United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment
Home > NRC Library > Basic References > Glossary > Fuel reprocessing (recycling)

Fuel reprocessing (recycling)

The processing of reactor fuel to separate the unused fissionable material from waste material. Reprocessing extracts isotopes from spent nuclear fuel so they can be used again as reactor fuel. Commercial reprocessing is not practiced in the U.S., although it has been practiced in the past. However, the U.S. Department of Defense oversees reprocessing programs at DOE facilities such as in Hanford, WA, and Savannah River, SC. These wastes as well as those wastes at a formerly operating commercial reprocessing facility at West Valley, NY, are not regulated by the NRC. For related information, see High-Level Waste and Waste Incidental to Reprocessing.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, October 28, 2014