Using INL Capabilities to Support Meeting the Needs

Using INL Capabilities to Support Meeting the Needs

Using INL Capabilities to Support Meeting the Needs for HALEU John C. Wagner Nuclear Science and Technology Associate Laboratory Director, Idaho National Laboratory [email protected] (208) 526-7977 October October 10, 10, 2018 2018 LINE LINE Commission, Commission, McCall,

McCall, Idaho Idaho National Reactor Innovation Center is being established at INL Enable the deployment of new nuclear systems by using INLs unique infrastructure and expertise to resolve the basic R&D challenges confronting the most promising advanced reactor concepts. Fuels and core designs that improve the economics of current operating nuclear power plants Demonstration and first-of-a-kind deployment of new reactor concepts: Advanced small-modular light water reactors Advanced non-light water reactors Microreactors Development of fuel cycle infrastructure Xe-100 200 MWt PBR ARC-100, MWe

150-1500 MWe, Moltex 2 Vision for Advanced Reactor Pipeline Demonstrate first <10MW microreactor by 2021 Resolve advanced reactor issues Open new markets for nuclear energy Provide a win to build positive momentum SMR operating by 2026 Enable deployment through siting and

technical support Joint Use Modular Plant leased for federal RDD&D Versatile Test Reactor (VTR) operating by 2026 Supported by microreactor demonstration Re-establish leadership in fast-spectrum testing and fuel development capability Support non-LWR advanced reactor demonstration Non-LWR Advanced

Demonstration Reactor by 2030 Demonstrate non-LWR technology replacement of US baseload clean power capacity 3 Advanced reactor fuels are needed for advanced reactors Most advanced reactors require fuel/cladding systems that differ from those used in traditional light water reactors Physical form - metallic, mixed oxide, nitride, carbide, dispersion, coated particle, even liquid fuel U-235 enrichment - 5-20% Cladding - composites or coated materials There is a need for U enriched between 5 and 20% (commonly referred to as High Assay Low Enrich Uranium [HALEU]) for advanced reactors development

Currently there is no domestic capability 14YWT CR6 14YWT CR6b 9YWTV PM2 U3Si2 Pellet 4 INL R&D capabilities are being used to evaluate options for addressing HALEU needs Commercial reactor concepts require HALEU for startup cores In addition, there are other national missions that require a reliable supply of enriched uranium

Expected Expected commercial commercial demands demands for for HALEU HALEU are are very very significant significant 5 INL HALEU R&D Program Objectives Evaluate the feasibility of providing an interim supply of HALEU to support fuel-fabrication needs for

R&D, and potential demonstration of advanced reactor concepts Support the development of HALEU infrastructure to include transportation, fuel fabrication, and advanced reactor testing 6 HALEU R&D Program Strategy INL is looking into the feasibility of recovering and down-blending HEU from feedstocks with large ratios of HALEU/HEU that otherwise will be disposed at a cost to tax payers Possible feedstocks include end-of-life fuels from diverse irradiation origins EBR-II Naval Others (ATR, orphan irradiated materials, etc.) Final HALEU form is determined by fuel

specifications and fabrication needs Down-blending feedstocks varied and may include: 5% enriched LEU Depleted Uranium Natural Uranium Recovery processes (all available/under development at INL) are determined by characteristics of the feedstock and may include: Electrochemical Process Hybrid Process (ZIRCEX) Others 7 Electrochemical separations process is being applied to EBR-II fuel

treatment Is a batch process that separates and recovers uranium metal from used HEU nuclear fuel and down-blends to HALEU Step 1 Irradiated HEU EBR-II fuel is prepared and placed into a high temperature molten salt electrorefiner which facilitates separation of U metal from fission products Step 2 Recovered uranium undergoes vacuum distillation to remove electrorefiner salt and is downblended to <20% U-235 Step 3 The recovered uranium metal is configured to serve as HALEU feedstock by reheating and casting into low-dose uranium metal ingots DOE is evaluating the environmental impact of this process and will be issuing a draft Environmental Assessment for public review and comment later this month 8 A hybrid (ZIRCEX) process is also being developed and evaluated

A three step process that recovers HEU from nuclear fuel and down-blends it to HALEU Step 1 ZIRCEX is a dry head-end process to remove cladding (zirconium or aluminum) from nuclear fuel Step 2 Uranium is purified from fission products by a very compact, modular solvent extraction system. The fission products are immobilized in glass using a small in-can melt. Step 3 The uranium is down-blended to <20% U-235 prior to fuel fabrication 9 R&D ZIRCEX Status Design, fabrication and installation of a ZIRCEX pilot plant scale system completed

Functionality testing underway Approval to start R&D testing with zirconium expected during October 2018 Pilot Plant located at INTEC CPP-653 10 R&D FY19 First Quarter Milestones Complete staffing for alternatives study October 30, 2018 Initiate testing of surrogate fuel in ZIRCEX Material Recovery Pilot Plant November 2018 Begin engineering scoping studies to better understand issues, costs and schedule November 2018 11

Questions ? 12 13

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