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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.
Alberto D. Mendoza España, Daniel Wojtaszek, Ashlea V. Colton, Blair P. Bromley
Nuclear Technology | Volume 203 | Number 3 | September 2018 | Pages 232-243
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2018.1447209
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
This study assesses the resource throughput and utilization of various thorium-based fuel concepts for near-term deployment in a pressure-tube heavy water reactor (PT-HWR). Such fuel concepts may be of interest to nations with thorium reserves that are interested in exploiting PT-HWRs. Given that nations with abundant thorium reserves and relatively small uranium reserves have an interest in reducing their dependence on natural uranium (NU) imports, the thorium-based fuel concepts are assessed in terms of their ability to conserve uranium resources and their impact on national income using an economic multiplier analysis. It is found that there are some thorium-augmented and thorium-based fuel concepts that are capable of both conserving resources and reducing reliance on importing NU, which would reduce the negative impact on national income from importing NU. A PT-HWR fuel bundle concept of 1.2 wt% 235U/U + Th (in a central fuel element and small amounts mixed into the outer 36 fuel elements) was found to be the most advantageous and attractive for implementation to improve nuclear fuel resource utilization.