From INL: “French nuclear designers tap American expertise”

INL Labs

Idaho National Laboratory

March 25, 2013
Nicole Stricker, INL
Angela Y. Hardin, Argonne

The world’s nuclear experts have reached out to U.S. Department of Energy engineers for help evaluating a new nuclear reactor design that could increase safety margins while reducing waste. The project marked a series of firsts for nuclear engineers on both sides of the Atlantic. They fostered a new collaboration and tapped state-of-the-art analysis tools to evaluate a first-of-a-kind reactor design.

INL nuclear engineer John Bess helped perform INL’s portion of an advanced reactor analysis, which was a collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory and France’s Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission. No image credit.

France’s Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA) collaborated with nuclear engineers at DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory for the project. Its goal: assess safety and performance parameters for a new fast reactor design. The effort used cutting-edge analysis tools, and the findings verified French predictions while highlighting where to focus future efforts.

‘We have tools and data today that we didn’t have 15 years ago,’ said INL Fellow Giuseppe Palmiotti, who led the lab’s contribution. ‘Plus, this enabled young American engineers to evaluate a unique design with a promising outlook.’

Hussein Khalil, director of Argonne’s Nuclear Engineering Division, added, ‘Enhancing safety is a key priority for future-generation reactors, and international collaboration is very beneficial for establishing safety criteria and verifying that new reactor designs meet or exceed these criteria.'”

France’s Advanced Sodium Technological Reactor for Industrial Demonstration (ASTRID) fast reactor design. No image credit

he ASTRID design includes passive safety systems and a fuel design that would naturally slow the fission process if reactor shutdown capability was lost. No image credit.

See the full article here.

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In operation since 1949, INL is a science-based, applied engineering national laboratory dedicated to supporting the U.S. Department of Energy’s missions in nuclear and energy research, science, and national defense. INL is operated for the Department of Energy (DOE) by Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA) and partners, each providing unique educational, management, research and scientific assets into a world-class national laboratory.