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									SESSION B5                                                                                                                   1219


              NUCLEAR ENERGY AND THE MANAGEMENT OF WASTE
               Nicholas Hartman (nah70@pitt.edu) and Scott Wohlgamuth (sew57@pitt.edu)

Abstract - This paper will describe and discuss the various                                   TABLE 1
types of nuclear/radioactive waste and how they are
produced.
   Additionally, this paper will go into detail about the
significance of nuclear power as well as other nuclear
activities and management of their byproducts. Nuclear
power is a growing source of alternative energy around the
world with applications in both the private energy industry
and military.
   With the need to replace fossil fuels in the near future
nuclear power will become an increasingly popular form of
energy and thusly create a large amount of waste. It is
therefore important that proper and efficient processes be
used or created to manage and dispose of nuclear
byproducts in such a way that is not harmful to the                  The graph clearly depicts that nuclear energy currently
environment or human population.                                     supplies eight percent of the world’s energy. It is also
   This paper will also discuss the detrimental effects of           noticeable that eighty-four percent of the world’s energy
radioactive waste on the environment, economy, and society.          supply is generated through the use of strictly non-renewable
                                                                     energy sources. Although nuclear energy’s eight percent
Key Words - Engineering, Environment,                                may seem small relative to other sources of energy, nuclear
Environmental/Mechanical Engineering, Nuclear, Power,                energy is increasing in popularity. Additionally, nuclear
Waste, Waste Management                                              energy is also a young form of energy and has plenty of
                                                                     potential to expand. The goal for nuclear energy is to
                                                                     develop into an efficient energy source as well as becoming
     A GENERAL LOOK AT NUCLEAR ENERGY                                as close to a renewable energy source as possible, and is
                                                                     well on its way to that achieving that goal [1].
Energy keeps many of our worldly processes running;
without it the industrial world would crumble before us.                  Effects of Nuclear Energy on the Environment
With each passing day, humanity utilizes more and more of
the valuable resources that the earth has to offer. The search       Majority of the energy source choices available have global
for a source of renewable and efficient energy is an ongoing         impacts in some manner. Nuclear energy is no different.
process, and is a goal that the world hopes to one day               Nuclear energy is not the most economically friendly energy
achieve. Truly renewable energy is energy that cannot only           source due to the ionizing radiation produced in the fission
be sustained with little to no loss of natural resources, but        process, but it does provide energy at a much lower
also provide minimal side effects to the surrounding                 economic cost compared to other energy sources. The
environment. It is well known that our world currently               radiation emitted by spent fuel (nuclear fuel that can no
contains no efficient source of renewable energy, but energy         longer sustain nuclear energy creation) is very harmful to the
can be created from sources that are close to being                  environment and needs to be addressed in a careful manner.
completely renewable and are relatively efficient (compared          Also, if even a minor problem occurs during the nuclear fuel
to other energy sources). Fuels such as coal and natural gas         cycle the consequences could be extremely damaging.
have very little sustainability given that they are both             Incidents such as Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and the
nonrenewable resources and harmful to the environment.               more recent Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant crisis highlight the
Nuclear energy, however, has the potential of becoming a             importance of safety in such a delicate process. With energy
leading source of sustainable power through advances in              sources pushing to become more cost effective it is no
technology and management of materials.                              wonder that nuclear energy has also pushed towards this
    The popularity of nuclear energy has increased                   goal. There are many techniques to address the issues of
substantially since its pioneering days. The following graph         ionizing radiation, which in turn have increased the
shows the world’s current sources energy and in what form            popularity of nuclear energy.
it is obtained.
                                                                               Nuclear Energy in the Political World
         Nuclear Energy and Energy as a Whole

University of Pittsburgh                                                                       Swanson School of Engineering
Eleventh Annual Freshman Conference                                                                          March 03, 2011
                                                                 1
                                                                                        Nicholas Hartman and Scott Wohlgamuth


