WPFC meeting May 2024

Expertise in fuel cycle physics and chemistry is pivotal for developing and deploying advanced reactor systems, which are currently receiving significant attention as part of the commitment towards incorporating nuclear energy into the broader energy transition.

In this context, the NEA Working Party on Scientific Issues of Advanced Fuel Cycles (WPFC) develops and disseminates scientific and technical expertise in the field of advanced fuel cycles. The WPFC convened representatives from member countries, international organisations (IAEA, Generation IV International Forum, and the European Commission), and the expert groups on 15-17 May 2024 to discuss the latest updates on topics in the advanced fuel cycles field. The following activities were explored in detail:

Meeting participants also discussed the future tasks to include activities to support the closure of the nuclear fuel cycle, and methods to accelerate the process of nuclear fuel qualification.

Established in 2004, the WPFC underwent restructuring in 2020, with a revised objective placing increased importance on the back-end of nuclear fuel-cycles and on advanced fuel cycles of innovative systems. The working party is organised with four expert groups:

The tasks of the Expert Groups within the WPFC include analyses of different types of Generation IV reactors, with innovative fuel management options such as, hydro-/pyro- reprocessing, plutonium burning and/or multi-recycling, and minor actinide transmutation. These topics were explored and discussed during the 16th Information Exchange Meeting on Actinide and Fission Product Partitioning and Transmutation (16IEMPT), which was hosted by the NEA in collaboration with the IAEA in October 2023.

See also