DOE to fund ~ deep burn ~ reactor design

Posted on May 1, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Two reactor R&D efforts are linked in a single grant funding opportunity
DOE has linked nuclear reactor R&D design work for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant and GNEP objectives to the the concept of nuclear fuel “Deep-Burn” in which plutonium and higher transuranics recycled from spent nuclear fuel are destroyed. GNEP and NGNP have been more or less until now traveling down separate R&D paths. Now with this new $7.3 million grant, their paths and fates may be intertwined.
“The Deep-Burn concept is particularly attractive because it employs the reactor design that is used for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant program, with the potential for highly efficient electricity and process heat production,” Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dennis Spurgeon said. “We are eager to see how this concept can add to the mix of advanced nuclear technologies.”
The transuranic elements are the hottest and most radiotoxic chemical elements in used nuclear fuel that require disposal in a waste repository. In Deep-Burn, the transuranics from used light water reactor fuel are recycled into coated-particle fuel and “burned” in a VHTR while producing energy in the form of process heat and electricity. The term “Deep-Burn” is used because of the VHTR’s ability to reach very high fuel burnups (up to 65 percent of initial fuel), resulting in very efficient use of the fuel and a high degree of destruction of the transuranics.
Source~ djysrv

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