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Audra Drazga's picture
Vice President of The Power Industry Network, Energy Central

I am the VP of the Energy Central Power Industry Network.  In this role, I help to connect professionals in the power industry through the development and management of topic-specific community...

  • Member since 2012
  • 998 items added with 624,919 views
  • Oct 22, 2021

I thought this article may be of interest to the community.  New technologies are coming to the forefront of Nuclear Energy every day.  Curious about your thoughts on this one?


Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Oct 22, 2021

Fascinating, Audra. The new fuel isn't really replacing uranium - it will likely likely have a mixture of High Assay Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU) and thorium (HALEU is a fancy way to say "medium enriched" uranium). As it's found in nature thorium is only slightly radioactive, but when bombarded with neutrons from HALEU "breeds" U-233, an even more radioactive isotope of uranium than U-235, and just as useful for generating heat.

Though controlled fission of U-235 is well-understood for generating nuclear energy, mixes of different isotopes are not, and sometimes produce unintended consequences. It will take years of testing under various circumstances to develop a blend, and a fuel rod configuration, that is passively safe (can't melt down).

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