The Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) invests in research and development (R&D) to ensure that the United States will maintain its domestic nuclear energy capability and scientific and technical leadership in the international community of nuclear power nations in the years ahead. The 2010 Nuclear Energy Research and Development Roadmap presents a high-level vision and framework for R&D activities that are needed to keep the nuclear energy option viable in the near term and to expand its use in the decades ahead.
The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE), Office of Fuel Cycle Technology, has established the Used Fuel Disposition Campaign (UFDC) to conduct the research and development activities related to storage, transportation, and disposal of used nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The mission of the UFDC is to identify alternatives and conduct scientific research and technology development to enable storage, transportation, and disposal of used nuclear fuel (UNF) and wastes generated by existing and future nuclear fuel cycles.
The Risk-Informed Safety Margin Characterization (RISMC) pathway is a set of activities defined under the U.S. Department of Energy Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program. The overarching objective of RISMC is to support plant life-extension decision-making by providing a state-of-knowledge characterization of safety margins in key systems, structures, and components (SSCs).
The report describes selected aspects of progress for four major tasks: (1) development of a detailed R&D plan for natural system evaluation and tool development; (2) in-depth analsis of key attributes and new concepts identified in the R&D plan; (3) preliminary demonstration of new modeling and experimental tools; and (4) conceptual design of a databse for natural system evaluation.
The Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored a workshop on nuclear separations technologies in Bethesda, Maryland, on July 27 and 28, 2011, to (1) identify common needs and potential requirements in separations technologies and opportunities for program partnerships, and (2) evaluate the need for a DOE nuclear separations center of knowledge to improve cross- program collaboration in separations technology. The workshop supported Goal 3 of the DOE Strategic Plan1 to enhance nuclear security through defense, nonproliferation, and environmental management.
The reactor pressure vessel (RPV) in a light-water reactor (LWR) represents the first line of defense against a release of radiation in case of an accident. Thus, regulations that govern the operation of commercial nuclear power plants require conservative margins of fracture toughness, both during normal operation and under accident scenarios. In the unirradiated condition, the RPV has sufficient fracture toughness such that failure is implausible under any postulated condition, including pressurized thermal shock (PTS) in pressurized water reactors (PWR).
The Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) project was established under the Energy Policy Act in August 2005 (EPACT-2005). EPACT-2005 defined an overall plan and timetable for NGNP research, design, licensing, construction and operation by the end of FY 2021. At the time that EPACT-2005 was passed, it was envisioned that key aspects of the project included:
This study has been prepared by the Used Fuel Disposition (UFD) campaign of the Fuel Cycle Research and Development (FCR&D) program. The purpose of this study is to provide an estimate of the volume of low level waste resulting from a variety of commercial fuel cycle alternatives in order to support subsequent system-level evaluations of disposal system performance.
The engineered barrier system (EBS) plays a key role in the long-term isolation of nuclear waste in geological repository environments. This report focuses on the progress made in the evaluation of EBS design concepts, assessment of clay phase stability at repository-relevant conditions, thermodynamic database development for cement and clay phases, and THMC coupled phenomena along with the development of tools and methods to examine these processes; it also documents the advancements of the Disposal System Evaluation Framework (DSEF) for the development of repository design concepts and potential variants according to waste form and disposal environment characteristics.
The Fuel Cycle subcommittee of NEAC met April 25-26 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The main topics of discussion were the Used Nuclear Fuel (UNF) disposal program, the System Study Program’s methodology that is to be used to set priorities for R&D on advanced fuel cycles, and the University Programs. In addition to these, we were briefed on the budget, but have no comments other than a hope for a good outcome and restrict ourselves to general advice until more is known.
The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE), Office of Fuel Cycle Technology (OFCT) has established the Used Fuel Disposition Campaign (UFDC) to conduct the research and development (R&D) activities related to storage, transportation and disposal of used nuclear fuel (UNF) and high level nuclear waste (HLW). The Mission of the UFDC is
The Used Fuel Disposition campaign (UFD) is selecting a set of geologic media for further study including variations on the design of the repository, the engineered barrier, and the waste. Salt, clay/shale, and granitic rocks are examined; granitic rocks are also the primary basement rock to consider for deep borehole disposal. UFD is developing generic system analysis capability and general experimental data related to mined geologic disposal in the three media (salt, clay/shale, and granitic rocks), and the use of deep boreholes in granitic rocks.
Learn more about the Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies (NEET) program, which will develop crosscutting technologies that directly support and complement the Office of Nuclear Energy’s (NE) development of new and advanced reactor concepts and fuel cycle technologies.
The reactor pressure vessel (RPV) in a light-water reactor (LWR) represents the first line of defense against a release of radiation in case of an accident. Thus, regulations, which govern the operation of commercial nuclear power plants, require conservative margins of fracture toughness, both during normal operation and under accident scenarios. In the unirradiated condition, the RPV has sufficient fracture toughness such that failure is implausible under any postulated condition, including pressurized thermal shock (PTS) in pressurized water reactors (PWR).
The International Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (I-NERI) is a research-oriented collaborative program that supports the advancement of nuclear science and technology in the United States and the world. Innovative research performed under the I-NERI umbrella addresses key issues affecting the future use of nuclear energy and its global deployment. The 2010 Nuclear Energy Research and Development Roadmap issued by the U.S.
In 1999 the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) formed a special task force, called the TOPS Task Force, from the Nuclear Energy Research Advisory Committee (NERAC) to identify near- and long-term technical opportunities to further increase the proliferation resistance of global civilian nuclear power systems. Recommendations on specific areas of research were called for, as well as on areas where international collaboration could be most productive.
Energy and water are both essential to sustainable development and economic productivity. Ample supplies of water are essential to energy production, and water management is dependent on ample supplies of energy for water treatment and transportation. The critical nexus between energy and water has been recognized in a variety of recent studies, but the policy and regulatory machinery that this nexus depends on is not keeping up with the growing challenges.
Irradiation-assisted stress corrosion cracking is a key materials degradation issue in today’s nuclear power reactor fleet and affects critical structural components within the reactor core. The effects of increased exposure to irradiation, stress, and/or coolant can substantially increase susceptibility to stress-corrosion cracking of austenitic steels in high-temperature water environments. Despite 30 years of experience, the underlying mechanisms of Irradiation Assisted Stress Corrosion Cracking (IASCC) are unknown.
The primary objective of this report is to determine whether the existing Fuel Cycle Technologies (FCT) Quality Assurance Program Document (QAPD) is sufficient for work to be performed in the Used Fuel Disposition Campaign (UFDC), and where the existing QAPD is not sufficient, supply recommendations for changes to the QAPD to accommodate the UFDC. The FCT QAPD provides a sound and useable foundation for the implementation of QA for UFDC R&D activities, including the application of QA in a graded approach.
The Fuel Cycle Subcommittee (FCSC) of NEAC met in Washington, August 17- 19, 2010. DOE’s new science-based approach to all matters related to nuclear energy is being implemented. The general approach was outlined to NEAC in the briefing on the NE Roadmap. There are many new directions being considered, and this meeting of the FCSC was to brief the Subcommittee on new directions in nuclear energy that might go beyond our present 4.5% enriched LWRs.