UCOR partners with college to fill cleanup roles

October 25, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News
UCOR chemical operator apprentices (seated) take instruction at the Liquid and Gaseous Waste Operations at ORNL. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management cleanup contractor UCOR has increased its ability to recruit employees through a recent partnership with Tennessee’s Roane State Community College.

Crews demolish second legacy Oak Ridge reactor lab

October 2, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
The Low Intensity Test Reactor structure is lifted from its housing and placed in a specialized carbon metal container for shipment for disposal. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management announced it has completed a second of its 2023 priorities at Oak Ridge in as many months with the demolition of the Low Intensity Test Reactor, known as Building 3005, at the Tennessee site.

Watch a video of Building 3005 and its decommissioning here.

Oak Ridge breaks ground on critical new disposal facility

August 25, 2023, 7:01AMRadwaste Solutions
Taking part in the Environmental Management Disposal Facility groundbreaking, from left, were Steve Arnette of Jacobs; Mark Whitney of Amentum,; Wade Creswell, a Roane Co., Tenn., executive; Brent Booker of the Laborers’ International Union of North America; Kevin Adkisson of North America’s Building Trades Unions; Jeaneanne Gettle of the EPA; Lt. Gov. Randy McNally; David Salyers of TDEC; Ken Rueter of UCOR; Jay Mullis of OREM; U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann; and DOE-EM’s William “Ike” White. (Photo: DOE)

National, state, and local leaders joined the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) and its lead cleanup contractor, United Cleanup Oak Ridge (UCOR), earlier this month to celebrate the groundbreaking for a new on-site disposal facility at the Oak Ridge Reservation in Tennessee.

Watch a video highlighting the Environmental Management Disposal Facility groundbreaking ceremony here.

Fusion company Type One Energy opens Oak Ridge talent center

August 4, 2023, 7:01AMNuclear News

U.S. Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (R., Tenn.) speaks at the ETEC NOW Conference in Knoxville. (Photo: Type One Energy

Type One Energy Group, a Madison, Wis. –based stellarator fusion energy company, announced the opening of new offices in Oak Ridge, Tenn., during the East Tennessee Economic Council’s fifth annual NOW Conference, held August 1–2 in Knoxville.

Type One Energy’s expansion into Oak Ridge follows the company’s recent funding of an oversubscribed seed round of $29 million. The company is also one of eight fusion developers that was selected by the Department of Energy in late May to receive a total of $46 million in funding to kick off the public-private Milestone-Based Fusion Development Program, aimed at developing fusion pilot plant designs.

ORNL’s Spallation Neutron Source reaches 1.7-MW power level

July 24, 2023, 3:03PMNuclear News
Upgrades to the particle accelerator enabling the record 1.7-MW beam operating power at the ORNL’s SNS included adding 28 high-power radio-frequency klystrons (red tubes) to provide higher power for the accelerator. (Photo: Genevieve Martin/ORNL)

The Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory set a world record when its particle accelerator beam operating power reached 1.7 MW, an improvement on the facility’s original design capability of 1.4 MW, ORNL announced on July 21. That higher power provides more neutrons for researchers who use the Office of Science user facility for materials science investigations.

DOE ramps up plutonium oxide production to fuel NASA’s deep space missions

July 20, 2023, 7:01AMNuclear News
ORNL has developed an automated metrology system to produce Pu-238 pellets. (Photo: ORNL)

The Department of Energy recently shipped half a kilogram of plutonium oxide pellets from Oak Ridge National Laboratory to Los Alamos National Laboratory, the agency announced July 18, marking the largest such shipment since the DOE restarted domestic plutonium-238 production over a decade ago.

Kairos test reactor passes NRC safety review

June 28, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has completed its final safety evaluation for Kairos Power’s application to build its Hermes advanced test reactor at a site in Oak Ridge, Tenn., the agency announced recently. The evaluation found no safety aspects precluding issuance of a construction permit for the proposed reactor.

Seven companies get GAIN vouchers in this year’s third award round

June 27, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News

The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) announced June 26 the companies that have received GAIN Nuclear Energy Vouchers, which allow private companies to access the expertise and research capabilities of Department of Energy national laboratories to advance their projects toward commercial deployment. This is the third round of GAIN vouchers awarded for fiscal year 2023; the first round was announced in December 2022 and the second in March.

