Nuclear Energy pp 159-163 | Cite as

Modern Nuclear Fuel Cycles

  • James S. Tulenko
Reference work entry
Part of the Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology Series book series (ESSTS)


MWD/MTU (megawatt days of energy produced per metric ton of uranium contained)

Energy produced per metric ton of uranium (fuel) contained. Current Nuclear Regulatory Commission limits for nuclear power plant fuel is 62,000 MWD/MTU. Normal lifetime of a fuel assembly is 55,000 MWD/MTU.


An ore with a very high UO2 content of up to 70%. Pitchblende also contains radium, thorium, cerium, and lead.

The Department of Energy

Required by law to be responsible for the spent fuel and collects a fee of 1 mill/kWh of nuclear electricity for disposal.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (US NRC)

Regulatory body for radioactive materials and nuclear power plants.


More readily available nuclear fuel than uranium, being four times more abundant than uranium in the earth’s crust.

Uranium dioxide (UO 2)

An insoluble oxide of uranium which is the form commonly used in commercial nuclear fuel.


Occurs in most rocks in concentrations of two (sedimentary rocks) to four...


  1. 1.
    Cochran RG, Tsoulfanidis N (1999) The nuclear fuel cycle: analysis and management. American Nuclear Society, La Grange ParkGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wilson PD (1996) The nuclear fuel cycle: from ore to waste. Oxford Science, OxfordGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Development of Advanced Nuclear Fuels and MaterialsUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations