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2020 ANS Virtual Winter Meeting
November 16–19, 2020
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U.S. reactor technologies to be featured at IAEA conference
A virtual side event at the 64th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency will spotlight U.S. reactor technologies. The free event, US Reactor Technologies: Flexible Energy Security for Real-World Challenges, will be held this Thursday, September 24, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (EDT).
The event will highlight the capabilities of small modular reactors and other innovative reactors for addressing countries’ current needs. It will also examine anticipated challenges in the future, as well as underscore the need to act now.
The event is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy. Advanced registration is required.
Charles R. Daily, Joel L. McDuffee
Nuclear Technology | Volume 206 | Number 8 | August 2020 | Pages 1182-1194
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2019.1674594
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Efforts to reestablish a domestic 238Pu production capability in support of National Aeronautics and Space Administration mission objectives are ongoing throughout the U.S. Department of Energy complex. The Plutonium-238 Supply Project (PSP) was initiated in response to a report published by the National Research Council in 2011 stating that “without a restart of 238Pu production, it will be impossible for the United States, or any other country, to conduct certain important types of planetary missions after this decade.” The PSP is targeting a sustained, constant production rate of 1.5 kg/year of heat source PuO2 for several years. Design and optimization studies of 237Np-bearing targets are underway at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). It is anticipated that targets will be irradiated in ORNL’s High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at Idaho National Laboratory. A variety of target materials, containments, arrangements, and irradiation histories have been analyzed, and the results indicate that a sufficient quantity of 238Pu can be produced in HFIR and ATR to fulfill the PSP’s constant production rate target. This paper focuses on the design and optimization of new target configurations containing pellets that are (1) ~93% of the theoretical density of NpO2, (2) loaded into pins of cladding materials that can be handled as solid waste following postirradiation 238Pu recovery operations, (3) irradiated in various vertical experiment facility (VXF) locations in the HFIR permanent beryllium reflector, and (4) rotated within and/or moved to another VXF location following each HFIR operational cycle to maximize 238Pu production and minimize peak heat generation rates.