Politically, nuclear energy has been a controversial issue for          produced by them, is very low. Only twenty-eight billion
the past several decades. The main issues that have risen are           dollars total have been spent on managing nuclear waste,
how to manage the waste produced during the nuclear fuel                whereas more than ten times that cost is paid to managing
cycle, how to manage the environmentally unfriendly spent               the waste produced from burning coal each year [5].
fuel, and whether or not nuclear energy is more trouble than                Sealing nuclear byproducts within containers is currently
it is worth. Another controversial issue is the fact the spent          the only conventional method of discarding the radiation and
fuel is at risk of being proliferated by potential terrorists and       waste produced by the nuclear fuel cycle without
used in weapons. Although these issues have arisen, many of             reprocessing (referred to later). The spent fuel is collected
them have been addressed and a new political light has been             and contained within barrels, usually made of a durable
shed onto nuclear energy.                                               high-density metal, and then stored within the earth or
                                                                        elsewhere. Spent nuclear fuel can be buried in the ocean bed,
                        Nuclear Waste                                   natural rock, and man-made rock [6]. Although not
                                                                        underground, waste produced from the nuclear fuel cycle
Unfortunately, few people know that nuclear power is                    can also be stored in dry casks. Dry cask storage of spent
generated in one of two processes; nuclear fission and                  nuclear fuel involves storing the fuel in containers filled with
nuclear fusion. In nuclear fission, the nuclei of atoms are             inert gas, which ensures no harmful reaction will occur with
split. When the nuclei are split massive amounts of energy              the spent nuclear fuel. Dry casks can be placed anywhere
are released and this energy is harnessed and transformed               above ground, but are usually in designated storage areas in
into more usable energy. Fission occurs between the nuclei              close proximity to the power plant. However, before dry
of atoms with masses greater than that of iron [2]. A large             cask storage can occur, the spent fuel must spend at least
nucleus of an element such as Uranium is bombarded with                 five years in a spent fuel pool [7]. These pools protect from
subatomic particles in an effort to cause a chain reaction              radiation and cool the spent fuel until it can be discarded or
leading to rapid radioactive decay. However, in nuclear                 reprocessed safely [8]. The fuel often spends ten years in the
fusion an entirely different process occurs. During nuclear             pool before being dry cask stored or reprocessed.
fusion, the nuclei of atoms are forced, or “fused,” together            Unfortunately, storage of nuclear byproducts using any
and create a huge release of energy which is harnessed and              method can only occur after the spent fuel has had a
transformed. Fusion must take place in an environment of                sufficient amount of time to cool down to a workable
great density and temperature and utilizes the nuclei of                temperature.
atoms with masses lower than that of iron [3]. Unfortunately,               In addition to simply storing or disposing of nuclear
during both of the above processes a large amount of                    waste, it can also be managed by being reprocessed. Nuclear
