After decades of designing magnetic and inertial fusion power plants, it is timely to develop a new framework for managing the activated (and contaminated) materials that will be generated during plant operation and after decommissioning-a framework that takes into account the lessons learned from numerous international fusion and fission studies and the environmental, political, and present reality in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. This will clearly demonstrate that designers developing fusion facilities will be dealing with the back end of this type of energy production from the beginning of the conceptual design of power plants. It is becoming evident that future regulations for geological burial will be upgraded to assure tighter environmental controls. Along with the political difficulty of constructing new repositories worldwide, the current reality suggests reshaping all aspects of handling the continual stream of fusion active materials. Beginning in the mid 1980s and continuing to the present, numerous fusion designs examined replacing the disposal option with more environmentally attractive approaches, redirecting their attention to recycling and clearance while continuing the development of materials with low activation potential. There is a growing international effort in support of this new trend. In this paper, recent history is analyzed, a new fusion waste management scheme is covered, and possibilities for how its prospects can be improved are examined.
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