There have been numerous criticisms     of the hype cycle, prominent among which are that it is not a cycle, that the outcome does not depend on the nature of the technology itself, that it is not scientific in nature, and that it does not reflect changes over time in the speed at which technology develops. Another is that the "cycle" has no real benefits to the development or marketing of new technologies and merely comments on pre-existing trends. Specific disadvantages when compared to, for example, technology readiness level are:
Used fuel still contains about 96% of its original uranium, of which the fissionable U-235 content has been reduced to less than 1%. About 3% of the used fuel comprises waste products and the remaining 1% is plutonium (Pu) produced while the fuel was in the reactor and not 'burned' then.
Reprocessing separates uranium and plutonium from waste products (and from the fuel assembly cladding) by chopping up the fuel rods and dissolving them in acid to separate the various materials. It enables recycling of the uranium and plutonium into fresh fuel, and produces a significantly reduced amount of waste (compared with treating all used fuel as waste). See page on Processing of Used Nuclear Fuel . The remaining 3% of high-level radioactive wastes (some 750 kg per year from a 1000 MWe reactor) can be stored in liquid form and subsequently solidified.