The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) has awarded $111.2 million to three industry partners to develop Accident Tolerant Fuels (ATF). General Electric (GE), Westinghouse (WEC), and Framatome received the financial assistance awards in late 2018 with FY18 and FY19 funding.
Time is everything. Especially when you are preventing a potential accident of any kind. In the nuclear energy arena, enhanced accident tolerant fuel (EATF) started with this in mind. In the quest to make this powerful, efficient, and safe form of energy ever safer, a lot of people in the industry were asking the question – how do we give ourselves more time to react in the unlikely scenario of an accident in the nuclear reactor?
Framatome recently received a $49 million, 28-month grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to accelerate the development and commercialization of enhanced accident tolerant fuel (EATF). These fuel designs enhance performance during normal operations at nuclear power plants and provide operators with more time to respond in the event of loss of active cooling.
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.