Recycling of actinides by their separation from spent nuclear fuel, followed by transmutation in fast neutron reactors of Generation IV, is considered the most promising strategy for nuclear waste management. Closing the fuel cycle and burning long-lived actinides allows optimizing the use of natural resources and minimizing the long-term hazard of high-level nuclear waste. Moreover, improving the safety and sustainability of nuclear power worldwide. This paper presents the activities striving to meet these challenges, carried out under the Euratom FP7 collaborative project SACSESS (Safety of Actinide Separation Processes). Emphasis is put on the safety issues of fuel reprocessing and waste storage. Two types of actinide separation processes, hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurgical, are considered, as well as related aspects of material studies, process modeling and the radiolytic stability of solvent extraction systems. Education and training of young researchers in nuclear chemistry is of particular importance for further development of this field.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.