radiation and nuclear waste is produced. It is the production           reprocessing involves using chemical reactions to separate
of these byproducts during the nuclear fuel cycle that causes           the useful components from spent, and no longer useful,
nuclear energy to be a less popular and efficient form of               fuel. Essentially the nuclear fuel is being “recycled.” Usually
power generation. Nuclear waste can be classified into                  the components being removed during reprocessing are the
several categories. These categories include low-level waste            actinides. The actinides are a group of elements ranging
(LLW), intermediate-level waste (ILW), transuranic waste                from Actinium (89) to Lawrencium (103). The lanthanides,
(TW), and high-level waste (HLW), respectively placed in                being the group of elements from Lanthanum (57) to
increasing severity. Most waste produced during the nuclear             Lutetium (71) are also valuable to nuclear reprocessing. The
fuel process or in weapons development falls between TW                 significance of these elements (most of which are
and HLW. The other types of waste are produced in various               transuranic) is that they have large nuclei that are well suited
settings such as medical and weapon facilities [4].                     for fission. [9].
    Nuclear waste produced during the nuclear fuel cycle is                 Plutonium and Uranium Recovery by Extraction
very small compared to other energy sources. Currently,                 (PUREX) is currently the most prominent method of nuclear
approximately two-hundred thousand cubic meters of LLW                  reprocessing. The extraction occurs by exploiting the
and ILW have been produced and ten thousand cubic meters                different solubilities of components in spent nuclear fuel.
of HLW has been produced [5].                                           Next by submerging the spent fuel in different liquids and
    The goal of nuclear waste management is to provide a                allowing the various constituents of the fuel to dissolve, they
safe, yet cost-effective, as well as efficient method to treat          can then be extracted [10]. PUREX has many variations
nuclear waste and spent fuel, whether that be by recycling              which are as follows: UREX, TRUEX, DIAMEX, SANEX,
the components of waste that can be recycled, or storing the            UNEX, COEX, and GANEX. Uranium Extraction (UREX)
waste so that the harmful effects of the waste can be                   involves the PUREX but is modified to allow for only
disregarded. However, nothing can be done without some                  Uranium to be extracted, where Plutonium is left behind.
monetary trade off. The cost of waste management is                     This decreases the volume of waste needed to be stored.
approximately five percent of the total cost of the electricity         Transuranic Extraction (TRUEX) was designed to remove
produced by the power plant. This cost, when compared to                only transuranic metals from waste. Diamide Extraction
the cost of managing other energy sources and the waste                 (DIAMEX) involves removing transuranic metals from
University of Pittsburgh                                                                           Swanson School of Engineering
Eleventh Annual Freshman Conference                                                                              March 03, 2011
                                                                    2
                                                                                     Nicholas Hartman and Scott Wohlgamuth


