23 -25 April 2012,
(please note slides will be made available to view after the conference)
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Substantial new-build of nuclear power reactors is planned on an international basis to provide security of electricity generation, low carbon emissions, and independence from fossil-fuel market supply risks. For example, China plans construction and operation of 100 GW(e) nuclear capacity by 2020.
New facilities are under construction and planned for worldwide support of the front and back-ends of the nuclear fuel cycle. These include commercial uranium supply, enrichment, and fabrication facilities at the front-end. At the backend, national and international efforts support fuel storage developments prior to disposal.
Recycling initiatives based on advanced reactor types to extend fissile material supply and further developed fuel cycles to optimize waste management are also being progressed.
The UK, after a several decade period of much reduced reactor construction now expects 5–10 commercial reactors to commence operation in the next two decades. This brings the need to seek international expertise and supply, modernise some domestic plants, examine the potential use of existing nuclear materials, and further consider options for processing and geological disposal.
Clearly the international commercial arrangements and EU legislative frameworks for the nuclear fuel cycle will significantly influence the UK approach.