waste could be an alternative route for specific materials and components. Both recycling and clearance criteria have been recently revised by national and international institutions. These revisions and their consequences for fusion material management are examined in this paper. It is also important to define the various processes and routes to avoid generating active waste from fusion as much as possible. Two ways are explored within the fusion community: first, the development of materials leading to low activation levels, avoiding the generation of long lived radionuclides through a strict control of the impurity content in materials; second, the development of suitable and reliable processes allowing either clearance of as much material as possible (potentially after adequate treatment) or recycling most of the remaining materials within the nuclear industry.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)781-788
    Number of pages8
    JournalFusion Science and Technology
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Aug 2009

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Civil and Structural Engineering
    • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
    • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
    • General Materials Science
    • Mechanical Engineering

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