ORNL shuttered molten salt reactor made safer

May 12, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
For the first time in 26 years, work crews performed sampling of gaseous byproducts at the MSRE. (Photo: DOE)

The Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE) facility is one of hundreds of old, contaminated buildings at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee that are slated to be taken down.

ORNL-developed AR tool will help workers “see” radiation

May 8, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
A still image from an ORNL video demonstrating the VIPER technology. (Credit: ORNL)

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed a method of using augmented reality (AR) to create accurate visual representations of ionizing radiation, and that technology has just been licensed by Teletrix, a Pittsburgh, Pa.-based firm that develops simulators to train radiological workers and radiological control technicians. ORNL announced the news on May 4.

U.K. and U.S. national laboratories fuse interests in plasma partnership

March 21, 2023, 3:08PMNuclear News
The UKAEA will provide novel fusion materials to be irradiated in ORNL’s HFIR facility over the next four years. Pictured (from left) are Kathy McCarthy, director of the U.S. ITER Project; Jeremy Busby, ORNL’s associate lab director for fusion and fission energy and science; Mickey Wade, ONRL Fusion Energy Division director; Ian Chapman, chief executive officer of the UKAEA; Cynthia Jenks, ORNL’s associate lab director for physical sciences; and Yutai Kato, ORNL Materials Science and Technology Division interim director.

The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) have formed a strategic research partnership to investigate how different types of materials behave under the influence of high-energy neutron sources. The five-year partnership was announced by ORNL and by the UKAEA on March 13.

Record power at the Spallation Neutron Source means more neutrons for research

March 7, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
A control room monitor at ORNL’s SNS displays the power level of 1,555 kW (1.55 MW), a world record for a linear accelerator used for neutron research. (Photo: Jeremy Rumsey/ORNL)

The Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory set a world record for accelerator-driven neutron research when its linear accelerator reached an operating power of 1.55 MW, improving on the facility’s original design capability of 1.4 MW. That higher power means more neutrons for researchers who use the facility for neutron scattering research to reach materials science advances, ORNL announced recently.

Summer school to focus on advanced manufacturing and nonproliferation

February 24, 2023, 12:02PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Georgia Institute of Technology has announced the Consortium for Emerging Technologies and Innovation’s third ETI Annual Summer School, which will focus on advanced manufacturing within the context of nuclear nonproliferation.

Registration is now open. Register online by May 15, 2023.

OECD NEA’s workshop on reactor systems seeks participants

February 22, 2023, 7:02AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency is offering the first International School on Simulation of Nuclear Reactor Systems (SINUS) workshop in May this year, with the topic “Reactor Single- and Multi-Physics Simulations Based on Light Water Reactor (LWR) Uncertainty Analysis in Modeling (UAM) Benchmark.”

Registration for the workshop is available online.

Looking back at 2022—April through June

January 4, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News

Another calendar year has passed. Before heading too far into 2023, let’s look back at what happened in 2022 for the American Nuclear Society and the nuclear community. In today's post that follows, we have compiled from Nuclear News and Nuclear Newswire what we feel are the top nuclear news stories from April through June 2022.

Stay tuned this week for the top stories from the rest of the past year.

But first:

ORNL names new associate director of fusion, fission energy and science

January 4, 2023, 7:02AMNuclear News


American Nuclear Society member Jeremy Busby has been named associate laboratory director for the Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, effective January 1.

Busby will oversee the directorate’s facilities, capabilities, and scientists and engineers who are tackling such challenges as extending operations of the current U.S. nuclear reactor fleet, investigating economical and flexible advanced reactor systems, and making fusion energy a viable part of the nation’s energy portfolio.

“ORNL has a proud history of addressing compelling challenges in both fusion and fission energy systems, and I’m honored to contribute to our success moving forward,” Busby said. “ORNL’s Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate has the world-leading expertise to advance the development and deployment of both fusion and fission. Combined with the additional strengths across ORNL’s research and support organizations and ORNL’s unique capabilities, we will fortify our nation’s energy transition.”

The Aircraft Reactor Experiment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

November 28, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear NewsJeremy Hampshire
The ARE building at ORNL. (Photo: ORNL)

Experimentation on the world’s first molten salt reactor to potentially power aircraft was already underway in November 1954, being carried out by the U.S. Air Force. Oak Ridge National Laboratory was the scene for the power-dense, high-temperature reactor experiment known as the Aircraft Reactor Experiment (ARE).