Heavy ions from Argonne’s ATLAS speed nuclear materials research

January 19, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News
Argonne scientists adjust the AMIS beamline prior to its commissioning. (Photo: Argonne)

Argonne’s newest beamline uses heavy ions to degrade a material’s properties as much in a day as a nuclear reactor does in a year, without introducing radioactivity. That’s according to an article published January 16 by Argonne National Laboratory. The Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System (ATLAS) now boasts a new beamline—the ATLAS Material Irradiation Station, or AMIS—that uses the accelerator’s lowest high-energy beams to displace atoms and mimic the degradation of materials inside an operating reactor over time. AMIS makes it easier and faster to test candidate fuel and structural materials for existing and future reactors.

Testing completed on DOE’s spent fuel transport railcar

September 28, 2023, 9:18AMRadwaste Solutions
The Atlas railcar carries a test load simulating a shipment of spent nuclear fuel. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy has wrapped up testing of its Atlas railcar, successfully completing a round-trip journey from Pueblo, Colo., to Scoville, Idaho. Built to safety standards set by the Association of American Railroads (AAR), the 12-axle railcar is designed to transport large containers of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.

Argonne National Lab: Making nuclear research reactors more secure

August 15, 2023, 3:01PMNuclear NewsChristina Nunez

Nuclear research reactors throughout the world enable crucial scientific progress that benefit many sectors, health care and the environment among them. But some of those reactors need an important adjustment: a conversion from using high-enriched uranium fuel to using low-enriched uranium fuel.

DOE seeks proposals to build and test high-tech railcar for spent nuclear fuel

January 25, 2022, 1:53PMRadwaste Solutions
Graphical rendering of Fortis railcar design with spent nuclear fuel cask. (Image: DOE)

The Department of Energy has issued a request for proposals for the fabrication and testing of a prototype eight-axle railcar to carry the nation’s spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The heavy-duty, flat-deck railcar design known as “Fortis” received approval from the Association of American Railroads (AAR) in January 2021 to proceed to building and testing.

DOE gets go-ahead to build spent fuel/high-level waste railcars

February 9, 2021, 3:04PMRadwaste Solutions

Graphical rendering of Fortis railcar design with spent nuclear fuel cask. Image: DOE

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) recently gave the Department of Energy approval to begin building and testing Fortis, a high-tech railcar designed specifically to transport the nation’s spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Fortis is one of two specialized railcars under development by the DOE that could be operational within the next five years.

Fortis is an eight-axle, flat-deck railcar that will be able to transport large containers of spent fuel and HLW. It is equipped with high-tech sensors and monitoring systems that report 11 different performance features back to the operators in real time. The railcar design was completed earlier this year, with technical support from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

According to the DOE, AAR signed off on the design in January, allowing the department to begin fabricating and testing the prototype in compliance with the rail industry’s highest design standard for railcars transporting spent fuel and HLW.