nuclear waste without the formation of organic waste and is          two different categories: short-lived and long-lived waste
currently in development. Selective Actinide Extraction              which both have half-lives over 30 years; the difference
(SANEX) acts just as the name suggests. This modification            between the two being the level radionuclides which are the
to PUREX involves selectively removing the lanthanides               atomic fragments left after the fission process. [4] LLW
and actinides from nuclear waste. Universal Extraction               originates from a wide variety of sources including medical
(UNEX) involves completely removing the most bothersome              facilities, universities, and federal research labs. [13]
radioisotopes from the waste (Strontium, Cesium and minor               ILW is treated under varying levels of regulation
actinides) and can only be done once the PUREX process               depending on origin and requirements for storage in
has been completed. Co-Extraction (COEX) is currently in             repositories near the surface. [4] ILW typically comes from
development and involves extracting Uranium, Plutonium,              isotope enrichment plants, weapons facilities, and nuclear
and even neptunium from nuclear waste as well as providing           power plants; additionally, because it is more radioactive it
a steady supply of Uranium. The final modification, being            must be shielded with high density materials in order to
Group Actinide Extraction (GANEX), involves the                      contain the emitted radioactive energy. [13]
extraction of Uranium and Plutonium as well as separating               HLW is characterized as liquid containing high levels of
minor actinides and lanthanides. During the GANEX                    radionuclides [4]. HLW waste comes from the spent fuel
process Lanthanides turn into waste and the other                    from within nuclear reactors, and because of the dangerously
components are used for fuel [9] [10]. Mixed-oxide fuel              high temperature and level of radioactivity the spent fuel
(MOX fuel) is often created as a product of PUREX and                must be immediately cooled and stored in containers
related processes and provides two percent of the nuclear            shielded by high-density material [13].
fuel used today [11].                                                   A specific waste worth mention is transuranic waste,
    Another option for reprocessing, although uncommon, is           which is waste that is derived from elements with atomic
pyroprocessing. During pyroprocessing, molten salts and              numbers greater than that of Uranium’s (92). Transuranic
metals are used in a similar way as water and organic                waste’s level of radioactivity falls within the range of HLW
compounds are used in the PUREX process. Pyroprocessing              and ILW and is treated with more caution than ILW and
is easily understood and implemented, which is an advantage          LLW. In addition to this, transuranic waste has a greater
over the PUREX process. However, pyroprocessing is not as            half-life than that of other radioactive isotopes because of
common due to the fact that PUREX plants are conveniently            the larger number of neutrons in the nucleus. Transuranic
available and the byproduct of pyroprocessing (various salts)        waste is typically created during weapons production and
cannot be utilized as efficiently as the byproducts of the           within nuclear research facilities [14].
PUREX process [10].
    With the numerous options available for nuclear                       NUCLEAR POWER IS A CRUCIAL ENERGY
reprocessing, there is little problem in choosing which to use
for specific purposes. The only thing left to do is improve                 SOURCE DESPITE ITS BY-PRODUCT
upon the techniques that are currently being used for
managing nuclear waste.                                              Petrol, coal, and natural gas are becoming less available
                                                                     means of generating electricity and more harmful to the
                                                                     environment; therefore, alternate energy sources are
NUCLEAR BY-PRODUCTS: WHAT THEY ARE AND                               paramount now and will remain to be in the future a. While
        WHERE THEY COME FROM                                         solar, wind, and hydroelectric plants are clean forms of
                                                                     generating power, they are not very efficient or cost
The different types of wastes, as defined by the International       effective. In fact compared to energy generation via means
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in ascending levels of                  of coal and oil, “One ton of uranium produces more energy
radioactivity are: waste exempt from classification, low level       than is produced by several million tons of coal or several
waste (LLW), intermediate level waste (ILW), and high                million barrels of oil.” [15] In comparison, nuclear power
level waste (HLW). Exempt waste is “waste that is released           plants require substantially less land to operate as well as a
from regulatory control in accordance with exemption                 lesser loss of biomass than their renewable energy
principles” [12]. This waste does not fall under the same            counterparts. “For a 1000 MW (Megawatt) plant, site
standards of regulation as other forms of waste due to the           requirements are estimated as follows: nuclear, 1-4 km2;
fact that exposure to it is not significant enough to require        solar or photovoltaic park, 20-50 km2; a wind field, 50-150
the same level of caution; therefore, it will not be mentioned       km2; and biomass, 4.000-6.000 km2” [12]. Nuclear energy,
in this paper.                                                       apart from its radioactive byproduct, is a clean source of
    LLW is waste that has a higher level of radioactivity than       energy. The amount of CO2 produced by the process of
exempt waste with a thermal power, the thermal energy used           nuclear fission in the reactors is miniscule and therefore
to generate the steam in the nuclear power process, within           negligible. Additionally, the technology for producing the
the area of 2 kilowatt per meter cubed but falls under less          power through fission is already in existence and is readily
strict standards than HLW [4]. LLW can be subdivided into            available in a number of developed countries. While nuclear

