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From the pages of Nuclear News: Industry update November 2023
Here is a recap of industry happenings from the recent past:
Centrus-Oklo partnership expands
Oklo, a California-based developer of next-generation fission reactors, has expanded its partnership with Centrus Energy, a Maryland-based supplier of nuclear fuel and services. The two companies have been cooperating since 2021 on the development of Centrus’s American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, Ohio, to produce high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) fuel. According to the companies’ new memorandum of understanding, Centrus will manufacture certain components for Oklo’s Aurora “powerhouse” reactor, a fast neutron reactor designed to generate up to 15 MW of power and operate for at least 10 years without refueling. The Aurora is also designed to produce usable heat. Centrus also has agreed to purchase electricity generated by the Aurora reactors, while Oklo has agreed to purchase HALEU fuel from the Piketon facility. The facility is expected to begin fuel production before the end of the year.
Jordan D. Rader, M. Scott Greenwood, Paul W. Humrickhouse
Nuclear Technology | Volume 203 | Number 1 | July 2018 | Pages 58-65
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2018.1431505
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Tritium transport in metal and molten salt fluids combined with diffusion through high-temperature structural materials is an important phenomenon in both magnetic confinement fusion (MCF) and molten salt reactor (MSR) applications. For MCF, tritium is desirable to capture for fusion fuel. For MSRs, uncaptured tritium potentially can be released to the environment. In either application, quantifying the time- and space-dependent tritium concentration in the working fluid(s) and structural components is necessary.
Whereas capability exists specifically for calculating tritium transport in such systems (e.g., using TMAP for fusion reactors), it is desirable to unify the calculation of tritium transport with other system variables such as dynamic fluid and structure temperature combined with control systems such as those that might be found in a system code. Some capability for radioactive trace substance transport exists in thermal-hydraulic systems codes (e.g., RELAP5-3D); however, this capability is not coupled to species diffusion through solids. Combined calculations of tritium transport and thermal-hydraulic solution have been demonstrated with TRIDENT but only for a specific type of MSR.
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a set of Modelica-based dynamic system modeling tools called TRANsient Simulation Framework Of Reconfigurable Models (TRANSFORM) that were used previously to model advanced fission reactors and associated systems. In this system, the augmented TRANSFORM library includes dynamically coupled fluid and solid trace substance transport and diffusion. Results from simulations are compared against analytical solutions for verification.