Partitioning and Transmutation of Spent Nuclear Fuel:

The U.S. Program on Fuel Development


Dr. Mitchell K. Meyer

Argonne National Laboratory-West, Idaho Falls ID


The major contributors to long-term radiotoxicity in spent nuclear fuel are the minor actinide

elements and a few long-lived fission products.  These elements can be destroyed through

neutron fission and capture (transmutation).  The effectiveness of a transmutation system in

reducing the actinide inventory is linked to the development of a robust ‘fuel’ system.  Very

little data has been generated to date on minor-actinide-bearing fuel systems.  Available data

are used to assess the implications of minor-actinide specific issues on transmuter fuel, and

the U.S. program for research in this area is presented.