University of Pittsburgh                                                                       Swanson School of Engineering
Eleventh Annual Freshman Conference                                                                          March 03, 2011
                                                                 3
                                                                                        Nicholas Hartman and Scott Wohlgamuth


power is not entirely renewable, the spent fuel can be
recycled and then reused in the nuclear fuel cycle. By                  Current Political Steps Towards Effective Fuel Disposal
reprocessing the spent fuel, a considerably large amount of
waste is reduced. Most of the spent fuel “about 96% is                  Since the Reagan Administration the only great leap
uranium, of which less than 1% is the fissile U-235 (often              attempted in reducing the amount of nuclear waste by means
0.4-0.8%); and up to 1% is plutonium” [14]. Both forms of               of reprocessing has been the decision by the Department of
uranium can be reprocessed and reused in the nuclear fuel               Energy (DOE) to build a Mix Oxide (MOX) fuel
cycle saving almost a third of the required materials for               fabrication/reprocessing facility in South Carolina; currently
fission. Currently the amount of uranium stored as nuclear              the site is under construction and is estimated to be
waste in on site repositories could run the US reactor fleet            completed in 2014 and operational in 2016. Nuclear power
(producing 100 Gigawatts) for almost 30 years with no new               has been a politically charged topic in Congressional
uranium input if it were reprocessed [15]. That is a                    sessions with Republicans pushing for expansion and
significantly large amount of potential fuel that could be              innovation and Democrats opposing it. Contrary to the norm,
utilized to generate electricity and possibly reduce reliance           in 2008 Democratic president Barack Obama issued the
upon other sources of power. Reprocessing the spent fuel                statement, "I will tap our natural gas-reserves, invest in clean
from fission is one way sustainability can be achieved.                 coal technology and find ways to safely harness nuclear
                                                                        power…" [17]. This shows a great deal of promise in the
    THE HISTORY OF NUCLEAR POWER IN THE                                 future for the growth of the nuclear power industry.
                                                                        Unfortunately, there is still a copious amount of dispute on
               UNITED STATES                                            the means of storing spent fuel. A centerpiece of this dispute
                                                                        is the proposed Yucca Mountain storage facility, soon to be
     Why the Unites States Does Not Reprocess Fuel                      built in the Yucca Mountains of Nevada. In 1995 a board
                                                                        convened to determine if Yucca Mountain was an optimum
With nearly three decades of fuel readily available for                 long term repository by researching safety and security of
reprocessing and use, it makes little sense for nuclear power           the area. The overall conclusion of the board, which was
plants (in the U.S.) to use freshly mined and enriched                  commissioned by the National Research Academy, was that
uranium in the fuel cycle and then just dump it in a large and          Yucca Mountain was a prime location for disposal of nuclear
potentially hazardous container several hundred meters                  waste due to the almost negligible generational effects of
away. Historically, the reason that the United States does not          radiation on an extremely small population base in the area
reprocess its fuel and incorporate it in the system is that it is       [17]. Additionally, the Government Accountability Office
a potential risk factor. Nuclear threats are frightening and            (GAO) did an in depth analysis of the Yucca Mountain
real; those with the intent to harm are always searching for            Storage facility versus the current method of on-site storage
nuclear material in order to create dirty bombs, which are              and two alternative repositories. Conclusively, the GAO
explosives designed to simply spread quantities of                      found that while centralized repository cannot be the final
radioactive material with the intent to radiate a population,           solution it is a more cost effective and efficient solution than
and full-scale nuclear devices similar to the ones used to end          on-site repositories around the country [18].
WWII. In order to prevent nuclear catastrophes from
occurring, legislative and executive decisions were
implemented to improve security (i.e. lock up nuclear waste                  A LOOK INTO THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND
until a better solution is resolved) [16].                                    HUMAN IMPACT OF NUCLEAR WASTE
   The beginning of federal intervention in nuclear power
security was President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the                    Nuclear waste can not only affect the environment but it can
Private Ownership of Special Nuclear Materials Act                      also affect society and humans themselves. The nuclear
allowing ownership of nuclear fuel used in commercial                   materials that we use in the United States at our nuclear
plants; subsequently, on 30 June 1973 it became mandatory               power plants are hazardous to humans and the surrounding
for nuclear fuel to be privately owned [15]. On 7 April 1977            environment. The main issue is that nuclear waste can cause
President Jimmy Carter openly announces that the United                 contamination over time to our environment. For example,
States would cease all plans to reprocess spent fuel                    when buried nuclear waste containers are damaged, either by
indefinitely in order to prevent the procurement of nuclear             corrosion or the earth itself, the radioactive material can seep
materials by unfriendly hands. While this would tighten                 into the ground and contaminate water supplies. This is not
security, it would also prove to create a greater amount of             only a hazard to any form of life within the water source, but
nuclear waste and change the nuclear industry on the                    also forms of life connected to the water source as well.
political battlefield. During Reagan’s administration the ban
on reprocessing was lifted. Unfortunately no proponent was                                 Water Contamination
created to stimulate reprocessing spent fuel following this
repeal [16].

