Nuclear Energy- Record fuel burn
Coated particle fuel fabricated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in cooperation with Idaho National Laboratory, General Atomics, and the Babcock & Wilcox Company, has set a world record for advanced high temperature gas-cooled reactor fuel. In recent tests at INL's Advanced Test Reactor, the ORNL fuel achieved a 19 percent burn-up, double the previous world record and more than three times the rate of standard nuclear fuel at U.S. power plants. Robust fuel performance is a major key to enabling the operation of advanced gas-cooled reactors, which offer more efficient operation, less waste disposal, lower proliferation risks, and other benefits over water-cooled reactor designs now used at U.S. nuclear power plants. The fuel work, conducted in ORNL's Materials Science and Technology Division, is funded by DOE's Office of Nuclear Energy as part of the Department of Energy's Next Generation Nuclear Power Plant project. ORNL and INL scientists will now conduct post irradiation examination of the fuel to check the fuel for degradation, safety performance under simulated accident conditions, and other characteristics to better understand the relationship between the fuel fabrication process, fuel product properties and in-reactor performance.
December 09, 2009