T2 New Fuels Licensing Readiness

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is committed to enabling the safe use of new fuel technologies, including those that can increase the safety of operating reactors. The U.S. nuclear industry, with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), plans to deploy new fuels, including advanced reactor fuel and accident tolerant fuel (ATF). Near-term ATF designs for the operating fleet generally keep the same physical fuel assembly structure, but they may include concepts such as coated cladding, doped pellets, increased enrichment, and higher burnup limits. Longer term ATF concepts include iron-chromium-aluminum cladding, silicon carbide cladding, and metallic fuel. Advanced reactor fuel designers are considering several fuel types, including fuels based on tristructural isotropic (TRISO) particles, metallic uranium alloys, and liquid salt fuels. The staff's separate (but complementary) efforts on ATF and advanced reactor fuels address the complete nuclear fuel cycle, including fuel fabrication, in-reactor requirements, and spent fuel storage and transportation. These concepts have the potential to enhance safety at U.S. nuclear power plants by offering better performance during normal operation, transient conditions, and accident scenarios. The NRC is committed to working on the anticipated reviews in a thoughtful and deliberative manner. Successful implementation of new concepts will depend on early and effective engagement among the various stakeholders.
  • Daniel King, Project Manager, Licensing Projects Branch, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, , NRR/NRC e-mail: Daniel.King@nrc.gov

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, May 03, 2024