University of Pittsburgh                                                                           Swanson School of Engineering
Eleventh Annual Freshman Conference                                                                              March 03, 2011
                                                                    4
                                                                                     Nicholas Hartman and Scott Wohlgamuth


    An example of this catastrophe is occurring in Canada.            In terms of the brain, radiation rarely affects an individual
Radioactive waste from power plants and facilities is                unless a massive amount of radiation has been absorbed in
entering the water supply, increasing the rate at which birth        that particular area; in these cases, degeneration of the brain
defects occur in newborns and increasing the risk of cancer.         occurs by means of a slow burn process in which the cells of
Tritium, an isotope of hydrogen, has been found in Canada’s          the brain die and cannot be replaced. Since it is rare for
water sources and is the source of the contamination. The            humans to absorb radiation in such a way, the effect of
emissions of Tritium from nuclear power plants in Canada             radiation on humans is primarily psychological. Individuals
have more than doubled over the past decade and they are             can develop paranoia, anxiety, depression, and other stress
continuing to rise. Tritium inflicts damage by entering DNA,         related disorders through fear of radiation poisoning.
carbohydrates, fat, and proteins. The Tritium can have               Nuclear terrorism, regardless of whether or not enemies
several effects on the molecular level inside an organism.           possess nuclear capabilities, is a constant stressor on the
These effects include creating an imbalance in pH thus               human psyche and can result in the disorders above [21].
denaturing the molecule or acting as an inhibitor in certain
proteins. Tritium regulations, due to this incident in Canada,                  A SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM
have become increasingly stricter all over the continent and
tritium levels are being monitored closely [19].                     As stated earlier, there are many ways to reprocess the spent
    Staying on the topic of water contamination, another way         nuclear fuel in order to recycle components of the spent fuel
waste can enter a water source is through illegal ocean              for re-use. The most popular of choices is the PUREX
dumping. In this action, radioactive waste from the nuclear          reprocessing process. To go in depth, the first step of the
fuel cycle, medical practices, and isotopic research is              process is dissolving the spent nuclear fuel in nitric acid. The
illegally dumped into our oceans. Although this may provide          insoluble solids must be removed or they will interfere with
a quick and easy solution to a company’s problem, it causes          the liquid-liquid extraction. Very small solids can stabilize
many environmental problems namely mutations in oceanic              an emulsion, which should be avoided. When the plutonium
life. Radioactive waste remains radioactive for many, many           and uranium are placed into the nitric acid they form
years, which causes it to continuously contaminate the body          Pu(NO3)4 (aq) and UO2(NO3)2 (aq), respectively. The second
of water it is poured into. The only way nuclear waste can be        step is to recover the uranium and plutonium nitrate
legally discarded into the ocean is if it is treated first and       compounds. The uranium and plutonium nitrates are then
placed into drums to prevent exposure to the ocean water             vigorously mixed with an organic solvent consisting of thirty
[20].                                                                percent tributyl phosphate (TBP) dissolved in kerosene. The
    Accumulation of nuclear waste in our oceans is                   Pu (IV) and U (VI) cations form neutral nitrate complexes.
destructive to marine and human health. Eutrophication can           These valuable components are then selectively extracted
occur in the ocean, as well as any body of water.                    into an organic phase. The unneeded fission products remain
Eutrophication is a biological process in which dissolved            in the aqueous nitric phase and can be discarded, safely of
nutrients cause oxygen-depleting bacteria and plants to              course. Further processing can separate the plutonium from
proliferate and in turn create hypoxic environments that kill        the uranium. Plutonium is separated from uranium based on
marine life. One step past marine life is human life [20].           the reduction of Pu (IV) to Pu (III), using various reducing
                                                                     agents such as Fe2+. The Pu (III) is retained in the aqueous
         Effects of Radiation on Physical Health                     phase while the U (VI) is retained in the organic phase. U
                                                                     (VI) is rather stable in the form of UO22, and so it does not
Radioactive materials have a considerable effect on the              need to be reduced. The reducing agent is not strong enough
human body both physically and mentally. The damage                  to reduce U (VI) anyway, so it is convenient that this is so
caused by radiation is on the cellular level. High levels of         [22].
radiation can cause instant death or sever acute radiation              Thanks to PUREX reprocessing and related processes,
syndrome (ARS). Ionizing radiation (radionuclide)                    nuclear waste can be drastically decreased and the half-life
bombards the human body and its cells causing massive cell           of remaining radioactive waste reduced to a much smaller
death, the denaturing of proteins, and denaturing of the DNA         time. Although the process does not completely reduce the
and RNA in the nucleus of the cell. Even low levels of               amount of nuclear waste, it is enough to make a significant
radiation can be detrimental to health over long periods of          difference to the amount of nuclear waste being produced
time; prolonged exposure to ionizing radiation causes                and to the energy world itself. The United States needs to
damage to the gastrointestinal tract, blood and bone marrow,         accept reprocessing for what it is: a solution to a critical
and skin cells. It can also reduce the body’s ability to fight       problem.
off infection and repair itself [21].
                                                                                  WHAT HAS BEEN DISCUSSED
          Effects of Radiation on Mental Health



