The 800 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity produced by the 104 nuclear reactors in the United States each year — all while emitting no greenhouse gases — is by far America’s biggest source of green energy. And this abundant energy source can become even greener by recycling used nuclear fuel.
Currently, only about five percent of the uranium in a nuclear fuel rod gets fissioned for energy; after that, the rods are taken out of the reactor and put into storage. There is a way, however, to use almost all of the uranium in a fuel rod. Recycling the uranium in used nuclear fuel could power the United States for a thousand years, just by using the uranium we’ve already mined, and all of this energy carbon-free.
This excellent short video from Argonne National Laboratory explains how.
And now… you too can regale your friends and others at holiday parties with pontifications about pyroprocessing!
Thanks to Argonne National Laboratory, and for more information visit Argonne Nuclear Energy.