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Nuclear Criticality Safety
NCSD provides communication among nuclear criticality safety professionals through the development of standards, the evolution of training methods and materials, the presentation of technical data and procedures, and the creation of specialty publications. In these ways, the division furthers the exchange of technical information on nuclear criticality safety with the ultimate goal of promoting the safe handling of fissionable materials outside reactors.
Conference on Nuclear Training and Education: A Biennial International Forum (CONTE 2023)
February 6–9, 2023
Amelia Island, FL|Omni Amelia Island Resort
The Standards Committee is responsible for the development and maintenance of voluntary consensus standards that address the design, analysis, and operation of components, systems, and facilities related to the application of nuclear science and technology. Find out What’s New, check out the Standards Store, or Get Involved today!
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Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
Nuclear energy: enabling production of food, fiber, hydrocarbon biofuels, and negative carbon emissions
In the 1960s, Alvin Weinberg at Oak Ridge National Laboratory initiated a series of studies on nuclear agro-industrial complexes1 to address the needs of the world’s growing population. Agriculture was a central component of these studies, as it must be. Much of the emphasis was on desalination of seawater to provide fresh water for irrigation of crops. Remarkable advances have lowered the cost of desalination to make that option viable in countries like Israel. Later studies2 asked the question, are there sufficient minerals (potassium, phosphorous, copper, nickel, etc.) to enable a prosperous global society assuming sufficient nuclear energy? The answer was a qualified “yes,” with the caveat that mineral resources will limit some technological options. These studies were defined by the characteristic of looking across agricultural and industrial sectors to address multiple challenges using nuclear energy.
Steven D. Herrmann, Brian R. Westphal, Shelly X. Li, Haiyan Zhao
Nuclear Technology | Volume 208 | Number 5 | May 2022 | Pages 871-891
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2021.1973180
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Prior work identified dissolution of used nuclear oxide fuel constituents from a uranium oxide matrix into molten LiCl-KCl-UCl3 at 500°C, prompting a subsequent series of three progressive studies (including an initial scoping study, an electrolytic dissolution study, and a chemical-seeded dissolution study) to further investigate associated parameters and mechanisms. Thermodynamic calculations were performed to identify possible reaction mechanisms and their propensities in used oxide fuel constituent dissolution. Used nuclear oxide fuels with varying preconditions from fast and thermal test reactors were separately immersed in the subject salt system to assess fuel constituent migration from the bulk fuel matrix to the salt phase in an initial scoping study. Dissolution of expected fuel constituents, including alkali, alkaline earth, lanthanide, and transuranium oxides, into the chloride salt phase varied widely, ranging from 12% to 99% in the initial study. Uranium isotope blending between the salt phase and bulk fuel matrix was also observed, which was attributed to reducing conditions in the fuel matrix. Electrolytic and chemical-seeded dissolution studies were subsequently performed to effect reducing conditions in the fuel. Other parameters, including temperature (at 500°C, 650°C, 725°C, and 800°C) and uranium trichloride concentrations (at 6, 9, and 19 wt% uranium), were investigated in the latter two studies, resulting in fuel constituent dissolution above 90%. Extents of dissolution were based on initial and final fuel constituent concentrations in the oxide fuels following operations in the salt and subsequent removal of the salt via distillation. In this series of progressive studies, oxide fuel preconditioning and in situ reducing conditions, along with elevated temperature and uranium trichloride concentrations, were the primary parameters promoting used nuclear oxide fuel constituent dissolution in accordance with identified reaction mechanisms.