University of Pittsburgh                                                                        Swanson School of Engineering
Eleventh Annual Freshman Conference                                                                           March 03, 2011
                                                                 5
                                                                                                    Nicholas Hartman and Scott Wohlgamuth


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<http://www.wired.com/politics/security/news/2009/03/nuclear>.                  <http://marinebio.org/oceans/ocean-dumping.asp>.

[7] U.S.NRC. "NRC: Dry Cask Storage." NRC: Home Page. Oct. 2010.                [21]     "Ionizing   Radiation     Injury   --    Britannica   Online
Web. 03 Mar. 2011. <http://www.nrc.gov/waste/spent-fuel-storage/dry-            Encyclopedia." Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Web. 03
cask-storage.html>.                                                             Mar. 2011. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/293096/ionizing-
                                                                                radiation-injury>.
[8] U.S.NRC. "NRC: Spent Fuel Pools." NRC: Home Page. Oct. 2010.
Web.      03     Mar. 2011.    <http://www.nrc.gov/waste/spent-fuel-            [22] "Current Method of Reprocessing (Nuclear Energy: Fuel of the
storage/pools.html>.                                                            Future?)." Princeton University Blog Service. Web. 03 Mar. 2011.
                                                                                <http://blogs.princeton.edu/chm333/f2006/nuclear/2007/01/current_method
[9] World Nuclear Association. "Processing of Used Nuclear Fuel." World         _of_reprocessing.html>.
Nuclear Association | Nuclear Power - a Sustainable Energy Resource. Jan.
2011. Web. 03 Mar. 2011. <http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf69.html>.                            ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
[10] "Nuclear Reprocessing." Wayne State University. 25 Feb. 2007. Web.
03                              Mar.                               2011.        We would like to thank the following for their contributions to this paper.
<http://webpages.eng.wayne.edu/~as8971/AIChE_SEF/Meetings/March232
007/Nuclear_reprocessingWIKI.pdf>.                                                         Professor Daniel Budny

[11] World Nuclear Association. "MOX, Mixed Oxide Fuel: WNA." World                        Nick Andes
Nuclear Association | Nuclear Power - a Sustainable Energy Resource.
Mar.     2009.      Web.      03  Mar.   2011.    <http://www.world-                       Angela Litvin
nuclear.org/info/inf29.html>.
                                                                                           Library Staff, University of Pittsburgh
[12] "Processing of Used Nuclear Fuel." World Nuclear Association |
Nuclear Power - a Sustainable Energy Resource. World Nuclear                               Those who read and reviewed this paper
Association, Jan. 2011. Web. 03 Mar. 2011. <http://www.world-
nuclear.org/info/inf69.html>.


University of Pittsburgh                                                                                         Swanson School of Engineering
Eleventh Annual Freshman Conference                                                                                            March 03, 2011
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