Professor ZHU Yongjun
Member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering
In the utilization of nuclear fission energy, radioactive fission products and transuranium elements are formed. Decay energy from fission products accounts for about 6% of total fission energy. A small part is released and absorbed in the reactor core, but the remaining decay energy causes great difficulties in nuclear waste storage and disposal. Plutonium, the most important of the transuranium elements, is a valuable nuclear resource. However, it is also the main issue of nuclear non-proliferation. The long-term α-radioactivity of transuranium elements causes safety problems in nuclear waste's final disposal. We expect that in the 21st century, an advanced nuclear fuel cycle will be developed. The quantity of nuclear waste will be minimized and the long-term radiotoxicity of nuclear waste will be significantly decreased.