The two main drivers of materials development in the nuclear fuel domain are safety and fuel cycle cost, says Alain Frichet, vice president of Fuel Products and Technologies at Framatome.
With growing concerns over the climate and heated debates on grid reliability, the narrative on nuclear is starting to shift. More and more people are starting to realize that the nation’s largest and most reliable source of clean energy must be in the mix to help America meet its future energy needs.
Some jobs are just cooler than others and these researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have a pretty sweet gig. They test the failure points of nuclear materials in order to develop new fuel rods for the nation’s commercial fleet of reactors. Sounds pretty cool, huh? It is, and it all happens right here at the lab’s Severe Accident Test Station, also known as SATS.
The U.S. Department of Energy is working with industry to quickly develop new fuels with enhanced accident tolerance. These nuclear fuels will not only increase the safety of today’s light-water reactors but also improve plant performance at a crucial time for the U.S. nuclear industry. A number of reactors are currently under economic stress and…