HOW MANY COUNTRIES ARE READY FOR NUCLEAR-POWERED ELECTRICITY?

A new study in the journal Risk Analysis suggests that countries representing more than 80 percent of potential growth in low-carbon electricity demand—in Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa—may lack the economic or institutional quality to deploy nuclear power to meet their energy needs. The authors suggest that if nuclear power is to safely expand its role in mitigating climate change, countries need to radically improve their ability to manage the technology.

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Caroline Nesaraja: Providing nothing but the best nuclear data

Nuclear physicist Caroline Nesaraja of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory evaluates nuclear data. Her work ensures that the scientific community has the best nuclear data for fundamental research and applications including medical isotopes, nuclear energy and national and international security.

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Sandia to put nuclear waste storage canisters to the test

Sandia National Laboratories is outfitting three 22.5-ton, 16.5-feet-long stainless-steel storage canisters with heaters and instrumentation to simulate nuclear waste so researchers can study their durability. The three canisters, which arrived in mid-November and have never contained any nuclear materials, will be used to study how much salt gathers on canisters over time. Sandia will also study the potential for cracks caused by salt- and stress-induced corrosion with additional canisters that will be delivered during the next stage of the project.

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Fast fabrication: ORNL develops, produces metal hydride for moderator in 3D-printed reactor

Researchers thought yttrium hydride would be an ideal moderator for the new Transformational Challenge Reactor, but no one had yet figured out how to produce the large, crack-free pieces needed. An ORNL scientist developed a process and invented a machine to do that.

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3D-printed nuclear reactor promises faster, more economical path to nuclear energy

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are refining their design of a 3D-printed nuclear reactor core, scaling up the additive manufacturing process necessary to build it, and developing methods to confirm the consistency and reliability of its printed components.

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ORNL, TVA sign agreement to collaborate on advanced reactor technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Tennessee Valley Authority have signed a memorandum of understanding to evaluate a new generation of flexible, cost-effective advanced nuclear reactors.

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Knowledgebase is power for nuclear reactor developers

Six new nuclear reactor technologies are planned to commercially deploy between 2030 and 2040. ORNL’s Weiju Ren heads a project managing structural materials information. This conversation explores challenges and opportunities in sharing nuclear materials knowledge internationally.

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