- This paper will present a high-fidelity system analysis of advanced nuclear energy systems approaching a zero-nuclear-waste limit. The focus will be on achievable performance characteristics. The applied high-fidelity system modeling approach will be discussed with illustrations using obtained physics simulation results. The near-term deployable dedicated small 14 MeV-neutron waste incineration back-end clean-up facilities are envisioned as advanced incinerators that are used in combination with thermal reactors (Westinghouse AP1000 and Generation IV VHTR are considered in the present study) to minimize the remaining long-lived radioactive species. These 14 MeV transmuters are viewed as small facilities designed to reduce waste inventories prior to reprocessing stages minimizing spent fuel activity levels and repository requirements. It is envisioned that under sustainable nuclear energy scenario small clean-up facilities will eventually evolve into self-consistent complexes producing electricity and serving as energy sources for industrial applications. The paper discusses physics features of these advanced systems and challenges of their conclusive evaluations. 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.