Legally and politically nuclear fuel is the one of the most controversial aspects of any nuclear project. As such, it requires sensible, practical and experienced advice. The term fuel covers a multitude of processes including:
- the enrichment of uranium;
- the fabrication of fuel rods;
- the transportation of spent fuel;
- the reprocessing of fuel rods; and
- the fabrication of MOX.
Special consideration needs to be given to each project when it comes to the issue of fuel. Has the country in which the project is being built agreed not to enrich uranium or to reprocess fuel? Who is going to fabricate the fuel? How are enriched uranium and/or fuel rods going to be transported to the project? Is the fuel to be supplied or leased? How is spent fuel to be dealt with? What are the reporting and regulatory requirements for the nuclear material in its different forms? What trans-national issues and regulatory requirements does the operator of the nuclear station need to be aware of?
The Nuclear Services Group has experience of dealing with all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle. We advise on the mining of uranium through to the fabrication of fuel rods including MOX fuel. We have hands on experience of dealing with fuel supply and fabrication contracts as well as reprocessing and spent fuel agreements, and in this highly political area, experience is a pre-requisite.